I have written a bit about having stalkers, as I have a few stalkers. The negative experiences with them, the frustration they cause, and the annoyance of them is something that I think most people can appreciate fairly easily, but something that is worth doing is trying to appreciate the point of view of the stalker, not really in an attempt to humanize or to relate to them but rather to better understand what drives the stalker’s behavior. Since the type of stalking I deal with has more to do with a being a slightly public figure rather than interpersonal stalking in the context of a failed relationship (although that is something I do deal with to a much lesser degree), that is the context of stalking which I will attempt to better understand and write about in this essay.
It must be stated that “stalking” is a very loaded term which is often abused, especially by internet people who just toss it around to describe people they find annoying. Stalking is not when somebody publicly disagrees with you repeatedly or is mean to or about you. Stalking is when private information is collected and used against you, when your privacy is repeatedly violated even after you have made it clear that what is going on isn’t desired, when people start forcing themselves into your social circles to a level which is obsessive and unhealthy. I have a lot of people who are very annoying or act inappropriately towards or about me, but these people are not stalkers and this essay doesn’t apply to them, these people are just losers who annoy me.
The first thing that must be highlighted between the stalker and me is the contrast of attention that is being received between each individual. As I have access to thousands of people, I am constantly receiving attention and validation/negativity whenever I choose to do or say anything in a public manner. If I am feeling bored or have an opinion, I can receive feedback and interaction without really trying hard for it. Among other things, this has the effect of removing any feeling of impotence or being “lost in the shuffle” that most people seem to suffer from. It also has the effect of making me hyper-aware of my behavior to a level which is both healthy as well as unhealthy, as I must keep my head about me or be able to laugh off irrational behavior that most people can engage in without being tracked by hundreds or thousands of strangers. There is a weight to my actions which forces self-reflection and can be punishing if I lose my grip on my behavior or freak out.
My situation is starkly different than the people who stalk me. For these people, they are pretty much in the average situation of having a few “in real life” relationships where their interpersonal behaviors have consequences, but are essentially strangers and not paid attention to by anybody else. This means that most freakouts or misbehaviors are not punished or taken note of or reacted to, which means there is a lack of feedback which is helpful for establishing proper conduct. They can say things and gossip or mistreat strangers without many repercussions because very few people are paying attention to them. This is not to say that they are in the better situation though, because they lack the upside to public attention that I enjoy. They cannot easily make money or receive validation even if they make something cool or do something that is genuinely admirable. Their freedom with regards to behavior gives them the ability to act out and lack personal discipline, but it also stunts their potential for personal advancement as well as removing the benefits that I experience when I work hard or improve in the aspect of self-discipline.
Stalkers do not really understand the pressures or hassle of dealing with hundreds or thousands of people on a regular basis. They may interact with one or three people they find annoying or say cruel things to them, but somebody like me is dealing with dozens of people like this on a daily basis. Likewise, they may have a few positive interactions or be complimented every few days, but somebody like me is having dozens if not hundreds of positive interactions per day and having constant compliments thrown in my direction. I have to shrug off the positive and the negative and take neither all that personally if I am to get anything done or have any semblance of grounding in reality, which means that I have to dehumanize and see most people as cogs in a larger system rather than anything to put serious weight or energy into. The role of a public person interacting with said public is necessarily much shallower than the role of a private person interacting with other private people. I cannot afford to take things personally or take people personally, if I empathized with even a small percentage of people I interact with then I would be a neurotic basket case.
Because I “suffer” and excess of interpersonal interactions, I have to essentially treat interpersonal interactions in a more callous and less valuable manner than the average person. Because stalkers tend to “suffer” from a deficit of interpersonal interactions, they essentially have to overvalue and obsess over these interactions to a degree which becomes unhealthy. This is related to my previous essays regarding “hot vs. cold environments” where the hot environment has to dispel excess energy and the cold environment has to draw energy into itself. Systems with an excess of energy are more active in constantly dispersing this energy to prevent an explosion, systems with a deficit of energy function by drawing energy inwards to prevent a collapse.
Most people are not stalkers, if I had to estimate the amount of unwell people who have interacted with me it is probably something like 0.1% of people. This figure might be a bit inaccurate because the people I interact with are disproportionately social outcasts or hyper-active on the internet which indicates under socialization/underlying psychological issues making “normal” life difficult. I think becoming the type of stalker that I deal with is something that occurs when somebody is mentally wired in some slightly dysfunctional manner which then gets amplified by a lack of attention combined with exposure to somebody with an excess of attention.
Something that must be stated is that I don’t think most stalkers see themselves as stalkers at all. There are definitely some stalkers which are demented and sociopathic and embrace their role, but for the most part I think there is simply a lack of perspective on the part of the stalker, an inability to see their behavior in its real context. Because I’m in the situation I’m in, when people intrude on my attention repeatedly the cost associated with this is much higher than what it would be for somebody with normal responsibilities, which makes the behavior much more annoying and frustrating to deal with for me, but it is understandable that the people doing this are not really able to put themselves in my shoes. To them, they might understand they’re being pushy or making somebody uncomfortable, but if they had somebody interacting with them in a similar manner they could react in a poor manner or spend the time and energy to deal with it, so they are not really capable of empathizing with the public figure they are intruding upon repeatedly.
A distinction must be made between male and female stalkers, as the motivations to their obsessive behaviors seem to be fundamentally different. In my experience, the male stalkers are more operating out of a sense of jealousy or frustration more than anything. They tend to have an inflated sense of self-worth which is not reflected back at them by anybody around them, and see that some public figure is receiving the accolades or compliments that they feel they deserve. They do not understand that for all the positive feedback that the public figure is receiving, there is negative feedback that matches or sometimes succeeds it, so they begin to feel envious and then obsess over this person and constantly comparing themselves against them. This is a negative sort of obsession and the one I find most annoying, as male stalkers tend to be extremely dysfunctional but still more capable of action than female stalkers.
Female stalkers, in my experience, seem to be operating more out of confusion and fundamental psychological drives than male stalkers. These people, being females, tend to have grown up with getting their way, being paid attention to, and being validated in ways which are frankly ridiculous. I have written that most mildly attractive females essentially get spoiled and warped mentally until they are 25 and men start ignoring them in favor of younger, more attractive women, and this seems to be one of the truest things I have ever written.
In the context of stalking, age does not really matter for the female stalker. Because public figures are one of the few types of people that have a higher default status than the female in western society, the public figure is somebody who confuses and can make the female deranged. I am higher status than females, no matter how attractive or rich they are, and I know it. I don’t feel any obligation to women, I don’t really want to waste my time talking to them or humoring them, and these things are realities which the modern female brain does not seem capable of properly handling. Especially if the female is attractive, to be ignored or completely discounted by a male in a disinterested manner is something which is completely disorienting and causes internal distress.
For the female stalker or obsessive, the more I ignore them or show disinterest, the more the internal conflict in their head grows. For me to say I have better things to do than to interact with them, for me to not really care about them sending me nudes, showing attraction to me, or wanting to have sex with me is something which makes them insecure and confused. For the normal female, this is something which will not be a huge issue, as they’ll generally move on, but some females are not normal and find this discomforting reality to be offensive and make it their mission to win me over and thus validate their worth, because at the core of most females is a desire to be desired.
Female stalkers can be more annoying, but they are mostly harmless. Because the fundamental reason they stalk is the desire to win over who is stalking them, they are pretty easily controlled and dealt with. Because females are pretty easily interacted with and easily dominated psychologically, their stalking is most likely going to be annoying more than anything.
Both male and female stalkers are essentially just acting out of insecurities and maladjustment from lack of attention as well as an inability to empathize with the position the person they’re stalking is in. What they feel they are “owed” is different depending on the gender, but they do feel they are owed something by somebody who does not owe them anything.
At the core of stalking is an inequality of attention. For the public figure being stalked, they are receiving an excess of attention which results in them valuing interpersonal relationships at a suppressed level. For the stalker, they are receiving an insufficient amount of attention which is causing them to value interpersonal relationships to an unhealthy and obsessive level which causes them to act in an inappropriate manner. I am oversensitive to intrusions into my “personal space” and those who are intruding into this space are under sensitive to what they are doing.
Even writing (and publishing) this essay is something that I am wary about, because I know the people it applies to will not understand it and most likely react poorly to it. Nevertheless, I think these sort of social dynamics are interesting and worth thinking about and discussing. The internet has made these dynamics more fluid as the barriers to communication and interaction have been increasingly removed. This definitely has negative externalities, but it also serves to diffuse stalking in a manner which makes it more “low grade” than it probably was prior to the internet.