When I was a toddler, I cried a lot. Because I did not like something or just because I needed attention. Furthermore, even when I received the attention I kept crying. Other toddlers kept coming by and asked the reason for my waterfalls. However, I ignored it and kept crying. I don’t know why I did this. This became a huge problem. That is why my parents made a good decision to raise me properly. Instead of lovely parenting, they get loud and were using harsh, uncomfortable words. As an effect, I cried even more. However, over the years, I got used to those harsh words. I stopped crying like a little bitch for every hardship I face. So, this kept me thinking about insults and compliments. Moreover, in our world where insults and compliments are easily thrown around without understanding their after-effect, I decided to write my thoughts about it.
The Effect of Insults
My parents justified their parenting for simply one reason: men don’t cry. It may sound outdated but back in the ’90s, it was the general practice. I still cry from time to time, but only if some conditions are fulfilled: 1. good, sad music 2. rain 3. late in the night. However, I am glad that my parents stuck to this parenting because I would not like me today. Over the years, I made many friends because of this anti-cry campaign. I was still a loud kid. But instead of filling the room with the sound of my cry, I filled it with laughs.
At the end of my elementary years, I discovered one unusual practice of us boys. Insulting or roasting each other is one of the reasons our friendship exists. I can clearly remember when our ‘leader’ greeted another friend with an insult. ‘What’s up asshole? Oh, you finally cut your hair. It is about time.” Surprisingly, he was not affected by it at all. In addition, he responded with an even better insult: “Oh, thanks, dude. The haircut was a thank-you from your mother after I did her all night long.” These insults made up 90% of our conversation. All we did were insulting each other. And it was fun as hell.
Why do we roast each other
This behavior starts when boys slowly enter puberty. It is clear that this kind of roasting is a tool for testing someone’s mental strength. We test people on how mentally strong they are. For example, if someone is easily offended we mark them as weak. As a result, we do not want to be involved with this person in any situation. Or even worse, we will continue picking on him until he breaks.
Two possible Outcomes
So there are two cases.
Firstly, we ignore this person. The reason for this method is simply avoiding problems as well. People with a weak mindset or low self-esteem often talk about problems all the time. Because they need more help and are usually cry-babies. Strong-minded people do not have time for that. Or these problems are seen as ridiculous stupid to even thinking about it. In addition, every act of listening or solving a problem drains energy, a lot of energy. It is simply exhausting for the caretaker. We ignore weak-minded people to protect ourselves. And especially among men, we think everyone should deal with their own shit.
Secondly, we continue to insult until it is no longer possible. Once you slip into the victim role, it is hard to escape. Unfortunately, I have no experience as a victim. But I can describe how it is on the other side. Well, I was someone who bullied a kid. Never active but always as a group. And it always starts when our alpha guys start to dislike someone who, in their eyes, misbehaves. Never about their appearance, religion, skin color, or nationality, only behavior. And it started small, a simple, minor, not important insult. At this moment, the victim will decide on his own how we should continue.
If he reacted strong and cool. We would stop immediately and showed him the respect he deserves or we even apologize. If he shows that he is hurt, cries, or worse that he doesn’t show himself respect.
The Effect of Compliments
In general, compliments are great. And really effective to boost a person’s self-esteem and motivation when used properly and honestly. I become a member of a new group. For me, it was easy to integrate myself into the dynamic and vibe of the group. Summarized, I am a good mood setter. And I can befriend myself with everyone which, I think, I did. It was easier because I know half of the group beforehand. Nevertheless, it was quite fun. We exchanged with each other with various insults and compliments. As you might guess right, I confront insults with even better insults or a burst of laughs.
However, I have problems dealing with compliments when they come unexpectedly. So, one girl thanked me for participating in her birthday party. She told me that it was a pleasure to see that I cared about her siblings, being a funny guy, and so on. And here she told me something that I probably will never forget: “Thien, wherever you go, you are the party.” This small compliment boosted my ego even further and made me overall happy. The compliments are just great. But, they hide a vulnerable fact within themself.
The Negative Effect of Insults and Compliments
In general, insults are bad for everyone. No matter who we are. It is just bad for our personal development. However, we can decide how strong this insult will damage us. Here again and how it always will be, it depends on us, our mindset, and our character. To strengthen our defense against any kind of insults that cause insecurities, we must expose ourselves to many insults and learn. I support the opinion or theory that good roasting from friends is a necessity to be invulnerable. It hurts, at the beginning. But with time, we will joke about ourselves. Because behind every insult is something true. Once we accept this fact, we can laugh all together about it. In a way, insults are a great method to truly empowers someone. If you have the right mindset and if you are constantly exposed to them.
However, while you learn easily how to deal with insults, some have problems with compliments. And I will share the story, a really stupid one.
When I was 19 years old, I became invulnerable to any kind of insult. In fact, only serious insults, not roasts, from family and friends will make me think. But not cry. One day, a really cute girl chatted with me for a while. We exchange funny texts, deep-talk-level texts, or just asking each other how we were doing. Simple.
And for me, it was something new. At that point, I never had a girlfriend. And she was top-notch the cutest girl back then. So, I started to develop some feelings for her. One day, she told me that she likes me over text. I was blown away by this message. Is this real? Can it be real? Wait, am I dreaming? Instantly, I committed to this ‘relationship’ and did everything to make her mine. I drove to her, around 40 minutes of travel time, gave her presents, and even cared about her when she was drunk.
But, it did not work in the end. Even worse, she was the reason that I was punched at a party. Because I overvalued simple compliments I got in some trouble. Even years later, I did not learn my lesson. Over and over again, I was stupid and hurt myself numerous times. Just because of every compliment I valued too much.
People who became immune to insults are vulnerable to compliments.
Being nice is such a weak-ass character trait. Think about it. Which kind of person do you usually describe as a nice person? Right, the one who does not stand out. Especially people who seem to have no character at all. Nice guys usually finish last, and this is justified. Yes, you hear me right. I encountered many, many nice guys. Girls and boys alike, mostly are weak, trying to please everyone, are afraid of conflicts, have no opinion, and the worse part, they are not honest. They are not honest with themselves because they change their character to please people.
Maybe this is not the first time I brag about nice guys. But here is the thing which grinds my gear every time it comes up.
Selfishness hinders a World of being nice
Why the fuck should everyone should be nice to each other. Please do not mistake nice for polite. I demand from other people to be respectful and have manners. But being nice and being polite are two different things. You can insult someone in a respectful way. But you cannot nicely insult someone. What triggers me is that everyone demands to be nice to each other. But this is ideological stupid and impossible. We do not live in a world full of rainbows and wishes.
Being nice, like described, will not bring you far in life. Not in your career or in your love life. If we follow this theory, everyone is scared to talk or scared to act because they do not want to hurt someone. Moreover, there will be no competition. The economy will be different than what we know. Dating would be weird as fuck, too. There might be no dating at all. Who knows exactly.
People who are overload with compliments are vulnerable to insults.
Let me give you a more realistic example. On every Instagram post of a girl, besides tons of likes, you see infinite comments from other users. And all of them sent one message: You are beautiful. I am fine with this until I understood the meaning behind it. They want to strengthen the person with compliments and trying to cover negative comments at all costs. It means, they overprotect them. And as many know, it will bring problems.
Not long ago, I imagined myself as a dad who will protect my daughter at all costs. Locating her with GPS, dating is allowed after 20+-year-old and trying to keep her at home most of the time. But, a friend, opened my eyes to it. The more I protect her the more she will be vulnerable to outer threads later on. Fuck boys, Alcohol, and Gossip, for example.
And this example, I witness many times. I was never a person who tries to think about what they say when it comes to social interactions. One day, I tried to date this girl. It was fun and we had a lot in common. I rate her as a funny and open girl who can laugh about everything. Afterward, I sent her a funny meme about her job as being a nurse. The whole purpose is to make her laugh. That’s it. However, she misinterprets it as an insult. And since then she did not talk to me anymore.
I can understand that she feels hurt. Nonetheless, why the hell are you taking this ‘hurt’ so deeply by a stranger? And this is the whole point about overprotecting and overloading someone with compliments.
People who are used to many compliments are vulnerable to insults too easily.
This video summarizes perfectly what I want to say. When you demand people to be nice and are used to sweet words, you are exposed and hurt easily by a simple no. Or the way how people talk.
How to deal with both Threads
So, people who only hear insults are easily manipulated by kind words or compliments. And people who only hear compliments are hurt easily.
The best way to approach is to expose yourself to insults or compliments more. If you are, like me, only roasted and hear a compliment once in a year, you need to hear more compliments. And the best way to get compliments is to actually work on something admirable. Moreover, guys are less to hear a compliment, this is why you need to get out of your comfort zone and do something you love. Here again, the question I ask from time to time is, what is your passion when you do not have to think about money?
For those who almost never hear insults, I recommend you guys roast each other from time to time. The hard part is to package it as a joke. If you roast someone in a funny way, they will never be truly hurt to the extent that they will leave you. A tip, try to extremize beyond ridiculousness. For example, if a friend has a bad haircut, ask with a big smile: “What happened? Does your head got run over by a lawnmower?” Who will hate you for this?
Only take the best part from the effect of insults and compliments.
Summary – The Effect of Insults and Compliments
Nothing is good for us when we are exposed to it 24/7. Overloading with insults will either make you pathetic and destroyed or invulnerable. In addition, you will be manipulated easily by compliments. Overloading with compliments will make you arrogant and will empower the fixed mindset. But, you will easily be hurt by small insults. It is all about balance.
I hope I made you clear that using these excessively will damage our mindset in the long term.