Last night I was walking along a crowded railway platform. Walking behind me was a lady who kept swinging her bag into my legs. I said, “there is no rush” but she kept banging her case on my legs and she kept on. I eventually let her get by and she walked a few metres in front of me stopped and then looked at me with that hate-filled look.
I don’t know if you’ve seen that look before. It’s the look that many men have seen when asked someone out and, give you a look that says “you are unworthy”. It’s the look where they look you up and down with total disdain, as if you were absolutely nothing and you deserved every bad thing that happened to you.
It has been a long time since I’ve met this attitude from another person. Having suffered several decades of bullying and being shoved around, my natural response is to build-up anger within myself. That built up anger explodes at the person who then experiences me going into a hulk-like emotional rage.
Seriously, words hurt more than punches, and there have been times I’ve said things which I have not been proud of….no matter how much the other person may have deserved the retaliation
This time was different though.
As the anger began to build up in me, I could feel myself about to let loose. But a second wave of emotion began to flow over me. Perhaps because of the articles on the Gift of Betrayal, or perhaps a change has begun to occur within my psyche.
Anyway, as this strange second wave came over me, I began to feel a calmness and all I could think (and I may even have whispered to the lady as I walked by) is “why do you hate yourself so much?”
Why do you hate yourself so much?
“Why do you hate yourself so much?”
Where did that question come from?! As I sat on the train it got me thinking. Why would anyone behave in such a horrible manner to a total stranger and try to justify that horribleness to their face?
Some spiritual people say that anyone who harms someone else (whether they physically hurt, steal from, spread lies about, or emotionally damage another person) is actually hurting themselves. The more we deliberately hurt someone else, the more we hurt ourselves.
So the indirect outcome of hurting another person is self-harm. The greater we hurt others, the greater we hurt ourselves.
The effect of deliberate harm
This thought then sparked another thought. As we hurt more and more people, pieces of our soul dies.
By soul, I mean our ability to love, to be kind, and to trust and help others. The more we hurt others the more this behaviour will become a habit. If this behaviour becomes a habit, then even when we try not to hurt others, our now ingrained habit becomes a reflex that we may consciously stop for a while but old habits die, hard.
If we do not halt certain behaviours, the compound effect will continue to exponentially grow that behaviour within ourselves. This will grow and expand until one day our soul will be so badly damaged that we may never experience true peace.
The ingrained habit of greed
Consider the following example, which I have seen over and over again in my business life.
An incredibly well-connected, sociable person who is great to be around… until he is in business and cuts up everyone to make money.
Where did he learn that behaviour and where will it take him? His greed may have been small at one time, but over time that behaviour of greed began to magnify and ingrain itself in his psyche to the point where he can no longer help himself.
Over time he will probably accumulate great wealth, but he will have very few true friends. One day his family will not want to have anything to do with him. A worse scenario occurs when his children learn his habit.
One day his children may use his same techniques against him or, because they do not have his social skills, are badly hurt when they use his business techniques to steal from others.
Today, I can only feel sorry and pity for these people. All I can think of is why do they hate themselves so much that they would let their greed put their family and their lives at risk.
Steps to not hating yourself
So my conclusion to this railway incident is still evolving but my publisher likes me to write a conclusion to what we can learn from my blogs. So here are three.
- Be very careful of the habits you continually use: These habits may serve you in one area such as accumulation of finance, accumulation of partners, accumulation of fame and so on but they may hurt you in other areas of your life.
- If you continually need to justify your behaviour towards others – you are probably hurting others and so hurting yourself
- Watch out for the compound effect on your behaviour: From an outside perspective the compound effect works very slowly almost imperceptibly but ten, fifteen or twenty years later it creates large effects in your behaviour and habits. Work on effective habits.
- The behaviour outlined here is one self-sabotaging aspect of a person’s behaviour: There are many others. If you are not getting far with your dreams and goals, check out Jess’s article on self-sabotaging behaviours as this may give you a clue as to what is now ingrained in your personality
If you found this article helpful and useful, please do share it with your friends and give us a comment below.
For further reading on why people (including you) may be mean:
In addition, here are several articles on bad behaviour that you may also enjoy.
- Understanding the gift of betrayal
- Stories illustrating the gifts from betrayal
- How to eliminate betrayal with PANDAS
- Why are people mean?
Image Credits: Ben Chai.