One insight into human tendencies is that people can become spiteful after being legitimately told not to do something.
He spitefully decided to ignore her while only answering questions from customers afterward.
For a Christian who thinks about how to help people overcome natural propensities of the human mind that cause them to act unkindly, one valuable insight involves being careful not to slide into spiteful behavior after legitimately being told not to do something. It can be common to turn around and follow the advice or rule spitefully because it can hurt one’s pride and people can have a difficult time admitting to themselves that they did something wrong in the first place. For example, consider a cashier who received some advice from an associate who explained that she saw him chatting with another associate in the store for a long time while customers were waiting with questions. He spitefully decided to ignore her while only answering questions from customers afterward.
The cashier didn’t want to feel like he was doing anything wrong. He also didn’t like being told that he was doing something wrong, even though his associate was trying to be polite. He realized that he might get in trouble with the manager if he did that again though, so he tried to follow the advice spitefully by being curt with that associate and quickly asking a customer if they needed help whenever she said much of anything to him.
This kind of situation can play itself out in many ways. Being aware of the tendency to follow advice or rules spitefully for those types of reasons, however, can help someone see what they are about to do and avoid it. This insight is valuable for both Christians and non-Christians alike.