There is something that we humans do to each other in our various relationships, in our friendships, with colleagues and in social situations that undermines all trust and mutual growth and expansion.
We deliberately try and take each other down. The particular strategy that I’m discussing here today is one where one will in an otherwise innocuous conversation, throw in some words to defame or belittle the other. This will be done in such a casual way that it goes below the radar and even though the person towards who the words were spoken will see it and react to it, there will be little they can do about it because the words will be spoken indirectly and tacitly. If the person then confronts the other person, the other person will be able to claim that they ‘didn’t mean it that way’ or that ‘it was only a joke’ or will even go as far as calling the other person ‘too sensitive’ or ‘overreacting’ and as such avert any confrontation with the fact that they’ve spoken out of spite deliberately to ‘take down’ another person. To be clear, I’m not talking about situations where we are in fact overreacting, because such moments obviously also occur. No, what we’re talking about here is passive aggressive spite, exerted in such a way that it can be defended as an ‘innocent comment’. I know how this works because I’ve done it myself.
Let me give an example: so today I was speaking to my friend and during our conversation she made snide and spiteful remarks towards me. It’s something I’ve experienced previously where she would criticize me or directly spite me, while covered up in/as a ‘normal conversation’. I’m absolutely sure that if I were to ask her about it she would say that she never meant it that way and she might even be shocked at me accusing her of deliberately being spiteful and snide. But as I said, I know how it works because I’ve done it myself.
So why do we do this? Why do we deliberately say things to other people to ‘bring them down’, to ‘undermine’ and ‘defame’ them?
What I have seen, both with my friend and with myself is that we do it out of jealousy. It is actually as simple as that. I have seen myself do it with people that I’ve been secretively jealous or envious towards where I would ‘casually’ and even ‘friendly’ say judgmental and defaming things about them, essentially to undermine them and bring them down.
Now, this point is very subtle and it definitely requires self-honesty to admit to oneself, but what I’ve seen for myself is that such snide and spiteful remarks comes with a bitter aftertaste, meaning; we know exactly what we’re doing and that what we’re doing is not okay, that we’re deliberately trying to hurt another and make them less, so that we can feel empowered and superior within ourselves.
What this pattern of behavior goes to show is how extensively we’ve become accustomed to blindly accept everything that goes on in our minds as real, valid and acceptable. So for example, it starts with us becoming jealous because we see something in another that we don’t see in ourselves, but instead of us commonsensically questioning that experience of jealously, we callously ‘jump on it’ and into it and act according to it; we listen to the jealousy instead of questioning why it’s there in the first place. And so we justify deliberately spiting and defaming another person to ‘get on top’ because we feel threatened by them.
This is such a shame because within doing this, we do not only compromise the other person, our relationship with them and ourselves; we also compromise and sabotage any opportunity we may have had to learn from them and actually and in fact grow and expand ourselves. So ironically, in an attempt to become more, we make another and ourselves less and in an attempt to expand ourselves, we limit and disgrace another and ourselves.
I can see this for example with my friend, because she and I are very similar. This has had the effect that we tend to go into competition with one another (one of the ways that we’re similar) instead of actually pushing one another and learning from one another. So that’s something that I’ve been pushing for myself and that I’ve reflected on within myself in terms of how cool it would be if my friend and I put our best qualities together and instead of competing to be the best or to be on top instead used this competitive pushing for perfection to support each other and play around with it instead of taking it so seriously.
In another example where I was the one who spited another, I could see how I would in moments deliberately say things to belittle them, when I in fact felt threatened by them and actually was in awe of them. But I didn’t tell them that and I didn’t look at how I could practically work on implementing that which I saw in them into my own life and living. Instead I found their ‘weak spots’ and I hinted things to them in conversations to inferiorize them and basically make them doubt themselves and think less of themselves, just so that I could feel better about myself and not feel inferior to them. In that moment when I said those things, I felt strong and righteous and like I was doing them a favor by speaking ‘the truth’. But it wasn’t the truth and every time I noticed how these remarks would come out of my mouth I would feel a bad taste in my mouth because I knew that what I was doing was not okay.
Something I also experienced as being particularly problematic when my friend made these comments to me was the dimension of this pattern of it being covert and hidden, because it means that we can never confront the other person or call them out. I’ve done that before in my life and it has not been successful, because no one will admit that they treat other people this way – because it is pure cruelty and in fact cowardice.
Unfortunately, we learn to treat other people this way from our parents as we grow up and I remember this pattern being prevalent even when I was a child and a teenager. I remember how utterly broken I felt when someone made such remarks about me where it was absolutely clear that they were spiting me and deliberately saying nasty things, but it was said in such a sophisticated way, often covered up with either humor or this “I’m telling you the truth to support you” attitude and as I’ve been looking at this pattern now as it’s resurfaced, I realize how extensively we break and hold each other down through this pattern.
Bringing others down because we are jealous at them is not a solution. It only makes the problem even worse as it adds on an even more serious problem than the original experience of jealousy, because it contaminates and corrupts our entire social network of interaction. Everyone is afraid of each other and fear speaking up and expressing themselves openly, in fear of being ridiculed and spited when they do.
So I will here apply self-forgiveness to take responsibility for myself, for my friend as myself and let go of both the spite and the reaction towards being spited by another.
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to deliberately spite and defame another by saying things to them to hurt them, to inferiorize them, to make them doubt themselves, so that I can feel better about myself, feel superior, feel strong and on top
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to create a pattern of becoming jealous when I see something in another that I haven’t developed in myself and then to react to this within judging myself as being inferior and as such feel threatened by another’s strength
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to deal with and handle my experience of jealousy towards another by going full on into it, where I become the jealousy to such an extent that I act out the jealousy and justify it to myself as righteous and necessary for me to stop feeling inferior and gain an experience of myself of being on top/better than another
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not, when I see that I am experiencing jealousy and awe towards another person, stop myself and ask myself why I am experiencing jealousy, why I’m accepting and allowing this experience and instead focus on learning from the other person, so that I too can develop that which I see in them
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to compromise another person and so create consequences in their life by deliberately belittling them and putting them down, in my mind or directly to them or to other people, so as to make them doubt themselves and feel inferior and so also compromise myself and create consequences for myself because I am acting in a way that is unacceptable where I actually make less of myself by treating another as less to feel better about myself
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to create a pattern of deliberately defaming and belittling others by saying defaming things about them that I causally throw into a conversation or mask as a joke, so that I don’t have to stand accountable for my words or actions, to them or to myself and so that I can say things that I know are unacceptable without having to take responsibility for my words or actions
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to deceive myself into justifying my defaming words towards another as being ‘just the truth’ and ‘an innocent comment’ and ‘just a joke’ when I know that what I am doing is deliberately spiting and defaming them and when I know that what I am doing is unacceptable and cannot be justified
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to deliberately hide behind humor and the nature of my relationship with others where I convince myself and the other that it is okay, normal and even necessary for me to say defaming and spiteful things about them, when in fact I know that what I am doing is not okay
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not realize or take responsibility for the fact that I have created consequences in the lives of others by deliberately defaming and belittling them, often when they would actually be expressing themselves or doing something naturally and effectively, where I then make comments that makes them doubt themselves and makes them fear expressing themselves unconditionally
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not realize that when others deliberately defame, spite and belittle me, that they are actually only doing that because they’re jealous of me and something that they see as threatening within me that I do effectively, because they take it personally within comparing themselves to me and judging themselves as inferior
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to feel hurt and angry and resentful and shameful when another deliberately spites or defames me, instead of realizing that their words have nothing to do with me – and even if what they’re saying is true, it’s not ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ and can actually support me in expanding myself, obviously not making their starting-point okay or acceptable
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to feel like I’m losing my mind, and I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to feel victimized, powerless and unjustly treated when I see that another deliberately says things about me to defame or belittle me, because they do it in such a way where I can’t confront them about it, because they can write it off as ‘innocent’ or ‘a joke’
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not realize that it is not necessary for me to confront another if I see that they deliberately say defaming things about me, because I understand the pattern, I know how it works because I’ve done it myself and so I know and understand where its coming from and that it has nothing to do with me – and that what I can instead deal with is the fact that I took it personally in the first place instead of seeing the pattern for how it is and how no words can hurt or defame me unless I accept them to
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to start doubting myself and to want to suppress and hide myself when someone says something defaming about me, where I immediately accept it as true without even asking myself whether it is true or not, because the words are spoken either covered by humor or behind the nature of my relationship with the person, such as in a friendship
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to feel sad, hurt and betrayed when someone I otherwise trust as having my back deliberately says something defaming or belittling about me, instead of realizing that this pattern and these words are not about me, but about the other person themselves and that the one they’re compromising and betraying in the end is themselves
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to deliberately stop expressing myself or parts of myself after someone has discredited that part of me through speaking defaming about it and about me instead of realizing that it is their mind reacting to something in me that they would actually like to develop for themselves, but because they don’t have any commonsensical tools of self-application and self-honesty and because they’ve accepted and allowed themselves to let the mind direct them, they try and deal with their experience through projecting it onto me, as though I am the one making them inferior
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not realize that me suppressing myself so that others don’t react to me is not a solution. That is me reacting in fear towards how others react to me and it means that I’m responsible for keeping both of us and so all of us down and limited because I accept their words to function the way that it is intended; for me to stop doing that which they perceive as threatening, so that they can feel better about themselves
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to be angry at my friend for deliberately defaming and belittling me and I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to now believe and experience that I can’t trust my friend when in fact it is my friend who cannot trust herself as I don’t have to trust her or expect her to treat me a certain when, because I understand how the mind works and how this pattern works and so I realize that I can be friends with my friend with the understanding of how the mind works and how I don’t have to take it personally if or when I see that she deliberately defames or spites me
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to hold a grudge towards my friend when in fact she does the exact same to me that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to do to others
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to be ashamed of myself and to be ashamed and judge myself for how I’ve accepted and allowed myself to treat others with cowardice spite
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to hold it against my friend that she accepted and allowed herself to deliberately defame and spite me, when I have in fact done the exact same and understand how it works and simply because it is unacceptable it doesn’t mean that I have to hold it against my friend, but can instead see how I can assist and support her to stop and develop a more supportive way of handling her experience of competition, jealousy and inferiority just like I’m doing myself
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to hold it against myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to deliberately defame and spite others that I called my friends, instead of realizing that simply because it is unacceptable it doesn’t mean that I have to hold it against myself, but that I can instead look at how I can assist and support myself to deal with jealousy
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not take responsibility for developing effective and supportive tools to deal with what comes up in/through/as my mind so that I can be someone who I can trust, who can be trusted, someone that supports myself as another to expand and grow
Self-Corrective and Commitment Statements
When and as I see that words of spite and belittlement are coming up with me, where I want to speak these words to another, I stop myself. I take a deep breath. I have a look in self-honesty at what it is that I feel inferior towards in relation to the person that I want to defame and I look at how I can practically learn from the other, to expand myself instead of wanting to limit and belittle them so that I don’t have to feel like I’m less than them. I realize that me speaking such words or wanting to speak such words comes from a starting-point of jealousy and inferiority and I realize that the way I’ve been ‘dealing’ with this experience has been anything but effective; in fact it has been outright destructive and abusive. I realize that I’ve created consequences in the lives of others by accepting and allowing myself to become possessed by jealousy and inferiority and that I have extensively limited not only my own potential expansion but also the expansion and expression of others by co-creating a social environment of fear and spitefulness. I realize that if we stop defaming and belittling each other we can instead nurture and harness the expressions in another that we haven’t yet developed in/for ourselves and that this would thus mean an expansion of all of us, instead of a squandering of expression and a limitation and suppression of expression where everyone holds each other down, just to feel better about themselves. I realize that what I have done in terms of defaming, spiting and belittling others to feel better about myself is unacceptable and is not who I decide to be. I realize that I don’t have to fear or resist others defaming me or saying spiteful things about me. I can actually have a look at their words and see if any of it might be true and so utilize the opportunity to expand myself in self-honesty and if I see it is not true, to simply let it go – because I understand that the person is acting out in jealousy that they’re projecting onto me which has nothing to do with me.
I realize that my friend is showing me a lot about how my mind works and how the mind works in general and I realize that I can utilize this opportunity and this relationship to find a solution and a way to work together instead of going into competition with one another where no one has to compromise themselves or another, but can instead find ways to expand and grow together where one being effective at something is a gift the other can use to expand themselves
So I commit myself to stop defaming and spiting and belittling another out of jealousy. I commit myself to instead redirect my jealousy towards others to a practical expansion process where I can learn from them and grow from their example and see their expression as a gift and an opportunity for me to also expand. This way, instead of inferiorizing myself, I equalize myself. I commit myself to not take it personally if I see that someone is deliberately defaming or belittling me to feel better about themselves. I now understand how this pattern works and so I commit myself to simply not participate or give any attention to when another speaks this way to me, but to also be attentive towards any openings or opportunities where I can assist the other to see and understand what they are accepting and allowing and so instead assist them to expand themselves.