Being Nasty Back Only Backfires

I am the first to admit that, historically, I haven’t responded to nasty and hateful people very well. My initial reaction was to respond with equal nastiness. Why? I think because I misunderstood why people are nasty to others. I used to think that the nasty person was nasty because the person they were being nasty toward had been nasty first. I reacted in a nasty way to the nasty person, because I was pissed at erroneously being viewed as being a nasty and hateful person! (How stupidly ironic of myself!)


Now I know that nasty people are just nasty and mean for no reason. Well, other than the fact that the nasty person hates him/herself and the nasty person has zero respect for others as a result of their self-hatred.

Pitying these people just perpetuates their hate. And being nasty back and lashing out at their nastiness just serves to validate their natural state of nastiness. They think if others are nasty to them, they are justified in their nastiness.

Today, I respond differently to nasty and hateful people.

When the nasty person is my boss or co-worker, I set my boundaries, say “no” when appropriate and ignore their judgment of myself and others. Questioning them isn’t worth losing my job or being bullied into leaving my job. (Been there!)

If the nasty person is an acquaintance or someone on Facebook or my blog, I slip away quietly. The relationship isn’t solid enough or based on much to obligate myself to explain myself. Stepping away, unfriending that person and not engaging further is self-preservation and self-protection. The mean and nasty person will doubtfully even notice my silence and sudden elimination from their friend list.

If the nasty person is someone I am face-to-face with and who has no authority over me, I am more direct: “You’re not very nice or considerate. What you just said about that person is unacceptable and I choose not to listen.” Then I walk away.

And don’t get me wrong. I can be nasty some days and my close family and friends can be nasty and inconsiderate some days. But it’s not the occasional bad mood I’m talking about here. It’s those people who repeatedly and daily show their true nasty colors in all that they do, say and plan and connive. It’s the people who have nothing nice to say about anyone behind their backs. It’s the hateful who find glee in seeing others in pain. It’s the ones who feign care about life while simultaneously trying to destroy another’s life.

I write about this, because no matter how positive and hopeful I am, the inevitable nasty person crosses my path. I need to be prepared and ready to NOT act nasty. (I’m sure with greater practice, I won’t think about it as much. Not being nasty back will be my natural response.)

My biggest downfall, up to this point, has been wrongfully thinking that if I gave the nasty person a taste of his/her own medicine, he/she would see the light. Nope. The nasty person just spits out the medicine, splashing me in the eye with it, and I’m the one left mad and feeling crazy.

~Paula 🙂

How to Mindfully Let Go of Mean and Selfish People Without Compromising Yourself


I am guilty of compromising myself in the past when it came to trying to let go of mean and selfish people.

The injustice of never receiving closure and an explanation of how they could be so cruel simply ate away at me until I exploded.

I always thought their silence and refusal to talk with me was because I had done something that caused that person to behave in a mean and selfish way towards me. I always thought I could just undo that “thing” I did or said, apologize for it and the person acting mean and selfish would open up to me and share their feelings with me, resulting in some sort of mutual understanding.

Unfortunately, I was wrong on many occasions about this.

Probably because I used to think that everyone was good-hearted deep down.

I used to think people who acted in mean and selfish ways just needed a little nudge in the “be nice” direction.

I used to think by practicing patience and hope, those mean and selfish people would stop treating me and others in mean and selfish ways.

Today, I am not as naive as I once was.

Today, I confidently understand and believe that there are some people who just enjoy being mean and selfish. And no matter how much I cry or beg them to be nicer, more understanding and more forgiving, I can’t make them stop being mean and selfish.

Are these people mean and selfish because they don’t have a conscience?

Who knows? They could have been born without one, or they could have been born with one, and their childhood or circumstances conditioned their consciences to go into long-term hibernation or something. Who in the world can know for certain and why should we really care? Let their therapist figure that one out.

What I do know with absolute certainty is that I have a life to live. And I will do what I must do to protect that life from mean and selfish people whose only purpose is to cause destruction in the lives of all they touch.

Moving forward, I have made a promise to remove myself from the line of sight of mean and selfish people.

But there are two things I must NOT do when I make the decision to let go of mean and selfish people:

1. I must resist the urge to lash out and tell the mean and selfish person that he/she sucks. Me telling them that I think they suck just makes me look mean and selfish, too. I don’t need to deal with that unnecessary guilt.

2. I must resist the need to explain to the mean and selfish person why I think she/he is mean and selfish. I don’t owe him/her anything. The mean and selfish person never earned the right to know why I believe he/she is mean and selfish and unable to change.

Besides, mean and selfish people just try turning our reasoning on its head to make them look good and us look mean and selfish.

So it’s not important to explain to mean and selfish people why we don’t take their calls, reply to their emails, or attend their parties.

It’s not as if doing so will bring some sort of enlightenment to our lives. After all, once we engage in trying to explain ourselves to mean and selfish people, we get sucked into their worlds again. And their worlds are equivalent to being in hell, remember?

Instead, let the mean and selfish people go quietly and with as little drama as possible. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your life joyfully grows and positively changes. And the changes are permanent as long as you don’t let another mean and selfish person infiltrate your peace.


P.S. Mean and selfish people never ask themselves, “Am I mean and selfish?”

(They might ask their current victim if the current victim thinks they’re mean and selfish, but that’s just to gauge the new victim’s empathy and ability to be manipulated .)

Mean and selfish people generally know they’re mean and selfish but don’t care if they hurt any one. After all, mean and selfish people think they win in life by being mean and selfish and believe it’s your fault for choosing to be hurt by them.

You’re just a sore loser in the eyes of mean and selfish people.

Isn’t it funny how clear they make it for us when we know how to recognize the smoke screens and blow past them? 🙂

© 2013 Paula Carrasquillo and Paula’s Pontifications

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