A Scrutiny of Being Mean

I do not consider myself a mean person.  I tend to mind my P’s and Q’s and try to avoid cutting people off on the interstate.  But sometimes one wonders… Is life easier being mean?  Could Alexander the Great possibly have become Alexander the Beige of Heart if he was a little bit nicer to his mom and had worried about his neighbor’s feelings before hacking those branches along the property line?  Could being mean be beneficial to the average person?

He who said – sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me – probably had the crap kicked out of him right after being ridiculed for his horrendous haircut.  Being on the receiving end of an unfriendly altercation can be an unpleasant experience.  Wouldn’t it be more pleasant to be the giving, generous person who doles out the noogies and wet willies?  Any bully will tell you the best way to avoid being hurt is to beat them to the punch.  Meanness can be an excellent protection mechanism.  It hardens you to life’s ills while creating a wonderful cushion of “personal space” around you that some weaklings find impenetrable.

Some find the lone gunman approach to meanness to be, well, lonely.  For those who prefer a more social approach, it is possible to find groups of mean people who readily welcome those who truly understand them.  They sometimes have a hierarchy that takes a special social cunning to understand, and the first week could be tough as you fight to find your place within the pack.  But the initial difficulties may prove well worth it when you find yourself surrounded by friends who bite before they growl and offer a sense of protection from the infuriating intricacies inherent in the outside world of emotions.

But true meanness is more about what is withheld than what is dished out.  It’s the lack of sharing, the unwillingness to give to those around you, that truly separates a mean person from one that is merely apathetic or possibly a megalomaniac.  And if being mean is a little confusing, just default to the harmless version.  Sum it all up, divide, and smile.

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