As I’ve said before, the majority of our behaviors are driven by our sub-conscious mind and the beliefs we’ve chosen over the years. The overriding intention of any behaviors stemming from our beliefs, is to protect us in what ever way it can, given the circumstances.
This can be very hard for us to understand and remember, when dealing with particularly anti-social or hurtful actions, but it is always true, however unpalatable it may be. Please do not think that we need to agree with that chosen behavior or condone it in any way, however we must identify it as serving a positive purpose for the person who is doing it albeit on a sub-conscious level. Think of unhappy children who crave attention, any attention being better than none. They quickly work out that being good and quiet means that they are left on their own, no parent or carer engages with them. But they crave attention and interaction and notice that they get a great deal of it if they act out, shout, or break the rules or display anger. Depending on how that is received, the code is then set up – act angry and upset etc and I will get the attention I so crave. They are simply trying to get what they need in the only way they know how.
Another common example is bullying – belittling, dominating behavior of any kind. Generally speaking, people who need to engage with others by making them feel small, stupid, unimportant and dominated are actually feeling all those things themselves. At some point they have taken on the belief that they are small, a failure, insignificant etc. So all their behavior – subconsciously – is driven by a need to make themselves feel better & more important. So they have made a choice – still subconsciously – to make others feel dominated because that means they feel better about their own importance.