The Rawness has had a series of posts up inspired by a letter from a reader named Bill. The long-awaited conclusion, Part 5, is now up.
I really just skimmed over it. Ricky is talking about some important concepts, mainly the false self. One false self develops in childhood, a self that feels helpless and inadequate to control things or obtain love. The individual often develops an adult false self, an idealized accomplishment that will make everything OK.
He is basically talking about betas. Betas generally have a strategy of achievement and people-pleasing to win approval and thus happiness. This is how society has been organized for around 200 years. If achievement is possible- that is you have a dynamic society where hard work pays off- this is not bad or dysfunctional, on the contrary it’s highly functional. Pre-Industrial Revolution and New World settlement, hard work accomplished nothing for you but survival. The American and to some extent English personality is based on social respectability and possibly advancement through being pleasant and cooperative and working hard to produce and become more productive. This kind of behavior doesn’t do you much good in much of the world, and may be counterproductive, which is why I think Americans and other peoples don’t understand each other well.
As a side note, I think this economic period is over, and this is part of the reason beta behavior is so despised in the manosphere. Guys are getting the idea it doesn’t work well any more.
He talks a lot about various psychological concepts, which are interesting, and therapy and self-improvement, which I find dubious. I have been through a lot of both in my life and they don’t do much for you. You may say it’s because I’m an omega and a piece of shit, and you may be right, but in the end it’s the same. Talking to a shrink calms you down but has little lasting effect. Some books are good- “Wounded Boys, Heroic Men” by Daniel Sonkin and “I Can’t Get Over It” by Aphrodite Matsakis were very helpful to me.
Still, let me address each kind of false self. The omega child false self is pretty bad. You probably grew up getting all kinds of negative feedback, and it’s very warping. But approval of others is not that great. You can trade it for money and sex, true, and because of that you need to get some approval from others. But it’s best to keep that just business. You have a job where you are needed, not loved, and that’s fine. If you have a paycheck, you don’t need that much love. My recommendations on omega work relations covers this.
The adult false self is very seductive. I’ll make money, be cool, get laid, and it will be great. If you can do all those things it will be great. But you probably can’t. You do not control your childhood self. You have only marginal control of your adult self. You is what you is, for better or worse.
Better than the false self is the real self. Things you do and you accomplish should have value for you. If they do, they are your real self. If you do them for the approval of others, they are your false self, which if it works is great, if not it sucks. The narcissist/co-dependent dynamic he talks about is a little overdone. Everybody is always trying to get their ego stoked, and everybody is trying to please others and get approval. It’s human nature.
But still you should concentrate on your real self. Physical fitness is a great thing. I like lifting weights and building muscle. It feels great. Other people may like it, or they may not. If I was counting on some woman to be impressed with my biceps, I may be disappointed. But if I’m impressed with them it doesn’t matter. You may hate weights and want to do yoga. You may meet women who love skinny strong guys, or women who like meatheads. But what you like is really more important.
Learning new skills is great also. These new skills are you, they are your real self. They may impress others, which is great and helpful, or they may not. You must understand that self-improvement is actually improving the self, not thinking and talking about it. If you are shy, you can talk to a psychodynamic therapist and learn the source of your insecurities, or a rational-emotive therapist and learn your defective thought patterns, or you can just go out and talk to people. The first two might make it a little easier, but you are going to have to do the third eventually in any case, so why not just start there?
The best psychological advice anybody can give is be healthy and enjoy life. As Aphrodite Matsakis says- “Living well is the best, and probably the only, revenge.”