I am a woman born 1949 and my quest is to find a mindmate
to grow old together as a mutually devoted couple
in a relationship based upon the
egalitarian rational commitment paradigm
bonded by intrinsic commitment
as each other's safe haven and secure basis.

The purpose of this blog is to enable the right man
to recognize us as reciprocal mindmates and
to encourage him to contact me:

The entries directly concerning,
who could be my mindmate,
are mainly at the beginning.
If this is your predominant interest,
I suggest to read this blog in the same order
as it was written, following the numbers.

I am German, therefore my English is sometimes faulty.

Maybe you have stumbled upon this blog not as a potential match.
Please wait a short moment before zapping.

Do you know anybody, who could be my mindmate?
Your neighbour, brother, uncle, cousin, colleague, friend?
If so, please tell him to look at this blog.
While you have no reason to do this for me,
a stranger, maybe you can make someone happy, for whom you care.

Do you have your own webpage or blog,
which someone like my mindmate to be found probably reads?
If so, please mention my quest and add a link to this blog.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

535. Commodification, Inappropriate Behavior And The Dynamics Of Escalation

535.   Commodification, Inappropriate Behavior And The Dynamics Of Escalation

I am using burping in the following thoughts as a prototypical inappropriate behavior.    It is a placeholder for many other similar behaviors, this is not specially about burping in particular. 
  • Burping is generally considered as inappropriate behavior in most western societies, especially at the dinner table.
  • Everybody with a minimum of culture, education and intelligence is aware of burping being considered as inappropriate.  Most people agree.
  • People feel embarrassed, when they burp accidentally.  They are anxious to avoid it. 
  • The magnitude of the embarrassment depends upon the subjective importance of the witnesses' good opinion.
Therefore the common reaction to be expected after any accidental burp is a more or less embarrassed apology.  How much someone feels embarrassed depends upon the subjective significance of the witness.   Burping is experienced as less embarrassing, when the other at the dinner table is a sibling than when it is the boss to be during the interview for an attractive job. 

Someone (unless this person is seriously retarded or disordered) burping freely and without any sign of the least embarrassment is thus sending a significant message concerning the attitude towards the witness.   This message tells, that the witness's opinion is insignificant, that the witness's perception and experience do not matter.   
For a woman in the context of searching for a mate, being thus burped at is a big red flag indicating the man's attitude of commodifying women.  
Nobody sane feels embarrassed, when the witness present during burping is only a utility like a vacuum cleaner.  When a man burps freely in the presence of a woman without feeling embarrassment, this is a very strong indication, that he does not really distinguish between a vacuum cleaner and a woman.   Both are commodities perceived as only existing to serve him without any significance as persons.   

When traditionally two persons have a date while knowing very little about each other and thus having few misguided expectations, a woman would probably notice the uninhibited burping as a sufficient reason to refrain from meeting again.   She may not consciously recognize the commodification due to not even be bothered about the reasons for his inappropriate behavior, which suffices by itself to recoil. 

But the situation is different with online contacts, when two persons meet personally only after a long phase of correspondence.   Nobody can burp by email.   When in this situation the woman experiences the man's uninhibited burping during dinner for the first time, this is to her not an unambiguous red flag.  Instead it conveys a message, which is very contradictory to her expectations.   

While the correspondence has triggered her to expect being appreciated and respected, the burping makes her experience the emotional effects of being commodified.   She feels disrespected by what appears to her as a lack of either manners, consideration or politeness.    
Her goal is being shown by his behavior as much of the alleged appreciation, as what she had deducted from his emails.   As long as her focus is upon his burping as if it were a mere bad habit and not on the more serious and significant message of not valuing her enough to feel embarrassed, she attempts to influence him by showing feedback.   
As long as she is oblivious of his underlying attitude of commodification as the true problem, she is mistaken to think that she can influence him to correct his behaviors.   She is mistaken to attempt to be supportive to a shared wish to improve the relationship, while the absence of sharing is a part of his attitude of commodification.   Her feedback is meant as support to enable him to directly improve his behavior as his contribution to his alleged shared goal to improve the relationship.  

Her feedback starts gently and subtly, but gets more and more drastic, whenever it elicits no reaction.   The lacking reaction magnifies her discomfort and suffering from experiencing her insignificance.   
The first hint may be just a frown, followed by a disgusted expression, the next step being a polite remark to please stop burping, repeated in less polite tones and words.   If this escalation continues without any improvement, it ends with her calling him a pig and a plebeian or whatever is the worst word she has in her vocabulary.  

But these dynamics are much more than the escalation of her becoming impolite and offensive in her language, it is also a shift of her attitude towards him.   She starts with the attempt to influence him towards solving the contradiction, as long as she still is considering him able to express as much appreciation by his behavior as she had expected as a result of interpreting his emails.  Her goal is the reciprocity of the expression of as much respect and appreciation as she has for him.   
When the escalation reaches the point of her calling him a pig and a plebeian, the contradiction has been resolved the opposite way.   Experiencing the persistent lack of respect in his behavior has caused her to also lose all her previous respect for him.   Her emotional counterpart to being commodified is loathing and detesting him as unworthy.   

Behavior based upon the attitude of commodification forfeits the victim's respect in many ways.  I used burping as an illustrative example.   There are similar escalations, when a man forces harm due to irrational behavior upon a woman and does not react to any rational discussion until she calls him an idiot, and when she cannot stop him from hurting her by transgressions until she calls him an a**e.    The kind of harm due to his behavior differs, when he drives her to consider him either a pig, or an idiot or an a**e.   The dynamics follow the same pattern.

Escalations due to not reacting to the feedback from someone mistaken for and mistreated as a commodity, whose opinion, experience and perception does not matter, destroy a relationship.   The one, who feels offended and blames the other for name calling, instead of asking himself, what he has done to provoke the escalation, is the one, who dooms the relationship.