N: Today’s Deb-Blog Has Been Brought to You by the Letter D for Deflating Others and the Letter N for Negating Others: Bullies Are Big Mouths With Unclaimed Baggage
Do you know what you are doing when you spread cruelty, when you bully, insult, when you criticize to hurt or make disparaging remarks about or to someone? Well, always but always you are revealing how you see yourself; insecure, lesser than, jealous and small. It’s still no excuse. Life is hard, we all suffer disappointment and loss. If you haven’t, you will. Why such rage? Why such aggression? Why don’t some care one bit about other people or what they leave in their wake? What do you achieve by directing your pettiness onto others, besides bad karma? I guess it’s part of our society or even in our DNA for people to try to diminish others. I, myself, try to do the opposite to complete strangers. I think we can all use more kindness.
As noted back in my “B” post a couple weeks ago, I can get the blues like anyone. But I am, at my core, joyful. I smile a lot. Sometimes I even softly hum in public. I engage with strangers when shopping, not in a creepy or space-invasive way but when I’m present in my space and I think of a positive comment, I generally will share it. I’ve even made some friends that way. I like people. It’s the same in the workplace. But work and professional atmospheres can harbor some of the most toxic cauldrons of steaming bitterness. I think the workplace is endemic of people’s upbringing if they’re aggressive, crabby, cliquey, devious, dishonest, uncooperative and hateful. I wasn’t raised with those issues so I am wholly unprepared when coworkers or fellow professionals behave this way. But I certainly am sensitive to the prickliness. It decays joy. I want no part of people like that and I have had my share!
It’s worse today on social media because of the anonymity. A couple months ago, I shared my view on a fan page for one of my favorite political talk shows where some thought the new producer didn’t fit because of past slurs made about various groups. But when I defended the new hire, pointing out the show was not all that politically correct before, adding I didn’t care for the host’s personal insults toward people’s weight, features, hair, etc., trolls flung insults at me! I was a fan defending a show and even defending the parts I don’t like. It was pointless and overtly mean. Now, making fun of stupidity, the opposition’s point of view on a social issues or bad behavior is fair game because it can be part of a productive dialogue to reach a resolution or for the betterment of people’s lives. I don’t oppose snark. It’s what I do! But snark is on a higher level than making fun of how somebody looks. I won’t go there. People can help being ignorant, but can’t help how they look. That’s just low.
Mom taught me right. You are far more successful if you rise above and walk away from base behavior, showing your standards. Dad taught me how to knock down the bully with my words. “Golly, that sure is fun,” is my internal monologue in the voice of Mr. Hankey when I can find the perfect words to put a bully in her place.
Another great figure that comes to mind is the late, great, Dixie Carter, who played Julia Sugarbaker in “Designing Women,” a sitcom from 1986 to 1993. Julia had a way of completely eviscerating the uncivil. But I believe I have to give first prize to Elizabeth Taylor in Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” production when she calmly responds to her sister-in-law’s unruly child by saying, ” Little girl, somebody ought to teach you to knock before you open a door. Otherwise people might think you’re lacking in good breeding.”
If you’re someone who can’t be kind and who feels compelled to be mean – and you know who you are – I’d like to plant a thought with you. Besides yourself, do you love anyone who also loves you? If you are true sociopath I realize this is an impossible scenario so kindly stop following my blog. You’re scary. For the rest of you who are not sociopathic and just like to bully and make others feel bad, now imagine you’re dead. Can you fathom that person who loves you might feel sad, fragile and broken by your death? He or she still has to push through daily life, which means going to the grocery, driving to work, interacting with the living. Along comes someone just like you who’s bristled by the inconvenience of your mournful loved one who might be driving less that stellar, is somewhat distracted or might not be as well-groomed as usual. So this evil twin of yours who isn’t dead like you, whispers snide remarks to a friend about your loved one’s appearance, cuts them off in traffic and then flips them the finger or sees their weakness at the workplace and is especially demanding or critical. Do you feel badly for your friend, even though you are dead? If not, if I’ve given you no food for thought, then you just passed the second screening for a sociopath. You are a sociopath. Stop following my blog.
See, you bullies lack sympathy or empathy. You don’t know what others are carrying and maybe you don’t care. That person you belittled might be battling cancer herself or her spouse or child is, or he just lost someone he loved, lost a job or is just sad today.
I have learned to get away from these types, if at all possible. So those who have been nasty to me – and you know who you are – you are forgiven and forgotten. Karma’s got this, anyway, so I don’t need to care one bit. I am through with letting others try to stifle my joy because they are bitter. You can’t stifle or squelch my inner peace. You just look pathetic. Now, be gone before someone drops a house on you, too!