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Coping With Meanness

From Donna Goddard

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Apart from the love in life, everyone also has a lot of meanness that happens to them. Sometimes, it is brought on by our own actions or attitude. However, even if we are careful to keep a good attitude in life, there are countless times when others will have ill-will towards us. In fact, if we try to fulfil our potential in life then it is guaranteed that much of that meanness will come from jealousy. If you are a man that women look at, be prepared for a lot of male ill-will. If you are a woman that men are interested in, be prepared for more than your share of female jealousy. Of course, much of the time it is not blatant meanness. Mostly, it is disguised in some form. It is the nature of human psychology that in order to progress in life, people feel that they need to undermine the competition. In the long run, it doesn’t work but that doesn’t seem to have any impact on lessening this human tendency.

Seeing as we all must deal with meanness, how do we do that in the best possible way? We could become a hermit and push everyone away. Many people do that. They say that they are sensitive and in order to avoid pain, they avoid people and life, itself. Clearly, that is not a great answer. One is cutting oneself off from many wonderful things in order to avoid the painful things. Alternatively, we could get tougher and meaner and, also, more clever in covering up that meanness. We could decide to outsmart the enemies’ meanness by our own meanness and, at the same time, not be seen to be mean and thus gain ground. This can work for a while but before too long it will all come crashing down. Things will not work well long-term. People will have a tendency to want to leave. Eventually, the truth comes out. There will be lots of moments when those who trusted the person become confused by conflicting behaviour. The trust in the person’s integrity will be undermined.

There is a healthy and workable solution.

    1. We must first understand human nature. If we understand that people are acting according to what they feel is in the best interest of their own survival then we will not be so blaming. The person doesn’t yet know a better way of approaching things. This takes away much of the blame, simply by accepting the vulnerability of most people.
    1. If our own default mechanism is meanness then our life will never improve unless we take an honest look at ourselves, the selfishness of our motives, and the destructive intention of what we are doing. Once seen then change is inevitable. We become a much better person and our life will be blessed accordingly.
  1. We must develop resilience. If we believe we are too sensitive and cannot cope then we will continue to remain stuck. Life hurts. People hurt us all the time. People hurt us no matter how good our intention is towards them. People can’t help it. Most everyone is struggling. No matter how hurt we are, we have to pick ourselves up and tell ourselves that we will be okay, that Life will help us, and that our intention to thrive will be blessed. We keep loving. We keep forgiving. We keep trying to develop and express our abilities in life. We just keep going.

Then the tide changes and instead of pain, we have beautiful periods of love, success, and happiness. We will also feel that we are contributing to the happiness of those we love. We will have the incomparable pleasure of watching them succeed and make progress with their problems. We will feel that life is a delight. Resilience is trust that we are loved by something greater than ourselves. If we do not yet trust that then we need to keep looking for it. We will be surprised by the way that Life creeps in and shows us glimpses of how very important and precious we really are.

Donna is an author

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About Funom Makama

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