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Mean People

How people treat other people is a direct reflection of

how they feel about themselves.”

~Paulo Coelho

Most days, I am a happy, optimistic, idealistic person. I have always been the one in the family to look on the bright side and see the good in people. I have a philosophy in life is that the world is full of opportunities, kindness, and love. Unfortunately, over the last few years my idealistic view has faded a bit. That is until our cyber bully decided to penetrate herself into our lives.

When people were mean, I figured it was a personal choice, a conscious decision to stop caring about other people's feelings, opinions, and life choices. There is no excuse for rudeness, offensive behavior, or being unkind to other individuals. When someone is rude for no reason, especially a stranger, it is rarely a personal assault, even if you did something to irritate them. People are not mean for the fun of it or because they are against you; people are mean to cope. Being unkind is a reaction to anger with ourselves or our perceived inadequacy. If someone is being rude or mean to you, they are really being mean to themselves. They have convinced themselves that they are unworthy of love and that is the biggest tragedy of all.

For months and months and months, I have experienced such meanness from a woman who should know better. I cannot control her behavior or actions, only my personal reactions to them. I try and imagine what it would be like to live in a life such as hers, dealing with mental illness, unable to face simple reality. I am grateful for resolve and resilience. I smile as the emails and telephone calls find me and those that share their stories of similar fate with her. Of course, she does not believe that these people exist which could be another one of her coping mechanisms. Her syndrome of "perfectionism", "honesty", and so-called loyalty become faded against the capital letters she uses to try and get whatever point across she feels necessary to do so. As always, I am the bad person. She is immune to the taste of her own medicine and plays the victim card.

The important thing for me to remember, if I am receiving unkindness from her, is that in ways she is inherently good, also, and she deserves to be loved, no matter what I know about or hear about her. My family prays for her daily that she might change her attitude towards us and take her energy somewhere more productive. That is how we keep being positive, strong, courageous, and incredible.