Saturday, July 17, 2010

We Need To Name This Syndrome

A couple of lesson we all need to meditate on:

Kindness is not kindness if you have to point out that you're being kind.

Love is not love if it's all about you all the time.

There are a lot of ways to be mean. You can be outright, all out in the open mean. That way every knows you're mean. (But if you're this kind of mean, you're honest about it & you don't care that everyone knows you're mean.) Or you can be mean with a smile. Make everyone think you are being nice and sweet, but making sure you get in a little dig every now and then. I think the term is passive-aggressive. (You don't want people to know you're as mean as you are.)

When I was younger and my family traveled through the South, I remarked at some of the racial ugliness I was exposed to. My parents told me that they preferred the open racism of the South to the hidden racism of "Yankees."

That's how I feel about mean people. Why should a person get credit for being nice if they manage to be mean at the same time? People who know them lavish praise on them for being so "giving" and "open-hearted." And the person probably is, most of the time, all those good things. But... ev-ery now and then.... That mean comes out. That part of them that has to mention how long-suffering they are. "Oh, look at me. I'm so good to you and ... " *sigh* "... See what I have to put up with?" Or, just every now and then, they let you know in a nastier way. You know, make a little comment here or there. Things that really hurt, but on the surface don't seem all that painful.

Yeah. I think I prefer the person who is honest enough to be the mean they are. With the other type of person, the mean catches you by surprise and hurts a lot more - just because you got lulled by the prelude of "kindness."

I don't know. This is a strange and stressful world & I guess everyone reacts to stress differently. I do know that being mean isn't always about being mean. Sometimes it's about not getting the attention we want or think we deserve. Sometimes it's about not knowing how to just talk to someone about something that's bothering you. Sometimes it's just about frustration and feeling un-appreciated. Here's a trick: try pulling a person aside and having a good, tearful heart-to-heart to clear whatever bad air there might be? Or - maybe it's just easier to be mean...