If someone has contempt towards us, it feels like hate. Sarcastic remarks are made under the breath while we are talking. Sometimes, while we are talking to that person, they walk away before we are finished or are conveniently distracted. We could interpret their message is "you are nothing to me."
We know another person has contempt for us when they refuse to talk to us or even look at us. We experience a wall of sneering, mockery and hostile humor. In front of other people, condescending remarks are spoken about us.
If we are on the receiving end of contempt, we may try to shield ourselves by shutting down and not sharing anything with the contemptuous person.
How does contempt develop in a relationship? Contempt is fueled by long-simmering negative thoughts about the partner. Contempt grows out of the belief that person has deliberately and maliciously wounded us. We are more likely to have such thoughts if our differences are not resolved. If the complaints and wounds are not addressed, global criticisms emerge which in turn, produce more and more disgusted feelings and thoughts, and finally, we are fed up with our spouse.
One serious flaw with contemptuous attitude is that we are making one behavior or part of that person's personality say everything about him or her. It would help our attitude if we could see that there are other parts to that person's personality.
Health wise, we need to realize that bitterness, resentment, contempt, criticism, and negativity damages us more than the other person. Often those of us who have this attitude will experience health problems. Contempt kills our inner peace and joy. We need to find a way to work through our wounds with that person and learn to forgive them and ourselves.