Crazies can wind up hurting or killing you. Some Crazies,
like the female character in "Fatal Attraction," and Bob in
my true case history of "The
Nosebiter", are very seductive at first, because they
love you so obsessively.
Some crazies are the opposite of Bob. They can't love at
all because of something in their past, and that makes them
even more potentially dangerous. Some are harmless-crazy,
which still doesn't make them marriage material.
"How on earth can you tell if someone is crazy before you
get involved with them? They always seem sane in the
beginning," asked Barbara, one of my clients who had a track
record of picking crazy men. Two of her husbands needed
serious psychological care in institutions, and one of them
still lives the life of a recluse somewhere in the concrete
canyons of LA.
Even if a crazy person seems sane when you meet him or her,
there are usually early warning signals. Here are some
guidelines for spotting the Crazies:
There's a fine line between quirky and interesting and
downright crazy. Sometimes someone who only seems quirky
and interesting turns out to be mad as a loon. The first
time someone does something bizarre, refuse to go along with
it. He or she could be just a normal person seeing how much
you'll put up with, or they could be genuinely crazy. Crazy
people make unreasonable demands. Normal people also make
unreasonable demands, but they're not likely to throw fits
if their demands aren't granted.
Do they love their mother, father and siblings?
Someone who doesn't love their closest blood relatives
isn't necessarily crazy, but this is a warning flag.
Are they still on speaking terms with their ex's?
Someone who isn't may have done something so terrible
that the ex never wants to see him or her again.
Do they have lots of old friends? Someone who has no
old friends may not be capable of nourishing and
maintaining long-term relationships.
Do they harbor serious hatreds?
Do they seem really quirky? (Weird behaviour,
uncontrollable hostility, hearing voices, constant
depression and an inability to be happy are all signs of a
"I guess there were some signs," Barbara finally admitted to
me. "Harry couldn't sit anywhere but the very last row in
the back of a theater, on the aisle, so that he could get
out in a hurry. If we went to a movie and there were no
seats in the back row on the aisle, we'd have to leave."
Men and women like Barbara actually attract nutsy
characters. For example, instead of telling Harry he was
acting crazy and to cut it out, Barbara actually encouraged
him in his craziness by leaving the theater with him as if
it were perfectly normal to leave if you couldn't sit on the
aisle in the back row.
By pandering to his irrational behavior, Barbara unintentionally
encouraged him to act ever more irrationally (which
he did). An excess of compassion can cause men and women
like Barbara to get stuck with the nuts. A compassionate
person will try to find an excuse for bizarre behaviour.
Long after crazy Harry was gone, Barbara would tell the
theatre phobia story and then feel compelled to add, "Of
course, lots of people don't like crowded movie theaters..."
Never make excuses for craziness. If someone has fits of
weirdness, meanness or tantrums, or acts psychotic or has
lots of phobias, drop him or her. Whatever you do, don't
try to play shrink. Leave the person for a professional to
cure, and get on with your life.
This is not to say that crazy, irrational-acting people
don't go into therapy, change and get better. Sometimes
they do. But the process takes years, and you don't have
years to wait. Besides, even if the person does go into
therapy and change, you may not like who he or she becomes,
or the "new him" or "new her" may not like you. Waiting for
someone to get well is a losing proposition.
Related Keywords: Qualifying Someone, Bad Prospects
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