Despite all my years on this planet I am still shocked by how cruel some people can be. I don’t know why but I keep thinking that somehow mankind will snap out of it and people will start being kinder to each other. I’m still waiting for that to happen.
Actually, that’s not fair. Most people are really okay. Pretty good eggs, as they say. But there are some…
A few weeks ago, I was contacted by someone to do a writing project for them. We discussed the project and what he wanted done and I gave him my best advice. As it turned out, I didn’t feel he really needed to change what he had and told him so. He thanked me for my time and that was that. A couple of hours later he contacted me again and said he wanted me to re-do one aspect of the project. I agreed and gave him a quote. Then he wanted to haggle the price. I told him I didn’t haggle. Then he said okay. Then he asked if I paid the PayPal fees. At that point I should’ve just passed and suggested he go elsewhere. But I was in the midst of three other projects and knew he’d keep bugging me, so I went ahead with it.
Suffice to say that afterward we had several more email exchanges, during which he insulted me, my abilities and my worth. In all, I probably devoted about eight hours to this person, all for the incredibly high price of $50. So. Not. Worth. It.
It upset me, the things he said. The insults. But after my bruised feelings healed I realized he’d done me a favor. Because he reminded me of something that I knew but ignored.
People will beat you down. Some people will just beat you down for sport. It is in fact their purpose in life. They thrive on it. They like to make others unhappy. To feel small and insignificant. I don’t know why this is true. Did God make them differently? Perhaps. But it’s actually okay not to know why, as long as you know that they do.
They come in all shapes and sizes – don’t let the packaging fool you
I think most of us think of bullies as big, bad-breathed, butt-crack showing cretins who have “I am an asshole” tattooed on their foreheads. In fact they don’t. Often they come in very pretty or handsome packages. Sometimes they are young, sometimes old. They could be your neighbor or your Aunt Tillie. They can be a teacher, a parent, a sibling or the guy next to you with road rage. In short, they can be anybody. So you can’t know them by the way they look but you can by the way they act, for example a bully will try to convince you that:
- Everything they do is important
- Everything you do is meaningless
- Their feelings matters
- Your feelings don’t matter and you’re just being a drama queen
- You should keep your word
- They aren’t required to keep their promises
- You made them feel this way, so what they do to you is your own fault
In short, a bully will do anything in their power to make you feel small, worthless, stupid, ugly, repulsive, unlovable, unlikable and useless.
Kick them to the curb
Bullies, unfortunately – at least in my experience – cannot or will not reform. If they get called on something, they may recant but it is insincere. Don’t believe them. They will only strive to get back in your good graces so that they can hammer you again. They will cry, threaten to harm themselves, even claim to have gotten religion. Don’t believe them. They only thing they want to get is you. Don’t make it possible for them to do so. Just kick them to the curb and move on. Believe me, if you do, you’ll feel much better.