I’m writing this post because lately I’ve had several acquaintances and friends come to me and complain that someone was/is really mean to them. Meanwhile, I’ve been learning how to be compassionate and it’s been an ongoing lesson. Therefore, when somebody complains to me about someone who was mean to them – and sometimes they go on and on about it for quite some time – I listen, and usually at some point offer some advice or try to help them understand why the situation occurred. However, often times the gentle “well, maybe they are having a bad day”, ”maybe they are jealous of you” and “maybe you were just projecting onto them” explanations don’t fly with the person. Understandably. The first two are excuses anyway and the third is not always a compassionate explanation.
Apparently there was a deeper cause that needed to be explored, discovered and shared, especially for those people who keep running into ‘mean people’ everywhere. So after some reflection, meditation and remembering of my own experiences, the following is what I was led to understand.
There are three types of ‘mean people’:
- The first type of mean person is one who is angry, fearful and/or hurt inside and allows these emotions to project outwardly onto others. You know that old saying, ‘hurting people hurt others’? It’s true.
- The second type of mean person is also one who is angry, fearful and/or hurt inside, but instead of outwardly projecting the emotions onto others, they hold them inside and take it out on themselves in various ways. Some examples are people who suffer drug/alcohol abuse, overeating, self-harm, practice obsessive behaviors, isolate themselves from others, and punish themselves in various ways. Sometimes this behavior progresses to the extreme of developing social disorders or illnesses that keep them from connecting with others. This type of person is often overly kind to others to overcompensate for the hurt and pain they cause themselves. However, because they are mean - just to themselves, often unknowingly – they will attract a similar vibrational kind of person to them who is mean to them outwardly.
- The third kind of mean person is one who isn’t mean at all but is merely reflecting something within ourselves that we don’t like. (Yes, I had to include that!)
Person #1 needs love and compassion. Person #2 also needs love and compassion.
Everyone knows a Person #1. You know, that mean guy who works in the bakery, or that rude lady at the checkout counter, or that son-of-a-gun in the car that just cut you off in heavy traffic.
Person #2 is quite an interesting and fascinating study. They can sometimes create an elaborate, complicated persona to overcompensate for the ‘meanness’ within. They can come across as one of the sweetest, kindest people in the world (and this does actually reflect the true nature of the soul in all of us, by the way) – they can be activists for various causes, philanthropists, etc. They will often be outspoken and outraged against various social and political issues and concerns. They often become very angry when they see others mistreated.
But what they don’t often realize is one reason they are so upset about the mistreatment of others is because they are mistreating themselves in one way or another. For example, holding onto resentments, shame, guilt and anger is in fact a very effective way of punishing ourselves. We often make ourselves sick over it. It plays out in various bodily and emotional ailments.
So the gist of this post is, everyone has their pain, and everyone has their way of expressing it. Some lash out at others, some lash out at themselves, some lash out at themselves in ways they don’t realize. Some lash out every which way they can. Many people are a combination of Person #1 and Person #2. As a matter of fact, if the person is #1, they are also a #2, because of the way karma works. We hurt ourselves by hurting others.
But truthfully, we are all really lovely, wonderful souls in a physical body who just happen to carry some extra baggage inside – baggage that can be discovered, little by little, examined and released in healthy ways.
I hope everyone enjoys their weekend!