student love tip: steer clear of contempt

This is a Student Love Tip by Robyn Fink

Some couples get into arguments and think mean things about one another. For example, you might think “He's an idiot," or "She's so dumb” in your head, but you don’t say those hurtful thoughts out
loud. Sometimes, regrettably, our anger gets the best of us and we say these things out loud. When you insult your partner directly, many problems can occur in your relationship. This act is called contempt. Contempt is defined as the intention to insult and/or psychologically abuse your partner through insults, name calling, rolling of the eyes, and/or hostile humor. Many people roll their eyes from time to time, but when these acts turn into a daily occurrence that dominates your relationship, it is likely that your relationship will end. Contempt is different than playfully rolling your eyes or playfully teasing your mate. Contempt occurs when the abusive criticism becomes a habitual behavior. In order to avoid contempt from occurring in your relationship it is important that you and your partner make a conscious effort to not engage in insults or name calling. It is important that you also acknowledge your partner’s positive attributes rather than their negative ones. Whatever you do, remember to steer clear of contempt!

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3 comments:

laura said...

granted i am not in school for counseling so i have little expertise, however, i have found that this helps immensely! every now and then my fiance and i sit down and have a kind of "what's your beef" discussion where we talk about things the other person is doing that's bothering us. many times it's roommate issues and we laugh about it. like "i swear if i have to pick up one of your gross socks one more time..." and we giggle. sometimes it's "oh hai let's try crazier things in bed" other times it's more serious. regardless it helps communication and avoid the possibility of us stewing about things.

Jill said...

I agree with this post a lot. My BF and I tease each other a lot, which I like. But once it gets serious and we're really arguing, I sometimes have to stop myself from saying hurtful things I don't mean. It's important not to belittle your partner or make them feel worthless.

LiLu said...

One would hope this would be common sense, but unfortunately, that's not always the case. ;-)

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