March 15, 2012
Mean, hypercritical people revel in their ability to shut people down. They enjoy it. For me, these people always managed to shoot me right back into my childhood, standing there all powerless in front of my stepmother, confused and stammering because I had no idea what I’d done to have such wrath descend upon me. It was–and still is–a rotten feeling to reexperience, so, you know, I spent a lot of time drinking whenever I felt I’d been unfairly judged. My sensitivity to judgment has never really gone away–hence the diagnosis of social anxiety disorder, and hence the medication I’m on–but I have had to pick up a few coping tips along the way since I had to give up drinking.
Mean people suck. Period. They suck; ignore them. Who cares what they think?
From The Four Agreements: Don’t take anything personally. That is, “Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.” In other words, what other people say and do reflects on THEM, and not on you.
From an AA meeting: “What other people think of me is none of my business.”
There’s really only one way to deal with a mean-spirited person. If they prove over and over again that they cannot be reasoned with and they are living in a state of perpetual dissatisfaction, dis-invite them from your life.