You like someone. They like it … maybe. You keep liking this person. This person stops liking you (or never did) and retires. You like this person better. This person, feeling drowned, continues to withdraw. You keep obsessing over it.
Why Should a Person’s Feelings Grow At Least Match Some Loving Feelings?
There are some theories about this:
Elite Daily describes this theory in detail. He says that one principle on which our mind works is reciprocity. If we do something for someone, even if we have not asked for something in return, we subconsciously expect the person to do something in return for about the same value. (Conversely, if someone does something nice for us, many of us just want to reciprocate.) These things could range from dinner to something as simple as a text response.
When the person concerned does not respond, however, instead of withdrawing, we tend to invest more in the hopes that the other person will respond. And then, once we have invested more, the amount of reciprocity needed in our minds increases. The more we invest, the more we want to return.
From Elite Daily: “Too much, investing too much time and energy in someone without the person wanting it will usually take the person away. So when you want someone you just can’t have, it’s best to relax, take a step back and not invest so much in that someone (no matter how hard it is).
2. Perceived value and scarcity
This is my own theory. The less someone responds to or responds to progress, the more perceived value the pursuer thinks this person has (“She must be so busy!” “She must be so overwhelmed with options!” “She must have such an outstanding job that she does not has time to reply to my message from six days ago … but who cares? ” scarce resource).
And often, the higher we perceive the value of that other person, the lower we perceive our own. This person’s lack of response, however, should not imply a higher value. Rather, in its simplest form, it should involve a lack of proper communication (“I just don’t care”) or just rudeness.
In a no-quote context, once a client emailed me asking a question that I thought deserved a timely response, so I answered within an hour. Instead of thanking me for the quick response and concluding that great service is important to me as an entrepreneur, he said, “You have nothing better to do than reply to my emails so quickly?” Unfortunately, many people think that you are better / smarter / more successful when you treat them worse. We turn this concept around and recognize the people who respond, are kind, and really want to go out with you (or work with you).
3. Defense mechanisms
If there are 20 people with whom you can “get” or “have a date” and there is one person you can’t, some people will choose the unreachable because then there will be no responsibility for a relationship not working. Suppose you go out with someone you really like, and after a few months, the relationship wears off. It’s nobody’s fault, but you’ve played an active role. However, if you pursue the unattainable, you can never say that you have taken this active role. Rather, you never got to the point of the relationship and therefore never allowed yourself to succeed or fail.
The “happy drug” in the brain is dopamine. Our brain longs for that feeling. So when we go looking for someone we know we can’t have, or can only have sometimes, our brain loves unpredictability because the highs are higher than if we had the desired reward all the time.
That’s why breadcrumbing has entered our lexicon recently. Why, if you will, would you allow someone you really can’t get to keep coming back for more, just on a regular and unpredictable basis? It’s because our brain says, “Yes! We want that! “
With the extra dopamine, however, anxiety is added. “When will you send a text message?” “I haven’t heard from her in three days and I know she’s back from her weekend trip.” “If he wants to go out this weekend, he has to ask because it’s already Friday afternoon.”
Is it worth the compensation? I say no.
In short, the best thing is to dedicate time and energy to what you do have and not to what you don’t have … or you can’t. In the end, it will save you time and energy.
What theory do you think reigns?
Photo created by jcomp.
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