Why do you think some men take rejection from women harder than others?
Over the past few days there has been a lot in the news about the recent killings in Santa Barbara. According to video and documents Elliott Rodger left behind he was very angry about being a virgin at age 22 as well as being rejected by every "beautiful woman" he approached. Almost 5 years ago George Sodini age 48 brought four handguns into a LA Fitness gym outside of Pittsburgh and killed 3 women because he too was angry about being rejected countless times. They call them "involuntary celibates". Maybe they were aiming at women out of their league! Isn't rejection simply a part of life?
I stick to my original answer: emotional retardation. As technology accelerates, I think rejection takes on a whole new meaning with the advent of social media. I think being disliked in the 5th grade and later popular was the norm. Now you can be disliked by more than just the 20 or so people in your class. There's a new breed of jellyfish in the game.
Good point! I also believe some of these guys are chasing after only model types who will never have an interest in them. They limit their own options for finding happiness. Today is not forever! Online dating offers worldwide possibilities.
they may not be able to distinguish between tv and reality. and youtube. yikes. youtube is reality purgatory. strange times.
Coming of age movies, TV shows, & music videos have probably set up a lot of young men to have "unrealistic expectations" when it comes to dating and having sex with "hot" looking women. It's very competitive when trying to attract popular people
RealestMotherDear brought up a good point on how social media has changed things in that way. I also believe that people who take it that hard already have mental/emotional issues that prevent them from having healthy relationships; they may socially awkward and don't know how to approach or speak to women. Approaching women out of their league might be part of the problem, but there is someone for everyone. If that kid was an "involuntary virgin" at his age, there had to be bigger problems than the girls he approached being out of his league.
The media has made it appear as though every beautiful young woman is a candidate for "Girls Gone Wild" and they'll have sex with anyone! When it doesn't happen that way some guys feel inadequate and eventually become angry with the world.
Rejection is by far one of the norms of life. Being in sales I can tell you they tell you to get rejected 100 times before you find the one that won't. If only they could carry sales training into schools and teach children something that obviously isn't being taught at home. Even if it is taught the mixture of biological issues and environmental issues could push past that teaching. Children should be taught early in life that life is not fair. It isn't meant to be. Sadly many look at others they don't really know and assume because they look happy on the outside that they really are. Many times the football player with all the girls is just as sad as the guy on the side starring at those girls wishing they liked him. Some people have the "suck it up" gene and some people have the "I'm a victim" gene. Sad reality is typically the "I'm the victim" people are the ones rewarded with the most attention in the end.
Having been in sales for several years myself I can attest to the fact a lot of people would benefit by learning to approach life with a sales mindset. Rejection is the same as saying NEXT! You move on and you get better at reading "buy signals".
Insecurity, I suppose. If you're confident in yourself then you'll be able to push past rejection easier. I think it hurts everyone but some are much more sensitive to it than others. I've gone through phases in my life where sometimes I'm much more secure than others, and it's definitely easier to brush things off when you're happy with yourself.
I find this story incredibly sad because 22 is not that old. There's so much pressure on adolescents and young adults to have sex. A 22-year-old virgin is nothing shocking. It's really sad that this guy couldn't just spin it to mean something different, like "Yeah I'm a 22-year-old virgin but I haven't met the right person yet."
He was obviously pretty well-off, had a family with Hollywood connections, was decent looking, etc. so the fact that he was unsuccessful with women says, to me, that he was probably pretty socially awkward/inappropriate. Just flat out not knowing how to behave in social situations or around other people would probably contribute to a more extreme reaction to rejection as well, because it's hard for that person to know why it's happening or how to make it better.
You're right about age 22 still being young. However in the U.S. boys often view male virginity as if it were a disease! LOL! Some guys have been known to lie about their experience to impress one another. Socially awkward & lack of confidence to
Quite hard to take as an adolescent living in a small town and i am thinking of the lyric in a song (don't know it's title or the singer) 'Think of how my life's gone by, how it's done me wrong.
Some men react differently to rejection due to the upbringing. Not every male as been taught to show emotions and he can also be sensitive to issues making him to show his emotions easily.It all depends on the way he was raised.
Some people tie too much of their self-worth to external things. Sometimes to things which aren't even attainable. A common one is people with eating disorders such as anorexia who have in their heads an ideal for their body that isn't even humanly achievable and quite a few of them will destroy themselves in that pursuit.
I suspect a similar thing happened with Elliot. Sex became something he not only tied his self-worth to but that he put on a very tall pedestal, so much so that it was unattainable. Even having sex, might not have been enough, in the same way that an Anorexic losing 10 pounds isn't.
This wasn't an ordinary situation of rejection. It was an overwhelming and deep sense of alienation, isolation, and pain. Just as wanting to look good, for most people, is an ordinary part of life, but anorexia isn't.
People need to have a bit of mettle in life, but at the same time we need to recognize when struggles are beyond the norm. This kid needed help and didn't get it.
Sodini's notes have some similar themes to Elliot's. Both expressed the same sense of fatal despair and terrible isolation.
And just to be clear, what these two men did is unforgivable, and talking about their experiences is only because I think it is an important conversation which needs to be had for the sake of the boys and men out there who might be struggling with similar feelings.
I have for a long time now felt like we are failing our boys. We talk very little about their experiences, give them little guidance, have completely absurd notions of masculinity, and the only tool we seem to universally teach them to use well is violence.
junkseller, Thanks for your insightful answer. You have an excellent point about society failing boys. Too much of their masculinity is associated sexual conquests and violence. If they're not perceived as tough or a player they feel inadequate.
Rejection can be a bitter pill to swallow at times by both men and women.
There is a massive dose of psychology at work here.
In order to even attempt to understand how and why some people react and often "over-react" to rejection, requires answers to a number of pertinent questions.
It's fairly safe however to determine that an individual's level of emotional maturity and sense of self-confidence as well as overall mental stability, can be largely responsible for a severely adverse reaction to a simple, one-time rejection.
As for Elliot Rodger and the recent tragedy, his issues go well beyond his inability to deal with "rejection." Little by little, more details about this young man have been discovered and publicized.....Elliot has been described as "troubled," "strange," "painfully shy & socially awkward," since childhood (as young as 8 years old, being placed into therapy)
I believe we will all ultimately come to understand the serious complexities involved in this horrific event.
I am not familiar with the Pittsburgh case you mention. However, it's fairly reasonable to view such violent & lethal actions are not those of mentally healthy individuals, by any stretch of the imagination. The biggest problem of course for family, professionals and the general public is that these crimes are random and instantaneous. Fragile psyches simply explode for what appears to be no reason at all. Often a mere word or action sets the unstable person off as though a destructive flash of lightening.
Sadly, it is often only in hind-sight that red flags & warnings come to light.
The major question and concern then becomes....HOW can this be avoided and exactly WHAT is to be done to evade such tragedies.
We have to face the hard core facts of the reality & frequent atrocities of human behavior that cause us to be several decades away from any solutions.
fpherj48, Thanks for your answer. It's unfortunate there are these ticking time bombs walking around which we can't do very much to stop. Elliott passed a background check for guns but it's not just about guns since he killed 3 people with a knife
Exactly, dashing. You're right! Elliot was determined to kill...in whatever manner with whatever weapon available. A background check is often useless, especially when it's a manipulator able to deceive & hide his illness.
Many men like that seem to deliberately aim for women they KNOW will reject them, simply so they can have a reason to feel angry.
If you can be angry about something, you can externalize it - and then you can lay the blame on others, rather than having to accept that you yourself are the true root of all your problems.
I believe it's a method of avoiding unpleasant introspection by trying to turn someone else into an effigy for problems.
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