Third Wednesday – Dismissive Controls Submissive

Paraphrased from the original sighting:

“Harold ‘Bear’ Kirby enjoyed dominating everyone he met, but took special pleasure in keeping his wife in the role of a dismissive mouse.”

While Harold may be dismissive of his wife’s value as a human being, if she is a dominated mouse of a woman she cannot be dismissive.  The person with the dismissive attitude has some measure of control over anyone with a submissive attitude.  The two words are far apart on the behavioral scale.


DISMISSIVE – condescending, contemptuous, haughty.

Margot Starr was dismissive of those she thought of as “the little people,” even though they made the aging star look young and vibrant in all of her movies.

The professor was dismissive of any term paper that did not conform to the political principles he espoused in class.

Ginger was dismissive of Gilligan’s feelings each time he asked her for a date.


SUBMISSIVE – docile, yielding – a tendency to be obedient and meek.

Pack wolves are submissive to the alpha wolf, allowing him to feast on the kill before filling their own bellies.

Young Sr. Lucretia struggled with the requirement to be submissive to the orders of her Mother Superior, who had determined that the nuns in her convent should be quiet and meditative at all times.

Preacher Benedict thumped his Bible with his meaty fist while shouting the passages that, according to him, gave husbands permission to beat wives who were not submissive to the demands of their man.


Here’s another look at DISMISSIVE and SUBMISSIVE.


Alicia feared Alec’s rages over the littlest disagreement, and every day her demeanor became more dismissive.

It was easy for Jayne to be submissive of the efforts the Red Cross made in disaster areas, until she needed their assistance.


Melody Barnheath practically inhaled the judges’ praise for her performance, while managing to appear totally dismissive of the vast talent displayed by her closest competitors.

When Beth decided to end years of being submissive to her brute of a husband, she did so with a well-placed knife, during the course of one of his rages.


Go forth and use these words at least once a day for a week.  See how many ways you can incorporate them into your conversation without having to explain what you’re doing.