"But the abuser is the real person; the kind, loving one is a mask, created purely to trap victims. Perpetrators use the tactic of mirroring to make victims believe they are the perfect partner." https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-08-07/love-bombing-isolation-coercive-control-red-flags-domestic-abuse/101283156
I am taking a slightly different direction in Part 2. Simplistic, absolutist narratives as ‘answers’, come in all shapes and sizes.
In his marvellous book, People Skills – How to assert yourself, listen to others and resolve conflicts, Dr Robert Bolton writes in his section on Three Approaches to Relationships: "Submission is often a way of trying to purchase the approval of others." "People often control others by means of their submissive behaviour. What’s in it for the person who behaves submissively? Lots. She/he can control others whilst avoiding conflict and responsibility". "In our culture, people who behave submissively are often termed ‘nice’. Nice adults are the people who "go along" with the wishes of others. The price of ‘nice’ however is extremely high. And as we shall see, ‘nice’ seldom is nice at all – it is usually only a facade covering a sordid interior".
A facade covering a sordid interior. A ‘mask’ in other words, much like the quote I opened this post with?
What about ‘the tactic of mirroring’? The excellent Neuroscience videos below talk extensively on this automatic feature and capacity of the human brain. Mirroring, is also used to manipulate us into buying things. "Successful sales people will capitalise on this gift of nature in their work." https://www.itproportal.com/features/the-concept-of-mirroring-in-marketing-what-it-is-and-how-to-put-it-into-practice/
This is an excellent paper by James Miles, ‘Irresponsible and a Disservice’ – the integrity of social psychology turns on the free will dilemma, it’s another insight into the fabrication of illusion, the toleration for illusions, and it is a pretty major one! https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3757306/
Without critical thought, the assumptions, simplistic ‘answers’ and ‘red flags’ contained in this ABC article, will lead to ever increasing, and very selective, scapegoating, whilst failing to ‘solve’ anything.
It seems that with increasing complexity in the human world, the prevalence of simplistic, emotional ‘answers’ or descriptors to explain complex issues is increasing. Joseph Tainter’s work on the Collapse of Complex Civilisations suggests that humans increase complexity as a way to attempt to solve problems. Indeed, a push to criminalise coercive control, would be adding one more layer of complexity in ‘enforcement’, whilst simplifying the actual complexity of the many nuanced and blatant issues of interpersonal relationships. It would be just one more failure of the human species, individuals and societies to look, think and want far deeper an understanding of the immense challenges of our complex realities, including who we each are and why. On speaking of Tainters work, Kurt Cobbs writes "At some point, the complexity no longer adds benefits and even begins to subtract from the stability and wealth of a society."
It will be a dangerous piece of legislation if coercive control is criminalised.
Part 2 of the Automatic Brain video below – dare to confront the reality of your automatic brain?
and Part 1 of the Automatic Brain series, here .
“There’s all sorts of gaps in our perceptions, and outright confabulations that our brains are making for us in order for us to exist, because it’s easier to do that than actually to try and make an accurate representation of the world. ” Stephen Macknik, Neuroscientist
Is ‘ease’ and the consequently inaccurate representations of our world, an appropriate response to our myriad gargantuan challenges here and ahead?
Part 3 to come.