Establishing emotional bonds with anybody has always been difficult for me, but I will continue trying until the day I wonder why I can’t connect with my undertaker.
That’s why I don’t see Stockholm syndrome, a condition in which hostages develop a psychological bond with their captors during captivity, as being a totally negative thing. To me, it’s an opportunity to experience a connection I so crave with one or more creatures that are not a dog, cat or turtle.
Being a hostage certainly has its drawbacks. No one likes to have their mouth duck taped shut while their captors are negotiating with the police, Still, to feel an almost affinity with a gun-toting hoodlum who holds my life in his frenzied hands, at the very least, beats feeling alone in a crowd at an after-work mixer. At minimum, my abductor would “get” me and hopefully, should I survive, I would get him or her.
I’m sure you’re thinking, “You’re just looking at the positive aspects of being held hostage,” and you’re right. What if, for example, I was immediately released as a goodwill gesture to the police? Why me and not the other hostages? That kind of rejection would be hard to accept.
Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained. You have to take a chance and keep an open mind and an open heart. Plus, who knows? Maybe I’ll bond with someone on the hostage negotiation team.
Ben Alper writes for late night talk show hosts, comedians and others. He is the author of “Thank You for Not Talking: A Laughable Look at Introverts.”