At some time or another, each of us will lose our focus and be mean to another person. And often it’s intentional. Why do we do this?
Are we mean to people because our own needs have not been met and so we lash out, “getting back at the world” for having treated us badly?
This is silly, because the world gives back to us the same as we put out. Meanness will always rebound on us.
I think one of the reasons we are sometimes mean is because we see something in the other person that reminds us of what we don’t like in ourselves. If we find ourselves bullying someone else, or insulting them, or plotting against them, we need to take a good look inside our own hearts. What is bothering us? And then, try to be honest enough with ourselves to change it.
Another reason for meanness is jealously of another person. We may feel the world has treated them better than us, given them more friends, or provided them with a better lifestyle.
To get over it, we should first think about exactly what it is that they have that we want. Secondly, will that thing make us happy? If we believe that it will, then we can actually learn from the person we are jealous of. We can compliment them to their face on an accomplishment, rather than spitefully tearing them down behind their backs. And then in the nicest way we can, simply ask them how they developed in themselves the thing that we want.
Meanness can also come from fear–maybe even the fear of abandonment by someone we love. To guard against it we put that person down as often as we can. We denigrate them in an attempt to devalue them in the off-balanced thinking that this will keep them dependent on us…i.e. “Who else would have you anyway?”
When meanness gets this out of hand, we need spiritual help, because we’re destroying our selves as well as the one we pretend to love.
We should remember that meanness cannot make us happy, only more unhappy.
Malice drinks one half of its own poison.