I’ve said before that my therapist was horrified by the idea that some strange person in a grocery store feels completely comfortable criticizing someone who doesn’t fit their preferences of how someone looks, acts or simple who someone IS.
This is the poverty-stricken woman with children desperately trying to feed her children, while still allowing them some of the joys of childhood. This is the fat person purchasing food for her or his family, including perhaps some special items to put a smile on someone else’s face (items that to the stranger should NEVER EVER be purchased by a fat person. This is the person who USED to have a fairly well-paying job, but is still unemployed and therefore may be purchasing food for their family with food stamps, while wearing their interview suit that looks like it probably cost a fortune, or drives a luxury vehicle because they were lucky enough to pay off the car before they lost their job.
This is the girl on the street walking to work, who looks like the wind will blow her over because her metabolism is so screwed up that if she doesn’t eat enough food it will actually start burning her muscles for sustenance. This is the slightly pudgy woman you passed in the shopping mall who is that weight because she is JUST BARELY recovering from thyroid cancer. This is the fat child you see at the playground who was born with congestive heart failure and had so many surgeries before they even started school that they don’t know how to play actively or may not be ALLOWED to do things like run or exert themselves, and is on a heart medicine that makes it almost impossible to lose weight (many of the older beta blockers tend to cause weight gain, and sometimes they are the only medicine that will work).
Fear underlies the issue of poor boundaries. For those of us who are conflict-avoidant or passive, it is a fear of judgement by others —that feeling of “not being good enough.”
Unfortunately for the rest of humanity, those who seek conflict tend to have the following behavior patterns:
- All or nothing thinking
- Emotional manipulation
- Extremist responses
- Blaming others
Compromise and compassion are anathema to these people. For these people, there is NEVER any other “right way” other than the way they do things. They threaten dire consequences unless everyone agrees with them. If they can’t get their way by direct attack, they will turn to more subtle control patterns, and will happily emotionally manipulate others to get their own way. They are unable to manage their emotional response to things, and tend to enjoy having temper tantrums or cry at the drop of a hat because it makes others do what they want. And, finally they are NEVER at fault for anything bad. They become shocked and appalled if someone blames them, and actively find someone else to push the blame on.
These people are the “trolls” of real life. It is exactly the same set of personality traits that an internet troll exhibits. These are: narcissism, Machiavellian behaviors, psychopathy and sadism.
It actually makes these people happy and fulfilled if they can make someone else get upset or cry, particularly if they can manipulate someone else into doing something illegal (like assault), because then they can cry victim.
And even if confronted with their behaviors, they look confused, hurt and angry because it is absolutely obvious to them that their behavior is fully and completely justified. And, if someone succeeds in making others believe they are the cause of the problems, these people run to a different group crying how they are being victimized and abused.
The objective truth doesn’t matter to these people, because they have no ability to see anything but their own skewed subjective truth.
We have GOT to start doing something about this. But all we can do, really, is have our own healthy boundaries, and try not to care when someone like this trashes our reputation. We have to be OK with our own truth.