What is Mean?

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You all know it now.  The dreaded B word.  No, not the one you used to think of as a cuss word, that was used too describe a female you did not like or worse.  No, I am talking about the B word that I now refuse to use.  Why?  Because it has a life of its own and it has become such a huge subject that in the midst of what is and isn’t b……., everyone seems to have forgotten what the underlying problem is for all of us.  We could call it b……., gossiping, name-calling, belly-snaking( that’s an old timers term—hmmm,  that might be me!)


n was someone mean to us?  When we did not deserve it, when was it untrue?  That’s the first consideration.

Secondly,  what did that feel like for you?  I mean, what was your physical reaction?  Did you get choked up, did you feel like you wanted to punch something or someone?  How did your stomach feel?  Or your jaw? Your teeth or your hands?

Why does that matter? Well, learning about and understanding your physical reactions to words or actions can often teach you quicker than your mind can understand what has happened.  And we don’t need to continue  to shut down emotions or sensations in the body.  Our culture has taught us for too long to stop feeling and plow through life.  I am not getting a huge sense that’s working out too well. Considering the high number of us on medication for depression, anxiety, stress, and sleeplessness- I would say we have some progress to make on that subject.

Next, when did you ever say something about someone else that was mean or untrue? What was it that you did or said?  Then recall what happened  to you prior to you being mean or unkind to another.

Did you get into an argument with your parents or friend? Did you get a poor grade on a paper or test? Did someone yell at you? Were you upset because you were excluded from a party? Did you not get picked after tryouts for a team or sport or play?

This is really, really important to remember.  Because you most probably treated someone else poorly After You Had Something Bad Happen To You.

Were you or did you apologize for your actions? Why or why not? Did you feel bad about it? We HAVE to look at the underlying actions of B……., not just the actions themselves….but what causes them.  Fear, Anger, Hurt, Embarassment, Sadness, Loneliness, Grief, Etc.

Then, we can shift the direct hit that came to us from another person’s meanness…..from being towards us and just plain old pain.  It Does Not make B……. right… It is Always Wrong!

BUT…..we can begin to look at the situation from a different angle, perspective, and view.  More like,  “Wow, I really feel sorry for them, they had something so bad happen to them today…..that they had to take it out on me when I did nothing wrong.

And that my friends, is how we Shut Down the B word.

Let’s all give it a try and see the results.  It’s organic, it’s the underlying root cause, and it is solvable.  Instead of punishing the action, let’s adjust and understand the reasons behind it all.

Let’s change the conversation.  Let’s shift the focus to empowering. Our Future. Our Children.


robbin schneider

joiful life


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