This year I have had the opportunity to identify some people who were the perfect embodiment of the pattern of an emotional predator. In spite of their different ages and the fact that they belonged to different generations, their speech, their attitude, their modus operandi, were so similar that they were the perfect example of a very common behaviour in our time: that of the emotional predator. I must say it is more frequent among men than among women.
A pattern is a system of ideas, emotions, attitudes and behaviours that governs human beings and organizes them according to predictable, identifiable behavioural patterns. People who think alike usually feel the same and have similar attitudes and actions.
Archetypes would be the source of these patterns, the original ones, according to Plato the perfect moulds, ideals deriving from the mind of God, ideals that influence us from the collective unconscious. Patterns are human derivations that are far less than perfect, resulting from change, from the world, from life, from circumstances, etc. … The world changes and by extension so do the collective patterns that rule us.
Although many people compare them, emotional predators are different from emotional vampires. Emotional predators are only after their own emotional advantage –generally involving sexual advantage- regardless of any collateral damage they might cause. They are hedonistic, they are apparently happy, they are manipulators and they know well other people’s weaknesses which they use to their own advantage. They usually have good social skills, are sexually attractive and have brilliant personalities in some aspects, although they also lack empathy and don’t understand or notice the damage they cause in others.
How do we spot them? I’ll use as examples two cases, a man and a woman whom I have come across recently. Both are apparently charming and attractive, but they have different motivations. He is the typical predator, only prompted by the sheer pleasure of the conquest and oblivious of the pain he may cause to his prey. She is not so typical, she is moved by the pleasure of feeling loved and valued, but she is equally remorseless when she misuses her charm with others. None of the two wish to change, they show an apparent but ultimately false self-confidence and during the “hunt” they both forget the main law that rules this Universe, that of CAUSE and EFFECT, which will make them in turn the victims of other predators equally heedless of their suffering. Unfortunately, those who answer to this pattern, due to their lack of empathy, only learn by experiencing a taste of their own medicine.
They justify their attitude by saying that they warn others in advance of their intentions; they speak openly of their sexuality showing off in this aspect and some of them even scorn the good use of relationships and sex, using others with complete disregard for their wellbeing.
The pattern of the good lover would be to use –not abuse- the other, caring for and trying to benefit him or her .
In their eagerness to justify their own conduct, no matter how unacceptable, they argue that they respect any sexual attitude, ultimately trying to make others accept their conducts so as to ensure their power and their territory.
But they are also victims of themselves, even if they appear happy and cool; they dread serious relationships and always move in shallow waters. As soon as anybody comes too near they scare away in their weakness, end up eaten up by solitude, falling back into the vicious circle of the compulsive hunter, hoping to fill the void of a life without true love, full of emotional to’s and fro’s which they take for passion. Many of them in their childhood or as teenagers were victims of other predators and have eventually become one of them. But that does not relieve them from responsibility, more importantly it should be treated as a challenge to end the victim-aggressor circle.
The problem lies in the possible unsuspecting victims that cannot identify the emotional danger, no matter how obvious it appears. The lack of self-esteem prevents them from rejecting a charming person who approaches them showing interest and affection, even if false, self-interested or momentaneous; men or women with a feeling of emptiness, or who have gone through difficult circumstances in their lives, or have grown up without a family or essential values will always make an easy prey. If they fall into a predator’s clutches they may think it is an acceptable attitude and become one of them, there is a part of society that encourages and even values such behaviours.
If you come across an emotional predator and he or she is looking at you as their possible target, just wait, it won’t take long before they show their true colours. It is not a good idea to think one can save them, a mistake many naïve souls make in their eagerness to help and which they usually pay dearly for. Always remember that “two can’t play if one doesn’t want to”.
And if you acknowledge yourself as one of them, remember the film “Fatal Attraction” (Glenn Close and Michael Douglas), or even the popular sayings that a wise friend of mine reminded me of the other day and which I completely agree with: “what goes around comes around” or “you pick what you sow”.
The misuse of something or somebody by using them to one’s own advantage and to another’s disadvantage always has the consequences it deserves. Fortunately, anything that is not done in mutual benefit will generate the Law of Cause-Effect. And don’t get over-confident if it has worked for you so far, apparently without negative consequences, the Universe ALWAYS returns what you give, whether it is good or bad … at least that never fails. Take care how you treat others, some day you’ll be treated the same way.
Beatriz Fernández del Castillo