There is no mindfuck like the I Fail to Understand Your Hostility mindfuck. As mindfucks go, it’s Jedi-level mindfuckery. Oh sure your lesser manipulator can sputter some pathetic lies, or shrug and play dumb. The IFTUYH mindfucker, however, is one cool customer. Zero adaptive anxiety. Your inchoate rage just bounces off their wall of smug. This crazy don’t break.
So what is the IFTUYH mindfuck? Here’s an example.
Chump: I know you’ve been cheating on me with Bobby. I saw the text messages. And your dating profiles. And my genitals have oozing sores. And I’ve been monogamous for 20 years.
IFTUYH: I fail to understand your hostility.
Chump: I SAID, I KNOW YOU’RE CHEATING ON ME! WHAT PART OF THAT DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND YOU SOCIOPATHIC MOTHERFUCKER?!
IFTUYH: You know I’d really like to talk about this, but I don’t think it would be productive right now with your overreactions. Let’s just wait until you can be civil.
Chump: Civil?! You BROKE MY HEART! (Sobs… falls to ground…) How COULD YOU?
IFTUYH: How could I? I can’t help what errant toilet seats you sit on. I’m sorry you have festering pustules. You really should look into that. How can you expect me to be attracted to someone with oozing sores? It pains me to say it, but your personal hygiene really disgusts me. But now that you know how I feel, you can set to making that right. Why don’t you go take a hot, soapy shower?
Chump: AIIIIIGGGGGGHHHH!!!! (Sob. Snuffle. Snot.)
IFTUYH: Bobby always smells nice.
Chump: I KNOW YOU’RE CHEATING ON ME WITH BOBBY!
IFTUYH: I’m not going to stand for your vile accusations. This is so typical of you. I’m not going to deign to respond to that or resort to name calling.
Chump: (In a raging fury, flails at IFTUYH…) YOU ASSHOLE! YOU CHEATING SCUMBAG! QUIT LYING TO ME!
IFTUYH: I’m just glad that one of us can be civil.
Never speak truth to stupid.
If a cheater fails to understand your hostility? Don’t try and explain it to them. This isn’t an insight problem, you’re being manipulated.
Chumps love to tilt at the mindfuck windmill, armed with reason and evidence, and their broken hearts. Surely THIS should matter to you? Right? Right?
You will achieve no consensus here. No comfort. Just more mindfuckery. The only way to respond to I Fail to Understand Your Hostility is to walk away. Refuse to engage. Unleash the consequences.
No contact. Failing that, try a zinger.
In my book, in the chapter Stupid Shit Cheaters Say, my response to this one is: “You fail to understand my hostility? Let your lawyer explain it to you. He bills in 6-minute increments. Hope you’re a quick study.”
This is an updated post.