Human beings feel so many things at one moment. Happiness, sadness, tiredness, excitement, anger, and anxiety can all be felt in a matter of minutes – resulting in a mass market of psychological self-help tactics. The reason why psychology is so popular is because people will always feel and think a certain way and will need help through drugs, individual therapy, self-help books, and support systems.
But what triggers people to behave in a negative and demeaning way?
Throughout the year’s medical doctors, psychiatrists, and psychologists have gathered information to define emotions, feelings, mental and physical disorders and defined them in books such as: Merck Manual of Medical Information and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)
But in this article, I would like to talk about daily negative behavioral actions and emotions such as: codependency, greediness, backstabbing (betrayal), delusions, and insulting – that can result a person to become mentally ill, cause psychological problems, and can affect personal relationships.
Do you need to control events and people around you because you feel everything around and inside you is out of control? Do you care so deeply about other people that you have forgotten how to care for yourself?
If so, you might be codependent. According to Beattie, codependent was defined as “one who has let another person’s behavior affect him or her, and who is obsessed with controlling that person’s behavior.”
Think about women who stay with a man who is an alcoholic or drug addict. When he is sober, he might be the sweetest and loving person that she ever met, but when he gets drunk or does drugs, he becomes hostile, controlling, or even abusive towards her. They are both in a codependent relationship – his behavior affects her response and when he is intoxicated he wants to control her and the relationship.
Staying in a codependent relationship is unhealthy for mental health because the person is no longer able to think about their own well-being, they are constantly thinking about fulfilling their partner’s needs and solving their partner’s problems.
According to Kaimer, codependency has been blamed for drug abuse, alcoholism, anorexia, child abuse, fear of intimacy, and low self-esteem. Other psychologists such as Whitfield, state that numbness to emotional pain, inability to grieve, mood swings, chronic unhappiness are psychological outcomes of codependency.
Have you ever met a rich person who had a lot of money and possessions but he was the most rudest and demanding person you have ever met? Even when they had so much, they acted like they wanted more and more and would treat people badly to get what they wanted? This is greediness and it is unhealthy. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, “greediness is showing a selfish desire for wealth and possessions.” (Merriam Webster)
Here’s a scenario: I rent a flat in Europe and every month I pay the rent. I went away for a Christmas holiday to visit my family in Toronto, Canada and my landlord emails me a day before Christmas to tell me that he hasn’t received my payment for December.
He tells me in the email that if I don’t pay him by Christmas Day that I have to leave the building and that he has been patient with my behavior (not paying) and that he cannot tolerate it anymore.
Firstly, I did pay the rent before I left. He just didn’t check his bank account. So I respond by telling him that I am shocked that he would disturb me on my Christmas holiday and accuse me of not paying and evicting me for no reason. I sent him the bank confirmation number stating that I paid in late November, and that I am very upset that he would treat me this way after I regularly pay him every month.
Can you imagine his response? He probably checked his bank account and saw that I paid him, but yet, he didn’t apologize, or respond to my email. He made a mistake. This reaction is about greed!
He is a millionaire, yet, look at his personality. If someone has been paying you regularly, is it polite, to evict them from the building because of your own mistake of not checking your own bank account? He is obsessed about money, he is driven by greed, that he forgets to have common courtesy to his tenants, and, on top of that, to accuse me of not paying and then evicting me on Christmas Day is a sure sign that he is greedy. He is only thinking about the money and not about moral code or compromise.
Greediness is like jealousy; it clouds your judgment and brings out the negative side out of you. When people have so much money, they are hungry for even more, that they lose sight of being human or even nice to people to get what they want. They think that since they have so much, that everyone must follow their lead because they are so rich with money and possessions. It does not matter how much money a person has, if they treat people badly-spirited as my landlord did to me, what good is it to them, if they have millions, yet people dislike dealing with them? Greedy people should just make a deal with the devil, because their personal characteristics are a reflection of negative feelings and behavior that results in anti-social personality and alienation.
Have you ever confided in a colleague about being offered a better paying job at another company, only to find out that your colleague told your boss about it?
Have you ever had a friend who slept with your partner behind your back? If so, you were a victim of backstabbing. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary backstabbing is, “betrayal (as by a verbal attack against one not present) especially by a false friend.”
Let’s evaluate this situation: I used to work at the Pearson International Airport in Toronto for three years. I had a colleague named Sierra who had started working at our company. She was nice and friendly and even offered to buy us coffee when we had breaks together. One day we were both given the same lunch break and she offered to pay for my lunch if I stayed with her. I politely refused, but she insisted, so we spent our lunch break talking about various things like our jobs, school, family, and dating. I had said during the lunch that I didn’t like how our boss was sometimes bossy and demanding. But I said that our boss was nice but got stressed out at times and didn’t know how to handle stress. Guess what this backstabber Sierra did? When my boss was talking to her one day during lunch about how there was a supervisor position available, she was thinking about offering it to me. Sierra had no reserves about telling our boss about what I had said to her on our lunch break. She told our boss that I wasn’t fit for the position, and she should consider giving it to her because she hadn’t bad-talked anyone in the company.
At my next shift, my boss confronted me and I admitted that I thought she had problems dealing with stress at times, and when I asked her who told her this, she named the backstabber Sierra.
It then went downhill from there, I kept my distance from her, and when she would invite me for coffee or lunch, I would politely say no.
Then after a few weeks, when our boss offered the supervisor position to another colleague of ours, Sierra was disappointed. She threw so many of our colleagues under the bus, that she was angry that she wasn’t offered the supervisor position. At this point, most of us knew that Sierra was a backstabber and we all avoided her and didn’t accept her offers to come join her on our coffee breaks. So on her next shift, she came in with a broken leg and was walking on crutches! She claimed to have fallen, but we were all a bit suspicious when our boss had given her sympathy. Sierra claimed that she loved her job so much, that even with her broken leg; she was committed to coming to work and didn’t even want to call in sick. We all saw through it, and our boss still didn’t offer her a supervisor position, and Sierra, eventually, quit and worked for another airline.
So you see backstabbing is common within co-workers working in a company, between friends, and even within families. But just because a lot of people are backstabbers, it doesn’t make it alright. As the dictionary definition states a backstabber is usually a false friend. A person who pretends to have your best interests at heart, but is, secretly, plotting to dishonor your confidence is a backstabber. Think about Sierra’s personality: she secretly pretended that she was a friend to all of our staff members, yet she was scheming to underhand us each and every time we said something about the boss. And when she didn’t get what she wanted (the supervisor position) she faked an accident to gain everyone’s attention and pity. She was deceitful, dishonest, suspicious, and sheisty. With these negative personality traits, it is no wonder backstabbers are, commonly, unhappy dissatisfied people who have other behavioral problems such as compulsive lying and paranoia.
Have you ever met someone who thought they were extremely famous and wanted, but no one knew who they were? Have you ever met someone who thought they were so skilled and good at something, but in fact, did not do anything at the present moment to help improve their skill?
These kinds of people have delusional disorder. There are many subtypes, but this kind of “higher” thinking of oneself is called Grandiose Delusions. According to the Merck Manual of Medical Information, “In the grandiose subtype, the person is convinced that he/she has some great talent or had made some important discovery.” (Merck Manual of Medical Information)
Check out this funny, yet, sad situation: I worked as a model for almost seven years before moving to Europe to pursue my other interests. When I left Toronto, I had many model friends who were quite successful on the runway, television, print, and commercials. They all walked around with their head in the clouds and they all thought they were super models. They all slept together, and one male model named Nolan, slept with all the female models on the model roster, except for me. I wasn’t attracted to him, and until this day, he still cannot believe that he wasn’t able to sleep with me (hence the grandiose delusions on Nolan’s part).
Fast forward four years, and all these models are all has-beens. Today Nolan is an ex-model and still sleeps around with the other retired models – they are all in their late twenties and early thirties. They don’t work anymore in modeling, and all of them have day jobs in retail. Yet, they have grandiose delusions of themselves. They snub me when I return to Toronto and act like they are better than everyone else (they are also narcissist) I ask them what are they doing these days, and they say nothing. How delusional are they if they haven’t done anything in modeling in the past four years, yet, they act like they are still models?
A lot of people in Toronto and Los Angeles (and other big entertainment cities) all suffer from Grandiose Delusions, they think that they have some super great talent in which they feel they can act privileged, they start unnecessary drama within their circle of friends, they all sleep together without any commitment, and think that the whole world is revolving around them.
This is a world of grandiose delusion, when you look at the reality, these people who suffer from this disorder are not ambitious, promiscuous, and lie. I call Grandiose Delusional people, soulless clouded people who live in a bubble within a bubble. Fast forward twenty years and people with Grandiose Delusions will still be where they are – clouded and unsuccessful.
Have you ever met someone who criticizes everything and everyone without any reason? Have you met someone who insults everyone, but never wants to hear any criticism about themselves?
People who insult other people for self-gain have traits coming from the anti-social personality. According to the Merck Manual of Medical Information, “People with an antisocial personality, most of whom are male, show callous disregard for the rights and feelings of others. They exploit others for material gain or personal gratification. Despite the problems or harm they cause others by their antisocial behaviors, they typically don’t feel remorse or guilt. Rather they glibly rationalize their behavior or blame it on others.” (Merck Manual of Medical Information, p.466, 1997)
Let’s evaluate this situation: One summer day I was writing an article in Europe at home, my friend named Melon Head, called me and said he was near my flat and asked if he could stop by to talk. I said yes and when he came to my flat, I offered him a beer and something to eat. He accepted it gladly. My laptop was open on my desk and he asked if he could read my article in the works. Since I was only free writing, it wasn’t edited or near completion. He read it and suddenly got frustrated and said that he thought my writing was boring and that he can never get past the first paragraphs of all my articles.
I sat there quietly as he questioned my credentials, asking me when I started writing and what have I done as a writer. When I told him that I graduated from university with a degree in psychology and have published findings in psychological journals, he continued to belittle me, saying my writing wasn’t funny and that my articles were so boring that he couldn’t understand why someone would read my work.
I was shocked. I told him that I had already published one book in Europe and that I came to Europe to devote more time to writing because that’s what I was doing since I was a kid. While rolling his eyes at me his response was, “So big deal, you published one book, that doesn’t make you a good writer.” I was so insulted that this guy invited himself to my flat and started cutting up my work for no reason. I told him that I knew that I wasn’t the best writer in the world, but that it was my goal to become successful and that hard work pays off in the long run. His response to me was, “Just because you came to Europe and started writing, it doesn’t make you a writer.”
He was rude, hostile, and even angry that I was answering back to him saying that I came to Europe to fulfill my dreams and that I was working very hard to accomplish them. He told me that I should probably give it up and started taking apart my article and telling me what to change and how to make it funnier. I was so livid that Melon Head invited himself to my flat and had the audacity to criticize my work and insult me right in my house.
After that day, I always rejected his offer to hang out with me and I didn’t respond to his text messages to support him after he got into arguments with his girlfriend. Why should I?
To exemplify the insulting behavior combined with antisocial behavior, let me just say that after this incident at my flat, he thought he was actually helping me out.
He read the final article online and said “That was very good, that’s all I was trying to point out. Just trying to give you constructive criticism.” As the definition said about not feeling any remorse or guilt, Melon Head did not apologize for insulting me and thought he was actually doing me a favor by insulting my work.
When antisocial people insult others and justify it by trying to be helpful, how is that beneficial for their mental health, when all they do is blame others? Insulting is a dysfunction of personality disorders, if not realized it can result in the lack of personal relationships with people.
What to do if you have a personality/behavioral disorder
Firstly, if you think you exude any of these behavioral disorders – codependency, greediness, backstabbing, grandiose delusions and insulting – admit it to yourself. Stop blaming others and accept responsibility that you have a disorder.
Examine situations in the past that have affected other people that you have displayed this behavior towards and ask yourself “Where are these people now?” If they aren’t around, cut ties with you, or avoid you, then ask yourself what you can do to help yourself stop acting this way? Self-examination is the first step to admitting that you have a behavioral disorder.
Secondly, talk about it with someone you trust. It could be a family member or a person who has known you for a long time, and ask them if you have done anything to them before to hurt them. If they tell you that you did, apologize for it, and admit that you now realize that you were wrong and then seek to get professional help.
Thirdly, if you decide that you don’t want to go into therapy and your problems are solvable on your own, be easy on yourself. When you are confronted with people and feel the need to insult, backstab or act out on greediness or delusion, stop and think about a way to solve the problem without having to result in negative behavior. Sometimes biting your tongue and just not saying anything at all can solve a lot of these problems. Think about how you would feel if someone treated you this way, would you feel good to spend time with this person, or would you feel annoyed?
Finally, remember, that no one is perfect, and that self-examination can help through time, if you are conscious about it, then you have made the first step to trying to end a behavioral/personality disorder.