Suppose you are a child growing up in an environment of abuse and neglect. Your role models, the very people who are supposed to be loving and protecting you, are either hurting you or ignoring you instead. You innately know that something is wrong, but you have no real idea what’s right, so you set about trying to figure it out on your own – which seems to be your only option.
Since no one is teaching you what normal behavior is and providing a role model for how people are supposed to interact, you try to cobble it together yourself. The problem is, because you’re a child, you don’t really have the tools to do a very good job of figuring it all out.
So you watch how people act on TV and in the movies, and you study the adults in your environment, trying to model what seems like good behaviors. You try to figure out effective strategies for interfacing with the world and how to treat people.
The problem with all this is, YOU ARE A CHILD, and because of this, you are ill equipped to figure this shit out on your own. These problems and strategies can vex intelligent adults, so it’s absurd to expect a child to figure it out, yet necessity is the mother of invention, so there you go.
But here’s the bigger problem: once this child has grown into an adult, they are now building their model of how to deal with the world on top of behaviors and strategies they learned as a child. It’s as if there are bugs in the operating system that were never worked out, and you keep writing code on top of it trying to fix what is broken. As you might imagine, this doesn’t always work out well.
I guess my point here is this: sometimes people may genuinely be trying to do their best, even if might not appear that way to an outside observer.
Don’t always assume that they know what they are doing wrong.