Tag Archives: demeaning

Creating a better relationship:
“You don’t know what you’re talking about!”

"Magic Swing" — Freddie Couples by Mimi Stuart ©
Live the Life you Desire

So what I really meant was…

“Would you explain that again? I’d like to understand what you mean.”

The way you treat another person has tremendous impact on the type of relationship you are creating and on who you are as a person. If you repeatedly treat the other with condescension or dismissiveness, you are creating an unequal and unhappy relationship. When you focus on the weaknesses of others, you are actually demeaning yourself, despite your feelings of superiority.

If you repeatedly talk to the other person in ways that show that you think he or she is competent and capable, and can influence you, you are creating the foundation of equality and respect that can sustain a happy relationship. When you are patient enough to find out what someone really means, conversation becomes much more meaningful and productive.

We can bring out the best in others, ourselves, and our relationships by expressing empathy, curiosity, and magnanimity.

by Alison Poulsen, PhD

Read “Communicating with “I” Statements: ‘You’re wrong!’”

Read “We always argue.”

Read “Improving Relationships.”

Respect each other:
“He’s always talking down to me.”

"Garden of Eden" by Mimi Stuart
Live the Life you Desire

The most indispensable quality in a relationship is respect. When two people deeply respect each other as human beings, they can deal with a lot of challenges and differences of opinion.

The greatest threat to mutual respect is a spouse’s intense needs and fears, which often manifest themselves as controlling or demeaning behavior. While it’s fine to disagree or to be angry, there must be an underlying sense of respect for each other.

It is absolutely critical not to talk to one another disrespectfully. When one person starts speaking disdainfully, with a sneer or a sense of superiority, the other must stop it immediately. It’s up to you to make it perfectly clear that you won’t take it.

When someone goes after you like a judgmental parent, you have to set a boundary. Don’t respond to the advice or accusation. Say meaningfully, “Please, do not speak to me that way,” “Don’t do that,” or “Excuse me?”

Love based on respect requires a sense of self-respect on your part. Moreover, people who exude self-respect by stopping others from crossing a line or talking down to them are more attractive than those who accept it. Expecting respect is a more powerful aphrodisiac than unconditional positive regard.

by Alison Poulsen, PhD

Read “Inner critics attract critical partners. Why does my partner criticize me all the time?”

Read “I always fall madly in love; we do everything together; and then, out of the blue, I get dumped.”