Why are so many people selfish and mean, even to family members?

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  1. oceansnsunsets profile image83
    oceansnsunsetsposted 11 years ago

    Why are so many people selfish and mean, even to family members?

    Maybe I shouldn't be surprised any more, but why are so many family members selfish and hurtful to other family members?  Life is precious, and flying by, and even if someone isn't your favorite person, why can't more just be kind and decent to others?  Any thoughts?  I think sometimes, that people just don't want to expend any energy of thinking how their actions affect others.

  2. Lin02 profile image55
    Lin02posted 11 years ago

    They can't help it. its in their nature.

  3. samsons1 profile image61
    samsons1posted 11 years ago

    This is a good question and one that applies to us all I believe.  I think all the negativism, the blaming, point of the finger is so much easier today than having to admit our own failures and inadequacies.  As a society we have forced out the very reasons and desires to do good and tried to replace morals with individual attitudes or beliefs.  Those of us that are older and/or more mature can remember what it used to be like when 'right and wrong' was instilled in us as children as we grew older.  I call it a lack of proper tutoring...

  4. Angela Blair profile image67
    Angela Blairposted 11 years ago

    Perhaps it's because all of us are products of our upbringing -- if we were treated poorly as children that's often passed on to others in adulthood. There are those, however, who rise above an abominable childhood and become friendly, giving adults. It's impossible to convince argumentative or unkind family members that families should make sure interactions therein are pleasant and kind. How sad it is that death of an ignored or mistreated family member is often the catalyst for realizing how much that person actually meant to one -- and it's too late.

  5. Sue St. Clair profile image67
    Sue St. Clairposted 11 years ago

    An overview of meanness including the various groups prone to meanness. This overview provides a description and explanation behind mean behavior seen in those groups. read more

  6. sallieannluvslife profile image79
    sallieannluvslifeposted 11 years ago

    I have wondered this same question so often...I've learned that you cannot change someone or make someone love you no matter how kind, nice and loving you are to them or how many times you turn the other cheek.  You can choose to be a doormat, or you can embrace the values and morals you have inside of you and spend your love and time on those who do love and need you.  God knows all of our hearts and I do not believe that He had in his plan to subject ourselves to poor and nasty treatment by others who need to reflect on what is in their own hearts.  Don't waste time wondering how to change them, they will only be able to do that on their own, if they choose to, but they probably will not.  Please don't change yourself and grow bitter....life is far too short and you seem, by your hubs, life a very special person who has a lot of good to share.  smile

    1. manatita44 profile image70
      manatita44posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Sound advice

  7. connorj profile image68
    connorjposted 11 years ago

    This is a significantly difficult question to answer (primarily because more and detailed information is needed); here is my attempt.

    (1) They feel threatened by the person that they are mean to (not physically threatened); however, they feel threatened because they see a quality in them that they believe they will never attain (i.e. good looks, attractiveness, success...). This is significantly common between siblings.

    (2) People frequently exhibit defence mechanisms like externalizing etc. This may manifest itself by being mean or threatening to the ones who are closest to them (i.e. family).

    (3) During the formative years (predominantly during childhood) there were unresloved issues between both parties involved.

    (4) the root of the issue could be all the way back to pre-natal issue(s) that cause difficulties dealing with others (brain-based).

    (5) Feeling of unfairness (sibling rival that was never resolved or addressed) perhaps  significantly similar to (3).

    (6) Family dynamic of significant competitiveness can result in bitterness in one or more of the parties...

    (7) significant favoritism demonstrated to one or excluded from one manifests hatred towards both person that demonstrates this (i.e. mother or father) and also the one or ones being favored (i.e. sibling etc.).

    (8) Family dynamic of a false expectation that oldest child should be favored above others (First Born Expectation)...
    (9) Significant traumatic event between parties during formative years that was never processed...

    1. manatita44 profile image70
      manatita44posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Psychology is only useful at one stage. We are not all equipped to deal with bringing up bad stuff. Do it naturally through prayer and meditation.  As our love for God increases, we will become receptive to God's Light, and will see life differently.

  8. Virtuous1 profile image61
    Virtuous1posted 11 years ago

    Because people want to have it their way and when they can't they rather rage war instead of accepting one anothers views

  9. Apostle Jack profile image59
    Apostle Jackposted 11 years ago

    It is because of the evil in this world. When one take God out of he/she equations of life evil is the consequence of that neglect of choice. So evil is chosen instead of the good.
    Government in this world tend to put God on the back burner when it come to principals and conduct of spirit.
    And because of that Satan and His ways of evil are chosen and the good is omitted.

  10. DDE profile image44
    DDEposted 11 years ago

    People who behave in such a manner  feel their materialistic lives mean more to them than their families

  11. manatita44 profile image70
    manatita44posted 11 years ago

    Ultimately it is because we are not inspiring them. Pray, meditate consciously, regularly and consistently. With the transformation or change that comes through spiritual disciplines, one begins to see the world from a different space. These people you speak of need to do this too, but remember, change begins with me.

  12. wryliltsmum profile image59
    wryliltsmumposted 11 years ago

    It's not easy when you get a group of people together - least of all Family. No one knows how easily it might be for them to get on togeter but how easy it is for them to fall apart.  Don't think that others don't have the same problems just as hard as yours if not harder.  I have heard many times of people making up decades later and they had forgotten what had started a family feud or at least all the details of it.  Everyone has the freedom to be what they are but you know isn't it easier to think of only one's self?  I've had lots of flack because in my family I have been to blame for lots of things.  I don't hide that.  But I sometimes think if it's true that one can complain about how bad a family are --- can I complain about how good their attitude is?  No one but no one can say they get into trouble for putting out that first laurel leaf of Peace no matter that you have your sworn enemy at the end of it.  Don't give up trying ways to be an example of unselfishness.  We are all - after better things and get easily mis-guided when Pain, Hurt and Anger come along.  Hail it as only an obstacle to get by. Don't give up or in.  xx

  13. soconfident profile image72
    soconfidentposted 11 years ago

    Some people find it easier to blame others for their downfalls in life, which is why their so mean, but the moment that they decide to take responsibilty for thier actions, they will be able to move forward with thiers lives.

    1. manatita44 profile image70
      manatita44posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Too true

  14. profile image0
    vinexshopposted 11 years ago

    I think this is the good question and i have seen this many times. I have also seen that many mothers usually underestimate to their children for that their children's thinking become so negative.
    And the thing that you asked can be happened when this can be happened.

  15. OneFineG467 profile image61
    OneFineG467posted 11 years ago

    Some are born to be selfish, some are taught to be selfish, sometime selfish society will make one to be selfish in order to survie....if someone is kind and good to others but constantly hurt by mean people after a point he  ignores and start living for himself..the scary part about being selfish is they will not hesitate to harm others for their growth and wellbeing...

  16. Akhil Pillai profile image56
    Akhil Pillaiposted 11 years ago

    maybe due to the livinghood that they have been brought up or due to the circumstances they have come before in their life made them become selfish..
    but i still know many peoples who on being having money still at the peak of selfishness.

  17. ginjill ashberry profile image75
    ginjill ashberryposted 11 years ago

    Yes, it is in human nature. Why specifically family members? It's the same reason why a spoil child shows tantrum towards the one who understands/loves them. They can get away with it..and they need not wear the usual individual's society mask. I am not referring to everyone but the majority of people.

    We can all learn from this. Instead of condemning what we see in others we can benefit in checking if we might also behave in the same way. The same attitude does not necessarily shows in the same situation. No matter how mean or selfish a family member may seem to appear, we should not be quick to judge that a person who behaves that way does not love their relatives. There are such thing as immature love. It shows through the infantile behavior of a person; by their reaction and in the choice of their words. Sadly, they are the one's who will eventually be humbled at heart once they awaken.

  18. Emayordomo profile image81
    Emayordomoposted 11 years ago

    It's human nature. For example, people enjoy being correct. When family members get in an argument and one of them ends up being right, they tend to rub it in their face in a "hurtful" sort of way because they have that sense of "I'm better than you."  Being selfish is a part of all of us. It's hard not to be, especially when things may work out amazingly for you and not so great for somebody else.

  19. NourRifai profile image60
    NourRifaiposted 11 years ago

    Not everyone are right like uu .. some just want their own good they dnt care about kindness w love .. so advice stay on that opinion and dnt let anyone affects you cz with or without them ur living ur life w UR BREATHINGG !

  20. slackermom profile image64
    slackermomposted 11 years ago

    I believe that the people who behave that way are just angry and bitter with themselves and their life. They want to spread the poison of their own unhappiness to others to make themselves feel better.

  21. Anny5198 profile image59
    Anny5198posted 11 years ago

    It depends on human nature.
    suppose you are standing on the road and eating something,and a poor child, who is very hungry and don't have money to buy food for himself, is staring at you.You noticed that child and you felt bad. You gave your food to that child, that means that you are kind and generous. But when you notice that child and eating that food in front of him, making him feel more hungry, that is called your selfishness.
    if are kind then you will prefer to give the poor child food and then eat ,bt if you are selfish and mean u will carry on and try to ignore.
    Their attitude makes them selfish and mean.
    their attitude make them so selfish and mean that they are not kind even to the family members.

  22. Traci21 profile image59
    Traci21posted 11 years ago

    Sometimes being selfish and mean can help make someone feel better about themselves. Like, when I was little someone in my immediate family would pick on me if it wasn't my ears (that I hear perfectly out of) it was something else like the way I dressed.

    Now that I am no longer around that family member now picks on my little brother and mother. Not nice. But it does raise her self-esteem...

  23. blessed365 profile image63
    blessed365posted 11 years ago

    Hurting people hurt people. Most people act the way they do because their is something going on internally with them. It takes a lot of patience and prayer to deal with people like this.

  24. unvrso profile image84
    unvrsoposted 11 years ago

    Beacause that is a natural human characteristic, and this is learned throughout the course of life. As a human being grows older he or she begin a learning process, and some of this learning includes egocentrism selfishness, envy, greed, etc.

    This life characteristics help most of the people to get through life. Without these human acquired characteristics most of the people can not function.

    However, there are other characteristics which may function for some, including kindness, mercy, friendship, altruism, goodwill, temperance.

    However, these positive human characteristics have to be applied with moderation so as not to create more negative characteristics in the antagonists characters of this long story that is called "human life."

  25. Cara.R profile image65
    Cara.Rposted 11 years ago

    Hi Ocean..
    I always wondered that myself and I think that there has to be a reason. A reason for each individual to become that way. I suppose I rationalize the selfishness and meanness to something that these types of people are lacking in their lives. It's not an excuse but it is a possible reason.  If I experience those things occurring with other people, then I think that there is an emptiness inside of them and they take it out on others and the ones they love.

  26. LensMan999 profile image58
    LensMan999posted 10 years ago

    The answer lies in the question itself. It's because they are selfish and mean. Selfish and mean people don't care even their family members. They think only about themselves.

  27. KEPitz1005 profile image61
    KEPitz1005posted 8 years ago

    How crazy! Goin thru a rough patch here with my only son & the psychopath he married. He & I used to be inseparable, but we haven't spoken since October because she's decided that I am the spawn of Satan & must be made to suffer - NOT avoided - but punished at all costs... And my boy goes along with it to avoid her wrath if he disagrees. I became homeless as a direct result of HER actions, and she continues to cause me hardship when our paths cross.

    1. profile image56
      Deslandresposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Putting myself in your shoes from your description, I'm one of those kinds of people who will illuminate toxic people from my life and have nothing to do with them, you deserve better, avoid the poison

  28. profile image56
    Deslandresposted 7 years ago

    Selfish people are narcissists. I learned a lot since my narcissist died. A lot has to do with their upbringing. The person I used to know took advantage of other people who he thought were vulnerable in some way or another, just people he thought he could go out money out of to support his nasty smoking habit. When he sold stuff, he went over charge through price gouging. Anytime you would ask questions or act on interested in paying the price by not buying the product, he was clever enough to try and convince you to buy it and I'm not sure how many different ways he had of getting money just to support his nasty habit and lavish lifestyle. When his girlfriend finally kicked him to the curb, her rightful family told me some secrets that shocked me. I never knew that he was secretly spending all of his money on smokes and taking advantage of her financially. He would live a lavish lifestyle on her money after all bills were paid and they would spend up all of her money on whatever. He would rent stuff from these rental places, keep in a while only to return it in exchange for something better. He never kept anything long. I never knew that this was only his idea and she had little to no say or maybe she was too scared to speak up because he used to have a temper until he started calling down. I still never knew until much later on what was really going on behind the scenes, and now I know why he didn't want company too often, specifically not from me. Maybe he felt threatened by my intelligence or maybe he feared me finding out. Had I only known, I would've reported to the APS since his girlfriend was actually a disabled senior citizen who previously had multiple strokes and was hospitalized. It's funny how people can really hide stuff away from the public. One thing he absolutely hated was people on benefits driving new Cadillacs, not knowing who those Cadillacs may actually belong to or if they may have been borrowed. He never wanted anyone having it better than him, and he was so mad at the world that he was going to report anyone on benefits who drove nice cars. He was highly jealous of anyone on benefits who had it better than him and now he's gone. Maybe everyone on benefits should buy a new Cadillac if they need a new car. With credit often so easy to get these days, Cadillacs are much easier to get. I wouldn't mind having one just to spite my now deceased narcissist

  29. Kiss andTales profile image59
    Kiss andTalesposted 7 years ago

    Very good question and observations as the time moves on this is  more norm or people just do what they feel .sorry as you can see that feel may not be a good report. People tend to follow the norms of others.' Birds of a feather flock together'
    Same as bulling because another does this .
    The world is being molded into a loveless caring world . childen are growing up to think violence is a game of fun. Example I saw a young child 11 at a store with a toy gun take the toy and put it to the back of his parents head as she walked in front of him.
    First who allowed him to play with this toy?
    I am just saying the world in general has changed and people are very calous about family and neighbors today. It is a beautiful and rare thing when we find human families act different.
    I am one to believe you are what you eat. Your health is effected by this true fact .
    But people seem to miss the fact we feed our minds as well.
    What we see and hear and catch with our eyes feeds the mind .
    Do we control entertainment already package to feed our minds for the good or bad outcome. Do we filter and protect our minds from damaging info .
    Do we protect our young ones as well.
    This is why so much change a sneaky programming through many avenues.
    But he that endures and protect the good in ones self with stand forever as written. It is our test in life to do what is right and good no matter the odds of those who do wrong.
    Goodness is forever rewarded.

  30. gmwilliams profile image84
    gmwilliamsposted 6 years ago

    Families really take each other for granted.  They don't really appreciate each other.  They feel that family because it is family should adopt the attitude of being there for them no matter what; after all, that is what FAMILIES........are for.  People tend to accept behavior from family members that they WOULDN'T accept from anyone else.  With that attitude, they feel that it is okay to be disrespected, even used & taken advantage of by family members.


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