10 reasons why people are so mean to you and what to do about it

Are you tired of people being so mean to you?

At some point in our lives, most of us experience mean people. These are people who are intentionally hurtful and unkind towards you in one way or another.

They might be strangers who unapologetically cut you off in traffic or a friend who purposefully ignores your birthday. Or it could be a coworker who gossips about you behind your back.

Unfortunately, people can be unkind in big and small ways.

The good news is that you don’t have to take it!

This article covers 10 reasons why people are so mean to you, as well as what to do about it.

1) You have something these people want

Believe it or not, sometimes people are mean to you—not because they hate you, but because you have something they want.

Maybe you’re good-looking, you’re successful, popular, or have a lot of money. Maybe you’re close to someone important to them.

Whatever the reason, these people will do anything to take away your advantage.

In any case, these people will do anything to make themselves feel better. They’ll try to hurt your feelings and make you feel small.

The truth is that people often compare themselves to others, and when they don’t measure up, they lash out.

They just want to achieve the same success as you or take away your advantage. They want something that you already possess.

And that’s why they’re being mean to you.

But guess what?

Being mean isn’t the way of getting what they want, right? It’s a way of losing.

Still, they perceive you as a threat and think that by hurting your feelings they’ll make you weaker.

But you’re not going to let them do that, are you?

Instead, you’re going to stand up for yourself, and you’re going to be successful in the end.

The best way to deal with this problem is to be aware of it and not let it get to you. If someone is being mean to you, just remember that it’s not personal – they just want what’s best for themselves.

And the reason why they’re being mean to you is that they don’t have whatever makes you happy.

2) They’re trying to teach you a lesson

Ever noticed that people around you seem to do everything in their power to make you feel crappy?

It’s not just mean people, either. It’s also people who are trying to teach you a lesson.

They might do something that you don’t expect, or they might say something that makes you angry. But at the end of the day, they’re trying to teach you something.

The lesson might be about yourself or it might be about the situation. But at the end of the day, they’re trying to help you learn something.

But why do they want to teach you a lesson? What have you done to them?

Most of the time, it’s because people think they have the power to make others do what they want. They may not even realize it, but sometimes they’re trying to control you.

And if you don’t conform to their rules, they try to teach you a lesson.

They’re just trying to make you feel uncomfortable.

It’s just a simple gesture of demonstrating their power over you.

But at the end of the day, you’re going to be okay. You’re going to learn from the experience, and you’ll be stronger for it.

And that’s why they’re being mean to you.

But that doesn’t have to be the case, right? In the end, it’s up to you to choose how you react to these situations.

So, try to stand up for yourself and realize that nobody has the right to control you. You’re worth more than that.

3) You’re an easy target

Another reason why people might be mean to you is that they think you’re an easy target.

Let me explain.

It’s a natural tendency of mankind to want to feel important. We all want to feel like we’re contributing something to the world, and we want to feel like we’re making a difference.

But sometimes, people take that a little too far. They see someone who doesn’t have anything, and they start to project their negative thoughts onto them.

They start to think of themselves as the only person who cares, and they start to treat that person poorly.

The truth is that targeting people who are weak is a basic instinct. It’s what humans do to survive.

But that doesn’t mean that it’s right in our society.

What does it mean?

It means that even if people who are mean to you think that you’re not capable of defending yourself, or that you don’t have what it takes to deal with the situation, you have to remember that you are capable of overcoming anything.

And guess what?

If you don’t stand up for yourself, then you’ll eventually let them win.

So what can you do to stand up and deal with the people who are mean to you?

Begin with yourself. Stop searching for external fixes to sort out your life, deep down, you know this isn’t working.

And that’s because until you look within and unleash your personal power, you’ll never find the satisfaction and fulfillment you’re searching for.

I learned this from the shaman Rudá Iandê. His life mission is to help people restore balance to their lives and unlock their creativity and potential. He has an incredible approach that combines ancient shamanic techniques with a modern-day twist.

In his excellent free video, Rudá explains effective methods to empower yourself.

So if you want to build a better relationship with yourself, unlock your endless potential, and put passion at the heart of everything you do, start now by checking out his genuine advice.

Here’s a link to the free video again.

4) They’re jealous

You probably won’t be surprised if I tell you that people might be mean to you because they’re jeopardized in some way.

Sometimes people are jealous or envious of what you have or how successful you are. They might not want to admit it, but that’s why they’re attacking you.

As a matter of fact, jealousy is a very basic human emotion, and it’s usually triggered when someone feels threatened or inferior.

And it’s also one of the most destructive emotions a person can experience.

It’s a feeling of insecurity and envy that makes people want to hurt, control, and humiliate you.

But in reality, jealousy makes people feel terrible and makes it difficult for them to have healthy relationships.

So if someone is being mean to you, don’t take it personally. It’s probably just jealousy talking.

In the case of people who are mean to you, they might feel threatened by your success, or your ability to connect with other people.

So instead of trying to understand their motivations, or trying to change them, sometimes the best thing to do is just ignore them.

It may not be fun, but it will help you deal with the situation in a more healthy way.

5) You make them feel bad

pexels andrea piacquadio 3812721 1 10 reasons why people are so mean to you and what to do about it

Okay, we discussed some reasons why people might be mean to you because of their personal reasons.

But what if it’s you who’s been making them feel bad?

In this case, they might be mean to you because you’re the one who makes them feel in the first place.

Do you see where we’re going with this?

Sometimes people don’t realize how their words and actions are affecting other people.

And that’s why it’s so important to be conscious of how your words and actions are impacting others.

In the case of people who are mean to you, they might not realize how their words and actions are affecting you.

But guess what?

The same goes for you.

Just think about it. When was the last time you said or did something that made someone feel bad? How often do you unintentionally hurt people’s feelings?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, at some point in our lives, all of us have hurt someone’s feelings.

But the key is to learn from our mistakes and try to be more mindful in the future.

So the best way to deal with this type of situation is to take a step back and examine your own behavior.

And then make a conscious effort to change the way you’re interacting with others.

If you’re the one who’s always making them feel bad, then they might lash out at you in order to protect themselves.

And that’s why it’s so important to be mindful of your words and how you’re treating other people.

If you want to have healthy relationships, then it’s essential that you be kind and respectful to everyone around you.

So, the next time you notice someone is being mean to you, try to take a step back and think about why they might be acting this way.

And then make a conscious effort to change the way you’re interacting with them.

6) Something is wrong in their life

Now you might be a little bit surprised, but being mean can be a sign that something is wrong in someone’s life.

Believe it or not, often people can be mean to you because something might be wrong in their lives and they’re using you as a way to cope with the situation.

How does this work?

Well, in psychology, this mechanism is called projection. It means transferring our anger and negative emotions to someone else and then attacking them indirectly. The fact of the matter is that it’s a defense mechanism and its purpose is to help people avoid negative feelings about themselves.

Considering this, it’s not that surprising that people can be mean to you when something is wrong in their lives.

So, in the case of people who are mean to you, they might think that you’re the one who’s causing their problems.

Or maybe they’re feeling overwhelmed and they need someone to pick on in order to feel better.

In any case, it’s important to remember that people can be mean for any number of reasons.

And while it may not always be easy to understand, it’s important to remember that everyone is different and what works for one person might not work for another.

That’s why you shouldn’t blame yourself if you’re the victim of meanness, and instead, you should try to take a step back and understand why the person is acting this way.

7) You’re hurting them with your toxic habits

Do you think that you’ve done something wrong to the person that is being mean to you?

Well, in a sense, that’s exactly what’s happening – you’re constantly hurting them because of the toxic spiritual habits you’ve picked up without even realizing it.

The truth is that everyone makes mistakes sometimes, but that doesn’t mean that people have the right to be mean to you for it. If someone is being mean to you, it’s probably because they’re feeling angry and frustrated.

But what if you could change this and improve the situation?

Let me explain what I mean.

When it comes to your personal spiritual journey, which toxic habits have you unknowingly picked up?

Is it the need to be positive all the time? Is it a sense of superiority over those who lack spiritual awareness?

Even well-meaning gurus and experts can get it wrong.

The result is that you end up achieving the opposite of what you’re searching for. You do more to harm yourself than to heal.

You may even hurt those around you.

In this eye-opening video, the shaman Rudá Iandé explains how so many of us fall into the toxic spirituality trap. He himself went through a similar experience at the start of his journey.

As he mentions in the video, spirituality should be about empowering yourself. Not suppressing emotions, not judging others, but forming a pure connection with who you are at your core.

If this is what you’d like to achieve, click here to watch the free video.

Even if you’re well into your spiritual journey, it’s never too late to unlearn the myths you’ve bought for truth!

8) They’re emotionally unstable

If you’ve ever been the target of someone’s meanness, then you know that it can be frustrating.

After all, why do they keep picking on me?

Well, one reason might be that the person is emotionally unstable.

Emotionally unstable people are often unpredictable and difficult to deal with. And that’s because they don’t have a stable sense of self-identity. That means that they’re constantly changing their moods and opinions, which can make it difficult to understand them.

Plus, emotionally unstable people tend to be hypersensitive to emotional stimuli, which makes them more prone to lash out in anger.

And you know what?

That’s why they’re attacking you. They just can’t manage to control their impulses, and whenever you’re around, they feel like they’re losing control.

So if you encounter someone who is emotionally unstable, try to remain calm and patient. It might take some time, but eventually, you’ll get through to them.

9) They’re seeking attention

Now let’s talk about the really destructive people.

These are the people who are always looking for ways to get attention. Whether it’s by spreading rumors, attacking others online, or creating fake accounts, they’re always looking for ways to get noticed.

We call these people attention-seekers. They’re never satisfied unless everyone is looking at them, and they’ll do anything to get people’s attention.

And that’s why they’re so destructive. Because they’re always looking for ways to take advantage of others. And that’s because attention is their drug of choice.

They crave it because it gives them a sense of satisfaction and security. It makes them feel alive and in control.

But as you can imagine, this type of behavior is really harmful to others. Not only do they spread rumors and lies, but they also hurt innocent people with their cruel words.

The result?

People who constantly seek attention often turn to destructive behaviors such as being mean to others. And you’re among those people they chose to target.

So if you ever encounter someone who’s looking for attention, be careful. They might not seem like the most trustworthy person, but that doesn’t mean they’re not capable of hurting you.

10) They just don’t want you to be around

And finally, sometimes people are mean to you because they simply don’t want you around.

They might say nasty things because they don’t like the way you dress or they might make fun of your accent. But the bottom line is this: they don’t want you around.

And that’s why it’s so important to be careful who you let into your life. Because sometimes, people just don’t want you around because you’re not good for them.

And you know what?

If they don’t want to contact you, let them be. You don’t need them in your life anyway, do you?

So if you notice that someone is being mean to you because they don’t want you to be around, just stop and take a step back.

You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.

Instead, focus on building your own relationships and being positive and supportive. That’s the kind of person you want to be, and that’s the kind of person who will always be happy.

What can you do about someone being mean to you?

As you can see, there are a lot of different reasons why someone might be mean to you.

And considering this, you might be wondering what you can do to change the situation.

Well, the first thing you can do is try to understand why the person is being mean to you.

Sometimes, people are just angry, and they don’t know how to express that. So they lash out at the first person they see.

Other times, people might be jealous or they might just want attention. So if you can figure out what the person’s motivation is, it will help you approach the situation more constructively.

And finally, sometimes people just don’t like you, and that’s all there is to it. So if that’s the case, it’s important to remember that you’re not responsible for their feelings and you don’t have to change who you are in order to make them happy.

So remember: there are a lot of different reasons someone might be mean to you, but ultimately it’s up to them to justify why they’re treating you this way.

Whether it’s because they feel inferior to you or have an insecurity or fear that makes them behave badly, here’s what to do:

The best thing to do is just ignore them.

If something is wrong in their life, then they might be looking for validation or attention. But if you try to engage them in conversation, they might start to feel like they have to explain themselves.

And that’s never a good thing.

The best way to deal with this type of situation is to just stay away from them and avoid any confrontations. If you can’t avoid them, then at least try to keep your distance and don’t engage them in conversation.

Bottom line: Don’t take it personally, and don’t stay stuck there

All in all, as humans, we tend to be hard on one another. It’s almost as if people take pleasure in making others feel bad about themselves.

If there’s one thing that can bring anyone down, it’s being mean to them.

You might not even know why, but you feel it. If you’re reading this article, you’ve probably experienced hurtful comments or actions from others at some point in your life, and it stings.

I’ve been on the receiving end of my fair share of this viciousness myself, and I know how much it can hurt you and leave you feeling unworthy in other relationships.

The good news is that you don’t have to take it.

Learning to let go of caring about how people treat you – especially if they’re acting in an unpleasant manner – is obviously easier said than done. If you do feel like you’re starting to feel overwhelmed by snide comments and abrasive treatment.

The best thing you can do before deciding how to act next is to ease your emotional state (especially if you’re overwrought) and not explode or react in a way you might otherwise regret.

Check out this free 20 minute guided Self-Healing Meditation led by Rudá himself.

Taking allocated time out to breathe and reset when you start feeling like you’re the target of other people’s negativity is immensely helpful.

Once you’ve cooled down and eased your mind, you’ll be able to approach the situation in a way that will actually benefit you as opposed to feed into the toxicity you’re dealing with.

Click here to access the free meditation.

So, the key to this situation is not to take it personally, don’t stay stuck, and don’t react in the moment. After all, it’s not your fault that they’re being mean to you.

Picture of Nato Lagidze

Nato Lagidze

Nato is a writer and a researcher with an academic background in psychology. She investigates self-compassion, emotional intelligence, psychological well-being, and the ways people make decisions. Writing about recent trends in the movie industry is her other hobby, alongside music, art, culture, and social influences. She dreams to create an uplifting documentary one day, inspired by her experiences with strangers.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.