May 6, 2010

Mean

A therapist once said to me, "You are almost childlike in your naiveté." It was not a compliment. We had been discussing my - mistaken - viewpoint that people aren't mean to other people unless they are angry at them, "unless they're like Hitler." When I added that the proverbial light bulb had gone off over my head after a very wise person (thank you, Blythe) told me, ""People don't need to be angry at you to be mean...some people are just mean," the therapist looked up at the ceiling as though thanking God and responded, "That woman's a genius!"


Share/Bookmark

3 comments:

Donna Lea Simpson said...

I think we're kindred spirits, Laurie. I'm an idealist, an uncomfortable thing to be at times, and I do believe most people are good at heart.

I do believe, too, that 'mean' people are unhappy people, deep-down-to-the-core miserable with themselves.

What do you think?

Laurie G said...

I'm a pessimist and my husband is deeply cynical. I've moved over onto the dark side a lot in recent years, particularly where political machinations are concerned. Which is why "follow the money" is my mantra at this point.

As for the idea that mean people are miserable with themselves, perhaps some are. But my guess is that few are self-aware enough to necessarily be miserable and simply delight in their meanness. They are mean because they can be mean and that's good enough for them.

grerp said...

People don't have to be angry, and they don't have to have issues to be mean - they just have to love seeing other people suffer. I think all humans are capable of this; we just happen to have a culture that more than approves of viciousness and schadenfreude. So people are getting meaner all the time and feeling more free to do so. Sad.