Perhaps you’ve heard the expression, “dissing.” It’s slang for disrespecting someone. Everyone wants to be respected. We want to be respected as people and we want our ideas and words to be respected as well. When we are not shown that respect we feel slighted and grow angry at the one who “dissed” us. Besides disrespect, there are six other disses which can trigger anger in us.
- Dismissive—Dismissive often goes hand-in-hand with disrespect. When we are dismissive we wave someone off as not worth our time or words. We dismiss them as unworthy. To be dismissed is to attack our sense of self-worth and when that happens we grow angry.
- Disobey—Every parent understands this one. When our children willfully choose to disobey us we can grow angry quickly. We are in the position of authority and, as such, have the right to be obeyed. The same is true in any authority structure. The one in charge has the right to be obeyed. The Bible says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” and “Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh” (Ephesians 6:1, 5).
- Disbelieve—When someone does not believe us we can grow angry. Why? Because disbelief is an attack on our integrity. The thought behind disbelief is that we are lying and are, therefore, a liar. Nobody wants to be thought a liar so we get angry and become defensive.
- Discriminate—If we are discriminated against we are both disrespected and dismissed. Discrimination based on race, religion, gender, political party, or values devalues the person. Discrimination is often linked to shunning or refusing to provide the same service or opportunity afforded to others. That hurts and can inspire anger. We all want to be treated equally and fairly.
- Distort—When our words or motives are distorted, they are twisted to mean something we did not intend. We frequently see this in the news when quotes are distorted and the newsmaker attempts to “set the record straight.” When our words or motives are impugned or distorted we can explode in anger.
- Distrust—To distrust someone is the kissing cousin of disbelieve. We don’t trust him or her because they have broken our trust in them by their words or, more likely, their actions in the past. Trust must be earned again and until it is, we will distrust them. From the perspective of the one who is distrusted, it becomes frustrating and anger-provoking to not be trusted even when the truth is spoken.
Nobody wants to be dissed. It hurts and makes us angry. Be sure you’re not the one doing the dissing. The Bible calls us to “Encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).