“You are mean and abusive!”

"Perfect Swing" -- Paula Creamer by Mimi Stuart
Live the Life you Desire

So what I really meant was…

“What you just said was unkind. It makes me feel bad and it won’t help the situation. I’m willing to discuss this later, if we can both bring the best of ourselves to the conversation.”

To have an effective discussion, there has to be BOTH self-respect and respect for the other person. Respect means regarding someone with a sense of esteem, courtesy, and acceptance.

You can have compassion for a person’s bad behavior — it’s usually a result of fear, frustration, and a lack of communication skills. Yet, it’s vital not to accept ongoing abuse. Neither self-respect nor respect for another person means allowing him or her to treat you badly.

by Alison Poulsen, PhD

Read “Criticism and Contempt.”

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