Cruelty – lacking in empathy or putting yourself in others’ shoes
One of the most toxic and damaging behaviors – cruelty – stems from a total lack of empathy, concern or compassion for others. We see it every day online and in the media – people being devastatingly cruel and destructive to others just because they can. They tear people down online but in a cowardly way, using their anonymity as a weapon. Cruelty, backstabbing, and ripping someone to shreds is toxic, and it hurts you as well as your target.
I had a powerful learning experience about this a few years ago. I came into the house one day in a nasty mood, and shared a mean, sniping comment to my husband about the way a neighbor was parenting her child through one of his problem phases. In less than 24 hours, that very same issue the parent was dealing with came home to roost in my house, with my child. It was as if the Universe sent me the message that “Ah, if you want to be cruel and demeaning about someone, we’ll give you the same experience you’ve judged so negatively, so you can learn some compassion.” And I did.
If you find yourself backstabbing and tearing someone else down, stop in your tracks. Dig deep and find compassion in your heart, and realize that we’re all the same.