Dear mods, I was going to post this in the D&R, but since this topic is not limited to D&R, nor is it limited to Taiwan, I’ll post here for discussion and we can move it as we see fit later on.
I am wondering what makes a person make rude and judgemental remarks about someone else that they don’t even know? The obvious reasons such as: jealousy, unhappy with themselves, unhappy with their own lives, etc. I understand. But what makes a person have such thick skin that they never look at themselves as the root of all problems, but everything is: them them them. They suck they suck they suck. Locals are this, locals are that. The women here are this, the women here are that. Back home I would never be treated like this…; it’s because of my sex, my color, my religion people treat me like this or that. Is friendship about keeping track of everything one does for each other? “I got you a book and a CD for Christmas, but you only got me one shirt. You owe me the difference.”
If I put someone down then I can at least pretend to myself that I’m not completely useless. I can never be superior, but I can act like I am, doesn’t work of course, but useless people don’t know that.
And there is a desperation to be liked or to feel equal that backfires.
Ach… It’s difficult sometimes to be a good friend, good person, resist calling women who steel-the-guy-you-saw-first bitches, always make sure you say the appropriate thing, etc… But whenever I’m not sure how to treat people, or faced with a difficult decision in general… I go to ‘my special place’ to look for advice and ask myself this simple question:
I was recently forced to ask myself this question, when someone I took to be a very good friend here in Taiwan wrote me possibly the nastiest email I’ve ever recieved. He called me a number of things that I, even in the deepest pits of self-loathing haven’t called myself. It took me quite aback, and for a long time I just tried to take the things he said as truth, try them on for size, as it were. I came to this realization that, perhaps there is some truth in what he said about me. However, some of the things he said just didn’t fit me, or other friends I turned to for some perspective. I figured that this person is really just hurting inside, and that some of the things he said to me are things he says to himself either consciously or unconsciously.
So then I could let it go. In the midst of all of this, I was reminded of a line from Whitman’s “Song of Myself” which goes something like,
"Do I contradict myself?
Very well, then, I contradict myself;
(I am large
You know, I try not to think too much about this kind of thing, but I, myself, am to blame. I mean, you buy drinks for someone and then they never get you back. I call it Karma in the long run because there have been times where I’ve done this. Maybe not to someone personally, but I owe some bar tabs in Taiwan.
If I get really drunk, I get quite obnoxious and then people hate me. At least it’s that way where I am now. I think a lot of things are bothering me and it just all comes out. Too much time in the boonies. Some people just piss me off though.
I’m not saying that I’m not to blame. Life just seems to be weird here. I was more tame in Taiwan, but if things weren’t going right for me, I’d let 'er out sometimes when I was pissed drunk.
I blame a lot on Koreans for my boss being a cheat for certain things. I should be more calm, but I can’t help it sometimes. I just don’t like supidity. Stupidity makes me act stupidly.
Online or elsewhere? Online it’s easy to do and often unintentionally. The written word does not convey emotion or intent as well as person-to person communication. I agree with your assessment as to why people might do this IRL. Usually a person lashing out at others is a sure sign that they have issues.
I’d say that those doing this might not even be aware that are coming across like this. The unhappiness factor probably comes into play again as a motive for this behavour. Perhaps they are having some external stresses, but project their internal problems out onto the world, making the negatives seem bigger than they are. A more controversial possibility for your final observation (sex, my color…etc): western liberalism has created entitlement issues in a lot of people. While there a lot of legitimate cases where such things as age, gender and race are used against individuals, too often it is used by an individual to explain away their lack of fulfilment and success as a person. Again, they are projecting their own problems out onto the world and blaming anything/anyone but themselves. It’s the system/our parents/ the government/society that’s to blame for their unhappiness, not their own lack of effort.
I hope not. However, gestures should be reciprocated. For me, there is no running meter on how much I’ve spent on a friend and how much s/he’s spent on me. I do, however, feel a karmic debt, when friends do things for me, that drives me to do things for them in return. IE. If a friend drives me somewhere I will feel especially motivated to buy the beverages at our next get together. For me, though, it is a case of one good turn deserves another. How much one gesture costs is not the issue. I do not especially care if the beer is more expensive than the gas used. Similarly, I do not care if I pick up the bill twice before the gesture is returned. As long as, over time, my friend is consistently reciprocating gestures, it does not have to be a one-to-one exchange all the time. I guess, on the flip side, nobody likes a friend who is a taker and never gives (and giving, here, is not only meant in the material sense).
[quote=“j99l88e77”]I seriously believe that friends can be a pain in the ass.
Perhaps we should have a thread titled “How to Lose Friends and Keep Friends Away Because the Only Friend You’ve Got Is the One Your Looking at in the Mirror”.[/quote]
I don’t believe that at all. A good friend is worth more than almost anything in this world, and if you have someone you can call a true friend, then you are genuinely lucky. My two best friends are like family to me. Those guys have never let me down, and I would never let them down either, (one guy I’ve known since I was 6 years old, my neighbour, the other since I was 15, my old band buddy) and I wouldn’t trade their friendship for anything on earth. I haven’t met anyone in Taiwan who’s been a friend like that to me though; I don’t really have any close friends here, just people I hang out with. It just seems harder to click properly with people here.