Sometimes people can just be downright mean, when this happens it feels terrible, and it leaves you worrying about what you did wrong and what you may have done to deserve this type of treatment. Most of the time it has nothing to do with you and it is more a reflection on that person’s mental state and how they feel about themself.
Here are 5 reasons why someone is being mean:
1. Hurt people, hurt people
You don’t see genuinely happy people going out of their way to hurt others. It is that old saying “it is easier to be nice than not”, being mean takes way more energy than being kind. Sometimes when people are unhappy, they want everyone to feel like they do.
2. They are envious of what you have
Unfortunately, some people deal with envy by putting others down. If you ever feel envious channel this feeling for good by turning your envy into inspiration. Use the feeling of envy as a guide - maybe this is what you want in life and then use this to inspire you.
3. They are emotionally reactive
When people don’t have healthy coping mechanisms, this can lead to misplaced anger or frustration. We all handle our emotions differently and sadly some people have not learnt healthy ways of dealing with their emotions.
4. They are projecting
Sometimes people make fun of others for the very thing they feel insecure about. This one is a little bit like envy, but sometimes people like to deflect from what they feel insecure about by being mean to people for the exact same reason!
5. They are not aware of how their words or actions impact others.
Unfortunately, some people don’t have great EQ (emotional intelligence) and they are unable to read a social situation and how their words can affect others. Sometimes because something would not bother them, they don’t realise that it bothers others. If you think this might be the case, maybe find a quiet time to gently tell that person how their actions make you feel and ask them to stop acting like that.
Remember when someone is mean to you it is not about you. Start viewing how people treat you as a reflection of who they are and not a measure of your worthiness.
And if you ever catch yourself being mean, maybe reflect on these 5 reasons and think if the problem doesn't lie first with you rather than the person you are being mean to.
If you feel like you still need more help, reach out to someone you trust. This could be a parent, friend, sibling - whoever is willing to listen. Or if that isn't comfortable for you, Youthline has an anonymous and non-judgmental helpline you can call or text. It’s like a free listening ear for you to vent and let out your frustrations. Free call the helpline on 0800 376 633.