In part 2 of our series, Catishing in Second Life, we will take a look at how to handle being catfished and what steps you can do in order to get over the many emotions that come with being deceived in a relationship.
If you have been catfished, then you know exactly how you feel after finding out that the person you may have been in love with or had a deep admiration for, has been lying to you. You may feel anger, sadness, shock, and many other emotions at the same time. Normally these emotions give away to revenge; after all you have been hurt, right?
I have listed out a few steps below on how to deal with the aftermath of being catfished. Remember only you know the situation between you and the catfisher who catfished you and the following steps to dealing with an outed catfisher are simply suggestions or can be a guide on your plan on what to do with the person who catfished you.
1. Think about the situation: you are going to do this anyways, if you have been catfished, your main question will be why? Why would a person do this to you and why did you not see the warning signs. You should not think and rehash the relationship over and over again, in fact your “relationship” with the catfisher really was not one, as the person lied from the beginning. You should think about the terms of the situation, if the person lied in Second Life about something that you can live with, then you can simply talk to the person about it, if the person lied about something you cannot tolerate, then you definitely need to think about what your next steps will be.
2. Make a decision: if you know that deep down you cannot live with what the person catfished you about, then break up with the catfisher. It is important that you do not rethink your decision, remember you are dealing with a person who is a liar and a skilled one at that. Rethinking or overthinking your decision at this stage may cause you to get hurt all over again.
3. Shutting the person out and developing space: if you break up with the catfisher, then do your best to put them behind you. So if you got catfished in Second Life, and you shared a home with the catfisher, then either move out or force the person to move out. Ban the catfisher if you have permissions to do this from the parcel and even from the estate if you have this option. If you share groups with the catfisher, either remove yourself or the catfisher from all owned groups. Do not frequent the same places the catfisher does and if you have the catfisher on any social media sites or instant messengers, remove the person. Lastly delete and mute the person off your list. While this may sound drastic, remember that this is a person, who lied to you and probably hurt you, why keep this type of person in your Second Life or even real life?
4. Take time away from Second Life: this is easy to do, it may mean that you simply reduce your time in Second Life and only do things which you absolutely have to do or you may simply check out of Second Life for a bit and find a new virtual world or hobby to occupy your time.
5. Surround yourself with positive friends: when you do return to Second Life or if you do not take time away, surround yourself with positive people and friends. The last thing you need to hear is the “I told you sos”. Hearing this will just make you feel worse. True friends will be there for you and listen to you throughout this process.
6. Starting over in Second Life: one friend of mine who was catfished for about a year on Second Life, simply decided not to return, she felt her experience was too much to bear, while another one who was catfished, he simply created a new avatar and no longer uses his original account. These are drastic measures, but may help you get over being catfished quicker and allow you to move on from what happened. Keep in mind that if you and the catfisher had mutual friends and you tell these mutual friends about any new account, then there is a chance the catfisher may find you again.
Dealing with a catfisher, particularly a skilled one, is never easy and can lead to emotional stress not to mention you being wary of Second Life. In our upcoming and last installment of Catfishing in Second Life, we will look at how you can prevent being catfished.