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WHY are people SO MEAN?!


living4today

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A really close friend and I have both struggled to understand the reason people are so mean! I just DON'T GET IT! I don't UNDERSTAND! HELP please, lol ;)

My friend posted this on another chat board that I post on, so I thought I would post here and see what responses I got from you all.

I read what Martha Beck said in an article in O Mag: "Why are people mean? Here's the short answer: They're hurt. Here's the long answer: They're really hurt. At some point, somebody

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Oh and BTW...

MEAN PEOPLE SUCK

So why do you go and have to be mean to mean people?

Wow, I never even looked at that statement as being mean! My intent was NOT to be mean! If I thought or knew that someone would have their feelings hurt by that statement I would not have posted it, for that is only my opinion.

I realize that it is said that it is all in a persons perception as to whether or not someone is mean/cruel. I looked up the definition of 'cruel' on webster.com and this is what I found:

1 : disposed to inflict pain or suffering : devoid of humane feelings <a cruel tyrant>

2 a : causing or conducive to injury, grief, or pain <a cruel joke> b : unrelieved by leniency <cruel punishment>f

So my question is more to try and understand why people choose to intentionally be mean or cruel to others. Why do people say or do things with the intent of inflicting pain on someone else. I realize that everyone has unintentionally hurt others by something they say or do(like perhaps I did by posting 'Mean people suck'), that I can understand/overlook. What I DON'T UNDERSTAND is why people intentionally hurt others!

Thank you null0trooper for pointing that out to me. If I can edit to remove that I will, in hopes to not offend anyone else.

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You can look at it another way too, for all things there must be a balance.

For every suck, there must be a blow. hee hee.

Ok, that was pretty bad. Anyway, I still believe in balance though. If all you know is good, then how do you know it's good if you have nothing to compare and contrast with that? Eh?

That's how I deal with it.

Do I like it when people are mean to me and the people I care about?

FUCK NO!

Does it piss me off?

FUCK YEAH!

Do I occasionally do something really retarded out of complete and utter anger?

HELL YEAH!

Why you ask? Because I'm still a human-fucking-being that makes incredibly stoopid mistakes borne out of highly emotional states! DUH! I'm not a robot.

Anyway, that's how I have learned to deal. I know I'm not a perfekt person either. Jeez, I'm a royal bitch and half on a good day when I'm PMSing! I'm no fucking angel. But I am a Saint! (non-practicing LDS) hee hee for those of you who get the joke! ;)

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By nature, I am not mean. I've been told by a couple of people that I am one of the sweetest people that they have ever met. But, I can be mean. Usually it is a reflex to feeling offended or fear that someone is going to hurt me or being hurt by someone. But I usually recognize when I have been mean and try to regain my conscious effort to be fair and rectify the situation. I don't believe that standing up for myself is mean as long as I don't try to hurt someone. But, I'm not perfect, of course. I try to stay away from mean people. I have no idea why some people are consistantly mean. Good topic.

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I work with a lady who is probably the meanest, most nasty person I've ever met. She constantly puts everyone down, gripes, complains, causes trouble, back-bites...etc.

What I've learned from this is...she is a very miserable person. She feels so badly about herself, she has to knock someone else down to feel better about herself. She is someone who was raised in chaos and needs to cause it just to feel 'normal'. She's in so much emotional pain, that she tries her best to cause everyone who crosses her path pain.

I feel sorry for her. She obviously has no one in her life because I can't see how anyone can put up with her behavior. If you try to confront her on it, she verbally lashes out at you.

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dunno the why of it. but do know that city life seems to bring out the worst in people. rats in a cage thing i suppose.

i beat that shit by working two jobs for years and moving so far out in the country now, that assholes are few and far between. i have only encountered one and he his wife says "he can be such an asshole". he really doesn't mean to and would and has been there for me.

i am, of course, capable of total meany pants stuff as well. people think me a nice guy though. i do try not to offend.

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I've only just learned how to let people's rudeness/cruelness roll off my back this past year-- which is exactly what you all are saying-- they are just miserable themselves so you need to simply pity them and their situations.

I also like the Law of the Garbage Truck:

LAW OF THE GARBAGE TRUCK - Let the garbage go by. By David J. Pollay

How often do you let other people's nonsense change your mood? Do you let a bad driver, rude waiter, curt boss, or an insensitive employee ruin your day? Unless you're the Terminator, for an instant you're probably set back on your heels.

However, the mark of a successful person is how quickly she can get back her focus on what's important.

Sixteen years ago I learned this lesson. I learned it in the back of a New York City taxi cab. Here's what happened.

I hopped in a taxi, and we took off for Grand Central Station. We were driving in the right lane when all of a sudden, and I mean without warning, a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded and missed the other car's back end by just inches.

Here's what happened next. The driver of the other car, the guy who almost caused a big accident, whipped his head around and he started yelling bad words at us. How do I know? Ask any New Yorker, some words in New York come with a special face.

Now, here's what blew me away. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was friendly. So, I said, "Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!" And this is when my taxi driver told me what I now call, "The Law of the Garbage Truck."

Many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it. And if you let them, they'll dump it on you.

When someone wants to dump on you, don't take it personally. You just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. You'll be happy you did. I guarantee it.

So this was it: The "Law of the Garbage Truck." I started thinking, how often do I let Garbage Trucks run right over me? And how often do I take their garbage and spread it to other people: at work, at home, on the streets? It was that day I said, "I'm not going to do it anymore."

Well now "I see Garbage Trucks." I see the load they're carrying. I see them coming to drop it off.

And like my Taxi Driver, I don't make it a personal thing; I just smile, wave, wish them well, and I move on.

One of my favorite Football players of all time, Walter Payton, did this every day on the football field. He would jump up as quickly as he hit the ground after being tackled. He never dwelled on a hit. Payton was ready to make the next play his best. Good leaders know they have to be ready for their next meeting. Good parents know that they have to welcome their children home from school with hugs and kisses.

Leaders and parents know that they have to be fully present, and at their best for the people they care about.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let Garbage Trucks take over their day. What about you? What would happen in your life, starting today, if you let more garbage trucks pass you by?

Here's my bet. You'll be happier. I guarantee it.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...
Guest Theresa Clavitte

I work with a lady who is probably the meanest, most nasty person I've ever met. She constantly puts everyone down, gripes, complains, causes trouble, back-bites...etc.

What I've learned from this is...she is a very miserable person. She feels so badly about herself, she has to knock someone else down to feel better about herself. She is someone who was raised in chaos and needs to cause it just to feel 'normal'. She's in so much emotional pain, that she tries her best to cause everyone who crosses her path pain.

I feel sorry for her. She obviously has no one in her life because I can't see how anyone can put up with her behavior. If you try to confront her on it, she verbally lashes out at you.

Do they ever change?

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I work with a lady who is probably the meanest, most nasty person I've ever met. She constantly puts everyone down, gripes, complains, causes trouble, back-bites...etc.

What I've learned from this is...she is a very miserable person. She feels so badly about herself, she has to knock someone else down to feel better about herself. She is someone who was raised in chaos and needs to cause it just to feel 'normal'. She's in so much emotional pain, that she tries her best to cause everyone who crosses her path pain.

Do they ever change?

It can be done.

Using the Garbage Truck metaphor: medication as needed to keep the motor running under the load, therapy to unload the trash at the dump, and new behaviors to pimp that stanky ride. The trouble is that most of us are still stuck in a midday traffic jam.

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