Beating A Dead Horse

Not a newly discovered fetish of mine but simply the way it feels when the same things crop up again and again with no end in sight. Is being clueless at epidemic levels?

I don’t like stalkers or people who exhibit stalker-like behavior. These folks don’t just come across as clueless about their behavior because they are not. These people (mostly men but not exclusively so) know exactly what they are doing, picking their targets and then pushing to see whether they gain any headway or not. A lot of times, people like this meet resistance so they move on to the person who will offer an opening by being either trusting or naive. Certainly not all stalkers are so calculating, some are just emotionally sick people, but I think a very large number of them do what they do with a determination that borders on sociopathic if not psychopathic.

Then there are others who don’t sink to the depths of a stalker yet still exhibit behavior that’s in the same neighborhood. These folks are needy with a capital “N” — sad or depressed on some level and probably very lonely. Their behavior is more presumptuous than dangerous and are the kind of people that after knowing you for five minutes, act as if they are your long lost friend. In the vanilla world it’s the person that invites themselves over for dinner or tags along with you on a night out uninvited. They are pushy in a passive/aggressive sort of way, doing it with a smile that begs for others to take pity upon them.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make connections or win friends. Human interraction is an important need in everyone except the ardent misanthrope but even the desire for friends has rules and etiquette. I compare this behavior to someone at a club who asks someone to dance and when told “no thank you” continues to try and sell the idea in the hopes that they will wear down the other person with their pitch. Although we all have to sell ourselves in some way, acting like an overly persistant retail salesman is probably not the way to go. Salesman often make sales not because their pitch convinced the other person but because it was so annoying and insistant that the customer bought the product just to make the salesman shut up.

Whether in a clothing store or the scene, this does not seem to me a pleasant way to make people like you. Sometimes we have to learn to accept the word “no” even if it is said in a nice way rather than harshly. However, there are people for whom the harsh way is the only way they’ll understand it.

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10 Responses to “Beating A Dead Horse”

  1. I’m opting for harsh on this one, Rad.

    I’ve had it. Not that I am a Top but..I HAVE heard it a time or three: ” nice doesn’t work with you”.

    Ok. Wordy-time. LOVED “ardent misanthrope”. Look for a group with this title coming to Fetlife soon! I’m thinking of starting a new one: “Narcissists & Sociopaths, and the women who attract them..”

    And hey..don’t knock the fetish of beating a dead horse! That’s all some folks apparently have! 😉 ( at least the horse is dead…).

    Ok. That’s silly. Very good blog. Very..uhh..TIMELY. We shall see.

  2. Having just finished reading a book concerning a famous psychopath, I learned that “psychopath” and “sociopath” mean the exact same thing (“sociopath” being the more recent psychiatric term). Nowadays they call it “antisocial personality disorder.”

    As for Neediness, I’ve been there, so I am not going to cast stones at people who are suffering. It not advisable to pity a needy person, though. Best to offer a little empathy, but maintain firm boundaries. You can’t save a person from suffering, but you can at least let them know that you recognize that they are in pain.

  3. Wednesday Says:

    Dr. Hare, who is considered one of the foremost experts on sociopathy, estimates that 1 in 25 people is a sociopath. Now, in reality sociopathy exists on a continuum (nearly all of us exhibit some traits). However, folks are considered largely unfixable once they get to a certain level. Part of why I advocated being so blunt in another post regarding stalkers is that very firm boundaries are what it takes to deal with these people. In this case they *won’t* learn (lacking certain key features like a conscience kind of precludes social learning)–but they will move on. What one could hope for any group of people, IMHO, is that so many people set these boundaries that the sociopath moves on entirely.

    @Lisa–if you get exasperated enough to start that group let me know ;-). I’d actually have a thing or two to say about that subject, not to mention an number of book recommendations.

  4. Abnormal psych 101–the” Kinkster” course!
    Big LOL here.
    Since on this topic, poll would be interesting: of all kinksters/spankos who’ve gone through some therapy sessions, what proportion have admitted their fetish to the shrink?

    See you guys at the munch, and Paddles. Alas, I’ll be stag again…my companion of last month isn’t available this time.

  5. This is something i’ve dealt with more times than I like to think about, on both a macro level (months and months of soul-breaking stalking) and the micro level (a party soured by someone who Just Won’t Go Away) and in both my vanilla and my kinky life.

    Wednesday’s advice is the best I have ever seen. I remember even in high school I couldn’t understand why I was such a “weirdo” magnet. Sociopaths seem to line up the block to hang out with me.

    I know now that it is because I am “too nice”. It causes me an almost physical pain to be rude to someone or to think I’m hurting their feelings. I’ve experienced enough the pain of rejection and of being “the freak” and it’s hurt me so badly in the past that the thought of doing it to someone else is massively repellent to me. Knowing (or at least acknowledging the possibility) that some of these people do not interpret bluntness and painful rudeness has given me permission to be harsher in my response to inappropriate behaviour. I still suck at it, but I think it might be easier in the future. I also realize now (finally!) that mis-places niceness is not kind at all. It only leads to the necessity of harsher measures in the future. Don’t let yourself get backed into the corner, where the chance for simple firmness has passed and you have to go for the nuclear option. It’s so much harder on everyone.

    For people dealing with stalkers, on any level, I cannot recommend the book “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin de Becker enough. I resisted reading it because the title seemed to negative and alarmist. But it is actually a very non-alarmist, honest, frank, practical guide to following your gut and dealing with the stalkers and sociopaths of the world, whether they be strangers or “friends”. I gave my copy away some time ago, but I think I am going to get another copy and give myself a refresher.

  6. I mean “these people do not interpret bluntness AS painful rudeness”

  7. radagast Says:

    I want to give a really big “thank you” to both Wednesday and caroline for their contributions above. The advice you both give is priceless and should become standard practice.

  8. I’ll have to check out that book, Caroline.

  9. Carolinegrey…great post!! The Gift of Fear is an amazing book and very right on. I also have the “too nice” gene…which leads stalkers…sociopath…needy people right to my door…almost as if I have left bread crumbs. I am getting better though 🙂 Here is to improvement.

  10. […] Are Few Lost Causes The other day I put up this post about the behavior of some folks in our scene. It got some good responses which tells me that […]

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