NERDS! GET ‘EM!

Recently Ferdinand Bardimu opened a giant can of whoop-ass on nerds-

http://www.inmalafide.com/2010/06/16/why-nobody-likes-nerds-and-why-youre-justified-in-hating-them/

This is all pretty harsh. Nevertheless he talks about some behaviors or reactions that low-status people and outsiders sometimes exhibit that cause problems for them. I don’t agree with everything he says, because I have a different perspective, but you need to consider these things in your social interaction.

A note on terminology. When I was a kid a “geek” was a disgusting person not to be suffered, a social outcast. A “nerd” was somebody who loved science and technology, maybe science fiction and such, and was not popular with people in general, but not a social outcast, and not socially inept. “Geek” in a world where technology is ubiquitous seems to have more the meaning of “nerd” then and is often used in a positive way. The “nerds” of which FB speaks seem to be people who have their own social circles but do not relate well to regular people. But relating to regular people is the issue here, and although the psychological and social status of someone who is a social outcast and has no friends is different from a guy who is popular at the Society for Creative Anachronism the problem is much the same.

He notes that nerds, having been picked on a lot, tend to be very defensive. He is not sympathetic to this state of mind but having experienced it I can understand how you feel. It is important not to overreact, or even react quickly or emotionally, to things people say and do. You need to consider calmly whether the statement was hostile, and if it was hostile what you can or should do about it.

A low status person can’t say anything negative or aggressive to anyone, because he will be punished for it. If you assume the world is or should be fair, you will think other people should be punished for negative, aggressive or critical statements. But it’s not. Higher status people, even those with status little higher than yourself, are accustomed to doing this, often just to blow off steam.

Another kind of verbal aggression is what is sometimes called “ranking”, which is a verbal attack intended to show the dominance of one individual over another. Men within groups do it frequently, but it’s not intended to harm the other person. Men also do it outside groups- to affirm the superiority of those in the group or themselves to those outside. This is generally called bullying, which is kind of a stupid schoolyard term. I know it’s used in Britain to describe bad behavior by supervisors but why some better one has never been coined I don’t know, other than it’s something people don’t like to talk about. There is also aggression to determine whether a person is suitable for group membership, which is called “hazing.” Again kind of a dumb school term, but even psychologists use it. This is the male version of the “shit test”. Game bloggers will insist men are so rational they would never engage in such emotional, female behavior but that’s what it is.

My detailed discussion and taxonomy of all this nastiness is of course proof what a nerd I am, but I’ve seen it all.

To summarize, you need to recognize and effectively deal with blathering, ranking, bullying, and hazing, in ways that don’t harm you, make things worse or harder for you, reduce your social status further, and hopefully maintain or slightly raise your status. I will write more about this soon.

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16 Responses to NERDS! GET ‘EM!

  1. Sheila Tone says:

    You are absolutely right about men. They do this at least as much as women and are more blatant about it.

    I prefer the term “harassment” to “bullying.”

    One really irritating characteristic of many low-status people is that they believe it’s inappropriate to criticize *anything.* You can’t solve or even identify a damn problem because this attitude of theirs will sabotage your efforts to do so.

    • You’re irritated with the reluctance of low-status people to make criticisms without considering the fact that they will realistically be punished for saying something higher-status people don’t want to hear. Keeping your mouth shut is the best strategy for keeping your job, or not being humiliated in front of the group.

  2. Sheila Tone says:

    I’m not talking about professionally. I’m talking about personally.

    Maybe part of the problem is the low-status person’s perception of my own status (low). Perhaps when a higher-status person wishes to criticize something, the low-status person leaps in eagerly to agree. Whereas when another low-status (I prefer “unpopular,” by the way) person criticizes, other low-statii view it as an opportunity to score points via rejection by refusing to join with them in the socially inappropriate act of criticism.

    Could you see any good fireworks from where you were last night? You should have a good view of the Valley floor.

  3. Niko says:

    Check out “transactional analysis”, nerds are just kids who have internalized a toxic mother’s injunctions:

    Don’t be (don’t exist), Don’t be who you are, Don’t be a child, Don’t grow up, Don’t make it in your life, Don’t do anything!, Don’t be important, Don’t belong, Don’t be close, Don’t be well (don’t be sane!), Don’t think,Don’t feel.

    Great thing is behavior is learned and can be changed.

  4. Sheila Tone says:

    Sure, if all else fails, blame mom. Not many mothers tell their sons not to make it in life. And “don’t think, don’t feel” usually comes from other men, not from women.

    • Skeleton Skritch says:

      “And “don’t think, don’t feel” usually comes from other men, not from women.”

      Idiot …

    • jusblaze99 says:

      yeah my father is actually to blame for those feelings within me, not my mom- she was always encouraging

  5. gramercy says:

    This kind of discussion makes me sick to be an American. I lived for a long time in Europe and found no equivalent of “nerd”, “dork” and “geek” in European countries. Smart people are not vilified there, nor are thick-necked jocks worshipped. It is not uncommon to find brainy ectomorphs in European high schools and universities dating buxom cuties.

    Shame on our meathead culture!

  6. Niko says:

    Women belittle, men encourage, even your interaction here betrays your innate inability to encourage. Your condescending (though I’m sure in your own mind its ‘tough love’)and judgmental.

    Injunctions aren’t directly verbally expressed, they’re intimated through behavior and social interaction.

  7. […] Omega Man – “Approach Failure“, “NERDS! GET ‘EM!” […]

  8. Gil says:

    Of course, you could ask why Alphas descend upon and bully Omegas and not Betas, whilst Betas turn their backs to the bullying? It can be viewed that some times animals within a species group don’t like other that are out of place or disabled in some way. Hence most bully victims are below average physically in some sort of way and this triggers primal urges in the leaders to oust the weaklings’ genetically-defective arse out of the tribe.

    However, it also can be wondered as to why Alphas still find Omegas threatening in adulthood? Sometimes it’s just the appearance of someone who’s clearly below average. Yet there’s something be said about Alphas males not usually targetting Betas. Most Beta males should be able to settle down with a Beta wife and make babies. Since Beta males have their own family they’re little to no threat to an Alpha’s family. The Omega male, on the other hand, cannot settle down yet because he has no partner cannot help but ‘perve’ on Alpha women. All males like to snag the Alpha women but at least the Beta males can get the decent-average Beta females. Of course, Alpha women trigger primal urges in the male brains that may leave Beta (and Omega) women shaking their heads (“why do men fall over themselves trying to her out why I can’t barely get a bloke to do anything for me even when I ask them?”). Thusly Omega males threaten Alpha males because they are males after all (“Hey, what the hell do you think your doing? I saw you ogling my girlfriend/wife!”). Alphas know since Omega males are powerless and sexless by nature they also know Omega males would have little to lose if they were to commit rape or kidnapping of their wives (after which they would commit suicide before authorities or the Alpha males could catch them). Hence an Alpha male would make it quite clear to “stay the hell away from my wife or else!” every time.

  9. raddark says:

    OM,

    Thanks for the blog. It’s one of the most honest writings from the perspective of the “outsider” that I’ve seen. Of a real outsider, not the tres cool fake “outsider” of the movies and stories.

    I wrote a rather longish summary of my own story and just screwed up enough courage to put it online.

    http://raddark.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/imagine/

    See if you can read it some time.

    One thing I know now, social relations, social networks and psychology based upon social relations are extremely powerful in shaping people’s lives, and the conventional conception of talent + hard work leading to a successful life is more or less self-serving bullshit that people that lucked out in life tell themselves and sell to the worse-off in order to guilt them into staying in line. But, as they say, such is life.

    Keep up the blogging.

    • Having a disfunctional family *and* disfunctional religious beliefs is a really bad combination. I’m going to talk about my sister soon and illustrate more of this.

  10. This made me snort for a protracted time.

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