Tuesday, May 18, 2010
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—their parents, their lovers, Lady Luck—did them dirty. They were crushed. And they're still afraid the pain will never stop, or that it will happen again.
Mean people live small, think small, and feel small—the smaller, the meaner. For example, after boxer Mike Tyson bit off part of an opponent's ear, his comment was "What am I supposed to do? I've got children to raise". This made no sense, since Tyson was paid nearly $30 million after losing that fight. A likely psychological explanation is that when he was physically overwhelmed, he felt like a child himself. He bit like a playground runt to protect the defenseless little person he thought himself to be.
Think of a person who's been nasty to you. Imagine that person shrinking to one inch tall. Picture your enemy stomping around in the palm of your hand, yelling or sneering all the customary cruelties. You'll find that if your critic is making a valid point, it will still sound accurate, but mere verbal abuse is hilarious when squeaked in the voice of an inch-tall Mini-Mean.
Whatever your reaction to this tiny villain, that's probably the best way to react to your life-size challenger. If the insults are laughable, just laugh. If the mean person has a point, tell her that you get it, but she could stand to work on her people skills. Practice what you would say if you felt big and invulnerable, then say it, even if you're scared. Be "big" by responding to cruelty with honest calm rather than aggression or submissiveness.
(You can read the full article here).
Labels: Random Stuff