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I started writing this entry with examples going from ages past up through present day, but thought it sounded a little too like a thesis for my comfort, so I'm starting again.

In this re-boot of a question, I'll simply ask two questions.  They are linked (at least *I* think they are), but I'd like you to consider each one as separate from the other.  We'll connect the dots later and see if it comes up with anything interesting.

First. and this question is mainly for the guys, here's the situation:

A woman you know, but have no particular feelings for one way or the other, finds herself in need of help.  For our example, lets say she just injured her ankle -- it may be broken, sprained or merely strained -- we can't tell yet.  In any event, she can't walk on her own and requires your assistance to hobble over somewhere where she can get it looked at.  So, being the nice person that you are, you assist, and help her find a place to sit, possibly going so far as to secure some further help for her.

Q1: Does having rendered help to a person you previously felt neutral toward, make you feel in any way more proprietory and/or protective of her?  Why? Or should your thought processes take you in the other direction, why not? (Sorry, it's sounding like an essay question, which is not what I was intending, but I really do want to know the intracasies.)

Actually, I'll stop with that question until I get a few answers coming in, then I'll throw the possibly-linked-but-considered-separately, question out there to finish up with...

Date: 2009-11-01 04:21 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I won't speak for other men, but... I tend to divide women into two categories: those I would consider having a relationship with, and those I wouldn't. I start off making this judgment about 5 seconds after seeing them for the first time, based on their appearance, the clothes they wear, makeup/hairstyle, and whether they look mentally stable, or abused, or like a subbie. I don't do anything with this information in terms of actively pursuing them; it's just an automatic thought process.

Given that, the assistance I would render someone who was temporarily disabled would be identical regardless of which category they fell into. I try and be a "nice person" when it doesn't cost me too much time, money, or effort, because it is helpful if others are able to grant me minor kindnesses in return.

So my "neutral towards someone" category generally means, "I'm not actively paying attention to them." My ex had a broken ankle that took most of a year to recover, so I am quite skilled at knowing what sorts of assistance someone would need. Would my helping them make me feel more proprietary/protective? I don't think so. They're in need of assistance, I'll provide it. Since I'm helping them, I'd be focusing on their physical/mental health, and that would give me more information about them. That might move them from one category to another. In rare cases, it might make me inclined to think about actively pursuing them.

But I'd think about whether I was taking advantage of the situation. I consider it unethical to do a favor for someone and then use it to get something in return, and would want to avoid that appearance.


Date: 2009-11-01 07:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The scenario maybe too vague. First off, at the moment of helping, the answers were would yes and yes. I would feel more proprietory and protective. That's because she's incapable of taking care of herself, thus, she needs my help. After that initial caregiving, whether it's 5 minutes or 5 hours, it would depend on the situation. But, in general, if you asking that because I helped her find a place to sit down, does that mean I own her, then no, the answer is most definately no.

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