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Benching: false relations maintained for convenience

Benching: false relations maintained for convenience

September 18, 2022

New technologies are here to stay , and allow us to interact with each other in ways never before imagined. We are, for better or for worse, constantly connected. And we communicate constantly.

But despite this we are in a culture increasingly individualistic and egocentric. In this way, many people use communication methods and social networks to satisfy their ego needs, sometimes generating toxic relationships in order to feel desired and maintain high self-esteem. An example is what happens in the benching , concept of which we speak in this article.

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What is benching?

Benching is understood to be that situation in which a person maintains some contact with another, communicating with her generally in a brief and superficial way, for the sole purpose of maintaining his interest in the person himself but without pretending to get friendship or anything in particular beyond benefiting from him / her.


We are facing a type of toxic relationship based on manipulation in which a subject uses another as if it were a supplement, leaving it on the "bench" in case nothing better comes out. This is not really valued, but it is intended to maintain contact that does not forget the person who performs this practice.

So, we are not faced with a disappearance as in ghosting or slow fading, but in the face of a maintained contact in which the person who is waiting does not finish seeing the interaction with the other disappear and remains waiting, maintaining a certain level of hope to have a friendship or meaningful bond, which leads him to be attentive to the benching practitioner.


The mechanism of action is similar to what happens in addictions: the interaction with the person generates in the victim of benching a sense of well-being, which will diminish and tend to disappear with lack of contact. However, the arrival of new communications, for trivial and lacking content that are, they awaken again the desire for affection and authentic affective bonds . The person in question makes a comment or interaction with the purpose of feeding this desire: it is very common, for example, to praise the other) and make the other person stay pending. Which in many cases it gets for a long time.

In what contexts does it occur?

The benching It is especially visible in the context of relationships , being today very visible in applications to link or even through WhattsApp. But as with ghosting, we are not facing something really new: it is possible to do the same by phone or even face to face.


But the couple is not the only context in which similar attitudes can appear: we can find them also present in friendship relations being a part used by the other only as a wild card, without really assessing the person itself.

Causes of this phenomenon

Why does benching happen? Several authors propose that part of their causes are due to the society in which we are, in which every time there is a greater individuality and self-centeredness and superficial contacts are maintained to which we give little or no value. The other is often used as an object or something that we can benefit from, or with which to conform if nothing else comes to us.

On a personal level, those who practice this practice tend to present a high level of narcissism and enjoy that other people pay attention . It is usual to be people with a certain level of egocentricity and sometimes narcissism. It is not necessary that they have something with another person: what moves the person carrying out the benching in these cases is the fact of feeling wanted. On the other hand, it can also be used by people with low self-esteem who depend on the approval of others to feel good.

It is also frequent that there is no empathy with the other and what they may be feeling, or that there is a fear of being left alone and they resort to maintaining this type of relationship in case they do not find anything else. Another option could be found in the existence of multiple relationships of the same type at the same time, in case the favorite subject with whom we really want to communicate does not respond. Last but not least, it is possible that some people may do it involuntarily and may try to show more appropriate behaviors.

Consequences in the affected

Neither with you nor without you. Probably this is the phrase that best describes what happens in benching to the person who suffers it. On the one hand, the person you are interested in is communicating, not being able to forget it. On the other, it is being largely ignored and we may or may not realize the little interest of the other in us .

The consequence of this is the emergence of a certain confusion, uncertainty and a progressive disappointment. It is not uncommon for self-esteem to diminish (after all, the other person does not consider us so important) and that the feeling of being used or being a consolation prize is born. On the other hand, dependency relationships that generate a high level of suffering are also favored, as well as the emergence of later relational difficulties.

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What to do if we are the affected party?

Knowing what to do in this situation can be complicated. The first step is to accept and assume that if prolonged contact follows the same pattern of behavior, whatever the reason we are suffering from benching. In this case, it is best to cut off contact with that person , since the other person will not have the will to do it.

It would not be strange that after stopping sending messages the subject carrying out the benching began to show a much greater interest, product of the need to be admired for the subject. Usually the only thing that is sought in keeping the other hooked, thing to avoid. Before cutting the relationship, it is recommended to speak the facts (if the other is not aware, he / she could make attempts to change, although it is usually done in a totally voluntary way) and clearly expose them, as well as communicate the cessation of the relationship clearly.


Jason Phillips: "Practical Nutrition Application" | Talks at Google (September 2022).


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