A question of spite

I was an angry child, but I wasn’t malicious or spiteful, nor did I have a desire to hurt, or be mean to anyone. It wasn’t my way to be motivated by spite. Underneath the exterior was a kind and caring child that was angry, desperately needing support.

I have known people in my life who do spiteful things, who are malicious. It’s hard to believe why people would go out of their way to inconvenience or emotionally harm other people and why some people seem to be more spiteful than others.

Scientists believe the answer may lie in our genes. A team of biologists, mathematicians and psychologists believe the more similar a person is within a group, the more spiteful they are to outsiders of that group. I believe it’s true. It’s partly innate and partly because we act out what we see.

It would go some way then to explain social groups in school and other institutions. Scientists believe this may have come about to protect the genetics and structure of the social community. I personally believe behaviour stems from childhood. If our parents have empathy towards other people, we will have empathy too. It’s what we learn and what we’re familiar with.

We’re taught what our parents were taught and what their parents we’re taught before them, but even without the genetics, there may be other reasons for spiteful tendencies. Dealing with life hardens us and can make us spiteful. Not coping emotionally with what we have to deal with can also make us spiteful.

Even with other influences in our lives, with the right foundations initially in place, spite may be taken out the equation.


26 Sep, 2015

4 thoughts on “A question of spite

  1. The spiteful nature of some people probably developed at some pivotal point in their adolescent years. But I also think some people are just plain evil.

    This may sound a little harsh; but I’ve known people with warlike genes and a nature of a beast.

    1. Thanks Tim. I agree with you that a lot of how we are, stems from our adolescent years, from our genes, through our experiences and by what we see.

      It’s not easy to deal with, if you’re on the receiving end of it.

  2. Being spiteful simply isn’t necessary and shouldnt be tolerated, but understanding the source of that behaviour is always helpful.

    There is usually a reason for it and we can try and address the reason if we acknowledge that.

    1. Yes I think it’s important to acknowledge how we are, or at least try to understand our behaviour instead of thinking others are to blame for our behaviour and the way we turn out.

      Although I was an angry child, I didn’t understand what I was dealing with, because I didn’t have a diagnosis. I also didn’t know or how to equate by anger with my physical impairments. I was a child, not articulate enough to understand.

      It was up to my family, my parents in particular to help me control and deal with my anger problems.

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