Spoiler Alert #2

Spoiler Alert #2

Read this module OUT LOUD as a couple:

(NO FINGER POINTING, focus only on the areas YOU need to grow in!)



Today we are going to talk about Lemon Mouth.

Lemon Mouth is that person who is negative, critical and complaining.

They look for the bad in life and cannot stop talking about it.

They see a dirty dish and they comment “Someone needs to get in here and wash these dishes.”

There will ALWAYS be plenty of stuff to complain about everywhere you look.

We choose everyday whether to focus on the good in life or whether to voice the many negatives calling for our attention.

You SEE the mess.

But do you have to complain about it?

If you act like an Inspector in your home–you will be treated like Inspectors are treated.

Be part of the team!


Each day we get a CHOICE of what to let flood out of our mouth.

Studies show over and over that negative reinforcement is inferior to the Power of Positive Praise. Often we use our Default Method as first line of defense until the costs get too high. You may think “Dad screamed at Mom and then she quit nagging him and left him alone.” So we try that method on our partner and it works. She leaves him alone.

But then the Damage Report comes in. Letting our tongue fly and going for the jugular achieves our short-time goal (it ends the argument and makes them go away) but it is done at the expense of our long term goal to have a happy, healthy lasting relationship.

We are going to look further at the impact of having someone in our life who consistently goes for the jugular as a means of meeting their needs and solving conflict. We will be holding up a mirror up to ourselves to evaluate if we are Lemon Mouth in the flesh!

Do not look at your partner. Focus solely on the areas you can grow in this area.

Our tongue can be used as a deadly weapon of harsh bitter poison or it can be used as a healing balm to those we love. When we purposely look for the good in people we will find it. When you point out the good in your children and in your family members amazing thing happen. Not only do they begin enjoying being around you-they will often try harder to please you.

No one wants to be disappointing to someone they love. Deep down, we WANT their approval. For some of you reading this, you may STILL be waiting for your own father or mother to say, “I’m proud of you.”

Don’t withhold those words from your children if you are a parent. Let your kids know every single day, that you love them beyond the shadow of a doubt!

Recently, we had children in our state be dropped off to school in the morning–and their parents never saw them alive again. A deadly tornado hit their school and ended their lives. Life is precious and we never know when the last day we will have with someone is.

If you wasted everyday of that child’s life being Lemon Dad or Lemon Mom, how horrible would it to feel if you had dropped them off that dad and had rarely even said “I love you and I’m proud of you.”

You have no idea when your last day on earth will be.

You have no idea when your partners last day on earth will be.

Time is precious! Choose your words wisely and treat your partner like a treasure!

When someone is negative all the time and constantly looks for the bad, people have a tendency to give up and quit trying to please them. That is why negative reinforcement doesn’t work long-term. We can achieve our goals through power and control and ranting and raving but often the cost we pay to use that method long term is too high.


Just because you SEE something to argue over, doesn’t mean you HAVE to engage in the argument.

If it won’t matter a year from now…let it go!

If it will matter a year from now, skip the screaming and talk to them the same way you would want them to approach you.

EVERYBODY on planet earth has annoying traits. It’s our job to look for the good and allow them to work on their own weaknesses. You don’t have time to try to push a donkey uphill. We cannot change anyone but ourselves. Focus on the good and spend your energy wisely on working on your own weaknesses.

If you are human, you have weaknesses.

There is a movie called “Why Did I Get Married” that makes light of our next topic. In the movie, they discuss the “80/20 Rule.”

The 80/20 Rule is just a funny way to say, no matter who you marry, you will likely get about 80% of what you wanted in a mate and about 20% things you just got stuck with!

In the movie, the man has Lemon Mouth toward his wife who struggles with her weight. He constantly puts her down and berates her in front of others about her weight. Then he decides to cheat on her with a high fashion woman who has no weight issues.

He marries the second woman and thinks his life is going to be perfect now. But what he finds out is that he just traded one set of weaknesses for a DIFFERENT set of weaknesses. His new wife doesn’t have weight problems, but she shops all day to look good and constantly runs up the credit card. Interestingly, looking good is the very thing that attracted him–and now he considers it her greatest weakness.

No matter who we are in a relationship with, they are a human being. Because they are human, they are not perfect. They have weaknesses. Just like you do. It’s our job in a relationship, to talk about the good and let them work on their own weaknesses in their own timing.

At many job interviews, they will ask the applicant ”what are your strengths and what are your weaknesses?”  Really they want to know if you are “self-aware.” If you have never taken the time to notice what areas you are weak in, how can you be working on them?

You need to know better than anyone else what are the signs you need to take a break and get away from the situation. Your tongue is powerful!

Remember our 5 Seconds to Success! 

5 Seconds into someone’s voice goes up we immediately take a Time Out.

Never ever wait 5 minutes into the screaming to call a Time Out. The tongue has already done way too much damage by then!

Using self-control with your tongue sends a very loud message of love to your partner. Practice saying things like “Nothing that comes out of my mouth from here is going to be good. I need a break.” Or “I care enough about you to hold my tongue right now and walk away.”

Parent’s often need Time Out more than kids do.

If you have children, practice saying “I’m too angry to talk to you right now. Go sit on your bed until I cool down.” Whether you realize it or not, you are teaching them how to treat people every single day by what you model!


Sticky Fingers: Let’s look at the power of the tongue on a Scene with a 4 year old who steals candy from a store. Remember, at this age, he is still “in training”—you are his teacher and he is looking to you to teach him all he needs in order to succeed in the game of Life.

Dad #1 Lemon Dad: He may say “You’re a no good little thief; you are going to end up spending your life in jail just like your sorry Uncle Johnny!”

When we get a cut on our hand…how would it feel if someone you loved grabbed a salt shaker, held you down and poured it in your wound? That’s how Lemon Dad responds to problems.

Dad #2 Positive Dad: He may say, “Son, I have great plans for your life and I know you will make me proud. Here is a job you can do each week just like daddy goes to work and then you can earn the money you need for candy. When we are hard workers we get blessings without getting in trouble.

Daddy needs to know he can trust you to do the right thing–even when I’m not looking.

Successful parents understand the power of Positive Reinforcement.

Change your words and you change your life…your children WANT to please you. LOOK for reasons to praise the people in your life.

If you are not a parent, finding reasons to praise others will improve every area of your life—relationships, work, your job, as a supervisor—nobody wants to work with a complainer. Did you know the Georgia Dept of Labor did a study that found 40% of the applicants not hired in a job interview were not hired because of bad attitudes, bad manners, or poor appearance. (www.ehow.com/facts). The reason wasn’t that they weren’t qualified, it was because of their attitudes!

If you are a lemon mouth at work and your company has budget cut backs, who do you think they are more likely to let go…the one with the positive attitude or the complainer? Just because we see something negative, does that mean we HAVE to say it? Of course not. We can choose to keep the comment to ourselves.

We tend to push Lemon Mouth out of our lives. Nobody wants to spend time with someone who is negative, critical, and complaining. It’s our job as grown-ups to put a block on our thoughts. Putting a block on our thoughts helps to put a block on our tongue.

I’m sure you heard growing up “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”  This a great phrase to replace our negative thoughts with.


Lemon Mouth Larry

Larry works at a stressful job. He comes home from work and brings all of his stress home with him where he feels safe to release his frustration–all over his family. The minute his family hears the door opening, they all go act busy. He comes in the front door and shouts to his wife, “Are you kidding me! There’s no dinner? What do I even go to work for if you aren’t even competent enough to cook me a decent meal?!”  When he goes in the other room, he trips over his son’s skateboard. He screams at his son about what an irresponsible scatter brain kid he is. He then picks up the skate board and chucks it across the room and hits the family dog.

Lemon Mouth Larry saw stuff he didn’t like and let it flood out of his mouth all over his family.

Some topics do needs to be discussed though! That is when our communication formula can assist us.

When ________________________

I Feel ________________________

It would help me if______________


Practice talking to your partner about something that annoys you about them but use the following method. (You can’t say nothing. Everyone has something that is annoying about them and we have to be able to peacefully though our weaknesses!)


Spouse 1: Something that frustrates me/annoys me about you is____________.

Spouse 2: I’m human. I am not perfect and it’s okay not to be perfect.

Spouse 1: I love you despite your weakness.

Spouse 2: Thank you. I will try to work on it.



Spouse 1: Something that frustrates me/annoys me about you is you tend to chew your gum very loudly.

Spouse 2: I’m human. I am not perfect and it’s okay not to be perfect.

Spouse 1: I love you despite the fact you are a loud gum chewer.

Spouse 2: Thank you. I will try to be more aware and chew quieter…


Let’s look at how bad it COULD have went:

Spouse 1: I’m so sick and tired of you smacking your gum so loudly! You are driving me insane! Just hush already!

Spouse 2: You think you are so perfect. I’m sick of you always acting like your so high and mighty all the time! If you don’t like the way I chew my gum why don’t you just get out of my house!


(Just for the record. Things like domestic violence, cheating, and substance/drug abuse are NOT weaknesses. Draw healthy boundaries in your relationship. We cannot change our partner but we CAN choose whether to stay in an unhealthy relationship.)


Use your words to build each other up and to peacefully discuss things you don’t see eye to eye on!


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