Follow-ups: Fentisha

Still Brutally Honest?
Dr. Phil follows up with Fentisha about overcoming her brutal honesty.
Fentisha was so brutally honest that she was constantly offending her family and friends. After talking to Dr. Phil, she realized that she was taking bluntness to the extreme.


"When Dr. Phil said to me if it was possible that I might be seeing things through a bit of an angry filter, I realized I was angry, and I wanted to know where that was coming from," Fentisha says.

She admits that she was shocked by the negative feedback on the message boards after her appearance on the show. "I felt that that wasn't the person I wanted the world to see," she says. "Since Dr. Phil told me that I was self-absorbed, I decided that what I needed to do was start giving of myself, and thinking of other people and putting other people's needs first."


Now that Fentisha has stopped being so critical of others, she's faced with another dilemma. "I'm no longer as blunt as I used to be, but I'm still having judgmental thoughts. Can you help me with this?" she asks Dr. Phil.

"There's a difference between being genuine and being brutally honest," Dr. Phil tells Fentisha. "Do you get that?"


"I really get it now," she replies. "In brutal honesty, it is self-absorption. It has nothing to do with your genuine intent to someone else. It was easy for me to be so rude and brutal about it."


Dr. Phil points out that since Fentisha is no longer being blunt, she needs to learn how to treat people politely. "You're having a little trouble knowing how to be all warm and fuzzy," he teases.


"Yeah, and how to show people that I am thinking about them, and just expressing nicer sides of myself," she says.

Dr. Phil tells Fentisha that she can be more pleasant if she learns how to reflect what she's getting from others. "You can reflect content, where you're reflecting back what they're telling you factually, or you can reflect the feelings you're getting from them," he says.


Dr. Phil asks Fentisha to role-play with him. He tells her to assume that her dog was just killed, and his role is to only reflect content back to her. They begin a role-play.


"I'm sorry I'm late for work today," Fentisha says. "My dog was run over and I had to take care of things."


"Really? Did just the front wheels get him or the back wheels?"


"Well, I wasn't paying that close attention."


"So what'd you pay for him when you bought him?"


"Five hundred dollars."


"Well, there's $500 shot," Dr. Phil jokes as the audience laughs.


Dr. Phil points out to Fentisha the inappropriateness of his comments during their role-playing. He asks her to role-play again, and this time he reflects feelings instead of content.


As they act, Dr. Phil shows more compassion to Fentisha than he did in his earlier comments. When he asks her which behavior is more appropriate, she remarks that showing compassion is, but that it seems odd to her.


Dr. Phil turns around in amazement as the audience laughs. He gets up and mock shakes Fentisha.


"The fact that that seems so strange to you is why I want you to practice that. It's going to be very awkward," Dr. Phil explains. "If it feels really odd to show compassion, then you need to practice it a lot."