You Dont Scare Me

Part of my job is meeting a lot of new people. With Different personalities, they come en masse, From wise ones, to pervs to the extremely smart, the extremely ordinary, to the totally ridiculous ones and of course the cuckoo crazy ones.
So I’m accustomed to blending in, no matter the crowd. Never getting angry  or taking stuff personally neither challenging opinions of people I will only meet once or twice. But One thing I do love is making fun of situations that really get to me. Just so I can laugh about it when I think about it.
Two weeks ago, I think I met, the most arrogant woman in the whole wide world.
She challenged almost every single thing I said, told Me I was too young and didn't understand 1 thing about business, at one point she said in my face ‘I don’t understand how you can be so beautiful and so vacuous, please explain this to me, this cannot be God’s doing’
This woman was cocky beyond measure. It was a small conference where we met and I was sitting adjacent to her when she said hello, introduced ourselves and the conference began. Everyone spoke, and when I spoke. God, hell broke loose and the devil came running out…she corrected my grammar, my speech, my dressing, my shoes, my concept, my hair, I hid my notes from her in fear she would make me feel worse about my handwriting( It is indeed, seriously terrible, I remember writing notes in college and not being able to read them later on)… but it didn't end there she went on to tell me that I had funny shape for a thin woman. And I smiled. The whole time. I didn't switch seats or ask to be pardoned or take a shot at her. I just took it, I sat there and took it, and I didn't even know this woman, we had just met, two people, two different companies adjacent seats. We had just met and she was critical on almost everything I and everyone else at the conference did!
Have you ever met a person like this? Does this situation sound familiar?
I’ve met lots of people like this, and one thing I learned is.
People like these have low self esteem, and are swallowed by fear. Fear of being less than the person they are criticizing, hence try to draw the attention back to them by bringing down the other person.
These people have failed to master and control their mind, emotions…and are now being run by their emotional body, emotions that are bruised with inferiority  

We see people like this everyday, on the Internet, at work…Sometimes we’re that person too subconsciously, I know I was that person at one point, but once you’re satisfied with your life you no longer have that fear to attack people constantly, because you feel that you are enough and don’t need to draw back attention to you.

Some people will use mistakes you made to try and bring you to tears, make you feel terrible about yourself.
Because that person failed to achieve what they feel you have so they will do whatever to move the battle field to another place where they can win an easy point.

I knew a girl who was like this when I was in school, she made me feel terrible about myself, a bully, you could say. Overly confident, She would say mean and terrible things about me and made everyone hate me. She would tell the sisters (it was a catholic school) that I was pagan, tell my class teachers I talked ill of them, now most of them were from the village as well and felt I was considering myself more special, some teachers marked my papers terribly, I got many F's, others would call me and advise me to be ‘humble’ but I didn't know what was going on. She did an awful lot of emotional torture. But I never retaliated. Not once. ( not because of wisdom do not fooled, she was way taller than me and two times my size)
I just smiled and moved along.
Until once they called her a witch (Honestly sometimes I thought she was) it was a school deep in the village and they still  believed in the sort, they kicked her out of the her dormitory to sleep in the hallway, I found her crying and led her to my dorm room. It was really cold for someone to sleep in the hallway, she wasn't even shocked at my behavior, not an ounce of remorse …neither did she thank me when I showed her my bed for  her to sleep in as I bunked in with someone else. She acted like she deserved it, like it was her right, like I owed her that. And the next morning she went on her daily routine, making fun of me and spreading dirty rumors about me, now all the other girls were mad, I mean Jackie let her sleep in her own bed and this morning she’s already back to her old behaviors…. They proceeded to kick ‘the witch’ out of the table she was sharing with them . And she came to mine. Shock value.

She sat there silent for almost a minute and started crying. I didn’t know what to say. I never know what to say when people start crying, my 6 month old niece who I shared a room with would wake up in the middle of night crying, I would cry with her, she’d be so amused that she would shut up and start watching me with this look of disgust on her face like ‘you attention freak’.

 The only words that escaped my lips were
‘What are you scared of?’
‘Certainly not you’ She looked at me like I had just beat her up and made a whole speech about ‘people like you’  It was the most ridiculous thing I'd ever heard.She kept on saying how she was a young girl from the village who sees no opportunities and no place to go after high school, that she could never accomplish anything or do anything with her life after high school  she even stated that she could never even just get married after high school like all the other girls and have babies because she felt she wasn't ‘pretty enough’, and ‘people like us’ from Dar Es Salaam go there with our dreams, future plans, parents who are supporting us. There were about 40 Dar Es Salaam kids in the whole school of 800. The rest were from other regions of Tanzania and Morogoro itself. Being a Dar es salaam kid was a big deal for some reason…and it also made you the subject of scrutiny when you fail to live up to their way of life. Funny enough I did what everyone else did, to my surprise that made it even worse.
It took me a short while to understand she was just a young girl like me who  for some reason felt threatened, I to her represented the whole Dar Es Salaam kids population whom she despised because she felt she could never achieve what we could being a ‘village kid’ that she didn’t have much opportunities after high school unlike we, she then proceeded to ‘bring me down’ in any way she could because she felt she was down and everyone must go down with her.
I was not sympathetic, I did not tell her she could do anything she wanted to do, I certainly didn’t tell her to dare to dream or open her eyes and have faith. And I didn't tell her that she could be anything she wanted to be if she put her mind to it.
I was cold blooded honest… ‘I don’t like you, I never have. But Now that you've told me your story, I hate you even more, you’re pathetic, for your stupid self pity and how you not only diminish other people’s potentials, but also your own’ 

I stood up and walked away. We never talked again. Until I left that school, we never even looked each other in the eye, she disgusted me. But last time I skyped her she was in Berlin pursuing her Masters in Architecture, married with kids and running her own 1 year old Design company. If you’re reading this, I hate you even more Flora, you overly ambitious show off.

So after the conference during lunch break I sat with the same woman who was criticizing me, and criticizing everyone, no one sat with her she was like toxic, and as I proceeded to her table everyone looked at me like I was committing suicide.  She looked surprised and asked me why I sat with her, why I didn't pick another table like everyone one else who walked on by
I've met people like you,You don't scare me’ I said. And silently ate my lunch.  
The sad fact is even grown ups bully. And you will  meet people who are overly critical, ego maniacs,drive you crazy
Inside every egotistic, overly critical person is an insecure little girl or boy. Do not retaliate, foster their potential.