Why Damaging Remarks Are More Painful When Shrouded in Kindness

This article hopes to explore why painful comments are most effective when they’re sandwiched between compliments. This is an effort to help you see signs of people who attempt to cause damage. This write up provides reason for why saying things in a specific order is effective in eliciting pain, but it is not an advocacy for you to begin saying things in that order. In order to effectively manage those who attempt to bring us pain, we should attempt to understand the tactics they use.


Punches Hurt More When You Don’t See Them Coming


The better a job someone does in hiding their intentions for causing pain with their words, the more painful their attempt at doing so will turn out to be. Those who seek to inflict the most pain with their words, won’t just deliver their attempt in a blatantly obvious manner. A person who insists on delivering the most painful jab, will ensure that you don’t see it coming. Like being inside a boxing ring, a big wind up and swing will be easy to duck and evade. It is more effective from their standpoint to make you feel safe in the ring with them. The person who seeks to make a painful impression on you will try hard to make you feel safe in conversation with them. They will entice you to lean into the right hook they aim to knock you out with.

For this reason, it’s best to be careful in believing compliments from others until the conversation is coming to a close. Ensure you know that the compliments people deliver aren’t meant to encourage you to react in ways they want and foresee. Compliments are effective in priming individuals for how we want them to behave. For instance, if this article were to compliment you on your reading skills, you’d be less likely to consider this style of writing to be bad.

Punches hurt more when your opponent doesn’t see them coming. It is the difference between your opponent prepping for impact with their defense up, and having their head swivel upon impact with their snot and mouth-guard being launched into the crowd. The way people seem to attempt landing the most painful verbal jab, is by shrouding it in compliment and seemingly genuine kindness.


Attempt to Be Seen As Balanced and Unbiased


Being complementary and kind before and after a painful comment, also serves to validate the painful comment to onlookers. If someone were to spew negative comments in an emotional manner without much pause, they’d be likelier to be seen as biased. They would be interpreted to have an illogical line of thinking and would seem influenced by overwhelming emotion.

By making their dialogue seem genuinely kind and complimentary, people who seek to bring you pain establish themselves as balanced and believable. When they deliver the painful remark, it will be accepted smoothly without push-back from those who listen. People who listen to it will take it seriously since it is not obvious to them that this person seeks to bring you pain.

The act of those who seek to damage your reputation hiding their painful remarks in kindness is an attempt to become believable to those who listen. They want their remarks to be taken seriously and to be considered as true. Thereby it is strategic for them to call out the good truths about their target. They will acknowledge the good aspects of the person they aim to attack in an effort to not only soften their target up, but to seem as being in tune with reality.

Book Recommendation: 

Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us

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