I’m struggling to think of one word that will describe the feeling of acute mental discomfort and anxiety I get when I hear somebody making hurtful remarks about anyone I know. I don’t know if there is a word for it: maybe those people never feel like this. It would explain how they are able to behave in that way.
This feeling I get is so intense that I find it hard to describe, especially when I try to tell the people causing it how they are making me feel with their malicious comments. I don’t do that very often – it invariably ends up with them turning on me. But it still makes me angry that they feel so superior that they have the right to put others down.
And then they try to justify themselves by saying they are being honest and direct. No, they’re not. They’re simply being rude, voicing their opinions behind people’s backs and presenting gossip and rumour as fact. I’ve noticed that they never explain why they hold those opinions. There’s an arrogant, unspoken assumption that the reasons are so obvious that any “right-thinking” person would be in agreement.
I don’t know how to handle this kind of behaviour except by walking away – it upsets me so much that I overload. I feel that I’m letting the target of the comments down by not standing up and defending them, but I’ve tried and I can’t handle the stress of the confrontation that results.
I guess there are just some people out there who are hazardous to one’s health – poisonous if you like. Certainly incompatible with my peace of mind and general well-being.
2 thoughts on “I Think I Need A New Word”
Oh yes, I do understand what you are saying here. I have often wondered why the person talking about their "friend" with other people instead of talking to the person directly if they feel there is a problem. What is the sense in speaking behind someone's back other than to get other people to feel negatively about the person of whom they are speaking about. I understand seeking help from someone (I usually go to my husband) to better understand someone's actions and to process something someone has done or said, but to go to other people and spread rumor and gossip just for the sake of having something to say or hurting the person (who isn't even there to defend themselves against such verbal attacks) in some manner is beyond me. It's just plain wrong to do.I understand what you mean about the difficulties of sticking up for the person who happens to be the target of such gossip at the time. I usually end up having the person upset with me then and then I have to try and defend my position under stress which is not something I do well. I begin to lose my ability to speak clearly and get very quiet. It raises my emotional state too high and causes me to have, oh, I guess I could call them shut downs in the pathways between my ability to think clearly and my ability to speak what I'm thinking. Yes indeed, such people are hazardous to one's health and it is often best to steer clear of them. I agree.
For every hurtful comment, you should say an uplifting one about that person, so not really calling the "rude one" out for being mean, but in the end, perhaps you will feel better about the situation. And the mean person will get the point that you're not interested in tearing that person down. Gossip and misery like company, so if you're a positive voice, they'll know not to come to you any more with negative comments. Well….here's hoping anyway. Again, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.