by Edward Toupin
It's a funny world in which we live. Some people want badly to succeed. Others want badly to see others fail. Although this might sound a bit pessimistic, it is truly another example of balance in our world.
For every success, we must have a failure. For every positively motivated individual, we must have one who is negatively motivated. It is a fact of life, but many people are blind-sided because it is hard to believe that people would purposefully work to bring others to defeat.
--- One-Upmanship ---
There are many definitions of one-upmanship. Some see it as the situation we all encountered in elementary school: "my daddy's bigger than your daddy". But, as we grow, the competition grows and the stakes become greater. When we can no longer compare "dads to dads" and begin to rely on our own traits and abilities, some people tend to fall behind. These people begin to realize that they can no longer compete and they claw and grab to pull others down so that they can feel better about themselves.
I think my grandfather provided the perfect example. Sometimes humanity is like a pot of boiling crabs. As the water heats up, the crabs on the bottom grab at the ones immediately above to crawl out. In the process, the higher crabs are pushed to the bottom, which then begin to claw their way out. This vicious cycle continues until all crabs are boiled! Indeed, this is not a valiant comparison of the human condition, but it is truer than you might think and something that you may encounter every day without knowing it.
--- Projected Control ---
It is sometimes easier for us to control others when indeed we cannot control ourselves. To control ourselves, we have to know ourselves. However, instead of taking the time to look at our attributes and deficiencies, we project them on to others and turn these other people into "puppets" of ourselves. By controlling others on whom we've projected ourselves, we are, in essence, feeling in control of ourselves.
In this way, it is easier to keep others down because we are afraid to face our own inadequacies. But, since the life objective of such a person would be to keep others down, they have no time or room for other activities that could potentially enhance their lives. Yes, some people will do what they can to "bamboozle" you to get what they can ... it's not paranoia ... it is fact. But, if you can accept that fact and learn that you don't have to conform, then you're all the better for it.
--- But, the way they treat me ... ---
I have to say that you should not worry so much about the way others treat you, but more how you treat yourself. Treating yourself well will establish a "template" or "protocol" for how others should treat you. But, the important thing to keep in mind is that not everyone will treat you the same and, in some cases, they will treat you in a manner opposite of what you expect.
Realize that the way people act toward you is a reaction to their inner selves. Their own insecurities, lack of self-esteem, lack of inner-strength, and lack of direction cause people to sometimes lash out or try to control their "puppets" or sabotage the successes of others. Those people that do not feel you as a threat will treat you well, others that take you as a threat will not.
The best way to handle such a situation is simply to take responsibility for yourself and your world. Allow others the room to maneuver, but do not personally accept the actions and words of others as your own issues. Do not accept the projection of someone else as your own being.
If you are the victim of one-upmanship, try to analyze where the other party is coming from before passing judgment on yourself. In many cases, you will find that the other party is only lashing out because of something that they're lacking in themselves.
--- I need their acceptance ... ---
This also brings up the point that many people have about "acceptance" and "permission". Many people are too eager to seek the approval of others in everything that they do. Realize that, your life is your own and seeking the acceptance of others instantly places your fate into someone else's hands. Do not try to seek acceptance of yourself or permission to do something for yourself because other people are busily looking for acceptance and permission from others as well. It's a vicious circle.
Occasionally, we accept the "beatings" that are given to us by others simply to make it through the day. Realize that negative energy breeds more negative energy; however, positive energy takes effort and concentration because it oscillates at such a higher frequency. Therefore, it is easy to fall prey to one-upmanship and negative energies because it does not take as much effort.
--- What's next? ---
This is a big world full of many people and we must all be allowed the time and effort to maneuver around. This maneuvering is growth. Everyone is trying to get a feel for boundaries and directions to learn their own limits and possibilities. Realize that everyone on this planet is looking for their place, which puts us all in the same boat --- looking for appreciation, acceptance, and permission.
Failures occur to allow us to enjoy our successes. If all we ever had in our lives were successes, than what would we have to compare? Somewhere along the way, we have to strengthen ourselves, grow, and re-establish our lives so that we can prepare for the next success. But, negatively motivated people are in their early learning stages and have allowed their failures to overcome their being.
Learn to look within yourself for appreciation and acceptance and give yourself permission to seek a better and more fulfilling life every day. It is not in how others treat you that can make a difference in your life, but it is in how you treat yourself.