Contempt is a communication style of regarding someone or something as inferior or less-than.Â In effect, we look down on them. Even worse, sometimes it means treating others with scorn as if we regard them as worthless.
When we are treated with contempt by others we feel despised, dishonored, or disgraced.
In marriage or relationships, it is a major predictor of divorce or break-up. No healthy relationship can survive too much contempt over a long period of time.
Following are some behaviors that fall into the contempt category; these behaviors should be avoided by all who want to seriously improve a relationship or avoid relationship disaster:
- Name-calling, swearing or disrespecting partner
- Denying the importance of another’s feelings
- Saying hurtful, mean-spirited things
- Insulting partner or family member in a way that causes emotional injury
- Humiliating or ridiculing a partner in front of children or others
- Putting pressure on others to do things against their core values
For more information on this and other destructive communication styles, click here.