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How to Stop Contempt in its Tracks

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Contempt goes beyond criticism or bad discourse. It happens when one partner asserts their better moral standing, mind, or compassion in general. The partner who is being supported feels unlovable and unworthy. For instance, stopping the other person repeatedly is rude. However, when the interruption is made out of contempt rather than an overzealous desire to speak, it becomes a statement that the companion has nothing interesting or important to say. A obvious illustration might be a partner saying, “Oh, he’s not worth listening to.” He was doomed because he had no story to fall back on.

Contempt can destroy a marriage. Any relationship, much less a marriage, is in trouble when this kind of behavior becomes more common than it used to be and when it is either unrecognized or given with purpose. Couples can’t feel like they have each other’s backs when there is contempt. Partners are now the enemies rather than “it’s you and I against the problem.” They are constantly at risk of being assaulted or undermined. This frequently results from people feeling like they are defending themselves, which is typically a good thing to do. However, the issue is that they are attempting to upend their companion while trying to defend themselves by defending themselves against them. Contempt is detrimental to our health as well as our interpersonal interactions. To live, we need one another. These connections to other people are severed or put in danger by contempt. According to research, people who communicate with disdain have higher rates of diseases like cancer, heart disease, and other ailments like the flu or the common cold.

Here are some strategies for removing disrespect from your relationship:

  1. Acknowledge and share negative feelings. When we are unable to name or talk about our negative feelings, it is alluring to release them on others. For instance, I can’t believe you skipped our date night to go out with your friends. You’re a spoiled scumbag. You never consider how I feel. You never think of how I’m feeling.

    Instead of speaking with disdain, use this strategy:

    I’m annoyed and despondent because I was looking forward to our time together, so please describe how you’re feeling. I’d like to avoid this from occurring in the future by talking about it first before altering plans, so please add the following proposal. Do you think we can accomplish that? Consult your conversation companion.

Promote an appreciation-based mindset. By expressing our gratitude, we are more likely to focus on our partner’s positive traits rather than their flaws.

The golden number is at least five positive statements or emotions to one negative one. Ideally, we want our positive statements and actions to exceed the negative ones.

After a week, observe your conversation habits. How frequently do you engage negatively (e.g., by nagging, critiquing, disregarding, or rolling your eyes) compared to positively (e.g., by applauding, complementing, or going out of your way for your partner)?

Use the magic number to communicate with your companion the following week. Do you believe otherwise?

You might also attempt coming up with an inventory of 20 traits that you both adore about one another. Read them aloud and set a task for yourself by continuing to add to the list.

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Taking a premarital education course is vital for equipped couples to share a lifetime of marital bliss and happiness. D’Arienzo Psychology wants to help you prepare for your life together. Dr. Justin D’Arienzo is our Board-Certified Clinical Psychologist and Relationship Expert. Dr. D’Arienzo has serviced this course to couples since 2013. Hundreds of couples recommend our course and claim that it has helped set a solid foundation for marital success. Research suggests that couples who take a premarital preparation course gain an advantage over couples that do not take a premarital preparation course.

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