General Question

charliecompany34's avatar

What's the matter with the question: "what's wrong with you?"?

Asked by charliecompany34 (7810points) October 26th, 2008

ever ask your S.O. what’s wrong and not truly know what’s wrong? the other person expects you to know what’s wrong, so it tends to be a stupid question because YOU should know, but then again you really don’t know what you did wrong. why can’t the disgruntled person just say what’s wrong, so discussion can begin and things get resolved?

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11 Answers

Bluefreedom's avatar

The first letter in the first word in the sentence, w in what’s, should be capitalized. At the end of the sentence, you should remove the question mark that follows the set of quotation marks.

Les's avatar

Well, the thing that is wrong with the question “What’s wrong with you?” is that it implies that the problem lies with the person upset. So maybe you should not add the ’...with you’ part. But I am just being technical.
What I think you are really referring to is why, when asked what is wrong, will a person not just say what is wrong. For me, I don’t care that the other person necessarily knows what is wrong, I just feel like crap. I think people get annoyed at that question not because the other person is clueless, but because the person upset just needs to brood and wallow in his/her own self pity for a while. I can’t stand when I am upset and I keep hearing “What’s wrong?” “What’s wrong?” “Why are you so quiet?” “Is it something I did?” “Are you OK?” “What’s wrong?” “Why are you sad?” “Are you sad?” “Is it something I did?” “What’s wrong?”


And if the person says to you, “You should know.”, I still think the problem is just that s/he needs to be left alone. We don’t always want any help getting the issue resolved. Haven’t you ever felt sad just because? Let the person be, and when s/he wants, they will come to you.

gailcalled's avatar

If you are talking to a female SO, the question has some negative implications. I would avoid saying “What’s wrong with you” at all costs. How about, “Honey, you seem upset. Is something bothering you? Do you want to talk about it?”

Your question, as writ, might put your SO on the defensive. And your last sentence uses the passive voice so it is hard to tell how you two handle successful conflict resolution.

If it isn’t working, it’s generally a good idea to try another approach.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I apologize for my first response. I immediatley went for correcting the question’s grammar itself without addressing the details of the question itself.

gailcalled's avatar

(edit: What’s the matter with the question “What’s wrong with you”? And it’s not a question of grammar but usage and punctuation, if we are nit-picking… sp.immediately)

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I think the question “What’s wrong with you?” sound accusatory, and like you’re put out that the other person is having an off-day. It’s kind of like asking a kid, “How was school?” The only answer you will get is, “Fine.” But if you ask, “Tell me what happened in English class today.” or “Did anything funny happen during school today?” you are more likely to get an answer. Likewise, “You seem to be upset.” will get you more of a response than “What’s wrong with you?” Especially if you have done something to upset your SO.

deaddolly's avatar

@blue don’t become shudders one of those…

Yes, the question implies something is wrong when it may just be a mood or
a bad day. If something is wrong, I’d rather tell it to someone on my own terms.

jessturtle23's avatar

I am so glad my S.O. and I don’t have silly, childish fights.

Les's avatar

Gah! Someone should have answered this question:

“If you don’t know, I’m not going to tell you.”

We collectively blew it.

fireside's avatar

@charlie – What’s wrong with you? How could you ask that question?

See how that feels?

wundayatta's avatar

Hmmmm. There seems to be a large gap in perceptions here. I’ve asked this question a lot. What I learned is that my wife had no clue. She didn’t know what was wrong with her. And when she did know what was wrong with her, I was supposed to be a mindreader.

Anyway, for me, it was enormously frustrating. I wanted to help, but I couldn’t help until I knew what the problem was. Being very insecure, I was always convinced I had done something wrong, and she was about to ask me for a divorce.

This combination of unknowing silence on my wife’s part and insecure pestering on my part has had pretty disastrous consequences (we gradually grew extremely isolated from each other; miserably unhappy and lonely; and, had we not had kids, probably would have ended in divorce). Our couples therapist says we both need to change. She should talk about what is going on in her head, and I should be more patient, and just comfort her. Easier said than done!

I have no idea if our experience is generalizable. I present it here in case it sounds familiar to anyone.

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