Mean people

I have never understood mean people. Not only do I not understand mean people but they frustrate me. I have had a few interactions with people lately that were not very positive and writing is my way of making sense of the world. (Interesting choice of words, Sally, in a recent interview I did with a professional singer, he said music was his way of making sense of the world.)

I don’t understand why a person needs to be mean to another. I don’t know how people can live with themselves when they damage others with their words? Do we not realize that humans are sensitive and how easy sweet, kind words are? Why do we not seek to uplift others with our actions and our words?

I came across this passage in Paulo Coelho’s book The Winner Stands Alone. If you are not familiar with Coelho’s work, he is a novelist who typically writes magic realism stories. His most popular book is The Alchemist and I highly recommend it. Anyhow, he says,

“How people treat other people is a direct reflection of how they feel about themselves.” -Paulo Coelho

We hear this notion often, people who are mean are intimidated, threatened, insecure, etc. But I really struggle with believing that this many people can suffer from those things. Maybe so. But I still can’t get over it. Is being mean a defense mechanism? Do some people know how to be polite because they were raised to be that way?

Can we please not be mean? Can we use our words to convey our emotions—hurt, anger, frustration, happiness, excitement, anticipation—rather than react without thinking and hurt those we love and even those we don’t know?

4 comments on “Mean people

  1. Lovely perspective Sally! I agree, if people try to be aware of their actions/words and the impact on others, this world could be a happier place. I believe most people don’t really want or intend to be mean, but can often get caught up in thier unique view or perspective of the situation and inadvertently harm others.

    Another way to be a positive force in the world is to always think the best of people. So from the other side, if you perceive someone as being negative (different from mean) think of why they might be like that and what positive take-aways can be gleaned. It may be an opportunity to help them with thier perspective… or an opportunity to adjust your own. Better yet, maybe both!!

    1. I read something else the other day, people who hurt are hurt, so don’t wish them ill, wish them healing. Very good perspective. And if you’re the hurt one and can recognize it, maybe try not to hurt others and seek to heal…?

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