In Malcolm Gladwell’sBlink, 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.
When I feel great, I fear that something bad will follow. Good things & bad things happen, but not necessarily in that order.
Last night, when I was feeling great about this week & next, that crown fell off. My dentist — who is wonderful & enjoying a much earned vacation in Florida — reassured me & texted another dentist at Beacon Hill Dental Associates. On Tuesday, I’ll take the cats to the vet & see that dentist.
Are you reading & commenting today?
Thanks & more thanks to all who helped me create today’s post & to you (including my wonderful dentist!) for reading, here & now.
The truth is that I knew the title of today’s post even before I reviewed my photos from yesterday.
The truth is that when I think of the truth these days, I’m on the verge of tears. The truth is that the truth seems to depend what side you’re on. The truth is that I can never remember people being so divided about what the truth is.
The truth is that I keep inviting people in my therapy groups to write helpful truths on post-it notes (which, in truth, I call “stickies”).
The truth is that the post-it note above describes the Four Agreements and the truth is that you can read more about those here.
The truth is that I took more photos yesterday.
The truth is that I didn’t mean to take the last four.
The truth is that this sign …
… includes the word “true” in it, which I just noticed.