The truth is, she really was a target of their outrage. Some of this happened on social media, some via phone. It was because they were associating her with a concept they are against.
It was painful to hear about this because it hurt her, and I didn’t want her to be hurt.
Yet, at the same time I’ve known her for years, and I’ve heard many times her knee-jerk attack of others for their beliefs, affiliations, and so on. Even in the same phone call she used a term I consider derogatory about men (a kind of “us-against-them” term.)
I tried gently to explain this, but because I didn’t want to hurt her I wasn’t sure how direct to be. After all, none of us is perfect.
But this is something that comes up time and again, in everyone’s life.
It is often referred to as the law of attraction.
Stereotype others–don’t be surprised if you are stereotyped.
Forget to give others the benefit of the doubt–don’t be surprised when people assume the worst of you.
Condemn people for their deeply held beliefs–well, it will happen to you, too.
There is a mirror and it reflects back to us.
Can we be attacked even if we don’t attack?
Yes we can. There are other reasons we can be the object of scorn, derision, or abuse.
Sometimes taking an unpopular, politically incorrect stand can lead to people ganging up on you.
But I’ve found something valuable over the years, something that I’ve really come to rely on for self-improvement: The conflicts in my life are usually (but perhaps, not always) the result of how much conflict I’m willing to engage in. The more tolerant I am, the more tolerance is mirrored back to me. Well, at least most of the time.
No one is perfect.
We all have things we find intolerable, deplorable, or unpleasant. Deciding how we address these things–through aggression and anger, through tolerance and compromise; and when necessary for our sanity, through withdrawal, is worth thinking about.