As we go about our lives we encounter all types of people. Whether it be at work, in our civic groups, encounters during our day or sometimes even right at home. We run into people that are just downright unpleasant. No matter how hard we try to be nice to them, or what courtesy we may extend, what we receive in return is quite the opposite. It makes one wonder just what has happened in these peoples’ lives to make them they way they are.
When a person is mean, it is often associated with some deep insecurity within themselves that is helping shape who they are on the outside. Sometimes it is because life has dealt them a hand that has made them miserable and they just haven’t found a way out of the mire. Often it is behavior that is learned as they were growing up that they were just never able to shake. It can also be because they have a life that they feel they are undeserving of and the only way they can cope with it is to ensure that everyone else is miserable as well.
Believe it or not, we have even encountered mean people in some of our senior community deliveries in the past. At first it bothered us, but then we began to realize that we have no idea what the individual we encountered may be going through. As we age our body starts to ache in ways we never felt before. They may be experiencing pain that we could not even imagine. A disease or condition may be causing them immense discomfort that we could not see on the outside. They may no longer have family or friends to rely on for emotional support. Or they may have just been dealing with their own mortality and were having a hard time doing so.
While seniors have a myriad of reasons that could be driving them to this disposition, younger people who are down right mean should have an easier ability to turn it around. Part of the issue is that they are never called on their actions and are allowed to be who they are because people just don’t want to deal with them. The longer we permit them to be mean without countering their actions, the more they start to believe that what they are doing is OK.
We aren’t born to be mean people. Somewhere along the way it becomes a learned behavior that for one reason or another just never goes away, or one never finds a reason to be any different. At the end of the day that should have no effect on our own personal being. We are responsible for who we are and most of all have a responsibility to continue to be ourselves when we encounter those who choose to be mean. I say choose because at the end of the day it really is a choice.
While there may be life events thrown our way that change our demeanor for the worse, it is truly up to us to ask ourselves whether it is necessary to be so mean and initiate the necessary steps to make the changes for the better. No one enjoys being around a mean person and who really wants to be alone?
Have a great day, be kind in the face of meanness and remember to be the reason someone smiles.
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