When you stick 18 of the most infamousBachelor andBachelorette veterans in the same house with $250K on the line, it’s a safe bet things are going to get mental real fast. So we caught up with psychologist Alisa Robinson, PhD., of askdoctorlisa.comto get her thoughts on the Bachelor PadSeason 2 opener. In our exclusiveWetpaint Entertainmentinterview, we asked Dr. Alisa about Jake Pavelka’s possibly shady motives,Vienna Girardi’s manipulative ways, and who might be getting set up to be a victim.
Wetpaint Entertainment: What were your first impressions of the Bachelor Pad premiere? What should viewers be looking out for?
Dr. Alisa Robinson: The show is set up to bring out competitiveness and manipulation and, of course, selfishness with everybody kind of steering toward the money. So it makes for great entertainment, but it can also be educational if you know what to look for. So for viewers, if they want to get to a deeper level of understanding of themselves or other people what I would suggest is that they pay attention to the different forms of manipulation in the show. For example, we saw Vienna manipulating Kasey [Kahl], or attempting to manipulate Kasey to not vote for Gia [Allemand]. And then during the time when people are trying to build alliances you see a lot of manipulation back and forth. The reason it’s important to notice manipulation in television is because it can better prepare you to notice this in people in your own life. I think what happens is that people who are generally trusting and tend to see the good in people can be more vulnerable to being manipulated by others, and that manipulation is often done in a sneaky or covert way. So for people who are trusting like that you may actually have to train yourself to be able to identify manipulation in other people.
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Okay, so Ashley Hebert finally pickedJP Rosenbaum on the season finale of The Bachelorette. But what are the chances that this latest couple will survive the fate of so many of their predecessors and never get anywhere near an altar? We conferred once again with Dr. Alisa Robinson, PhD., ofaskdoctoralisa.com to get some answers. In an exclusive Wetpaint Entertainmentinterview, Dr. Alisa explains disappointing success rate of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette when it comes to finding love, and tells us how Ashley and JP can buck the trend.
Wetpaint Entertainment: Why do so many of these couples fall apart?
Dr. Alisa Robinson: In The Bachelor and The Bachelorette in general, I think oftentimes the couples seem to really struggle with watching the show after it’s been taped. That process of seeing someone dating other people at the same time as they were dating you may feel similar to the experience of being cheated on. Even though intellectually the contestant knows that when they go off the person is dating other people, emotionally it can still feel hurtful, and feel as though you’ve been betrayed. Different people can handle that differently depending on their history and their background. I think for JP he really demonstrated that he’s a pretty mature guy. He handled it pretty well throughout the show. So that, to me, bodes well in terms of his being able to handle that period of watching her dating other men.
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Sure, The Bachelorette star Ashley Hebert could have been a bit more tactful when she confessed to the boys that she had seen Bentley Williamsin Hong Kong to seek “closure,” but did it really call for the anger and resentment that culminated with Mickey McLean quitting the show? Dr. Alisa Robinson, PhD., of askdoctoralisa.com, explains that the male hive-mind may have been the ultimate force at play in Season 7, Episode 6 — and that guys like Mickey may have been burned once too often.
Wetpaint: How could Ashley have better handled the situation?
Dr. Alisa Robinson: When she told them in the group they seemed to have a different reaction than when she told JP by herself. One of the reasons the guys in the group may have responded differently is how they were told. It might have gone over better if it was in a one-on-one environment. What happens sometimes in a group setting is that you’ll have one guy or a couple of guys with a strong opinion, and that can influence or rile up the rest of them — that kind of group mentality. In these shows sometimes, even though each of the men have a bond with the Bachelorette, they also develop bonds with each other. And research has found that men bonding in groups tends to be very strong, like in sports.
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Jake Pavelka, the current Bachelor on the ABC series, has made comments about breaking the adage that “Nice guys finish last.” It appears that Jake is hoping that this reality show will be the platform that will enable him to overcome his difficulty in finding “the right one” and meet a woman that he can settle down with and marry. When Jake was a contestant on the Bachelorette with Jillian, he was turned down for being “too perfect.” My guess is “perfect” is code boring and dis-ingenuine. This season Jake still seems “too perfect.” But is he really?
Obviously something has gotten in the way of Jake finding love and settling down up to this point. On television Jake comes across as a “nice” guy with his big grin and conservative values. One may assume that he wants another smiling woman with similar conservative values. However, Jake continues to pick Vienna week after week as a woman he may want to marry. This seems in such contrast with what people would expect from him. Is this a reality show set up (as in producers encouraged him to keep her on for the drama) or is he really considering her as a potential mate?
So is Jake really the nice guy who finishes last, as he proclaims? His niceness seems over-the-top and insincere. It’s not just his words that indicate this, but his facial expressions, too. He is always smiling. Even when is talking about something painful. Jake seems to be someone who covers up his real emotions with a smile. He gives cheesy lines and is not congruent with how he’s really feeling. His intention may be to be a “nice guy,” but he’s trying so hard at it that he is likely stuffing down his true emotions. He doesn’t want to risk showing any emotions that others may deem acceptable. If this is Jake’s pattern, then it makes sense why his past relationships haven’t worked. When people mask their true emotions and stuff their true feelings they often end up feeling resentful of their partner and the relationship falls apart. Also, this incongruence between the situation and his facial expression indicates to his partner that he is not genuine and people probably find it difficult to make a real connection with him.
How do you make a connection with someone who is not being true to their feelings? You end up connecting to the “fake” them, and not the real person. The lesson for Jake is that confrontation is not necessarily a bad thing. It is important to directly express to your partner your feelings- good and bad. And to be less concerned with appearances and more authentic with your true self. Only time will tell if Jake will reveal his true self, and if he will no longer be “the nice guy who finishes last.”