Obsession might take the form of an unrealistic and over fantasized romance or be an intense passion for an object or pastime. Usually, obsession is associated with the relationships that exist between people and the imbalance of emotions between them, leaving one person perhaps deeply involved emotionally and the other completely detached. Despite the warning signals that flash early in a friendship where a person is obsessed, some friendships progress into a relationship and even into a marriage, without the obsession being properly dealt with.
Baby boomers with experience of obsessed people will know how difficult it is to deal with someone who will just not take no for an answer. Sometimes, new friendships are formed in a haze of alcohol and the wrong interpretation is placed on the depth of a new friendship. Whatever the circumstances of an obsession being developed, the results are alarming for the person who is the object of the obsession.
Psychological articles show us that the personality traits of someone who is susceptible to obsession might be varied but somewhere in the recesses of an obsessive personality, there is usually evidence of childhood rejection or past trauma that prompted an unrealistic desire for intense affection. When that affection is not reciprocated, the obsessed feels rejected and begins to feel offended; angry; possibly vengeful and generally not very friendly.
An obsessed personality can display an alarming cunning when in the grip of a particular program of obsession. To make things worse, baby boomers who are the victims of an obsessed personality might have made innocent welcoming gestures of friendship at the beginning of such an association. Psychological articles that have profiled obsessed people show that when their friendship is no longer welcome, the news might be received in the worst possible way, prompting all kinds of vindictive behaviour ill deserved by the victim.
When an obsession is affecting your life, it is imperative not to humiliate or draw attention to the obsessed person in public. Rejection is difficult enough to cope with in private and a public demonstration will only serve to alienate and anger the person who is obsessed and possible turn their obsession from a passive to a more active program of harassment. Take the obsessed person’s feelings into account when trying to deal with obsession but on no account make any encouraging gesture such as inviting the person into your home. Baby boomers still working might be the victim of obsession at work, in which case there is always the option of seeking help from the Human Resources Department who are trained to deal with intrusive personality clashes that take place at work.
The important thing to remember is that obsession is closely related to fantasy and often the obsessed person will have a totally inaccurate impression of the person they have fantasized about. Taking the fantasy out of the mind of an obsessed person is a matter for professionals and should not be ‘dabbled in’ by baby boomers whose amateur experience does not equip them to deal with the complex structure of a potentially dangerous disorder.
Dr Karen Turner, PhD, is a clinical psychologist with an interest in the baby boomer generation as the most successful and resourceful of all generations. Boomeryearbook.com focuses on connecting the baby boomer generation and providing interaction for boomers everywhere. If you are a baby boomer with an interest in the mysteries of the human brain, Boomeryearbook.com is the social network for you.