Why do ‘normal’ people intentionally hurt others?

Unfortunately we all do this: So-called neurotypical people all manifest transient dissocial behaviors on occasion. One of my former DevPsych professors used to call it Chronic Human Imperfection.

What does this imply for normal people? Frankly, we all get mad, hurt or upset–and may react before thinking. The difference is we typically experience regret and remorse—whereas individuals diagnosed with, for example, NPD or ASPD, often feel nothing of the sort.

Many factors can lead to provocation and disharmony; some may be trivial, while others may be related to Social Injustice and Racial Conflict. Increasingly, as well, many of us are exposed to the daily echo chamber of social media. In the course of only a few minutes online, for example, we may experience various forms of toxic exposure to negatively-imbued and aggression-fueled commentary. Very few individuals can maintain a sense of equanimity if they perceive they’re being attacked.

Perhaps the main reason people hurt each other–and probably the most typical–cause of normal people hurting one another is in social contexts which may generate intense relational conflict. Across the board, sexual jealousy is statistically prominent.

Overall, What Causes This? Most of us are fairly sensitive to perceived threats to our own self-esteem or social status. But evolutionary biology and tribalism have also sensitized us attacks on to a family or identified groups.

Other factors certainly involve neurobiology: the influence of our sympathetic nervous system is a very powerful, well integrated psychophysiological response mechanism–and once under its sway it can be difficult for all of us to control.

  • Generally, they don’t as a rule, but it will happen at some point in their life.
    Sometimes to get attention, to create a fight where they may well make up, or to push away a person that they don’t like.
    More often, it’s because someone did something to them, (or they were lied to) and they got angry.
    Normal people have a very limited repertoire reasons for being mean. You have to do something to them, usually.

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