People do not like to think that they are hostile even if they are. They resort to myriad disguises to hide their desire to do damage or only visibly allowing themselves to be hostile to their sub group’s “enemies,” while concealing the others. For “friends” they feel the need to attack, they wear a smiling mask behind which hide with bared teeth and narrowed eyes like an animal readying for the kill. They want to come out clean after striking. They keep adding to their disguise of love by making connections with people and groups which are genuinely caring or with those who also wear the mask of love. Some who need to believe their mask keep their eyes from looking in.
Conscience comes in different sizes usually depending on how you were raised. We can compare the imagined power of the urge to be kind or at least hold back doing damage versus the desire to wound and kill. We have the discomfort of those whose conscience is of average size or a bit smaller than the urge they have to hurt. There is a struggle as the part of the self that wants to attacks tries to dissuade the conscience from forbidding it. If the outpouring of hate is huge and impulsive, they give and seek excuses for breaking their ethical code after. Some people become very good at self-persuading.
For others their conscience does not exist. The psychopathic crowd belongs here. Their main concern is not being caught and many devote themselves to developing a convincing image. When forced to acknowledge that they have hurt someone, they may apologize for doing it, call it an accident and act surprised. If they enjoy the other’s discomfort, they do not show it. Their words so carefully chosen are only words.
The receiver of this hostility often is confused by their friend’s mask. These victims often had harmful parents with whom they learned to tolerate abuse by labeling it love. That is why they choose harmful friends and lovers. The choice may be unconscious but it exists. The search for love in anti-loving people has them in its hold .
The person expressing hostility in one wearing the mask of innocence goes on with anyone seen as a worthy victim, one where demeaning the other is felt to give them points. For example, a friend who is intolerably jealous of anyone achieving a noticeable accomplishment except herself, told me that my first book, Trapped in the Mirror had two ideas. I stewed over and suffered that comment for years. When finally I revealed my feelings, she answered that most books don’t even have one idea. She draped the image of false superiority over the blood of her incision. She acted as if she had given me a compliment. Her attempt to diminish my achievement continues. Can she not understand? Raised in a murderously competitive and unloving family she has to murder those who seem to rise above her.
The injured person is confused about how to respond to a seemingly helpful but intentionally hostile action. After 30 years of saying that her girls took my dog for a walk in the park, tied its leash to a bush while riding on the merry go round to find that it was missing when they got off, another friend tells me that she told them to leave the dog behind and say that it was lost. She didn’t like the dog, an alpha, me-first Cairn Terrier that had to get his way. I searched for the dog and felt its loss. It was a painful experience but I never imagined that she arranged it. Her daughters were good liars.
This same woman told me that a decent person never sees the negative side of anything or anyone and sent a quote from Mother Teresa in Calcutta to make her point. The woman comes from a family which does not deeply relate. Liars cannot be close. They lie to cover their tracks when doing what you do not want from them. They lie to separate. She thinks that telling someone you love them when you don’t is the kindest thing to do. Does she think that they don’t know it? People feel love or its absence without your speaking. They see love in your eyes. When appreciation is hooked by strands of lies like links in a paper bracelet, where is love? It tears and falls to the ground.
The one who injures is acting saint-like but still thrusts the knife be it verbal or physical. Still they speak words that hurt. The victim feels stabbed but their friend is smiling. The victim’s mind is confused by this misrepresentation. The friend rubs salt into their wounds by denying hurtful intentions and making it the victim’s mistake, their misreading, their misapprehension rather than apologize for what they have done. The one who hurts makes no kind of restitution and even if they do, more mistreatment follows. They push their victim deeper into an emotional ditch.