Recently I noted in an essay that it's natural to resist co-operation with someone who seems to want something very much, and looked into some of the possible causes of this effect.
Of course, one of the forms is that of being in a situation which is not under your own control, which is daunting enough to some people, particularly if the situation is under the other person's control -- all the more so when there is a suspiciion of unreciprocated sexual or romantic desire -- which, after all, is a well-known strong desire that other strong desires are sometimes assumed to be.
Sex, however, cannot be the only fear here, but there is a more general fear of being used, and perhaps a further fear here is that to be used is to be either unvalued as a person (however much wanted as a means to an end) or to be put on a pedestal -- dehumanized, a human aspidstra?
Even this, of course, may not be enough to account for the behaviour of some people who, although perhaps capable of relating normally in very shallow social situations, where nothing said will be of significance to anybody, either become very bristly, or clam up altogether, or simply rush out.
Much of this, of course, could be seen as abnormality, in quite a clinical way... but these are real people, perhaps included among our friends... or inside you or I... I myself certainly start to feel wary on spotting known buttonholers or frotters! How can we understand these people more, and help them to be at ease even in the presence of determination, which I think is one of the things that scares them (among other things, though!)?
Although tricky and perhaps demanding of patience and effort, I fell this can be done, starting with genuine love and care (which does not mean manipulability, as I've explained in my notes on ``romance -- why not?'' -- from that start, they may then be able to see that they really are valued for themselves rather than as a means to an end -- or an aspidistra!
Really, the difficulty must be to convey this valuing to them -- but without simply reversing the problem by doing what they say and thus being used by them, which may be their main way of feeling valued: I have seen this happen -- but surely not in you or I?
You and I, of course, could find ourselves at either end of this effect -- and perhaps the key to remember that when someone tries rigidly, frigidly, to control a situation, it's likely to be a sign that within, they're very small and scared, and over their internal situation, almost totally without power.