We often throw the word “hate” around and use it too lightly. We say we hate people we don’t understand, or people who frustrate us with their behavior. However, we don’t really hate these people. The term “hate” should be reserved only for the most unacceptable human behaviors, like violence or prejudice.
There are five types of people that I thought I hated for a long time. Then I realized that they were simply people dealing with their own weaknesses and fears. Maybe they were dealing with those fears much differently than I thought they should. But I realized it’s a far better idea to try to understand and sympathize with them, rather than say I hate for them.
Here are those five types of people, and what I learned about them.
1. The bragger
This person has to be number one on almost everyone’s list of “hated” people. No one likes a bragger, and I’ve especially detested the act of bragging for as long as I can remember. I knew a guy who seemed to have it all figured out, or at least he thought he did. On one occasion at a social event, his extroverted attempts at charming everyone really started to annoy me. I bluntly made a few remarks, thinking I’d put him in his place.
The result was actually surprising. He became quiet for several minutes, even appearing somewhat anxious. At that point, I realized something that I should have known much sooner. This guy wasn’t full of himself. He was just the opposite, and his attempts at charming everyone in the room were really just pleas for acceptance. I immediately felt guilty for being rude to him because he was dealing with insecurity the only way he knew how. His behavior still seems like show act at times, but I don’t hassle him now. It’s just a part of his journey to becoming more sure of himself, and that’s ok.
2. The selfie queen
This is another character you often hear people complain about. One particular friend of mine fits the bill perfectly. I’ll admit, we only know each other through mutual friends, and probably wouldn’t otherwise, as we’re not much alike. However, there is something in her that is relentlessly benevolent. She’s kind and accepting of just about everyone. Much of her selfie-snapping, I believe, can be attributed to her need to feel liked and accepted. Once we see the reason behind annoying behaviors like this, all of our “hate” for them suddenly seems cruel.
While there will always be a part of me (a fairly large part of me) that finds her a bit annoying, and sometimes shallow, I find myself wanting to support her. I’ll even “like” a few of the not-so-interesting photos she regularly posts of herself, her house, her food, etc., just to make her feel good. Of course, she doesn’t need it. She has plenty of friends and family members who adore her. But I think it’s important for me to remind myself to be accepting of things that bother me, and accept someone who is clearly asking for a little validation now and then.
3. The perfectionist
You know those people who say, “Lets go with the flow and see what happens?” Perfectionists are the opposite of those people. They believe there’s only one “right” way, and they don’t tolerate variations or gray areas. Since I’m relatively easygoing and open to change, perfectionists have hassled me quite a few times. Someone in my close circle is like this, and accomplishing things with them often feels like wading through honey. We repeatedly have to stop in the middle of a task and regroup to do things as by-the-book as possible.
While I constantly fought this perfectionist to loosen up, my efforts were always futile. But maybe I was pushing too hard. After all, is it really such a bad thing to want to do everything to the best of your ability? When you think about it, that’s all a perfectionist really is. The trait is actually somewhat admirable.
4. The pushover
While it may seem harsh to hate on a pushover, it’s also difficult to watch them be continuously stepped on without getting frustrated. One of my closest friends seems to have a little problem with letting things slide. People take drastic measures to inconvenience him, and he doesn’t give it so much as a thought. Many times, he’s even stood up for people while I angrily express how out of line they are.
The thing to recognize is, people who are perceived as pushovers often have a valuable trait that most of us lack—patience. These people can have their tolerance tested time and time again, but never run out of reasons to be understanding. Instead of regarding these people as weak, we should consider what we can learn from them.
5. The crazy girl
Calm down feminists, I know there are crazy guys too. However, one particular girl I met years ago really struck me. She was notoriously known as the “crazy” one who was to be avoided—and certainly not to be invited to parties. She was rude, inconsiderate, volatile at times, and an emotional wreck at other times. On more than one occasion, I found myself trying to set her straight for the rude things she’d say to me. She would casually apologize, then seem to forget all about the incident seconds later.
Looking back, it’s obvious now that trying to reprimand her was a ridiculous and misguided approach. All of her behaviors were symptoms of major troubles she was having at home. She projected the chaos onto everyone she came across, and they promptly rejected her in response. Thus the more I thought about it, the more I felt sorry for her. It doesn’t seem fair to hate others with so many problems, when we have so few to complain about.
Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com