Have you ever truly wondered why people can be so mean? Why they can say hurtful things, perhaps act bitchy for no reason or whatever word or description that comes to mind when you think of a mean person? The truth is this, “hurt people HURT people.” Now before you start rolling your eyes get this; I’m not condoning mean people’s behavior nor am I saying that they should be given some kind of special treatment and be pardoned for mistreating other people, just because they were once mistreated, no. What I do understand from my own personal experiences is that, it needs to be understood so that the cycle of being mean to each other can be broken.
It needs to be understood to avoid allowing another persons bad attitude to turn you into a person with a bad attitude. It’s so easy to fall into that trap where you react to how your treated or start bad mouthing that person based on your experience with them. Ultimately you become disgusted by them, angered by their behavior and want nothing to do with them. Which is a fair call, because I can’t think of anyone that would truly want to tolerate someone with a mean attitude. However, in doing so nothing is ever solved really. So when you have been hurt or feel like you’ve been treated unfairly, it probably isn’t a bad idea to take time out and deal with what was done to you then go through the process of forgiveness, otherwise you just carry that negative energy around and stain your relationships with really good people who had nothing to do with your past experiences.
My final question would be, how do we deal with such people if they are somewhat dear to us? Surely we do not want to be their punching bag, so perhaps loving them from a distance would be ideal. Will Bowen explains that we are not being judgmental by separating ourselves from such people. But we should do so with compassion. Compassion is defined as a “keen awareness of the suffering of another coupled with a desire to see it relieved.” People hurt others as a result of their own inner strife and pain. Avoid the reactive response of believing they are bad; they already think so and are acting that way. They aren’t bad; they are damaged and they deserve compassion. Note that compassion is an internal process, an understanding of the painful and troubled road trod by another. It is not trying to change or fix that person.”