It’s easy to say, “patterns of behavior,” because that’s what it is, in essence, but WHY do we build these patterns of behavior?
Because we benefit from them.
We benefit from being lied to?
Fuck yeah, we do. We LOVE it! As long as we’re not lied to too much, or in a way that we can’t ignore.
It reinforces our story.
Because those lies help us maintain our stories, even strengthen them.
- About how we are secretly irresistible to the opposite sex—even when we are spectacularly insecure and know better, deep in our heart of hearts, we want it to be true.
- About how many difficult people are just misunderstood, and true love will fix them—our true love, of course, no one can love them like we do.
- About how, OF COURSE they are being faithful, because we would be, right? Right?!?
- About how it MUST be the truth, because who would lie that shockingly…
And we LOVE the novel. The unusual. Those who stick out from the norm. They entertain us. And as one writer put it:
“openness to innovation has always meant openness to creative deception.” —Duke University historian Edward Balleisen
Of course, he was talking about hucksters, shysters, con men… oh wait.
So am I.
The kink and romance version.
We get what we want.
So, let’s get back to the benefits. Number 1: It reinforces our story. Number 2: It allows us to get what we want.
To get what we want.
Well, if we call them on their bullshit now, we will not get to experience that kiss that we just know is coming. That hug. That amazeballs-four-legged-sheet-frolic. The deep intimacy and lifelong love we just KNOW we’ll have.
Because if we call them on it now, they’ll go away.
And we’ll be alone.
And we’ll get nothing.
Our stories agree with Weird Al:
You don’t get to come back tomorrow
You don’t even get a lousy copy of our home game
You’re a complete loser!
Or so says the story we tell ourselves about what will happen when we refuse the shit people hand us.
So we accept the shit (again), and live the lie, and create the story of heartbreak and loss.
We get attention.
And so we come to benefit Number 3: We get to play the victim.
We get to gain sympathy. A way to connect to others through a shared harrowing experience—the romantic failure.
We become the tragic figure in the center of our love lives, wallowing in our self-pity and telling anyone who will listen what a jerk/con man/liar/asshole/fake Dom/bottom-not-sub they were, and get agreement and understanding.
Which sure as shit brings us back around to benefit Number 1: It reinforces our story.
Because with each go ’round, we add to our stories and beliefs.
- All dommes are out for my money.
- All men are liars.
- All artists are flakes.
- All _fill in the noun_ are _fill in the denigrating adjective_.
And so, we watch shit happen. We let shit happen. Sometimes, we even enjoy shit happening (although we rarely admit this even to ourselves).
And we have the stories to tell and the experience to share, and because, well, to have loved and lost is better than to never have loved at all.
Any of this sound familiar?
Have you seen these pattern in yourself? Have you caught yourself ignoring red flags or déjà vu, because you just wanted the con so badly?
I know I have.
More than once.
NOTE: I think it’s critical to differentiate between simply deluding ourselves and when this is a pathology. For example, serious emotional damage/PTSD can leave us open and vulnerable to further victimisation. If you think this is you, please get help. My writing is not speaking to you, but the other 95% of the population that makes their own excuses.