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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Bathroom Dissention

Recently I listened to a wife fume about how she hates the toilet seat up. Years of repeated request, orders, demands-and even once slamming the seat down and breaking it.
It’s not like its weekly although I would say one common argument that occurs in my office between couples is the toilet seat argument.
The toilet seat argument was not a source of dissention from the late 1500’s to the mid 1800’s because bathrooms were a separate space with a hole that relied on gravity. I have no proof however I suspect the arguments between couples started around 1860’s. If any one person is to blame for this endless argument I would point a finger at a guy name Thomas Crapper (yes I said Crapper).
Crapper did not invent the flush toilet (that honor goes to Sir John Harrington). Crapper did, however, do much to increase the popularity of the toilet and bathroom, and developed some important related inventions. Not only did Thomas Crapper’s modernization of the toilet most likely birth the issue of the ‘up or down’ argument the abbreviation of his last name has become synonymous with arguments. This is a load of ‘crap’ you’re talking ‘crap' and 'I hate this crap' are all slang references from Mr. Crapper’s name.
As I see it here are the best solutions/options available for couples engaged in Crapper argument:
·         The Serenity Prayer 
Give us the serenity to accept what cannot be change
The courage to change what can be changed.
and the wisdom to know the one from the other.
·         Acceptance: Ladies the toilet seat up is a guy thing beyond your full comprehension because you’re a woman. If you only think like a woman then it looks like defiance. But it has nothing to do with you nor is it defiance.
·         Be Assertive: Use your words but not too many. If you use too many you won’t be heard. Assertiveness is clear, honest forthright communication. We women have a propensity to have a pre-story- then buried in between is the ask, followed by a few thousand extra words about what we think.
             The best way to be assertive is to use the “I” statement formula:

Say: “I feel angry” (use a feeling word)
What: (Say what is bothering you) “When you leave the toilet seat up”.
How:(Say how it is it affecting you): “Because I’ve actually fallen in at night”.
Say what you need: “I need you to put the toilet seat down at night” or “I need you to redecorate the guest bathroom into your own personal bathroom.”

By the way, if your husband does make another bathroom his you must leave the subject alone completely.

·         Compromise: In all relationships compromise is an absolute necessity. In a nutshell it is settling differences by mutual agreement. If you combine being assertive with some possible solutions, you have a chance of reaching an agreement and eliminating that fruitless argument.
For an example the wife says, “I need you to keep the toilet seat down all the time”. Husband says, “I probably can’t do that”. Wife says, “that is unacceptable you must!” Husband says,” how about I work on keeping the seat down at night”. Wife replies, “this will work”.
             It may take a while to reach a compromise however a compromise is a win-win.

 For the record: a woman needs the toilet seat down 100% of the time. A man only 50% of the time. A husband could argue his point, and yet in 12 years of practice I never heard a man complain that the seat was down.
By the way, men never come to my office and have the toilet seat on their list of complaints. NEVER!

Anger Management Institute, LLC Specializing in impulse control and emotional intelligence.