Mean people. Jerks. Assholes. Bitches. Whatever your word for them, you’ve run into them. And haven’t we all walked away, shaking our heads (or wiping away tears), flabbergasted at such unnecessary harshness? As much as we think these people are aliens from a colder, nastier planet–fact is, they are humans too. So, why are mean people mean? And how the hell do we deal with them? This week, Maayan and Lauren recount their sad stories of dealing with meanies, and admit to times when even THEY, angelic as they normally are, have showed signs of a mean streak.
Listen to This: Why You Gotta Be So Mean?
Lauren found some interesting info from a piece by Dr. Mary Lamia Psychology Today which posits the idea that, contrary to popular thinking, bullies have ample self-esteem–the kicker is, they’re shame-prone. So if they’re feeling embarrassed or ashamed, they deal with it by taking it out on others. Jerk-faces.
Another article by psychologist Richard Friedman in the New York Times had a simple, stark thesis: maybe mean people don’t have any excuse for their meanness (e.g., a psychological illness, childhood trauma). Maybe they’re just….assholes.
This simplistic concept appealed to Lauren–why wouldn’t it? It’s less work to have to GUESS why someone is acting nasty, and just plop a nice, blame-y label on them and be done with it.
Maayan, ever the honorary psychiatrist, didn’t buy it. Perhaps pills and and talk therapy won’t help their nastiness, but there’s always a story behind someone’s behavior. (We’re curious to know what YOU think–is there always a ‘reason’ that can be understood, and, maybe sympathized with, behind someone’s meanness? Or are there people just born jerks?)
Understanding why an asshole does what they do is all well and good–but let’s be honest–we really just want to know how to handle these folks without crumpling into a shamed/fearful/crying heap. Lauren’s advice is to TAKE A MOMENT. For those of us who respond quickly with submissive babbling or nervous laughter, try stopping that instinct in its tracks. Take a deep breath, and think about how you’d really like to respond. Maybe you won’t say anything, maybe you’ll quietly walk away….or maybe….
You’ll do what Maayan suggests, which is…to respond with confidence and, perhaps, a TOUCH of meanness yourself. After all, sometimes the way of getting a meanie to back down and respect you is to dish some of it back.
For this week’s Rant Rave Tip…
Lauren’s recommends treating at least ONE day of your precious summer weekends as a VACATION day. Life is short, so is summer. And even if you have a proper week-long vacation planned…it will go by in a FLASH. Why not try to carve out little moments every weekend that feel special? Leave your house, go somewhere that’s lounge-worthy…and STAY THERE ALL DAY.
Maayan saw the new film “Begin Again“, and it’s actually turned her into a Keira Knightley fan. Yes, you heard that right….an actual fan of Keira Knightley. While we’re on the topic of nearly unbelievable feats, Adam Levine makes his acting debut in the flick….and is actually good. While some of you may be skeptical, keep in mind it’s made by the same fellow who gave us the exquisite film “Once“. And it has a 73% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Also, it has Mark Ruffalo. So really, it’s got quite a bit going for it. Check it out!
Heres’ the gorgeous song LOST STARS
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