I’d heard so much about the song Therapy from the Netflix film Tick Tick Boom.
I had been told so many times to watch it and offer my opinion. I still haven’t gotten round to seeing the entire film but I did react to Therapy and I wasn’t disappointed.
To be honest, the song was very accurate. You can tell Jonathan Larson was writing about an experience and feelings he knew very well.
Relationships are hard. They are messy and complex.
So to lay out what it is like being in a long-term relationship in a 3-minute song will usually cover what is the tip of the iceberg.
But, this song really does cover a lot:
They are basically saying the same thing.
From the start of the song, they are repeating themselves over and over again. Just because you have repeated yourself that doesn’t mean you were heard. It’s always good to confirm that your partner has understood you, rather than saying the same thing again and assuming they will eventually get it. When emotions are high it can be difficult to express yourself clearly.
They are constantly talking over each other.
This is a huge thing for couples during those full blown arguments. When things get heated, you stop caring about the other person’s point and just need to let your own frustration out there and then. This means that even though you are right in front of your partner, you are only hearing your own side. And it doesn’t even matter what the other person is saying.
They are not listening to each other.
When you are talking and yelling in the hope that your point is heard, you are also not listening. As this couple gets more and more heated, they are talking faster. They’re again, repeating what they are saying but not even responding to what the other has said.
The song is complex. Consider how much rehearsal, trial and error is needed to be able to pull this song off. A relationship is just as hard when you aren’t listening to each other. It highlights how much easier communication is when you allow it to breathe. Both must listen to what the other has to say and take it into account with your response.
They are being passive aggressive.
Those smiles on their faces adds a dollop of passive aggression to what they are saying. This is never taken the right way. It means that what you are saying is indirect. Sometimes it can be done with fear of how the other person will take it, or to directly insult, patronise or hurt the other.
Either way, being passive aggresive is says what you want to say but without taking the time to fully form how you want to say it.
They are trying to draw a line under their feelings.
Rather than coming to a resolution about their feelings, seemingly their way of drawing a line in their arguments is to have sex. But this time it was too late so they went to bed.
It’s common advice to never go to bed on an argument, which is exactly what they are doing. And even in other situations where they would of just had sex to end the fight, you are still not coming to a resolution on your grievences. A healthy sexual relationship is healthy, however it’s important to understand whether you are using sex to either escape a situation or draw a line under something.
They are in therapy but not using therapy.
The language used throughout this song is a lot of what is advised in therapy – which is I feel or I think rather than accusations like You said or You did. So they are attempting to communicate, but are not using it as it is intended.
I feel doesn’t have the same affect if you are not willing to listen to the others’ feelings. And I think doesn’t have the same affect if intended to hurt or make the other feel insignificant.
If this song was this impactful out of context, then I’m really looking forward to watching the rest of Tick Tick Boom.
If you found this interesting, I watched and reacted to this same scene in Tick Tick Boom over on my Youtube Channel.