Love. It is the most powerful emotion. It is the emotion that virtually everybody wants to receive. Love from your parents, love from your best friend and love from your other half. In fact, that desire goes further. Companies want people to love their products. An artist wants the public to love his creations. A chef wants diners to love his meals. It is interesting how widely used the word love is. Come to this theme park, you will love it. Have you seen the latest Tom Cruise movie? You will love watching it. It is used over and over again. This noble and most powerful emotion is applied to such triviality as “I love the colour red” or “I love my new shoes”. Yet, notwithstanding its clear overuse it loses none of its potency.
I seize on the power of this emotion in my works by utilising the phrase “I love you,but”. As soon as you hear those magical three words at the start, your ears prick up and you feel a surge of delight. He has told me again that he loves me, I feel wanted and special. The soaring sensation only lasts momentarily because attached to it comes a dual pronged attack the purpose of which is to control you.
When I say ” I love you but I wish you wouldn’t wear that dress,” I am criticising you for appearing like a slut. By linking my criticism in a sentence professing my love for you I am demonstrating just how much you are disappointing me by going out in such attire. I am figuratively punching you with a sugar-coated knuckleduster. It wounds and it is meant to do so. Furthermore, it contains a threat. If you do not do what I want, I will remove my love from you. Used repeatedly, this will feel like a boxer landing repeated jabs on you as it whittles away your confidence. I keep this potential loss hanging over you. It is a method of control. You will now change the dress because you do not want to lose my love. You will also tell yourself, because of the way I have conditioned you, that he is only saying it because he loves me, how good is that? He really cares about me so much he takes note of what I am wearing and is sufficiently interested to point out when I am wearing something he doesn’t approve of. You con yourself, for fear of losing my love, that my motivation is predicated on a real interest in caring about you. That is completely wrong. It is a tool of control. Listen out for it and you will soon notice how often it is used against you.