I find few things as distancing as receiving contempt.
As a guy, I hate to acknowledge a lack of competence in my man tasks, but since February 1988, I’ve been hamstrung by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and therefore been unable to accomplish as much as I would like.
I’ve had to carefully choose which tasks my limited energy will allow me to complete each day. For instance, over the past two years, I’ve sacrificed much of my life so that I can train to be an Alexander Technique teacher.
And when I shared that with a close friend this week, she said, “Puh-lease!”
At other times she’s said, “I’m glad I have a job that forces me to leave the house each day.” In other words, if she didn’t have such work, she’d be as pathetic as me.
What possible good can come from showering contempt on someone in your life? How does she think I hear these remarks? Do they make me want to be close to her? To share things with her? No, they make me want to shut her out of my life.
Every time this happens, I say, “Well, I won’t share this part of my life with her anymore.”
And then I’ll make the mistake of including it in a Facebook status update.