I hurt others because I am hurt myself…

As most of my learning over the past few years, I was processing how I had been in a situation and was wandering why I behaved like I did. In short, I was a hurt and embarrassed inside and this caused me to try and create the same feelings in someone else. This got me wandering about many of the hard to explain acts of violence, unkindness and generally anti-social behaviour that we see in the world today and wondered if it was a similar chain of events that can be used to explain its presence in today’s society.

I don’t like to generalize or pigeonhole but I think it would be fair to say that a great deal of anti-social behaviour is linked with lower social classes and deprived upbringings:

People’s perception of the level of anti-social behaviour varies by gender, area and age, with people most likely to perceive high levels in areas of greatest social deprivation.

(http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmpubacc/246/246.pdf)

As I have argued previously in blogs, peoples upbringing, past and experiences in life contribute a great deal to how they behave and feel as individuals in the present and I think when looking at anti-social behaviour, this is no different. What is often created is a cycle in a social setting or family which is extremely hard to break and more often than not will continue to exist and be passed down through different family’s and social settings.

The reason that I believe many of people in socially deprived areas follow similar anti-social behaviour is because they know no different and also there is so much going on inside them which builds up to a point of explosion, creating this behaviour. Many of the people who carry out acts of violence or similar have been brought up seeing their peers do exactly the same and so why should they know any different. Just in the same way that I am brought up to be polite and show respect, some people are taught the opposite, to stand up for one’s self and ‘be a man’ and so who can blame them for behaving like they do.
(N.B. I think it is important to note, I am not preaching a “right” way to behave when comparing mine and others behaviour, merely showing two differences. Some would say that I am totally wrong in my behaviour and should show more attitude in my social interactions.)

As well as this, many of these people have had extremely difficult upbringings and the sheer amount of emotion that is bottled up in a lot of cases, can sometimes only result in this explosion of behaviour. This use of anti-social behaviour to feed the emotions inside can often be like a drug or sedative, it feeds and calms unspoken feelings inside and while it provide a hit for the time, it only adds to the fire burning internally. As well as this, the surrounding behaviour contributes once again. Many people, especially boys, are laughed at if they speak of how they feel or are victimized or picked on for being open and showing emotion so it is much easier to keep this bottled up inside than to run the risk of losing respect from those around you by talking about emotions. Again, this only adds to everything which is burning inside.

I do not want to condone how some people act when they hurt and even kill others, merely try and add to some understanding of the behaviour and reasons that some people may do this. We all have our own defences and drugs which are manifested through our behaviour and those who act anti-socially are no different. These people have often had no different way shown to them and the support that they need to break this cycle which is constantly around them is often non-existent.

I think it is also important to give great praise to those who challenge these ways of life and beliefs and challenge their stereotype and expected behaviour. Those who walk away from situations, which can result in loss of friends and family and stand up for what they think is right, only to be victimized and given even greater struggles for their decisions…

These people are the truly strong and true “men” in our society.

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~ by justprose on December 1, 2009.

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