Two Ways of Saying “Clean the floor”

Suppose you shared a space with someone. It could be as part of a family, but also a workplace or something else. Suppose further the other person agreed to be responsible for cleaning the floor on a regular basis.

For some time, the floor has been dirty.

You could now ask the other person to finally clean it because you have the genuine wish for it to be done, and because your relationship will be harmed by the sloppiness of the other. Doing so will be relationship-conducive, even if it may not be perfectly pleasant for your counterpart. Some verbal expression of this could be: “Could you please clean the floor? You promised to do so, and the dirt really annoys me. And I don’t want this thing to dim our relationship.”

There is yet another way of making the other clean the floor. It consists in either expressing contempt for failure of it being done, or represent the desired action as some ‘payment’ for a debt or guilt wholly unrelated to the promise of floor-cleaning, or both. This may be a clad in a variety of verbal expressions. Some examples I’ve witnessed: “I know your mother never taught you to do menial household tasks. But I’m fed up with being your cleaning maidservant!!” Or: “No other woman would have endured your egoism and failure to help in the house!” “It’s a very normal thing for families to engage in housecleaning on Saturdays. Obviously not what you’ve been brought up on.” Such vitriol may indeed make the other do the task. But don’t fool yourself, no amount of task-doing will ever satisfy you. You are resentful, scornful and vindictive towards the other in virtue of them being the person they are, not in virtue of the things they do. No surprise this is ultimately destroying the relationship. It is not a move towards the other, or a call for them to do a step in your direction, but a downright repulsion of the other.

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