What is Condescension?
As per the Oxford dictionary, condescension refers to an attitude of patronizing superiority; disdain. All of us at one point in our lives have experienced that deplorable kind which takes immense pleasure in talking down to others. A mere conversation with such people turns into a combat zone in which one person is trying to exert her/his supremacy by belittling the other person. It’s like making a protagonist feel like a side character in her/his own story! Nobody relishes such company as it evokes the feelings of negativity, discomfort, and toxicity in others.
It tends to push people away as no one likes their self-esteem being jabbed at. Condescending comments can be extremely rude and can have long lasting impacts on others. In fact, one of the ways in which condescension works is by taking the disguise of sarcasm. Sarcasm is considered rather a cool word today, possession of which is a proof of it.
However, one should draw a line between condescending and sarcastic comments. Rudeness is not witty.
Condescending comments tend to have a didactic quality to it. People having such an attitude can be said to have a ‘teaching syndrome’ where they are always trying to establish that they know more and others should simply learn from it.
Some Instances Of Condescending Behaviour
We are filled up with people around us who deliberately make nasty and condescending remarks to make other people feel small. It’s a repulsive way of acting. Such behavior and comments arise from feelings of superiority. And this feeling of superiority is often a byproduct of inherent sexism, elitism, classism, and racism. There are so many people who think they are superior to you owing to their experience, class or gender.
Here are some condescending things that people say:-
“When you go into the real world”
One derogatory thing you can tell an individual is that their perception of reality is unrealistic and it’s not how things work and they are extremely naive.
“You’re too young to be in love”
The most infuriating thing you can say to a teenager is that it’s not love that they’re are experiencing but infatuation. That their hormones are acting up and they are just not capable for intense emotions.
“You have good driving skills for a woman”
Yet another sexist way of saying that woman can’t drive and their brains are not meant for mechanical skills such as driving that they’re better off doing domestic jobs!
“You have a nice temperament for a Latina”
This one derives from inherent racism and categories we have made to a cage in people from other races. Women from Latin origin are stereotyped to be extremely sassy and hot-headed.
“You can’t do this? But this is too easy!”
Another example of belittling someone because of their inability to do a certain task or solve a problem. Instead of taking a moment to help others, sadly people choose to mock others.