Why Do We Feel the Need to Put Others Down?

“Calling somebody else fat won’t make you any skinnier. Calling someone stupid doesn’t make you any smarter. All you can do in life is try to solve the problem in front of you.”

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I’m not a huge fan of the movie Mean Girls or anything, but I thought that this quote was especially applicable to what I would like to discuss today. Lately, I have been noticing that a lot of individuals my age have gotten accustomed to putting others down in order to make themselves feel better. Examples of this include, “Did you see that picture of Sally? She gained so much weight. Yuck!” or “Did you hear that Suzy hooked up with Bob? I always knew she was a slut.”

Not only are these words super hurtful but also completely inappropriate to say. I am a firm believer that you never truly can understand a person’s life unless you have lived it. This is why it saddens me so much when I see or hear this kind of negativity from others.

“But she IS a slut!” some say, or “I am not saying it directly to her face, why does it matter? She will never know!” or “This is just what girls do, we have to gossip and rip on each other.” 

Well I am here to tell you that all of this is wrong. 

Movies like Mean Girls and other pop culture references have made it seem like this is just something that us girls are expected to do: critique one another. When in reality, we should be uplifting our fellow girlfriends! 

In order to inspire others however, we must first feel inspired and confident with ourselves. I believe the main reason this mean mentality is present is because many girls struggle with low self-esteem and self-image. When we don’t feel comfortable with ourselves, we sometimes take the easier route and put someone else down in order to raise our own egos. Not only is this selfish but it is completely unnecessary. As mentioned in the quote, by putting down others you aren’t ever going to improve yourself. Only you can change your self-image. 

So what I am asking you to do is simple. Be confident in yourself and your abilities. Try spreading more compliments (that you actually mean!) and joy instead of mean words and harsh statements. Work on empowering other women to reach similar levels of happiness. Wouldn’t the world be so much better if we were more kind to one another?
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Every person has the right to life. Each individual makes choices everyday that affect their course. Who are we to judge the decisions of others? Exactly, we aren’t. Work on yourself and then you won’t feel the need to worry about what others are doing.

Don’t be afraid to speak out to others who are exhibiting this behavior. It doesn’t mean they are bad people, just certain things that they are saying are not appropriate. The only way things will ever change is if we each make a conscious effort to do something about it.

So spread the kindness!

Worry less and smile more.

Note: I realize this article was targeted more toward girls but the basic principle applies to all genders! It was just easier for me to write from the perspective of girls.

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2 thoughts on “Why Do We Feel the Need to Put Others Down?

  1. Your expressions of genuine feelings and compassion for others is really clear and cool. I could feel that concern from you from your article/blog. As for being a student that hardly ever felt adversity as a child, I’m surprised you know exactly how the brazened girl feels. Your beautiful childhood and social encounters were mostly positive. An applause for you for taking a stand
    on gossipy girls. You are one amazing and insightful young lady and you will go far in leadership and in any endeavors/profession you seek for you know the formula for successful collaboration for all people in our society. Great article, Audra….. you make me proud to know you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Mrs. McCormick! I want you to know that you have been one of the most inspirational teachers I had the privilege of having! Thank you for everything you did for me and for all the students you have taught over the years. You are an inspiration and I can only hope that the world can have more teachers like you! Thank you!

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