Tiger Woods: Predator Or Prey?

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011
  • Debbie Ford Bestselling author and personal transformation expert

Day after day, they are slithering out into the limelight to catch their moment of fame. One by one, they are exposing Tiger's hidden shame -- a porn star, a pancake waitress, a model, a VIP hostess, a club promoter. Is it because they are good, upstanding women who seek to help Tiger and his family heal or is it because they are hurt, wounded and desperate for justice? I suggest it is neither.

It's easy to examine Tiger's behavior, to be disappointed and to wonder why he would blow it all. And although I am not at all letting Tiger off the hook for his indiscretion and the pain he has caused his family, supporters and sponsors, I think it's worthy of our time to spotlight the nature of the other women who make it possible for our great heroes to easily fall from grace. We all know that it takes two to tango, and finding a woman to sleep with a famous married athlete is as easy as Tiger shooting par. These women are everywhere -- looking, planning and scheming to find their next catch. I have worked with many of them over the years who have tried to get off their drug of choice -- other women's husbands. For the women whose tastes are for high-powered, highly visible celebrities, it is often harder. Why? The gifts are bigger, the false esteem is greater, and the hunger to be something or someone in the world is insatiable. They will do anything to lure their hunt.

To shed further light on these women, here is a profile of the Seductress from my book Why Good People Do Bad Things: How to Stop Being Your Own Worst Enemy:

The Seductress is after one thing and one thing only: to make herself feel better about who she is. Birthed out of the fear that she is not good enough, loved enough, and does not belong unless she is the object of someone's attention, she searches until she finds a suitable target to trap in her energetic web. She's considered a predator because her main goal is to feed on the self-esteem of another in order to soothe her own emotional wounds. The Seductress literally throws out an energetic hook by being kind, loving, interested, and sexual -- luring her next victim closer, all the while planning her next move. She spends her time thinking about how she looks and how others will perceive her. Her "catch," so to speak, enhances her inner perception of herself and covers, at least for the moment, the enormous pain and self-loathing that are stored in her psyche.

The danger of the Seductress is that she doesn't know her real motives, and her victims cannot see them. She doesn't care who she hurts or what costs her next victim will incur. Her motives and moves develop in time as she learns the insecurities and vulnerabilities of her prey. We would think her prey would be just men -- often married (a bigger kill, so she thinks) -- but they can be co-workers, a boss, other women, or anyone else in a position to serve her greater mission: to take others' light and use it to fill the dark hole of her own emptiness. She will generally surround herself with those who are weaker than she is -- but will pursue those who appear to be more powerful. Dangerous, poisonous, and venomous are the qualities I use to describe the Seductress, because her main attack is disguised as "love." Her signal broadcasts in all directions, sometimes loudly and at other times as a soft whisper: "I will give you some love if you give me your power. I am going to make you feel better about yourself if you give me some control. I am going to tell you everything you ever wanted to hear if you just make me the object of your attention."

What we have to understand is that the Seductress' shame, the shadow that drives her behavior, is that she is unimportant, undesirable, self-hating, unlovable, and empty. To heal her shame, the Seductress must come to terms with and recognize that her craving for attention, admiration, and affection of others is a desperate cry from her inner world that she needs help. She needs to find her own value and gifts -- something that no man can give her. When she realizes that for most men, she is just a drug, a shot in the arm, a shot of tequila, or the dice in a craps game, she can come out of denial that she is anything more than a sex toy and begin her own healing journey. Self-respect is her only salvation. She must be willing to feel the emptiness and withdrawal pains that she will encounter when she is without an object to arouse, amuse, and seduce with her charms. Once she understands that what she seeks can be found only from within, she can set out on the healing journey of finding her own worth. Even the Seductress deserves that.

It might just be the ultimate cosmic joke. These seductress women, who thought they were playing Tiger for their best round of sport, are now discovering that they didn't score the hole-in-one they were hoping for but are only one of 14 balls that were lost in the proverbial sand trap of Tiger Woods.