Khaya Dlanga

Good girls and bad guy syndrome

2011-03-08 09:00

Most good girls that go for bad guys do so because they believe that they are unworthy of a good guy. In fact, it's not just being "worthy" of a good guy, but just not worthy of good things happening to them in the first place. It is an act of sub conscious self-flagellation. In their conscious minds, they think they want a good man and good things to happen to them.

Since these women believe that they are not worthy of the kind of man they want, they will go for a man they subconsciously know will break them because they believe that they don't not really deserve to be happy. This is all subconscious. They don't want to be with a good man because they don't know if they would be able to keep him - after all, they believe they can't, so they choose not to have him in the first place. So they try to keep a man they don't want to keep instead.

They sabotage themselves by going for what they don't want but convince themselves that what they don't want is what they want. (Wow, that felt like writing in circles). And that bad relationship is actually what they really need even though they know it's not good for them.

Want to fix him

Why do girls like bad guys? Women will give various explanations for the affections they have for these fellas. It's often said as if it is a good thing, as if they stand to gain something from it. They often say things like: "I really like bad guys; they are awesome." It is often said with a smile; as if it is something we ought to congratulate them for. As if it is a good thing.

They want to fix him. He will change. They can tame the Tiger Blood in him. Sorry, I had to add a bit of a Charlie Sheen moment there. Winning.

The famed Sigmund Freud noted in a paper that people faithfully record their failures a lot more than their achievements. Therefore it is not unreasonable for a person who is perfectly healthy, normal and balanced to believe that they are not worthy, or are not as good as others perceive them to be precisely because of the record of wrongs they keep about themselves.

To quote Freud: "In the end we come to see that we are dealing with what may be called a 'moral' factor...which is finding its satisfaction in the illness and refuses to give up the punishment of suffering."

Bad guy syndrome

And so many people punish themselves by exposing themselves to situations they know will bring them suffering. This is the good girl with bad guy syndrome. Incidentally, men also suffer from this. But it appears to be something that is more prevalent amongst women. Maybe because there are more "bad" men than there are bad women.

One of my favourite dead white guys, George Bernard Shaw (incidentally, he was born in the same year as Freud), wrote: ''There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart's desire. The other is to get it."

There is a deficit of self-worth amongst many of our young women. It is compounded by the constant need for approval. One cannot really put the blame squarely on our young women's shoulders. We are collectively responsible for this because we tell them when they are still young that people will approve of them if they look good. It all starts with outer appearance. Basically, we teach them that if they are to be worth anything inside, they have to be worthy outwardly first.

When they grow up, they find out that what matters is what's inside. Now they try, sometimes to reverse a life time of thinking the opposite. In their heads they know this to be true, but their hearts find it difficult to accept this new found truth.

Always worthy

In all this, the most important thing, especially amongst our young women is for them to believe that they are worthy. If you believe you're worthy you'll be kind to yourself and your self worth won't depend on how others view you.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this: Never doubt that you're worthy. You're always worthy. There is no need to punish yourself. I have sisters. This is why this is important to me.

- Follow Khaya on Twitter.

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