What is Contempt? Learn Where It Comes From and How to Spot It
Contempt is the most underestimated feeling. Despite having a deep meaning, the expression is simple. I'm going to explain some examples so you know how to recognize contempt in all of your relationships. as likely to be as blatantly rude as competitive co-workers, that may not stop them from showing contempt. Contempt in relationships is the worst behavior in a marriage. Snarky's modern use has softened and shifted in meaning to mean “sarcastic. Is the problem with the word 'contempt'? Contempt can be considered a synonym for hatred, contempt is certainly a much stronger word than dislike. Contempt.
One reason may be that girls are socialized from infancy onward to be overtly nice and conciliatory and do so to avoid conflict whenever possible, for fear of being excluded from relationshipsdisliked, or punished for reviews, see Brown and Gilligan, ; Underwood, ; Zahn-Waxler, Because girls and women gaze at others often, perhaps mean glares are more effective as a means of wielding power.
Third, non-verbal forms of social exclusion may be powerful for girls because their relationships involve high levels of intimacy and self-disclosure see Buhrmester and Prager,for a reviewthus even subtle indicators of exclusion are threatening. These findings are important because maladaptive marital communication may be one mechanism by which traumatic childhood experiences translate into poor adult relationship quality.
Forms of verbal aggression, such as contempt, belligerence, and defensiveness, are associated with destructive, hostile patterns of conflict resolution [Gottman et al.
Couples who use such communication styles are more likely to have higher levels of marital distress Roberts,lower levels of marital satisfaction Holman and Jarvis,and lower levels of marital stability [Gottman et al.
One series of behaviors, which he termed the "four horsemen," includes a cascading of responses such as expressing criticism, defensiveness, contempt, sarcasmhostilityand withdrawal, the combination of which indicate a critical state of marriage dissolution. It also supports the idea that men are less expressive than women and tend to be more defensive minded in conversations. These six measures were chosen because they were of theoretical and clinical interest to the authors, incorporated both adaptive and maladaptive communication behaviors, and included those aspects of couple communication considered by many to be most toxic, including withdrawal and contempt Gottman ; Gottman et al.
It can be understood as the dark destination of the Four Horsemen. Contempt is the catalyst of relational collapse.
Criticism and Contempt: Not a healthy relationship. | Couples Solutions
I think of contempt as a metastasized form of cancerous criticism. NSO is a mindset characterized by chronic negative conceptions about your spouse. Contempt differs from criticism. In criticism, you believe that the problem is with your partner. Contempt is a further cognitive elaboration. The problem is with your partner because of their inherent unworthiness.
The contemptuous spouse attacks from a lofty perch of moral, emotional, or intellectual superiority. When contempt eclipses criticism, the virulent message you are giving your partner is that they are loathsome and disgusting.
The Problem of Contempt in Relationships
They are beyond redemption. The Linguistic Element to Contempt in Relationships When I see contempt in therapy, I am quite specific with my couples about how damaging it is. However, I have noticed a habit of contemptuous language which is characteristically different than the more common exasperated-critical form of contempt. This is contempt expressed as a default style of conveying irritation.
For these couples, their contemptuous behavior is less a matter of criticism which has escalated, and more a result of poor communication habits acquired in the family of origin. When I have worked with these couples, I often found that they grew up in a family with a very impoverished emotional vocabulary.
Distain is a close cousin of contempt in relationship. The crinkled nose cuts off the smell of something bad… Words Matter Research has proven that the more nuanced our verbal vocabulary becomes, the more nuanced our potential recognition and description of our emotional states can become.
7 Signs You're Showing Contempt Toward Your Spouse - Mark Merrill's Blog
I encourage couples who are struggling to un-learn contempt in relationships as a default state to expand their emotional vocabulary. New words can help describe a more nuanced felt state of being.
Sometimes words fall out of favor. And when they do, we may suffer the loss of a degree of emotional nuance. I champion this word for its modern nuance. It was kinda snarky. Tone of voice is probably the most powerful weapon of contempt.
Criticism and Contempt
Responses to contempt What if you have a partner who is harshly critical or contemptuous toward you? You can stand up for yourself, but without joining in the sneering, ridiculing, and hostile negative judgments.
Require an attitude of mutual respect as a foundation for any discussion. In a court of law, the procedural rules must be followed before the merits of the case can be heard. If the other person persists in showing contempt, suggest having a discussion in the presence of a counselor or mediator.
With an attitude of respect, people can discuss any difficult issues—sexuality, separation, weight problems, and money problems, for example.
The most difficult but transformative course of action is to become aware of how we unknowingly feed the external critic our partnerand thus participate in the cycle of contempt and criticism. We all have an inner critic—the voice in our head that monitors our behavior.
- Contempt in Relationships is the Worst of the Four Horsemen
- Contempt in the workplace
- Contempt: A Warning Sign
It prevents us from yelling in a movie theater or showing up at work three hours late.