Hang Up the Phone

metaphorLike most motivational speakers, I love a good metaphor or analogy. And sometimes I hear myself use one and I think, "Wow! That says it exactly!" And if I happen to have a pen in my hand to actually write it down – well then I'm really cooking. 

Metaphors can say in just a few words that which volumes cannot convey. Metaphors paint pictures that we can almost SEE in one moment. 

I had a friend once who was in an abusive relationship. Did her husband physically hit her? No. He did, however, berate her, call her names and humiliate her. She justified staying with him for a variety of reasons: they owned a house together, a successful business, he never treated her badly in front of anyone else, he only did it when he drank, etc. Oh, and my favorite reason why she put up with it, "Well, I call him names too, so I can't really blame him."

Okay, what we have here is an abusive relationship. I can remember many times her telling me that she just couldn't live with it any more. She would talk for hours about how awful he was and how she couldn't believe that he would do and say the things he did. She would say that she was ready to do something about it.  But then she did nothing. She'd stay right where she was and put up with it and continue to bemoan her outcast fate. I tried to be a good listener and support her but one day I just blurted out, metaphorically, what I thought she was doing.  And she got it. Not right that moment. But she thought about it for a while and it wasn't long after that conversation that she actually left.  Here was the analogy I used that seemed to help:

An abusive person is like an obscene phone caller.
You can stand there with the phone to your ear
asking over and over why they are saying all those awful things…
or you can just hang up the phone.
Maybe it's time for you to hang up the phone.

Do you have a situation where you haven't been able to get through to someone? Why not find a metaphor or analogy that might paint a clearer picture for you? Why you might even be able to do as my friend and colleague Colette Carlson suggests and Say It In a Sentence!


Motivational Speaker Linda Larsen, CSP has been described by meeting planners and audiences as "hysterically funny," and "riveting." Known for her ability to connect on an authentic and emotional level with audiences, her spontaneous sense of humor, and her engaging and powerful stories, Linda is passionate about sharing ideas to help people live their finest, best, and most productive lives. Her riveting and true story of being kidnapped and held hostage at gunpoint by an escaped convict, and the strategies she used to escape, will give people the tools THEY need to rise above any of life's toughest challenges, to communicate more effectively with THEIR difficult person, and to find creative solutions to THEIR problems. To book motivational speaker, Linda Larsen: 941-927-4700

Did you enjoy this post? Just jot down your email and we'll keep you up-to-date with all of our motivation and entertainment.

Delivered by FeedBurner


  1. Thanks for the shout out, Linda. Yes, as motivational speakers we just love metaphors and word pictures. What a great person you are to listen again and again supporting your friend to take action. And when you did speak your truth with such a powerful metaphor, I'm not surprised she finally saw the truth of her situation and bolted. Bravo!

  2. Well done, good friend!  Sometimes motivational speakers have to help someone stay and communicate better and sometime we have to motivate thier tush out the door!

  3. Yes, sometimes the truth hurts – but it doesn't change the truth. You are telling us a story here, Linda, about someone else. But someone else will be reading this blog – maybe even years from now – and feeling like you are speaking directly into her heart. That's the beauty in truth. It's a gift that releases the heart from pain. You have sent a gift out into the universe – it's power is endless. And I pray that the woman who reads this one day will feel the love and grace with which it is given – and feel the courage to speak her truth and act on it – and that she will feel the encouragement and love being sent to her from sisters all over the United States who believe in her.

  4. You are one of the best wordsmiths I know, Linda. That's one of the reasons you're such a phenomenal motivational speaker.   I have been a grateful recipient of one of your metaphores that has really helped me along my journey.  Thank you for sharing another one that can help all too many women!

  5. What a GREAT analogy and a great friend.  Keep these coming Linda – they are priceless.

Speak Your Mind