It’s Better to Be Needed Than Loved

March 30, 2012

A career-topics blogger at Forbes uses the movie “Michael Clayton” as an example of bad career management.

“Michael Clayton” stars George Clooney as a lawyer at a fancy Manhattan law firm. Clayton comes from a blue-collar background and has a degree from an unprestigious school, so he isn’t one of the cool people. But because he comes from a rougher background and has a brother who is a cop, he is able to deal with sticky situations involving crime and low-life behavior that the high-class lawyers can’t. He is a “fixer”, and serves a vital purposed for the firm even if from a social standpoint they find him kind of embarrassing. I haven’t seen it but I generally think George Clooney plays marginal middle-aged men very well- “Up in the Air” was great- so I think I will.

Susannah Breslin thinks this is loserville to be avoided if at all possible, and escaped from if possible. We live in a culture where to be Michael Clayton is not cool. Everybody is supposed to be the guy with the bright smile in the expensive suit up front shaking hands with the players.

Everybody wants to be one of the cool guys. The cool guys are alphas. In a work environment, they are very competitive and aren’t going to admit anybody but the chosen few to their ranks. Below them are the betas, all jockeying to be alphas. It’s not a bad life, and has many benefits, and even I have said “Who Wants To Be a Beta Male? I Do!” But it’s still a rough life, that produces a lot of disappointments and many casualties. Post WWII American literature, such as John Cheever and John Updike, and Arthur Miller in “Death of a Salesman” is largely about this. For high-level betas, it works OK. For low-level betas, it’s scary and depressing.

On the other hand, Michael Clayton doesn’t go to the important meetings, or lunch with the big shots, but he does not have to kiss anybody’s ass and knows he will always have a job. If you are lower on the social scale, it’s probably better to be needed than loved.


Dress Cool

March 30, 2012

I have been really busy with all kinds of important stuff, but I’m taking a few minutes out of my busy schedule to share some of my valuable insights.

Actually that’s a lie. I have had plenty of time to blog here but I have just felt like doing other stuff. I was going to apologize profusely for not having posted for a long time but I realized that would have been a “demonstration of lower value”, the dreaded DLV. I guess rule one is don’t apologize, unless it is to your pissed-off boss or customer, or it’s helpful in manipulating someone- which it will sometimes be- and rule two is you can lie and try to make yourself look better. What I’m telling you, dear readers, is bullshit people, but only in a positive way- don’t tell people you’re sorry when you’re not, but make yourself look good if you can.

Anyway I was at the pho place the other day and I see this guy, eating by himself. It’s a low-cost lunch place so not unusual. He appeared to be tall and well-built. He was bald but had shaved his head and it looked good. I suppose he would have been handsome and imposing, but the trouble was he was wearing warm-up pants, a warm-up jacket and a down vest. The clothing was all cheap and shapeless. Had he been shorter, less handsome and well-built, he would have looked like a complete loser. Had he been decently dressed, he would have looked very impressive.

I am trying to overhaul my casual wardrobe. I had been wearing some cheap mock turtleneck shirts in the winter, but they are a little too warm. Old Navy sells long-sleeve T-shirts in tall sizes but only on-line, so I want to get some of those. A long-sleeve T-shirt seems to be warm but not too warm. I am having trouble getting blue jeans I like in my size so I may have to buy those on-line too.

I would like to get some pull-on boots as casual footwear but they are expensive.

In a word- dress cool.

Reviews- “Nine and a Half Weeks” and “The Story of O”

March 17, 2012

Roissy was talking about these awhile ago so I thought I would check them out. “Nine and a Half Weeks” is best known as a movie, but Roissy said it was originally a book, which was better. I couldn’t get the book so I got the DVD.

I couldn’t watch the whole thing. It was quite boring. Basically it shows a guy being a very smooth alpha male. I’m sure the S&M was toned down quite a bit for the movie. It’s worth watching for a while, because Mickey Rourke does a very good job showing a guy who is very smooth, confident verging on arrogance, always in charge and in control. It looks like an excellent example to model.

I didn’t finish “The Story of O” either. I read about a fourth and just flipped through the rest. It never really explains why she is so in love with the guy. One important aspect of it shows the extent to which women are obsessed with clothes, and the texture of any surface, whether they touch it or not. She describes all the clothes people are wearing, the furniture, and the floor and wall coverings, whether they are germane to the story or not.

I have had personal confirmation of this before. The lesson is clothes should be very carefully selected for effect. American men don’t naturally do this, but it’s important to wear things that evoke a reaction from women. I think the reason that Mystery’s furry hat worked was that although women probably never touched it- women will touch your shoulders and arms if you are having a close, flirtatious interaction, but not your hat, and plus he’s tall- they could imagine touching it, and were turned on by that. Or maybe they did touch it, I don’t know. But women like surfaces that are sensual to touch.

Although they never explain why, O loves being controlled and beaten. I wouldn’t try the beating part, or taking a woman to your sex dungeon in a French mansion, but being in control and somewhat controlling will be a turn on for women. Later she gets introduced to a friend of her boyfriend, has some lesbian sex, and gets some other women involved in the super-secret millionaire’s French mansion S&M club. It’s probably well worth reading the whole thing, for insight into the female mentality, but it just bored me. One interesting thing is O is stimulated and invigorated by the mansion experience, and actually does her job better. This was written in the 50’s, and how much more important today is a woman’s “career”? The happiness a woman feels from an alpha relationship spills over into the rest of her life, which makes her value it even more.

Maybe part of my problem is the female psyche just doesn’t interest me that much. I don’t want to burrow into it and then reverse-engineer a guy who women want to have sex with. It’s possible, but who is manipulating who? That’s the point of Rawness, and it’s well-taken.

Psychology on The Rawness

March 15, 2012

The Rawness is a blog on game associated topics I had seen mentioned a number of places, but never read. Krauser did an analysis of a post on it, which perked my interest.

It’s actually a series of posts in which “T” (or Ricky Raw, I’m not completely clear on the handle) answers a letter from a reader asking for relationship advice and if learning game would help him. He answers by completely taking apart the concept of game from a psychological standpoint. It’s worth reading the whole thing, but I will summarize it and analyze the parts particularly applicable to me and people like me.

“T” defines wannabe PUAs as “co-dependents” and the women they desire as “narcissists”. Briefly co-dependents have the flaw of wanting to feel good about themselves by making others happy and caring for their feelings, and narcissists have the flaw of wanting others to cater to their desires and feelings. A co-dependent and a narcissist will complement each other. But the narcissist- or “emotional vampire”, a more poetic and accurate term- will get bored and the co-dependent will get frustrated.

“T” sees game as an attempt by CDs to flip the script on Ns- to become the narcissist, the one manipulating to get their desires met. This will lead to a feeling of power and control the CD never had before, but is ultimately futile because it’s the same unhealthy game played from the other side. Furthermore the CD isn’t really an N, and ultimately this will blow up on him, of which he gives examples.

The N enjoys positive attention from men, and will give them enough encouragement to keep it coming without ever getting sexually or romantically involved with the guy. Some great portion of game is just not doing this- playing it cool to let her know she can’t toy with you to get her ego boosted. Instead you withhold and try to get her to meet your needs- submission and sex- in return for positive attention. Since an N won’t do this naturally, it’s a highly unstable relationship.

“T” continues to say that the real solution to this is not to become a narcissist, but to become self-aware of childhood wounds and instead of manipulating people to achieve unrealistic goals, behave in a mature and psychologically healthy matter. Great advice, if only it were that easy.

Being psychologically damaged and unhealthy, my objections are probably not valid, but I’ll make them anyway. Narcissism and co-dependency are features to one degree of most people’s’ personalities and most relationships. Being completely mentally healthy and dealing with people in a healthy way is as unrealistic as solving your childhood traumas by becoming lovable as an adult.

Bill, the reader in question, is a beta, and reading his story I don’t feel any great fear for him or his future. He has had a couple of dysfunctional relationships due to his childhood trauma, but he’s 18, so he’s just learning about life in the normal way. He’ll learn something from these relationships, probably not enough, probably get married, likely get divorced, maybe get married again. He’ll lead a normal life, which is not necessarily a happy one, but as I have said being a beta isn’t so bad. Enjoying some of the benefits of life is better than enjoying none.

“T” quotes from something called Schema Therapy, which is like most psychological theories but maybe more discerning. It posits three possible reactions to childhood trauma (or “primary inferiority”)- freezing, or accepting the need to be responsible for the feelings of others, overcompensation, or rebelling and becoming a manipulator and a taker, and avoidance, or avoiding situations where you are involved with other people at all. He only mentions this in passing, which is disappointing because it’s the basic omega strategy. But his subject, Bill, is a beta, as are most readers, and so the beta strategy of co-dependent surrender or freezing is the one of most interest.

My “primary inferiorities” are my cold, withdrawn parents, whose emotional well-being I felt responsible for. I was on my way to being a beta co-dependent when I began to suffer a lot of abuse at school, which killed most of my kind sentiment for other people and caused me to try to isolate myself as much as possible. When I got around to experimenting with women, I did so in a kind of narcissistic mode, but not being an actual narcissist it was more I was putting up a front to protect myself than feeding off the attention. When I got involved with women I actually cared about, I have been pretty co-dependent as far as I can tell.

It’s not really easy for an omega to become a beta co-dependent, although that might seem like way to step up the food chain. Omegas don’t have the emotional experiences and social skills to provide the “blood” the emotional vampire wants. You can, as I did, become narcissistically manipulative with a woman who does desire you. “T” has a prefered option which he calls becoming a “renaissance man” which is like my “lone wolf” concept but fleshed out. I’ll talk more about this later, especially the “three faces”.

Who Wants To Be a Beta Male? I Do!

March 5, 2012

In the world of game, the pathetic and despised beta male is always the punching bag. He’s ordinary, average, has no game, has an OK girlfriend but can’t pick up in bars. This man, we are solemnly assured, is a miserable loser we do not want to be like.

But I say- what’s so bad about being average, anyway? It’s not as good as being above average, but better than being below average. That’s what average means.

The beta male is a regular guy. He has regular friends. He is not dominant over them, or over much of anybody. But nobody dominates him in a particularly strong manner. He has a girlfriend, and has had several in his life. He played and plays sports, maybe not well, but respectably. He has an OK job he doesn’t hate.

Life for the beta male is mostly OK. He doesn’t get the quantity or quality of sex an alpha male gets, and he might not make as much money. But he has all of his needs and some of his wants met.

My goal in life has always been to be a beta male. The most important distinction between a beta and a lower status male is social acceptance. A beta is an accepted member of the group. As such he has friends and access to social activities and the social status to meet and be acceptable to girls. For a boy, group acceptance centers around playing sports.

I was an Elephant Man style social outcast in junior high. I was determined that in high school, things woudl be better. I decided to get into some sports that nobody else had been in either so I would have some chance. I got into water polo and swimming, and I did OK. But I was still not accepted. I didn’t have the history and learned skills of young male social interaction, so I wasn’t one of them.

I ended up leaving high school early. I wanted to do something interesting and cool, so I joined the military later. I figured this would be a new environment where I would start on the same footing as everyone else, and I could be an accepted member of the group.

But that didn’t work out either. I still didn’t have the life history of being an accepted member of a male group. I was not one of them, and could not become one of them.

I think trying to become a beta is a strategy a lot of omegas pursue, and I think it’s futile. Even for guys who are already betas, maintaining that status is a lot of work. I think a lot of guys spend a lot of time watching sports because their beta cred depends on being able to talk about sports with the other betas. Another big part of being a beta is reinforcing the group boundaries- that is, keeping omegas out. Betas are not welcoming and inclusive people, hell they’re generally much worse than alphas, because you don’t represent any kind of a threat to an alpha. Lower-ranking betas are the most concerned with drawing the line between people who are not cool, but OK, and people who are not OK.

Well, that’s pretty grim. If you can’t become a beta, do you have to be an omega all your life? I will refer back to something I’ve said before, the “lone wolf” strategy. Do not base your status on group membership. Be polite and mildly friendly to everyone, but do not try to be a member of the group. Make your job skill something that is practiced solo, and have hobbies that can be enjoyed by yourself.

Total isolation is not good. Be involved in some group stuff for your human need to be around people. You can do things with people from Meetup if you have no other friends. But don’t try to improve your status that way.