Why do pathological liars lie?

Answered Jan 16, 2019

I’ve known some severe liars. People who were so bad that literally nothing that they said, about any subject, could be trusted.

Some reasons:

  • They want something from you (money, sex, drug-enabling, etc), and think that lying will manipulate you into complying. It may sound logical, but they often use obvious lies, without rational anticipation of the lie’s chances of working.
  • They want to avoid consequences for their bad behaviour, which was also pathological. Again, some of these lies are obvious.
  • Lying as a shortcut to social status. This can include the common boasting about money, accomplishments, etc. It can also include boasting about the cool things that they are “going to” do in the near future. They want that status and admiration immediately, without having to take the time and energy to do the work involved. I once had a neighbour who loudly boasted about how she was “going to” quit smoking and start up a healthy lifestyle, expecting immediate admiration. She almost forgot that she had a cigarette in her hand at the time. And no, she never quit or, exercised, or ate healthily.
  • A related point is trying to seem like a more interesting person. Out of fear that honesty will result in being perceived as a boring loser.
  • A related status issue is lying to a social clique or other group to push someone else down the hierarchy, as a way of reducing competition.
  • Constant fantasising. And saying things (sometimes quite casually) as if the fantasy were reality. Including things that are physically impossible.
  • Fear of the truth, with desperate attempts to avoid facing it. They lie partly in order to convince and comfort themselves.
  • Lying out of embarrassment over revealing what they really think. Such as holding bigoted attitudes, but refusing to admit it. Or having competition-based envy and hostility, but claiming that the hostility is due to the target being dysfunctional or bad.
  • Making up “rules” for how everyone else “has to” behave. Including in friendships, sexual relationships, workplaces, etc, etc. They don’t claim that it is their personal rules. They claim that, there are simply universal “rules” of all human interactions, which are coincidentally whatever they think serves them, practically or emotionally.
  • Minimisation. Claiming that their bad behaviour wasn’t really so bad, so you don’t have a position to object, or to impose consequences. Also, minimisation of the importance of other lies. Such as, “That was a white lie, so you don’t have any right to stop trusting me over it”.
  • Repetition. If they keep repeating it over and over, you will get tired of the conflict that you allegedly cause by refusing to believe them. And will be worn down into actually believing them.
  • Failure to anticipate any limits to your willingness to trust them and to continue interacting with them. No matter how many times you have caught them lying, they assume that you will stick around, and will desperately try to see them as trustworthy. They think that your desire to trust them is just as infinite as their inclination to lie. Including when they tell the same lie, yet again.
  • A related point is, “This time it’s different”. I once had someone repeat a previous lie, admitting that it had been a lie before, while insisting, “That was then, and this is a different time. So you have to trust that I am telling the truth this time, and don’t have the right to judge me for the previous time”.
  • A related mechanism is trying new angles. They will tell a lie, and you refuse to believe them. Then, they will immediately tell a different lie, which contradicts the first lie. They think that they can can just try a series of different lies, until they find the one that you are willing to believe.
  • Another related point is using your empathy or your desire to “help”them with their bad life situations (which are the result of their own bad behaviour). They assume that your empathy is endless, no matter how much they abuse it (and you). They try to use your empathy to keep you involved, while convincing you to buy into their definition of “help”, which is really enabling of their bad behaviour.
  • They are confident that you cannot prove that they are lying. Including when they lie about the content of previous conversations between the two of you. Or even things they said earlier in the same conversation.
  • They want to lash out. They will come up with anything to say that they expect will hurt you emotionally/psychologically. They may even admit this, to try to avoid consequences (e.g. you abandoning them).
  • Stimulant drugs. People using cocaine or amphetamine are notorious for compulsive lying. If they have been using for some time, they will compulsively lie even when they aren’t under the influence at the moment. Even other addicts (e.g. to sedating drugs) view these people as bad news.
  • Dominance games. If they lie, and you believe them, they have dominated you.
  • Desperation to pull you down into their loser mentality. I once had an acquaintance who insisted that, no employer will ever pay any employee more than minimum wage, so it is stupid to put forth any extra effort or skills. They claim they are trying to “help” you to avoid wasting effort, when they are really motivated by frightened envy/competition.
  • A related point is trying to minimise anything good in your life. They will lie to avoid the feeling that you may be winning some kind of competition. Including when you have zero interest in competing.
  • Covering up their ignorance. They don’t want to admit that they don’t know something, so they invent some convenient-sounding pseudo-information about it. This includes insisting that they know better than you (even if you have substantial relevant knowledge and experience).
  • Just world hypothesis. They are afraid of vulnerability, so they insist that, bad things only happen to those who deserve it. And look for ways to apply that to a given situation where someone else experiences adversity or victimisation.

What all of this comes down to is desperation for control. And desperate people do dysfunctional and often blatantly unworkable things.

Facing how things really are is like surrendering. Lying that things are some other way, is an attempt to control the situation.

Facing the fact that you won’t/don’t believe them is like surrendering to you. Lying with you believing them, means controlling you, even if there is nothing practical to be gained.

What do I do to make a guy in his early twenties understand consent?

Answered Jan 8, 2019

Here is one of the most important life lessons I’ve had.

If an adult, of any age, male or female, doesn’t understand or respect consent by the time I meet them, they are never going to do so. And there is absolutely nothing that I can say or do to teach them.

If an adult, of any age, male or female, doesn’t understand that, bad behaviour leads to bad consequences, by the time I meet them, they are never going to do so. And I cannot teach them, even by imposing those consequences.

I’ve also learned that, it doesn’t really matter whether the person can or cannot “understand” consent. What matters is that they don’t care.

In looking back on certain interactions, I would find myself saying things like:

  • Sometimes, you are going to want something, and my answer will be “no”, and you will just have to accept that.
  • I have the right to say “no”, and other people have the right to say “no” to you. I, and they, aren’t victimising you, just because you feel disappointed, hurt, or angry.
  • Sometimes, you are going to want something, and you will have to wait for it, rather than expecting immediate compliance.
  • Complying with a demand in the past is not a promise to comply with that same (or any other) demand in the future. Each time you want something, you will need to separately ask (not demand). With the understanding that, this particular request might be denied.
  • Different behaviours will lead to different consequences. Coercive and abusive behaviour will lead to consequences that you don’t like.
  • I have repeatedly, consistently, clearly, and firmly said “no” to this demand. Why are are treating me exactly as if I said “yes”?
  • I don’t see the situation the same as you see it. And I don’t view the “rules” of relationships/friendships the same as you view them.
  • Your belief that you “need” something, or the fact that you fantasized about me giving/doing/tolerating doesn’t create any kind of promise by me, or obligation.
  • My money, physical possessions, physical body, and time belong to me, not you.
  • The fact that you “can’t” control your behaviour, doesn’t require me to stick around and tolerate it. My rules, limits, and boundaries don’t magically disappear just because you “can’t” respect them.
  • Telling me that my boundaries are dysfunctional doesn’t constitute an entitlement to violate them.
  • My primary responsibility doesn’t revolve around complying with your demands. My primary responsibility is take care of my own needs, including my own financial self-support, and my own physical safety. That includes the responsibility to stay away from parasites and abusers. Because allowing some people into my life is like deliberately getting into a cage with a large, rabid animal.
  • The subject of this conversation is consent. And how you behave when I say “no” to you. This conversation is not about pestering or gaslighting me into saying “yes”.
  • You need to accept the limits and boundaries I set for what I will give/do/tolerate. And if you can’t or won’t, then the limits and boundaries will become even more restrictive, up to ceasing all contact. Accept what is offered, or you will get nothing at all from me.
  • I don’t have to be in this relationship/friendship. I have the right and the ability to abandon you at any time, for any reason. Such as if you don’t start respecting my boundaries. Or even just because I don’t feel like interacting with you anymore. This is a unilateral decision to be made by me, and doesn’t require your permission.

The fact that I was in a position to even say those things to a series of adults was a huge red flag. And none of it ever worked, or led to any of them understanding anything.

Sexual consent is a very high-stakes situation. Many, many people have been guilt-tripped, gaslighted, and coerced into sex acts that they didn’t want, in the context of a relationship. Many, many people have been violently raped in the context of a relationship. This guy is waving a huge red flag of an impending assault.

A related category of red flags is the general disrespect of you making your own decisions. Including things like micromanaging your appearance. That is an early sign of serious control issues that can gradually escalate to sexual coercion and violence. I want to emphasise that, you need to take all of his red flags, and all of his arrogance and entitlement and imaginary “rules” very, very seriously.

After he rapes you, there will be nothing that you can say or do to teach him that he did something wrong. And for you, it will already be too late, because it will already have happened. And no amount of arguing will erase the permanent impact upon you.

There are people sitting in prison for rape and other violence, who still refuse to comprehend, and who see themselves as innocent victims of the situation. They still believe that they were just exercising their “right” to do whatever they want, and have zero consideration for their victims.

When getting into a new relationship, or a new platonic friendship, it is vitally important to see how the person responds to being told “no”. You cannot confidently predict this until it happens. Things might seem to be proceeding OK for weeks, as long as you have been consistently saying “yes”. And then, you come to your first refusal (e.g. “No sex tonight, because it’s late and I’m physically too tired to do it”). Or they demand a new sex act that you don’t want. And that may be the turning point when you suddenly find out their attitude about consent.

But also look for a “no” situation that doesn’t involve sex. And do so before getting sexually involved.

People of all ages, and both men and women, can totally disrespect consent. I once knew a middle-aged female who believed that she was entitled to sex on demand from female partners. She sexually assaulted at least one, and probably more, and was completely unaware that she had done anything wrong. And couldn’t even imagine anyone dumping her to prevent a repeat.

She had two views about people saying “no” to her. One was that, the person had a “hangup”, and just wouldn’t admit to secretly wanting it. The other was that, people refused because they were too stupid to understand how much fun sex in general (or particular sex acts) would be. And that, pestering, gaslighting, arguing, and eventually using physical force was either giving them what they “really” wanted, or would be justified because they would learn that they enjoy the experience.

Nothing that anyone said or did ever got through to her. She burned through relationship after relationship after relationship (or really, more like a series of “booty-call” situations). With zero ability to learn from consequences, zero inclination to honestly examine her attitudes, and zero interest in changing her behaviour. She was convinced that, everyone who said “no”, or who set boundaries, or who dumped her, was dysfunctional. And that they refused to appreciate what a great partner she was.

Like your boyfriend, she believed that, anyone saying “no” to her was an act of abuse. And a violation of the rules and promises that supposedly come with entering a relationship. She believed that, if you don’t want to be assaulted, the burden is on you to say “yes” to literally any demand.

I disagree with the suggestions of game-playing (forcing him to eat, proposing the strap-on, etc). That makes it seem like some kind of negotiation, or mutual disrespect, or fight over the subject. He very likely is completely clear about his own right to say “no” and to enforce it. Because his wants and entitlements are central to his experience of the relationship, while viewing you as existing to serve him, and give him anything and everything he demands, without limits.

I also disagree with the comment about violence (i.e. stating the intent to kill them if they try to assault you). I’ve encountered people who will completely tune out that statement, and act like they didn’t even hear it.

Many, many people view sexual relationships, or platonic friendships as a one-way deal. They are here to take, and you are here to give.

Like your boyfriend, they are adamant that, relationships and friendships have universal, obvious “rules” that you have agreed to obey, simply by getting involved. Common relationship/friendship “rules” are that:

  • You never have the right to say “no” to them. About anything.
  • You don’t have the right to set any requirements, demands, or standards of your own.
  • You don’t have the right to impose any negative consequences for their abusive behaviour.
  • You don’t have the right to ever abandon them. Or even to have any restricted availability when they demand attention.

Naturally, those rules only apply to you, and not them.

Disrespect of consent applies to many things besides sex. That’s the problem with the “cup of tea” video, which I’ve seen before. I don’t believe for one second that that video (or similar approaches) will teach these people anything.

I have received severe disrespect of my right to say “no” to all of the following:

  • Being platonic “friends” with openly abusive individuals who contribute nothing but aggravation.
  • Buying into someone’s mindless grudge against a third party.
  • Handing over cash money, any time, any amount, for any purpose.
  • Allowing someone to live rent-free in my home.
  • Being people’s free, on-demand, personal limousine.
  • Alternately, being expected to accept “offers” of being given a ride home from a social situation, getting into a car with some creepy guy I don’t know.
  • Enabling and paying for other people’s drug habits. Including committing serious crimes.
  • Being guaranteed available any time they call and want attention or a favour.
  • Living in a geographic area that I don’t want to live in. Including being told that I was obligated to spent the rest of my life in an impoverished, small-minded small town in the middle of nowhere.
  • Moving to a “nice” low-crime neighbourhood that I couldn’t afford.
  • Having ongoing contact with my abusive mother. Including being told that I “have to” live in the same town as her, or even under the same roof. While also being bullied to go around lying about what a wonderful parent she was.
  • Quitting a job, merely because the other person wouldn’t be capable/willing to do it. Or otherwise behaving badly at a job (e.g. refusing to get work done), merely because the other person would do so.
  • Remaining stuck in a minimum wage, bottom-of-the-barrel job for the rest of my working life.
  • Being told how I can and cannot spend my money.
  • Disclosing private information, such as exact income and other financial details.
  • Disclosing my physical home address to people I just met.
  • Being treated like I should have dropped out of university, without finishing a degree, merely because the other person didn’t feel capable, and wouldn’t even attempt it.
  • Being told “you will continue to attend a low-quality, unprofessional, abusive institution that I call Low Rent Polytechnic, at which I had already had a very negative experience (described in another of my answers). Including signing up for remedial courses that I didn’t need, wouldn’t benefit from, surrounded by morons, while running up a huge loan. Just because said polytechnic was desperate for students who were actually capable of passing academically. (I headed straight to a far better institution).
  • Being told that I didn’t have the right to resist (or even complain about) open, physically threatening sexual harassment, which occurred at the aforementioned polytechnic.
  • Being told that I “have to” own and watch a television, merely because somebody else can’t think of any other leisure activities.
  • Having an acquaintance dictate what kind of clothing I am allowed to wear.
  • Personal space invasions, including physical touching without my consent, by people I barely know.
  • Generally being married or partnered, including claims that I “have to”do so, even if it isn’t with the person disrespecting my consent.
  • Having children that I don’t want, and cannot afford to support.
  • Being told to completely remove myself from society, merely because some acquaintance has a massive envy problem.
  • Being told to kill myself, merely because some acquaintance has a massive envy problem. And that wasn’t just one person who did that.
  • Having an acquaintance dictate what kind of medical care I may access, involving my body and my money.

Numerous people seriously expected me to slavishly comply with those bizarre, abusive demands. I’ve had people make demands that would have obviously had disastrous consequences if I had obeyed, with zero chance of benefit to anyone. Things that weren’t at all compatible with real-world adult functioning. All the way to things that were physically impossible. I’ve had people make some of those demands in the first conversation upon meeting.

Some people lock onto a demand, and just keep repeating it over and over and over. With escalating condescension, indignation, and agitation. Thinking that, they will wear you down, and exhaust your supply of “no”, until just cave in to get the argument to stop. Some will directly tell you that they intend to relentlessly pester you on and on until you comply.

Disrespect of consent can extend to every area of life, where you are making your own choices. Many, many people have absolutely no limit to their senses of entitlement to make demands and coerce others.

It isn’t just one type of person, or one type of demand, or one type of context. It’s absolutely pervasive. And they will never, ever learn to respect your boundaries or consent, regardless of what you say or do. Which is the problem with the “cup of tea” video, and similar approaches.

Have you ever heard the two big rules for training a dog not to do some bad behaviour? You need to impose the punishment the first time, and every time. The same principle applies to most humans. If you ever cave into a coercive event (e.g. continuing to demand sex after you have said “no”), he will learn that coercion works. And he will continue, and will escalate.

By remaining in the relationship, and arguing, and fantasising about helping him to “understand consent”, you are failing to impose any real consequences, or enforce any real boundaries. The more crap you tolerate, the more crap you will receive. He interprets you staying and engaging his crap as confirming that you can’t ever leave. He interprets each argument as making progress towards his goal. Or as you failing to face the inevitability of doing what he demands. And he thinks that, it is just a matter of time before you cave in, and lose the will, or even the ability, to ever say “no” to him again.

Black-and-white thinkers require black-and-white solutions. The only workable solution is to just physically get away from the person. Refuse all further contact. Any communication will revolve around trying to get you involved again, so he can abuse you some more, and repeat his demands.

The best case scenario with dumping him is a sense of great relief, and the perspective to see how bad he is, and the empowerment of asserting your right to boundaries and consent. The worst case scenario with dumping him is that you will be single while looking for a replacement who respects you, and who is already a decent adult without needing to be taught.

The best case scenario with staying is more conflict, arguments, and disrespect, until you get so sick and tired that you then dump him. The worst case scenario with staying is a devastating act of violence which will seriously harm you for the rest of your life. Many, many women have been raped, beaten, and/or killed by guys with this attitude. And neither you nor he are special or exempt from that possibility.

Why do doctors wait until chronic medical conditions such as high blood pressure or blood sugar become acute enough to cause damage before they will begin treatment? Why not start treatment with lower dose medications before damage begins?

Answered Jan 7, 2019

There are two angles here. Which relate to things other than blood pressure and blood glucose.

First, some patients are actually over-paranoid about minor symptoms or indications on tests. And some of them use “Dr. Google” to encourage that paranoia.

Also, some patients are negligent, and have behaviours which cause/encourage their medical damage.

Second, there are doctors (with actual legit medical degrees) who are cavalier, and even incompetent, to the point of compromising patient safety/health/lifespan.

I have personally witnessed a situation where a very informed/knowledgeable patient faced a dismissive and ignorant doctor.

The patient tried to explain major issues in her medical history, and the doctor didn’t seem to comprehend. And also failed to write down basic things like medication use, while denying the patient’s concerns about side-effects. Which are actually mentioned in the information sheet included with the prescription pills. And which the patient had studied by reading legitimate scientific journal articles (because she is actually a scientist).

That doctor failed to comprehend the timeframe of the symptoms, and ordered tests, which the patient (who has a degree in a relevant field) knew were irrelevant.

A different, actually-relevant set of blood tests came back with alarming numbers (with the patient’s eyes bugging out as she read it). And that doctor dismissed it as, “Some people are out of range, everything is just fine for them”. Without mentioning that, only 2.5 percent of the population is in that group. And getting a creepy tone when the patient said that she would compare the recent readings with some previous ones.

And, speaking of creepy, that doctor got a creepy tone when the patient requested further tests for a viral disease which may have been sexually transmitted (although she was later cleared on that).

That patient was also bullied by a nurse at the same clinic, trying to convince her that she is in menopause, when she knows otherwise.

The patient was told that, her physical symptoms aren’t real.

She wasn’t trying to scam sympathy or pain meds. She was trying to stop vomiting.

That patient is now awaiting evaluation for a potentially life-threatening (and actually rather common) condition. And won’t be seeing that doctor again, unless necessary to pick up results from a referral (N.B. this is the New Zealand public heath system). Delayed diagnosis and treatment increases the danger of an emergency arising.

There is an enormous culture of condescension towards patients, by medical professionals. They assume that you couldn’t possibly know anything about how the human body is put together, or how it works. They assume that you don’t know your own medical history, or your risk factors, or your symptoms.

Some of them simply don’t listen when you try to give them important information.

Also regarding the NZ public heath system, we have waiting lists here. This became a political issue 10 or 15 years ago, with excessive time frames. The government solved that by kicking people off of waiting lists for examinations and procedures. Just to make the lists look shorter and more efficient.

They have actually told people that they aren’t sick enough, and to reapply when their problem becomes worse. Which for some, will inevitably happen, increasing the chance of complications, emergencies, and fatalities.

Why do we teach our children not to bully and to report people hurting others, and then as adults we try to stay out of other people’s trouble rather than helping them?

Answered Jan 6, 2019

I don’t get any impression of anyone teaching their children about bullying.

The parents of bullies are likely to be bullies, themselves. And so are likely to view that behaviour as acceptable.

Other parents are bullies, and expect their own children to just cave in and tolerate bullying, from anyone and everyone.

Spoiled brats bullied their way through childhood, and go on to expect to bully their way through adulthood.

Many people bully their spouses or partners.

I’ve seen people bully their neighbours over incredibly petty grudges. Including that the target simply wouldn’t be the bully’s personal friend.

There is bullying in education, from primary school up to university.

I recently witnessed a health care “professional” bully a patient.

I have encountered people who will start openly bullying, in the first conversation upon meeting a new acquaintance. In situations that were supposed to be about light socialising.

In any situation with money involved, you can expect bullying.

An employer will bully employees.

Employees will bully their coworkers.

I’ve seen businesses try to bully prospective customers.

The problem here is in your question.

People do NOT teach their children not to bully. And do NOT teach their children to intervene when witnessing bullying, up to, and including violent crime.

Parents very often teach their child to either BE bullies, or to look the other way, or to engage in victim-blaming.

And it often escalates to worse than looking the other way to bullying. See somebody being physically assaulted on the street? Pull out your phone and take a video. Not to aid the police in apprehending the offender(s), but just because it’s exciting to witness violence.

Why are other people so curious about my lack of children and choosing to be childfree at 38?

Answered Jan 4, 2019

It’s two time-based issues.

First, the biological clock.

No, they aren’t worried that you might miss the window of opportunity to have the fun experience of parenting. Rather, they are worried that you might get away with shirking an alleged obligation to have kids.

They need you to eventually have kids in order to validate their own lives. To confirm that, literally everyone has kids, and nobody has a choice. Because many of them actually refuse to believe that they themselves had any choices. Including making poor choices that they regret. Via contraceptive negligence, with the unplanned child they believe just “happened”. Or by buying into the societal script of deliberately having kids, because it’s just what every real adult supposedly does.

If you were say, 25, and didn’t have kids, they would still hold out hope of it “happening” eventually. If you said at that age that you never want kids, they will be condescending, and treat you like you just aren’t old/mature enough to grasp the compulsory breeding that you “will” engage in when you become a “real” grownup, like maybe age 30.

When you get past 30, they start feeling entitled to an explanation or apology for what is “wrong” with you. Or a reassurance you are now accepting your fate, and practically ready to have unprotected sex with random street bums, just to produce the required 2-point-5 kids.

The second issue is more general. It’s called, “settling down”. It’s largely based on the idea that, everyone’s life trajectory includes getting married, having kids, being trapped, and then never doing anything new, or making any choices ever again. It also includes things like remaining within a very limited geographic area, being stuck in a job you hate, and never pursuing any more formal education.

“Settling down” means that your life story is now over. And they want to see this happen to you as soon as possible. They will try to convince you that you have fallen behind schedule, and are immature, unrealistic, irresponsible, unstable, etc. if you don’t have the handcuffs on (yet).

The people who “settled down” long before 38 may feel personally insulted, and entitled to socially retaliate.

Should I write a note to the cashier at a supermarket to tell her that she’s kind and sweet and that I hope to get a chance to get to know her?

Answered Jan 3, 2019

I’ve worked at jobs dealing with the public, and experienced various inappropriate behaviours and attitudes from people who ranged from stupid to dangerous.

And your idea would definitely fall under “inappropriate”. Or to be more direct, creepy.

I was nice and sometimes quite friendly, but my motivation for being there was to exchange labour for money, not to socialise.

I encountered:

  • People who expected me to stop doing the job in order to hang out and socialise with them, just because they were bored. This included situations where I was paid strictly on how much I got done, without any hourly wage. So hanging out with them would have reduced my earnings.
  • People wanting “free” products or services, and failing to understand why that was unrealistic, and that I wasn’t there to owe them personal favours.
  • People who failed to comprehend that, while they were having leisure time, I was there to work.
  • A random guy (a customer I only met once) who directly asked if I would call him if he gave me his phone number.
  • Creepy vibes and harassment from men (and the occasional woman) up to the level of direct sexual propositions. My favourite was the charmingly intoxicated gentleman who said, “Ah pay you wa lick mah bitch’s pussah”. (I declined that offer).
  • Highly threatening attitudes in situations where it was just me, the customer, and nobody else.

When very young, I actually did allow a few people into my personal life, after meeting them at work. It was always terrible idea. They ranged from time-wasters up to dangerous.

I did have a couple of friends whom I met as coworkers. But a lot of coworkers are just completely annoying, so I prefer clear separation.

If I received a note like you suggest, I wouldn’t contact the person. And would try to avoid them in the future.

Dealing with the public (or with business-to-business customers) is constant stress from their constant bad attitudes and behaviour. Including mass refusal to respect basic personal boundaries.

Being kind, sweet, friendly, attractive, smiling, etc is not an invitation. You might think she is nice, but she has no reason to trust you or feel comfortable getting personal with you. She doesn’t know if you’re a stalker or rapist, but she will very possibly perceive that you don’t respect the boundaries of the situation (which is a red flag).

If object of your attention is physically attractive, she might be extremely tired of getting this kind of approach from random guys, when she is just trying to earn a living. Customer-on-cashier sexual harassment has even resulted in an expensive court case and organised labour action:

Are Businesses Liable for Sexual Harassment by Customers?


Hastings Women’s Law Journal 2000

How crazy is your mother?

Answered Jan 2, 1019

Everyone who actually has met my mother views her as a dangerous, mindlessly hateful sociopath.

Everyone who hasn’t met her projects their mommy-worship fantasies, and assume her to be a wonderful person. I have been persistently called a liar after describing her actual behaviour.

The most charitable interpretation of my mother is that she has stroke induced brain damage. Which causes a total lack of empathy, unprovoked rage, violence, and unrealistic expectations.

She had at least two known strokes before the age of thirty. And around age fifty, got her head scanned, and was found to have more lesions, where the brain tissue had died.

She knows that she has had multiple strokes, but has directly denied having brain damage.

She ought to have been forceably confined to a secure facility, and never released. I wouldn’t care if it was a psych ward or a prison. But she was never held accountable for any of her actions. And instead, was enabled to raise and abuse three children.

She also had very poor decision-making. As I’ve described in one of my other answers, she expected all of her children to continue living with her, after we were adults. And expected for none of us to ever be employed. And expected my father to continue sending her most of his income for the rest of her life. So effectively child support for children who were actually adults.

She also tried to gaslight me with the idea that I was severely mentally retarded, and that I lacked the minimal intelligence to ever work or live independently. I never believed this, but she persisted for years.

She has directly admitted to having criminally abused all of her children. But also refused to comprehend why anyone might form a negative opinion about this. And has also attempted to minimise or deny the severity of her behaviour. While admitting that she doesn’t remember large portions of her life.

Her level of violence had a risk of going all the way to homicide.

She has basically admitted to lacking any empathy for other human beings. And lacking any insight on the impact of chronic violence, and chronic psychological abuse.

She had a lot of violent fantasies, and loved hyper-violent war themed movies, which she would watch over and over. And would boast that her career aspiration was be employed as a mercenary soldier, because killing people would be fun. She would say this seriously, as if it were a perfectly viable and reasonable plan, and never admitted that it was just a fantasy.

She loved threatening to actually kill her children.

When I was thirteen, a neighbour tipped off the authorities, who started an abuse investigation. They were going to start sending a social worker to our home for periodic monitoring visits. She responded by grabbing all of us children, and moving to another part of the country, and even attempted to leave before my father got home from work that day. She also suggested that she was considering falsely accusing my father of molesting my sister, in order to justify running.

When I was a bit older, my sister started acting out by frequently hitting me, just because she was in a bad mood, and had learned by example. My mother told me that I was expected to tolerate it. My mentally ill brother put me in serious fear for my safety, and it was clear that my mother believed it would be perfectly acceptable if he assaulted me. A solid majority of women utterly fail to comprehend why I removed myself from that situation at eighteen.

She seriously believed that she could continue physically abusing all of her children after we were adults, and that we would just tolerate it. She toned it down somewhat after the legal investigation, and also when she noticed that my brother and I were physically bigger than her, but she never completely stopped hitting.

One time, when i was seventeen, I was driving (because she couldn’t drive), and she waved her hand in my face, just barely stopping short of repeatedly slapping me. While the car was moving, in traffic. So I had to explain to her that this was dangerous, and that she could find herself dealing with other adults if she caused a crash. She actually offered to sit in the back seat, basically acknowledging that she didn’t feel that she could control herself if I was within reach.

She has directly stated the intent to criminally abuse my sister’s children. My idiot sister still has contact with her, but set a strict rule on her kids to never be in a room alone with my mother.

While working in a rest home, she criminally abused one of the elderly residents, but managed to get away with it. And she didn’t even bother to deny this when I confronted her about it.

Both my father and my sister concur with my view that, my mother’s physical and psychological abuse was the main cause of my brother’s suicide.

If I were ever in the same room with her again, she would very possibly physically attack me.

Years ago, I spoke with my uncle (i.e. my mother’s bother), and he stated that, my mother was hateful, and prone to unprovoked violence, even when she was a child. She was born evil.

The last I heard (around 2005), my mother had the idea that I was tapping her telephone to spy on her. And she told my sister that, if I ever come anywhere near her, she will call the police, with whatever criminal accusation she can come up with, to try to cause me to be arrested/charged/incarcerated.

The entire female half of society still treats me like I am the bad person for daring to cut the umbilical cord. About fifty percent will deny that any mother would ever behave like she did. And the other fifty percent will blame me, and tell me that I caused and deserved it. I jettisoned the abusive mother many years ago, but I still have to live with the abusive society (or, again, just the female half). I’ve been told that I don’t have the right or even the ability to stay away from her.

As I said at the start of this answer, the only people who comprehend are those who have actually met my mother. And absolutely none of them want anything to do with her, either.

What is the most ignorant thing someone has said to you?

Answered Dec 31, 2018

There is no lower limit to the ignorance that you may encounter.

A lot of this is economic. Other angles relate to general life trajectory. Examples of false but intractable beliefs:

  • No employer will ever pay more than minimum wage, to any employee, for any job.
  • No employer will ever pay for more than forty hours of work per week, and there is a law that says they don’t have to.
  • Employers pay employees simply to be physically present, and don’t have the right to even care if you got any work done.
  • If your job position is eliminated, the employer is legally required to give you another one (i.e. redundancy/layoffs don’t really happen).
  • All employees put forth the least possible level of effort that they feel forced into, while remaining barely employed.
  • Everyone lives paycheque-to-paycheque, spending down to zero dollars every two weeks.
  • People only live in low-rent, high-crime neighbourhoods because they enjoy the atmosphere, and everyone can afford to live in a nice area.
  • It is physically impossible to live in a modest, one-room studio apartment, or such a situation is equivalent to a cardboard box on the street.
  • There are zero armed robberies/assaults in high-risk workplaces. So the workers don’t have any excuse to be paranoid.
  • Street crime doesn’t really happen.
  • Jobs are all divided into men’s jobs and women’s jobs.
  • Chronic non-workers think that, anyone with any job can afford to hand them any amount of cash, as fast as they can spend it. This is known as “friendship”.
  • Many people think that the only possible leisure activity is watching television, and never heard of reading books.
  • Many people never heard of learning anything outside of a formal school environment/arrangement.
  • Everyone hates formal education, and only experiences to the extent of being coerced.
  • Going to university is considered bad behaviour, worthy of social punishment.
  • Students can sit in a classroom, playing video games, playing with the phone, and having irrelevant conversations while ignoring the teacher, and will still magically receive passing grades.
  • Everyone is obligated to tolerate sexual harassment, involving physical touching, in educational and workplace situations. Or maybe your aren’t even allowed to view it as harassment.  I’ve had women say this to me.
  • Many people have never heard of child abuse. Especially mothers who don’t love their children, and criminally beat them for fun.
  • Immigrants are all just on vacation, and have to go home real soon now. No matter how many years they have been in this country.
  • It is impossible for an adult to relocate to a new city. For university, or a job, or any other reason.
  • Everyone lives in the same town as their mother, because everyone still has the umbilical cord attached
  • Every decent person can call the Bank Of Mommy And Daddy to make a withdrawal, any time they are short on cash.
  • Everyone has a middle class background.
  • Everyone is married/partnered, because nobody is capable of living alone.
  • Everyone has unplanned children.
  • Everyone likes a certain sex act, including people who consistently refuse.

Another general principle is that, someone who lacks a basic skill, will believe that nobody has that skill. Also, people with low skill levels (e.g. poor literacy, vocabulary, general knowledgebase, etc.) are generally oblivious to this fact.

Many people believe that, their own first-hand experience of life is comprehensive, and that, nobody else has any wider (or even just different) life experiences.

A solid majority of people firmly believe one, some, most, or even all of these things.

Why do people stay in unhealthy or abusive relationships?

Answered Dec 25, 2018

I want to emphasise that, all of these principles apply not only to abusive sexual relationshits, but also to abusive platonic friendshits, and abusive family-of-origin relationshits.

In no particular order:

  • Some people’s childhood/adolescent periods were filled with relentless physical and/or psychological abuse. This primes them to tolerate abuse when they become adults. They don’t have a model of being treated decently, and have developed very low standards. People who don’t have such backgrounds are totally clueless about the impact (or even the existence) of childhood abuse, and may aggravate the problem with their judgmental, victim-blaming attitudes.
  • When you are too open socially, and have poor filtering mechanisms (which can be based on poorly-filtered environments), the abuse may continue, as an adult, into even superficial social situations. Thus damaging your mindset even further. As you are told over and over and over that you deserve hostility. In my experience, low-income environments, and female-dominated (or worse, all-female) environments are saturated with relentless, mass negativity/hostility.
  • Loneliness. A person might feel that, an abusive relationshit, or platonic friendshit, is better than none at all.
  • The bad individual (or just the situation with the bad individual) repels any good individuals in the target/victim’s life. This increases loneliness, and also deprives you of any healthy, sane “voice of reason” objectively observing and pointing out how bad the abuse(r) is.
  • The boiling frog principle. The idea is, if you put a frog into water that is already boiling, it will immediately jump out. But, if you put the frog into room-temperature water, and turn the heat up very slowly, the frog won’t notice, until it is too late. Abusers often start out nice and friendly, and turn the abuse level up gradually.
  • Financial dependence. Although the husband or boyfriend beats you occasionally, he also pays the rent. Although I have certainly seen abusers who expected the victim to financially support them. Including in a strictly platonic friendshit.

Two more principles are based on unrealistic optimism:

  • The desire to help the abuser. After being previously abused and judged, you might feel the need to prove that you are a decent, good person. And one way to prove that, is by helping people. Devoting your time/effort/resources to improving someone else’s life. Society plays a lot of “lip-service” to the idea that, helping others is a sign being a good person. Abusers often have very bad practical situations, down to such basic things as being unemployable, or unable to keep a roof over their own head. Some may be experiencing serious consequences of substance abuse. And so you feel sorry for them, and stick around, taking escalating abuse, as you desperately try to get your “help” to work. With the fear of how badly the poor little abuser will suffer if you abandon her. (Don’t worry – she will just move on to the next chump, by starting out very friendly at first.) Abusers love to use your own empathy and desire to be a good person as a weapon against you.
  • The hope that, if you just explain things clearly and simply enough, and if you do so enough times, she will finally listen and comprehend. Like when you try to explain actions leading to consequences. Or if you try to explain limits and boundaries. Or if you directly say, “If you keep doing this abusive behaviour, you will eventually reach the limit of my tolerance. And I will abandon you completely, with zero further chances. And you will get nothing from me, ever again.” You stick around because you are waiting for them to finally pull their head out of their rectum.

Both of these last two are based on two very misguided ideas, which had severe negative impacts on me when I was much younger, and much more tolerant:

  • Projection of rationality.
  • The belief/expectation that people were prepared to use that rationality to change their behaviour patterns.

Abusers (including “friendshit” abusers) thoroughly cured me of those two delusions.

I only tolerated a relatively small series of abusers for periods of weeks or months each, and was finished by age 26. Some people have a much longer series of abusers. Or they lock onto one, and stick around for years, decades, or even their whole lives.

What is the most ignorant thing anyone has ever said about your religious beliefs/lack thereof?

Answered Dec 25, 2018

It was someone I had just met. The light getting-to-know-you talking somehow got to the concept of an afterlife (i.e. remaining conscious and going someplace after you die). She must have brought it up, because I wouldn’t have.

I politely said that I didn’t believe any kind of afterlife.

The other person became totally indignant. It wasn’t just a matter of disagreeing.

She actually accused me of being highly dangerous. And likely to go around severely harming people. Possibly including serious violence. The logic was apparently that, the only incentive preventing people (including me) from harming others is fear of going to Hell, and promise of going to Heaven, after they die.

She was so busy accusing me, and telling me to get away from her, that she couldn’t hear anything more that I said. She wasn’t going to listen to anything about personal standards of morality, or about real-world punishments and rewards.

Another situation involved me and two very superficial acquaintances. They were talking about how some other person, Joe (whom I didn’t know) had recently died. But it was OK, because Joe was in heaven now. One of them turned to me, and said, “You believe Joe is in heaven, don’t you?” With a tense tone, clearly trying to intimidate me into agreeing.

I calmly said, “no”. But also said it quietly, because I just wanted the subject to go away, since she was being so totally inappropriate.

The ignorance issue there was her thinking that I didn’t have the right or ability to form my own views on the subject, or to disagree with her.

Another ignorance point in both of the above cases was about basic social manners. And how inappropriate it is to bring up the subject of religion in light social conversation with people you barely know.