It’s an old saying but it’s largely true. People who have to put others down are doing it for the purpose of raising themselves up. This may work well for the school bully or someone of approximately equal age, but for the grown up, the act of belittling another shows nothing more than ignorance and makes the one doing the belittling just look worse. It’s one thing to take a shot at a friend and, in a less meaningful way, make the person look as if he’s been belittled. One, it’s done as a joke. Two, it’s among friends. Three, everyone knows it’s done in fun and no one takes it seriously. But, for the person who makes a routine of habitually belittling others, in the end, you will find a person with few true friends.
The school yard bully is the prime example of the kid who has to knock others to make himself feel more important. Most people have been bullied at one time or another as a child. We usually get over it by facing our fears. We may have to stand up to the bully or just come to the realization that the bully’s words don’t matter. Interestingly, most bullies grow out of it, as well. They realize that pushing others around is no way to make friends. By the time they enter adulthood, most bullies have tamed down their acts and don’t feel the same need to belittle others.
We’ve all been guilty of belittling others at some point in our lives. Oddly, the people we’re most comfortable putting down and making feel small are those we’re closest to. The closer you are to someone, the more you can take shots and get away with them. For the most part, this is done in fun. Good friends can take some pretty heavy (almost mean-spirited) shots at each other and still remain friends. But, if you take a look, there are still those few adults who do this on a regular basis. These are the people who have never grown out of the school yard bully phase.
Take a look at these adult bullies. If you look at their lives under a microscope, you will find individuals with very few friends. Why? Because, as we mature, we understand that the bully is no longer someone to fear. At a younger age, he can intimidate others in to being his friend. Now, when he tries the same intimidation tricks, such as belittling, they don’t work. Most of us who’ve matured more fully, will just laugh with the bully or say something like, “Is that the best you got?” and move on. The person who feels the need to belittle others just shows his own inadequacy and, in the end, only belittles himself.
In conclusion, most of us who have matured realize that the words of someone who tries to belittle others mean very little. Rather than being intimidated by them, we see adult bullies as people to be pitied. They may never know the meaning of true friendship.