We all know being on the receiving end of contempt feels bad. We know that if we feel it ourselves it is uncomfortable. We may not realize though how damaging it is to all of our love relationships.
Contempt is so bad, because it’s a last straw defense against what feels like ongoing unfairness. When one reaches the point of viewing someone with contempt they have given up on understanding and have dove off the pier into labeling. He is just selfish. She is just mean. Etc. If that is what’s happening with you, or a loved one, you are definitely in the throes of contempt. What’s worse is that it reinforces itself. If you constantly feel someone is mean and let them know it they will probably do things that keep that definition alive in your mind. By the same token, if one tries to reinforce the good qualities one has and one sees in others that too can transform reality. We all try to live up to the best perceptions that others have of us. Sadly, we all equally are willing to live down to the worse perceptions if that is all that we think we can do.
- Contempt in a relationship can be caused by long bouts of resentment and feelings of unfairness.
- When a person has contempt for their partner, it’s very difficult to be loving, kind, and compassionate.
- Contempt breeds contempt, so if you are already contemptuous by nature, it is likely that it will continue to grow unless you recognize it and take action.
“Contempt makes partners seem more like opponents than loved ones.”