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Why do people degrade themselves ?

Updated on July 22, 2013

Yes, sorry to say, self degradation runs rampant in our society. So much so it seems to be the normal thing to do.

And it isn't always on the outside, like the hole-ey guy pictured here who seems to be running out of room on his face to express himself/degrade himself. ( a TSA nightmare)

Compliment somebody and see what they say to you about themselves. Nine times out of ten they wont say thank you and return a compliment, but will destroy their compliment you gave them, to the extent that they won't feel good about themselves. As if feeling good and positive about 'number one' is illegal and a gateway to more feeling goodness and passing it on to others.

Could that be the reason why people don't compliment? ..... as I asked in a prior hub page, Why don't people compliment? Do they suspect the negativity that will follow from a person who they have just complimented, and just don't want to go through it with them? I feel that way at times, especially when people 'get off' on their sicknesses, as if there is nothing else they have to offer than what is wrong with them!

"Oh, you look nice today, that's a cool dress."

"This old thing, I bought this second hand years ago." .....instead of saying; "Thank you, I like your dress. Where did you get it?"

Hell, even if you talk about the weather you're sure to hear loads of negative feed-back.

"Beautiful day today, isn't it?"

"Oh, we're supposed to have rain." Instead of saying like I do: "It sure is, but I figure if I start to breath in the morning and get out of bed, it's a beautiful day whatever the weather is like outside."

Yes, it is dangerous to compliment. The other day I said a friendly "hello, hows it goin," to a guy at the salad bar. Not only did he return my greeting and went back to his salad building, and I thought I was safe, he came back with this: "Doin OK, thank goodness my chemo is over."

I didn't know what else to say to the guy except, "happy your still with us," then I went back to my salad building even though his comment was causing me to lose my appetite, feeling embarrassed for him. "Hope it doesn't come back," is what he said. I asked myself, 'are we so boring to ourselves that we have to resort to our illnesses in general conversation?' Seems so.

What is it that makes us feel as though we don't deserve good positive things to happen to us? Where is it written that we have to always monitor our thoughts and actions so they aren't too happy, too positive, too vivacious, and just too damn enjoyable of this life? Is it sinful to be happy, healthy, and financially secure? I dare say not. Not in my religion. And anybody that tells you that you have to wait till you're dead to be happy in heaven; I think got their wires crossed, and/or has the agenda of keeping you coming back to church every week, or more.

"Going to church every Sunday doesn't make you a Christian, any more than hanging out at a car dealership will make you into a car!"


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    • johnwindbell profile image

      johnwindbell 5 years ago from - the land of beards and buggies

      Thanks for scrolling by, cam8510, we're funny people aren't we. Earth's damn near a cuckoo's nest.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 5 years ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

      Thanks for a great hub. You provided some very good reminders about how to approach life a;nd how to approach other people.

    • johnwindbell profile image

      johnwindbell 5 years ago from - the land of beards and buggies

      Hey, that's nice, arayindb1q82, 'life before death'!, it's all we have right now. Like dreading the winter. Have the best summer, while you can.

    • aravindb1982 profile image

      Aravind Balasubramanya 5 years ago from Puttaparthi, India

      Very true.... In fact, wanting to be happy is the primal desire of every person.... Makes one wonder why one does not want to simply be happy!

      When anyone asks me whether I believe in life after death, I feel like telling them that I believe in life before death! :)

    • johnwindbell profile image

      johnwindbell 6 years ago from - the land of beards and buggies

      Thanks John. Well, it's all free will. Strange people aren't we!

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Great and insightful hub johnwindbell. You're correct about the guy in the photo. It's like I always say, the day everyone is all pierced up and with tattos all over, the guy/gal in the suit will be the rebel....

      Take care

      Voted up


    • johnwindbell profile image

      johnwindbell 6 years ago from - the land of beards and buggies

      hey weestro thanks for clickin by and leavin word. Why can't we be happy with who we are? I mean, some of us are pretty great and ingenious.

    • weestro profile image

      Pete Fanning 6 years ago from Virginia

      Enjoyed this hub, everyone is trying so hard to be different that they're the same...wait..I confused myself. Voted up and awesome!

    • johnwindbell profile image

      johnwindbell 6 years ago from - the land of beards and buggies

      ....just happen to think ~ can you'all imagine the dude in the photo without his that's a picture to behold.

    • rdsparrowriter profile image

      rdsparrowriter 6 years ago

      To be different is difficult. Everyone likes to be accepted and respected for who they are. We just need to tolerate and celebrate the differences to have a good relationship.Just being open isn't bad, is it? Everyone surely loves complemnts. It makes you happy at least for few minutes. Nice hub.

    • johnwindbell profile image

      johnwindbell 6 years ago from - the land of beards and buggies

      ooops, you've noticed, I cover my pain with laughter. Sometimes people can tell. I've always laughed with pain, strangely enough. When I fell with a ladder I can remember laughing, when I landed, at my broken arm swelling up. When pissed or depressed I'm the one that laughs out in the fields or woods instead of screaming my stress away. People must think I'm mad as a politician, oh well.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      Actually, john, your face is more round than flat and a very appealing face. Though from your avatar I'm not quite sure if you are laughing or in pain.

      Generally, people who degrade or mutilate themselves have a very low self-esteem. Making oneself look 'different' attracts attention, even if it's of the negative sort.

    • johnwindbell profile image

      johnwindbell 6 years ago from - the land of beards and buggies

      Thanks Jason. This o'l flat face is well versed in self denial, I was raised in it's abusive arms. I know what I fight against everyday. And Reverend Ike has helped me many times over the many years. Talking about it and loving it, as well as others, is the solution. I love you Max, but what's behind your mask. Oh, that's a question ....?

    • Jason R. Manning profile image

      Jason R. Manning 6 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Great Hub John, I tend to agree that tolerance is a two way street, good O’l Max there isn’t very tolerant of Republicans or anybody who is willing to make the most out of life despite poor leadership. We certainly can show a bit of tolerance by asking the questions, “why did you do that to yourself?”

      As for compliments, I think many people are afraid of them, they are afraid because of tolerance; too many individuals have been sued in the work place because of kneejerk reactionaries. America is losing its sense of humor, or should I say one sides tolerance is very different than the others. At least your hub has opened up the door for these conversations, and that alone is worth it. Thanks.

    • johnwindbell profile image

      johnwindbell 6 years ago from - the land of beards and buggies

      Well, I gather you liked my hubpage, American Romance. Thank you for being honest. You are a breath of fresh air. 'We' some of us that is, have OD'd on tolerance to the extent that we would be tolerant of somebody killing us. Tolerant of Obama. But, more importantly, we have become tolerant of ourselves screwing ourselves. This is a sin. Telling our God we don't deserve the best He's given us to enjoy......duh !

    • American Romance profile image

      American Romance 6 years ago from America

      Seriously? Most of you agree with MAX??? Why in the hell should I be tolerant of idiots? Why? Am I supposed to lower my standards to be politicaly correct? Hell NO! Point these freak of natures out to your children and say see that? That person will never have a good job, will never attract a socialy acceptable mate, That person is showing the world he doesn't give a shit and that he chooses NOT to fit into society as most of us know it! Tolerance is a nasty word that should be scrubbed from the dictionary! PS...........and I don't have to be tolerant to Max,............cause hes an moron!

    • johnwindbell profile image

      johnwindbell 6 years ago from - the land of beards and buggies

      and thank you always, always exploring, exploring all the time. Such is life.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I got a kick out of your hub and couldn't agree more. I often wonder why it's so difficult to say, " Thank you "


    • johnwindbell profile image

      johnwindbell 6 years ago from - the land of beards and buggies

      Thank you paradise for your comment. Love is replaced by pain. Isn't one who mutilates themselves, degrading themselves? Doesn't it take one who hates themselves to hurt themselves? ....and then wanting others to feel the same way, and jealous when they don't join in.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      I found the pic of the guy with all the hardware disturbing. It can't be healthy for him, and it must have hurt. That's not self-degradation, it's self mutilation. I know Max in the above comment has a point and that we all should be tolerant of others' forms of self-expression. I think you have a perfectly valid point also, John, in that sometimes people carry a negative weight, it seems; they also seem obligated to share it at the least opportunity.

    • johnwindbell profile image

      johnwindbell 6 years ago from - the land of beards and buggies

      Thank you for the comment, maxoxam41, my thoughts exactly. The God in me blesses the God in you.

    • maxoxam41 profile image

      Deforest 6 years ago from USA

      If you allow yourself to be judgmental with original people, then I could criticize your plain and flat face and deduce from it your lack of personality. What would you think? Some tolerance won't hurt!


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