How Contempt Destroys Relationships

Empathy, highlighted by caring about the feelings and concerns of others, finds its opposite in contempt, which is marked by a disregard or denigration for others’ concerns. According to another article based on the research of Dr. John Gottman, contempt is the number one predictor of divorce. In this response, Dr. Susan Heitler explores why that may be. Part of it may be found in definitions for contempt, where Wikipedia explains it as a mix between disgust and anger, and Robert Solomon compares contempt with resentment and anger, with contempt being directed at someone of “lower status.”

 

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