Ever since we were children, we’ve been exposed to human cruelty. From the day we first venture outdoors and into society, until the day we die (and sometimes ever longer than that) we are subjected to a full spectrum of human behavior. While there are many good and positive things about human beings, this blog post will focus more on the horrible and very confusing acts of rudeness, anger, and down-right doucheyness that some of us seem to take pleasure in. Do you remember the first time someone hurt your feelings? The first moment when you felt so insulted that you could only stare and utter “..how mean!” I don’t remember, which I assume has something to do with the amount of reefer I smoke but that is beside the point. I do however remember certain moments in my life where I couldn’t believe the level of cruelty that I was witnessing and I’d like to talk about these things on a psychological level. I’m curious about the “why”. Why we feel as though it’s alright to say horrible things about our acquaintances behind their backs or why internet trolls get joy from leaving rude and pointless comments on people’s Youtube videos. Better yet, why people continue to do these things knowing full well it’s uncalled for. To answer some of these questions I decided to look inward. The times in my life when I have said cruel things about people were mostly all said out of some form of envy. Case in point: I cannot fucking stand Kim Kardashian. Do I think she is a bad person? No, of course not. I have never met her so how could I say if she is either the sweetest woman alive or the vainest hose beast in creation. What I do know is one day I asked myself why I felt so much negativity towards her and realized it is because I envied her. Not her per say, but her lifestyle and wealth. With her money, she never has to work a day in her life. She can spend her time learning new languages or playing different instruments, traveling all over the world visiting different places. That is what I envy about her, it’s her freedom to simply live her life without ever having to think “Crap, can I afford all my bills this month?” And that envy caused me to say and think cruel things about her. You can ask my roommate Jessica, the simple mention of her name used to cause me to utter words like “heifer” and “assbag”. Sure, the names may make you laugh but honestly that is fucked up and so unnecessary. Will calling her names make me richer? No. Will judging her life and her decisions make me happier in my own life? No. All it does is make you feel better for one second because judging others somehow makes us feel superior. Is it something triggered in our brain? A kind of defense mechanism to avoid feeling like we are not good enough? To break down that which you think is “better” than you in an attempt to build yourself up.
Pride is another reason we go into attack mode but this mostly only happens in cases of the opposite sex. Rejection in any form is not easy to deal with and lots of people react to this by going on the offensive. A girl shoots you down when you try to ask her on a date so you spread a rumor that she has an STD or unusually shaped nipples because it’s that 5th grade sense of “HA! That’ll show you” that awakens in our brains to make us act out in an attempt to feel better about the rejection. Perfect example; I had a crush on this guy in High School who wanted absolutely nothing to do with me. The fact that he didn’t like me made me sad but since I was an emotionally crippled teenager who didn’t know how to process her feelings properly that sadness just became anger and whenever he would walk by me I would give him the most evil ‘burst into flames’ glare I could muster. Inside I wanted to drag him into a classroom and rock him like a hurricane, but again, emotionally crippled so I projected only anger to deal with the rejection. Maybe we just haven’t evolved yet to the point where we no longer need to hurt others to make ourselves happy because some people just never grow out of it. I’m almost there. I can’t lie and say I don’t have the urge to be mean to people sometimes or say something demeaning about them to cheer myself up and sometimes I slip up, but I have gotten to the point now where I can stop myself from going too far with it and whenever I say something harsh I feel bad immediately afterwards and think “Why would you say that? What is the point?” so I am getting better at this. Growth is a process. Now I am just curious to know where it all comes from. Why we behave this way to begin with is what I want to understand. I wonder if this is hardwired into our DNA just like our herd mentality. For all we know the cavemen were talking smack about each other on a regular basis and painting wall art of their rivals in unflattering caricature form. I think I need to just go buy as many psychology books as possible and maybe one day I will be able to grasp where this need to be mean comes from.
If only more people adopted to mantra “Live and let live” the world would be a better place. Imagine a world where people like the Brown’s from Sister Wives could live in peace with nobody judging them and their life choices. Imagine if they encountered nothing but acceptance instead of ridicule. Maybe I listen to too much John Lennon, or my hippie upbringing has just jaded me. I guess if there is anything I want you to take away from reading this it would be to know that next time someone judges you in a negative way or insults you, it’s not YOU that has a problem, it is the person insulting you who does. There is nothing wrong with you unless you are running around talking about doing crazy things like stabbing puppies or something in which case you do have a problem and the people judging you are doing so because you are batshit crazy.