I’ve learned over the years that some people just enjoy being mean. They are proud of it, and they have no desire to change. And it’s not just narcissists. It includes narcissists, sociopaths, flying monkeys, grumps and more. These are the people who never outgrew junior high–the people who get their kicks out of ganging up on others and being jerks. Sadly, they are not unheard of in adult society. In fact, they aren’t even rare.
I have been accused of being naive many times over the years, and I admit it has been a problem for me! I used to think that everyone really was capable of being nice and rational, and all I had to do was be sincere and tell them how hurtful their behavior was. Seems reasonable right?
Wrong! It has made me a target for abusers and bullies who see a softie who is willing to put up with them when no one else will.
Eventually I learned that some people are just mean, and if you try to reason with them, they simply do not care. In fact, if you reveal real emotions and honesty to these types of people, they are going to use your openness to run over you with attacks and mockery.
What is wrong with them!? Oh there are all kinds of things wrong with these types of people, but the big problems is they don’t care and it’s not our job to make them care. Now that I’ve escaped a sociopath, I use a very heavy hand to place boundaries. Some would say I am too fast to cut ties, but I would say I’ve learned discernment and I’m not putting up with chronically bad behavior anymore. There are billions of people in the world. I’m sure if I refuse to deal with someone who has been nasty to me, I can find someone else who is capable of normal relations, right?
Of course, when you start placing boundaries on bullies, they get fussy and throw tantrums. They often try to manipulate you out of placing boundaries. They might mock you for being sensitive, or make fun of you for not having a bunch of “friends.” They may tell you you are a wimp and can’t handle it–like they want to dare you to put up with them. Guess what? You don’t have to “handle” their jerkiness. Why should you have to?
Can you imagine how miserable these people must be if they enjoy hurting others? How weak they must feel if they have to make fun of others to feel big or popular? It’s negative and ugly to get caught up in a wave of bullying. Even nice people get sucked into doing it sometimes when the crowd is doing it. Does it make you feel good? No. Does it make you feel important? No. Does it make you happy? No. Yet some people live this way day after day. Some people define themselves by their attempts to make others feel bad. They take their horrible states of mind out on people around them.
I have learned to say “NO MORE” to these people. At first, they made me shake with anger and frustration and I wanted to defend myself from their bullying. I wanted to explain how they were wrong. I wanted to talk sense into them. And you know what? It never worked. I just wasted a lot of time and gave them more personal details to use against me. Bullies don’t hear heartfelt pleas–they collect vulnerabilities. So now? I stay calm and simply put up the boundary. Block. Refuse to respond. Refuse to engage. See them for what they are and move on. Online, it’s as easy as “click,” I no longer see them.
As the common saying says:
You don’t have to join every argument you are invited to.
And I do not do that anymore!