What is really unfair about Desperitis, is that the more someone needs a relationship, often the less likely they are to be able to find one. Essentially people who are needy are less attractive and people who are desperate are extremely unattractive.
Let’s take a guy I’ll call Jack, who is the epitome of Desperitis. You can just see how desperate he is to find a woman. He signs up first to every single event. He hands out cards with his contact details to every single woman he talks to. He has a kind of half crazed ‘please love me’ look in his eyes. His body language is over the top, he always leans in too close and seems just too interested when he is speed dating. Another fascinating thing is that when one talks with him, whether are a man or a woman, Jack has enormously dilated pupils.
Pupil dilation is a natural response to finding something or someone physically attractive (the black bit in our eyes gets bigger). It is something that babies do when they are young. It is a very clever tactic to make themselves more attractive to their parents and the people who look after them. There has been a fascinating study where people were shown identical pictures of the same people. There was just one simple change – in one of the pictures, the size of their pupils was digitally increased. The photos with larger pupils were universally rated as substantially more attractive then the normal photos.
Poor Jack is so desperate that he is trying to be attractive to everyone he meets. This ends up inevitably having the opposite effect. Essentially, he is showing his cards indiscriminately and far too fast.
By being desperate you are giving a very strong message, I am needy, and also perhaps suggesting that there is something wrong with your life that you are trying to get the other person to fix or fill. Do you remember those experiments at school where you put the two same ends of a magnet together at school and they just pushed away from each other. Well essentially this is what Desperitis does - it pushes people away.
The terrible thing is that this then becomes a self reinforcing cycle. The more you push people away, the more desperate you become. And then the more you push people away. It is a big downward spiral. So how can you pull out?
Let’s take eating as an analogy. If you don’t eat your breakfast, then you get hungry at lunch. The less you eat, the more hungry you become. Emotions in a way are the same – they are a hunger, something that needs to be re-filled on a regular basis. So one way to deal with desperation is to have what we could call an ‘emotional breakfast’. This then fills you up for the day, and changes the way you behave for the rest of the day. By the time lunchtime comes, you can be more relaxed about what you want to eat. If you are desperate, you need to find how to feed your own emotions, before trying to feed off other people. How you actually do this is of course a whole other topic!
Have you ever suffered the effects of desperitis? Know any sufferers?