She liked to say she was mean to people before they had a chance to be mean to her. And maybe it used to be that way. Too many times being called names on the playground. Too many of the cool kids making her the brunt of the joke. She learned if she was nasty first they couldn't get in to hurt her. It made for a good story. A more sympathetic one anyway.
But the truth was she just liked being mean.
Controlling emotions was heady stuff. There was a lot of power there.
She was very specific with her targets. She would find the people whom life came easy to; the ones who seemed to have everything given to them on a silver platter and then she would wreck them. What was important to them? Looks? Intelligence? She was the master at making smart people feel dumb. And making the pretty people feel ugly. Making the overachievers feel like they weren't quite measuring up.
She could have gone for anyone really but where is the joy in just piling on to the person who has had nothing but adversity? It was so much more delicious to be the first cut. The out of the blue blindside.
When the beauty queen finds out her Ken Doll has cheated on her it's bad. When she sees that the person he cheated with was her? Priceless. It rocks her very foundation. Changes her at the core of what she has always believed. If her perfection was not only not good enough but he cheated with someone, well there is no other way to put this, someone ugly, then what does that mean?
It means I have the power, and you don't.
When she was in college she didn't target her fellow students, she went after the TA. So proud of themselves, leading a study hall. Full of answers. She was a master at asking a question in such a way that it made the rest of her study group doubt the answer that was given. Even if the TA was right, they would doubt them. And that seed of doubt would bloom in the TA's head until eventually they would doubt themselves. You could see it happening. When they had been so sure of themselves, now there was a hesitation, a moment of weakness. She had watched more than one have to drop their position.
She had to be careful at work not to overstep her boundaries. She would never have been described as warm and fuzzy by her co-workers, in fact she was prized for her cutthroat nature, but she was very careful not to turn it against those she worked with.
As long as they worked with her.
Anyone who dared to work against her? They were open season. People learned that lesson quickly.
She was weighing her options right now for a new position. Where could she do the most? Have the most? Make the biggest difference? The reasons others were involved didn't matter to her, she wasn't a true believer by any stretch. She just wanted to do her best work. And this was the time when she could. So many people who thought they had it all figured out. So many possibilities. Unlimited options.
She loved election season...