In Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink, Gladwell explores, among many other topics, the toxic effect of contempt on human relationships. Researcher and psychologist John Gottman, who tapes and analyzes the interactions of couples and the outcomes of their marriages, says that contempt is the single most important predictor of whether a marriage will fail. Contempt (“any statement made from a higher plane” … “trying to put that person on a lower plane”) is “closely related to disgust, and what disgust and contempt are about is completely rejecting and excluding someone from the community.”
Yesterday, I was embraced by the Twitter community after I posted this:
Here were some non-contemptuous and very helpful replies:
You may be worrying and wondering — how could I have a day where FOUR people I didn’t know showed contempt to me? Well, three of them were customer service people who talked to me from a higher plane on the phone, without helping, when I was trying to resolve a health insurance issue. The fourth was a person I didn’t know who talked down to me after I snapped one of the photos I have to share with you today.
Well apparently the Daily Bitch is familiar with contempt.
Here are a few more non-contemptuous exchanges on Twitter:
Sometime, when people treat me with contempt, I get out my negative feelings by pretending to drum along with Billy Cobham.
… and that helps me feel more like a pleasant pheasant.
Feel free to express your thoughts and feelings about this “Contempt” post in a comment, below.
Thanks to helpful communities everywhere, including this one!