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Thread: What drives people to make fun of others?

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    Default What drives people to make fun of others?

    As an INTP, I can't say I've ever felt the need to make fun of someone I don't know well to their face. Obviously, close friends get verbally marauded from time to time, but that's all in good fun. Recently my boss has been making fun of me for being overweight. i.e: "You going to the gym after work today?" "where'd you go to high school? they didn't have a gym there did they huh?" Obviously, I resorted to defending myself logically which disarmed him, but either way. It got me to thinking, what drives him to attack me? I figure he's either intimidated by me for some reason, doesn't understand me and subconsciously wants to get to know me better, or, struggled with weight issues as a young person and identifies with me and doesn't like it. Also, I've noticed that when he attacks me, my mind has a sort of immediate transitional period to go from "normal work mode" to "conflict resolution mode" where I ask myself "oh, wait... is this guy making fun of me again?" What gives people the need, or even the balls, to call someone else out though?

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    Ghost of INTPc past Array Helios's Avatar
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    A) he has a small penis



    B ) he was sexually abused as a child by a old man



    C) he has a repressed homosexual crush on you



    D ) all the above

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    haha all 3 (4?) seem likely possibilities, however I do not care to investigate any of them further. I'm just curious as to what makes people feel the need to make fun of someone, to their face specifically.

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    Member Array Nancynobullets's Avatar
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    Or, the most likely scenario:

    E) He is an asshole.

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    Senior Member Array M.L.Fay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sayanything7 View Post
    As an INTP, I can't say I've ever felt the need to make fun of someone I don't know well to their face. Obviously, close friends get verbally marauded from time to time, but that's all in good fun. Recently my boss has been making fun of me for being overweight. i.e: "You going to the gym after work today?" "where'd you go to high school? they didn't have a gym there did they huh?" Obviously, I resorted to defending myself logically which disarmed him, but either way. It got me to thinking, what drives him to attack me? I figure he's either intimidated by me for some reason, doesn't understand me and subconsciously wants to get to know me better, or, struggled with weight issues as a young person and identifies with me and doesn't like it. Also, I've noticed that when he attacks me, my mind has a sort of immediate transitional period to go from "normal work mode" to "conflict resolution mode" where I ask myself "oh, wait... is this guy making fun of me again?" What gives people the need, or even the balls, to call someone else out though?
    People constantly need to define themselves, to know their place in the context of their surroundings. A mirror will tell you nothing about yourself, for most people (maybe for all people), the only real reflection (and thus their definition) is other people. He's your boss, he needs to be defined as superior, and you are part of his reflection.

    En detail, it's hard to say, because we don't have enough information about you and him.
    unstet

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nancynobullets
    E) He is an asshole.
    The question then becomes "What drives people to become assholes?".

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    update recommended Array LowEnd's Avatar
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    Hmm, this is a tough one, but, maybe its funny.

    If I'm ripping someone, the only reason I'm doing it is, essentially, to entertain myself. On top of that, its a chance to exercise my brain. Easy, obvious humor is not funny, so being creative in my taunting brings even more self satisfaction. I wouldn't do it to a stranger for obvious reasons, but if I know someone just enough to be sure they'll take it well, I'll fill my boots.

    So your boss might actually be bonding, he's quite sure that you can take a joke, so he put it out there. Maybe you should return the sentiment next time. If he takes it the wrong way, tell him to get bent, otherwise you could both embark on a worthwhile list of humorous banters.
    DO NOT TOUCH

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    genre Array Ghost-Girl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walfin View Post
    The question then becomes "What drives people to become assholes?".
    It's very easy to be cruel without reason.

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    Member Array Nancynobullets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walfin View Post
    The question then becomes "What drives people to become assholes?".
    Well I think we would LIKE to believe it is due to some deeply hidden insecurity, but I find it more likely people are assholes just because they can be.
    If someone is brought up to be competitive, or perhaps puts value in being the biggest, 'ardest ape in the tribe, then they are going to use any opportunity they get to dominate others. Its primative thinking.

    Anywho, I expect this guy thinks he is superior to you not only because he is your boss, but because you are overweight. And the fact you dont bow down in submission irritates him, making him think you are arrogant or you dont know your place.

    I had a similar experience where I last worked. An ESTJ who bullied anyone who didnt do things his way didnt like me because I wouldnt play along. Luckily he wasnt my boss, so it was easy enough to take him apart with words.

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    .plink and fluffly. Array aelan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M.L.Fay View Post
    People constantly need to define themselves, to know their place in the context of their surroundings. A mirror will tell you nothing about yourself, for most people (maybe for all people), the only real reflection (and thus their definition) is other people. He's your boss, he needs to be defined as superior, and you are part of his reflection.

    En detail, it's hard to say, because we don't have enough information about you and him.
    I like his point of reflection.

    It could be inner insecurities. Sometimes, putting down others is the easiest way to lift ourselves up.

    It could also be plain insensitivity. To see if he is indeed picking on you/calling you out, see how he behaves towards others.

    e.g. I have an INTJ colleague who constantly gives me dressing advice etc. But I've learnt not to take it personally after observing that she just likes to tell people what to do and think, and it isn't just me who gets it.

    Sometimes, that is the only way senior people know how to relate: by giving "improvement" advice.

    I'm not sure what will work for you, without more details. The difficulty is also that it is someone senior, and like it or not, interpersonal relationships will affect work appraisal.

    For myself, it was learning to roll with it. I would just smile at her comments, then I started to make little comments noticing her clothes/shoes etc. With praise, she becomes less critical of me. It is more a matter of putting them on your side, and not letting them see whether they affect you. Sometimes it is their way of testing if you can take the heat or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost-Girl View Post
    It's very easy to be cruel without reason.
    True. I've found it is easier to be cruel than to be kind.
    And what there is between a man and a woman.
    And in which darkness it can best be proved.
    Quarantine, Eavan Boland

    transcontinental cookiedust-bunny writes. Uytuun's blogpet, property of bluebell & Tpol.

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