Following your gut when interacting with predatory people. PART 2

– Having integrity 

Now, as a liberal, you might tell yourself that you must uphold a certain type of values and principles. That anyone breaching them is a direct threat to you, and you should either push them aside, prove them wrong, or avoid them altogether.

You might tell yourself that this is better for a certain purity of thought.

But I’m here to tell you that this is not necessarily a sign of integrity.

Integrity is being able to look at yourself and finding that you have respected an ideal that you identified with.

But that does not mean that you shouldn’t accept to change ever.

Perhaps your ideal will change. Perhaps you will find that somethings are not the way you thought.

That you have been wrong.

This does not mean however, that you are always wrong.

And having this capacity to doubt yourself can sometimes also lead you astray , and fall prey to predatory people.

 

– Falling in love 

Now, remember how predatory people can be seductive? That’s right! Being mentally challenged can be so envigorating, stimulating. Having a conversation makes you feel listened to.

That someone takes you seriously enough to take the time to disagree with you means that they actually considered your point. This can be very charming.

 

– The candy guilty pleasure effect

You can mix all this with the fact that anything taboo is enticing. We fall for the bad boy, for the forbidden. As a liberal, certain things have become avatars of “evil”, never to be touched, never to be frequented. What better to way to make something appealing than to make it out of reach?Easily then, you will find a liberal mind weirdly , and sort of against their own better judgement, attracted to an ideologically opposite predator.

 

– Noticing slight red flags as you are fallin love 

This is when your defense mechanisms kick in.

You notice certain patterns you are already aware of, that you have studied . You are in fact always aware of it when it comes to situations outside of yourself. You fight those daily. But we humans are funny little creatures. We can know about biases, and still fall prey to them. We’re in fact more likely to fall prey to them, the more ware we are of them, because to us, it doesn’t feel like a bias. This is called the Bias Blind spot.

 

Bias blind spot The tendency to see oneself as less biased than other people, or to be able to identify more cognitive biases in others than in oneself.[25]

 

“This is more evidence for the “bias blind spot”, a term coined by Pronin which refers to the head-spinning fact that we have a cognitive bias to the effect that we’re uniquely immune to cognitive biases. Take the famous better-than-average effect, or Lake Wobegon effect, whereby the majority of people think they’re above average on any number of measures – their driving skills, their popularity, the quality of their relationship – when clearly they can’t all be right. It turns out the bias also applies to bias. In other words, we’re convinced that we’re better than most at not falling victim to bias. We seem to imagine we’re transparent to ourselves: that when we turn our attention within, we can clearly see all the factors influencing our decisions. The study participants “used a strategy that they thought was biased,” the researchers note, “and thus they probably expected to feel some bias when using it. The absence of that feeling may have made them more confident in their objectivity.”

https://www.theguardian.com/news/oliver-burkeman-s-blog/2014/feb/28/bias-political-psychology-burkeman-blog

 

Back to our liberal. Remember how you’re numbing yourself to not constantly be in a fight? Well, if you’re aware of certain red flags, yet do not feel them from your numbness, you may tell yourself that they are not, in fact , present.

This is especially true if you are in the process of falling in love, or making friends, or living surrounded by people who become part of your everyday life.

 

– How conflict sparks interest 

Why would you fall in love with people who put up red flags? Arguably, these red flags should be distasteful to you, even if you choose to not suffer from them.
It’s not that simple.

Humans crave motion, drama, emotion.

While being relaxed may feel good once in a while, we are inherently social beings, and we enjoy the tumult that comes with social life.

If anything, drama is entertaining. It’s physically enthralling, when you start producing adrenaline and cortisol.
Some dramas are harder to control, and while you probably won’t be able to pry your eyes away, you probably won’t seek a drama that is dangerous to you.

However, controlled dramas such as lively conversation is most of the time very pleasurable.

It’s a bit like an emotional superstimulus.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3181986/

The risks are higher, but the reward is also higher. We are wired to focus on dangerous things, as much as on pleasurable things. You can find both in social interactions.

 

https://www.skmurphy.com/blog/2018/06/02/superstimulus-refining-online-interactions-into-digital-heroin-2/

 

Challenging people have a greater effect, and allow to maintain your attention for longer; You focus by anger, or by joy, by curiosity or simple entertainment. But regardless, you are focused. These people make you tick in a way that is a little bit addictive.

Not everybody has addictive tendencies, and in this sense, not everybody falls prey to ideological predators. Similarly, an ideological predator is not exactly playing an unfair game. Everyone takes part in the same superstimulus, and everyone uses different tools to achieve their goals, but it must be highlighted that in certain situations, you can come out a little hurt from interactions that are not inevitable.

These challenging people are thus superstimuli.

And what is love if not wanting more of the contact with a person or a thing? The feeling of craving their presence, their existence in your vicinity?

 

Previous part 1

To be continued in part 3.

 

 

Mahault

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