Do you find yourself saying some variation of “I could’ve had a V-8!” about the situations or choices you’ve made in your life?
What does “I could’ve had a V-8!” mean, anyway?
Poor decisions, or chronic lack of satisfaction?
It’s an expression of a lack of satisfaction with what is. People who often feel that way experience many situations and choices as disappointing or unsatisfying.
Is it a case of making poor decisions, or is it a default orientation toward life?
Are things chronically lacking in your experiences, or did you learn this “glass half-empty” stance somewhere?
One of my patients used to refer to this mindset as GIPped, which he defined as “Gippy, Icky, Pissy.”
You can see it in a TV commercial that’s currently in rotation, in which a guy informs his wife that he just signed up the family for a phone plan with unlimited texting. She berates him for this, and says something like, “My mom was right: I should’ve married _______.” She is clearly having a GIPped—or V-8—moment, and feels so screwed over that even when her husband tells her that it was free, she still looks sour! Clearly this has gone on a long time in their marriage, because she doesn’t seem the least bit horrified by her behavior and the guy looks beaten down. What a miserable way to go through life!
Therapy improves decision-making and satisfaction
Therapy can be helpful in sorting out whether it’s a problem of judgement or of how you think about and interpret your life experiences, or a combination of the two. And along with figuring out which it is, therapy can help you improve your decision-making process—and how you think about and experience your life.
In other words, satisfaction can be learned, which is pretty magnificent, if you ask me! Let me know what you think about satisfaction and V-8 moments in the comments below.
Diane Spear, LCSW-R, owns a private practice in the Union Square/East Village area of Manhattan (New York City). She specializes in anxiety, depression, couples, and parenting treatment, and has been helping people find the joy in everyday life since 1995. She is accepting new patients. To learn more about Diane’s approach to treatment, click here.