Being mistreated by someone is one of those experiences that almost nobody can escape. The reasons for someone going at us with an adverse action may vary wildly. Moreover, it is not guaranteed entirely when this is going to happen. However, if you constantly ask yourself things like “Why is everyone so mean to me?” there might be some worthy things to analyze.
Let’s begin by stating that such a question is valid. It is essential to talk and give voice to everything. Making it clear from the beginning that the solution is that those who have problems controlling anger, people who mistreat, those who take their frustrations out on others go to therapy, we cannot deny the reality that for a situation like this to happen, two people are needed: one has to put up with it. Read on and discover why people might be mean to us and how to stop it.
Abuse and Mistreatment
There have been phrases that are often repeated within the consultation context for some time. For example, when people describe an ongoing or generalized mistreatment situation, they likely say things of this type: “He mistreats me,” “I feel that I am being treated badly,” “People are mean to me all the time,” “My partner can’t seem to stop being mean to me,” etc. The first thing that always comes to mind is that when we reach this kind of conclusion, we are not talking about an isolated event but something repetitive. This person has suffered many times for the same reason.
Going into the language analysis, the next thing to think is that it is a passive voice statement. It conveys that the person receiving the mistreatment has nothing to do, which coincides with a mental phenomenon called “Learned helplessness.” Such a state describes a psychological state in which the person has learned that whatever he does, he does not have the power to influence his environment. What happens ends up translating into not taking any action to stop the negative consequences.
The third thing necessary to think about is since it is irrational to think about entirely controlling the actions of others, which is “why do you allow people to be mean to you?”. In other words, what are the reasons to keep yourself in this situation? This is precisely where the controversy begins. The actions of someone who is mean to us are not our fault. However, it is our responsibility whether we allow them, validate them, or if we set healthy boundaries.
“Why is everyone so mean to me?”
It is necessary to include ourselves in the context to approach this phenomenon. Let’s not focus on whether the person (or people) being mean to us might be having a bad day or might have reacted badly to our presence or action. Every single person is accountable for their conscious mindset and actions. So let’s instead focus on why the person receiving this bad treatment finds themselves in this situation.
- We can gain someone’s attention. It can be straightforward to achieve and sustain someone’s attention when we let them do with themselves whatever they want.
- We feel special in the moments when that someone treats us well. When someone is not being mean to us, it may feel like heaven in comparison. This way, it becomes easier to endure whatever bad treatment they might throw at us later.
- A partner may accompany it, but fear of loneliness can drive someone to accept being mistreated. Learn how to deal with loneliness to overcome this.
- It may be to believe that we have a typical project. Sometimes, people focus more on goals rather than the quality of the relationships through which we reach them, and that’s an open spot for all kinds of abusive behavior.
- We may feel strong through what we believe to be a strength because we feel weak or spineless.
- It may be that we believe that this is how we should be treated because of past learning. Not only do we teach people how to treat us through our attitude, but we are also teaching ourselves how to be treated. We might even feel there is something wrong when someone is not being mean to us.
Hidden reasons why we “accept” people being mean to us
- Getting someone’s attention makes us feel important because we think that “we are invisible.”
- Feeling special makes us think we are somebody because we think we are “worthless.”
- Being in a couple at any cost makes us not feel lonely because we are afraid of loneliness, which makes us accept certain behaviors of others towards us.
- Having a typical project with someone makes our life more meaningful because we don’t have one of our own.
- Feeling strong through others can hide the idea that “alone we can’t do many things” of a lack of confidence in our abilities and gifts.
- Feeling that this is the treatment we deserve may hide a significant lack of self-esteem.
If you are ever mistreated, remember that the responsibility is not yours. Remember that they are the ones who are making mistakes, the ones who have “something wrong” inside them. “Why is everyone so mean to me?” It is not you. It’s not your fault, not your responsibility.
When you have a hunch that you’re not the problem, believe in yourself first. It’s healthy to be introspective and do some self-analysis if you find you’re the common denominator, just don’t always blame yourself.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, justifies bad treatment, a bad gesture, a bad word
Remember, everyone is accountable for their own actions. However, sadly, it often happens to us that we give validity to the bad words and bad gestures.
When we pay attention to these behaviors, people who mistreat us may even take pride in their behavior, believing that they are valid and that their bad words reflect reality. However, nothing could be further from the truth, as their actions reflect their darkness and inner conflicts.
Why is it best to ignore people who mistreat us?
Words that seek to hurt, judgments, unsolicited opinions, and criticisms launched directly against us should not be given any credit. Because he who wants to offend does not offend, he who can offend, and if we pay attention to those who mistreat us, we allow them to hurt us, both at that moment and afterward.
As they say, “what John says about Peter says more about John than about Peter.” So before giving importance to those “advice,” “opinions,” or “criticisms” that do not bring us goodness, usefulness, or truth, we should consider the intentions of the person in front of us.
However, the discomfort they generate is not in vain for us because we can extract meaning from everything. And the fact is that some people come into our lives to teach us not to be like them is a great truth.
Because mutual respect and good treatment are indispensable values to go through life healthily, to feel fulfilled and at peace with oneself, in their actions, people who mistreat others are punished.
Whether or not it is visible, the negative goes through their mind and, therefore, they will not be able to know that feeling of satisfaction and fullness that people who respect others get.
Giving away absence and ignoring is the best way to safeguard our self-esteem
The best way to protect ourselves from people who mistreat us is not to admit such treatment. Emotional bonds are valuable, and we must take care of ourselves. It is important to ignore and distance ourselves from people who damage our self-esteem.
If they sow doubts, discomfort, and reluctance, it is not advisable to stay close to them because they will poison us. People who want to harm us do not see those moments beyond their interests, so they will continue to do so if we cannot stop them. For this, it is important that we can set limits and speak assertively about things that we do not tolerate and are unwilling to yield.
Likewise, we should not give so much importance to what these people do but focus our attention on what we can learn from what they have done, helping us create growth opportunities and work on our self-esteem and strength.
Let us not forget that what others say about us or what they do to cause us harm does not define us, so it is essential that we can rationalize that the aggressions and mistreatment we receive says more about the perpetrator than about ourselves.
Betrayal, coldness, and arrogance are sharp daggers that, when stuck, hurt intensely. However, precisely the most painful thing is to know unknown people who surrounded you at a time. There are people that you end up discovering when they show themselves when they no longer need you and reflect their genuine interest in you.
By recognizing that there are people who mistreat us, we can analyze the situation and anticipate their reactions and intentions. Therefore, our shield is made up of the ability to ignore and anticipate those bad words or bad actions. We go from “why is everyone mean to me?” to “why is this person mean?” This process of mourning, which originated in relational disillusionment, will help us rethink our priorities and look for new nuclei in which to place our trust. A task that is not easy but is undoubtedly necessary.