If there's one important thing to remember when it comes to the general population, it's this: Most people get a kick out of hurting others.
It's the most basic human nature and the one characteristic -- above all others -- that distinguishes us from other animals. Animals don't have the egos we have and, therefore, don't have to worry about having them hurt.
People, on the other hand, prove time and time again they enjoy hurting other people, both physically and mentally. While most of us only consider physical harm as damaging, mental harm usually does more permanent damage.
Of course, like all other things mental, how we're affected by the aggression people direct toward us is entirely up to us.
That's not to say we get to interpret whether or not people are trying to hurt us -- that is obvious from their words and actions.
We're the ones who get to decide whether or not their words hold any weight or whether they're empty ramblings not directed where they ought to be (at themselves).
When people lash out at others, more often than not, it's a result of their own unstable emotional state. It's difficult to admit to ourselves that our situations, our lives and the people we are, are all the result of the decisions we made and how we choose to interpret reality. It's much easier to say the world made us this way than to say we failed.
It's much easier to blame the rest of the world for our mistakes and shortcomings. It's not because we aren't smart enough or wise enough; we fail because the world won't play by our rules. And that's right: The world won't play by your rules. It never will.
The world and all the people in it are all trying to force their own realities on everybody else. We all have our own set of rules that we wish to play by.
The smartest of us realize this earlier on and instead of continuing to try and force our reality on the rest of humanity, we learn to adapt. We learn to take our reality and manipulate it so it can function efficiently within the rules already outlined by both the universe and the human race.
Life doesn't need to be the struggle we make it out to be. Of course, we sometimes find ourselves in situations where the only way to interpret them is as struggles. Some people literally have to fight for their lives every single day. If you're reading this, however, you almost certainly aren't one of those individuals.
You have it good. Most likely very good. This isn't to say that people aren't doing their best to push you down, to break your will and desire to continue following your dreams, your passions.
No matter how far the human race progresses, we'll always want to hurt others. We'll always want to raise ourselves beyond the rest -- and most of us will be OK stepping on the shoulders of others if it means we'll get our personal glory.
I can sit here and ramble on about how awful it is that people like to hurt other people. I can write about how life would be so much more pleasant if we would all just get along. Utopia is a beautiful place, one that fairytales are made of. Unfortunately, that's the only place a utopia will ever exist -- in a fantasy.
You can't have perfection when the individuals, the parts and the pieces are flawed. And human beings will forever be flawed; it's part of our nature. The people of the world will always be at war with each other in one way or another. You can hope to change the world, but this is one thing you'll never change.
You'll meet people who won't like you, who will hate you, who will try to hurt you. Whether or not they hurt you, however, is entirely up to you. When you really think about it, there's no reason to feel hurt by others. Why? Because most people shouldn't matter to you.
You can respect a person and at the same time not care about all the negative words he or she throws your way. I have people saying negative things to me all the time, and I literally could not care less. I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing because it's what I want to do. I recommend you do the same.
You don't want to ignore other people, even when they are hateful toward you. It's always best to listen, to hear their perspective. Whether or not you believe their words have any truth to them is a different story.
This way you get to understand their realities, the way they see the world, the way they see you. It can give you great insight on how they interpret things and what they value.
Gather all this information and you'll begin to understand the rules everyone else is trying to play by. Then, instead of playing by their rules, you tweak yours in order to work most seamlessly and efficiently between their realities.
Most people playing by their own rules end up failing, but only because their rules won't hold in the physical world.
Living a happy life is the result of a delicate combination of going with the flow and swimming against the current. You can't just do one or the other because you won't survive; you'll either get washed away with the rest of the floaters, or you'll tire out and drown.
I understand it can be difficult to be disliked. Sometimes you get sick and tired of getting bullied, of getting pushed around, insulted and belittled. You're not alone.
Keep this one thing in mind because it could literally change your life: Remember the best way of getting back at people, of sticking it to them, is by living the life of your dreams.
People insult you and push you down because they believe you can't make it. They honestly think you're reaching too high, and you're bound to fail.
If you really want to knock out their egos, live an incredible life. Be the successful individual you told them you'd be, the successful individual they laughed at you for thinking you could become.
Create the life of your dreams and then watch their faces as they realize how wrong they were. Watch as the thought hits them: They could have had what you have if they only spent more time believing in themselves and less time and energy trying to break you.
If you let them get to you and you do fail, you do give up and you never change your life, they win. They were right, and you were wrong. They got to beat you up, spit on you, step all over you and then rub it in your face.
F*ck them. Show them you're smarter, wiser and you're better than they are. But don't do it in spite of them -- they don't even deserve a place in your thoughts. Do it for yourself, and you'll be too busy being happy to pay any attention to them in the first place.
Kill them with success and bury them with a smile.