When People “Need” to See You as Bad to Feel Good About Themselves

When People “Need” to See You as Bad to Feel Good About Themselves February 12, 2019

Have you ever interacted with people who behave as if they “need” to see you as a “bad” person?

These people can be family, friends-more like frenemies- to people in your local religious/spiritual community.

Last week during day 217-223 of my year of kicking the Bible to the curb reminded me of this phenomenon—in a good way.

I had the opposite experience. I am not going into it, yet it was part of my living Bible experience.

It reminded me of the reason why I choose to keep my heart open.

In this post, I discuss ways this “need you to be bad” phenomenon works, the root of it, and a way to live freely from it.

The Neediness

There are endless ways the “need you to be bad” phenomenon shows up.

There are people in your life who come across like they refuse to see good in you. It’s like your own personal Star Wars saga because  “the force is strong with this one.” No matter what you do they seem more wedded to perceive you as a “bad” person than being human.

Maybe they are more committed to gossiping and keeping drama going than dealing directly with you.

They might sit back quietly and wait for a moment when they perceive you are down to show their true colors. They might reveal what they really think about you in a moment when they think you have “slipped up.”

You might see this behavior in people over-reacting or amplifying a situation to the point that it is as if they are pouncing on you.

It’s like they have been waiting for this moment all of their lives like Phil Collins ( See “In the Air Tonight” 00:47 mark).

These are the people who will Judas you like Jesus. (Yes, I used Judas as a verb because I can. If the President of the United States can eat hamberders, then I can do whatever I want in the name contemporary linguistic facility.)

A close observation is not required to see the signs.

These people might hold a perpetual grudge. No matter if you apologize or try to rectify the wrong, you get the sense that nothing will make things right with this person.

Such people do not want to clear up any confusion, for they derive pleasure from any adversity against you. The reality is this: These people would rather maintain a misperception that takes you down a notch in their minds.

Others possess a desire for you to fail in order to feel like they are winning.  There is a reason behind this madness.

The Root of the Issue

No matter how the “need you to be bad”  phenomenon looks, the root of it is envy and jealousy. I did not realize this until about fifteen years ago.

Now, if you are like me, you might laugh and ask, “Come on. Jealous of what?”

As the song, “Greatest Love of All” (See 0:49 mark) goes, “Everybody’s searching for a hero. People need someone to look up to.” There is your answer.

Kidding aside, I have found that it all comes down to a sense of lack within self and world. You never know how simply breathing and functioning as a human being might trigger someone’s insecurities.

Like an appendix, people have stuff inside that makes no kind of sense. Chiefly, humans perceive and interact through the state of their present spiritual and personal evolution.

You are human, too, with your own insecurities.  All of us are on this grand journey of life.

Within our lifetime(s), we get the opportunity to grow and evolve.

No one can make you or anyone grow or evolve.

These people who “need” you to be “bad” have not evolved to recognize there is room in this world for everyone to shine by being themselves.

There is more to humanity than labeling people as “good” and “bad.” People who are spiritual and evolving do not feel a “need” to  perceive someone as less to feel like more or something.

There is no place at the table. We have entire world at our disposal to be.

Isn’t that exciting?

Closing: Treat Yourself Like the Gospel

People who want to know you and appreciate you do not require you to be a villain or need to harp on your mishaps, so they can feel like somebody.

They know that all of us are somebodies, anyway. Maybe you can treat yourself like the gospel, the good news. If people do not see or appreciate your worth the way God does, shake the dust off your feet and keep it moving.

I invite you to another walk into realm of freedom by letting go of trying to convince people who do not even want to really know you. If they really wanted to know you as a human, it would not be so hard.

Let these people go on in their spite. You are not responsible for someone’s evolution. They get to choose just like you.

It is simple. Dr. Barton Goldsmith notes ten ways you can feel good about yourself. He does not include the “need you to be bad” strategy.

These suggestions require a growth mindset.

All you need to do is keep on being yourself, and keep your heart open.

If I close my heart every time someone attempts to hurt me or disapprove of me in any way, I would miss out on an abundance of love.

There is risk in relationship. For me, the risk is worth it. The blessings from choosing to heal and deal with any wound outweighs any hurt I have experienced.

You and I are abundantly loved by God and the universe.

As I write, I am restraining myself from basking in the joy that comes from this knowing because even reflecting on such love can create an overwhelmingly rhapsodic experience. How liberating it is to be known for who you are without the cra-cra without denying, hiding, shrinking, or explaining?

Be a good person. Be yourself, but don’t waste your time proving it.

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  • Susan Granade

    In my lifetime so far, I’ve been lucky enough not to encounter too many people who appear not to like me. Plenty of them have been indifferent, but only several have registered a negativity toward me strong enough to make me uncomfortable. In those cases, it seems to have boiled down to a random remark I made that demonstrates I’m not orthodox or to the notion I’m a rival for a third party’s esteem or attention. Being disliked for a reason you can’t figure out–or do anything about–hurts.