A comment left by 'anonymous' on my previous post spurred me to blog on this my next subject - that of people and their nasty ways. (Thanks, 'anonymous', for the inspiration!)
We've all known a bitch or two in the span of our lives. They're not always females, either. People who seem to have nothing better to do than to loudly and publicly pass unwarranted judgement on others without invitation, most of if not all the time. Admittedly, I've done it a couple of times myself, and whilst it's a bad habit that I've tried over the years to get rid of, it not necessarily a trait that I'm proud of at all. There are some people I know who seem to be afflicted with the disease (I call it a disease because it's certainly not a good thing, and it should be cured with immediate effect) to the point where they have no other aspect to their individual personalities, save their venom-filled mouths. These are people I've learned to avoid at all costs, unless it is absolutely essential that I be in their company for some reason.
My recent blog-joust with 'anonymous' got me thinking and attempting to understand the psychological make-up that is behind this obsession with being nasty. Why do we, as humans, feel this need to strike down so forcefully on other people at the cost of scarring them emotionally as well as building up a negative reputation for ourselves? Why do bitches exist? What brings out the bitch in an otherwise normal person with the potential to be affable?
I mused and pondered on this topic with a good friend of mine who pointed out that it's very often an insecurity complex teamed with dangerous levels of competitiveness and jealousy that make some people nasty beyond tolerance. She has a point. Most of the 'bitches' I know have always criticized things that they themselves cannot or would not do as well as their victim does. More often than not, the subject of their bitching has nothing to do with them, but they feel the need to pass scathing judgement nevertheless, because it makes them content to assume that their opinion matters (which, in reality, it rarely does).
As humans we are a territorial and insecure bunch. Someone else shining out bugs us because our ego is threatened. And sometimes, that feeling of insecurity is so large (often due to us having little or no belief in ourselves) that we tend to 'cover up' with the obnoxious persona of a bitch. Running a person down to the ground seems to be the only alternative, because we aren't able to be the bigger person and focus on our own business and would rather mind someone else's.
And then there's the classic case of really not knowing any better than to be nasty to people. This is possibly born out of years of frustration and subjugation to similar bullying and bitching at the hands of others, that you are compelled to 'take revenge' on the world at a later stage. Very much like abused kids growing up into abusers themselves. In fact, it IS a case of abuse - emotional abuse. You give what you received, because you have never known anything else in life.
Having considered the factors behind bitching, one almost feels sorry for the bitch. They don't have a grasp on their own lives, and therefore try to shatter someone else's because of their inability to control their jealousies. It is a condition that deserves pity and compassion, but also intolerance.
So how DO we deal with a bitch? I found the following article online, and it had some interesting points of note-
The majority of our stress comes from two areas; our relationships with people and our relationship with money and sometimes our relationship with people with money and more frequently people without money. This article is dedicated to minimizing the effect of negative or nasty people on our lives. What follows are some suggestions for maintaining congenial cohabitation with nasty, negative people whose only purpose is to invalidate your reasons for existence.
#1 Minimize ContactNegative people sap your energy. They pull your best from you and leave you frustrated, angry, emotionally depleted. When you see them coming, you have my permission to go the other way. There is no valor in confrontation. They thrive on it. They are experts, professionals even. This is not a place for amateurs. Abandon ship. Let the women and children fend for themselves.
If avoidance is impossible, you can still avoid them emotionally by resisting the urge to enter their dance. As difficult as it might be don't give into the urge to correct, chide or scold. They have heard it all before and all you will do is upset yourself and begin the ruin of what could have been a nice day.
#2 Think about something elseWhat you think about you give power to. The more you dwell on a subject the larger you make it. That's just the way things work. If you would like less of that person in your life. Don't spend your time talking about how you dislike them, because you are only enlarging them in your sphere of operation.
What you should do, on the other hand, is to find something or someone else to talk about that is more positive and you will find that the negative influence will become less overwhelming to you.
#3 Don't let their negative feelings for you dictate your feelings This is a way to free yourself from the cyclical power of negativity. This is also a means of empowering yourself. Too frequently we define ourselves by other's opinions of us. As a result we act out of those impressions. There is a Christlike dignity in the person who is unbowed by insult. And we are capable of being positive as we realize the value Christ places on us.
We have the power to choose how we feel. If we are having a bad day, it's nobody's fault but ours. Consequently, since you have the choice of feeling good or bad, why not choose the mental state that is of more benefit to you?
#4 Look at yourself from their perspectiveIt's good to get another viewpoint. Very few of us are perfect. We might even have a trait that sends everybody else crazy. Trying to appreciate someone else's perspective means that you might have to take some time to get to know them. And that brings the possibility that you might even get to like them even with their nasty ways.
Thoughts worth considering, eh?
One thing I do have to say to them bitches out there who tried to bring me down (this one's for you, 'anonymous') - darling... you point one finger at someone else, and you only end up pointing three at yourself. Please don't for even a moment think that your words, harsh as they may be, are worthy of my time. You are entitled to your opinions, love, but I am entitled to choose to ignore you. Grow up.