[New Post]: Why do I cheat on me?

The title forms part of lyrics taken from Lou Reed & Metallica’s song entitled “Cheat on Me”.

Now why would I be blogging or promoting this? Well, I am asking myself the same thing as I type. The first time I heard this song (last year during exam time- how apt) it got me to thinkin’. The genre (heavy metal) is unfamiliar to me- but the lyrics lingered with me.

I wondered why.

It’s taken me the whole December to figure this out. My interpretation of the song struck a nerve and so sparked a debate in my mind.

Why do I cheat on me?

Let that sink in. As the line sinks in, read the lyrics of the song:

Why do you cheat on me

Why do I cheat on thee

Why do I cheat on me

Why do I cheat on me

I have a passionate heart

It can tear us apart

I have the loves of many men

But I don’t love any of them

Why do I cheat on me

You have your feelings

I have mine

I spit upon you and change my mind

I have many hearts to break

And many, many, many more to take

Let the light of stars pour out

Like a candle in a spout

Let the wick recede and break

Let the starlight radiate

Why do you cheat on me

Why do I cheat on me

Why do I cheat on thee

Why do I desecrate me

Why do I piss my dreams

That’s because that’s what it is

I have the drive

I got the scope

If I, if I, if I, could I give you a rope

Your love means zero to me

I’m a passionateless wave upon the sea

Passionateless wave upon the sea

Why, why, why

Do you cheat on me

Why, why, why

Do I cheat on thee

Oh why, do I cheat on me

Why do I cheat on myself

Well I got nobody else

I’m only young once

I want to taste it all and have fun

I have no real feelings in my soul

Where most have passion I got a hole

I really got nobody else

I want lovers like the rain

So many of them, so much the same

You say you love me, I know it’s true

But I, I, I don’t love you

Why do I cheat on me

Why do you cheat on me

Your love means zero to me

A passionateless wave

Your love means zero to me

Sigh…  it’s so sad (you should hear it being sung), but it just makes a lot of sense to me. There would probably be many interpretations of this song, depending of course of all depths and types of ‘life drama’ one had to endure. Then again maybe I just have issues and over-analyze things- maybe we all do (over-analyze).

For me, this song raised an interesting concern. In life, I could be so much happier, but yet often I find myself in a state of dissonance, where ‘cognitive dissonance’ is a discomfort caused by holding conflicting cognitions (e.g., ideasbeliefsvaluesemotional reactions) simultaneously.

I think often in a state of dissonance we make bad decisions and we cheat ourselves from living the grandest life.

We cheat ourselves of genuine happiness. And often, most probably, we cheat ourselves of acknowledging and enjoying real love.  Look, I can only speak from my own experience, but I have seen this happen with many people too, and in many different contexts. So I may speak for them too.

We cheat ourselves of the best relationships (including friendships), because we cannot trust; we are not faithful; we are not forgiving; we are not rational. There is a theory- which happens to be true (Exhibit A: an angry customer at a supermarket screaming at the top of their lungs).

Human beings are NOT always rational.

See here: ” Because it is often easier to make excuses or pass judgment than it is to change behavior or values, cognitive dissonance research contributes to the abundance of evidence in social psychology that humans are not always rational beings.”

I, for one know that I am not rational, and because I know that others are not- I try to take that into consideration when passing judgement. I try.

Upon further reading I came across this little statement: “Cognitive dissonance theory warns that people have a bias to seek consonance among their cognitions. This bias gives the theory its predictive power, shedding light on otherwise puzzling irrational and even destructive behavior.” ((Profound)).

If I have to zone in on love, as a context, I find dissonance to be an ugly reality in relationships and journeying through understanding love.

I find that once I am in this state- my first reaction to any misunderstanding or hiccup is to simmer in guilt, or revert to self- inflicted emotional pain. I would say that this is cheating myself of enduring happiness and happy relationships that actually last.

Drifting away from love and relationships, cognitive dissonance also has an affect on our views on people and even one’s identity. Now maybe if we explore the human psyche a bit more, I think we could understand each other on a deeper level than we do now.  Read more on :  Self-evaluation maintenance theory ;  Balance theory and  self handicap. The last one will most probably resonate well with most students, as the example used on Wikipeadia was where a student drinks the night before an important exam does so in response to his fear of performing poorly. Here a person ‘self handicaps’ so that any failures during an important task are easier to justify. As Oprah Winfrey would say, “Light bulb moment”

This blog post was not to pose any answers to questions, but rather to remind to firstly be aware of your state of being, understand why you react the way you do, what informs your behaviour. It would be good to maybe do some research on the theories related to and behind cognitive dissonance. It’s really food for (good) thought.

So why do I cheat on me? Why do you cheat on me?

Clearly dissonance is to blame my sweety.

Miss Y

Twitter: @yvette_adams

P.S I blame dissonance and the awesome human psyche for gut-wrenching and powerful lyrics!

Disclaimer: These views are my own and may not be all factual, or factual at all. I did get the info on cognitive dissonance on Wikipeadia though. Feel free.

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