Being cruel to people with unrequited romantic feelings...



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hyperlexian
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13 Nov 2010, 1:17 pm

Gremmie wrote:
I do tell people I'm not interested. If I'm mean to them afterwards it's because they're still hanging around dropping constant hints and reminders about how badly I've hurt them. I don't intend to be cruel to them. It's weird... if they can't just drop it then when they're around I feel guilty for hurting them, so part of me gets angry at them and tries to push them away. Sometimes being cruel is the easiest way to do that. I never really realised what I was doing until I analysed my behaviour afterwards though.

i was on the receiving end of this because i was mooning after some guy long after he had broken up with me (we only dated 5 days and i was getting too committed too fast). i was so hurt and devastated and all that... but it also helped me get over him. i could turn him into a monster in my head and really hate him.


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RICKY5
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15 Nov 2010, 5:45 am

madbirdgirl wrote:
Why is it that most people find it easiest to be cruel and mean to someone who has romantic feelings for them (as opposed to annoying friends, strangers, etc)?
...especially when everyone knows in the back of their mind that it hurts more than anything to be rejected by someone you have feelings for? It doesn't make any sense. I'm interested in finding a psychological explanation for this.

From my personal experience, i feel a tad guilty at first but if they persist, I start to feel offended and I take pleasure in doing/saying things that will disappoint them or make them very sad. I know it's wrong, but so many other people seem to act this way too. And I've been on the receiving end of this... torment.


SImple emotional validation you get. Everyone wants to feel like they are valuable.

That's the nature of the dating market. Everyone wants to believe they are a 10 when they are in reality a 3 at best.



Eldanesh
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15 Nov 2010, 12:34 pm

I do it to push them away. Probably not the first one.



Asp-Z
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15 Nov 2010, 1:16 pm

madbirdgirl wrote:
Why is it that most people find it easiest to be cruel and mean to someone who has romantic feelings for them (as opposed to annoying friends, strangers, etc)?
...especially when everyone knows in the back of their mind that it hurts more than anything to be rejected by someone you have feelings for? It doesn't make any sense. I'm interested in finding a psychological explanation for this.

From my personal experience, i feel a tad guilty at first but if they persist, I start to feel offended and I take pleasure in doing/saying things that will disappoint them or make them very sad. I know it's wrong, but so many other people seem to act this way too. And I've been on the receiving end of this... torment.


If someone likes you but you don't like them, wielding power over them is generally very easy to do. That be life I guess.



HopeGrows
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15 Nov 2010, 1:42 pm

madbirdgirl wrote:
Why is it that most people find it easiest to be cruel and mean to someone who has romantic feelings for them (as opposed to annoying friends, strangers, etc)?
...especially when everyone knows in the back of their mind that it hurts more than anything to be rejected by someone you have feelings for? It doesn't make any sense. I'm interested in finding a psychological explanation for this.

From my personal experience, i feel a tad guilty at first but if they persist, I start to feel offended and I take pleasure in doing/saying things that will disappoint them or make them very sad. I know it's wrong, but so many other people seem to act this way too. And I've been on the receiving end of this... torment.


Referring to your comment about the psychological motivation for taking pleasure in doing/saying things to disappoint/hurt someone who just won't abandon unrequited attraction for you (sorry if I've misinterpreted your question), my theory follows.

I think its a combination of things that provokes the type of reaction you've described. Its understandable that having to deal with another's unrequited love for you could cause some sense of discomfort, and maybe a little guilt. When the would-be-suitor persists, anger kicks in....after all, who wants to keep reliving that sense of discomfort and guilt? Anger is a petty natural resonse to someone who repeatedly generates those type of unpleasant feelings.

Where the pleasure-taking comes in is a different issue, I think. When you start to take pleasure in hurting someone in the way you've described, I think one's psychological/emotional response becomes rooted in identifying an emotional weakness or vulnerability in the would-be-suitor that you recognize in yourself - and that you don't particularly like. Honestly, I think when you've reached the point that you've begun to enjoy rebuffing the person, its really not about them anymore - I think its really about seeing your own weakness mirrored in another person, and getting off on crushing that weakness - the way you wish you could annihilate it in yourself. I think crushing that vulnerabilty in someone else (the way you can't crush it in yourself) makes you feel powerful - which provides that kind of perverse pleasure you've described.

Please keep in mind I'm not talking about you specifically, OP. I'm just offering a theory about human nature.


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Kiseki
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16 Nov 2010, 12:18 am

samsa wrote:
Often a lot of "being cruel" is simply apathy, ignoring someone is worse then hating them in this case.


This has happened to me. I told two friends of mine (some years apart) that I had feelings for them. Their response was to distance themselves from me. I guess they were uncomfortable, but it only made me hate them. They distanced themselves so much that I felt we weren't even friends anymore. Then I didn't wanna keep up any kind of relationship with them at all.

The best thing they could have done was to address the issue and then simply gone back to us being the same as before.



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16 Nov 2010, 12:37 am

Kiseki wrote:
The best thing they could have done was to address the issue and then simply gone back to us being the same as before.


Life only works like that in peoples fantasies. You tell them that and you expect it not to change anything? Nothing ever stays the same, especially after a huge influencing factor. If it worked like that then everyone here who has complained about liking a friend would have just told them as they would have had nothing to lose. It only happens if the people in question really Did NOT know you liked them. I've had friends who liked me, they never told me and I sort of knew anyway, so when they did tell me it wasn't a big deal.

But if that happened it usually weirds people out and they see you in a different light.



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