I’m not saying all “crazy” girls aren’t notably crazy. Like this one. She seems pretty nuts. Like the polluted, magenta-hued New York sunset best visible when driving west on the LIE, the craziest girls are often masked in beauty. But you know what I think? I think it’s mostly you guys who make us crazy.
1. You had an intuition and acted on it
I’ve been in relationships where I’ve had hunches or intuitions that I was being disrespected. Intuitions that led me to snoop through my ex’s phone, and snooping that led me to find some really serious betrayals. Later, I was deemed “crazy” for snooping, but what about his deception? The fact that he had been lying to me and sneaking around with other girls behind my back? Who’s the crazy one now? Riddle me that.
2. You’re not these people
Crazy is this bitch, who devised a detailed plan to kidnap and slowly kill two of her ex-boyfriends. Crazy is Lorena Bobbitt, who cut off her husband’s penis while he was sleeping.
3. Calling you crazy is a way for him to mask his own problems
Often times men will write girls off as “crazy”, when really that couldn’t be further from the truth. Junot Diaz associates not having enough courage or skills to stay in a relationship with not considering women to be fully human—a conviction that the protagonist Yunior in his most recent novel This Is How You Lose Her lives with. In the book, Yunior’s fatal flaw is that he doesn’t look at women as fully human and therefore can’t maintain relationships. And writing a girl off as “crazy” when that’s obviously not the case is one way to treat her as less than human.
4. Guys are master compartmentalizers
But men will continue to call you crazy, despite all of this, believing what they want to believe. And the reason why they’ll often come off as so callous is because they’re master compartmentalizers. In Psychology Today, a man wrote about the things that led him to cheat and ruin his marriage. “Men have an uncanny and dangerous ability to compartmentalize their lives into mutually exclusive rooms whose walls have no windows or doors,” he wrote, “In this split, dissociative state, I rationalized everything including the creation of the two worlds I relished as ‘complexity’ convincing myself I was being taken advantage of by Julie and I was destined to be criticized, judged and unappreciated and therefore ‘had the right to lie about anything I wanted to for my own self-protection.’”
5. He’s not happy with you, but won’t end it
In David Foster Wallace’s A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again he writes about how TV has allowed things that are so far in proximity to seem near, as well as things that are so near and intimate to seem far away. It’s made people into beings always looking beyond what’s right in front of you, into what his friend refers to as “’girl-who’s-dancing-with-you-but-would-obviously-rather-be-dancing-with-somebody-else.’” Anyone with a boyfriend or a girlfriend who constantly looks beyond their relationship, visibly bored with what’s in front of them, will make their partner go mad. To do this would be to send entirely mixed signals: On the one hand, you’re agreeing to be exclusive, but on the other hand, you’re never fully content with where you’re at. Wallace describes the effect that “Eat[ing] Tex-Mex with chopsticks while listening to reggae and watching a Soviet-satellite newscast of the Berlin Wall’s fall—i.e., when damn near everything presents itself as familiar,” has on us. It will often compel people to make “the familiar strange.” And while he’s technically referring to TV and realist fiction here, I find that this applies to human nature in general. The familiar can be calming for some, but for others it’s unsettling. And for those others, the reaction is to reverse the feeling of familiarity, which is impossible to do without catching your partner off-guard.
6. They just can’t understand you
Personally, I like this article’s take on “crazy” girlfriends: that a man will only call his girlfriend crazy when he can’t understand her. But this is cloaked in romanticism. The real reason men toss out the word “crazy” to their girlfriends so cavalierly is because they don’t understand themselves.
7. They can’t deal with being human
Not that there’s anything wrong with not understanding yourself. “Think about how difficult it is to grasp your own mind with your own mind,” Junot Diaz told me, “I mean, to stand outside of yourself is an enormous challenge, therefore, you know, part of it is that you’re going to struggle.” Sometimes all it takes is to understand, as Diaz put it, the “inexact science [of] being human.” But most men would rather not and, instead, just accept the fictional, simpler world they’ve fabricated for themselves.