Where Contempt is Found in Relationships
More than just censure or negative speech is contempt. It occurs when one partner makes claims about their superior intelligence, moral character, or general humanity. The receiving spouse experiences feelings of unworthiness and unlove. For instance, it is disrespectful to keep interrupting the other individual. But when the interruption is a declaration that the partner has nothing fascinating or significant to say rather than an overeager desire to talk, it turns into contempt. A spouse’s statement that “Oh, he’s not worth listening to,” might be a clear example. Without a narrative to fall back on, he was doomed.
A union can end because of contempt. When this kind of behavior becomes more frequent than it once was and when it is either unrecognized or provided on purpose, any relationship, much less a marriage, is in danger. When there is disdain, couples cannot feel like they are there for one another. Instead of “it’s you and I against the problem,” partners are now the foes. They are frequently in danger of being attacked or undercut. People frequently react in this way because they believe they are protecting themselves, which is usually a wise move. They are trying to protect themselves by defending themselves against them, but the problem is that they are upending their partner in the process. Our relationships with others and our wellbeing are both harmed by contempt. We require one another to survive. Contempt jeopardizes these ties to other people. According to studies, individuals who converse with contempt are more likely to suffer from conditions like cancer, heart disease, and the flu or the common cold.
Here are some ways to eliminate contempt in your relationship:
1. Recognize and express unfavorable emotions. It’s enticing to vent our negative emotions on others when we are unable to identify or discuss them.
I can’t believe you’re skipping our date night to meet with your pals, for instance. You’re a spoiled scumbag. You never consider how I feel.
Use this method instead to avoid communicating with contempt:
Describe your feelings: “I feel irritated and depressed because I was looking forward to our time together.” Please add the following request: “I’d like to prevent this from happening in the future by talking about it first before changing plans.” Do you believe we can do that? Ask your discussion partner.
2. Encourage an attitude of gratitude.
By showing our appreciation, we are more prone to concentrate on our partner’s strengths as opposed to their weaknesses.
The ideal ratio is at least five optimistic thoughts or feelings to one bad thought or feeling. The ideal situation is for our positive words and deeds to outweigh the bad ones.
Examine your patterns of discussion after a week. How often do you interact unfavorably with your partner (such as by nagging, criticizing, ignoring, or rolling your eyes) as opposed to constructively (such as by praising, complimenting, or going above and beyond for your partner)?
The following week, contact your partner using the secret number. Do you think differently?
You might also try making a list of 20 qualities about one another that you both admire. Read them out loud, then continue adding to the list.
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