Arthur C. Brooks, author of “Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from the Culture of Contempt” says: “There’s an important psychological difference between anger and contempt. When you get angry at someone — maybe a friend, a spouse, or a colleague — what that says is, ‘I care about this, and I’m mad because I see that something is wrong and want to fix it.’ Contempt, on the other hand, says, ‘You are beneath caring about.’ Anger ultimately helps us reconcile, but contempt makes permanent enemies.”
Here is my challenge to you: Think about Donald Trump (or another leader who challenges your value of respect): Do you feel anger or contempt towards him?
Allow me to frame up my intention: I don’t want to start a political debate, I am inviting you to think about how your attitude (and the way you express it) contributes to a climate of disrespect and contempt especially in the current COVID-19 situation that polarises us in so many ways.
We all know that what we focus on we get more of. Therefore, if we want to create more respect and understanding, recognising contempt in ourselves is crucial. Which is challenging to do when the other person seems to operate from exactly that place. As Brooks also says, “When you are treated with contempt, practice warmheartedness.” — I wonder what would happen if we were warmhearted and simultaneously connected with the positive power of anger to take constructive action. If we, to quote Mahatma Gandhi, were the change we want to see in the world?
#contemptuous #angry #respect #52emotions #leadership #emotionalintelligence #emotionalproductivity