Throughout our lives, we all come in contact with at least one person who we consider nasty, unkind, or mean. Like me, you might have been teased, gossiped about, shouted at, defamed, backed into a corner, intimidated, and unjustly punished – and your reaction might be “WHY?”
Why are people so mean with you and venomous towards each other? Why do some people seem to actually enjoy bitchiness and venomous behavior?
If you’re like most people your immediate answer might be something along the lines of, “ … because they’re bad people,” “ … because they’re psychopaths/sociopaths/narcissists,” “… because they’re evil,” “… because some people are just like that!”
While these answers are normal and widespread, they are nevertheless two-dimensional and narrow in outlook. If you’re tired of feeling enraged by other people and want to rediscover a sense of self-sovereignty, keep reading.
This article is written for understanding those in your life who, as far as you’re aware, are generally psychologically sound (but exhibiting unkind behavior).
Please do not seek advice or guidance from this article if you have come across an individual in your life who has been diagnosed with or shows clear signs of pathological mental illness (e.g., narcissism, sociopathy, psychopathy). If you have been physically, emotionally, mentally, or sexually abused by any individual (or group) in your life, please seek professional help from a psychotherapist or abuse counselor immediately.
Why Anger Is Addictive
You’re in a conversation with someone, you say something apparently offensive, and the other person gets angry at you. They stand up menacingly and say, “You know, I’ve learned a thing or two about you. You’re a real piece of work and you don’t give a DAMN about anyone but yourself. It’s no wonder that you don’t have many friends.” Then, they leave abruptly.
What would your reaction be? You might jump up in rage and start challenging the person’s unfair assessment of you, hitting back with your own most vicious attacks. Or you might sit down, stunned, wondering what you said wrong as sadness and resentment slowly builds up within you.
“How could they treat me so badly?” you might wonder, “What the hell did I do?” Then you might boil with hatred for the rest of the day, demonizing the person in your mind in the meantime. These two reactions are fairly common among us in society and I have personally reacted in both ways on a number of different occasions in the past.
The result of getting consumed in another person’s toxic words and behaviors is devastating to our well-being … but you know what? It feels kind of good to be righteously indignant. It feels kind of nice to be intoxicated with anger.
When we feel unjustly wronged, we are immediately rewarded with the self-righteous feeling of being “victims” and not only that – we also feel a sense of immediate self-superiority.
How often in the past have you raged against a “terrible person” with the underlying assumption that “you are the superior person”? Probably a lot. But don’t worry; this is normal. We all do this.
The truth is that anger is like a drug because not only does it give us a false sense of being “better,” “nicer,” “more correct” and “justified” in our righteous indignation, but it also keeps up the illusion of separation between us and the world (or in other words, it solidifies our egos). This can be one of the greatest hindrances of looking behind the veil of mean behavior: our refusal to let go of our anger.
Once we’re ready to release our anger and once we’re willing to let go of the benefits it brings us, we can then learn to truly understand “why are people so mean and rude?” In other words, we can find more peace, spiritual healing, and inner freedom.