Teenage hate culture

Because it’s time to expose someone

It’s time to expose someone.

There’s this person in some of my classes and they’re so annoying. Everything they do is to try and be better than everyone else and they freak out when they get a B on anything while everyone else fails. They just have like no self-awareness.

This person sounds like they really suck, right? What if instead, I said this:

There’s this person in some of my classes and they are incredible. They take their natural smarts and use that to fuel their many passions and put in 110% effort into everything to push themselves to become the best they can be.

The attributes which were used to make this person seem unbearable were flipped to make them seem like an amazing person.

The person I am exposing is actually myself, because the first paragraph is what I used to think about one of my current friends when I was fed information about them by others and had maybe one or two actual interactions with them.

It’s so easy to judge a book by its cover. I mean, there are about 1,500 kids in our school, each with enough life to fill entire libraries. Who has the time for that?

Because of that, it’s much easier to just get information about people from others. My friend told me that someone is annoying, so that is now my opinion and I have avoided talking to that person altogether.

Think about how many times you and a friend talked negatively about someone else at school, and how many times you participated without a second thought. I won’t lie, I’ve definitely talked negatively about others, and I know you have, too.
But hey, I totally wouldn’t say anything that I wouldn’t say to their face. Totally. Definitely. I am not lying.

If we all know it’s bad, then why does every single one of us do it?

According to psychologist Mark B. Borg Jr., the baseline answer is that people do it because they are insecure or anxious.

As teenagers we are bombarded with homework, future life decisions and raging hormones. When we, on top of all that, find things to hate about ourselves because of said hormones, it can be much easier to just bring other people down so we can feel higher up.

Fitting in is really hard, so this is also a way to start a conversation. I mean yeah it negatively affects a lot of people, but we all have it bad, so who cares?

No one wants to be talked about negatively, but it happens regardless. So what can be done?

It’s simple: Be nice.

In his article “Being Kind to Others Benefits You,” in Psychology Today, Dr. Jamie Gruman references multiple studies in which the end result was that being kind made participants, and those they were kind to, feel higher levels of positive emotions. In short, being nice makes everyone feel happy.

Anything as simple as complimenting someone’s outfit or as complicated as baking a pie for someone helps. I mean, in one of the studies, simply sharing one’s umbrella with a stranger resulted in shared happiness.

It’s also a good idea to think about why you may dislike someone. If it ends up that you dislike someone solely based on rumors, then maybe it is time to reconsider.

You will also have to call out your friends when they are talking negatively about others. Remember all the bullying videos we watched in middle school? Being a bystander can be just as bad as being a bully.

I ask that you think about putting some effort into yourself by going to therapy if you know you have issues related to insecurity or anxiety. There’s nothing wrong with getting help, but there is something wrong with knowing you have issues and doing nothing about them.

Being an upstanding person is not supposed to be easy. As high schoolers, it is up to us to put in the effort to change the way we think in high school.