Or in other words, why you need to stop being a dick.
A little disclaimer before I begin.. I’m aware that this does not apply to everybody. There is an abundance of good people in this world – kind people – who do good things and are generally just nice to others. I get that those people exist. This is simply a comment on the society I have encountered, particularly over the last 12 months – whether that’s because I’ve become more emotional to it, or it’s a response to my own actions, who knows…
I hate bullies. And I don’t just mean the high school type. We encounter bullies every day. On the road – when someone feels like they can intimidate you, so you move out the way. In the workplace – where the hierarchy sometimes means those with more power like to make you aware at all times that they have more power. And in relationships, friendships and families – can use emotional blackmail to get you to do something or act a certain way. As I’m getting older, I find I’m losing my patience with people like this. I will not tolerate it, and nobody should have to.
The problem with this kind of behaviour is that I’m seeing it more frequently than good. I’m seeing more arrogant individuals and selfish, self-righteous types, over the kind and helpful ones. In a time when I needed kindness most, I was inundated with people adding to the badness in the world and this affected my outlook on life massively, and still does. I had good people around me too, but it still shocks me how people talk to and treat others because they feel like they can.
Where do I fit in?
I realise that a lot of people who behave in this way don’t see themselves in the way others might, so that got me thinking and questioning how people might see me. I’ve always tried to be kind. I let cars out of junctions even if I’m in a rush; I hold the door for people behind me; I always leave a tip; I say my pleases and thank yous; I always try to do the right thing, even if it’s a detriment to myself. But lately, I find myself stuck in a rut of anger and hopelessness. If someone cuts me up while driving, my stubbornness reveals itself and I decide that I won’t let any cars out in front of me because this one other person has left me seething in anger. It’s as if I forget that no one else played a part in that road rage incident, so I punish everyone else in my path and focus on that one individual who ruined my nice drive and singathon to Foo Fighters… I realise it shouldn’t be that way, and I’m trying to change, but in order to do that, everyone needs to be a little kinder.
How to be kind
This is not a rulebook.
To be kind, you have to think of others. It’s that simple.
If you’re having a bad day and decide to take it out on someone else, don’t. Go scream into a pillow or hit the gym instead. That person could be going through something too and your angsty comment could be the thing to tip them over the edge.
Stop rushing. That person you just cut up? They could have been on the way to the hospital to see a dying relative. Or it could be their first time driving since a major accident. Think before you act.
You are not more important than anyone else. I don’t care how much money you have or what you do for a living – we are all human. Stop with the arrogance and acting like you are better than everyone else – which you are not, by the way.
Give a little. Whether this is through volunteering or donating to that Facebook friend’s JustGiving page – instead of that coffee, give that spare cash to a good cause. AND do it anonymously.
Stop hiding behind your phone or computer screen. There is a real person on the end of that nasty comment you just sent. Imagine if someone had said the same to you or someone you care about. You might think that just because someone is ‘famous’, that negativity comes with the job, but it doesn’t – no one signs that contract. That’s just what you tell yourself so you can sleep at night.
Try not to assume the worst in people. I often assume the worst of a situation so that I’m either prepared or it goes better than expected, but thinking bad of someone when you don’t know the truth? That’s cold. It will make that person feel terrible you thought something so awful of them, and then you will feel guilty for thinking it in the first place. Try not to make a judgement before you know the full story.
In general, just be nice. Everyone goes through hard times, I get that, but that’s even more of a reason to smile at that stranger or say ‘well done’ and ‘thank you’ to those that deserve it. Because let’s face it, how much nicer would this life be if we all just stopped being dicks to each other?