Hi there, A few weeks ago, I was watching (i know its dodgy) wheel of fortune and the phrase they had was Familiarity breeds contempt. As I am currently going through yet another relationship break up, this struck a cord that maybe this phrase was the root of my problem??? Well I sat down and wrote a bit on this and the following is what I came up with. I'd like to hear any thoughts on my ideas and any other theories on this. Thanks, Simona Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! ‘Familiarity Breeds Contempt’ Contempt- 1.condescension, contumely, derision, despite, disdain, disregard, disrespect, mockery, neglect, scorn, slight 2. A state of contempt disgrace, dishonor, humiliation, shame Collins Thesaurus 1992. Contempt- 1. Condition of being despised; dishonor; disgrace 2. Feeling with which one regards anything considered mean, vile or worthless. The Macquarie Dictionary 1984. My thoughts on this saying: The more one gets to know someone, the more real, imperfect and human that person becomes. Society dictates those aspects of human thought and behaviour which are acceptable and those which are not. This leads to visibility of certain thoughts and behaviours with the subsequent repression and denial of unacceptable ones. During the process of knowing someone it is inevitable that you will discover these ‘unacceptable’ traits and it is this knowledge that breeds contempt. Most of us try to show our best side for strangers, acquaintances, friends, romantic interests, employees etc. However, we are not perfect, we have a whole other aspect of ourselves that we chose not to disclose. This aspect is, as we decide for ourselves, inappropriate and is not an aspect we wish ourselves to be known and remembered for. In actuality we ‘put on airs’ or show our ‘positive’ side in public while keeping our ‘negative’ side for private or those who know us. During our lives people we meet are either attracted to (or drawn to) us or they are indifferent or unmoved by our ‘public’ persona. A relationship can be formed if the meeting is one of mutual attraction. In other cases as in work colleagues we may develop an initially unmoving meeting out of necessity. This base foundation of ‘acceptability’ between two people allows a progressive relaxation of that ‘act’ which releases the hidden and undisclosed traits to the surface. Gradually a more human and real personality emerges as a mix of ‘acceptable’ and ‘unacceptable’ traits. But because this is a gradual process these ‘unacceptable’ traits are adjusted to with the belief that the person is basically ‘normal’, ‘good’ and ‘acceptable’ due to those first impressions. However the person still makes a decision either to continue with the knowing process or to not develop the relationship any further. It is usually only with familiarity that people lose the ‘all good and nice reputation’ to become more real and human resulting in their true personality being revealed. This is why most people seem pleasant, nice and agreeable on first meeting. However, they can undo themselves with various unconscious signals such as body language, aura, scent and level of self-care which give a more accurate picture of a personality to the extent where what they say is in complete contradiction. It is not what they show-or-tell that is cause for concern but what they are hiding or don’t show. It is these things which differentiate their personality to a large extent. We all know the basic formula or role play to appear kind, friendly and ‘normal’ and we all use it to our best knowledge. We have been practicing our role since birth and have been trained in the skills of ‘herd mentality’ and fitting in. The degree to which a person becomes unveiled to another depends on their relationship. Although work colleagues and employers get to know us after a period of time, they don’t get to a deeper stage of intimacy and trust with subsequent vulnerability leading idealistically to unconditional acceptance. This is what I would expect from a deep relationship. Workplace relationships don’t involve your life outside work times and so usually make it easier to ‘get along’ together without concern for the in’s and out’s of another. We all have a job to do and we come together to do that job. We may get on each others nerves occasionally but it can be handled easier, less personally and with a level of detachment. (If not, there are always laws and regulations that outline how these disputes should be settled) Serious relationships in their most open, trusting, personal and intimate involve the whole person and their actions or behaviour but also the reasons and causes behind such behaviour. This is what enables a relationship to deepen and become closer. It is knowing the ‘why’ of a persons behaviour which creates true understanding. And so the most familiar of relationships is also the most open, vulnerable and trusting. In order to get closer to one another we reveal all from our basic fears to our deepest, darkest secrets, our demons, fantasies, perversions, dreams, embarrassments and anything else which has shaped the person we are at that moment in time. In doing so we are completely unveiled and in sharing our internal lives we say ‘this is what it is like to be me, will you join me and share my experiences with an open mind and heart. I am here before you without armour, costume or pretence. Know me from within; looking out; and understand. For you, there is no act.’ If we can shed our skins and embrace each other with acceptance then we will have reached the highest level of love and acceptance. From here we can choose true commitment. When two people commit to each other it doesn’t mean ‘I want only you forever, no one else!’ Or something to that effect for that is an unaware and irresponsible statement. Commitment, in this sense, means we will forge a bond. In knowing each others strengths and weaknesses we can have maximal impact on each others lives. We can build on the strengths and reduce the weaknesses without pretence because we know each other implicitly. We have given each other blue prints to our soul with all its trigger points mapped out. In receiving these blue prints we have ultimate responsibility to not only our self but to another. So these can only be given when the relationship is one of perfect love and perfect trust. This enables the growth of our soul to reach greater possibilities and heights not possible alone. It all goes wrong when we hold back for fear, if there is not perfect love or trust, if one person reveals while the other does not. This is where contempt is borne. An example of this is when one person decides to accept knowledge from another without giving of themselves. From this knowledge they gain a sense of power over the other and for some this short term feeling of superiority and control is all they know and hence seek out. They know nothing about the rewards of opening up and forging a long term mutually fulfilling eternal bond with another. They think in terms of one against the other and not in terms of one with the other. But this is no wonder when short term quick fixes in a dog-eat-dog world are the accepted standards for human interaction. We are not shown the benefits of long, hard work and effort to sustain long term rewards except when it comes to money and possessions. So we get a hold of each other’s trigger points (or buttons) or one gets hold of the others. In this state, the exact opposite is possible whereby we reduce each others strengths and build the weaknesses. We have the ability to tear each other down in probably the most destructive way. We destroy from within, from behind the walls. To fight this kind of attack takes sometimes more than what the person is capable because the enemy is within the fortress. We know only how to look out over our turrets with our surrounding moat. The defenses we spent so long building, adjusting and perfecting that we just lost or never had the ability to turn that gaze inward. But like the ‘Trojan Horse Myth’ you unknowingly led the enemy to your source. When a person gains the map of your soul they see you for your weaknesses. It’s like an armored knight charging toward an unarmed peasant with their back turned. You become the puppet and they pull the strings. Such power (borne from fear) leading to the deconstruction of another is what breeds contempt. Contempt for another who has placed their soul, or part of, so easily into your hands to enable their undoing. But with this contempt for another goes contempt for yourself. And so I believe this adage to be a simplistic, reductive and pessimistic statement most likely created by one such contemptuous creature to perpetuate the disempowerment of an individual leading them towards complete dependency and misguided needfulness. Note: A solution which both rids the intruder from your psyche whilst strengthening the soul is to examine the buttons being pushed. Uncovering the source and facing it head on is the way to deal with it and move on. Gradually that button does not have an effect on you and you gain power over yourself and take it away from them. However, you cannot examine a button if there is not an awareness of its existence in the first place. Also, this is why siblings and parent have a great ability to push buttons. In many cases, they created them.