Monday, 25 February 2008

Sam: Desperitis

Desperation is something that people can seem to smell a mile away. If flirting is like running a race, then desperation is like running through mud. You don’t get anywhere and you end up looking unattractive.

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?


Boy said...

I'm well aware of the curse of desperitis, as I assume most men who have been bullied and suffered from low confidence have in their time. Fortunately I don't anymore, and am now the epitome of confidence. It's sad to see people with it, I have an old work friend who is REALLY suffering, and as you say it's a cycle that feeds off itself.

I don't know how I got out of it. I think I was lucky enough to have some girls take pity on me, which boosted my confidence, which turns into the opposite cycle and ended up with me as I am today, quite the confident and self affirmed man.

In both men and women there is nothing more unattractive than desperateness!

Anna said...

I have met sufferers, and it's freaky. I wish it wasn't, but of course if they weren't so freaky they'd most likely have found someone because they're not terrible people!

I always felt absolutely terrible about rejecting their advances, but of course pity-dates would benefit neither of us.

Sufferers of Desperitis do seem to give off an air of not being happy with themselves. My 'advice', such as it is, would be that you can't be happy in a relationship unless you're first reasonably happy with yourself, comfortable in your own skin. But as you say, how can you teach someone those things?

Innocent Loverboy said...

Been there.

Anonymous said...

Here's the deal, I think. Think of all those things that you want in a partner, then do those things for yourself. You want someone who's fit, then get fit. You want someone who's well-read, then start reading.
Also, do what you love. It will make you happier, and you will meet people while you get out there.
Worked for me!
I sure love reading this Blog. Thank you for the insight, and the good laughs.

Anna said...

Hmm top advice anonymous!

Tara said...

Spot on..same thing happens to women too.

DanelK said...

Bad analogy! Because the less you eat, the less hungry you become; you lose your appetite. Much like relationships, the more you find yourself dealing with b*ll sh*t, the more you become numb to it all. Only people that have to be defined by a relationship will feel that they are starving...

hazy_jane said...

I agree a hundred percent with danelk!
I have a friend who seems to only define himself by whether he's in a relationship or not. He can't be happy otherwise and I don't just mean 'not completely happy' I mean he's depressed otherwise. Me on the other hand I see relationships as something that adds to my happiness, I'll be a lot happier if I'm in a functioning relationship obviously but I can still be happy being single.
My boyfriend just broke up with me which really broke my heart because I loved him very much but I'm getting over it. The first thing my friend said to me when I told him about it was 'you'll find someone'. I don't know but for some reason that almost offended me although I know of course that it was meant in the nicest way. I just don't like having that pressure a la 'you have to find someone fast otherwise you must be a really unhappy person'. What BS.

Sorry if that got a bit off topic. *g*

TJ said...

Interesting post...

anonymous' advice is pretty good.

I suppose the first step is to be completely happy with yourself anyway and then set out to find a relationship...

Love the blog! Keep up the good work guys!

TheGimp said...

Desperitis. Hmmm....
I haven't had a sexual partner since 2000. Think I qualify?

Interesting advice there, Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Nor have I and I live with my mrs :(