When you love somebody what does it mean when they think of themselves as “Damaged Goods? ” Here’s the research information which as time permits I will add more information. This is for someone that I deeply cared about and I pray they get better.
The Definition of Damaged Goods :
Someone who was once healthy and/or normal but isn’t anymore due to unfortunate, traumatic events in his/her life (i.e. physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, drug abuse…u get it).
The Self-Destruction Feature
BY PHILLIP WITTMEYER
People with the chief feature of Self-destruction are always aware of their faults. This can particularize in several ways. They might dislike their body, for instance: it is too short or too tall, too fat or too thin, the ears are too big, the hair is too curly, and so on. They might be self-critical about their work: they are not thorough enough, not fast enough, not accurate enough, and so on. They might be displeased with their personality: they are not smart enough, not funny enough, not likable enough. In whatever area or areas it is expressed, people in Self-Destruction see their flaws rather than their perfection, their blemishes rather than their beauties, their evils rather than their righteousness.
In many cases, Self-Destruction can show up as a suicidal tendency or behavior which is deliberately harmful to oneself. People who often do things that hurt themselves, who get in a mood where they do things that are to their own detriment, are likely to be in this chief feature. They regard themselves as damaged merchandise and may damage themselves further. In its most extreme form, this is masochism. Sometimes it takes the form of suicide, and if not overtly that, at least a person who is accident-prone — careless to the point of often hurting himself, and not seeming to care that he is hurt.
I call this feature Renunciation because the person renounces or denies or neglects himself. People with this feature believe that it is not possible for others to love them. They dislike, even hate themselves. They are always self-critical, overly conscious of their defects. They expect to be hated because they hate themselves. They think they are ugly and others are beautiful. They condemn themselves for their defects.
In the Positive Pole of +Sacrifice, the person thinks others are of greater merit and so they are willing to give of their own time and/or resources so that those others can have. He is very conscious of loss and gain and sees himself as the one losing in most transactions. He spends himself for others, works hard, and gives away too much. He takes no time for himself and refuses to spend money on himself, but may spend all he has on others. In its best form, this is unselfishness. He enjoys giving gifts, even to the point of his own detriment. He would rather go without if he can then give to others. Most often he gives tangible things, but he is also willing to sacrifice time and effort for the sake of others. He is not possessive about what he owns and willing to share — he can be very generous. If others ask, he gives it away — “what’s mine is yours”.
The Negative Pole is -Self-hatred. People in this Pole see themselves as blemished, damned, abused, exhausted, and cursed. To others who view behavior driven by this Pole, it seems the person is deliberately trying to punish himself for not being beautiful and pure. It is the kind of person who hurts himself when something goes wrong in his life. Maybe he gets drunk or goes on an eating binge, for instance. This is the person who tends to blame himself for everything that goes wrong in his life, rather than blaming circumstances or other people. He thinks the universe itself hates him. He believes everybody thinks he is ugly, foolish, and despicable. Perceptions are distorted such that a fair and objective comment by others may be perceived as negative criticism.
The original name of the Negative Pole is “immolation”, which is a word for a certain type of sacrifice, implying one being consumed by fire — a burnt offering. In +Sacrifice, the self is given up for others, but in -immolation, the self is destroyed or consumed, and nobody benefits. An extreme form of this is the person who renounces his worldly goods and pledges himself to poverty — to owning nothing. He becomes an ascetic.
Self-Destruction is the complementary opposite of Greed. Renunciate do not like to be the center of attention like people in Greed do — others may notice their flaws. They are focused on the exterior universe rather than being self-centered. They want others to be on the receiving end, rather than themselves. They dedicate themselves to the benefit of others. They do not allow possessions to accumulate, because if they do gain something, they then give it away. Even if they do not go to this extreme, Renunciats, when they do come into some money, tend to spend it rather than save it, but not on anything that they will have something to show for their money. It pleases them to be able to say “I can’t afford it” even if they have to spend all their money to be able to say this. They do not feel comfortable with money in the bank. They deny themselves any luxury.
Self-Destruction is the counterpart of the Artisan Role. Artisans craft things in the environment. Renunciate in their best expression craft themselves by casting off any ugliness in themselves.
A person in Self-Destruction tends to pick himself apart. It can be constructive criticism that the person uses to purify and purge himself. Since he is so conscious of his faults and defects, he can work on these for self-improvement. Often times the person in Self-Destruction is very picky about personal grooming practices, for instance. He may do many things to make up for his imagined ugliness. On the other hand, in the Negative Pole, his self-analysis can be destructive and judgmental.
The basic fear that drives Self-Destruction is the fear of loss of self-control. This may seem surprising at first since this might seem more appropriate for Warriors, but the reason for it is that the self-denial which is a part of Renunciation leads to self-discipline. Renunciates are ruthless with themselves, showing no mercy. People who do not “indulge” themselves do not lose control of themselves: give in to their desires. Renunciates regard it as a sin to reward themselves, spend money on themselves, or do what they want — they must do for others instead. They find it difficult to ask others to fulfill their needs. It is very difficult for them to relax, let go, and enjoy themselves. They are exacting and fastidious about themselves. Thus they control themselves and deny their personal fulfillment. Because they restrict themselves, they prefer situations and relationships which are limited and controlled. The way to conquer this fear is to contemplate the Positive Pole of the Complementary Feature, Selfishness, which is +Egotism. If the person in Self-Destruction will not worry so much about what other people think of him but thinks more about his own desires, he can control his fear.
Renunciates worry a lot about what other people think of them. They judge themselves by what others think of them, rather than disregarding what others think. Because they notice their own deficiencies, they think other people do also. It matters a lot that others do not notice their faults and blemishes, so they may work to conceal them. They are hungry for compliments to prop up their negative self-image. They think they need to be told they are attractive, but even when they are they rarely believe it because they believe they are repulsive.
People with this Feature let themselves be used, and hate themselves for it when they see it, but keep on letting it happen because if fulfills the self-image of one deserving of hatred. (This is the typical deceptive perversity of the Feature.) Others may subconsciously detect this and take advantage of the Renunciate — especially people in Greed. The lesson to be learned from this Feature is that every transaction between people and the universe should be mutually beneficial. Neither should gain at the expense of the other. This Feature distorts the perception of love with the lie that one can be of benefit to others at one’s own expense. Self-sacrifice is not noble.
by Simon Jacobson
|Beshalach: Are You Damaged Goods
The Psychology of Torah vs. Other Schools of Psychology
Not long ago a young man in his early 30’s came to see me. Tall, handsome, and articulate, he seemed put together. That is until he began to share his story. At first, he spoke calmly and deliberately. Even as he discussed himself he did so as if he was speaking about another person, totally aloof and detached.
But then the dam broke. With tears in his eyes, he shared with me how he was violated and deeply wounded as a child, in ways that I would prefer not to graphically describe here.
Hearing how an innocent defenseless child has been hurt tears your heart out. I too began to well up. But then things got worse.
This man, at no fault of his own, told me how his entire childhood and growth into adulthood was haunted by one prevailing feeling: “I am damaged goods.”
And if this wasn’t bad enough, he related how, after years of intense therapy, he sensed that his own therapist agreed with him. “In one of our last sessions,” he told me, “I asked my therapist if he sees me making any progress. I still am having extreme difficulty dating and building a healthy relationship. I don’t feel that I trust anyone, and am pretty sure that no one trusts me. So where is this therapy going”? The fellow continued: “My therapist’s tepid reply made my heart sink. He told me that healing takes time; it can often be a lifelong experience, and even then some things may never be fixed.”
“So what the [expletive] am I paying top dollar for therapy when things may never be fixed?!” he blurted out to me – and, I guess, to his therapist.
I asked him for permission to call his shrink and try to get some clarity. With his blessing, I unabashedly picked up the phone and had a conversation with this mental health professional. Long story short, this particular therapist believes that therapy can soothe, minimize and alleviate some of the pain, hopefully enough to allow this fellow to function better, but damaged goods are damaged goods, and he didn’t have much hope that this individual would become functional enough to build a healthy marriage and family. “Some people are not destined to find true happiness, especially in that way. We need to help them find some comfort in other ways.” I didn’t expect that he would share this sentiment with his paying client…
When I pushed him further, wondering what his role as a healer of souls maybe, he finally conceded that some damages cannot be repaired. He actually presented a plausible and even scientific (based on his axioms, that is) argument: Just as body parts can be severed (G-d forbid) in an accident, with no hope of growing back, so too can our psyches incur irreversible damage.”
Whoa… I thought to myself: This certainly opens up a Pandora’s box.
Is this true? Do many – and how many – psychologists actually believe that certain life experiences damage you forever? How many feel that some people are actually damaged goods? And how does this bode for the benefits of modern psychology and its interventions?
I went to search for the definition of “damaged goods” and discovered that most dictionaries offer a gloomy definition: “A person who is considered to be no longer desirable or valuable because of something that has happened.” “A person considered to be less than perfect psychologically, as a result of a traumatic experience.”
I reminded myself of Josephine Hart’s damaging quote: “Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.” Is that good or bad news?
The questions mount – and challenge our very perception of ourselves, as well as the perception of our professionals.
How deep are the effects of psychological trauma?
Trauma results from a violation of a person’s familiar ideas about the world and of their human rights, putting the person in a state of extreme confusion and insecurity. This can also be experienced when people or institutions, depended on for survival, violate or betray or disillusion the person in some unforeseen way.
Traumatic experiences in people’s lives, especially in children, completely overwhelm the individual’s ability to cope or integrate the ideas and emotions involved with that experience. This sense of being overwhelmed can be delayed by weeks, years or even decades, as the person struggles to cope with the immediate circumstances.
We know that a severe traumatic event, especially one that is repeated or enduring, can lead to serious long-term negative consequences that are often overlooked even by mental health professionals. Trauma victims, young and old, organize much of their lives around repetitive patterns of reliving and warding off traumatic memories, reminders, and effects.
But how deep are these effects? Do they cause permanent damage? Once broken, can a soul be repaired?
Are some of us then damaged goods? Are some situations pretty much hopeless? Do some professionals believe that, but simply choose (for many reasons) not to share that information?
Doesn’t this question lie at the heart of all healing? How powerful is the healing process when it comes to the human psyche and soul? For that matter, what do our soul and psyche look like? What potential do they have? Can we ever completely heal?
Theories abound about these fundamental questions – cutting into the very core of the human soul. These theories surely span the spectrum from one extreme to the next: Some argue that like all things in nature the human psyche can get irreparably damaged. Others feel that some healing can be achieved. The differences of opinion range as to how much healing. But the consensus more or less is that we cannot expect a traumatized or wounded psyche to ever fully rebound.
I would like to humbly submit the Torah/Chassidus view on the matter. You can compare the different modalities and draw your own conclusions. May the best man win.
Sixty-four years ago this week (the 10th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat 1950) my mentor’s mentor (Rebbe’s Rebbe) ascended on high. His name: Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, the sixth Chabad Rebbe. The last discourse he published in his lifetime was issued for a study that very day. The Chassidic discourse, titled Basi L’Gani, Come to My Garden (a verse in Song of Songs), consists of twenty chapters.
When Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak’s son-in-law, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, assumed leadership of the movement, he began his first discourse with the same verse and elucidated on the original discourse. Every year hence, on this day, Yud Shevat, the Rebbe would focus, in consecutive order, on another one of the twenty chapters of the discourse, in 1952 – chapter two, 1953 – chapter three, concluding with chapter twenty in 1970. Then he began the order again. Based on this cycle, this year, 2014 (5774), corresponds to the 4th chapter of Basi L’Gani.
What is the theme of chapter four?
You guessed it, the nature of the “damage” or the way it’s described in this discourse, the nature of the forces that “conceal” the pure and healthy divine soul.
In the words of the chapter: Though, as stated above, the world obscures G-dliness — i.e. the spirit of folly stemming from the animal soul can obscure the light and truth of the G-day soul — this affects only the kiddos, the emotive attributes of the G-day soul, but not its essence.
The question is how deep is this concealment? How deep the damage?
Each and every person has a healthy divine soul that always remains intact in its health. Upon birth, this soul enters into a material body and animal soul, which conceals the purity and health of the divine soul.
The healthy soul, which is essentially divine, is aligned with its purpose. Like a healthy machine that follows its engineer’s plan. But once inside the body and animal drive, their selfish desires dull his healthier senses, causing the person to deviate and get misaligned from his or her life calling. The conflict has been born – a split between who you truly are and what you do, between your core and your behavior.
This is the root definition of all “disease” – a body that is misaligned from its soul. From this stems every form of dissonance. In its more extreme form, this is the effect of trauma, which overwhelms the individual and causes a part of him or her to break off from itself and its soul connection.
But – as explained in chapter four of the discourse – even the most extreme form of trauma and dissonance only impacts the emotional faculties of the soul, its self-perception, self-awareness, and feelings. This damage is only as strong as the feelings vested in it. But beneath the surface of our consciousness, the core soul remains intact, healthy, and as connected as ever.
Indeed, what is even more amazing – as the chapter explains – is that the very concealment and dissonance itself was created for you: your challenges are a vote of confidence in you and your ability to overcome this temporary concealment and recognize your true inner divine power.
The reason that the “animal soul” has the power and ability to conceal your healthy core is that its power is rooted in the divine desire to overcome these challenges and transform them into colossal forces of good.
And therefore, though initially and ostensibly life’s traumas can cover up and conceal the outer dimensions, the conscious feelings, of the healthy soul, they do not in any way compromise the core itself.
Our faith and connection to the core give us the strength to overcome these overwhelming forces and discover the unscathed soul within.
So there you have the psychology of Chassidus:
There is no such thing as damaged goods.
In a man-made world with man-made objects, things are built and then broken. In a world subject to the laws of erosion, aging, deterioration, and death, things always get damaged; the arrow travels in one direction, from healthy to less healthy, from complete to broken. This process cannot always be reversed.
But in the divine-made world of the immortal soul, nothing is ever permanently damaged. The expression of the soul – its feelings and outer faculties – can be concealed and temporarily blinded. Trauma can impede our functions. But they can never damage our core souls.
You are only as damaged as your perception and feelings convince you to be. Otherwise known as projection. In truth, beneath it all, on the foundation level, where it matters most, you are not damaged at all. Your beautiful soul sits waiting for you to believe in it and set her free.
As Michelangelo famously explained how he sculpts such beautiful angels in the marble: I saw the angel in the marble, so I carved and carved and set her free.
Life’s travails can wear us down. Loss, pain, trauma etch their wounds into our psyches. Our pure souls get entangled and trapped in marble, concrete, or even more sullied substances. But their effect goes only as far as our perception and feelings allow them to go. They do not touch the core essence of who you are.
This is the foundation of all true healing.
Believe in yourself because G-d believes in you. Indeed, your very challenges – the ones that control your initial perception and feelings, concealing the inner power of your divine soul – were created for you to overcome them and seek out the divine within.
Thus, even your feeling like “damaged goods” is meant to motivate you to transcend that feeling and reach the true you.
So the next time your despondent voice whispers to you that you are “damaged goods,” and the next time your therapist concurs – tell them both that you just read in a discourse of a mystic and healer of the highest order that it just ain’t so.
The three types of personalities that are most commonly talked about as setting off our ‘Red Flag’ radar for ‘damaged goods’ are:
- The Aggressive Flirter
- The Promiscuous one
- The Super Clinger
All three personalities share similar traits of over-attachment, anxiety, the need for inordinate amounts of intimacy & approval, including the tendency to deluge their would-be partners with intense emotional expressiveness, coldness or bouts of severe dependency.
Regardless of whether you have been the donor or recipient in these types of cases, the experience is ultimately neither pleasant nor satisfying.
Being a mama’s boy, a daddy’s girl, having an STD, mood disorder, an addiction, being the unfortunate victim of domestic violence, suffering emotional neglect as a child, or having your heart broken one too many times; these are all familiar reasons that society understands for why one would suffer an emotional imbalance, poor self-image, and low self-esteem.
Many of us in this situation may feel undeserving of real affection if we ourselves feel incapable of showing a full range of emotions, but perhaps what is even more or just as damaging is the belief, in some quarters, that once you are damaged, you are forever damaged. As a result, anyone with the damaged goods label starts to feel like a lost cause, unworthy of real love or attention and hence the slippery slope of low self-esteem coupled with poor self-image becomes even direr.
We may know someone or it may be us that have felt like this at some point. We can acknowledge our issues or we can turn a blind eye to what’s going on in the hope that our emotional imbalance will just go away, but it won’t…at least not like that.
Unacknowledged, our issues fester inside us screaming to be heard and healed, yet we could just be one conversation, one moment of inspiration, or just one simple gesture of self-love away from discovering an emotional breakthrough!
So many of us who have been wounded on an emotional level in one way or another, seldom seek the proper counseling or possess the right knowledge of self to hang on for that breakthrough, before we embark on new relationships, living situations, jobs, etc. We only seem to equate emotional hurt with pain. Once that pain becomes easier to live with or in some cases ignored, we tend to think all is fine without realizing that we still carry the internal scar, (increasing the potential for numerous internal diseases) which means the healing process is not yet over, but we may not be conscious enough to realize that!
Having the lifestyle tools that regularly encourage self-introspection, self-knowledge, continual healing, the building of supportive relationships, regular or systematic cleansing on all levels, and a life code that gives instruction on all the above is called a culture. Culture exists and evolves solely to cultivate you, bringing out your best under all foreseeable conditions through various social and personal devices.
Having a positive culture in place can also be summarized as having a living eco-system that constantly provides round the clock physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional healing and maintenance. Living your life in this way will help you to develop the self-love necessary for you to identify the corrupt or lesser forms of love coming from so-called ‘damaged’ individuals. At that point, you can have realistic expectations if you choose to romantically get involved, be a friend, or simply walk away if dealing with that person is more than you can handle at that moment.
Ultimately, healing for everyone begins with acknowledging the need to heal, knowing how to, and then starting the process.
It takes time.
It takes care.
It takes maturity.
It takes getting over your ego.
It takes correct love and support.
It takes character review and correction.
It takes digging deep with all the strength you have.
It takes You to do this properly.
But if depression, having an addictive personality, sleep aids, toxic relationships, self-denial, living under the shadow of fear and insecurity, sounds like something you can deal with, then there may not be much you have to change…
But I don’t think that’s what you or any of us really want, is it?
“Good girls are loved by the bad boys whom they seek as much as a moth is embraced by the flame to which it flies.”
This goes out to all the women out there chasing after bad boys:
One of the single most profound things that I’ve discovered about women is the amazingly shallow perceptive capability that many of them are naturally born with by default.
Most women do not develop highly perceptive cognition with respect to the opposite sex until their late twenties. This I’ve found is large as a result of how women think.
I have always found it strange how women seem to become irresistibly magnetized to men who are conspicuously bad for them. This is especially true for young women.
While pondering the cause of this rather perplexing puzzle, I recalled the works of the father of psychology, Sigmund Freud. He offers a series of intriguing clues that culminated in the obvious solution for this frustrating problem among women.
The Female Edifice
To better understand what goes on in a woman’s mind when these relationships are spawned, we need to understand the characteristics of the female edifice. This is the key to our solution.
According to Freud, every child is doomed to evolve into the parent of the same gender while becoming sexually attracted to the parent of the opposite gender. This has some very curious implications.
For those of you not familiar with psychological metaphors, Freud wasn’t referring to an Oedipus complex or any kind of incest. Rather, he was speaking to the way people evolve sexually.
Based on this now widely accepted theory, every woman is to some extent doomed to become her mother and is likewise bound to marry (or become sexually attracted to) men who are relatively identical to her father.
We know through biological research that a woman’s mother has genetically pre-determined the kind of character (and indeed the very physicality) that she will possess when she becomes mature. We know through psychological research that women tend to validate their boyfriends with their dads.
A woman’s father is her first point of reference for the opposite sex. She will thus learn to transmute her natural paternal affections into sexual ones when she finds a male who has the closest character features that match her first point of reference (i.e. her father). In other words, women are primarily attracted to men who resolve the incomplete symmetry that was their father.
The sexual desire for her first boyfriend resolves this incomplete symmetry. The collation of these two proponents is what is known as the Female Edifice. Women further determine the expected behavioral characteristics of how a female adult would relate to a male by observing her mother and father.
These characteristics become imprinted onto her mind as she approaches and goes through puberty and feed the developmental cycle as she approaches adulthood. I guess you can see clearly now where I’m going with this…
The Bad Boy Syndrome and Sex Appeal
The term “Bad boy” collectively refers to any male character that possesses a great deal of charisma, assertiveness, sex appeal, self-confidence, and most notoriously, a blatant, wanton, and indiscriminate narcissism.
Of course, women see everything except that last part. Bad boys pick up women very easily because they often exhibit the core male characteristics that turn women on. Bad boys are like those highly fatty gourmet foods they’d love to gorge themselves on if you couldn’t get fat (or in this case, get hurt).
Similarly, like a bad habit, most women keep falling for them just like how an alcoholic systematically destroys his liver or a smoker does the same to their precious lungs.
Most women that fall for a bad boy know they are bad for them – at least the second time around (or on some subconscious level). However, because these men exude raw sex appeal, most women will not look further than the potent sexual urges they feel at that moment inspired by these guys’ masculinity.
Sex appeal is an extremely potent behavioral modifier. Sexual urges can make even the most perfectly sober persons do the most foolish things – emotionally driven women are no less so. Even women who’ve had their hearts broken by these types of men on multiple occasions will continue to patronize them so long as they maintain their capacity to elicit these emotions.
It is, therefore, reasonable to deduce that bad boy addiction is definitely one of the more serious problems facing single women today. However, it is not only sex appeal that drives women into the arms of promiscuous men like mindless sheep to the slaughter. Freud’s explanation factors into this as well.
Incomplete Development and Insecurity
There is a second cause of this destructive habit in women. If you understand the idea behind the female edifice, then try to imagine what would happen if one or more of these conditions were found to be true for any given woman:
- She grows up without a father figure
- She grows up with an abusive father figure
- She finds first love in an abusive boyfriend
- Her first relationship causes significant emotional trauma
Would you be surprised if I told you that all of the above conditions are the causes and effects of each other? Based on Freud’s theories, allow me to illustrate a few simple ideas that you may not have thought of before:
- No Father – Women who grew up with no significant positive father figure will find themselves becoming attracted to all sorts of men that are bad for them. This is because they have no first point of reference on which to determine an ideal mate of the opposite sex.
- Abusive Father – Women who have had abusive fathers (not necessarily abusive to them – maybe to their mothers) will similarly unknowingly find themselves drawn to men who will likewise abuse them. This is because they’re using the good qualities in their abusive fathers to gauge the men they find themselves attracted to. This causes these women to constantly find themselves being attracted to men who either abuse them or treat them for less than their worth.
- Abusive First Love – A woman who makes the mistake of picking up a boyfriend who abuses her (not necessarily physically), will find her self confidence to have been eroded significantly. She tends to try and fix this gaping hole in her psyche with the next best thing which is likely to be either a little better or worse than the one she had before. Either way, it starts a long string of bad relationships from there on out. This is because she is only trying to quickly fill the need instead of giving thought to changing her approach for determining an ideal mate. Few women are able to break this destructive cycle.
- Traumatic Relationship – Women who suffer emotional trauma (esp. at the hands of a male partner) tend to develop all sorts of irrational behaviors, insecurities, and self-defeating thoughts. This makes it incredibly difficult for other suitable males to be seen as ideal in her eyes, as she has now become paranoid, with serious trust issues. As a result, after their bad boy relationship ends, these women tend to lump all men in the same bag like the one man that treated her badly. This is how one man can make one woman hate all men.
Collectively, these women are whom I refer to as Damaged Goods. Even though they may not be aware of it, they have had such bad experiences with men that their level of trust in the opposite sex has suffered enough significant damage to ruin the likelihood of them ever enjoying new relationships.
How to tell if you’re damaged goodsDamaged Goods
Ladies, there are some men out there who carry a natural instinct for determining women who are emotionally damaged. If they’re bad boys, they’ll swoop in for an easy kill. If they’re particularly mature men, they’ll probably try to avoid you. So check yourself if you possess any of the following characteristics:
- ZERO self-confidence – A woman who can’t love herself won’t learn how to love anyone else. Love is selfish. If she doesn’t love herself enough to realize that loving someone else will make her feel happy, then she will be avoided like the plague. Decent men are not generally attracted to self-deprecating women. Bad boys love women like this because their emotional vulnerability makes them easy prey.
- Many boyfriends – If you have had many boyfriends, then that will be a sign to some men that you’re not a woman that can be made happy (or a woman that doesn’t know what she wants). 5 boyfriends or more before age 30 is usually a warning sign. If you’ve already crossed that limit, some good men will think you to be insatiable and bad boys will think you are an easy target.
- Where’s Daddy? – While this is not necessarily true for every woman, most women who did not grow up with a positive father figure will most likely have had their share of bad boys – at least once. Very few of them are intelligent enough to break the cycle. If she isn’t already damaged, then there’s hope yet. However, if she is the type to be paranoid, unforgiving or a ballbusting, ego trawler, then she’ll scare off all the decent men who want to keep their balls intact. The only remaining men will see her as a trophy to be conquered.
- The Cosmopolitan Woman – These are women who’ve grown up with only their mothers (or mothers with abusive lovers) who try so hard to appropriate all the bad experiences in their childhood by becoming successful, that they tend to undervalue men in general. You can spot them by how they develop an allergic reaction to other women’s babies or talk smack about having children of their own. Men who are not discerning enough to avoid these women tend to cheat on them – wantonly and indiscriminately.
- The Needy Woman – Are you a woman who doesn’t have many female friends? If so, there’s a very strong possibility that you are a clingy, needy woman. This may sound appealing to some men at first – until they want some alone time or time to hang with their wingmen (i.e. their buddies). You might find that you also tend to be wicked jealous (this is part of the reason why you don’t have many girlfriends). Decent men generally see such women as emotional leeches. Bad boys usually don’t care, since they have no future plans beyond tonight for such women anyway.
- The Damning Woman – Any woman who says that all men are [insert negative noun/adjective here], is already damaged with little hope of repair. She has had so many bad boys in her life, that her view of men is irreparably destroyed. No decent man in his right mind would engage in discussions with such women – since the long term prospects are grim. Bad boys however are so narcissistic that they generally don’t care what you think of them. You’re a score that needs to be counted and his résumé needs padding. The more damning you are, the higher your trophy value. Once he’s had you, he will brag to his wingmen how he put you down like a deer in the crosshairs of an intrepid hunter.
In the wide gamut of women who find themselves in this unfavorable position, I usually find that there are two generally consistent categories:
- Women who love sex (like a man does)
- Women who have unrealistic expectations of men
In both cases, there’s usually a reference point problem (absentee or abusive father). The reference point creates a psychological mold with which a woman can use to discern a good male. This is concordantly why women who’ve had strong, positive male figures in their childhood are much harder to woo.
Women who lack this fundamental childhood mold will usually use the one thing they have left that drives all women to the opposite sex as the penultimate measure of male suitability: sex. Thus their inability to select a suitable male companion is partly due to a lack of emotional maturity.
In other words, women who find themselves being consistently drawn into a series of bad relationships have a very poor discernment methodology (even if it’s not their fault). Women who’ve had their trust in the opposite sex ruined by a series of unfortunate relationships will need to decide whether they are mature enough to change their approach to discerning men altogether.
Sex appeal isn’t everything. The only reason why sex appeal means so much to you is that you don’t have any other reference points upon which to base your judgment of a decent guy. Most of the time, the nice guys who you choose to ignore (usually because they lack sex appeal) are the very same guys that are significantly less likely to treat you like the scum bad boys crave.
So here’s a clue:
- The most attractive people are more likely to take you for granted because for them, you’re effectively an option (one of many) even though you treat them as a priority.
- The least attractive people are less likely to take you for granted, because you’re effectively a priority (because there aren’t many), even though you treat them as an option.
With that said:
Do’s and Don’ts of spotting Good Guys
Men are not particularly complicated animals. However, there are some very obvious determinants that you’ll want to be cognizant of when looking for a good guy, especially since you tend to take them for granted given your already grossly wanting, incredibly, unfathomably narrow attention span:
1. Do affirm your objectivity
You already know that most guys just want to get into your pants, right? So lay down a ground-rule from the very outset that you’re not interested in having sex until married. You don’t need to mean it. If he hasn’t bolted already, then you’ve probably got yourself a potential winner on your hands. Don’t worry if most of the men bolt. They’re all doing you a huge favor.
2. Don’t try to be a heroine
You can’t “change” a man from being a bad boy. Once he’s determined that he can snag women like grocery items, there’s nothing on this earth that’s going to convince him to be any more conservative about his awesome chick magnet powers. I don’t care how smart you think you are. Men are left-brain dependent. They will ultimately outsmart you sooner or later.
3. Do try the shy guys
Ladies, always remember that every “nice guy” you turn down today is potentially another bad boy tomorrow. Sexual frustration can make even the most decent men become insensitive, sexual pimps. Don’t wait until you’ve had your share of bad boys to pick a nice guy. Good Men have a shelf life too.
There are loads of other self-respecting women out there who are snatching them up by the dozens – usually women who’ve had very strong and positive father figures in their lives. That’s the reason why you and so many other women with poor choice skills complain that all the good guys are taken.
4. Don’t use a good guy as a girlfriend
When your bad boy relationship fizzes, the really good men out there who’ve been watching from the sidelines, hoping for their chance won’t want you anymore. Most of them have enough self-respect to not engage in another man’s leftovers, especially after being used as your emotional punching bag when your bad boy lover starts to give you crap in your “relationship”.
5. Do try to value quality over the impact
Women with a poor reference point have a way of needing to be “impressed” with a man before being interested. Good guys are not usually very smooth when it comes to women. That’s nothing more than a function of their personality. However, what they lack in verbal finesse, they more make up for in the quality of their personality and the viability of their friendship to you.
By contrast, men who try to be really impressive on the first meeting are using a “shock and awe” approach to score as many kitty points as possible. Men tend to use a forceful impact as a replacement for quality. Therefore don’t be surprised if the smooth talker you met then turns out to be a jerk now.
Good girls are loved by the bad boys whom they seek in as much as a moth is embraced by the flame to which it flies. Therefore, changing the way you think about men will ultimately change the way they think about approaching you.
If you have (or had) daddy issues, all is not lost. Try to open your mind to other types of men out there. With the right kind of thinking, you put a value on the things that last, as opposed to the things that glitter. Then, bad boys will begin to ignore you because they need women like addicts to need crack; while good guys will embrace you as they need wives – not a flavor of the week.
Being one with a penchant for psychology, and as a perennial observer of romantic relationships, I am acutely aware of my own personal attractions and whatnot. As such, I have come to a particular revelation about what attracts me to particular women.
We have all heard of the white knight syndrome. It’s an affliction where you have the need to rescue others, specifically your romantic partner. According to this book, you suffer from white knight syndrome if “you care for their partners at the expense of your own needs, encounter abusive or self-destructive behavior in their partners, or try to control and make decisions for their partners.”
Now, I am not a controlling person. I never do that. I never did that when I was dealing with Malissa (you know, the one that got away). I never tried to make decisions for her. Rather, I tried to help her make decisions that were right for her. I tried to move her down a path that would be beneficial to her without making assumptions about what was best for her. I didn’t suffer in my helping her: no part of my life was neglected. Of course, I cared for her deeply, so it comes as no surprise that I was rather stressed out most of the time. So apparently I’m not meeting most of the criteria for being a white knight. However, it was clear to me that Malissa had self-destructive tendencies that stemmed from low self-esteem and a general lack of self-worth. She compartmentalized it very well though. When we went out on a date, I didn’t get the sense that she was unstable or that she had a wealth of psychological issues. I worry that I might be attracted to women who are “damaged”. I worry that I will develop this white knight syndrome. I do not believe that I have developed it yet…but all of the ingredients are right there. I am an intensely passionate and caring person, especially towards my romantic partner. Outside the context of a relationship, I am very empathetic (perhaps to a fault). I hate to see anybody suffering, especially because of mental anguish. I love to help people, and I give of myself freely. It’s very easy to see myself falling into this pit.
Sometimes, I wonder if I fell in love with Malissa because she was someone I could fix. I remember how badly I needed her to be better. Although she never exhibited any maladjusted behaviors around me, she did express to me her inner thoughts. She told me about the daily mental battles she had to fight just to keep it together. And I wanted so much to take that pain away. All I wanted was to see her happy.
It’s easy to imagine that I wanted to be with her so that I could be her savior. It’s not a far stretch by any means to imagine that I would want to give my love to a girl who needed so much of it, so that I would become the guy who pulled her from the darkness, who saved her from the dreariness of her own tormented psychology. Being that knight in shining armor is an attractive idea. I am by nature a guardian, so all the pieces just fit together too nicely to ignore the possibility that I wanted Malissa because she was a damaged girl.
After some personal reflection, and a long dialogue with myself, I cut through the misremembered memories that were clouded with doubt and emotion. I remembered that I felt such an immense attraction towards her from the first time we wrote to each other. I was attracted to her before I learned of her issues, and I remained just as attracted to her even after she told me about her problems. So no, I don’t believe I fall for women who are damaged.
Even so, I must remain wary of my thoughts. It is far too easy to fall prey to this fantasy of being the one good man who stood by her side through all her hardships; to be the single person who understood her and loved her. It is entirely in the realm of possibility that I get stuck trying to be the one to fix a woman’s issues, the guy who is so deeply in love with so much love to give that he is blind to her problems. I know and must admit that I probably have a hero complex. The real difficulty is figuring out whether or not such a desire to help others is intertwined with romantic attraction.
Damaged GoodsSong by Gang of Four
The change will do you good
I always knew it would
Sometimes I’m thinking that I love you
But I know it’s only lustYour kiss so sweet
Your sweat so sour
Your kiss so sweet
Your sweat so sourSometimes I’m thinking that I love you
But I know it’s only lust
The sins of the flesh
Are simply sins of lustSweat’s running down your back
Sweat’s running down your neck
Heated couplings in the sun (Or is that untrue?)
Colder couplings in the night (Never saw your body)Your kiss so sweet
Your sweat so sour
Sometimes I’m thinking that I love you
But I know it’s only lustThe change will do you good
I always knew it would
You know the change will do you good
You know the change will do you goodDamaged goods, send ’em back
I can’t work, I can’t achieve, send me back
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