Learning to become who you were meant to be, is a lifelong process. As you start discovering your authentic self you will come across individuals who will try and damage you in some form and continuously test your patience. This is a sign that you are on the right path. Knowing how to recognise these individuals and how to deal with them is a great way to overcome being victimised.
The term ‘malicious’ means intending to harm someone or their reputation.
I’m sure that at some point in your life you have dealt with someone who has tried to harm you in some way. No amount of common decency, kindness or reason works with these individuals. The harm they cause you is usually not physical; it could be financial, affecting your reputation; or an attempt to stop you from progressing in some area of your life.
Being a business owner and doing what I love every day, I am fortunate to say that 98 percent of my friends and family are kind, calm and logical, and display nothing but goodwill towards me. However, I have come across a few individuals over the last twenty years who have changed my perspective on what can happen if you are not on your guard against malicious individuals. Below are the four types of malicious individuals I have come across over the last thirty years or so.
While I have broken down these individuals into four categories, the common thread to their malicious behaviour is their lack of self awareness and their égo’ or false self, having a strong hold over them. Knowing the different types of individuals who might be out to harm you allows you to firstly not to react in counter-productive way and allows you to be on your guard and how best to handle these individuals.
The ‘jealous’ individual
This one is very common. It doesn’t matter how kind you are or how much you try and befriend this individual they will always be jealous of you. The reasons can be varied, ranging from your looks, your job, your partner or it could be as simple as you’re just too happy all the time. There is something about you that reminds them of what they lack in themselves so they end up being jealous of you instead of looking inward and improving themselves. This jealousy then leads to them trying to bring you down. They may spread rumours about you, treat you badly or undermine you. You will never be able to change their perception of you so don’t bother trying. Putting some distance between you and focusing on all the well-meaning friends and family you have around you, is the best way to deal with these individuals.
The ‘I have been wronged’ individual
This individual comes in many forms: maybe you got a job promotion that they were expecting or your new partner’s former partner blames you for the break up. For whatever reason, this individual blames you for some form of wrongdoing. Of course it is possible that you in fact treated an individuals less than ideally in the past, even by accident. This individual may perceive you as being all bad and want revenge against you. For instance, as a manager and business owner over the last 15 years, I have had to terminate the employment of a number of employees or contractors when those individuals did not meet the organisation’s expectations. Many of these individuals, instead of looking within, find it easier to blame the boss for their predicament. It’s always easier to blame someone else than it is to blame yourself when things do not go your way.
Once someone has targeted you as the reason that they have been wronged, there is very little you can do to adjust their concept of reality. The best advice is to move on and surround yourself with caring friends and family, and focus on the majority of individuals who DO want to support you.
The ‘justice at all cost’ individual
This type of individual is related to number two above, although it is not usually a personal vendetta against you. This type of individual usually targets groups or perceived groups and if you are seen by them to be a part of such a group, then they may maliciously try and damage you. For instance you might be wealthy and an individual might have the belief system that all wealthy individuals are greedy so they try to maliciously damage you due to their own internal belief system. This is also at the core of most racism and religious fanaticism. The individual truly believes that being malicious is justified, as it is a form of justice.
The ‘personality disorder’ or ‘mental disorder’ individual
Not all people who have a personality or mental disorder are malicious but some of the most difficult individuals I have dealt with, have shown signs of a mental or neurological disorder. These disorders can range from Narcissistic Personality Disorder to Borderline Personality Disorder, through to bipolar or Asperger’s Syndrome. The common trait that presents itself in these people is a lack of empathy towards the individual they are dealing with.
If empathy is not present it is almost impossible to peacefully settle any type of dispute when this type of individual believes they have been wronged. The other issue with personality disorders in particular is that the individual displays black and white and thinking, so someone is either all good, or all bad, with nothing in between. If they assume that YOU are all bad then it is easier for them to justify being malicious towards you. A large proportion of litigation in this world is a result of personality disordered individuals unable to see the world in any terms of grey. In addition to this, a personality disordered individual often chooses external conflict as a natural part of their condition, to ease their own internal pain. Once again, there is not much you can do about an individual who is trying to maliciously hurt you if they suffer from a personality or mental disorder other than getting as much distance from them as possible.
Having some knowledge about why individuals choose conflict over peace allows you to prepare for the worst when you are being targeted by these individuals. You are not going to be able to avoid conflict with these types of individuals, particularly if you are on your way to realising your own true purpose. What I would suggest is treating these individuals as a mere speed hump on your road to success. They cannot stop you, just slow you down for a small amount of time. The secret is to just deal with what you have to, and give these individuals the least amount of energy possible and keep focusing on what really matters and what will move your life forward.
There is a great Zen saying: You will never complete your journey along the road of life if you keep stopping for barking dogs.