well, sometimes we are... An emotional scar can run so deep it takes years to heal. Our behavior during this time can vary between, bitterness, denial, self destruction, rage, etc. When I come across someone who acts this way I try and take a second look before disregarding their behavior as “jerk like” or simply chalking them up to being an asshole. I want to… It’s so easy to. I’d rather not take those extra moments out of my life to try and empathize with them but I know if I don’t my heart will harden and I’ll only walk away with their emotional baggage.
I’ve been there myself. I’ve been the asshole. I’ve yelled, criticized, and projected my own pain onto someone else. I’ve been the passive agressive monster with a wound that was still hurting. Many times I’ve been unable to properly articulate my pain. I’ve lied. I’ve screamed, I’ve manipulated and have been incredibly self serving. When I think back to those times, I can quickly remember the pain happening underneath it. I wince at my behavior. Even the awful stuff I've done so many years ago. I can't believe I could act that way. ugh!
I don’t think it excuses it but if we’re more self aware of when we’re expressing negative or abusive behavior and why. I think it would help us empathize more with others and their pain. To not have our first reaction be judgement but rather understanding that we too have seen that behavior in ourselves and knowing that person must be in pain.
Instead of continuing the cycle we can offer love. First to ourselves and our own pain. Then to the jerks, assholes, and narcissists. It might not put an immediate stop to their behavior but by offering love we can free ourselves of recycling the negative emotion. And maybe, just maybe it will make a ripple.
We can recognize the signs of suffering easily but changing our reaction to it is so damn hard sometimes. Here's to a small change!
(now i want champagne)