Romantic comedies hurt us. If you know me long enough you’ll hear many reasons why. Today I’ll talk about a couple.
In nearly all of them the girl comes to realize how great the guy really is under the surface. She realizes who he really is. She also realizes who the bad guy is and why he’s bad.
Unsuccessful guys who just know how great they are underneath see them and think, if only people could see how he is inside he’d be a winner. He hopes that if he stays the course a girl will recognize him for it.
How many counterproductive beliefs and behaviors does this model reinforce? It makes people worse by any standard I can think of.
Probably the aspect that hurts people’s awareness most is that it suggests the antagonist is better than anyone else because of who he is on the inside. Everybody is great on the inside by their standards, just like he is. The bad guy in the movie in his mind is great. It doesn’t help anyone for people to learn from movies to think that they’re better than someone else if only people could see inside. It creates the opposites of empathy and humility.
These movies teach you not to learn social skills.
They also suggest that people can access some who you are underneath. Nonsense. People can know you only one way — through your appearance and behavior. They know nothing but what you show. How could they know anything else? If you want people to perceive you differently, you have to change your behavior. That’s it. That’s leadership. No waiting for them to peer within.
Anyone can change their behavior, but these movies suggest otherwise. They demotivate you from changing your behavior, which helps confine you.
The imply there is some permanent, unchanging you. Well, you can keep parts of you constant, but you don’t have to. You can change whatever you want.
They also put the burden of the work to convey who you are on the other person, demotivating you from taking responsibility for putting yourself out there. Responsibility will always trump asking others to do your work for you — especially in a competitive environment. If another guy is there to reveal more of himself through his behavior and communication, he’ll tend to win in a competition.
Anyway, I recommend avoiding romantic comedies. They teach the opposite of leadership.
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