Meaning in the Modern World


Nastiness in Life: It’s Origins

Nastiness in Life: It’s Origins

Nastiness in Life: It’s Origins

Everyday life seems filled with pettiness and nastiness. Catty comments, slurs, jabbing comments, sarcasm and anger.

Read any website comments section and you’ll see how easy people resort to attacking others for opinions other than their own. Enter any workspace and you’ll see how easily people slip to seething assessments and personal put-downs.

All this can hurt a lot. Often more than we care to admit. In a world where toughness is prioritized feeling the pain of these gibes is too much. Without being aware, we lock the pain inside. We search for explanations where there doesn’t seem to be any. We feel confused at the inhumanness all around us. And blame ourselves for being its victim. Perhaps it’s our fault after all.

Nastiness has a reason though. People are nasty because they are in pain.

The sarcasm, the scathing retorts, the put downs and the talking behind ones back all stem from their own sense of pain. They may not be aware of it, but somewhere deep inside they are in pain. Outwardly they might look confident, they may look robust, but their actions are all we need to understand that in truth they cannot be well. They are not in a good place.



Nastiness humiliates us and reduces us. It demeans us. Lulling us into giving our bully power. To have power over us. We begin to imagine them as solid and impressive. Demeaning us they exert their power and influence to make us seems inferior.

The opposite is true. It is you who does not belittle. You who feels so defenceless who actually has more power. Inside you are the larger, steelier, more forceful person. From this thought you can feel a sense of contentment, knowing you are the stronger person. You are healthier and happier.

Despite this persons outward happiness they have been punished on some level. Inside they are seething with pain. They are not happy. On some karmic level there is justice.

No one has the energy to be cruel unless they are in inner torment. And every scathing comment or hurt remark a person makes is a chip at their self esteem. On some level they know what they do is wrong.

Once we understand this we can this we can learn to deal with the situation. The source of hate and nastiness is suffering. There is no point fighting back. No point letting yourself hurt too. We must learn to look on those who would be cruel to us with sorrow. And pity. And if possible – when the time is right – forgiveness.  


Nastiness in Life: It’s Origins, Matt, Nov 2016

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