Meaness jes’ don’t happen over night.*
I sometimes wonder whether the mean people I run into are “jes’ that way,” or whether they are “jes’ havin’ a bad day.”
Seems to me, if I label them ‘mean’ in my mind, it “ain’t them jes’ havin’ a bad day.”
AND! What’s extraordinary about people like this is — many of them either don’t give a crap about the fact that they are being mean, or — they don’t know they are mean.
The latter statement comes from my work with “difficult people.” As hard as it is to believe, many difficult people, and even REALLY difficult people, don’t have a clue about how they come across to other people, AND they have no idea how much they hurt other people.
They just go through life stepping all over everyone else because their singular focus is themselves. They have no:
[This could be a long list!!! If you want to add some “definers”, make a comment below!!]
And it seems they have no “joie de vivre.” Joy of life; joy in living.
I would like to stop them in the middle of their meanness and say:
- Look at that rainbow
- Smell the roses
- See the Mama and Papa ducks with their baby ducks walking down the road in a straight line (and all the other people being considerate of them?)
- Did you ever notice how beautiful her smile is?
Because it seems they never see such things; they just see darkness, and hate, and dominance, and pain, and…???
Sometimes I don’t care that they might have had a rough day, a rough week, a rough year. Most of us have had a heck of a lot thrown at us in the course of our lives: “the stories I could tell…” Somehow we’ve managed to get out of bed every day and try again, and again, and again with positivity, kindness, consideration, etc.
One of the sad things, too, because I have spent a good bit of time trying, is you can’t seem to help these kind of people out of their “meanness.” I’ve known some lulus in my day, and I HAVE tried to help them see the roses, shown them consideration instead of reacting, even tried to talk with them about a more positive approach to life, They might agree with me up front, but their approach to others, to life doesn’t change — it’s who they are.
Which brings us back to the title of this blog — “Meanness doesn’t jes’ happen over night.”
So what are our choices?
Choose all of those things in the list above and all of those things you can think of to add to the list, and use them in your life regardless of the other person — it’s who you are:
I’m a nice guy. Yes, I get angry, sometimes I react to negativity like everyone else, get upset when I am attacked, put down, treated badly; but overall, being kind is just who I am, and its not worth it to have some “meannie” change that. [One of those words we used as kids to describe bullies.] Somehow, to this point, I have managed to always come back to me.
Hope that doesn’t change.
*from Farmer’s Almanac