How to Deal with Weaponized Incompetence

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Published Date|
May 27, 2023

How to Deal with Weaponized Incompetence


If the person you live with is constantly giving you excuses like, “Oh, I just always break plates when I try to do the dishes,” and “You are just so much better at cleaning up than I am,” then you might be experiencing weaponized incompetence.


Here at KMA Therapy, we know how frustrating it can be to navigate weaponized incompetence. For over 14 years, we’ve helped our clients and community learn tips and tricks to create healthier relationships.


After reading this article, you’ll know three new ways you can deal with weaponized incompetence.


3 Ways to Deal with Weaponized Incompetence



1. The Drew Barrymore


The Drew Barrymore Show is full of optimism, joy, and most of all compassion. And despite its name, weaponized incompetence is often not done maliciously.


Give your partner the benefit of the doubt and have an honest, empathetic conversation about what they're experiencing.


They might genuinely be worried about breaking the dishes or doing things in the wrong way. Work together to create strategies that work for both of you so that you can both get the love and support that you need.


But if that doesn't work, it's time for strategy number two.


2. The Brick Wall


This strategy is great for any situation where you need to set boundaries with someone.


It is not fair for you to be taking on the majority of household responsibilities just because the other person doesn't feel like they can manage them. So, if the other person is repeatedly asking you to take on their share of the chores, be a brick wall and say no, you're not doing it anymore.


Set clear expectations about:


  • What you need to be done
  • How it needs to be done
  • When you need it


If that doesn't work, it's time for number three.


3. Seek out Reinforcements


If having open and honest dialogue and setting clear boundaries just isn't enough, you might need some reinforcements.


A couples counsellor can be a huge help if you and your partner are:


  • Struggling to get on the same page
  • Keep having the same arguments over and over again
  • Are missing each other every time you try to communicate


Next Steps for Dealing with Weaponized Incompetence


After reading this article, you know three techniques to help you navigate your dynamic with someone using weaponized incompetence.


Here at KMA Therapy, we’re here to support you in having the healthy, successful relationships you deserve. Our dedicated team of relationship therapists are here to help you overcome your relationship challenges and feel better in your partnerships.


Book an appointment today, or connect with our caring team to learn more.


If you’re not yet ready to book an appointment, check out these resources to keep learning:


Author |
Emily Weatherhead (Guest Author)
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