Self Help Now: A community blog

Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers ideas for maintaining your mental health.

Insensitivity Hurts Others Plenty

Written by Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade, Community blogger | Mar 22, 2013 8:29 PM

The boyfriend flirts with another woman in front of his wife and behind her back. The wife talks to her best guy frined for an hour, instead of spending time with her husband. Couples snap and pick, complain and criticize each other. One friend invites another friend to her house in front a friend who's never invited. Phone messages go unanswered. Parents ignore their children and then punish them for wanting some attention and not knowing how to get it the right way. It's all rude, crude and insensitive and all too common.

Why don't people treat each other better? Often, they weren't treated very well themselves and didn't see others treated well in their earlier lives and it becomes their reality to follow suit or copycat their elders. Even if they know better, they have passive aggressive, angry, vengeful feelings (which combine with low self-esteem) and they let outi their tension or sublimate it in a way which hurts someone. Their low level of perspective blinds them, making empathy and thoughtfulness very difficult.

How do we help the insensitive tune in and take into account the feelings of their loved ones and friends, or anyone, for that matter? It takes training. Someone needs to explainand help them think about how they affect others, what their words and actions cause, and what alternatives there are. Then, they need practice and more practice behaving with sensitivity. Eventually, the new mode of interacting will become the new mode of reality and pay off in spades.

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