Predators and Prey
On a psychological level we’re all constantly in a dance with one another. When one takes a step forwards, the other automatically takes a step back, and when one takes a step back, the other automatically takes a step forwards.
As long as we’re unaware of our behavior, and don’t consciously choose our actions, we’re locked in a state of ignorant reaction. And in this state, what we do is decided by what happens to us, without us realizing it. When it comes to inter-personal relations this causes us to be each others predators and prey.
In this animalistic dance it’s not always the predators that take the lead by attacking, causing the other to quickstep back in defense. Like it needs to respond to the pressure, the emotional space between us needs to respond to a created vacuum as well. This means that when someone retreats for no reason, it may spontaneously trigger another to advance.
This irrational tango happens on many levels. It’s triggered in single moments, during conversations, throughout friendships, with strangers and familiar faces, and in group dynamics of all shapes and sizes. We also alternate between being predator and prey depending on who we boogie with and who’s trying to cut in.
To remain neutral is always the best way to avoid, or even rise above this mental survival of the fittest. But sometimes a situation require us to act with opposite moves. Standing up to invaders may cause them to back down and showing yourself as friendly may cause another to stop seeing you as the enemy.
Become aware of how you act towards the people around you and consciously decide whether or not you actually want to behave this way. Changing your demeanor in existing situations may shake up relationships for a while, but once you stop letting others waltz over you, in the end those relationships will surely rock.