Sometimes the way we express our thoughts and the behaviors we display leave something to be desired. We are blunt, rude, and ignore the feelings of others. In fact, some of these behaviors can end up hurting or even breaking friendships, couples or even families. So what are these types of attitudes that destroy personal relationships and are the root cause of the onset of discomfort?
In reality, we are concretely referring to criticism, devaluation, counterattack and total isolation. In the current jargon, we could define these behaviors as acts of “sincerity” because when we lead them, we make a kind of leap into the void, the fruit of a misunderstood sincerity. Moreover, being honest is not incompatible with having tact, delicacy and moderation. You can say the same thing in different ways without anyone getting hurt. We will then delve into these types of attitudes that destroy personal relationships.
The destruction of our relationships
When someone responds rudely or disrespectfully to an innocent comment we make, they are unwittingly activating the emotional part of our brain. However, this activation does not take place in a positive way, but in a negative way. Thus, it places us in front of a dilemma concerning two actions to be done in order to protect ourselves: to flee or to fight.
Normally, when we feel attacked, hurt, or offended by someone we trust, we tend to ignore their comment or remark. But it’s also likely that we respond with rage or worse. The reaction we decide to adopt will depend on the degree of annoyance or hostility we feel at that precise moment.
However, the effect the remark will have on us is often the same: anger, rage, and devaluation of the person making the comment. For that, if each time we see them, this person adopts the same attitude and attacks us verbally, we will end up getting tired of them. It does not please anyone to be surrounded by someone who continually generates discomfort. This may be the reason why we decide to end this relationship.
The critical attitude
“You always leave everything lying on the floor”, “You never wash your hands before eating”, “You always arrive late, no one can stand it”, here are examples of unconstructive criticism. In addition to not being accompanied by alternative conduct to that which is unwanted, these are sentences that contain resounding and accusatory adverbs (“always”, “never”). In fact, they are expressions that leave no room for understanding or flexibility in behavior.
In reality, the criticism can turn into a constructive suggestion or be replaced by a less hurtful comment. In this way, we will avoid arguments, misunderstandings and the deterioration of our relationships.
In the previous examples, we could add a “If you leave everything lying around on the floor, I have to pick it up.” I already have enough daily chores. I would be happy if you could help me ”. Or “When you show up late everywhere you make a fool of me. I don’t like having to apologize every time this happens. “
The attitude of contempt
While criticism is manifested mainly orally, contempt can take place in two ways: gestural and verbal. The first is in a slightly more subtle but equally destructive way.
Let’s see some examples. A group of friends decided to have dinner together after a long time without seeing each other. One of them has a higher level of self-realization than the others. Instead of being happy for her, her friends let out a face of constant disgust. The same is true, for example, if a boss looks at the sky every time he talks with one of his workers as if he were thinking “let him shut up now”. In both cases, although the situations are not very striking, they are very irritating to those who suffer from them.
The language of sarcasm is a form of contempt. It is a covered form of aggression which, misunderstood or carried out at the wrong time, can cause great suffering.
Counterattack and total isolation: attitudes that worsen the conflict
Sometimes we believe that when people attack us we only have two options: counterattack or escape. If we go first, the most logical thing is to automatically respond to the other person by saying the first thing that crosses our mind. This is usually not a pleasant thing. It also causes discomfort which can lead the other to counterattack in turn. In this way, the two people will be immersed in a dangerous vicious circle from which it will be difficult to escape.
Counterattack is therefore one of the attitudes that destroy personal relationships. This is an error which, when left unaddressed, can cause serious consequences. Among them, emotional wounds that are difficult to heal.
On the contrary, total isolation is similar to surrender in the battlefield. It is the result of a fierce power struggle between two people. Thus, after weeks or months of constant attacks, criticism or mockery, one of the two participants chooses to “surrender”: he seeks dialogue and not confrontation.
This attitude infuriates both the other side who continue to wait for an attack to fuel their own battle. But in the end, by not getting the expected hostile response, he ends up getting angry, screaming and despairing. There are people who do not know how to respect other people’s moments of rest and instead of waiting, increase the conflict because of their attitude and behavior.
As we see, attitudes that destroy personal relationships are usually unpleasant and neither are their consequences. We are aware of the fact that if someone criticizes us (in a non-constructive way) they will hardly be our friend. We are also aware of the fact that if we constantly complain about our partner, we do everything we can to keep them away from us. Nevertheless, we continue to adopt these behaviors.
Sometimes it is better to say stop along the way in order to breathe and be aware of what is going on rather than to go on full speed without contemplating the consequences of our actions.