Patronising & condescending

In an ideal world, all relationships would be equal. Where we work as a team, the relationship becomes equal, but where there are those who patronise, are condescending, talk down or belittle us as if what we’ve said is misplaced or wrong, or they think they’re a cut above the rest. Those relationships are not equal.

When someone continually works at being patronising, or condescending, it’s often for a reason unbeknown to them, the reason is often somewhere lurking below their conscious that will need addressing. We’re not born patronising, it’s something we learn to do over time.

So how do we deal with someone who is patronising or condescending?

What we’re seeing is what we’re getting, so perhaps we must choose to change what we see. Perhaps we need to learn how to focus on their redeeming qualities and not take what they say personally, because what they say is never personal to us, it’s personal to them, but they make it about us.

If we change our reactions on how they talk to us, they will eventually learn to talk differently. There is a train of thought about whether what the other person is saying, mirrors a quality in ourselves that we don’t like. I believe there is an element of truth in this, although I’ve never met anyone who will agree or own up to how they are.

Even if it’s not true, we must work on being better by changing our own internal dialogue. Perhaps we must accept that some relationships aren’t for changing, unless the other person wants it to. Some people will always continue to push our buttons, no matter what.

Although we may have moved on, how others communicate with us may still awaken some of the same old childhood patterns in us, brought about by our own family. We need to be careful those patterns don’t affect our own internal dialogue.

It’s important for us not to dwell or continue to fall into other people’s emotional patterns, or compromise our own feelings in the process.


10 Dec, 2016

2 thoughts on “Patronising & condescending

  1. People talking down to me is definitely one of my pet peeves, since I was always looked down upon as a kid which really hurt.

    They liked to say things like words will never hurt me, but I’m not so sure about that. If you grow up hearing people talk badly about you and your family, eventually you start to believe it. This didn’t seem to bother my parents all that much, which always irritated me.

    It seemed like they din’t care about what people thought about them, which I found to be very sad. I often think about it when they talk about the untouchables in India and why they would tolerate being treated that way.

    Personally I know I’m not stupid, but I have just made a lot of stupid choices, mostly because I didn’t know any better. My girlfriend treats me like I’m one of the mentally retard clients she used to work with and I do find it to be very condescending.

    She tends to act like she’s always right and knows everything, which most people would find offensive. She is actually very smart but that attitude of acting like everyone should be acknowledging it, isn’t realistic. I’m guessing she didn’t get a lot of that as a child, so now she pretty much demands it, which is probably why she wasn’t getting hired over the past 4 years.

    People really don’t like to be treated that way from what I know. Once again, your timing is perfect seeing as this is the issue I need to address. My friend keeps wondering why it is that I would put up with being treated this way and it’s a very good question.

    Overall she is a very good person, but that attitude almost negates all the good she does. She has had three people over the past few years turn around and say that they didn’t want her help when they never really asked for it in the beginning. I have learned the hard way that you can’t help someone if they don’t even want to help themselves.

    Obviously they may desperately need the help, but they have to be the ones to ask for it. This is definitely a case of, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    1. Thanks Randy. Yes, it sounds like your friends have got your back and for good reason. A good intention isn’t a good intention, unless it’s done in good grace and it’s unconditional; now matter how nice we are underneath.

      It’s a difficult one. I’ve had to deal with different people, but I would never put up with bad behaviour and I still don’t. We tend to put up with what we’ve seen when it becomes an accepted part of our life and the pattern continues.

      It would have been up to your parents to change the patterns for themselves and their young family, now it will be up to you to change what you’re not happy with.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *