Friday, May 16, 2008

Anger in the Age of Entitlement: Emotional Pollutants II

Here are more emotional pollutants identified by the people in
our survey that are almost guaranteed to cause a negative response in

5. Pettiness
It's making a big deal out of
nothing or focusing on one small, negative aspect of something with no
attempt to see the bigger picture. It's making less important things
more important than the most important things. Pettiness is usually a
function of resentment; for the resentful, nothing is too petty to

6. Sarcasm
It comes in many forms. Sometimes
it's just poorly-timed humor - saying the wrong thing in the wrong
context. Sometimes it's innocently insensitive, with no intention to
hurt or offend. More often it is hostile and meant to devalue. The
purpose is to undermine a perspective you don't agree with or to shake
someone's confidence, for temporary ego gain or strategic advantage....

7. Victim identity
(P)eople who identify with injuries,
defects, or weaknesses tend to see only negative aspects of themselves
and their experience....

8. Enmity
Henry Kissinger once said that even
the paranoid have enemies. Paranoid or not, emotional polluters can
hardly avoid making enemies. Other people see their negativity or
casual disregard of others as rejection or put-down and certainly do
not see the core hurts, regret, or remorse that cause it. Far from
invoking greater understanding, which is what emotional polluters
really long for, their behavior creates little but an impulse for
revenge in others...

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