People are Individuals, Not Groups

I don’t blog often, so for me to make the next statement may seem a bit ironic, but here it goes. This is not my typical blog post, but it felt important enough that I needed to write it.

I saw a post on Twitter today that disturbed me enough to cause an internal debate on the reaction of logical reasoning we have in the face of judgement, criticism, and injustice.

The post read: Insecure people always put others down, that’s just how it goes.

Immediately, I thought, this is such a dangerously inaccurate statement. The person has the statement mixed up a bit, which is what makes it a dangerous statement.

I believe the post should read: The act of putting another person down is an unhealthy manifestation of being insecure.

First of all, before I delve too deeply into this particular statement, I must say, broad statements like the original comment, encompassing an entire group of unique individuals who may share one or few commonalities, is a sign of ignorance and vastly reduces one’s ability to understand a person and yourself. Never associate behavior with an entire group – everyone is unique and should be treated as individuals, not groups.

As far as the above statement goes, everyone has insecurities. No one in this world is free from the burden of insecurities. Whether it’s about their appearance, intelligence, skills, likability, finances, morality, gender and sexual orientation, race, religion, etc., everyone feels insecure about something.

The above statement made on Twitter states, “insecure people ALWAYS put others down”. If you agree with my argument that everyone has insecurities, then you’ll probably agree that everyone at some point in their life has put someone else down, for whatever reason. So, “insecure” people can’t have a pass completely – everyone does it, often without realizing they’re doing it. However, to say someone with insecurities, ALWAYS puts others down is just ridiculous. Everyone’s insecurities manifest in different ways, while most are able to stay hidden.

Instead of looking at the “insecure person”, I want to analyze why people, in general, “put others down”. There is no one reason that a person may try to tear another person down. There are countless reasons, and many times, a person is not even aware of why they are doing it.

I’ve narrowed down what I believe to be the top five reasons a person would “put others down”. These are based on my own life experiences of interacting with countless unique individuals. No poll or scientific study went into this – just pure observation of, and attentiveness to people. These are also not in any particular order.

1.       To fit in with peers

2.       To appear strong in the face of someone who makes you feel unimportant

3.       In retaliation for an injustice you endured

4.       To hide the fact that you share commonalities with that person

5.       Because you are hurting and want someone to feel like you do so you’re not alone in your pain

Indeed, insecurity of some kind is the cause of lashing out against another person, but not everyone deals with their insecurities this way. Silence and inaction are more often the way people choose to deal with their insecurities. To protect themselves, people withdrawal and hide from these issues. Lashing out at someone reveals your weaknesses. Most people are dealing with a daily struggle to appear strong and aren’t willing to risk gaining a crack in their façade.

Too often, when we receive injustice or someone “puts us down”, we immediately pass judgement, not just on that person, but entire groups of people. I’m going to repeat myself here – everyone is unique and should be treated as individuals, not groups! Everyone behaves differently, thinks and feels differently, and reacts differently. No two people are identical.

Let’s give people the respect they deserve and see them as individuals. Don’t reduces a person’s worth and uniqueness by compartmentalizing them as a group.