The Dragonfly Forest

They have been given names such as devil’s darning needle, ear sewer, horse stinger, skeeter hawk, and the snake’s servant. Actually, Dragonflies are beneficial, peaceful, and stunning. You are a Dragonfly if you are: ADD/ADHD, dyslexic, dysgraphic, Asperger’s, NLVD, autistic…

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Why people are mean and what you can do about it

I’ll confess, I have a major problem.  The problem is I’m a helpless fixer, problem-solver, and cheerleader of the “underdog.” 

How is this a major problem?  I want everyone to be the best that they can be.  I have a passion for helping others achieve self-actualization.  Why?  Because I live in the light and know the world is a great place when we are caring, supportive, accepting human beings.  I know that negative behaviors are symptoms of problems, insecurities, issues…  So when others are mean, hateful, nasty, or rude to me or my family; it triggers my inner helper. 

I’m not saying that it doesn’t hurt when others are mean to me, I’m human.  When someone does something mean or hateful to me (or my family) my initial reaction is to feel pain but my emotional intelligence (EQ) kicks in and I start to see the situation in a different light.  People are mean because they are hurt, they are experiencing their own inner turmoil and issues.  We all experience emotional pain from others but not all of us are mean.  People who understand in life that we are not in competition with each other but only ourselves and that we are each on our own Hero’s journey toward our own quests and enlightenment are the kind of people who have empathy, kindness, compassion, and support of others.  People who believe that it is a ‘dog eat dog’ world out there, have insecurity issues, jealousy, have inferiority complexes, and often attack those around them, especially if they feel threatened in any way (socially, professionally, intellectually…).  I’m not saying these are bad people, I’m saying they are broken people with immature emotional development.  If they knew themselves better, accepted themselves more, and understood that it is hurting themselves not others to be mean and rude, than they would be able to walk a path of enlightenment and joy. 

People who are emotionally mature and enlightened are not saints, we have stressors and breakdowns.  It takes a lot of courage to be vulnerable (Remember Vulnerability is a Good Thing!) and really see ourselves in the mirror.  I know I’m a “Looney Tune” at times (our family term for when you lose it).  Heck, I’m very similar to the TV mom, Frankie Heck from the TV show The Middle…  Here’s a quick view of me in a “Looney Tune” moment! 

I hope you are laughing because I am.  We laugh all the time in this house how this is me – The Middle is our life!  The kids also point out how I am also just like Sue Heck (the positive daughter in the show).  Yep that’s me too (see below)…

The thing is, when people are rude or mean to me, I find it as a challenge.  I see it for what it is; a person who is in pain (over-stressed, insecure, jealous, afraid…).  It triggers my desire to want to help them overcome these issues.  It is not about getting them to like ME, that is very different and honestly I have enough people who accept me, I don’t need haters in my life to “like me” to validate that I’m a good person.  I know I’m a good person.  I know I have good intentions, find humor and positive insights in things that happen in my life, and live my life with ethics and integrity.  So when a person interprets an email or Facebook post differently than what I intended I know it is based on their issues not mine.  People project their own tone and issues into emails and FB posts/messages because they cannot see the person.  So if I write “Thank you” the reader is the one who determines if it is said with sincerity or sarcasm and that is based on THEIR issues not mine.  To help the reader understand my tone I often put in qualifiers (“said with a smile” or “said in a tone of sadness”…).   This doesn’t always stop the misinterpretations because when people have issues they often have trust issues, so they assume their interpretation must be correct.   

I’m on my own Hero’s Journey and spend time helping others along the way-I see it as an exciting challenge.   For example, not long ago, while waiting on a flight to arrive in the airport (one of my favorite places to people watch) I noticed a male airline worker getting snapped at by passengers about a scheduling delay.  I watched as this man was degraded over and over by rude people and transform into a person who, in turn, started snapping at others (innocent people).  When we were called up to the gate, I was pleased that I was near the front of the line and was able to lean over to him and tell him that I was impressed how well he handled those rude passengers, I thanked him for his service, told him good things will happen because he was so patient, and gave him a genuine warm smile.  My heart melted as he reached over to me, touched my arm and said “Thank you that was so nice to hear.”  His whole body language changed, he took a deep breath and held his head higher.  This was NOT about me, I was just on my journey, saw someone in pain and stopped to help.  He just needed to be validated that he mattered.  Everyone wants to matter, they want to feel important and valued. 

Want to make your life better?  Want to feel good about yourself?  Then start living consciously, working on your own issues, stop being in competition with others and focus only on being the best YOU that you can be.  Know that when you are mean or rude to someone you are showing others that you are insecure, self-conscious, jealous….  These will not bring you joy as you travel on your Hero’s journey.  To conquer them you must be vulnerable and willing to battle against these.  When you have empathy and stop projecting your issues on others your life will be better! 

Here’s the character Sue Heck’s report on “Is smiling contagious?”   I have found this to be true and love watching the smiles spread because it makes a better world!  

P.S. Oh for those who don't watch The Middle here's their original trailer from years ago - it is still on and the kids have gotten older but the same chaos occurs.  The really is my current life (I say current because this is only one chapter of my life on my Hero's Journey) Enjoy!

**P.S.S okay one more for those who, like me sit through all the credits of a movie just to see anything the directors add at the end - of I love those!!  I hope this makes you smile!  Go Dragonflies of the world!