“The most insidious lie is the one you want to hear.” –Lois McMaster Bujold, Barrayar
No fricken kidding.
Over the past year, I’ve been blogging about serious emotional and relationship issues, and in doing so, I’ve met dozens of very interesting people. All of these people have things in common: fear, insecurity, confusion, and more fear. And then even more fear.
Unfortunately, as I’ve learned the hard way this past year, predators slither across this earth preying on good people’s fear, insecurity, and confusion. They are often highly skilled manipulators and can hone in on exactly what their prey needs to hear the most. Lies and deception are the only language they speak, but they are such well-crafted and lovingly delivered lies, the person is blinded by charm.
Many predators know they are predators, others don’t. I’ve actually spoken with a few men who are truly good men now, but they at one time were indeed predators. In trying to understand how some people can look into the eyes of another person and lie, telling him/her the very thing s/he needs to hear, I learned that that ability comes from a deep self-hatred. A hatred so deep, in fact, they often cannot look at themselves in the mirror without feeling ill. This saddens me, as I’m no stranger to self-loathing, but when that inner darkness is used to hurt another person, my empathy ends.
One former predator told me how he could look into the eyes of a woman and tell her exactly what she needed to hear, and he would mean every word of it in that moment, but the next morning, he could walk away and never look back. Never feel a thing. No remorse. No guilt. No loss. No nothing.
Another former predator told me of a social experiment he once did. He is deeply ashamed of the experiment now or even calling it that, but he said at the time, he wanted to see just how easy it would be to get exactly what he wanted with as little effort as possible. He zeroed in on his target, and he said it was too easy. You just had to “pick the right ones.” When asking how he knew who was the “right one,” he said, “a girl who was vulnerable and had low self-esteem.” After a few pretty words and meaningful looks, he got his blow job. He never spoke to her again. Disgusted, I asked him how he could do that to another human being, and he said, “I hurt so bad inside that I didn’t care about anything or anyone else.”
But far too common. Why is it so easy?
Because these predators tell the most insidious of lies: the one their prey needs to hear the most.
“I’ve never met anyone like you.”
“I feel like I can really open up to you.”
“I’ve never felt like this before.”
“I could really fall for you.”
“I won’t hurt you.”
Who wouldn’t want to hear these things? And, of course, the person behind the words might very well be sincere.
How can you tell? Actions and time.
Words + Supporting Action + Reliability Over Time = TRUST.
I use these two examples of former predators to show that with some self-awareness, one can wake up to their predatory behavior and make different decisions. That is, of course, if they are truly good people who are just drowning in pain. There are other predators who are monsters through and through. They don’t care about themselves (or they’re just intensely selfish, or worse, psychopaths incapable of empathy or any real human emotion), and they certainly don’t care that their behavior hurts other people. They sharpen their skills as they move from one victim to the next. I’ve talked with a therapist who counsels predators, and some of his clients have shown him with pride exactly what they do. These predators (especially the male ones) know to trigger a woman’s nurturing nature, and they invoke sympathy. Think of the classic cliche “My wife just doesn’t understand me,” or “I haven’t felt loved in years,” or variations thereof. They excel at mimicking human emotion, often saying these things with tears in their eyes. One of the therapist’s clients demonstrated how he could bring up tears by keeping a tack in his shoe.
So, yes, many predators know exactly what they are doing. They toy with their prey as a cat torments a mouse. But the kill is not so quick. Sometimes weeks or months go by, until the prey is quite deeply in love, and that’s when they go in for the kill.
Their insidious lies destroy another heart, and they smile inside.
The only defense good people have against these predators is awareness of the prevalence, their technique, a healthy dose of cynicism, and time. A predator will show his true face in a few weeks, or at the most, months.
Take your time.
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~ by omgrey on November 2, 2011.
Posted in Romance & Relationships
Tags: author, broken heart, grief, healing, heartbroken, honesty, infidelity, love, misogyny, non-monogamy, o.m. grey, olivia grey, open, open marriage, passion, polyamory, postaweek2011, relationship advice, relationships, romance, sex, shattered