Last update: July 17, 2017
Sometimes, almost without realizing it, we become the villains of the story, the big bad wolf of Little Red Riding Hood. We are that someone who for refusing to do something, for having told the truth out loud or for having acted according to their values suddenly becomes the evil character of the story, the cause for which the fairy tale is not rosy and not presents the narrative they wanted to dictate.
It is really dangerous and unsuitable make use of the dichotomy so extreme that it clearly differentiates between good and bad people. We do this so often that we don't even notice. For example, if a child is obedient, calm and quiet, we immediately say that he is "good". Conversely, if he has character, is insolent, restless and very prone to tantrums, we do not hesitate to tell him aloud that he "is a naughty child".
It is as if many of us have a rigid, self-constructed pattern of what they expect of others, on what they consider adequate and respectable, on the personal concepts of nobility and goodness. When one of these factors is not respected, when only one element of this inner recipe is not fulfilled, expressed or not present, we do not hesitate to define the others as reckless, toxic or even "bad".
Being the big bad wolf in someone's tale is very common. However, in many cases it is necessary to analyze the person under the red riding hood.
When creating our personal "stories" gives us confidence
Little Red Riding Hood is an obedient little girl. As she walks in the woods she knows that she must not stray from the predetermined path, that she must follow the rules, act according to what has been established. However, when the wolf appears, her perspectives change… she lets herself be enchanted by the beauty of the forest, the song of the birds, the appearance of the flowers, the fragrance of that new world full of sensations. The wolf, in the story, therefore represents intuition and the wildest dimension of human nature.
We certainly need this metaphor to better understand many of the dynamics we have to deal with every day. There are people who, like Little Red Riding Hood at the beginning of the story, show rigid and schematic behavior. They have internalized what relationships must be like, what a good friend, a good colleague, the ideal child and the perfect partner must be. Their brains are programmed to seek exclusively these dynamics and this uniformity, because that is how they get what they need most: security.
However, when dissonance occurs, when someone reacts, acts or responds differently from the intended plan, they panic. Threat and stress take over. A contrary opinion is seen as an attack. An alternative plan, a harmless refusal or an unexpected decision are immediately perceived as a distressing disappointment and as an immense affront.
Almost without looking for it or foreseeing it or wanting it, we become the “big bad wolf” of the story, in this someone who for following his intuition has hurt the fragile being that was under the little hood.
On the other hand, there is an aspect that we cannot deny: many times we ourselves are the little hood who makes the mistake of writing his own story. We draw and devise very specific plans for what our life should be, our ideal family, our best friend and that imperfect love that never fails and that fits perfectly with us. Imagining it excites us, its occurrence gives us security and fighting for everything to continue as we have planned defines us as people.
However, when the story stops being such and becomes a proof of reality, everything collapses and a pack of wolves immediately appears that devours our almost impossible fantasy.
Before becoming the tame wolves who live impossible tales, it is advisable to gather strength and courage, listen to your instincts and act with intelligence, respect and cunning. Acting according to one's principles, needs and values is by no means behaving with malice. It means living following your instincts, knowing that in the woods of life the good ones are not always totally good and the bad ones are not totally bad. The important thing is to know how to live with authenticity, without skins or hoods.