Credit: WENN Photo: Bentley Williams and Ashley Hebert Talk in Season 7, Episode 6 of The Bachelorette

Sure, The Bachelorette star Ashley Hebert could have been a bit more tactful when she confessed to the boys that she had seen Bentley Williams in Hong Kong to seek “closure,” but did it really call for the anger and resentment that culminated with Mickey McLean quitting the show? Dr. Alisa Robinson, PhD., of askdoctoralisa.com, explains that the male hive-mind may have been the ultimate force at play in Season 7, Episode 6 — and that guys like Mickey may have been burned once too often.

Wetpaint: How could Ashley have better handled the situation?
Dr. Alisa Robinson: When she told them in the group they seemed to have a different reaction than when she told JP by herself. One of the reasons the guys in the group may have responded differently is how they were told. It might have gone over better if it was in a one-on-one environment. What happens sometimes in a group setting is that you’ll have one guy or a couple of guys with a strong opinion, and that can influence or rile up the rest of them — that kind of group mentality. In these shows sometimes, even though each of the men have a bond with the Bachelorette, they also develop bonds with each other. And research has found that men bonding in groups tends to be very strong, like in sports.

Even so, Mickey storming off the show seemed a bit much. What might that be all about?
Another reason for their various reactions is that it’s probably a product of their own family and relationship history. For example, if a guy’s been cheated on in the past, he’s more prone to feeling betrayed in a situation like this. The current situation can trigger feelings about a past situation, so the reaction is stronger than she expected. So if one of the guys had perhaps been cheated on in the past, he’s more likely to have a strong reaction to Ashley confiding in him and telling him about the Bentley situation. If a guy has difficulty trusting for one reason or another, then any indication of betrayal can lead to stress and anger, or cause them to leave the show early.

What lesson can Wetpaint readers take away from this debacle?
It’s valuable for readers to note that the men’s reactions can be useful information for Ashley. How they react can be a good indicator of how they might handle conflicts or problems in the future, should the relationship last. The message for anybody dating is that you want to pay attention to how a person responds to problems and setbacks early in the relationship. If that person’s response seems out of proportion with the situation, then they’re more likely to be carrying around baggage that may effect your relationship with them. Pay attention to how your mate responds to problems early on.

ABOUT DR. ALISA ROBINSON
Dr. Alisa Robinson is a licensed clinical psychologist. She received her doctorate from the University of Southern California and provides therapy to individuals across the lifespan. Her website, www.askdoctoralisa.com, and Facebook page provide information about psychology in popular media. She is able to explain psychology research and mental health issues in a way that is easy for others to understand. Her videos and articles increase awareness, encourage discussion, and provide guidance and help to others.