Along this journey of life, we encounter people who seem to require that we meet their standard or that they perhaps don’t have time for us. But you don’t have to travel far to meet these types of people. In fact, I’d bet that we can think of two or three people like this right off the top of our heads.
We could spend our entire lives wondering why we just aren’t good enough for these individuals. Or we could realize that we, as independent people, are likely not the only ones that don’t quite cut the mustard for them. And in these cases, it is very easy to understand how their dissatisfaction with us is not limited to those other individuals in this person’s circle. Indeed, these types of people are also likely very dissatisfied with themselves.
When looking at this problem with this in mind, it’s almost immediate that we conjure up compassion for them. Knowing that they are stuck in a cycle of negativity and that they are only hurting themselves in their negative plight, is part of understanding that it is up to us to ensure that we take responsibility for our own satisfaction and happiness in this life. And the moment that we realize that someone else seems to require us to provide them with the same satisfaction and happiness, we get a glimpse of their lack of ability to provide that for themselves.
From many years on the road, lessons like these seem commonplace. Meeting people of various cultures, nationalities, races, beliefs: this is a universal characteristic of people the world over. Everyone is chasing after happiness. Even those who seem never to have it in their lives.
While it may seem unorthodox, by complaining and even inviting drama into one’s life, people who act in this way do find some satisfaction from, at the very minimum the relief that they get feeling like their problems are greater than someone else’s if they can manifest the cycle of negativity that impulsively creates that reality for others. By casting out this attitude to others that their problems are less profound than theirs, or by painting the picture that even the slightest problem is so terrible that they just can’t stand it, they are underpinning the notion that they are ultimately “above” or “better than” these items. Therefore, they claim the right to cast their judgment over the entirety of whatever issue is at hand.
Understanding that people have these shortcomings on the global level will also help us to understand on the local level just what it is that drives the pattern of negativity in the lives of those who thrive on it and set it in motion by spreading gossip to others about it.
No matter where you go, this will always be a part of life. But if you know what it looks like (or worse; if you are in this cycle yourself), you can easily avoid it and start to look at things more positively.
Like the image from this post? Check out the album from Alaska HERE.
Insights from the Pavement is a new style of blog that I am trying out. These will be posted a couple times per week for the next few months. And I am interested in what my readers and passersby think of them. So be sure to let me know your thoughts in the comments section.