Why Do the Worst People Act the Best and the Best People Act the Worst?

If you spend a bit of time on Earth with your eyes open instead of half-shut like most folks, after a while you figure out that only only do the worst people feel the best, but also the best people feel the worst. This is part of the problem with the self-esteem movement. As self-esteem rises, behavior tends to deteriorate. Low self-esteem is unfortunate, but most such people often behave very well. By pushing excessive self-esteem on people, we are creating societies full of narcissistic, uncaring, callous people.

You are free to think about why this is – the paradox that the best act the worst and the worst act the best, but I think I’ve got it.

The worst people feel best because the worse someone acts, the less guilt they feel because people free of guilt tend to act bad. Guilt is like the brakes on a car. A person with no guilt is like a car with no brakes. It’s a menace to the other cars on the road.

The best people feel the worst probably because feeling the worst makes them act the best. In other words, extreme levels of guilt, though not optimal, seem to prevent most bad behavior, along with preventing a lot of behavior that is only slightly bad (and therefore normal) or not bad at all. This would be akin to a false positive.

So while high guilt levels select most bad behavior as bad and stop it, they also stop a lot of common and normal behavior on the false assumption that is seen as bad by society, and in addition (and here we come to the false positives) it selects a lot of perfectly normal behavior as bad.

So this sort of person has a selective device inside of them that is scanning the world for bad behavior that the might be engaging in or might choose to engage in. As such, it is preventing all sorts of behaviors – all bad behaviors for sure but also a lot of good behaviors.

These people are actually too good. They are nearly saints. But being a saint is quite painful, especially when one lives in a world of sinners. The saintly stride is a painful way to walk through life. In the car analogy above, this person is like someone who drives two-footed with one foot always on the brakes. Not only does this wear out the breaks but it also makes the person overly cautious on the road.

They drive slowly and wait too long to make turns. They’re not really hazards, but their overly inhibited driving obstructs other drivers and slows them down. Furthermore, it gets in the way of getting things done the same way excessive guilt often leads to a rather restricted and excessively cautious life.

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4 thoughts on “Why Do the Worst People Act the Best and the Best People Act the Worst?”

  1. I don’t get it.

    Good people generally behave better than bad people. However, guilt is very unfairly distributed among people. Good people feel on average more guilt than bad people. It is in the nature of good people that they want to behave decently. However, due to weakness or incompetence, good people sometimes harm others. Then they feel guilty.

    Bad people don’t care about the consequences that their actions have for others. They may feel regret, but they aren’t likely to feel remorse. In prisons, we won’t find many guilt-ridden people.

    As to self-esteem, people should have an objective view of themselves. If you are not good-looking, intelligent, or charming, you should simply recognize that fact without feeling self-contempt. Only the depraved should feel self-contempt, but they are unlikely to do so for the same reason that they are unlikely to feel guilty.

    Self-esteem among morally upstanding people should be encouraged. They shouldn’t feel morally worthless because they fail to be virtuous all the time. Just as competent people shouldn’t regard themselves as incompetent because they too make mistakes, so decent people shouldn’t feel morally bad because they too are sinners.

  2. Well assuming good and bad refer purely to morals and behavior, to me, bad people acting the best is pretty obvious. If you’re objectively a bad person who is mean spirited, petty, selfish, etc. the only reason why you would ever be tolerated is if you have high amount of positive traits to counterbalance the negative ones such as having a high level of competence, being physically attractive, and having a lot of charisma even if it’s superficial.

    Naturally people like this can climb very far and live a fulfilling life. In a perfect world everyone who was competent and attractive would be moral and everyone who is moral would be competent and attractive, but life is unfair and simply doesn’t work like that. Society is full of people who need things and will cater to you if you equip yourself with skills people are willing to pay for. The world only cares about what it can get from you.

    1. Hi Kareem. You misread my post. I did not say that the worst people act the best. That cannot be true unless you are a masochist.

      I said that the worst people feel the best, that is, they have the highest levels of self-esteem, low levels of self-hatred and guilt, etc.

      With this new information, if you would like to type a new response, I would be happy to read it.

  3. People acting like saints from a non-holier than thou situation are probably people in much pain. People in prison. People who lost loved ones by either death or jail. People who lost custody of children.

    Yeah, it seems like it takes a lot of pain to get someone to behave like a saint.

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