I’m Not Your Scapegoat: An Honest Man's Opinion With A Psychological Perspective
The Scapegoat Attribution
After awakening this morning, I picked up my phone and jumped on social media. The first video in my Feed was of a man sharing his opinion that all men cheat.
My immediate thought was, don’t project your character flaws on me - using men as scapegoats. Lying and scheming to be with others while in a committed relationship isn’t a characteristic that I possess. I’m sure that many men and women of integrity possess the same awareness regarding themselves.
For one, witnessing domestic violence as a youth fully informs me of the psychological and social damage that accompanies infidelity. Children outside of a marriage or committed relationship further undermines trust and any financial goals that are usually established between partners. Then there’s the constant lying and persisting deception required to hide infidelity from a partner. There’s not enough time in a day to do everything that must be done and handle unnecessary drama.
Are You Guilty or Is It All In Your Mind?
As I consider the subject of cheating men and women, two terms come to mind: deflection and projection.
Deflection is the act of shifting blame onto someone or something else. When a cheater deflects, they attempt to lessen or relieve themselves of personal guilt by blaming the external factor. (Mentality: I only cheated because he or she always work late, and there’s never anytime for me.)
Projection is the act of projecting one’s negative emotions onto someone else. A cheater is projecting when he or she pursues infidelity from believing that their partner is being unfaithful. Like deflection, projection encompasses blame.
The broad claim that “all men cheat” can be classified as a deflective or projective tactic. But whatever category fits, such a belief sheds light on a believer’s character:
With the world total population exceeding 7.8 billion people across 7 continents, it is impossible for you to meet, not to mention personally experience every man or woman in existence to make a broad statement. However, if you're accustomed to casting your net in the same pond, the probability is great that you'll catch the same types of people.
Some of the Reasons People Cheat:
They are selfish. Cheaters seek self-gratification regardless of the damage caused to others. (Mentality: I see what I want and I’m going to get it.)
They are dishonest people—lying to obtain the object of their attention. The typical cheater will never disclose intentions of cheating to their partners. If a cheater does, he or she risks losing whatever self-perceived advantage they have in the relationship. In other words, the partner could very well decide to separate, which the cheater fears. This final assertion aligns with the next point.
Fear. Cheaters may be particularly fearful of being alone—an emotional driver of their entry into multiple relationships. At the same time, they are selfish and dishonest. They are unlikely to inform their partner of infidelity, fearing that the partner will leave. Power exists within the secret. Thus, lies and deception are employed to hinder discovery.
Immaturity. Cheaters usually do not take responsibility for how their actions negatively impact others. They also lack understanding regarding the essentials of establishing and maintaining healthy relationships with their partners.
Enjoy promiscuity. Think about what cheating means. A cheater sees no wrongdoing or risk in being intimate with multiple partners and using manipulation to achieve his or her goals.
How does one avoid becoming entangled with a cheater?
Have a healthy self-esteem. People who possess a healthy self-esteem typically maintain a positive concept of self and know their worth. They are likely to avoid negative people and when it comes to relationships, actively evaluate the person considered for dating and ultimately, marriage. Lastly, people with a healthy self-esteem are more resistant to toxic people, and may even be a turnoff to the latter party.
Be secure in yourself! You might know where I’m going here. Don’t be desperate. Someone wants to show you attention and affection? Great! But you should be fully capable of supporting and showering yourself with love. You are the first person in your life to make you feel good about yourself on a daily basis. People will come and go. You should not only expect these occurrences, but be preparedly adaptive.
Be emotionally and financially stable. Cheaters, and manipulative people for that matter, are good at providing for whatever deficiency they perceive in a victim’s life. Cheaters exploit that weakness to make their victims become dependent upon them emotionally and/or financially.
Be direct and ask questions, and do it early in the acquaintance. There is nothing wrong with asking someone personal questions, if the two of you have intentions for dating, being intimate, or marriage. You must understand there are risks to not asking questions. In the world we live, people are coming up missing or murdered, sexually assaulted, or robbed with regularity. Don’t believe me, binge-watch crime investigative shows. You can’t reverse victimization. It is better to be safe than sorry or dead. When a person becomes defensive or angry because you asked questions related to character, finances, past relationships, STD status, criminal history, etcetera, consider their behavior a red flag. STOP!!! Do not pass go and collect $200. I will type it again. It is better to be safe than sorry or dead! Honest people have no problem with being transparent and expressing their intentions.
Take care. Until next time.