Leveling

My daughter asks me why people say mean things about her. She asks if it is sometimes because they are jealous. She asks this pretty routinely because girls can be mean. Boys just fight it out. If my nephews have a disagreement with each other, they duke it out. It goes underground with girls

I tell her there is something called leveling. A lot of people are dealing with their own insecurity issues. This could be the appearance, or their general perception of themselves feeling unloved or ignored at home. In their heat of the insecurity, they try to bring them down to their level by saying something nasty to get the other person to feel bad about themselves, too. Misery loves company.

I have watched a part of a reality show because I really can’t get myself to sit and watch the whole thing. I have actually met the woman on this show and couldn’t believe how mean she was to her husband in front of a large group of people. I assumed she felt insecure, afraid and insignificant in front of a group of dentists but another word was in my mind describing her. She is actually doing the same thing in front of an even larger audience now. It makes me cringe how she has no regard for other people. It’s the need for significance, I know. It’s blatantly obvious. If you are competing for significance, your life will always be empty because you are always competing. There is always going to be somebody better, prettier, smarter, more famous. It is a very empty existence.

People have always been mean. The quicker you can ignore these people the easier your life will get. I know it doesn’t seem like they are insecure or jealous of what you have. These people do this for one thing only – to make themselves feel better and bring you down to their miserable existence.

My assistant has the perfect quote for people like this, “What’s wrong with them that they don’t like me?” I love it. She is putting the responsibility on the other person instead internalizing the question, “what’s wrong with me that I am so unlovable and undeserving that they aren’t nice to me?”

Trying to get yourself and your kids to feel good about themselves is a challenge. You tell them you love them No Matter What you do. They don’t need to prove anything to you in order to get your love and admiration.

I think our kids are the first people we really love no matter what. A lot of us love people until something happens and then they bail out.

Bullying, or not?

My nephew is 10 years old. Recently he received detention for get this, calling another little boy “annoying”. No curse words, no bruising, biting, punching or kicking occurred. But it hurt this little boy’s feelings so my nephew received a punishment. This was also paired with a letter, not from the teacher or principal, but the superintendent of schools. Seriously!? Because this is considered bullying. My goodness, I say the boy ought to man up or the next time he annoys someone, he might get punched.
This is like poking a sleeping bear. If you antagonize people long enough, no one is going to like you.
Basic needs psychology explains this by the need for connection, certainty, variety and attention. People do what works in order to stand out. If you don’t get good positive attention, you will create negative attention.
Bringing this on to my daughter. She has a very muscular build for her age. She is not a stick figure. Last week, a girl said “move it, fatty.” It broke my heart because I was also made fun of for my size. Eating disorders are affecting girls as young as 8 and 10 year olds simply because of the media.
I cannot always be there to fight her battles for her.
My teaching to her was this

there is always going to be that mean girl. The quicker you learn not to pay attention to them, the better the quality of your life will be. You guard what is in your head and don’t let them in.