Why people (especially teachers) are mean

Crooner62 asks: Why are some people so mean (like certain teachers) and what is the best way to not get my feelings hurt when they yell?

Mean teachers?  Like the ones who think the way to treat dogs to sit is to swat our hynie and yell at us?!

Mean people scare me.  I’m scared when they scream at me, I’m scared when they act like they’re going to hurt me, and I’m especially scared when they really do want to hurt me.  I guess that’s the definition of a mean person – someone who wants to hurt me in some way, whether it’s physical or not.

But I think it’s important to point out that there are different sorts of people who can be mean.

First off, there are really nice people who sometimes just act mean.  For example, even Handsome, who loves me more than anything in the world, might act mean at me because he wants to make sure I understand how upset he is (like when I run across the street and there’s a car coming and I don’t stop when he tells me to – ooh he yells at me like crazy then!).  Now Handsome’s not a mean guy, but at that moment, he definitely wants to scare me.  And he’s right to do it.  Many teachers are this way, and only act mean to get their students to behave correctly.  Sometimes they try too hard though, and act mean all the time.  (When you have a teacher like that, you should talk to your parents or guardians about it, because they might be able to help)

Then there are people who lose control.  When I was a puppy, I was always biting and chewing, whether that meant on furniture or clothes, or even on people.  And sometimes I was so playful, and bit so much, that a person would lose their temper and yell at me to go away.  And that was really scary, because they were so big and so angry.  But when I’d pull away and they’d see how scared I was, they almost always would pet me and be nice.  They didn’t like losing their temper any more than I did.  I was just being, well, really annoying.  (If you have a teacher like this, DEFINITELY tell someone about it.  No teacher should ever lose control of their temper.  They may need some help from their principal to help them handle the stress of their job better)

But then there are the third group.   People who really enjoy seeing someone else in fear or pain.  When people like that are kids, we call them a bully.  But when they grow up, there’s a rougher word for them: a Sadist.  A sadist is a person who gets pleasure from someone else’s pain.  We all have a little sadist in us (otherwise you’d never laugh at movies where folks slip on banana peels or get a pie in the face).  Even dogs can find it funny when someone falls down or gets a little hurt.

But that’s the important point.  It’s “a little.”  We don’t like seeing anyone really sad or injured.  We’ll do anything to help then – we’ll howl in sympathy with a hurt dog, or go up to a sad person and give them kisses or nuzzles to make them feel better.  We’re not sadists.

So, back to your question, why are mean people mean?   If you’re talking about real sadists, there are lots of reasons.  Maybe something really bad happened to them once, and made them bitter.  Maybe they learned to distrust other people, and enjoy feeling revenge.  Or maybe they even have a chemical problem in their brain.  But if you ever find that you’re dealing with a person like this, your job is to get away from them right away.  Unless you know you’re strong enough to handle them, they will hurt you.  And the more you hang around them, the more they feel they have the right to do just that.

Plus, why hang out with mean people, when there are so many nice people out there.  And nice dogs!   Nice warm cuddly playful smart loyal wonderful dogs!  Why, I’m feeling so good about myself right now, I think I need to go look in a mirror!

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