Laura Haley-McNeil

8/12/18, Villains, or Why are some People Mean?

Hello, Everyone!

I hope you had a great week and are enjoying these last few weeks of summer. This is always the time of year when I review my list of summer activities and try to cram in something fun before the season changes, and it’s already changing in my part of the world. I see the leaves on the trees turning red and orange and gold and the temperatures cooling reminding me that I need to get busy and have some summer fun!

Recently, I read a blog by a fairly well-known writer. In the blog, she deviated from her normally upbeat self to discuss people she’d encountered over the years who seemed to go out of their way to be unpleasant toward others. We’ve all met those people. You may even work with them. Everyone is having a good time, enjoying a conversation or a meal, and this person feels the need to take away that joy. I’ve always wondered why so I googled: Why are people mean? I found a Psychology Today article with some insight. The author discussed various reasons, but one that I remembered was that threatened self-esteem can spur aggressive behavior. This can result in the threatened person demeaning another person in order to boost his/her self-opinion. I’m sure it’s more complicated than that, and this is something I’ve always assumed, but seeing this in print, or on the web, made me think of people who seem to enjoy themselves by attacking others. When you read about these people in fiction, whether the antagonist is the mean girl at school or the diabolical genius, it’s even more effective when the author writes this character as believing that what s/he does is good and is the right way to treat someone. It’s even more heartbreaking when this person is an adult and feels the need to attack a child or an elderly person. Such behavior is intolerable.

In my book, Wherever Love Finds You, there are two antagonists, with one being an adult who takes advantage of the protagonist’s youth, trust and naïveté. This antagonist believes what she’s doing is the right thing to do. She has to protect her family and will do what is necessary to guarantee her children achieve success even if it means others are hurt by her tactics. When her actions are challenged even with the threat of losing those she loves, her internal battle begins because she believes in her heart what she’s doing is warranted. Every action has a consequence and how it’s resolved could bear lifetime results.

It’s always hard dealing with people like this, but they do exist and we need to learn to handle them with wisdom and prayer. Not always easy and it can be energy draining, but it’s part of life.

And summer is a part of life—beautiful, glorious summer. I hope your summer has been wonderful so far and that you are spending it with people you love or doing what you love, but however you plan to spend these last precious weeks, I hope you have fun and everything is well with you.

Have a great and blessed week!