The Party Girl
From: The Wounded Heart
The Party Girl
The Party Girl is the classic easygoing, good-time lady, sometimes intense and other times mellow. She is predictably inconsistent, hard to read, and impossible to pin down in close relationships. One factor behind her capricious style is her ability to use competently both self-centered and other centered contempt. It's as if she has mastered the ability to hate herself and you at the same time. She has the skill to easily draw a person into relationship and then, in an instant, turn her back on him. Her manner is affable, warm, and inviting, but in a flash she can become irascible, demanding and whiny. The Party Girl can be as bombastic as any Tough Girl, sacrificial as any Good Girl, but then easily hurt, frightened and fragile.
The Party Girl is complicated. She is usually fragile and funny, sincere and phony, blunt and dishonest ---- a series of paradoxes. When she allows herself to agonize over loss or hurt for the brief time, she views her anguish as neither selfish (Good Girl) nor weak (Tough Girl), but as pointless. There is an acknowledgment of longing and anguish, but "So What" feelings are felt, but not deeply faced.
Internally, the Party Girl is inconsistent and ambivalent. She is like a constantly changing, unstable storm front ----- bright one minute, dark the next. Her emotions will swerve and undulate without a recognizable cause. The reason, in part, is the presence of both self- and other-centered contempt.Her demeanor will often depend on whom she hates most at the moment: herself or you. The chaotic mood and behavior fluctuations drive most people crazy. One just does not know what to expect from a Party Girl.
While the Good Girl wallows in guilt ad the Tough Girl brims with rage, the Party Girl struggles with fear and ambivalence. She handles her simultaneous or fluctuating hunger for and hatred of relationship through superficial analysis ("Life will work out"), minimization ("The abuser was just insecure, not sinful"), and cynical withdrawal ("That's just the way life is"). It's as if the Party Girl won't allow herself to be too troubled because she knows it all will lead to a point that requires honesty, commitment, and strength. It is far easier to laugh or cry over her pain and then walk away from it than it is to actually enter the unknown.
The external aspects of the Party Girl include fickleness and seduction in relationships and chronic dissatisfaction. Loyalty ---- that is, the commitment to persevere in relationship for the sake of the other --- endures only as long as pleasure is found. Once the enjoyment of a new relationship begins to fade or requires hard work, the Party Girl finds some way to terminate or sabotage the union. Often the party girl will go from relationship to relationship, replaying a pattern that involves start up, enjoyment, use and then sabotage.
One woman described her style of relating as "discarding old soda cans once the good stuff is gone." This is similar to the behavior of a tick. A tick does not have the ability to produce its own blood; therefore, it is dependent on a host animal. The tick remains connected until the host runs dry and then moves on to another host. The Party Girl, similarly, draws out life from a host until commitment is required or the parasitic manipulation is discovered. Then she moves on to find satisfaction somewhere else. The Party Girl is committed to pleasure and relief more than to honor, values, or relationship. Loyalty, consistency, perseverance, and long-suffering are not her hallmarks.
Seductiveness is another characteristic of the Party Girl's style of relating. Her seduction can include a sexual element, but it must be understood in the larger context of enmeshing the host in relationship and keeping him or her responsive. Seduction might then be as obvious as the provocative wink and coy comment of the flirt or as subtle as the deep depression of the "fragile" mother whose son does not respond to her complaints. For example, the woman who "loves" her son to the point she would do anything for him, suffer any deprivation, endure any insult is often the first to turn on him or exhibit whinny hurt and fragile disappointment when he moves away from their enmeshed and dependent bond. The commitment is not one of loyalty and life-giving. In either case, a flirtatious or a fragile Party Girl is luring the object of her desire into a web of relationship through lust or guilt. The result will be the same enmeshment, control, and the power to destroy.
Often the first evidence of the Party Girl's seductive control is her host's feeling of being deeply needed and valued to the point the Party Girl cannot enjoy life without the host's special help. The intoxicating thrill of being special and needed often blinds the eyes so that many a pastor and counselor have had affair with sincere, struggling Party Girls who deeply appreciated the kind and gentle counsel of a choice helper.
Another clue to a Party Girl's seduction is the guilt a person feels when he "let's her down." He will fell like a catastrophic failure in light of the needy girl's disappointment. The Party Girl is a master of "I'll live with it" dissatisfaction. She is never entirely happy even if she has what she wants. Her dissatisfaction not only seduces the host into guilt-bonded relationship, but it also justifies the termination of the relationship. Why should she stay in such an "unhealthy" relationship? The other person is demanding too much involvement, commitment, time, energy, and money, to justify the relationship's continuation.
A Party Girl is a two-fisted excuse maker who may be hard and angry one moment and confused and needy the next. She seems to have an insatiable hunger that can never be filled. One man, whose wife and mother are Party Girls, lamented, "I can never do enough to make them happy. It's as if there is an emotional tapeworm that dissolves all the food I give, so that they are never nourished by my care."
The insatiability of the Party Girl keeps every interaction superficial and dissolves all potentially good relationships. The dissolution of good relationships resolves the uncertainty and anxiety generated by ambivalence and opens the door to destructive, abusive unions. In turn, The mutual manipulation, destructive consequences, and deep loneliness of the abusive bond serves to quiet the Party Girl's hunger for pure and satisfying care.
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