BELONGING: 3rd of our human needs
As humans, deep inside we all have a strong desire to be part of something, and we hate to be excluded. For example:
– When our friends go out, we all want to be given the option of being part of the fun, rather than that our friends decide to exclude us a priori, or don’t even think of us.
– We all want to be given the option to be part of something big and important, rather than that someone decides for us that we will probably not want to do it. (We also want this choice if we decide we don’t want to be part of it.)
– Even in prison, one of the most hostile environments for people to live (with a risk of being murdered or raped), people prefer to be amongst each other, rather than to be punished with isolation!
Being excluded hurts. Literally!
While many people are fervently against physical aggression, the majority of these very same people have no qualms whatsoever punishing someone by excluding him from partaking in something fun or by just excluding them from social interaction; by threatening to end a relationship; by treating others better on at least one level of interaction compared to the person they try to punish (being unfair), and by saying others are better on some levels. This is quite hypocrite, as these forms of punishment activate the same brain networks that are activated by physical pain. That there is no visible aggression, doesn’t mean you are not being aggressive: it just means that, self-deceptive as we are, it seems more acceptable, while really it is not better than smacking or kicking someone with all your force.
What are unhealthy, abusive relationships?
As parenting in many ways forms a parallel to relationships, and even affects the relationship styles of their children, it is appropriate to first apply the above knowledge to parenting. In parenting it is generally considered bad parenting to spank or slap your child (to which I agree). However, many educational ‘experts’ advocate the use of other methods of punishment, such as time-outs (social exclusion), grounding, verbally threatening to stop caring for the child (even though it is a lie), and saying how other kids (siblings, cousins, classmates) are way better in some way. This is hypocrite, as all of these methods of punishment are equally painful as physical pain (being spanked), and create an equally unsafe environment for a kid to grow up in! Moreover, by using these methods of punishment, the parents teach their children that it is okay to use passive aggression to coerce others into doing what you want them to do!
Instead, more healthy parenting would be to merely express you really dislike certain behaviors. Even shouting and being angry in response to unwanted behavior is not the same as the aforementioned forms of punishment: it is merely an emotional expression of what you really dislike, it works to make clear you really dislike something (Saying it calmly sometimes isn’t taken as seriously), and in contrast to the aforementioned methods of punishment, it does not activate the pain centers.
Yet, in our twisted society, people have become so conflict avoidant, that passive aggression which can make someone feel hurt as bad as when being inflicted physical pain, is considered more humane or at least more acceptable, than raising your voice or expressing anger…
There is nothing wrong with expressing anger, or even in shouting, as long as it does not involve overt, nor passive aggression (hurting the other). Studies suggest that not punishing bad behavior, but merely expressing you dislike it, in combination with rewarding wanted behavior, leads to a healthy relationship void of physical or emotional pain, whether this is a parent-kid, or a romantic relationship.
From unhealthy to healthy relationships
– Breaking off contact with someone, or not replying for extended periods of time when the other person knows you have received their messages and knows that you have time available to reply, is the same as inflicting physical pain to that person. If you do this, you are no better than a domestic abusive person, because you are creating pain in the brain of the other by excluding them and not giving them any option to communicate.
Instead, when your partner or date does something you don’t like, keep the communication lines open, and just say what you don’t like. Don’t be a cruel little cowardly b*tch that avoids conflict. Instead be courageous, stand up for yourself, but be humane and give the other a chance to respond, as well as an opportunity to have a dialogue instead of a seemingly ignored monologue. Shouting and being angry is not unhealthy. Suppressing overt expression of anger and converting it into passive aggression is unhealthy! If things get too heated, then just say: “I want to continue trying to solve this when we are both a bit calmer. Let’s talk again in a few hours/tomorrow.”
– Threatening to end a relationship just to get a certain response, only works because it feels very painful, and when you hurt people, they will do anything to make the pain stop. Are you guilty of this form of abuse? If yes, then from now on stop doing it.
Don’t threaten with ending a relationship. No relationship ever ends permanently, unless you have no capacity for empathy whatsoever. (I.e., when you are a psychopath. And no: that is nothing to be proud of.) In general, relationships just tend to change. When you break up, it doesn’t have to mean a person becomes entirely meaningless to you. It just means that you will not create new shared memories, or if you do, they are going to be in a different capacity (as friend, coparent, acquaintance).
So instead of threatening to make an end to a relationship, say: “I would really like this relationship to continue, but the way things are going, we need to prioritize solving certain things first, and both of us will have to work on that.”
– We all know the world is unfair, but for a relationship to be healthy, people need to have a sense there is fairness within their relationship. If your girl fulfills your every sexual desire, cooks for you, takes care of you, supports you when you feel bad, and never ever uses passive aggression, you need to treat her better than any other girl. You would be hugely and nasty unfair to your girl, if while seeing her, you are buying stuff for and spending a lot of time on another woman you are trying to get into bed, but who doesn’t ever end up giving you half us much as your girl. It is especially unfair if for your girl you are not at least spending equally much money and time. Being this unfair is worse than domestic abuse, cause it hurts like fuck and really undermines her self-esteem.
Likewise, if your man is actually spending time together with you and seriously wants to do an effort to build a relationship with you and opens up his heart for you and allows himself to get real feelings (and thus takes the risk to trust you will not hurt his feelings or ego), you should please him more than any other guy. It is hugely nasty to have let an ex who was not ever serious with you go to bed with you faster, to not have refused an ex sexual pleasures, and to have let at least one ex experiment his fantasies on you without any resistance from your part, while saying no the first time to anything your true hearted man asks and telling him you are done with fast sex, are done with experimenting, and don’t like certain sexual things. That is something which hurts like fuck and undermines his self-esteem.
So guys, instead when your girl is really good, be way more romantic for her than for any other girl you know at that moment: spend time, effort and money on her. She wants to feel romanced, and she deserves it more than anyone. Doing this for her is what will make her feel fair. And girls, instead when your guy is really serious about you, be way more sexually accommodating than you have ever been for any other guy in your past: let him feel you want to fuck him without conditions, want him to explore his sexuality, and want him to experience his fantasies. He wants to be your sex god, and he deserves it more than anyone. Doing this for him is what will make him feel fair.
– Saying an ex did something better or more for you is NOT a healthy way to motivate your current partner. It hurts, because basically you are saying someone else did better, and your current partner compares negatively to that.
If you really want something, focus on what someone does good and tell them that. That way they will naturally want to do more of it for you. If you express what you like about them regularly, you can soon suggest new things as well.
Guys: for example, if your current girl doesn’t suck d*ck as good as you are used to, then don’t say: “that is no good, I have had better before you”. It may work, but it is hurtful. Instead, at moments she does something with her mouth you like or enjoy more than the rest, express that you like that in particular. Say you want her to try something with her mouth, just to know what it feels like, and then give hints. This way it doesn’t sound like someone else did that, and that in comparison she is no good at it. With the right words, it just sounds like you want her to try something.
Girls: if your guy is not as romantic or doesn’t pay as expensive dinners, or doesn’t fuck as good as any of your exes, then don’t say: I am used to a lot more. Instead say: “I feel a bit sleazy for saying it, but just now when [you offered to pay that dinner/ had a romantic walk with me/ fucked me real hard], it made me feel like you really care for me a lot.” Like this, soon but gradually your man will do more and more of that, because he wants to feel like he just discovered a secret shortcut to your happiness that no other man knows of, and he wants use that privilege to make you happy.