The Pain of Disrespect – Why does it seem like people overreact to small events?

Unless we live as a hermit, completely removed from society and interaction with other people, we all will disrespect someone sometimes a family member, sometimes our close friends, and sometimes complete strangers.  Either by words or actions, and often completely by accident.  Whether the disrespect was intentional or accidental, we often regret the words or action and wish it could be undone.

Once the harm has occurred, it may impossible to undo.  Even the best apology encompassing the 5 elements of a complete apology may not restore the world to the way things were before the disrespect occurred.  Although we may be able to restore our relationship with the inflicted person, the damage does not completely disappear.  The relationship is now more susceptible to future disrespect.  If we disrespect the same person, the emotion and damage from previous events comes flooding back, and it’s as if all the past events are layered on top of each other and added to this new conflict.  And the guilty person may not be aware of the compounding hurt flooding into the new conflict, making it seem like the afflicted person is overreacting to a small event.  With each event, it becomes more difficult to repair the damage.

I wish I could teach every person and every kid the compounding effect of disrespectful events and actions, so we can take more care in avoiding them.

The 5 Languages of Apology


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