Let’s talk about “weaponized incompetence.”
Imagine you and your partner have been living together in the same apartment for a reasonably long period of time.
On the whole, your partner seems great. They’re smart, supportive, and totally on board with an even division of chores. But over time, you notice something odd - no matter how long you and your partner live in the same apartment with the same responsibilities, they just never seem to get the hang of any of the chores. Your partner can grasp complicated technical concepts for their job or hobby, but several months into living together, they still claim they don’t know how to properly operate the washing machine or dishwasher. They don’t know where you keep the toilet cleaner or what time they’re supposed to feed the dog. They have no idea what day the garbage gets picked up or how they’re supposed to sort the recycling.
When you do manage to wrangle them into doing chores, everything they manage to do is done poorly or with little effort. They put dishes back in the wrong spots when they unload the dishwasher and crumple up the laundry instead of folding it. They bring the wrong things back from the grocery store, even when you send them with a list, and do such a sloppy job of mopping that you can barely tell the floors have been mopped at all. They require so much assistance to do basic chores and do such a poor job that, eventually, you just stop asking them to do chores at all - since you end up re-doing all of their work, it’s easier for you to just do it right the first time.
But despite how it may appear, you don’t actually have an incompetent partner.
You have a partner who has learned to weaponize incompetence.
“Weaponized incompetence” - also called “strategic incompetence” or “performative incompetence” - is a manipulation tactic, where a person will purposefully feign incompetence to get out of doing tasks that they find unpleasant. The idea is to intentionally do tasks so badly and require so much help that you grind other people down; you convince other people that you simply aren’t capable of pulling your weight, or you make yourself so difficult to deal with that it’s simply less effort for others to just do your chores for you. It doesn’t matter if you work as a literal rocket scientist - you just keep insisting that you can’t figure out what to feed your children or when the electrical bill is due until other people feel they have no choice but to take over for you.
If you’re living with someone or dealing with someone who has mastered the use of weaponized incompetence, here are some quick things you should know:
This behaviour is an act. Let’s get one thing clear: your partner (or whoever else you are sharing chores with) knows how to wash dishes. They know how to vacuum the floors. They are capable of remembering that Thursday is garbage day. These are not complicated tasks. Even if a person is genuinely new to household chores, we live in a golden age of information; all of us have instant access to a wealth of blogs, articles and video tutorials that will teach us any household skill we need to know. If a person is genuinely making an effort, it does not take years to learn how to separate laundry or figure out which cupboard the plates are kept in. It’s true that most people will be better at certain chores, or prefer certain chores. But a partner (or anyone else) who claims to be hopelessly bad at everything they dislike is putting on a show.
This is a learned behaviour. Why would a grown adult pretend to be so incompetent that they can’t figure out how to make a simple dinner? Because it works. It gets them the outcome they desire, which is other people taking over their responsibilities for them. Having other people think you’re clueless is a small price to pay if it means you get to do whatever you want while others scramble to cover your responsibilities.
Weaponized incompetence is different than ADHD. There is a big difference between someone who wants to pull their weight but gets distracted halfway through a chore, and someone who does a bad job on purpose so no one will ever ask them to do chores again. A person with ADHD may need more reminders and take more time to do chores (or any other tasks), but they produce high-quality work. People with ADHD also tend to be aware of their issues with task management, and work on strategies to overcome it. People weaponizing incompetence will simply insist that they are hopeless and see no point in trying. It is possible for a person with ADHD to use weaponized incompetence intentionally, but this is different than their own inherent struggles with executive functioning.
There is a gendered component to weaponized incompetence. Anyone, of any gender, is capable of faking incompetence to wriggle out of chores, but there are some gendered differences in who actually does it - this is a tactic most often observed in men. In a world where women still do the majority of housework and childcare, even in households where both partners work full-time, this is one tactic that women are increasingly observing in male partners who want to get out of domestic work while still touting egalitarian ideas. Our culture has a much greater tolerance for incompetent men than it does incompetent women - the dad who drops his kid off at daycare with two mismatched shoes and three packs of cookies for lunch is an overwhelmed parent doing his best, but the mother who does the same thing is viewed as a shitty mom.
This is not limited to romantic partnerships. Anyone can weaponize their incompetence, not just partners - it could be friends, coworkers, roommates, teenage children, or just about anyone you have to share responsibilities with. That roommate who claims they don’t know how to pay the wi-fi bill or clean the bathroom wasn’t raised by wolves - there’s a good chance they’re simply choosing not to figure these things out because they know you’ll do it for them.
The only way to combat this behaviour is to not tolerate it. People use weaponized incompetence because it works - eventually, you break down and do the thing for them. The key to combatting it, then, is to make sure that it stops working. Don’t jump in to help. Don’t offer to do it for them. Don’t spend hours drawing handmade maps of the grocery store because your husband insists he’s incapable of buying toilet paper on his own. When someone insists they can’t possibly do a household task that they’ve been asked to do dozens of times before, resist the urge to take over and simply say “I’m sorry, I have my own work to do. You are capable of figuring it out.” Remind them that figuring out how to do the chore is, in fact, part of the chore - if they don’t know where the clean bowls go or what needs to be on this week’s grocery list, it is their responsibility to investigate and work it out for themselves.
I spent several years living with a (now-ex) partner who had mastered the use of weaponized incompetence to squirm his way out of everything he didn’t want to do in life. He got himself fired from numerous jobs so his parents would continue paying his rent and bills - eventually, they gave up on the idea of him working at all. Over and over again, he put the wrong soap in the dishwasher, over-loaded the washing machine until it flooded, and scraped non-stick pans with metal spoons. He quickly learned to use complex recording and sound equipment for his hobby, but scraped a Swiffer across the floor with no pad attached, claiming he just wasn’t capable of using one properly. I, inevitably, would get frustrated and take over for him, inadvertently teaching him exactly how to get out of his chores.
The incompetence only stopped when I did. I reached a point where I was tired of hounding a grown man to wipe up his own spilled juice or wash his own underwear. So I stopped picking up after him. And when the apartment finally got disgusting and he reached the absolute limits of how long he could re-use the same underwear, something miraculous happened - all of a sudden, he realized he did know how to do laundry and dishes after all.
Remember, there’s a point where you aren’t helping others by saving them from their responsibilities - you’re only hurting yourself.
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If you’re dating right now, remember this:
(I saw this as a slideshow on naturalhairlovez’s Instagram and just had to share)
1. Worry less about if they like you, and more about if you like them;
2. Rejection is not as personal as it feels. Whether or not you connect with someone is more about compatibility than inherent worth;
3. Stop choosing people who aren’t choosing you. If it’s not mutual why pursue it?
4. Be honest with yourself. Would you be friends with this person if you weren’t physically attracted to them?
5. Notice patterns and believe them.
6. You don’t need to be perfect to be loved. Perfection isn’t relateable;
7. Your love life is one area of your life, don’t forget about friends and hobbies that make up the rest of it.
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Need to find love like this
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Two people can see things from two completely different perspectives and both be “right”. Rather than seeking to defend, perhaps seek to learn more about your own perspectives and other perspectives; broaden your scope.
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Love is respect, love is patience, love is understanding, love is support, love is emotional safety, love is growth.
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BellaLoveCoach ~ Twitter
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Do any of you ever have moments where you just...crave intimacy? Like, you read stories about couples and you just really want that for yourself?
I want someone I can sit next to reading a book or scrolling through AO3, who binges shows with me, who listens to me yell at my video games.
The thing is, I'm asexual, and I know this is a Hard Pass for a lot of people. I personally don't care about gender or presentation or things like that, I'd be happy with a nerdy anime geek, but I know sex is a huge part of intimacy for a lot of people. Honestly, if I could just be in a Queer Platonic relationship, with a nice little house full of dogs and One Piece merchandise, I'd be so happy!
I've tried off and on to get out there and find that, but even when I tell people upfront that sex is very much off the table, they just don't get it? And then I get frustrated, delete the app, go about my merry way, and the cycle eventually repeats.
Is it just me?
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Do you ever crave the intimacy of a relationship. The cuddles, hand holding, forehead kisses, doing things together, knowing someone adores you.
But then you act like "i don't have feelings", "I'm okay by myself.", "im not bothered." and never let it show how much you want something like that to cover up that you're loney and you really do want something like that?
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If your partner has really bad anxiety or grew up in a house that yelled, banged or threw stuff a lot, make sure that you are aware of how you interact around them. Meaning if you accidentally put a cup down too hard, make sure they know you aren't upset or angry at them in anyway. I never noticed how I perceived very inconsequential things has huge triggers of anxiety because my partner closed the bathroom door too hard or a kitchen cabniet. Once i got with a partner that also experienced these types of anxietys, we became super conscious of those little things so if we seem angry its always an extra check nothing is wrong. It really helps build trust imo.
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As a high value woman, it is crucial to know what you will and will not tolerate, to know what your standards are. You should be highly selective of your dating partners, and have a clear set of expectations in what constitutes a suitable partner for you. This implies that for a certain timeframe that you are comfortable with (whether that is 2 months or 1 year) you should be vetting your potential partner.
Don’t be blinded by their potential, and instead focus on what is! Take their actions at face value, not their words or what your idealistic imagination fashions him into being. If they tell you you’re too good for them, or they play around, they’re inconsistent, they’re indecisive, or any of the above mentioned red flags – for the sake of your mind, body, heart and soul, walk away at the first red flag. I promise you it doesn’t get better, it only gets worse. A partner that is beneficial for your overall wellbeing will be so from the beginning; you don’t need to go through fire and brimstome to prove anything, or transform his life, or upgrade him. That’s his job. All you have to do is set your high standards, and say no to anything less.
And you know why? Because you deserve it! You’re worthy of the best man, the best relationship, the best love, because just as well you offer the best. Protect your mind, your heart, your body and spirit from any low vibrational experiences. Protect yourself by treating yourself like the treasure you are: worthy of a king, not a jester.
Remember my dear ladies, if you say yes to anything below your standards . . . the only person who will go through heartache, wasted time, wasted effort and more, the only person who will go through fire and brimstone, is you.
So stay committed to your happiness above all.
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I’m going to tell you a secret that I wish someone had told me a long, long time ago:
If you’ve been in nothing but toxic and unhealthy relationships for most of your life, your first healthy relationship is probably going to feel boring.
I spent the majority of my teenage years and early 20s in a series of unhealthy relationships. My relationships were all unhealthy in very different ways, but there was one thing they had in common: they were unpredictable, and in a perverse way, that made them addicting. There’s something weirdly thrilling about a relationship that is off-the-charts intense all of the time, even if it’s often a bad intense. My stomach used to drop like I’d just gone down the first hill of a roller coaster every time I opened the door to the apartment I used to share with my ex, because I never knew what I was going to find inside. Maybe he’d be on the couch, writing a song about me with that big smile on his face. Maybe he’d be half-coherent and the entire apartment would be trashed, with all the shades drawn. Maybe he’d be gone altogether with absolutely no explanation, and no way of getting in touch with him. There’s a sick thrill to waking up every morning and not knowing if your day is going to end with an impromptu romantic 2 am adventure that involves kissing under the stars, or if you’re going to go to bed in tears because you just got screamed at in a dumb fight over paper towels. Maybe it’s both.
Often, it was both.
And after a while, when someone makes your heart pound every time you see them, your brain stops trying to learn the difference between attraction and fear.
Then in my final year of my master’s degree, I swiped right on the right person and got into the first healthy relationship I had ever been in. My new relationship was everything I could have dared to hope for, back in the days when I was begging my ex to tell me where he was because he hadn’t been home in four days, or getting woken up at four a.m. because he’d found a man’s name when he went through my phone while I was sleeping and didn’t believe it was my brother. My new partner is, at a very fundamental level, an incredibly gentle and thoughtful person. Regular “good morning” and “good night” texts became a regular staple of my day, instead of passive-aggressive jabs and so-called “silent treatments”. Encouragement was given freely, without any accusations that I was seeking attention or trying to out-do him. Birthdays and important dates were remembered without any reminders. Hugs were given out in generous quantities, small issues were laughed off instead of fought over, and male friends were encouraged instead of demonized. At long last, I had the relationship I had always wanted.
And to my absolute horror, I realized I was bored.
Without even realizing it, I had trained myself to think of relationships as battles, and being in a healthy relationship for the first time felt like I had suited myself up for an epic war, only to end up in an old ladies’ pottery class. The lack of unhealthy behaviours started making me antsy. Why wasn’t he going through my phone and looking through my social media? Did he just not care? Did it just not matter to him that other guys might be speaking to me? Why was I feeling so calm all the time? Where was the adrenaline rush? Why weren’t we clashing more? Did it mean that we just weren’t invested enough to even bother to fight with each other? We were - and are - deeply compatible people who have a lot of fun with each other, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that the relationship just wasn’t intense enough. I absolutely knew that my past relationships were deeply unhealthy, but it’s hard to un-learn the idea that relationships should be high-stakes and constantly exhausting if both people truly care about each other.
It took a lot of time, but I gradually come to realize something: I’d never actually known love in any of my previous relationships. What I had known was obsession. My exes had put me up on pedestals, and ripped me down as soon as I failed to live up to impossible expectations. Over and over again. Everything was big and over-the-top: life was a series of grand gestures, big fights and enormous apologies. I had one ex comb through years and years of my social media photos, commenting on every single one, while another ex would make the hour-long drive to my house in the middle of the night several times per week, whenever he felt like seeing me, letting himself in through my bedroom window. When you’re young and don’t know any better, that level of obsession is flattering. It’s what we’ve been taught is romantic. But it’s not - it’s not a good basis for a strong and healthy relationship. And in the end, none of it was really about me. My exes were caught up in ideas about the relationships they’d fantasized about having, and the way they wanted people to perceive them, and I was more or less just there to play a part. And it always came crashing down.
Real love, on the other hand, is not about the grand gesture. It’s not about non-stop “dialed-up-to-11″ intensity. It’s about being there, day by day. My boyfriend has never gone through my social media for six straight hours or broken into my house because he couldn’t wait a moment longer to see me, and he’s never screamed at me for having male names in my contacts list or for not texting back fast enough because he’s just so afraid to lose me. Instead, he is patient. He is kind. He listens to what I have to say and he doesn’t get upset about the small things and he always remembers to make my coffee exactly how I like it. I know that he will be there for me when I need him - whether I need to vent about a bad day at work or build a bookcase or double-check that I added enough salt to the soup - and I do the same for him. It’s a kinder, gentler kind of relationship, and now that I’m used to it, it’s anything but boring.
Don’t get me wrong - sometimes a relationship can be healthy and not be right for you. If you don’t have anything in common and you don’t enjoy doing things together, that’s probably not the relationship for you. It’s important to have fun with your partner and enjoy their company. But it’s also important not to mistake obsession for romance, or mistake a lack of intensity for disinterest.
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I feel seen
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Being “ghosted” by someone you have been intimate with or close to has got to be one of the most degrading and hurtful moments of a person’s life.
The bare minimum in human decency is to communicate that you no longer wish to know someone; there is never a benefit to ignoring them and disappearing from their life.
Being ghosted leads to so many self hating thoughts such as believing you are worthless, forgettable, unattractive, boring etc. (side note: you aren’t any of these things!).
To somebody thinking of ghosting: if you are “done” with someone, please just kindly explain to them what is going on with you. Try and avoid disappearing from their life with zero explanation.
To somebody who has been ghosted recently: I’m so sorry, I know it hurts, but it has nothing to do with you and is 100% on the person ghosting you. Please don’t take it personally, you are amazing.
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Rules for Navigating Men That Aren't The One:
These are very simple. I have twelve of these rules, feel free to write them down or add to them when you repost or whenever you feel like it. Also, Disclaimer: you don't have to follow any of these rules, it's all up to you. I love you and I hope you're doing well. 🤍
Rule #1: "Do not give these men sh*t they don't deserve, did not earn, or cannot afford."
This goes for everything. Material things, your time, your body, your energy, special treatment. He must earn it. He must deserve it. No excuses.
Rule #2: "We do not argue with men nor do we agree with them in any circumstance."
This was obviously partially a joke. What I really meant here was don't give them the luxury of getting under your skin with ignorance or over something irrelevant. We don't gain anything from a heated interaction with a man that isn't offering anything and the only thing they win is the ability to make you sweat.
Rule #3: "Do not let them hit. Settle for a strap and a lesbian"
I'm ONLY kidding delete your paragraph. What I really meant for this was to be the woman who knows what she likes and can give herself pleasure without the need of a male companion. If you're sexually active and you want a partner for casual sex too that's always valid and always okay.
Rule #4: "Don't date men that you don't really like aren't worth it."
Originally, this said: "Stay single. You ain't never need a b*tch, you what a b*tch need." But I changed it to fit the tone of my post. This rule is important, not everyone you find attractive needs to be pursued and some men aren't cut out to be good boyfriends/partners. Don't bless people with your energy who never deserved it in the first place.
Rule #5: "Do not laugh at their jokes. Boys aren't funny. Tough crowd tonight."
Satire. This rule is about understanding it's okay to not entertain men or people even when you don't enjoy their sense of humor or something they've said didn't sound as good as it did in their head. Sometimes we hear people make jokes about things like S/A that really aren't funny. Be real.
Rule #6: "Men ain't sh*t, don't know sh*t, and will never be sh*t"
Alright, okay, I'll settle down.
Rule #7: "If you don't believe him that's okay"
Sometimes people lie, even for absolutely no reason it's completely alright to feel like maybe someone isn't being completely honest with you about something. Oftentimes, men lie in relationships even when it's not about anything important. Trust your gut and your intuition if you feel like something isn't right, speak up.
Rule #8: "If he wanted to, he would."
Simply put. Men are going to do what they want to do regardless of the situation. If he wanted to come to see you he would. If he wanted to speak to you or have something serious for you he would. If he wanted to do something nice for you and treat you to something special he would. Don't settle. Never take bullsh*t excuses.
Rule #9: "Never trust a boy/man who only texts you or calls you at night."
These types are no good. Red Flag! Avoid this at all costs. Some men are busy, okay he'll make time for you. But someone who only texts/calls you at night and makes excuses as to why he can't talk to you during the day or simply doesn't answer is someone who doesn't have the purest of intentions. You know exactly what he wants. Don't ignore this. Don't be naive.
Rule #10: "Stay away from boys/men with mommy issues."
They need therapy, meditation, and a journal not a super hot girlfriend who is a lovely person and would do anything for him. Granted, we all sympathize, growing up without a parent is never fun but you have to understand that growing up without a mommy takes a huge toll on most men and they tend to come with a lot of issues that cannot be fixed with just your presence alone. It's okay to love, respect, and sympathize with someone from a distance.
Rule #11: "Never let a boy/man tell you he doesn't need or want you more than once."
This one is important, it's disrespecting yourself to stick around when someone has already made it abundantly clear you are not what they truly want. Your love and respect for yourself has to be bigger than the love and respect you have for others. What's meant for you will be yours. Period.
Rule #12: "Men will put you through what you allow them to."
This is one of my favorite ones. Set your boundaries and do not break them down or move them for anybody. Especially not a man who will certainly continue to put you through unnecessary drama and pain just because he can.
Stay Pretty, -𝓑
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Whoever needs to hear this: if you’re in a relationship, and you’re prioritizing your partner’s feelings over your future/feelings/happiness, then you need to talk to someone. Take care of yourself first.
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