Part 1 is here.
Now we take a closer look at how this unfortunate situation came about.
Creep Havens and Refugees
I had to restrain myself in terms of post-length because honestly, I could write a book about all the things Wall O’Text messed up socially. Actually, few cases like this are as unfortunate as Wall O’Text’s. First of all, she ended up in the New Age Community because there was pretty much no way she could function anywhere else. New Age, like nerd communities tends to attract certain kinds of social misfits. Some of them thrive there and cause no harm or discomfort to the rest of the community. Others take their community’s tolerance for granted and become a problem. Wall O’Text took this to the extreme. She could not function outside of new age not just socially, but at all. She did massage out of her apartment for a living because she couldn’t handle rules. No professional environment would likely ever put up with her antics and she’d probably be quickly fired from any job besides self employment. Her hygiene was terrible. She smelled. Her social skills were awful and her way of relating to people both platonically and romantically often sent people running for the hills. However, New Age provided plenty of plausible rationalizations for this kind of behavior. She was just a free spirit who wanted more connection than most people. What’s wrong with that?
When taken to the extreme she took it to, there’s plenty wrong with that… if we’re being honest which the new age Community, sadly often isn’t.
I’ll borrow a phrase from Gavin de Becker’s book called “The Gift of Fear”: People who can’t let go choose people who can’t say no. In New age, there are often entire communities who can’t say no. Many people in these communities don’t want to risk not living up to their tolerant, accepting image or violating someone’s safe space (this might seem like a recent buzz word but this phrase has been used and misused like this in New Age for years if not decades) even when someone is causing intense discomfort or even straight-up lack of safety. This isn’t much different from nerds who after being rejected and ostracized in high school, vow to never ever make anyone feel that way and thus make endless excuses for their friends when they behave badly toward others or even toward them. Conversely, many people including creepers tend to show up to these communities fully expecting that no one there is ever allowed to reject them, ignore them, or tell them ‘no’.
Case in point:
A bunch of us had gone to a drum circle event further out of town that our usual event. A lot of people bring their own instruments but the people who organize these events nearly always bring extra for people to use if they don’t have any. This event was no exception. All the public instruments were out near the seats or set on a table. Wall O’Text saw a drum off to the side away from everything and grabbed that one. It belonged to one of the event hosts. Apparently, the host had been keeping the drum aside for a reason, so she politely asked Wall O’Text to use another one which she gladly provided. Wall O’Text responded by…..curling up in a ball in the corner crying for the remaining hour and a half of the event. Later, she sent the host a long, nasty email saying her drum circle was “too regimented” and restricted her “freedom”.
Clearly, at the heart of most if not all of her problems was the fact that her response to boundaries of any kind nearly always defaulted to temper tantrums and cries of injustice.
Adding to this mess is the fact that new age communities tend to be full of Super Friendly Creep Magnets. Sadly, like many people in New Age communities, Sam was a Super Friendly who also had poor boundaries. We don’t really know whether Sam had those initial friendly conversations with Wall O’Text because he was just being his genuinely friendly self or if he only did so out of feeling obligated to be open to everyone. However, another possibility is that he was genuinely afraid at first of what might happen if he were to reject her outright. Like guys who write messages like this early on and out of the blue, women who do it give off an impression of being definitely unhinged even if they’re not clearly dangerous. Either way, Wall O’Text seemed to take his friendliness (and his silence and literally anything else he did) for romantic interest and found any excuse not see it any other way.
YOU HAVE INTIMACY ISSUES!/ANSWER ME YOU STUCK UP BITCH!
Wall O’Text also put Sam on a pedestal. Not only did she think he was too nice to reject her. She also thought he was too spiritually evolved to not be open to the (absurd) level of intimacy she immediately wanted. When he did eventually reject her, his status got revoked and he may as well have been one of those shallow dickheads from high school.
The stream of insults she sent him each time she was rejected isn’t much different from the angry messages certain guys on dating sites send when they’ve been rejected or ignored. The exact reasons vary but mostly boil down to one thing. Whether it’s due to how these creepers see the setting (i.e. you’re on Tinder or your dating profile says you’re looking for casual sex, therefore you are REQUIRED to be open to literally anyone) or due to the pedestal they put the other person on, these folks somewhere along the line concluded that there was NO way they could reasonably be rejected. This often ties into Commander Logic’s Geek Relationship Fallacy #5: “We’re The Only Two of Our Species”, which Wall O’Text demonstrates when she concludes that Sam must be her soulmate simply because he also likes to talk about New Age things. What also happens, is that after a string of rejections with no end in sight, many people conclude that they just haven’t found their niche and need to find a special group of people to fish for dating partners from. This idea often evolves into the idea that these wonderful special people will not reject them and only bad UN-special people reject them. When rejection strikes, this is when you have either a stream of rage caused by unmet expectations or angry attempts to shame the other person into reciprocating their feelings by berating them about how unspecial and terrible they’re being. This can also lead to much disappointment and feelings of hopelessness when seemingly all of the so-called special chosen people continue to fail them.
“Soulmates” and Other Magical Beliefs About Love
Much of new age is pretty much pick up artistry for chronically single women. It’s full of advice on how to get the guy and the vast majority of it (like pick-up artistry) is nonsensical, frighteningly sexist and laughably ineffective. Some of it actually does get the basics right like dealing with your emotional baggage first before you go out and try to find a mate. However, like new age is with pretty much everything, if one source says one thing about relationships, you can find at least one more that says the exact opposite even if it uses the exact same vocab. The idea of “soulmates” comes up pretty often in just this fashion. To the credit of some authors and instructors, there is a fair amount of advice out there about soulmates that gives you sensible instructions on how to find the person that’s right for you. Unfortunately, most of the people who go about reading about soulmates are already convinced that they know exactly who that person is and are just picking out any and every source that even looks like it might support their conclusions. (Tarot readers deal quite a lot with them. Just ask this lady and read some hilarious examples.) For Wall O’Text, just a few of these included:
-“The Universe is made of the attraction between masculine and feminine energy (and nothing else. Gay people have intimacy issues with the opposite sex and they have nothing to do with my soul mate anyway so whatever. Also, somehow this means that if my dream man doesn’t come to me, the Universe will be very upset).
-“Mental negativity keeps your soul mate away. Just meditate on positive things and he’ll show up to meet you. (*meditated for 5mins* Okay, I’m done! Where is he?)”
-“Whatever you think about most, you energetically attract to yourself. Just think about it a lot to the point that you believe you already have it and your wishes will come true. (I do this out loud so much, my friends hate me for it. DONE, DONE AND DONE!!!)”
-Basic astrological compatibility you can read about in any Cosmo mag. (“HE’S A LIBRA AND I’M AN AQUARIUS!!!”)
We can see how this kind of thinking created problems for Wall O’Text and Sam, but lots of regular people have similar, (though less extreme) magical beliefs about how courtship works that trip them up. The most common in my experience are:
-the idea that by being a good person you can earn the love of anyone you want. (Hello, Nice Guys.)
-and that you can win a person’s heart by the sheer force of your own emotions. (Hello, writers of pre-mature, flowery love messages.)
The main problem with all of these is that people use them as alternatives to improving their social skills, working on their self presentation, and even just going out and actually meeting people. Why do any of that when you can simply radiate goodness from your heart like a beacon and shine it directly into the retinas of the person you want (You’d be radiating something alright. Probably not what you think tho.), or just meditate for a little while and have the person delivered directly to your mailbox?
Like many who find themselves in this sort of situation, Wall O’Text directed her efforts at improving her romantic life at everything except for her actual problems. Even outside of new age, instead of taking responsibility for their relationships with others, many people either blame the world and give up, or try all kinds of other wacky things believing that for them dating like a normal person is simply impossible. If you maintain an angry, butthurt, superior attitude toward the rest of the world, don’t be surprised when people think you’re a weirdo and not in a good way.