Wow, is it that simple? Is the world really chock-full of haters who don’t have feelings or derive pleasure from putting others down? If we take a minute to look at it, we quickly find that it’s actually not that simple. What’s happening as the haters laugh? They’re taking a mental break – almost like releasing a valve with too much pressure – from judging themselves.
It never fails: In therapy with my clients, they are often shocked to find over the course of therapy that their own judgments of others simultaneously reflect the degree to which they also judge themselves. Each day, I find myself blurting out, “You’re too hard on yourself!” There appears to be limitless self-judgment out there in the universe, and it’s poisonous because these self-judgers are twice as good at judging – even hating – others for any number of reasons (too fat, too gay, too ethnic, and so on).