Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Here’s Why Mean People Are Emotional Terrorist

Confidence...thrives on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection and on unselfish performance. Without them it cannot live. On several occasions my desire to see the good in people has blinded me to the arguably brutal negativity that  some  misdirected  souls  feel  entitled  to  inflict  on others. Perhaps the greatest betrayal is when someone we  trust  is  mean  to  us.  It  messes  with  our  esteem  as well as our trust in that person, and it can affect other relationships as well.

Some  people  use  meanness  to  get  their  way. Sometimes  it’s  a  pouty  mean,  the  kind  we  use  when we  are  children  to  give  a  voice  to  our  powerlessness. At  other  times  meanness  can  be  an  equalizer,  giving someone  the  perception  that  she  can  protect  herself from an emotional terrorist.

People who try to vanquish negativity in this manner are usually outmatched. It’s also hard to keep mean energy inside you if you are not really  a  mean  person.  But,  most  unfortunately,  truly mean people do exist.

Some  overtly  aggressive  humans  act  out  in  ways that  they  sense  will  make  their  victims  cower.  Most normal  people  who  are  being  treated  this  way  will submit  to  almost  anything  to  get  rid  of  the  pain  and anxiety.  Mean  people  also  enjoy  the  feeling  of  power their behavior gives them.

For them, being mean is an addiction, and the meanness becomes something they try  to  keep  burning  inside  themselves.  They  must  be unaware of how this type of personality will eventually destroy  any  relationship  or  crumb  of  love  that  might have come their way.

It  seems  that  there  is  more  meanness  today  than in  the  past.  I  witness  rudeness  to  service  people  who are  doing  their  jobs  with  a  smile,  teenagers  insulting each other as though it were an art form, and separated couples  trying  fruitlessly  to  seek  revenge  through  the courts  and  their  children.  Everyone  has  to  win,  and  most  who  get  into  this  pattern  will  stop  at  nothing.
When this happens, everyone ends up losing.

If you have to deal with a mean person on a regular basis,  here  are  three  things  you  can  do  to  be  more confident in that situation.

1.   Get support.

Telling someone what you are going through will help give you a place to put your pain  and  perhaps  give  you  some  perspective. Whether this is a one-time event or an ongoing tragedy, the benefit of sharing your feelings will help to heal them.

2.   Realize you have a choice.

If you’ve been brought up around mean people, being around someone who understands and is sensitive can be an eye-opener. Not everyone behaves in a toxic manner. Choose to associate with people who are kind.

3.   Get out of the way.

Most people leave their jobs because they don’t get along with their bosses. It’s okay to leave or to end something if you are being abused. This goes for personal as well as professional relationships.
I  don’t  think  I’ve  ever  seen  someone  respond positively to meanness. Meanness is a poor tactic used by the insecure, and it never works in the end. If you are mean, give it up. Like the song says, “Mean people suck.”

Always Have A Plan B

We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance. Because many things don’t go as well as we would like them to, it’s a great idea to have a “Plan B.” Having fallback plans can’t help but make you feel better about the  outcome  of  any  situation,  and  it  is  a  common denominator among very self-confident people.

Anyone  who  has  had  more  than  one  failure  in her  life  can  tell  you  that  having  another  path  to  take probably saved her bacon a time or two. I’m a big one for  contingency  plans.  If  you  are  an  entrepreneur,  in the  arts  or  media,  or  you  have  all  your  eggs  in  one basket, a Plan B is essential.

Knowing that if you lose the farm you have a condo you can go to makes you feel safer in the world. I know a number of people who have motor homes, and one of the reasons they do is, as they jokingly say, it’s their “in case” home. During the last big earthquake here in Los  Angeles,  many  people  who  had  them  were  very grateful—and those of us who didn’t were envious.

With the world economy in turmoil, creating some kind of additional income stream is also a good idea. The jeweler who is also a great designer or builder, the computer  geek  who  can  also  teach  school,  or  the  PR person  who  is  a  closet  novelist  can  all  find  a  way  to thrive even if their current position disappears.

Backup  plans  don’t  have  to  be  new  ideas—I continue  to  use  aspects  of  everything  I’ve  ever  done. My days on stage playing guitar have made me a better public speaker, which makes me a good radio host. The energy  I  put  into  songs  and  poems  has  helped  them become columns and books.
The years I spent running my  own  business  give  me  the  insight  to  help  others streamline theirs. 

And all of my experiences have made me  a  confident  and  successful  therapist.  Every  talent and  ability  you  have  can  be  built  upon  and  also  used again.  Not  that  I’d  ever  again  want  to  be  on  a  tour bus with six smelly guys for eight weeks, but if I had to I could still put food on the table by humming and strumming.

There’s  another  potential  upside  here:  Sometimes your  original  plan  and  your  backup  can  work  at  the same time. I still counsel, consult, write, and speak to groups all over the world. In years when the speaking business  got  very  slow  (such  as  after  9/11  and  then the  financial  crisis),  I  spent  more  time  writing  and counseling.

When  there  was  a  lull  between  books, I  put  more  energy  into  my  radio  show  and  business consulting, and did pro-bono events. Having multiple options gives you the sense that, if any one thing went away, you’d have other gigs that would more than fill the gap.

So get a little creative. Look at your past accomplishments and your current talents. A Plan B is only an idea away. By the way, this Plan B thing works in life, but not in relationships. Having a backup mate is only going to erode your current relationship and cause heartache for everyone involved. Enough said.


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