How to cope with people being complete a-holes
Updated: Jul 26
Hi. Wow. It's been a while.
I'm going to get straight into this because I've honestly been so caught up in my own head at the moment I've been completely roadblocking myself. Anyone else?
I'll keep this short and sweet (narrator: she did not, in fact, keep it short OR sweet). I mean, I'll try - we all know I can waffle on a bit.
For the last couple of weeks I've been struggling a little with my mental health, and A LOT with my social anxiety.
BUT - life goes on. And if I have learnt one thing about managing my social anxiety, it's to listen to myself. I know (kinda) when I really need to rest and hibernate. Being a sensitive person, sometimes there is only so much my little empath heart can take before I have to just say "nup" to the world and curl up in my safe-space at home to recharge. And I know when I'm getting in my own head too much and when I can push through. So I've been pushing through, and I've been managing.
This weekend I was mentally exhausted for a whole bunch of reasons. Something that has been weighing on me quite heavily at the moment is why the actual hell do people go round acting like such assholes to one another?
I've been literally shocked at the amount of online bullying I've seen in comment sections (not directed at me but it blows me away) and I had a few small run-ins with people displaying passive asshole-ness to me personally. THEN on the weekend, after giving myself that little "not everyone is an asshole, we'll be fine" pep talk, I had 2 experiences that happened within a short space of one another, with people exhibiting rather extravagant displays of a-hole attitude toward me. As in, it felt like they had gone out of their way to be hurtful toward me.
"Argghhhhhhhhhh vkishnuwe;i4ut8h3q!!!" - My brain
WHY ARE YOU LIKE THIS?
The thing I reallllllly dislike about a-holes, is that you can be super considerate of someone's feelings, even put yourself out for them and really try your best to not step on their toes - and they can still turn around and act like an a-hole.
When you are the type of person who always always looks for the good in others, it is really upsetting when they turn around and show you their worst - y'knowhatimean?
So, after having a little "why does everyone hate me?" moment I actually sat down and had a rational thought - I know, wow.
Coping with a-hole behaviour comes from knowing why people act like a-holes.
Since having this thought I almost laughed, I felt like I was kinda above any criticism or negativity thrown my way, like a had a shield and could just deflect it. Because...
The hurtful things that people do, are simply reflections of the hurt they feel inside.
When someone goes out of their way to hurt you, they are looking for a way to deal with their feelings of hurt. When someone goes out of their way to criticise you or put you down, they are looking for ways to deal with their insecurities. When someone goes out of their way to make you feel small/unimportant, they are looking for ways to deal with their diminished sense of self.
Yes, bullies are people who feel like you are stronger than them, or that you are "winning" in some way.
HOW TO COPE
I am, by no means, saying let's enable this behaviour or feel sorry for nasty people. I don't know if I want to go as far as saying that it is quite cowardly to use your hurt as an excuse to go out of your way to hurt someone else, but it is not ok. In any way shape or form.
But it kind of explains why, when we decide to "get even" after someone has wronged us, it feels really shallow and unfulfilling.
It breaks my heart to think that someone people really are hurting so much that they don't know how to regulate those emotions, but each of us are responsible for that ourselves. This is why therapists exist. I do feel that the people who could really benefit from seeing a therapist, are often the ones who never go.
Next time you come into contact with someone who is trying to bring you down, just laugh. Honestly, take a deep breath and really think about the bigger picture.
When someone sends a mean comment criticising you, ignore it. Know that their comment is a public projection of their own insecurities. Or in a bullying atmosphere, you can actually reply with "I know that when people say nasty things it is simply a projection of their own insecurities. Sending you love the you need" (I have personally done this, sometimes the comment gets deleted, other times it doesn't go well. People don't like to be called out in public but that is kinda where the lesson lies).
When someone says something in a face-to-face situation, don't say anything and walk away from the situation (easier said than done I know) but when people act a certain way, they are expecting a certain reaction. Imagine the shock of someone expecting you to blow up, when you simply nod and walk off.
You're not losing, you have won.
By all means, when it hurts, let yourself feel that. Write it down on a notepad, call a friend and vent, tell your mum, tell your therapist, process it and let it go (different to just blindly forgiving).
The important thing is that you learn a lesson.
You have options after this:
- If this person is someone you are close with, organise to catch up with them and start the conversation with "I just wanted to talk about what you said the other day. I don't know it you were intentionally trying to hurt me or not but...." etc etc
- If this person is someone you aren't close with, it is probably better to let it go. This is something I have only just learnt this year. I always just wanted to understand why someone tried to hurt me, or what I had personally done to them. I actually ended up getting pretty badly beat up by someone who was really harbouring a lot of negativity and insecurity. Truth is, some people just act like assholes, and it has nothing to do with you, it has to do with them (and their feelings). Truth is, it doesn't matter. Their opinion of you doesn't matter, they are threatened and that is theirs to deal with. All you have to do is understand that they are not someone you should expect anything more from, and remain civil/impartial.
- If this person is a stranger on the internet, block them. Take away their "power". It can be really hard to see/hear people point out your insecurities (even when you know it is their insecurities talking) so just remove those triggers from your life.
AND MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL...
Don't let the bitter people in the world turn you bitter too. People act like a-holes because they are surrounded by other a-holes and they all get together to bitch & complain and strengthen that a-hole energy. The world doesn't need that.
If you feel you may be an a-hole, or that you sometimes do act like an a-hole, I'm sure you are well aware that the negativity poisons inward. It actually makes me you feel better to be a nice person, everything in your life seems to flow easier and you can smile more. Your life doesn't have to be like this. Speaking to a therapist can really help if you are having issues regulating your emotions - trust me! I used to be a fairly negative person, and my outlook on life has really improved.
The only way people will stop acting like a-holes is if they realise that they are the minority, that it is actually really sad to put others down, that they are just displaying their insecurities and that it DEFINITELY is not cool to be a sucky person.
That big heart of yours will change the world some day. Screw the assholes.
Love & Strength always,