Most people HATE to disappoint.
Good manipulators know this.
And they will use it.
Here are just a few samples of disapproval sent to me in various sites online by people who were “interested” in me, “just looking out” for me, or “offering a friendly word of advice,” all wrapped up in their disapproval:
- “Why all the internet pictures? Wouldn’t a dozen pictures of yourself suffice? Name me one suitor who even looked at half them?”
- “You really should have at least just one revealing picture.”
- “So, is this how you date….through stressful direct abrasive approach. I mean….that works too. Hell, I was just trying to get to know your pretty ass….not there to own you.”
- “Then we are done here. I have no time for anyone too self absorbed.”
- “If you are a dominant, your profile should say you are a dominant, otherwise, people won’t know how to treat you when writing to you.”
- “Oh honey, you really shouldn’t show so much of yourself. Dominants aren’t whores.”
Here’s the thing, ALL of these are clearly entitled folk (of many genders).
And yet, every single one of the phrases is designed to show disapproval, and create a weakness that they can potentially exploit in future conversations—and a relationship, if one is naive enough to get entrapped in one, by seeking their approval.
This is how predators and abusers work.
- “Are you really going to wear that?”
- “You really aren’t very good at…”
- “I despair of you ever understanding…”
YOU might have even said such things. I know I have in the past.
You know why? Because we know they work. And saying “Are you really going to wear that?” especially in a derisive tone, puts us in a stronger position than, “Hey, I was hoping you’d dress up a little nicer to meet my parents thins evening,” or (heaven forbid) when making a request: “Would you please wear that blue shirt I love on you tonight?”
Because, after all, opinions and requests can be shot down, while disapproval, well, it’s more difficult to squirm away from.
And no, I’m not saying that everyone who does this is an abuser or predator. Everyday folk have learned that this works, and we use it without thinking.
(Perhaps we SHOULD think about it…)
However, when this behavior is done with a stranger online in the early stages, it’s either a red flag or something to keep an eye on, in case there are other behaviors (or this one is repeated) that add up to a whole heap of danger and relationship grossness.
And YES, there are times when this is a very effective force for good. With children. Dogs. In consensual training relationships and when used related to agreed-upon rules and behaviors.
I use it quite often. smiles
What experiences have YOU had online with the disapproval police? Any good ones you’re willing to share?
On the other side of things, have you (intentionally or not) made use of this tactic in the past in a way that may not have been quite as on the up-and-up as you might like, looking aback at it now?