THEORYThe STFU Method (self.RedPillWomen)

submitted by [deleted]

Let’s start with a little joke ripped right from /r/jokes top of all-time list…

A woman goes to the Doctor, worried about her husband 's temper.

The Doctor asks: "What's the problem?

The woman says: "Doctor, I don't know what to do. Every day my husband seems to lose his temper for no reason. It scares me."

The Doctor says: "I have a cure for that. When it seems that your husband is getting angry, just take a glass of water and start swishing it in your mouth. Just swish and swish but don't swallow it until he either leaves the room or calms down.”

Two weeks later the woman comes back to the doctor looking fresh and reborn.

The woman says: "Doctor that was a brilliant idea! Every time my husband started losing it, I swished with water. I swished and swished, and he calmed right down! How does a glass of water do that?"

The Doctor says: "The water itself does nothing. It's keeping your mouth shut that does the trick".

The STFU Method

The STFU Method TM is a handy way to create and keep peace in your daily life. More specifically it will enable you to have a more loving relationship with your SO. We would like to examine why, how and when it is applied while also dispelling the misconception that you are a doormat for doing so.

Why do I need to STFU?

The art of listening is an invaluable skill that can be useful in all areas of your life. We listen to friends when they have trouble, kids when they want to show something off, our parents when they have some wisdom to share, and a variety of other times in our lives. How it is applied to your current romantic relationship is detrimental in the success/failure of it. I’m sure we can all agree that if you don’t listen, you can never fully understand. This is exactly why we stress on RPW to just STFU.

While communicating your wants, needs, and feelings is important, listening is often more important in the health and welfare of your relationship. Understanding what is actually going on vs what you feel makes it easier to know what the next step is. Reflexively responding to situations is only good in fight or flight situations. In the beginning of learning how to listen, it is good to just take all the data presented and digest it before actually forming an opinion about it. Over time, you will find that you instinctively can discern the appropriate behaviors for specific situations without ever needing to voice anything. In the beginning however, it is important to just S T F U. Listen. Learn. Absorb.

For new relationships, it is easy to STFU. You want to know how the person acts, what they think, what they like, and you want to please them. This is great and wonderful. The trick is when you have been in a relationship and the honeymoon phase is over, how do you keep that ability to listen and desire to please going? You see this guy at his worst and you are expected to still take him seriously? GASPS Seriously though, complacency is the killer of romance. So how do you prevent this? By listening to your partner. When you listen to your partner you are actively working on your relationship. You cannot expect a relationship to survive with minimal effort on your part. It just won’t happen.

How do I STFU

This might seem like a no-brainer. Just close your mouth and all will be well. It can be a little bit trickier than that. STFU also means body language. Eye rolling is not you STFU’ing. Gasping with exasperations is you not STFU’ing. Pouting is you not STFU’ing.

STFU is you actively and consciously removing yourself from a situation to better assess it. For those who are more practiced, it could very well be only keeping your mouth closed. However, for most of us self proclaimed strong willed bull headed women we may have to smile and say “ok my love” and walk away. These three small actions can make a big difference in your communication style.

The first step I suggest is to smile. This is probably the hardest step because you want to rip someones head off when they say something you don’t like but the more you do this the easier it’ll become. Fake it til you make it! The first few times, your SO might look at you like WTF is wrong with her? but over time it’ll just be a positive way to signal that you need some time to process the interaction you just had. You could give mean stank face but what is that going to accomplish? Who does that really hurt? You because you’re the one going to be stuck with the wrinkles. LOL. So smile and breathe in.

Next is to state something agreeable. “Yes, my love” or “ok, honey” both give a positive affirmation and also reminds your SO that you love them with a term of endearment. You acquiesce to the situation and you do so graciously. This is to preserve intimacy and the closeness of the relationship. When has being a bitch ever gotten you anywhere? Never!

Most important step here. Walk away. Go do what was told to you or just go to the other room. You can let your hamster tire out away from your SO. DO NOT GO BACK UNTIL YOUR HAMSTER IS PANTING IN THE CORNER ALMOST DEAD FROM RACING AROUND. Take this time to process what just happened. What was said, how was it said, what did you feel, why did you feel that way, what was your SO trying to say. All of these things are your hamster at work. You can use this as an exercise in reigning it in and over time you should be doing this faster and faster. This is also the time when you realize if you ACTUALLY do have something to say to your SO. This is when you can actually tell whether you should bring up something because it was detrimental on his part to the relationship. However, if that is the case, you still want to do it with a calm, cool and relaxed demeanor so taking time away is always a good idea.

Those are just my three steps. Most times, I just need to close my eyes and take a deep breath and can handle most situations. However, these three steps have always been fundamental in my growth. When a breathe isn’t enough, I walk away. If you find that you are walking away alllll the time, then there may be deeper issues with yourself at hand and those should be examined too.

When do I STFU

While reading this, you may think that STFU only applies when your SO says something to you that hurts your feelings. However, this applies to a variety of feelings. Not just hurt ones. When you aren’t getting your way, when you think you know better, when you want to control things, when you want to dominate things, when you want something done in a certain way, when you want something done now, when you don’t want to do something now, when you want to hamster, when you don’t want to have sex, when you feel bossed around, when things just aren’t getting done and you want them done NOW!!!! Etc etc etc.

Bossing, nagging, whining, bitching, complaining, griping, mothering, smothering, gumbling, belly-aching are alllllll times when you need to STFU. At times these things can be masked as coming from a good place. A gentle reminder every 10 minutes to take out the trash. A little push in the right direction because he has no clue what he is doing. A honey-do list a mile long. Sound familiar?

Now go and STFU! Please let me know if I forgot anything.

edit- formatting double edit: i really need to proofread my stuffs

[–][deleted] 15 points16 points  (2 children)

Great post /u/CoochQuarantine. I went to give you the big flair, but another Moderator beat me to it haha!

Keep up the great work! :0)

[–]TempestTcup 5 points6 points  (0 children)

You just have to be a little quicker on the draw :)

[–][deleted] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Woohoo can't wait to see it on my comp

[–][deleted] 8 points9 points  (1 child)

I love this! I've definitely started to STFU more recently. I think it's very undervalued, you really don't have to talk about every little grievance.

Plus when it's the minor things, I tend to forget about being upset pretty quickly anyways.

[–]trapped_in_a_box 2 points3 points  (0 children)

This! It always seems like a much bigger deal at the time, if I let the hamster spin for awhile it rarely seems like a very big deal at all. If it still is, I mentally note it to bring up when everything is chill.

[–]CamusSeesSumac 5 points6 points  (9 children)

I like this a lot! I have been working on this for a while and it definitely works and convinces me that most of the time, our fights are my fault.

I have a question/request for advice. I'm pretty good now at avoiding STARTING a fight. But I am really terrible at stopping. The last month or so our relationship has been much healthier because I've essentially stopped picking petty fights, but I messed up on Sunday. And once I had already gotten upset about something dumb, I couldn't let it go for hours! How do you guys practice letting go quickly and AFTER you get upset?

[–][deleted]  (1 child)


    [–]CamusSeesSumac 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    I think the physical energy thing sounds smart! I'll try that next time. I always, like, fidget, which I think indicates I have pent-up energy with no where to go.

    [–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

    We all fail at this at one point or another. Some moreso than others. You aren't going to be perfect at it. With that in mind it is how you bounce back from it that matters. Maybe next time you won't be upset for 5 hours. Maybe just 4. Then maybe 5 again then maybe 2... it is something you need to keep working on and over time you should get better if you are conscious about it and keep working hard at it. Another thing to note is to acknowledge why you did it and apologize for it. Move past it. You might not be able to let go quickly in the beginning. It is a muscle that can be exercised though.

    [–]CamusSeesSumac 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Thanks! I think sometimes I'm fatalistic and think "well, I messed up. IT'S OVER." And that's silly. It's like skipping a workout. Not good to skip every single one, but one occasional one is fine, and the more you workout, the easier it is to get back in shape the next day!

    [–]Kittenkajira 2 points3 points  (4 children)

    I wrote a blog post that may help.

    [–]katsumii 2 points3 points  (1 child)

    Just want to say thanks for sharing your blog post, Kittenkajira. I've bookmarked it and am printing it out for myself.

    [–]Kittenkajira 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Aww. I'm so happy you liked it!

    [–]CamusSeesSumac 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    If he says something that hurts, remember that men speak more harshly and directly than women do. It’s easy to get overly offended when it’s coming from a person whose opinion you trust and respect

    Thanks for the reply! This part really rings true for me. It's so easy for me to take one thing he says and think its actually a personal attack, when he just made an off-hand joke or misheard what I said. It's definitely something I'm working on, and I'm better but nowhere near perfect!

    [–]Lin333 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Thanks for the website. Love it. Do more! Esp on this stfu. 😂

    [–]jayhobmx 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    Yes! I love this. During an argument I especially pay attention to my tone...and I'm constantly working on not being sarcastic since it's essentially just sugar-coated rudeness. When I do STFU, I try to quell the sarcastic thoughts in my head before they lead to gestures, facial expressions, or verbal replies. Sarcasm is a bitch.

    [–]Sexwithcoconuts 4 points5 points  (1 child)

    This is great. I've been married five years, and slowly but surely I've kept my mouth shut here and there. It definitely makes for a better relationship. I'm usually bad at controlling myself when it's time for a mental breakdown from stress and sadness, but that doesn't happen as often as it use to (went from it happening weekly to like twice a year).

    The greatest thing about keeping quiet is your husband noticing. That positive feedback about something that was hard to do is what really makes me want to keep doing it. I let him know this when he tells me.

    My problem is I am a hot head. I get worked up over little things. He has a hard time understanding why everything is so important to me. In reality, he shouldn't have to understand in the hostile environment I give him sometimes. I should be able to express everything that IS actually important to him in a calm, daily conversation-like manner to him.

    He's not the unpleasant one in the relationship, I am. I'm getting better, and it really is helping the rest of our time spent together.

    [–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    The way I look at STFU is that even if you do have something to say... why would you be a bitch about it? Like I said in the post, reacting immediately is really only called for in fight or flight. WHYYY would any interaction with your SO be fight or flight? That doesn't even make any sense. Taking time to process things is always a good idea. So glad it is working out for you. It might be good if you made a field report too :)

    [–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    haha i love this!!! Thanks so much for the post.

    [–][deleted]  (3 children)


    [–]TempestTcup 2 points3 points  (2 children)

    letting my SO say whatever he wanted/needed while on my part I would just shut up and still go about my own way without giving it further thought.

    LOL, yes, this is wrong, very, very wrong :)

    Related(ish): when we were kids, my parents took my little sis to the hearing doctor because they thought she had gone deaf; the doctor told them that she had perfect hearing, she was just ignoring them, hahahaha. That's what your answer reminded me of!

    [–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Oh wow. hahaha That is gold

    [–]TempestTcup 1 point2 points  (1 child)

    This is awesome :)

    [–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Thank you :)

    [–]StingrayVC 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Utterly fantastic. ;)

    [–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Fabulous cooch, thanks for such a great contribution!

    [–]closetrpw 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Honestly I think this post comes at a great time. While it's definitely important to talk to your SO about problems and let him know how you're feeling, you should always be making listening your number 1 priority.

    I think it's also important to emphasize that you can let your hamster run wild, but you shouldn't stew over something that's not that big of a deal, or else it's going to become a big deal when it's not. Try to really put yourself in his shoes when he tells you something, and really try to understand his side.

    Thank you for this post. STFUing is exactly what you lose sight of when your relationship gets tougher.

    [–]roboticyogi 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    STFU also means body language. Eye rolling is not you STFU’ing. Gasping with exasperations is you not STFU’ing. Pouting is you not STFU’ing.

    Thank you for emphasizing that! I'm pretty quiet generally, but I become even more quiet (and pouty) when I'm upset.

    I think the suggestion to smile right away is very important. Building that muscle memory will in turn help you direct your thoughts toward a more productive end.

    I also really appreciated your step by step breaking down what happened. Sometimes my thoughts get away from me and I need to take one thing at a time. :)

    [–]whistling_dixie 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    THANK YOU for this! This is literally my biggest problem. I picked up a horrible habit from my own mother of pushing and pestering when there's a problem, and this has literally never worked - but it's so ingrained into my personality that retraining my brain is quite a bit more difficult than I realized it would be. I am bookmarking this to come back to every time I need it.

    [–]theothergirlonreddit 2 points3 points  (1 child)

    This just seems to be good advice for anyone. Think before you speak or react. I've had to teach my boyfriend this method. When we both do it, we rarely fight. An exception is instead of responding with a reply, we may respond with a question intent on understanding the message. This is line with 7 Habits or "First Understand, then be Understood."

    [–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Yeah. Most rpw advice is applicable all around. People just don't like the terms used mostly.

    [–][deleted]  (1 child)


    [–]TempestTcup 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    It's not about not speaking at all, but being mindful about what you say. If you tend to "remind" him about things over and over (nagging) or if you want to sass him, then just STFU instead. If you have something important to say, then say it once in a deliberate manner with his full attention and then drop it.

    As far as relating your day or just having discussions in general, go for it. RPW don't live their lives in silence, never speaking. Be mindful if you are being controlling or saying something hurtful, disrespectful, or rude. That's all this post is saying, and it's a great post completely in line with RPW tenets.

    [–]justanotherusername4 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Great read. I'm glad to say this comes natural to me. (Probably the only area I DON'T need a buttload of work and practice to get better in...)

    [–]odalisque_ 0 points1 point  (2 children)

    Didn't realize there was a term for the STFU method! I've been using this whenever my ex got upset and we would get into an argument. It's difficult, but it does work...he's usually the one getting more frustrated while I remain cool as a cucumber.

    Question: When I do STFU, my SO says I'm being an emotionless Vulcan and stonewalling. How do I get across that I'm not emotionless, it's just that I refuse to escalate the situation by becoming hysterical and yelling back at him?

    [–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Look through my post history. I detail it how I apply it.

    [–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    When I do STFU, my SO says I'm being an emotionless Vulcan and stonewalling. How do I get across that I'm not emotionless, it's just that I refuse to escalate the situation by becoming hysterical and yelling back at him?

    Hey. So I just realized that you'd asked this a few weeks after I made the post and I'd assumed you hadn't read it. lol. So I will answer this question.

    When you are calm and not fighting, you can tell your man that when emotions are high, you take a little more time to process things. You just need time to separate emotions from reflex and if can give you that time it would make a world of difference in trying to work on issues with him. You are working on not being so reflexive but in the meantime a little understanding from him will go a long way.

    Obviously tailor it to how you actually speak but something along those lines. Also, if you want to make a post about it on this sub I'm sure a lot of other RPW would be glad to help you with this.

    [–][deleted]  (11 children)


    [–]tintedlipbalm 4 points5 points  (5 children)

    you're the Ken M of RPW

    [–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    I couldn't put my finger on it but yaaassssss!

    [–][deleted]  (3 children)


      [–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (2 children)

      [–]Littleknownfacts 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      Wow that was entertaining!

      [–]TempestTcup 2 points3 points  (4 children)

      You either don't get what RPW is about or you are a troll.

      [–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (3 children)

      There's something not right there

      [–]TempestTcup 1 point2 points  (2 children)

      Yeah, she's very close to being banned; I'm not sure why I haven't done it yet; probably my tender heart, hahahaha. Once more and she's out of here.

      [–][deleted] -1 points0 points  (1 child)

      I think you should. I just went through the posts.... wut did I just read?

      [–]TempestTcup 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      LOL! I can't imagine that she will make it past her next couple of comments; she seems to delight in making nutty, inappropriate comments.