Stockholm Syndome

Did you ever think about the fact that no one realizes they are in a situation Stockholm Syndrome describes?

I am getting ahead of myself again. Let me define this, give an example, then explain what I mean.

Stockholm Syndrome describes a situation where someone falls in a semblance of dependence on an overbearing situation. The most famous example, also where the name comes from, is a crew of bank robbers enters their intended target. They are there for hours, while police and security arrives on location, but is not able to enter for fear of something happening to a hostage. Over the time that they are kept as prisoners, the hostages start to relate more and more to the insurgents plea. They become sympathetic, some even falling in love with their captures. When the event is finally quelled, police are forced to let the majority of criminals go because no one is willing to give any information to police that would harm their new obsession.

Why would no one be able to identify they are afflicted by Stockholm Syndrome if they are, indeed, in the throws of it? They, by definition, would be so embroiled in a kind of narrative where the person they love could do no wrong.The relationship is never described as symbiotic. There is always described a strong power imbalance that favours the target of “desire”. If someone realised that they were giving in to this kind of pseudo-machasistic machination, it would cause the illusion to falter. They would, by acknowledging this, be admitting that their “captor” is bad, therefore, accepting what everyone is trying to tell them.

If you suspect that someone is stuck in the middle of some sort of power vacuum, start interrogations by asking them their opinion first. Launching into why they should be more worried could just cause them to real back and ignore everything they are saying. No one likes being reminded that they are weak. However, if you voice it as noticing something off and highlighting the issue instead of condemning, you will probably have a better chance of cracking a fincade.

In a situation like this, be prepared to cause a chain reaction. Make sure that before you remove a brick, you can have things in place to save the person you are trying to help. There is always the chance that pointing out an issue will wake someone from not thinking things are that bad, to noticing how everything is horrible and they don’t know how to fix it. If you can put out a hand to assist, that could make everything clearer. Just keep yourself open, keep your thoughts pure, and make everything you say as truthful as possible.

Yes, I am aware that Stockholm Syndrome (as a term) has been discredited. I am using the term as a shorthand that a majority of people will understand.

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