Serve them a shit sandwich and B.O.D's
I got a phone call last week, from a friend who asked for advice about how to approach an awkward conversation with her mother in law. You could argue that any chat involving a mother and daughter in law is going to be edgy to say the least! However, I have a method I’ve been using for yonks, to deliver a negative message in its every form, which I am sure masses of people can identify with. I personally call it a ‘shit sandwich’. It works across the board and for most relationships. Work colleagues, family, mates, kids…. just needs a bit of a tweak depending on what age group you're aiming at. Essentially its just a big fat negative sandwiched between a couple of positives, so nothing new there. But like any story or joke, it’s all in the delivery!
How to tell your Mother in law that her way may have worked in accordance with the village elders in days of yore, but now you’d actually rather raise her grandchildren, that you grew in your OWN ACTUAL WOMB, your own way.
‘Mother in law, thank you so much for buying me twenty three potties and fifty eight pairs of big boy pants, it was incredibly thoughtful of you and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your support, especially as you’ve been there yourself’
‘However, I don't mind that he still curls one out in a nappy, he is only two after all and no amount of singing/bribery/weighted diving boots, is going to keep him sitting on the potty for long enough, even if he did show any interest, so I think we’ll just leave it for now’
‘But I really am grateful for your help, thank goodness you’re such a young energetic Granny, we are so lucky to have you’
A prime example of a shit sandwich.
It can work on the kids.
‘Mummy can I use the ipad’
‘Good boy/girl for asking’
‘Not now no’
‘But if you do everything it says you have to do in your book bag (a hive of instruction if ever I knew one) then you can earn extra time on it for another day’
Yes un petit sandwich de merde works on every level. It is by far and away the easiest way for a positive person to deliver a negative message.
A shit sandwich is at its most useful when being used to bat off a B.O.D (Bringer Of Doom). We all know them. Those folk who carry with them stories of woe, who in full flow of aforementioned story-telling, will drop a doom bomb right in the middle of a sentence.
There is a B.O.D spectrum. On one end you have people you like, but have to work your way up to seeing because their woe weighs you down. On the other end of the scale you have those who are just one fat ball of negativity. Energy sapping death eaters, who bring nothing into your life but doom, doom, doooooooom.
My litmus test for any human actually is this. If you walk away from someone feeling, well just a bit shit about yourself, then you’ve just encountered a B.O.D. If you are at all able, you should rid these doom bringers from your life. I appreciate we can't always do this, we might work with them for example, (in which case, a shit sandwich may come in handy). They might just be a mate who needs a little bit of extra sensitive, shit sandwich management.
Example, there may, in your tribe, be a B.O.D. There may be those in that very same tribe, who are less patient than you. Now, this part is very important, ganging up will never do. Sitting down with someone in a group and throwing group negativity at an already negative human is a no no. We say no, no, no to that…we don’t condone that kind of behaviour!
Now, I hate to be a shit sandwich bore, but it couldn’t be more relevant here!
Example: you're on a night out without the kids, you've got make up on and everything, dirty martinis everywhere….
DB: ‘It’s nice to see everyone, I almost didn’t come because I’m so tired (more tired than all of you) XXXX (insert child name) has been sick (and is ALWAYS sicker than all of your children) the babysitter almost cancelled (but didn’t) and in Budgens today someone took the last packet of apple rice cakes.
YOU: ‘I am so sorry you’ve had such a crap day, it is tiring having these little parasites isn’t it, thankfully we are all parents so can understand how you must be feeling, I guess sickness and children is kind of a given right, how is ‘almost cancelled’ even a thing?! You’re so funny! And apple rice cakes are overrated anyway, besides I’ve a stash of them you can have.
‘Ok so I am going to make a rule for everyone, that, for the rest of the evening no-one in the group is allowed to say one negative thing, (indirect speech is underrated). Punishable by downing your drink/buying the next round. Don’t be so down XXXX when you’ve so much to be positive about.
‘Besides, you look so gorgeous tonight, smile, you’re out with your mates and we think you’re the mutts nuts’
Ok so I was a little gentle with the shit in the middle of the sandwich, but if you give even your most tricky of mates the right kind of empowerment, then they’ll use it. You, the positive energy givers, have the power to do this!
So go forth, serve out your shit sandwiches, may they give you the power to eradicate doom bringers from the world!