There are certain people, tormented by painful needs they have no insight into, who lash out at others as a way of trying to feel better about their own gnawing sense of inadequacy. This terrible sense of worthlessness was instilled in them when they were children by equally damaged people. It is possible to largely recover from this kind of mistreatment, but it takes a lot of work. The only time many damaged souls feel equal to a world they believe is otherwise crushing them is when they are fighting to dominate others. Injecting poison into others is as close as they come to mastering situations they feel are beyond their control, confrontations they feel at a fatal disadvantage in.
The poison is always the same. The need to deliver the toxic bite always comes from the righteous feeling of being a victim. Only defending themselves, you dig, from stronger, more vicious predators. They have no choice, you understand, because they believe they’re always under attack, and at an unfair disadvantage, and are only doing what is right, what anyone in their position would do.
This toxic cycle is sadly common in human affairs. The toxic type has only one response to everything: injecting more poison. We’ve become familiar recently with the term “doubling down” in our partisan politics. It is a gambling term with wide application in human affairs — it means, according to the first google hit, “to strengthen one’s commitment to a particular strategy or course of action, typically one that is potentially risky.” If you seem to be wrong, if anyone questions you, double down — come at them twice as hard. A strong, angry denial is a much better plan of attack than allowing the possibility that you might have made a mistake, done something wrong, share some blame for the ugly situation you find yourself in.
People with very low self-esteem often feel called upon to fight, to never relent or admit the possibility of even partial fault, to never see another person’s point of view, to constantly double down on the poison. We can intellectually understand the factors that may have made them this way, a scalding feeling of inferiority, self-hatred, being unloved, but that understanding is little protection against the pain of their bite. The poison is always the same.
My best advice, whenever possible, avoid this type like you’d shun a whiff of anthrax or the AIDS virus smeared on an open cut. The poison is always the same. There is really no antidote other than expelling the noxious shit. It takes time and work to get it all out of your system, I can tell you from experience. Given the choice, once you recognize this type at work, move away as expeditiously as possible. These poor motherfuckers simply cannot help themselves.
If one of them, God forbid, becomes the most powerful person in the world, be resolute and strong in removing them from power.