With a Master's in Psychology, I know the textbook answer ... or rather stabs at the answers.
I work with a lab staff that is ... unique.
After all, they have a college degree when all else in the blood center do not.
It is only "natural" for them to feel superior to everyone else there.
Except for me ... I have two degrees. That irritates half of them ... puts the lie to the reason for their supposed superiority.
So they work hard at calling me stupid in a variety of ways.
When I have to enter their domain for job duties, I turn around and there is a poster on the inside of their door:
WHEN YOU ARE DEAD EVERYONE KNOWS IT
THE SAME IS TRUE WHEN YOU ARE STUPID.
To the right is another poster on the wall:
SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES ...
GOOD FOR NOTHING ...
BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE
WHEN YOU PUSH THEM DOWN
A FLIGHT OF STAIRS.
Further to the right is their refrigerator door upon which is a cardboard starburst with
ATTENTION P.M. TECHS (me)
There is a long series of dotted paper lines leading to the bottom of the glass door and an arrow which reads:
PLACE RARE BLOOD HERE ( the "STUPID" is implied since the shelf spotlighted is already marked RARE BLOOD.)
I work alone basically on the weekend,
and the list of mean-spirited, cruel, and short-tempered remarks from the Lab tech on weekend duty is full of the same and worse.
So ... WHY ARE PEOPLE SO MEAN?
You could say because they are people ... but that explains nothing, for many are selfless, kind, and giving.
Whether it is as a means of promoting our groups, or ourselves,
we tend to be more aggressive when our self-worth has been challenged
and we are not feeling particularly positive about ourselves.
When our self-esteem is threatened,
we are more likely to compare ourselves to people we think are worse off than us,
to see other people as having more negative traits,
to degrade people who aren't members of our groups, and to become more directly aggressive towards people in general.
When you insult or criticize someone else, it may say more about how you are feeling about yourself than the other person.
Insecurity over ourselves drives much of the cruelty in the world.
BUT IS THAT IT? REALLY?
You hear DON'T TAKE IT PERSONALLY but when you are repeatedly shamed and put down, you would have to be a statue not to bleed.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
What to do when one of these out of the cage "beasts" becomes part of your world?
Remember, they are often charming, beautiful, handsome, and seemingly accomplished.
However, inside they lack true confidence -- so different from their natural bravado.
Predictably their inner misery is and will continue to be projected as weapons against you.
Once this is understood, there is only one thing to do.
Banish them from your world, and if this is not possible, buffer yourself as best you can from their reach.
Do not tell them they are hurtful, and do not try to reason with them or teach them another way.
Waking up and changing is up to them, and sadly most will not.
When you withdraw and buffer yourselves, simply no longer caring about them, any power they hold over you is gone.
THE WORLD MUST BE ABOUT TO END for I am about to quote a Taylor Swift song!
You, with your switching sides,
And your walk by lies and your humiliation
You, have pointed out my flaws again,
As if I don’t already see them.
I walk with my head down,
Trying to block you out cause I’ll never impress you….
—Taylor Swift, “Mean”
Croon along with Taylor and me: "Why you gotta be so meaaan?"
Remember that you can control your response when someone does or says something mean.
We may not be able to control much about our life circumstances,
but with practice we can control how we respond to those circumstances.
It stings to be unfairly hurt. Let yourself say OUCH! ... then go on with your life.
They are a part of your life for only a section of your day.
The bully is bruised inside,
not in control in some major part of their life,
and learner of all the WRONG LESSONS from their own pain.
WHY DO YOU THINK PEOPLE ARE SO MEAN?
WHY IS THE NUMBER OF MEAN PEOPLE INCREASING?
WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT THEM IN OUR LIVES?
And for a little humor to leaven this post: