Could personality disorders explain the mean girls I know?
Something I’ve encountered all my life but just don’t understand at all: people who, for no reason at all, just don’t seem to like me. I do nothing mean to them, say nothing mean to them. Just as I have always striven to be nice to everyone, and am just a shy, quiet person, not out to hurt anyone.
But they say mean things to me, take anything I say the wrong way, and try to pick fights. I’ve encountered people like this as a child, in adolescence, in college, and occasionally in adulthood as well.
I just don’t get what causes people to act this way.
Tracy was like this. Most of the time I just avoid such people as much as possible, so as not to be near their negativity. But Tracy and Richard tried to force me to be best buds with her, and you see that blew up. If I’d been allowed to follow my natural instincts, that never would’ve happened.
One of my teachers in college, and one of my suitemates, were like this. Just inexplicably had it in for me. No matter what I did, they picked on it. I got this “aura” off them, this vibe of bad feeling.
Sometimes girls like this just gave me a bad feeling and made a snark from time to time. But some of them had a chip on their shoulder and tried to badger me into fights, such as a girl in high school who said she was a witch, and kept attacking my beliefs. One day, a Jewish girl stuck up for me–not the same beliefs, but she saw I was being attacked unfairly.
In among my group of best buds from college is another person like this. She even was my apartment-mate when four of us lived together back then. Something she did to me once–even Sharon considered it intimidation. And now I see it on Facebook, when this person seems to want to pick fights with me. She did it again tonight, making some snarky comment out of the blue. I could swear she was trying to pick a fight with me for some unknown reason. Over *chickens.* HUH? Sometimes I think about unfriending her, except I don’t want drama.
I just don’t get people like this at all. I don’t get why people would treat others this way. I also don’t get why my other friends hang around people like that. Don’t they see the negativity? Especially when, as a young person, some guy I liked would date one of the girls who picked on me.
Some of these people I tolerate–at least for a time–because they are in a circle of my friends. But I don’t get close to them, like I do to other friends.
I even put such people into my fiction from time to time. In high school, I put such a character into my desert island novel, a mean girl who inexplicably has it in for the main character, a sweet girl.
And, of course, this means I can identify with Laura Ingalls, because I deal with my own Nellie Olesons. But you never can figure out, reading the Little House books (or the recently-released Pioneer Girl), why Nellie and her three real-life models had it in for Laura.
Studying personality disorders at least gives me some idea of what’s going on.
Like, for example, Tracy has borderline personality disorder. She also apparently is a narcissist sociopath as well. That would explain her inexplicable behavior toward me.
Then there’s the girl who posted on Facebook, “Parents, beat your children.” I started getting a “vibe” off her, too, before she posted this. Then she verbally abused my husband. She freely posts that she is bipolar.
Another old school friend, I don’t get a “vibe” of her disliking me, but she frequently gets into tiffs with people. She freely posts that she is borderline, so I’m able to compare her behavior with others I suspect of borderline.
The woman I described above, who tried to pick a fight with me over chickens: She also ended a friendship with another of my best college buds, Mike, about five years ago. He said she hates children, and well, I can see it in her posts. Since she posts things from time to time with that familiar “Tracy” feel to them, I highly suspect she’s another borderline.
The only explanation I can think of, is that I’m dealing with people with personality disorders who single me out for some reason I can’t possibly know.
That they see something I do as offensive, which other people wouldn’t find offensive at all, because their personality disorder screws with their amygdala (part of the brain which regulates these things).
Some of them are more dangerous than others. Some seem to have personality disorders, but not narcissism, so leaving them alone seems to keep the worst at bay.
But some are also narcissistic, like Tracy, making them dangerous, constantly trying to pick fights with me and carry out smear campaigns.
The best thing I can do is avoid them, don’t get too close–especially since I’ve seen, through Tracy, what can happen when I’m forced to violate this instinct. Don’t poke the bear, don’t respond when they try to provoke me.