How Dare You Disrespect Me

You know what I’m talking about. It happens every day in the lunchroom, on the court, in the office, in person, on the phone, or on social media, like Facebook, someone says, texts, or posts something that instantly takes you to fight-or-flight. Hurt or anger wells up inside you and you either say or shout,

“How dare you disrespect me!”

Your ego is riled up and in full force, posting up ready to fight, defending your honor over words that someone has uttered or typed which have offended you and possibly cut you so deep that you are crippled by the assault.

Whatever the reason, someone had the unmitigated gall to bully you, spewing at you their hurtful words. When words hurt you, the effects can be very real, as if you’ve been punched in the gut, hit it the face with a board, instantly suffered a knife wound from being stabbed in the back, or shot through the heart.

While people might accidentally step on a nerve or unintentionally say something that might offend you, believe it or not, there are actually people who might try to hurt you on purpose. This leaves you wanting to confront them and say, “You hurt me.”

They might suffer from deep, dark inner wounds, far hidden from visible or conscious view. This causes them to unconsciously project their fears onto people around them.

There is also a more conscious version of projection which projects their conscious inadequacies, things they know are problems in their own lives, but rather than deal with the issues themselves, they project them onto the people around them. This act offers them relief from feeling inadequate if they can convince themselves that someone (or everyone) else is worse than they are.

Then there are those who have to maintain a sense of superiority over others to make themselves feel better about themselves. If they do have a superiority complex, there’s a good chance they’re a little more adept at putting other people down and hurting their feelings than other individuals.

The stealthier verbal attackers are the ones who are passive-aggressive. They have the ability to disrespect or insult most anyone, without actually using specific words that can be addressed as being abusive, assaultive, or rude.

In these cases, the passive-aggressive might say something in a way that hurts your feelings, and when you respond negatively they reply with, “What?” Insisting they did not say anything (specific words that by themselves would not be assaultive) to hurt your feelings.

Someone with low self-esteem might be jealous of you and what you have. Someone who is jealous of you, your skills, talents, special abilities, station in life, or happiness, might like to strike out at you to hurt your feelings or even falsely accuse you of something to bring you down a peg or two. This offers him or her a bit of relief regarding their own life circumstances.

Everyone is just doing the best they can just to get through another day. There is so much struggle to have a good feeling about one’s self, that some of us (if not most of us) might get some sense of satisfaction by putting someone else down.

For some reason, our psyches are just set up that way. Either directly or indirectly disrespecting someone else for anything that would otherwise make us feel bad seems to be effective when we are very young and left unchecked it carries over into adulthood.

Then, of course, there is the psychopath who seeks to wreak havoc and leave a wake of emotional destruction wherever they go, but that’s a horse of a different color. In this case, see: How to Deal with a Psychopath.

Unacceptable Behavior Loss of Love

I’m Falling Out of Love with You

Relationships are not for the weak. At times you can get to that critical point in a relationship when you’ve lost respect and admiration for your partner due to something that has bubbled up to the surface. In the beginning, it may not have been a problem, but as time has gone on, it could have grown to the place where you might find yourself saying, “I’m falling out of love with you,” due to this situation or behavior.

What can you do if unacceptable behavior or something your partner is doing is causing your love and affection to deteriorate?

Maybe your partner is displaying behavior that is damaging to you or him or herself, such as being too stressed out, overeating, drinking, declining health, short-tempered, etc… and his or her continuing to engage in this kind of behavior is causing you to fall out of love with him or her.

Ask yourself, “Can I take another ten years of living life like this?” If not, it’s time to do something about it before it gets even worse.

You need to create a safe space to have a critical conversation. This is far beyond the frightening, “Honey, we need to talk,” but you need to try to make it as unfrightening as possible, and ask for a block of time that is about three times longer than you might need for this conversation, because you need to allow your partner space to reply and react.

Unacceptable behavior loss of love couple communication I'm falling out of love with you

Abandon ancient ideals about, “not going to bed angry,” or trying to communicate without putting your partner on the defensive.

Once you ask for a block of attention, your partner may want a head’s up about what the talk is about. Don’t give it up, stay true to having the physical and emotional space to follow this topic through to have the best possible outcome, especially if now is not a good time, and energy levels may be running low or are exhausted. Make sure you’re both as well equipped as possible mentally and emotionally (late at night, not a good idea).

Remember to support your partner as much as possible through this process. Recall all the things that are endearing about your partner, how wonderful he or she is, remember all the reasons you fell in love with him or her in the first place, and think about the things you would miss if he or she was not in your life at all any longer.

And preface any conversation with appreciation and gratitude before getting to the heavy portion of your subject.

Your partner is going to be defensive because no one does a thing unless they receive some benefit from it. At the outset, it makes perfect sense to him or her, and so he or she will feel justified in being defensive and fighting for something that provides some form of satisfaction or self-worth.

Remember that this person probably loves you and wants you to have the best relationship possible, so cut him or her a little slack by remembering this is who you fell in love with, while staying true to your position, and trying not to take it personally if your partner reacts emotionally in a negative manner. Don’t change your position or give in.

Besides fighting for the right to engage in the activity which has you falling out of love with him or her, they are likely going to counter-attack you with something about you which is disappointing to them, and the delivery could be harsh. This is a common self-defense tactic, so be aware and prepared for it, if it arises.

If you’re accused of something, don’t fall into defensiveness yourself, and resist the temptation to escalate the abrasion. Instead, respect and hold onto the accusation because it can be invaluable in negotiating an amazing breakthrough in your relationship.

When you’ve reached critical mass at this stage of your relationship and you can’t see yourself going on under these conditions, be honest and open with your partner and say what you’re feeling,

“I feel like I am falling out of love with you, and this is why…”

Then tell him or her. You might even add,

“If I’d have known this is how things were going to be, I wouldn’t have married you in the first place.”

This is about as grown-up a talk as you could possibly have, so don’t be afraid to say it like you mean it, and be committed to arriving at an outcome. Do not walk away from this issue until you get an acceptable answer.

This is a critical turning point in your relationship. Remember, this is the person you love, even though the love is waning at the moment, and he or she is not doing this as an assault on you. It is his or her issue, and you want to be as supportive and loving as possible throughout the process if you’re to have any hope of successfully moving forward in your relationship.

Seek to understand and arrive at a win/win conclusion, if at all possible. This is where the accusation which you filed away can come in handy. More valuable than a bargaining chip, this might be the key to arriving at win/win. Maybe you both can get what you want.

If things get too hot and heavy, and emotions are running high, take a break. Be compassionate with yourself and your partner. Try to avoid saying something you might regret. Allow time to cool down, re-center, remember all the good things, and re-engage when you are ready.

It’s Just Not Fair Haters Gonna Hate

Someone, somewhere at some time planted the idea that life should be fair, and when we recognize that something is not fair, we utter the words, “But that’s not fair.” As if fairness was a default setting, and due to some breach of security an unfairness has slipped through the cracks.

When you feel as though you’ve been treated unfairly, something wells up inside you that makes you resistant to the idea. You do not like being treated unfairly. In fact, the whole idea of any unfairness just gnaws away at everything you believe about what is right and what is wrong, acceptable and unacceptable. When you’re treated unfairly, it goes against everything you believe in and you get angry.

The rejection of any idea of unfairness usually can be traced back to unfairness you experienced as a child. This is where the idea of the injustice of being treated unfairly is rooted, and the angst felt by a child is much more fierce than one might expect from an adult. Depending on where your feelings about being treated unfairly originate, the younger you were when you came across the idea, the more negative feeling you will have about it in the present day.

When you are criticized, you experience a sort of flashback, triggering those early emotions and you feel escalated negative emotion. After all, you’ve worked hard to accomplish this – or that – and how dare some disrespectful ingrate insult all your efforts to bring this thing to this point. And you get pissed because of this injustice hurled by an unrestricted hater. “It’s not right. I worked so hard…”

Although, it is right; it is the nature of the world we live in. When a hater releases an outburst of hate, it’s actually a good sign indicating you are doing extremely well. Haters are what they are, and they will spew their hatred at any opportunity, and if a particular target might seem to over-react, or get their feelings hurt, all the better for the hater. That’s what they want. In order for them to feel good, they must make someone else suffer and feel bad.

When you are experiencing a level above average in anything you do, the haters start taking notice. This is the cue haters are looking for, always on the lookout for someone’s success, indicating to them that it is their job to knock them down a few pegs. If you are having a great deal of success or happiness, the haters start swarming. It’s nothing new, just a fact of life on planet earth.

There are reasons to expect opposition, such as

  • Seeing things from a different point of view
  • Differing ideas about values or morality
  • Everyone struggles with their own inner demons
  • Someone may act out on a stereotypical basis
  • They might be jealous of your success
  • They could be responding to a miscommunication
  • They might be misinterpreting or spinning your story
  • Maybe they just hate everything at every opportunity

Haters are not hard to find, they proliferate the Internet and social media lurking and looking for opportunities to spread their hatred far and wide, while they cower safely behind their technology. You can bet, if you’re doing something good, the haters are taking notice as you show up as a new blip on their radar.

Don’t look at it as being treated unfairly; instead try to think of it as a compliment.

Haters gonna hate. It’s a fact of life.

Everyone is entitled t their own point of view, and just as you have freedom of expression, so do the haters. There is no right or wrong in opposing points of view. It just is what it is.

Some people are going to love you and the things that you do, others… Well, not so much.

When you make a stand for something you believe in and you are disrespected or attacked by haters, it’s okay. Understand that their hatred has nothing to do with you. It is only the haters doing the only thing they know how to do, that makes them feel a little better. This is the pay off for them. They are in a constant state of pain and misery. Hurting someone else’s feelings is the only way they know how to get some relief because making someone feel bad makes them feel better. That’s all they know. Can you blame them?

Stomping Baby Turtles

Put yourself in their shoes. If you were in a constant state of pain, and the only way you could find relief from the pain was to stomp on a baby turtle, if the pain was great enough, you might be compelled to do it. And if you did and it made the pain subside, you might be more inclined to do it again. After a while, you may discover that if you stomped on many of them, not only would the pain subside, but you might even feel exhilarated and happy.

Likewise, when a hater strikes out against you, it really has nothing to do with you, it’s all about them, looking for ways to make themselves feel a little better. It’s the only thing they know of that gives them a sense of relief.

And what if you, too, are a hater?

If you are trying to get people to see a thing from your point of view, even insisting on it, aren’t you doing the same thing? If you don’t like someone the way they are, do you try to get them to change? If so, you might be a clandestine hater (though more subtle in your delivery).

Just because you see something from a different point of view does not make you right or someone else wrong. Be confident enough to share from your perspective, but allow them to see it from theirs. Don’t try to change their mind. Only they can do that. Simply humbly plant a seed and let it go. It just is what it is.

Practicing tolerance, not judging people, allowing them to be what they are, honoring their right to believe whatever they want to, and understanding that we all are only doing the best we can with what we have, will keep you on track to a brighter future.

Hurtful Words When Words Hurt

It never ceases to amaze me when someone can do something as simple as speech a particular sequence of words, maybe throw in some voice inflection and body language for flavor, that delivers an emotional impact equivalent to an MMA beat-down.

In many cases, words hurt more than actions.

Hurtful words when words hurtWhat’s happening when people hurt you without touching you?

When someone hurts you using nothing other than the spoken word the psychological and physiological pain come from either the intent of person delivering the phrase (it’s on you) or the recipient (it’s on me).

It’s On You

Someone can maliciously stack words that are hurtful in an attempt to hurt your feelings, make you feel bad, crush your self-confidence, make you sick to your stomach or beat yourself up over time causing mental anguish, sleepless nights and/or deteriorating health conditions.

Even though the assailant never touched you, a clever and devious person could launch a verbal campaign that could cripple another person.

We all can probably conjure up a memory of a time when someone’s hurtful words were delivered with the intent to make us cringe… and most (if not all) of us can recall a time when words were delivered with pre-meditated malice hurt us terribly. In some cases we might have rather been physically pummeled that hurt from deep within; a pain that can be more enduring than just getting beaten within an inch of your life.

Shame on the person who lashes out at another person, like that, though it is worth remember that it is said, “hurt people hurt people” which might mean that the person who is launching the verbal abuse or assault may be struggling with terrible pain from within themselves.

It’s On Me

Sometimes the spoken word can hurt us, when there was no intent in being hurtful in any way.

This can be a clear indication that we – the recipients – are pre-disposed, locked-loaded and ready to fire at the first sign of an attack. Seeking signs and certain words as assaultive causes to fight – launching our own assaultive stream of hurtful words as a counter-attack in self-defense – is the symptom of inner work that needs to be done where deeper healing may be required.

At the very least, it is embarrassing, when we wrongly interpret someone’s attempt to communicate with us as a psychological attack and start burning fences on a furry of ill-intended words with the veracity of a flame thrower.

Love Hurts

When we engage in a deeply personal relationship with another person, setting aside all our inhibitions, being transparent and totally honest (literally naked) can leave us very vulnerable. This vulnerability leaves us open to experiencing – not only the most magnificent feelings of all time but also – the most pain; more pain than could be delivered by any other individual.

When someone you love hurts you with their words, the initial response might be to accuse them of being psychologically abusive, to engage in a quarrel/shouting match or allow your own self worth deteriorate as you allow yourself to be victimized.

Yet, it could be easily understood as a potential misunderstanding if you could remember a time:

When you hurt someone you love

Can you recall an experience similar to this?

Let’s say you were communicating with someone you cared deeply about – someone you would never have the intention of hurting – yet, here they are defensive and accusatory that you have disrespected or attacked them verbally.

It’s not too hard, if you are able to find the space to imagine what if the shoe was on the other foot?

How to not let people get to you when words hurt

Here are a few brief and quick tools that you can use to help you diffuse an otherwise explosive emotional event prompted by hurtful words:

#1 Love Them

Giving you allowance for some personal space to have an initial reaction to the words that seem to have hurt your feelings – as soon as you are able to achieve some level of clarity – look for empathy.

Yes, they have had enough disregard for you to speak words that you feel are not pleasing to you. When you take it personally, you disregard them in kind.

If you can find clarity of mind, try to imagine what it must be like for him or her to be living the life they are living. Could this be a misunderstanding? Could it be his or her inner child crying out for love?

A little understanding from within (don’t try to diagnose, treat or interrogate them in this moment. Leave that for some future moment in time, if you’re so inclined) goes a long way in being able to imagine why someone might say something, like that.

If he or she is not a psychopath, send their inner child some love and understanding – like a virtual hug – to their heart, and find a kind word to say to them, if you can.

#2 Be Open

Sometimes words that are meant to hurt are a calling out for someone to connect with on a deeper level. It is true, “A kind word turns away wrath,” (Proverbs 15:1) and can open the door to a deeper level of communication and understanding. The key: be open.

Do not judge, intimidate or threaten them. Just invite them to share their feelings without challenging their beliefs or justifying their thoughts. This can have a huge impact and offer healing to the individual (especially the inner child) who desperately wants to be heard, but is afraid; often finding it more comfortable to be rude than transparent.

#3 Erase the Pain

Hurtful words can cause physiological and psychological pain. Sometimes the pain endures over time. I use a very effective and simple technique that only costs one cent. I call it:

Penny for Your Thoughts

To use this process, you will need some privacy, a copper penny and the ability to reduce your discomfort to a single emotionally-charged statement.

A. The statement

An example might be something like:

Penny for your thoughts“I hate it when (insert name) disrespects me and treats me like garbage. He’s (or she’s) a dirty rotten (insert expletive)!”

Make certain to include his/her name and some inappropriate name-calling (even if you might not do it in front of anyone in real life) and make sure that when you speak the statement you muster up all the bad feelings you possibly can.

Say the statement out-loud just to make sure it is an emotional match to how hurt or mad you are.

B. Place and charge the penny

There are three location of your body that you will hold the penny flat against your body with your non-dominant hand.

The Places

1. Head
Just above and between the eyebrows against your forehead
2. Heart
Over your heart
3. Stomach
Mid-way over your stomach-area.

Starting with the head location, hold the penny flat against your forehead, repeat your emotionally-charged statement (you should feel the negative emotion as much as you possibly can) and charge the penny.

The Charging

As you repeat your statement, tap the penny at a comfortably rapid pace with a finger (or multiple fingers, if that is more comfortable for you) of your dominant hand.

This charges the penny with the electrical components of the emotional charge from your body.

Repeat as many times as necessary, repeating the phrase and charging the penny at the head, heart and stomach locations.

Usually three rounds of head, heart and stomach will yield a major reduction in your level of pain and/or discomfort.

C. Discard the penny

Smile. You feel better. You’re done with that penny and statement. You will find that you can now verbalize that very statement without feeling the emotional pain connected to it. Congratulations!

It’s so effective, you might like to get another penny and try another painful emotion that you’ve kept bottled up inside.