I use the analogy here a lot of the Barbed Wire Monkey. Did you know bad monkey love was a famous scientific study?
This scientist, Harry Harlow, studied primate bonding by putting baby monkeys in a cage with their real monkey mommies and other baby monkeys in a cage with barbed wire mommy substitutes, which were wrapped in a thin veneer of terry cloth.
The babies with the barbed wire mommies tried to bond with that thing.
I’ve used this as an analogy as to why we keep cheaters.
Even though they get pricked and are bleeding and the entire experience sucks, inside their little baby monkey brains, they must be thinking… something better than this exists. But they haven’t experienced it. So they cling hard to the barbed wire monkey. Of course, the babies with the REAL mommies are thriving.
Moral of the story? Step out of the cage and go find some REAL monkeys to bond with. It’s scary to leave the barbed wire monkey — but if you find the courage to do it, you’ll experience true monkeys. You don’t know what you’ve been missing.
So I thought this would make an interesting thought experiment — aka Fun Friday Challenge. Tell me your Real Monkey Moments.
This blog is a litany of how much barbed wire monkeys suck — but what was it like to discover that OMG there is more to life than barbed wire monkeys?
I’m not just talking about new romantic partners (although I like those stories too). What were some moments where you thought — oh hey, this is what connection feels like?
Bad Monkey: You got a new sweater? Whatever. Looks like your old sweater. I’m very engrossed in this video game/dating profile/immersion blender right now.
Good Monkey: I love your new sweater! That’s a great color on you!
Being seen. Being unseen. Being appreciated. Being a spouse appliance. Showing up. Disappearing.
I need a field guide to Real Monkeys, CN.