Why you make things up
with Daniel Packard, Dating Expert & Coach
Everything you think of men or woman is made up. How do I know? Because whatever you came up with, before you came up with it, you had a reason to come up with it. It wasn’t like you were sitting around thinking “I’m curious about woman and after thinking about it, I conclude my ex-wife was a nag.” In fact I am pretty sure in the billions and billions of conversations about men and women, in the billions and billions of gallons of coffee, red wine, beer and ice cream (archetypal substances don’t mix them) in all the questioning and talking and all the billions and billions of “why’s” All the “why do they do this” and all the “why do they do that’s” all the “let me tell you whys” and “you know why I think they did that.” In all of those billions of why’s. Not a single one was ever purely motivated by the desire to really ask “why” How do I know? Of all the fake “whys” I am guilty of at least 79,452. And if not “why” what was I seeking to know. What motivates us all….what has fueled all the boy/girl “whys” since the dawn of time. FEAR.
How do I know? Because the second we feel wanted and attracted and loved and sexed (which is really just the previous three with a penis involved) and most of all….safe. What do we stop asking? You bet your lifesavers….”why?”
At the exact moment when my lips first meet those of a beautiful woman (and there have been at least 4) I don’t wonder “why are woman so hard to read?” My mind is empty and I bliss out on the fleshy delicious that is woman. Now about 13 seconds earlier when my heart was in my throat and I feel like I could be rejected and be reminded I’m still actually 14....Yup,magically I am thinking “Why did she flip her hair like that?” and “Why are woman so tough to read.” You see the “whys?” and “I wonders?” and the “You know what let me tell you’s” They all come at moments of fear.
How do you know if your questions and assumptions are curiosity based or fear based? Ask yourself, do you really care what the answer is one way or the other? Try on a few answers and if some seem to make you feel either happy or pissed, which you will, then it’s fear. For instance when you ask “Do you love me or are we just sleeping together?” I bet the answer “We have a special connection that makes me feel a way I never thought possible” feels different from “Oh, yeah, no totally, we are just banging” then it’s not curiosity you seek, it’s fear you are trying to cover up with answer. “Do I look fat this dress?” And somebody says “Yeah pretty much.” You probably don’t go “Why thank you for the feedback on your dimensional analysis of my Body Mass Index.” No, a hair brush will soon be flying through the air. And it’s not to test Newtonian physics. Fear.
It’s worth noting there are legitimately curious people. We call these people scientists. So if you are working on a paper called “Why Did She Give Me That Look?” or “I Bet He Has A Girlfriend.” then ask all the “whys” you want. Or maybe you a have a federal grant to investigate “Why Are Guys Such Douchebags?” then by all means keep up the good work and let me know what your findings are on the national survey of “Why The Hell Didn’t Call Me Back Even Though There Was A Total Connection?” For the rest of us, let us get back to us being afraid.
In moments of fear, there are two responses. Fight or flight. We either (in our heads) attack the thing (fight) or run from the thing (flight). But we are too cool to admit that. We don’t like admitting things like “I am scared.” or “I don’t love myself enough to handle a rejection.” or “I’m pissed at that person because they are not telling me I am as attractive as I want to pretend to be.” We have $150 jeans and Surround Sound to convince ourselves and others how strong and capable we are. We don’t like admitting we’re not 100% awesome as I so convincingly read on the butt of your sweat pants.
It’d be bad enough if we were afraid and we just didn’t know it. But the plot thickens.
When we’re afraid we feel uncomfortable. And we don’t like being uncomfortable. Can’t just sit there and feel it and cope with it. Well some do. It’s called your second and third Margarita.
So to make the uncomfortable feelings go away, we don’t just go “Hmmm that is odd. I feel uncomfortable. Which is odd since there is no real threat to my safety.” Nope. What we do when things don’t feel right, is what happens any time things aren’t going our way. We try to make it make sense. Humans love sense. When we feel uncomfortable we try to make sense. Which actually was smart. Millions of years ago, if there was a tiger around or crops failing, we felt uncomfortable and it made sense to figure out the problem and fix it. So now when we feel uncomfortable that old wiring kicks in and we try to figure things out. It makes us feel like we know what is going on. Makes us feel safe. Key word “feel” and key word “safe.” More on that later.
Now most of the time our brain doesn’t know what is going on. How can you know what people are really up to? So if we were smart we’d think “Oh I really want to know what is going on, and feel better, but you know what, I don’t know, and it’s impossible to know, and I’ll just accept not knowing and take my chances with life and go watch Jeopardy till this uncomfortable feeling goes away?” Oh no, that would be great. If we could do that, most of the blame, anger, and miscommunication in the world would vanish. But we’re not that smart. Oh no. Our brain so wants to feel like it knows what it’s going on, even when it doesn’t that it does something really, really hilarious. God’s little party trick. You know what it does? Our brain…wait for it….wait for it…Our brain MAKES SHIT UP. That’s right ladies and gentleman of the jury Say it with me. MAKES SHIT UP.
Our brain goes “I want to feel like I know, so can you please supply me with some vague, impossible to disprove theories that I can stretch and pull to make this all make sense and have this discomfort go away” And magically you are armed with stories your college friend told you, advice from your mom, magazine articles, stuff you made up years ago and haven’t gone back to re-evaluate and my favorite “Things I heard at camp once.”
Oh and don’t forget, if you don’t know what is going, you can call a friend and they will make up stuff for you. And then when they call next time you can make up stuff for them. Cuz that’s what good friends do.
And between stories and rumours and insecurities and friends, you basically have your bases covered. Ever wondered how you can interact with thousands of people and almost never go “I have no idea what is going on.” It’s cuz you are MAKING SHIT UP.
Oh we aren’t done yet. There is more. Remember when we are threatened, we go into fight or flight. So the things we make up are designed to either run from the person or attack the person.
In order to make stuff up, to run from the person, you know what we fill the blank with? You are going to love this. Your worst fears and insecurities.
Do an experiment for me. Imagine you really like somebody. Now you find out they just aren’t interested. If you had to guess, what do you think is the reason they turned you down. Whatever it is, $20 says it’s something you are insecure about. You have no idea why they turned you down, but you want to know, so you will MAKE SHIT UP.
So that is the “flight” version of making things up. There is still the “fight” version of making things up.
So, we have you are scared, but don’t want to admit it. We have, you will make things up. And we have that when threatened you will sometimes “fight” the thing. Throw that all together and guess what “Men are assholes.” “He just wants to sleep with me.” “Men are shallow.” and my favorite made up thing “Men can’t handle strong women.” and about 734 others real gems of the netherworld.
And this is the real genius. With these attack thoughts you not only get to feel like you knew what was going on, but by making it their fault, you made them so horrible that you don’t have to interact with them, and you get to avoid the scary situation without ever admitting you were afraid.
If “He is just trying to sleep with you,” then you don’t have to go home with him and avoid the possibility that he may sleep with you and not call you back.
If you are a guy, have you ever walked into a room, seen a hot girl and thought “F’ing bitch.” Oh and you don’t think she’s a bitch. You KNOW. You have no idea about her. No idea whatsoever. But if she’s a bitch then there is no reason to even walk up to her and get to know her. And then it’s all her fault, without ever admitting you’re scared her rejection might make you feel less attractive. Brilliant right?
In conclusion almost everything you think of men and woman is made up. The fact that you even have a theory or question about men and women to begin with, means that you had to have a motivation by something. And since it’s not science, it’s self preservational discomfort. And so you will make things up, not in name of curiosity, but in making up whatever it takes to feel better.
And once you start making things up, it gets worse. Because you don’t want to catch yourself. And since some of what you make up, allows you to stay clear of the person. And since most of what you make up is vague and you don’t go back to see if you were right or not (who wants to catch themselves making thing up?) You make stuff up and never find out the truth, so pretty much it feels like you got it right. You basically justify the Iraq War in your head. Which means you will keep making up that story over and over, until basically it becomes scientific fact. There is a place that collects all these facts. It’s called Cosmopolitan Magazine.
Good Luck Dating Better!
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