Out with the Insults

Why is it that some people find it so natural and desirable to be caustic towards other people? Not always in reaction to anything in particular, just because it’s how they choose to be whenever they disagree with someone or dislike them for any reason.

If you spend any amount of time on line, whether it’s Facebook, Grindr, Blogs, News sites, Profiles, Craigslist, Comments sections, etc., you can read some of the most acidic, mean spirited, hateful, vile, judgmental crap that human beings are capable of spewing forth from their biologically evolved vocal chords. The incessant need and desire to be as mean and cruel and hurtful as possible to other people escapes me.

I have had my share of heated debates, de-friendings and arguments, but I always try to keep to the facts and state my case without reverting to name calling and insults when called upon to give my reasons or discuss.  Why do some people have to sink to the level of defamation?  The minute you start calling me (or anyone) “friggin’ asshole” “dumb fuck” “sick perv” “ugly fat” “stupid bitch” , you have already lost any possibility of reaching me or obtaining my agreement, because you have eschewed civil discourse, logical explanation, adult discussion and sound logic for childish, elementary school name calling and accusation. I have already shut off my mental receptors and placed you in the category of unreasonable, immature, and unworthy of my attention, time and effort. That kind of behavior and attitude is toxic and pointless; and it is amazing how often people are so unaware of themselves that they exude the very characteristics and personality that they criticize others for and don’t even realize it. There is never a good or reasonable excuse to resort to such angry attacks, but the offense is compounded when you yourself are the pinnacle of the type of person you are attacking.

There are many people in my life I dislike, to varying degrees. Some I have had words with, some I have not. But I can say, in good conscious, no matter what I’ve thought or how angry I’ve gotten, I have never reverted to public schoolyard name hurling and insults. If I don’t like you or something you’ve done, I will tell you, in detail and description, what it is and why, if you require it of me. I have always stressed not to ask me questions if you aren’t ready to hear the honest answers. Some people foolishly chose to ignore my warnings and ask me questions hoping I’d tell them what they want to hear instead of the truth and then get angry when I am honest with them, despite my assurance that I would be. But I have never told someone I did not like them or that I had a problem with them because they were an “asshole” or a “bitch”. Not that I haven’t ever used these names or thought them in my own private rants at home or with my husband or close friends; but never in a public setting or on a  social website in an attempt to publicly humiliate someone. You may not like or agree with my reasons for saying, thinking, feeling or doing the things I do, but you’ll never be able to (honestly) accuse me of not having a reason for any of it, and I will never resort to the kind of acidic, cruel, insulting epithets that have become commonplace in today’s social environment and discourse. Besides, that terminology says more about you than the people you’re using it towards.

I am not perfect and I am not always nice, but I do strive to be a better person and rise above my base instincts, reactions and emotions to behave in a more honest, compassionate, rational manner. I can think of many people who might do better to make such efforts, to help create and support an environment of civility both on line and off.

This entry was posted in hatred, Honesty, Life Lessons, My Opinion, Personal Growth. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Out with the Insults

  1. cb says:

    Oh, I know I can whip out the good insults if necessary. It’s a long-honed defense mechanism. But I rarely use it any more.

    I prefer snark… and to try to push people’s buttons to get them to verbally spar with me in a flirty way.

  2. wcs says:

    Well, jeez! I had a few choice words prepared for you, buster. Like Mr. Beet Hater. And Sassy-my-assy. And you can stick that crochet needle where the sun don’t shine!

    I have chosen, instead, to be civil and respectful. To take the high road. To not resort to name calling. I have learned my lesson, baldy. Oh, sorry, make that Mr. Baldy. Have a nice day. 🙂

    I certainly hope you realize that I have my tongue planted firmly in my cheek as I type this, a feat that is as daring as it is uncomfortable.

  3. Urspo says:

    I was taught early I would always encounter rudeness and bad manners. Despite the urge to match like with like, I was to rise above it/set a good example/and be the gentleman.
    It is darned hard to do – and I usually can think of some brilliant nasty remark (it is a small step to becoming Hannibal Lector)
    As Mark Twain once said “I differ from George Washington. George could not tell a lie. I can, but I won’t”

  4. JimAJ says:

    Thanks for your post Sean. I agree. Very well said.

    I have only learned recently to voice why I am upset with someone. In the past I would have just kept quiet and backed away only to leave the offending person wondering why.

    If one can voice a disagreement and still be respectful then you are the better person. The offending one knows why you are now backing away and can learn from it if they so wish.

    Being able to accessorize is not the only thing that raises us above the animals…

  5. Will J says:

    A friend of mine commented years ago that she was always sensitive any time the underlying tone of any discussion was “As any fool can plainly see….”

  6. David says:

    I echo RG…. that’s what makes you the exception… and exceptional 🙂

  7. RG says:

    This post is why you’re one of my favorite people.

  8. Raybeard says:

    EXACTLY! – when others have to resort to name-calling (with the obvious inference that the person who is being addressed as such is somehow ‘inferior’), rather than by using constructive, objective criticism, you know that that person has already lost the argument. But the great pity is that such people don’t see it that way, so blinded are they by their need to ‘feel better’ by putting the other person down. I suppose, tragically, it’s just one of the many downsides of the ‘human condition’, not that that’s much comfort when you’re on the receiving end.

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