Lately, I've noticed that a lot of people I'm speaking with want to get revenge or they want to get even or make others know how the other made them feel. At the same time, I've been hearing about narcissists, psychopaths, etc. that are within my network. Some of these people have been incredibly mean to and hurt people I deeply care about. Which makes me upset (sad and angry). 😢
With that being said, I don't blame these mean people. While they must be accountable for their actions — and trust me, in the long-run, they will — I think that people are the products of the environment that they grew up in. There's a reason (or reasons) that this person who you hate or despise is the way that they are. They weren't plopped onto the earth being a huge d-bag. Some thing or things happened that made them the way they are. An abusive father. Not getting invited to play with the other kids. Etc. Most mean people are not aware of these things and live on autopilot and don't take the time to address them through therapy to get to the root cause. (also, most people in general live on autopilot IMO).
Looking at it this way, I end up feeling bad for narcissists and psychopaths. There's likely some deep psychological trauma at the root of why they are the way they are. And this makes me want to empathize with them, just as I strive to empathize with all living things (If I can, I'll try to get the bug in the room outside so he can go live his life vs. smushing him. If I was that bug, I wouldn't want a human to smush me.).
I think the best revenge for people who hurt you is just to let it go (within reason, as I say, people do need to be held accountable for their actions). The world is becoming increasingly interconnected, word of mouth via social media is next level, five star reviews are becoming ubiquitous. It's only a matter of time before the word gets out.
And, at least with psychopaths, I'm not entirely sure if this is true, but I believe that they need to continuously be moving to new environments. Because once people find out they are only in it for themselves, the group sort of casts them out.
Written: October 2, 2020
- Intergenerational trauma
- Give and Take by Adam Grant
PS: I also think that psychopaths and narcissists especially will lose long-term because it's about them. When you think of it from a business perspective, you need to be customer-focused. If you're always focusing on how it benefits you, you're going to lose. Psycopaths do a better job of this than narcissists bc they use people as chess pieces. As in, if they need to suck up to you to buy something, they will. Not sure if that's the case with narcissists.
To spot a narcissist, especially in business, read one of the first chapters in Adam Grant's Give and Take. It talks about financial reports and lekking.