This is Part 2 in the series on Crazy Bitch Syndrome. If you missed it, you can watch Part 1 HERE.

We all, men and women, suffer from Crazy Bitch Syndrome from time to time. Crazy Bitch behaviors cause us to sabotage our relationships (all kinds of relationships, romantic, business, familial, etc.). When we feel insecure or afraid, we can often engage in some crazy behavior that brings about the exact opposite of what we want.

In today’s video, I explore what I like to call the “Taming of the Shrew Syndrome”, where we basically ask others to complete a series of impossible to win tests in order to prove their love, affection, loyalty or whatever. This works great in Disney movies. It doesn’t work at all in real life.

Why do we engage in this kind of behavior (i.e. what does our crazy bitch really want)? And what can we do about it?


Today is part 2 of my new series on Crazy Bitch Syndrome, or Crazy Bitch Behavior.

Here’s a recap if you didn’t see last week’s post: Crazy bitch behavior is behavior caused by our insecurities. These insecurities will sabotage the different types of relationships that we have – romantic relationships, business relationships, platonic relationships, and family relationships. Generally, when we want somebody to like us and we like them, but we’re feeling insecure and triggered, we’ll engage in this kind of behavior and our inner crazy bitch comes out. And this applies to both men and women, by the way. Everybody’s got a crazy bitch inside them. So, the questions we want to be asking are, is this kind of behavior being triggered, and which insecurities are causing it? But, what do you do if you figure out that your crazy bitch has come out to party and is running rampant?

The Taming of the Shrew Syndrome

Last week we talked about a practice called “Negging”. Today, we’re going to explore the practice of testing people. This is what I like to call “The Taming of the Shrew Syndrome”. This is where you have a defensive mechanism kicking in that challenges people to overcome hurdles of some kind that you’ve created and placed between yourself and you. Often, that hurdle is your personality, or aspects of your personality. (These aspects aren’t really your personality; it’s not who you truly are. But this is the side of you that you’re displaying to the world in that moment.) You’re challenging people to overcome hurdles that are impossible to overcome, in order to prove to you that you’re worthy, or loveable, or whatever.

So, why do I call this “The Taming of the Shrew Syndrome”? Well, if you’re familiar with Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, there are two sisters; one is nice and one is nasty. The nasty one is the older one and the father has declared that until the nasty one gets married, the younger one can’t get married. So, when the younger one falls in love, they find a man who can “tame the shrew”, or break the nasty woman of her nasty ways and make her into a nice, obedient, lovely, medieval housewife (can you hear the sarcasm? Sorry, couldn’t help myself.)

And so, the hero overcomes her nastiness, breaks down her defenses, and actually begins to care about her. You know, because he sees the warm and squishy center that’s been hidden under all that insecurity all along. And when she feels loved, she can finally relax, and be happy, joyful and nice. Which she was all along underneath, but somebody just had to be dedicated enough, have enough incentive, love her enough, be attracted to her enough, and find her valuable enough to overcome that outer nasty shell with barbs.

This is the basic premise behind this belief system, and we can do this to people in various ways. We keep asking them to overcome our hurdles and to just keep trying with us. We don’t want them to give up on us. Even when, for example, we’re mean to them or we might actually verbally tell them to stop. We can send all kinds of messages like while inside, we’re hoping that they’ll just continue to overcome that resistance and get to our warm gooey center, so that we can finally feel safe.

The thing that’s wrong with romantic movies

Disney is one of the big culprits of perpetuating this syndrome. There’s often a prince who has to overcome all kinds of horrific obstacles (the romantic comedies do this as well), where the princess, or the woman, or the romantic lead will be like “No, no, no, no, no!” And the man’s like “Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!” And the woman keeps saying “No, no, no, no!” And the man continues to say “Yes, yes, yes, yes!” Until finally she says [dramatic sigh] “Oh, alright. I wanted it along.” And then they kiss and live happily ever after. Also, there’s usually a song.

In real life, I’ve got to tell you, it just doesn’t work that way. If you’re a woman who wants a man to do this, to overcome your outer protective shell – in real life, if a man actually does this, it’s a little bit rapey. It’s a little bit creepy. The guy who doesn’t take no for an answer is not a nice man. Nice guys, if you tell them no, be it verbally or with your actions, they will go “Oh, ok. I thought you liked me. I guess you don’t. Bye.” And then they leave. They do not keep badgering you in an effort to wear you down because your “no” actually, secretly means “yes”. Because there’s no way they can know that. So they’re willing to take the risk of you actually meaning no. They don’t actually care about how you feel. So, while this idea of asking others to read our minds and overcome our hurdles while knowing that they’re just tests works as a fantasy, it doesn’t work at all in reality.

Men also engage in this type of behavior, just not as often in romantic relationships. The cultural conditioning isn’t the same. Men are usually more likely to try to overcome the hurdles, or try to figure out what their partners want, and then feeling like failures when they can’t. It’s the other side of this crazy bitch coin. But men will engage in testing behavior in business negotiations or at work. Many insecure bosses are testers, for example, or you might test your colleagues or even your boss to see if they’ll validate you while doing your best to send messages that you don’t need their validation. Sometimes testers will purposely make mistakes or sabotage something to see how much they can get away with. They’re testing the limits – not so much to find the boundaries, but to find where the limit of love is. “What’s it gonna take to get you to admit that you don’t love me/like me/approve of me/want me here?” This is, incidentally, the same behavior that you’ll often see in foster kids. Again, this kind of behavior stems from fear, insecurity, and a great deal of self-doubt. My point is, crazy bitch behavior shows up in men too.

Are you testing people to see if they find you worthy?

So, if you’re “testing, you’re asking people to overcome the challenges YOU SET, because you think that their willingness to do so, and often continuously do so, will finally allow you to believe that you are worthy. But you’re actually asking them to defy your vibration. You’re asking them to give you a manifestation of something that you are not willing to become a match to first. And that is never, ever, ever, ever, going to work. As I said last week, when you engage in this crazy bitch behavior, you ensure that you’re never going to get what you want.

Here’s an example of crazy bitch behavior of the testing or the Taming of the Shrew variety: If you’re asking someone to read your mind. In other words, you’re not going to tell them what you want; you’re not going to give them any indication of it. And when you see them not giving you what you want, you will see this as a refusal on their part to give you what you want. Because obviously, they’re clairvoyant, and they totally know what you want. They’re just not giving it to you! So, you get mad at them and you blame them for not giving you what you want. Meanwhile, they have no idea why you’re upset.

Ever had that experience? Ever been on the other side of that experience?

Again, this happens in romantic relationships and it happens at work as well. It also happens in a lot of families. It happens when you’re trying to manipulate people into giving you what you want without ever being willing to ask them directly for something. The most blatant example of this I can think of is this: You’re walking past someone with a heavy box, and you start sighing and lamenting “This is so heavy. Oh, my god, it’s so heavy. I wish somebody would help me with this. It’s so heavy.” You’re hoping that this will cause the person you’re whining in front of to feel guilty enough to respond “Oh my gosh, I’m a terrible person for not offering sooner. Let me help you.” And they’ll come running to your rescue. Like a knight on a fucking white horse.

Don’t do that to me, by the way. When someone tries to manipulate me into doing something for them that they aren’t willing to ask for, I’m happy to ignore them and let them keep struggling with their load. I won’t feed the crazy (that’s not the same as offering my help when I’m inspired to do so. I’m talking specifically about when it’s a manipulation). If you have family members that do this, stop feeding their crazy. It doesn’t help.

If you’re a person who’s engaging in this kind of behavior, if you’re testing people, and you’d like to stop, then the first key is always to become aware that you’re doing it. Become aware that you’re testing people, that you’re challenging them, that you’re asking them to overcome your vibration. You’re asking them to prove to you that you’re worthy enough, likeable enough, and loveable enough through their actions, so that you can then go ahead and feel that way. Again, that’s never going to work. So, if you are testing people like this, resolve now to just stop it.

How can you stop testing people?

Become aware, through self-reflection (sit and actually think about this), of what it is you actually want (the reason you’re manipulating and testing in the first place), and then you ask for it. That’s right, you’re going to actually ask for what you want (not what you think will bring it to you. The true desire).

At first, you can do this in your own head, in the privacy of your own home. Pretend that the other person is there, replay some scenarios, figure out what it was you actually wanted in that moment and practice asking for it. And yes, it’ll be as scary as hell the first couple of times you do it, but it’ll also be very enlightening. Because when you actually ask people for help, very few of them will say no. Other people love to help. I mean, you love to help others, right? It feels good to be able to give somebody something that genuinely helps them. It feels just as good to others.

This is not the same thing as taking advantage. Taking advantage is usually manipulating somebody into doing something, whether they want to or not. When you’re asking somebody, you are giving them a chance to say no. Of course, there’s always the possibility that the people in your reality are equally dysfunctional, and might not feel that they have the ability to say no. But that’s not your problem to solve (you can’t solve it). What you can do is to break the cycle from your end. Something you can keep in mind is that you may not feel great asking dysfunctional people (who can’t say no even if they want to and then resent you for it later) for anything. In fact, you may notice yourself gravitating away from them (at least as viable helpers). Playing with them in this way isn’t going to feel good to you anymore.

So, practice asking for help. You can start small. For example, “Hey, can you help me carry this?” Maybe don’t start with asking someone to help you move tomorrow. Ask for a ride. Ask for flowers. Ask for positive feedback. Ask for validation (yes, directly!). Or, how about this: ask for attention. “Can you just listen to me for 5 minutes?”, or “Hey, can you just give me a hug because that’s what I really need right now? I just need a shoulder to cry on.” Figure out how you feel and what it that you really want in that moment, no matter how small or large. Then ask for it while owning your feelings.

If you have a partner in your life and you’re not used to communicating with them in this way, and you being to be authentic with them, watch what happens. 99% of the time, they’re going to be super grateful. The other percentage of the time, they’re going to be so shocked that they’ll just freeze, because they won’t know what to do. But usually, they’re very grateful. People are grateful when you tell them what you need from them as long as there is clarity. You have to be authentic. Of course, the reason why we do any of this manipulative shit is because of the fear that they won’t do it, they won’t help us out. Instead they’ll say “Well, I don’t care.” They’ll prove to us that we were right all along. We’re not worthy.

The problem with The Taming of the Shrew Syndrome and testing behavior

The problem with testing people as a means to feel worthy or good enough or whatever, is that you’re guaranteeing that you’re not going to get what you want. If you start asking for what you want and asking for what you need, you at least have a chance to get it vs. no chance. And, the beautiful thing is, a lot of the time, people will say yes. If they do say no, usually it has nothing to do with you. It’s because they don’t truly have the time to do it, they don’t have the resources, or they don’t want to (do that activity, it’s not about not wanting to help). It has nothing to do with your value and your worth. Your feelings of value and worthiness will increase a great deal as you engage in behaviors that start to foster that worthiness. Which means, that you’re feeling worthy enough to at least ask the question. Do it even if you’re really uncomfortable. Practice it at home, until it feels a bit more comfortable. Start shoring up a little bit more energy on that and start with the small things.

I became aware of my own testing crazy bitch behavior when I was 19 years old. I had this big epiphany about how I was challenging people and making them jump through hoops; hoops that were impossible to jump through. But I was absolutely blown away the first time that I asked somebody for something and they said “Yes.” I couldn’t believe it! “This was an option all along? WHAT?!” It just blew me away. That doesn’t mean that at 19 I was an expert at being authentic, but it did get better and better because I started consciously practicing it and catching myself when I wasn’t doing it. I started to get clear about what it was that I actually wanted.

When you start to get clarity about what you want and communicate it authentically, you’ll also stop having fights about who didn’t take out the garbage because your partner’s lack of doing so secretly makes you feel unloved. If that’s how you truly feel, have THAT conversation and figure out what it is you need to feel loved.

Bottom Line

There’s a whole lot more I could say on this topic as it pertains to relationships, not having fights about petty things, and getting to the actual core of it, but you may have other things to do today, so we’re going to cut it here for now. We are going to continue this series on crazy bitch behavior and crazy bitch syndrome in the next couple of weeks, though. I’ll make a couple more videos on this particular topic, and of course, we’ll talk a lot more about different aspects of relationships in the future.

Now, it’s your turn! If any of what you read today has brought up questions or experiences of your own, let me know in the comments. I always want to hear from you.

Until next week, thank you for bringing your light to the world.

And, happy shiny puppy hugs!

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  • My father has always been a master at this. When I was a kid, I used to be pretty easily manipulated by him but now that I’m an adult, and have adopted a much wider perspective, I can see it is about his own sense of unworthiness and low self-esteem. I’m glad to help him should he ever ask me, but that is quite rare of him. However, I will not help him should he play the martyr card and just sigh, chuff and curse without clearly expressing his desire for assistance. That would not benefit him in any way and I for one don’t want to give him the signal it is OK to manipulate others by engaging in that kind of behavior.

    Having said that, I used to test people a lot when I was younger. As I’ve always been sensitive to energy and eager to think outside the box, I used to be frequently dismissed, ridiculed and shut down during my childhood and teenage years. So I thought I’m not worthy of being listened to and that my needs and desires don’t really matter. Testing people was my desperate effort to gain my power and control back. Of course, it didn’t work. In fact, one person even suspected I had Borderline Personality Disorder because of my erratic and illogical behavior. Mind you, I always was (and still am, haha) a naturally friendly and easygoing person, until my Inner Testing Crazy Bitch decided to pop in for a visit…No wonder I caused some significant confusion! Now I find the whole thing pretty hilarious but back then it was quite a shock for me to hear. Actually, we could say it was a good ol’ wake-up call 🙂

    Lady R

  • Also! Asking for what you want is about trusting people to set their own boundaries. That was a big thing for me but now I attract awesome people who know how!

  • The new site is great, first of all. I had been thinking about a new site for this blog for months…. if only so the mobile experience was better, looks like I manifested it (=P I’m kidding). The designer/developer did an awesome job and I love the puppy icons—very representative.

    Yep… the insecure boss who tests people, I’ve experienced that one. I called him out on it, he denied it to avoid responsibility, kept doing it, and I quit. It is a type of behavior I cannot stand.

    I agree that it guarantees we DON’T get what we want: interestingly enough, that boss wanted me to stay so bad but he went about it the totally wrong way (testing me, doing things not because he gave a damn but purposely so I could think he was such an awesome guy to work for which was totally ingenuine, buying me meals in hopes of me seeing his ‘altruism’, yet underpaying and overworking me, dangling carrots in front of me and not delivering on his promises, delaying talks and meetings we were supposed to have together about my career and advancement, etc.) and his actions screamed ‘I don’t value you’. That is actually what we’re communicating to people when we test them, if our focus is on getting and getting from people, then we are coming from a place of lack, as if we have nothing to contribute. Because we believe we don’t. People who truly value themselves would take no part in such behavior.

    I was usually the one on the other side of the testing equation, I was the one accepting such behavior and trying to tame other people for their emotional needs and insecurities. That’s ‘old world’ behavior now and I believe quitting that job was a huge turning point for me. I think it sucks either way. It’s one thing for people to test others, it’s another if we allow or accept such treatment from them. A doormat doesn’t become a doormat because people take advantage of them…. the missing variable is them not being able to say ‘no’ or thinking they have no choice. No one is to blame, but it’s everyone’s responsibility.

  • My walls are mainly of shyness and sometimes insecurity , especially when I am romantically interested in someone. I know people, especially men, are not mind readers (you Melody gave me a new perspective about insisting guys , they are jerks and I get that ) .. however I think there is a difference between insisting (which I was looking for in guys earlier otherwise I would have assumed they were not interested) and something nicer like a curiosity or feeling intrigued which is what I what I would like to elicit and expect from others…My shyness I believe is never, especially these days, displayed though nagging, hard testing or nastiness ..I get that we need to feel good about ourselves first and asking for constant validation is a put off if not counterproductive ..but honestly I do not think I am constantly asking for that…I consider myself very aware but I am also human , I do have ups and lows and I do wish for certain outcomes but not as a nag or manipulator. ..I like to feel appreciated and loved just like everybody else . I would believe even the most independent strong cheerful woman gets her feelings hurt at receiving a cold shoulder , especially when you come with love.. recently I am getting more and more often pushed away every time I feel attracted to a potential partner…my point is , why me getting shy cannot be perceived endearing or intriguing ? why do I have to get only the people who are ready and keen to find it almost repulsive or ridiculous? I do not consider myself repulsive or ridiculous at all and I do not think I put huge expectations on people, the last thing I want to do is forcing anyone (just the only idea puts me off totally ) ..however now I am just getting so angry and frustrated.. just today and out of the blue I found out I have been excluded once more as a result of not being considered pleasant or not being considered at this point It is hard for me to keep strong and positive, eventually I do get negative because I feel trapped in the same fcking scenarios, like feeling alone in the same nasty place or that something is waiting to hit me and crush my hopes when I least expect it or just when I was opening up. The word let down is awful as it makes me feel like I am nagging someone to love me or forcing them to give me what I want but how are we supposed to feel contempt and ok with always elicit rejection? …eventually it does become a catch 22 where I am almost beating myself up for wanting to be loved or feeling hurt or let down, because I should know better and be ok with others not being keen on me, because at the end of the day it is their choice and not mine..but how am I supposed to never get fed up and fcking angry at the same kind of people and scenario showing up? catches momentum because it has been happening so often but I do not understand just how it started or why it had to start in the first place.. the word is full of people who want, hope , have fears and insecurities the same as I do without necessary getting so pushed away for in stance for falling in love and wanted to be reciprocated . I have seen happy ending for them or at least some kind of interest or reassuring behaviors from other people. Some of these people are also far from having awareness and sometimes they do demand by speaking their minds up about their expectations ,feelings and hopes , even when it is not appropriate and they do not get pushed away for this..what shall we do when we just can not find someone who wants to play at the same level we set out to live? Do I still need to be accepting of others decisions every time another one chooses to see me as not worthy of consideration?..
    I love this series and appreciate your work ..the subject really hits home with me and in my case I am not sure anymore if it is a CB Syndrom problem now or actually a boundaries problem?

  • Hi Melody! I’m excited to comment on your shiny new website! It’s so clean and nice. As always, you have the best sense of humor! 🙂 😀

  • This was a laughing fest at times and a cringe fest at others! Asking for what I want is still a very recent and raw subject! Just for perspective, it took me MONTHS to ask my parents for hugs, and I knew all along that they’d LOVE it! No idea when this “can’t ask for love” started, but it has prevented me from receiving and giving a lot of love!

    And I’m fortunate enough to not be on the giving side of this one (manipulating people or making them jump through hoops), and just rarely find myself on the receiving side of it. BUT asking for what I want and asking for help is something is still very raw and recent for me. I’ve been on the “independent princess” side of things, so to speak! “I’ll do it all myself!” That way I didn’t have to rely on other people and have them “fail me”, which would often happen, mainly because I didn’t ask for what I wanted and I didn’t trust them to do it “correctly” either.
    Catch 22 type of thing! 😀 Getting better at it but still feel that if I want something done “right” (aka, my way), I’ll have to be the one doing it. How about a video on control freaks moving away from the control need/habit? 😉

  • Hey Melody,
    I’ve directly asked for things, but been told I’m acting ‘needy’. This was in a romantic relationship. That relationship ended a few weeks back. How do you fix that? The bring called needy I mean

  • I love this series. You have some really great and insightful thoughts. Thanks for sharing them with us!
    My crazy bitch comes out when I get jealous. It doesn’t happen much anymore now that I’m older but when it does comes out, oh man, I hulk out. I cannot control my tongue or tears or rage. Why is jealousy such an instant ingnighter of our inner crazy bitch?

  • The part about asking for a hug made me feel warm and fuzzy. I think it’s nice to ask people for things you want but don’t “need”. It’s like saying they’re important I think. I want to try to do that more.

  • (Commenting on the new and very lovely website/blog…very exciting!!)
    Hey Melody – great series.
    I don’t know how many comments you’ve had over the years on your blog that include the words ‘perfect timing’, but here we are again…perfect timing for me!

    Last night before I watched your video I was literally about to engage in some CBS behaviour in the hopes that a certain man would, ahem, tame my shrew. I didn’t fully realise that I was doing of course, but I did have a ‘feeling’ that it might not be the best route forward, but the thought of it definitely felt good!

    This certain man and I have been getting on very well for a while, and in the beginning it did feel like we were heading somewhere good. However (as always seems to be my manifestation), he seemed to lose interest in anything ‘romantic’ and I have been pretty much friend zoned. We still get on so, so well and really enjoy each other’s company – and I did have a little flicker of hope that there might still be a chance. However I recently found out that he has been dating someone else, and yeah that didn’t feel good to me. Not wanting to feel powerless, my first instinct was to turn to a certain popular dating app and get out there and date the hell out of some men and do it bigger and better than he ever would 😉

    I’ve been sitting in a little bit on denial and telling myself that this is for me, to help me move on and find the next dude. However if I’m honest, it’s really to get his attention and find out if it bothers him enough (or at all) to take an interest in me, We have both been guilty of the ‘mindreader’ mindset and throughout the whole thing, haven’t actually had a conversation about any potential relationship. I now see that the ‘see if he gets jealous’ method is definitely not in line with Who I Really Am…however it doesn’t look like he’s leaving my reality any time soon. We have lots of mutual friends, I get on with him better than I have anyone in a long time and I think he’s the same, and through unplanned events,, the universe always seems to bring us together, often just the two of us. So I’m really not sure how to move forward with this one – any insights/advice would really be appreciated!

    • Hey Maz,

      Perfectly recognized! The “make him jealous” trope is definitely in this category of crazy bitch behavior.
      Ok, so I would start by getting clear about what it is that you actually want. Do you want a relationship with him? What would be the dream scenario here? Then, practice having that conversation with him, in your head. See it going well. You know, there’s a chance that you may think you’ve been giving him come hither, and I’m ready signals when in fact, you’ve been doing the opposite. He may think he’s been friend zoned. Anyway, practice seeing it go well. And then, go talk to him. Yes, it’s scary, but honestly, it’s cathartic, too. You’ll realize that conversations are nothing to be afraid of. He won’t pull out a gun and shoot you. LOL.

      See what happens. Is there a risk his feelings aren’t mutual. Well, yes. But wouldn’t you rather know than to have to keep guessing? And what if he feels the same way, but had no idea that you did, too? Hmmm? If nothing else, this will give you a ton of clarity about how you communicate, and practice in communicating clearly.

      Check back and let us know how it went!



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