Being stressed is no excuse for being mean

I know a lot of people will probably scoff at me behind my back for this post. But maybe that only solidifies why I’m writing it.

Life is stressful. If you’re a university student currently experiencing the third-week-slump, you probably just threw your hands to the sky and shouted, “Amen.” Life expects a lot from you, and sometimes you just can’t deliver. You feel overworked and overwhelmed, and you really just can’t.

But what I’ve been noticing is how being in such a stressed out state can make people really mean. Hurtful comments. Brash tones of voice. Not-so-private gossipy conversations. Giving zero respect to your peers. When you’re stressed out, you’re constantly thinking of all of the things on your never-ending to-do list, which can make a person pretty self-centered. So you forget about how strong of an impact you can have on those around you.

I get it. Everyone has bad days. But that’s the thing: everyone does. If you’re stressed out, chances are the people close to you are also stressed out. And you know what doesn’t help? A lack of support from those around you. If you’ve ever been anxious and overwhelmed, you know the smallest thing can tear you down in a millisecond. I’m not saying you need to be a shoulder to cry on for everyone you encounter, but I am saying you have no justification for being the one to make them cry.

And believe me, I do not think I am some saintly figure: this message is just as much for me as it is for you. I’ve made my fair share of not-so-nice comments and ranted a little too aggressively lately. I recognize that I’m wrong for choosing to do that, and I’m working on it. But I needed to talk about this because it’s gotten to the point where I see two people whispering in a group setting and I just assume they’re putting someone down. Putting me down. And I can’t even call it paranoia at this point because of the amount of evidence I’ve witnessed to prove it to be true. I often stop myself from talking because everyone around me feels like a ticking time bomb.

I want everyone to be okay and happy and not stressed. But there is absolutely no excuse for being mean. None. Zero. Consider how your words and actions affect your peers, because “I’m stressed” is not an excuse for hurting someone else.

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