Why Should They Care?

03 Jul 2012

There’s something you need to take on board about people: people don’t all work the same way.

Now, you may be wondering why I’m telling you something so blindingly obvious.  If you’ve been on this earth for more than 5 minutes, you already know that, don’t you?

It’s not quite that simple.  In reality, it seems to me that’s something we do know…

and we don’t.

We know it in theory, all right.

But when it comes to the practice, it’s very different.

Two things women say to me all the time are:

  • “Why can’t he….?” and
  • “I don’t understand how…”

And what they really mean is; “Why isn’t he more like me?”

The simple answer is, he’s not like you. He just isn’t. The fact is, we all know people come in a vast variety of shapes, colors, and sizes.  The piece we forget is that the psychological variations can be just as important as the visible, physical variations.

I’m prepared to labor this point because it really is important.

One key reason why women end up in damaging relationships with men who are dangerous to their emotional well-being – and often their physical well-being also – is this: we assume they are rather more like us than is truly the case.

We assume they play the game of Love by the same rules as we do.

(And if you find yourself objecting, and saying: “But Love isn’t a game…”, I agree. It’s not a game for me, either: for me, it’s the most important thing there is.  But that doesn’t mean my belief holds true for everyone.  Which means…  No, it won’t help to give you a one sentence description of what you should do.  Instead let’s work through a specific scenario.) 

I absolutely love the Personal Breakthrough Days I spend with my lovely clients.  They’re a phenomenal way for clients to experience massive insights, healing, and transformation, in the shortest possible time.   They’re also a great opportunity to explore not just clients’ beliefs, but their behaviors, as well.  

On this occasion, the time had come for a ‘comfort break’, and a quick turn around an enchanting village green.  As we were leaving nothing of value in the room we were using, I had no qualms about leaving the room unlocked for a brief while.  But here’s what happened next: 

My lovely client asked me: “Shall I take charge of the key, and lock the room for you?” 

Wasn’t that a nice, thoughtful thing to do? 

And what message might it give? 

Suppose you were an abusive man auditioning for your next … well, let’s use the technical word here: victim.  What would one little thing like that tell you? 

It would tell you that this woman was prepared to take responsibility for the relationship, and hold herself accountable for your behavior.  It would tell you that you could dump all kinds of emotional rubbish on her; and she’d pick it up, and run with it.  (And when she could no longer run with it, she’d stagger with it for as long as she could.) 

Do you see what I’m saying? 

Maybe you’re arguing: “But it’s only a little thing.  How can you…?” 

Stephen Covey said: 

“In relationships the little things are the big things.”  

I’ve seen plenty of people stumble over a small crack in the sidewalk (pavement), or trip up over a small step.  I’m sure you have, too. 

Abusive men are a tad feral.  They’re pretty good at identifying their prey – you, in other wordsThey really do spot you, more or less, at “Hello”.  It doesn’t help – you – to ‘put them on the scent’, as it were. 

Of course, you didn’t look at it that way, did you?  You thought you had to earn their good opinion, by being nice, and helpful.  Because that’s how it is in your world.  And you, NATURALLY, assume the landscape of their emotional world is the same as yours. 

It isn’t.

We could argue the finer points of what goes on in their minds, but why would we?  It won’t get you any further, at all.  It’s enough to know they prey on your gullibility, your generosity, your love, and your willingness to take responsibility for the relationship.

In short, very early on, you sent them a clear signal that you’ll change their emotional diaper for them.  That works for them.  They now know they can fill that emotional diaper, at will.

It saves them a lot of trouble.

It does mean that you’ll get very messy indeed.

But, if you’re prepared to take it, why should they care?


Annie Kaszina, international Emotional Abuse Recovery specialist and award-winning author of 3 books designed to help women recognise and heal from toxic relationships so that they can build healthy, lasting relationships with the perfect partner for them, blogs about all aspects of abuse, understanding Narcissists and how to avoid them and building strong self-worth. To receive Annie’s blog direct to your Inbox just leave your details here.

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