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 and who desperately needed support.
I have known people in my life who do spiteful things, who are malicious. It’s hard to believe why anyone 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 think 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. 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 believe behaviour stems from childhood. If our parents have empathy towards other people, their children will have empathy too. It’s what we learn and what we’re familiar with.
We’re taught what our parents were taught and their parents 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.
But even with other influences in our lives, with the right foundations initially in place, I believe spite can be taken out of the equation.