The Harley Quinn Effect


I’ve been noticing a strange pattern in people I know lately so I decided to describe it in the best way I know how–using superheroes. I call the pattern “The Harley Quinn Effect” where I’ve noticed that certain kinds of girls seem drawn to certain kinds of guys. But before you read further, I want you to know that I’m not saying ALL girls or even MOST girls are like this. I’m just describing a pattern I’ve seen. That being said, if you notice any of these characters in your life, I hope this post is enlightening. Let me know if you agree, disagree or are outright confused…


The Harley Quinn Effect

When a woman has spent most of her life with Jokers, she will think that every man in the world is a Joker. She will also think that she deserves nothing but a Joker. This will often result in a number of possible behaviors.

She will be drawn to Batman

Any man who remotely resembles a hero who will not abuse her will immediately attract her and she will gravitate towards him. However, when Harley comes in contact with Batman, she will want him to save her because she’s spent most of her life being the victim and will want him to protect her. Her deepest need of feeling safe is now being met and this is the main reason why she’s with him. The reason this is important is because her experience with past Jokers will color her view of Batman and she won’t be able to tell the difference between a real Batman and a Robin—a Batman in training. Essentially, Harley Quinns have a tendency to gravitate to men who are vaguely better than the bad men they’ve been with and be quick to conclude that they’re better than they really are. If you know a Harley Quinn, remind her that she’s not defined by her relationship with men. She has worth on her own.

She will run away from Batman

Whenever a Harley Quinn finds herself with a man who’s actually good, she will run away from him because being abused is all she’s used to. She’ll either avoid a good man once she experiences the first act of random kindness from him or get in a relationship with him and go through a cycle of running away and coming back. Batman, of course, will keep chasing her and bringing her back, not realizing that she won’t ever fully stay until she’s willing to change from Harley Quinn to someone else. If you know a Harley Quinn, remind her that she deserves a good man and not another Joker. Not only does she deserve a good man, but she deserves good things in life in general. Point out the lies the Joker has taught her and let her know that she’s worth people’s time and attention.

Harley’s are not crazy–although some of them are. Harleys are simply girls who have unprocessed pain from their past that’s crippling their present.

Until Harleys believe that they deserve better than the Joker, they will keep going back to the Joker. But when they accept the fact that they’re worth more, they will look for Batman, but this time in a healthy way.


While noticing Harley Quinns, I’ve also noticed that they give rise to another phenomenon. Like I said above, Harleys have spent so much time with the Joker that they can’t tell the difference between a real Batman and a Batman-in-training. This in turn gives rise to another condition…

The Robin Syndrome

Robin is genuinely a good guy. He’s loving, kind, humble, but also strong and knows how to take care of himself and the women in his life. However, Robins are usually prone to a couple pitfalls.

They think too lowly of themselves

Robins generally are very aware that they are not Batman. And no matter how much the Harleys around them tell them how great they are, they can always respond with, “But I’m not as good as Batman.” They’ll constantly compare themselves to other men or constantly feel that they’re not doing a good enough job. But the reality is that Robins are very, very good men and have a plethora of qualities and accomplishments to be proud of. Because of this Robins need to be reminded that they are good enough. But they don’t need to hear this from Harleys—they need to hear this from Batman. Robins also need to be reminded that they don’t have to be perfect or save the world. They don’t even have to save anyone—including Harley Quinns. They simply need to keep doing what they’re doing and keep being themselves.

They think too highly of themselves

Robins are really good at hiding. They can spin together a web of superspirituality to make it look like they’re aware of their flaws and are dealing with their flaws, but they’ve really just dropped a smoke bomb to distract you. Since Robins usually have a number of Harleys coming after them, they can eventually start thinking, “I’m pretty hot stuff.” This can lead to Robins being overtly or covertly condescending where they’re slipping drops of self-righteousness into their conversations or throwing all-out batarangs of pride at people, letting them know that they know what’s best. Because they’re such good guys and haven’t made the same mistakes that many other guys have made, they can sometimes feel that they have the right to step on people’s heads and tell them how to live. Robins need to be reminded that they’re not that great. They aren’t Batman. Half the girls coming after them are only there because they can’t do any better, and they need to be shown that they still have a lot to learn. Unfortunately, these kinds of things are only received well by a Batman—only another guy who’s farther ahead than a Robin can put him in his place because that man can essentially say, “I’m better than you. So shut up and listen.”


In conclusion, if you know any Harley Quinns, remind them that they deserve more than the Jokers they’ve been with and that they’re worth time and positive attention. And if you know any Robins, remind them that they don’t have to save everyone, they’re not perfect, and that the most important thing for them to do is be themselves.




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