"I Could've Had A V-8!" Versus Satisfaction


"I Could've Had A V-8!" Versus Satisfaction
Do you frequently regret the choices you've made? Always looking for something better?

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?

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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, in which a guy informs his wife that he just signed up the family for 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!

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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.


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Diane Spear, LCSW-R


Diane Spear, LCSW-R, is a NYC-based psychotherapist who helps couples and individuals throughout the world find the joy in everyday life! She has been in practice since 1995, working with older adolescents up through older adults. Check out her website at to learn more about her therapy and counseling practice and couples and relationship therapy; and be sure to read her blog.

Connect with Diane through email here, or call 212-353-0296


Location: New York, NY
Credentials: LCSW-R
Specialties: Anxiety Issues, Couples/Marital Issues, Life Transitions
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