How to Be Mean to People Without Turning Into a Mean PersonFFOL Editor 1
Sometimes we all need to stand out for ourselves and demand the respect we deserve. It can be hard, but learning how to be mean is an art form.
If you want to be respected, sometimes you need to stand up for yourself and avoid becoming a doormat. And sometimes, that means learning how to be mean to people.
We’re told that if we’re mean, we’re nasty. We’re told that if we help others too much, we’re being taken advantage of because we don’t give ourselves the time we need.
It’s a hard balance to find, but it’s entirely possible to learn how to be mean without allowing it to change your character.
Why should you learn how to be mean?
It might sound negative to talk about learning how to be mean, but sometimes it’s necessary. Being mean doesn’t always have to be a negative thing, provided you know when to use the skill and when not to. You should not go around being mean to everyone all the time, because that means you’re a generally mean person and nobody likes that type of person!
You should learn how to be mean because it helps you gain respect, it helps you settle for what you deserve and not for what you don’t deserve. It helps people to look up to you and see that you’re able to stand up for yourself when you need to, but it also means that you’re able to be soft and gentle when you need to be too. [Read: How to say no, stand up for yourself and feel awesome]
If you’re someone who is always helping others, that’s a great thing. But you need to find the balance which allows you to have time for yourself also. Always being there for everyone else means you’re not there for yourself. It means you’re allowing yourself to suffer silently, and it means that others may see you as a doormat when you deserve to be someone who is tiptoed around, not stamped upon!
Learning how to be mean isn’t a negative thing. It’s a necessity, but it comes with one particular condition – know how to know when the time is right to use your new skills and always know your motivation. [Read: How to stand up for yourself without being run over by others]
What does being mean look like?
Being mean for the right reasons and for the wrong reasons look very different to one another. When you’re mean for the wrong reasons you’re nasty, toxic, and you have no real reason for your actions other than to cause hurt and pain to someone else. However, when you learn how to be mean for the right reasons, the picture looks completely different.
Being mean for a positive reason looks like this:
– You stand tall and watch your posture
– Your body language is strong and positive
– You do not use words that are directed to hurt someone, and instead you use language which is firm and states your purpose
– You know the reasons why you are being mean in the first place
In many ways, you’re not actually being mean, you’re being strong. Standing up for yourself isn’t something you do for the hell of it, it’s something you do because you have to. If you avoid this every single time it’s necessary, you’re allowing others to take advantage of you. As a result, they’ll use you and hurt you without thinking about it. Basically, if you don’t stand up for yourself, others will be mean to you, but in a negative way.
Being mean for the right reasons means saying “no” when you need to, refusing to do something which another person wants you to do, because it doesn’t fit in with your reasons or your time plan. It means telling someone when they’re treating you badly and it means standing up for another person, e.g. standing up to a bully who is hurting someone else. It might also mean calling someone out when they’re acting badly in general.
As you can see, learning how to be mean for the right reasons isn’t actually mean at all, it’s doing the right thing. [Read: What makes someone a pushover and how to avoid being one]
The reason we assume it to be mean is because we’re so used to going along with what everyone else wants and needs, and we rarely give enough time or thought to ourselves. As a result, we think that if we say “no” or tell someone when we don’t like what they’re doing, we’re being nasty or causing pain to another person. Of course we’re not, we’re actually doing something which needs to be done in order to restore a balance.
Never allow being mean to change who you are
Learning how to be mean and standing up for yourself is fantastic and it will give you a great amount of confidence, but it also comes with one particular side effect – the risk of allowing it to change who you are.
There are times when you can be mean and times when you shouldn’t be. There are times when you should be understanding, empathic, and gentle, and there are many times when you should be a little harder and firm. Understanding the right time for each approach is important. [Read: How to be firm but not hurt people’s feelings – The 20 golden rules you must know]
The likelihood is that when you start standing up for yourself and saying “no” at necessary times, you’ll feel a power rush. It’s quite heady and addictive and it can be that you want to do it more and more. Of course, go for it when the time is right, but do not allow it to become an addiction that you crave. Power can be extremely dangerous when used too much or when used incorrectly in general.
The best advice is this – before you decide on your approach, i.e. whether you’re going to be mean or not, ask yourself whether there is real benefit in it or not. Would you like it if someone did the same to you? Would it be justified? Is there another approach, perhaps one that is better?
Ask yourself these questions and if you still feel that you need to actually show a harder, meaner side to your character on this occasion, go for it.
Once it’s done, take a deep breath and go back to your gentle self. You are not a nasty or negative person because you had to tell someone they were out of order, or you had to say “no” to something that another person asked you to do, or was coercing you to do against your will. You’re simply placing importance on your own time. [Read: 20 signs you’re a people pleaser and just don’t realize it]
Learning how to be mean doesn’t equate to you being a generally mean or toxic person, it simply means that you know what you’re worth and you’re not ashamed to stand up for yourself and demand that respect when it’s not being shown to you.
Everyone deserves respect, it’s a basic human right, but you do need to be sure that your demands for respect and attention are within balance with who you are and what you’ve done. You can’t demand respect from someone if you’re not showing the same to them. [Read: Martyr complex – Are you intentionally hurting yourself to feel like a martyr?]
Ask yourself these questions and explore your motivation before deciding. You shouldn’t go around being mean all the time, simply when you need to be. This will give you that respect because people will know that you’re a good person, someone who is kind and approachable, but you’re also not someone who is going to take any rubbish or disrespect from anyone else too. That’s the sign of a strong person – someone who knows their worth.
Leaning to be a little mean and firm now and then isn’t something to be ashamed of, but it is something you should use sparingly and with caution. Choosing the right time will create the maximum impact and will give you the respect that others may be lacking right now.
Learning to say “no” when others are placing unnecessary demands upon your time is also something we should all be more comfortable doing, and if that takes learning how to be mean in order to tick that box, well, so be it.