When someone is mean to you, it’s hard not to assume they don’t care about you.
But that’s not necessarily the case, particularly when it comes to family members.
They just care more about staying to true to the processes they use to make themselves feel better than they do about your feelings.
They might be addicted to the whole process of being mean. For example: say or do something hurtful; feel bad about it; pretend it never happened; give a gift as an unspoken apology; repeat.
Or they might be so used to living in survival mode that they aren’t capable of thinking of anyone but themselves.
This might leave you feeling pissed off. I mean, the idea that someone thinks only of themselves doesn’t steer you in the direction of good vibes.
But consider this: their way of protecting themselves entails desperate acts of aggression towards others.
Why are they so desperate? Because they want to feel in control.
Their brains are compromised by fear, and they feel powerless. Lashing out at you gives them a false sense of power.
So it’s not just about how we feel when someone treats us unkindly. There’s a lot of heavy stuff going on below the surface of that act.
Like how much self-loathing exists in that person for them to punish themselves by way of acting terribly towards others. The ways they reject you offers a tiny glimpse into the depths they reject themselves.
And unfortunately, they are the ones who will suffer the most if they choose to displace their frustrations and anger.
So the problem becomes bigger than our temporarily hurt feelings. It becomes about them suffering even more than they already do.
No one will want to be around them. And they will begin to feel more isolated; more alone; more desperate for connection.
They may lash out even more, at those seen as a threat to their cocoon of doom. (Ie: anyone who does not go along with the system they have in place.)
Through their actions, they will lose the ability to connect with you and anyone else they mistreat.
Which is really a terrible thing, because connection is kryptonite to fear. And that’s what it all stems from, all the bullying and bad behaviours: fear.
Running through this logic helps me release the need to be angry and hold grudges against people who are unkind to me. Because I know for the 30 seconds of rudeness flung my way, there is a lifetime or more of pain bubbling below the surface.
I choose to wish some people the best from a distance, and remind myself to work on being kinder to myself and others.
Releasing the hurt is a good way to start that process.
We’ve got to release that toxic stuff before it starts to damage us as it has so many others.
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Andrea Scoretz is a freelance writer, storyteller, and Huffington Post blogger from Vancouver Island, Canada. Contact her via firstname.lastname@example.org or check out more of her writing: www.mustlovecrows.com