Benching: False Relationships Maintained For Convenience


New technologies are here to stay, and allow us to interact with each other in ways never before imagined. We are, for better or worse, constantly connected. And we communicate constantly.

But despite this we are in an increasingly individualistic and egocentric culture. In this way, many people use communication methods and social networks to satisfy their ego needs, sometimes creating toxic relationships in order to feel desired and maintain high self-esteem. An example is what happens in benching a concept we talk about in this article.

What is benching?

Benching is understood as that situation in which a person maintains some contact with another, communicating with them generally in a brief and superficial way, with the sole purpose of maintaining their interest in one’s own person but without trying to obtain friendship or anything specific beyond benefiting from him/her.

We are before a type of toxic relationship based on manipulation in which one subject uses another as if he were a supplement, leaving him on the “bench” in case nothing better comes out. This is not really valued, but it is intended by maintaining contact that the person who performs this practice is not forgotten.

Thus, we are not facing a disappearance as in ghosting or slow fading, but rather a maintained contact in which the person who is waiting does not finish seeing the interaction with the other disappear and remains waiting, maintaining a certain level. of hope of having a friendship or meaningful bond, which leads them to be attentive to the bencher.

You may be interested:  Cargo Cults: What They Are, and Examples of Associated Religions

The mechanism of action is similar to what happens in addictions: the interaction with the person generates in the victim of benching a feeling of well-being, which will decrease and tend to disappear with the lack of contact. However, the arrival of new communications, no matter how banal and lacking in content, reawaken the desire for affection and authentic emotional ties The person in question makes some comment or interaction in order to feed this desire: it is very common, for example, to praise the other person) and make the other person remain attentive. Something that in many cases is achieved for a long time.

In what contexts does it occur?

benching It is especially visible in the context of relationships, being today very visible in dating applications or even through WhatsApp. But as with ghosting, we are not dealing with something really new: it is possible to do the same thing over the phone or even face to face.

But the couple is not the only context in which similar attitudes can appear: We can also find them present in friendship relationships one part being used by the other only as a wild card, without really valuing the person themselves.

Causes of this phenomenon

Why does benching happen? Various authors propose that part of its causes are due to the society we live in, in which there is increasingly greater individuality and egocentrism and superficial contacts are maintained to which we give little or no value. The other is often used as an object or something we can benefit from, or settle for if nothing else comes our way.

You may be interested:  Developing Assertiveness at Work: How to Set Limits

On a personal level, those who carry out this practice tend to present a high level of narcissism and enjoy other people paying attention to them It is common for them to be people with a certain level of egocentrism and sometimes narcissism. It is not necessary that they have something with another person: what moves the person doing the benching in these cases is the fact of feeling desired. On the other hand, it can also be used by people with low self-esteem who depend on other people’s approval to feel good.

It is also common that there is no empathy with the other person and what they may be feeling, or there is a fear of being alone and they resort to maintaining this type of relationship in case they can’t find anything else. Another option could be found in the existence of multiple relationships of the same type at the same time, in case the favorite subject with whom you really want to communicate does not respond. Lastly, although much less common, it is possible that some people may do this involuntarily and may try to display more appropriate behaviors.

Consequences on the affected person

Neither with you nor without you. This is probably the phrase that best describes what happens in benching to the person who suffers from it. On the one hand, the person she is interested in is communicating, unable to forget her. On the other, he is being largely ignored and we may or may not realize the other’s little interest in us

You may be interested:  7 Behaviors That Express Affective Responsibility

The consequence of this is the emergence of a certain confusion, uncertainty and progressive disillusionment. It is not uncommon for self-esteem to decrease (after all, the other person does not consider us so important) and that the feeling of feeling used or of being a consolation prize is born. On the other hand, dependency relationships are also favored that generate a high level of suffering, as well as the emergence of subsequent relational difficulties.

What to do if we are the affected party?

Knowing what to do in this situation can be complicated. The first step is to accept and assume that if prolonged contact follows the same pattern of behavior, whatever the reason, we are suffering from benching. In this case, it is best to cut contact with that person since the other person will not have the will to do it.

It would not be strange if after stopping sending messages the subject who was carrying out the benching began to show a much greater interest, as a result of the need to be admired by the subject. Generally the only thing that is sought is to keep the other hooked, something to avoid. Before ending the relationship, it is recommended to talk about the facts (if the other is not aware, they could make attempts to change, although it is generally done completely voluntarily) and state them clearly, as well as communicate the cessation of the relationship clearly.