As much as I enjoy being alone, I am also good at being around people. I’m not particularly romantic, and I’m not the one who remembers to bring cookies or ask people to dinner. But I can talk with almost anyone, I do listen, and I generally want people to feel good about themselves. I try to be non-judgmental (though I don’t always succeed). I’m usually polite. I have my faults, like having a tendency to want things “just so” (which has gotten much more relaxed over the years). I guess you could sum it up by saying I’m nice.
Which means I don’t quite understand mean people. Everyone has the capacity to be mean, but fortunately most people don’t act on it regularly. People in a group can be mean. I suspect people who have the ability to be mean even when they are not “going along with the crowd” are the ones who have been taught to be mean. Life, family, and others have not been kind to them, and they were taught you have to be mean to get anywhere in life.
Recently I posed a question on Facebook: “I wonder what it’s like to be such a bitch that people let you have your way because they don’t want to deal with the backlash?” A couple friends commented that it is fun, or everyone does it on occasion. But I got other responses, such as “Lonely?” and “Afraid?” One friend wrote, “So tightly wound that control is mistaken for contentment. So grasping that any letting go feels like death.” (I have smart friends.) 🙂
I wonder. I suspect this is a little like that entry I wrote about “How we use words.” Do nice people get more done because “you get more flies with honey than with vinegar”? Or do they get less done because they are not as pushy? Do you have to sometimes be seen as pushy and “not nice” (i.e., a bitch) to get important things done? Does being a bitch automatically mean you are “mean”?
What do you think?