You remember when you were little and the stove was on? Your mom would tell you to not touch it because it was on and it was very hot. So what did you do?
Do you need some aloe vera?
Cause you just got BURNED. lol.
You touched the stove.
A lot of times, I feel like this is how we act with toxic people. I’ve seen some people get hurt time and time again by the same person, but they go back to them even though they’ve been burned so many times before. Hell, it’s happened to all of us at some point or another; whether it’s with a friend, family member, or significant other. At first it’s hard to have yourself or someone you know go through this, but as time goes on, I actually think it becomes more and more interesting. What wires us to go after someone we know will inevitably hurt us? What wires us to touch the hot stove when we know full well, it’s hot?
A girl I knew kept consistently going after a guy who was incredibly promiscuous. She would hook up with him and be scared to tell me about it the next day because she knew what I would say:
“You know he’s not going to change and you’re going to get hurt AGAIN, why do you keep doing this to yourself?”
Fast forward a couple days, she’d be crying AGAIN, because she found out this guy had slept with someone else...AGAIN; or he had started dating someone else, that AGAIN, was not her. This probably happened upwards of 30 times. No matter how many times I told her to steer clear, she kept going back to this same guy and getting burned. & ladies let me tell you something, if a guy wants to be with you, HE WILL. So if you’ve been chasing after a guy for a couple of months and he’s still not with you, save yourself the heartache and move on.
So, why are we inclined to touch a hot stove of a person over and over again? Yes, we recognize when someone has hurt us consistently. Yes, we hear our friends warnings. Why do we not heed them? We know an outcome where we get hurt is almost 100% inexorable with certain people yet we set ourselves up for that hurt anyways.
Does this make us emotional masochists? Maybe; but I think it’s more than that. I think it comes down to wanting some sort of control in a f*cked up situation. We may not have control over if the stove is hot or not, but we DO have control over whether we touch it.
I distinctly remember going through this situation with one of my exes. No I don’t think my ex is a bad guy at all, but we weren’t good for each other which I initially refused to accept (hindsight is 20/20 people. & looking back at myself in this situation, I was clueless lol).
After my ex and I broke up, I desperately wanted control in an uncontrollable situation. We weren’t together but I kept an open line of communication with him via text, Facebook, and the college party scene (good idea Alisha, NOT). That open line of communication I had control of. Would I text back or not? Would I respond to that message? Would I show up at his party?
Regardless of the little bit of control I felt I had, each time it still led to another emotional downfall because we weren’t getting back together. Yet I kept that line of communication open for a year and got burned, time and time and time and time and time AND TIME again lol.
I think most of us convince ourselves that we can change the person who is burning us. We convince ourselves that this 87,238,473rd time around, we’re going to make the relationship work. But what we fail to recognize, is that a tiger can’t change its stripes…unless it’s a magical tiger lol. What I mean is some people are sh*tty people and simply stay that way. Some relationships are sh*tty and aren’t meant to be saved. It’s futile to frantically try to change a person when it can’t be done. A person can only change themselves.
So how is the cycle of touching the hot stove over and over again, ever broken?
It really just depends on the situation. The cycle I mentioned above with the girl chasing after the promiscuous guy, wasn’t broken until that guy moved to a different state…so a physical move can certainly be an answer lol. The cycle with my ex wasn’t broken until I mentally closed that chapter of my life and was open to dating other people. The answer there was personally accepting a situation for what it was.
Every situation is different but once you recognize the stove will ALWAYS be hot, identify what has to happen for you to stop touching it. Till next time!