Deti Nation

There is a lot of wisdom squirreled away in comment threads on blogs.  Sometimes I think it’s a shame that a particularly wise comment is tucked away, hidden from all but the most dedicated (or otherwise unoccupied) searcher.

Deti is the author of many gems like that.  Any time I see his name atop a comment I always read it carefully.  I don’t always agree – he’s more cynical (no doubt he’d define it as more realistic) than I am.  Even so, I have learned some things from him, and had nebulous thoughts focused by reading what he has to say.  Although our worldviews are not identical, we agree on an awful lot of stuff.

Somebody had started compiling his comments and putting them up on a blog called Deti Nation.  Go have a look.  Deti is smart, wise, and writes well.  Consider what he says carefully.

There’s about five more of you bastards out there I hope this happens to.

Deti, I hope this is okay with you.  If not, let me know and I’ll remove this post and the link.  And hound you to start your own blog again.

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Super Basic Mindset

Listen, gents – I’m going to tell you a secret:

Most guys don’t think about how to get what they want.  They spend a lot of time wishing and fantasizing, but precious little planning.  Even fewer guys execute their plan.

This is especially true when it comes to women.  They “luck into” something – a woman ends up near them via the Machinations of The Universe, and (ohthankyouthankyouthankyouGod!) she actually likes him.  It’s like having DB Cooper’s bag of cash whistle out of the sky and smash through the roof every two or three years.  Surprising, a little scary, but extremely welcome, provided the roof damage isn’t too bad, and no pets or children were flattened by fifties.

Once that money disappears, they start hoping another robber with a penchant for parachutes does his thing…

If you have even a rudimentary idea of what women find attractive, you’re in better shape than most men.  Seriously – spend about four hours reading through some sphere blogs.  Check out Roosh’s forum for half an hour, and hunt down a few of Badger and Dannyfrom504’s field reports.  Read three posts each from VK’s Empire of Dirt, Gmac, and Fly Fresh and Young. Go find out who KrauserPUA is, and bask in that knowledge.  You don’t have to agree with those gentlemen – just read and retain.

Done?

Congrats, man.  You’ve got more accurate information than 60% of the men you see.  The deck is definitely stacked in your favor.  If the Almighty BootyLord sees fit to place another woman who is sort of sweet on you nearby (ohthankyouthankyouthankyouGod!), you’re going to have a better shot with her than…well, any girl you’ve ever met so far.

A lot of guys are content with that, relying on their theoretical knowledge and superior Wish Power to eke out a slightly better deal.  I do not understand this.  Hope is not a method, gents.  Don’t you want a say in how your life goes?  It’s so fucking simple:

Find a woman you think is attractive.  Walk up to her.  Start a conversation.  Roll your own, or parrot a routine you read about – doesn’t matter.  Do it at a bookstore, bar, shopping mall, coffeeshop – doesn’t matter.  Ask for her phone number, or if she wants to go across the street with you to do X – doesn’t matter.

Just to relieve the suspense – she’s going to say no.

Doesn’t matter – you’ve done something most men fear to do.  And it is scary the first bazillion times or so.  It also feels fucking awesome.  It’s like riding a bicycle the first time.  Fuck walking – you’re pedal powered, bitches!  Your world just got much, much bigger.

Here’s another secret:

Most guys lack the discipline/courage/drive to overcome that fear.  Women desire men who can do that, who have that power.

By walking up and talking to her, you’re giving her a gift she wants very much.  Don’t think for a minute that you’re bothering her – no matter what happens.    If you’re so nervous your tongue cements to the roof of your mouth and you emit a two squeaks and a guttural croak – well, she’s happy she made a guy tongue tied.  Validation!  Experiment with eye contact go wrong and you creepy-stalker weird her out?  She’ll be bragplaining to her girlfriends about it in 3…2….1…. enjoying the female bonding, support, and basking in the attention of her friends.  What girl doesn’t like that?

Maybe she’s got a boyfriend she loves and politely turns you down – she still feels desirable.  Maybe she is quite taken with you, and you two end up naked and sweaty…

Any way you slice it, you are adding to her life by walking up and talking to her.  In a sane world, she’d interrupt you as you begin to speak and say,”Thanks for coming over here.  I’m going to benefit from this.”

Last secret:

I’ve been flirting with girls as much as possible for about seven years now.  Granted, I’m not a PUA – I just like making attractive women laugh, and I get a kick out of running my mouth.  Not once in hundreds of instances have I suffered permanent negative consequences.  No woman has pepper sprayed me, or called the cops, or turned out to be some alien creature that laid eggs in my brain.  I’ve been turned down a lot.  I’ve been embarrassed by them, or embarrassed myself.  I’ve done shit that made me wince, like asking a woman if she needed a hand with her bag, then realizing she was a below-the-elbow amputee.  There are a couple other funny ones on this blog somewhere, too.

I gained something from every single interaction.  Embarrassment morphs into humor if you wait around awhile.  I’ve met some women that were enjoyable to be around, and some who taught me what I don’t want in a partner.  One of the women I met is bringing me some Egg McMuffins in an hour or so, and I’m supermonkeyhappy with her.

Find an attractive woman.  Walk over to her.  Start beating your gums.

You can’t lose.

On Favors

There is a school of thought out there that implies true Alpha Maledom means being entirely self-serving.  “Don’t do nothin’ for nobody,” they say.  “That shit is beta.  A true alpha doesn’t bother.  If he wants to do someone a favor, he has a follower do it for him to demonstrate higher value.  He’s already the CEO of Favors, Inc dontcha know.  He’s so alpha that if his phone was dead, he’d just direct a nearby platoon of bikini models (using hand-and-arm signals and popup flares, obviously) to carry out a better favor than anyone’s ever asked for.  Afterwards, one-in-ten of the victorious bikini models would be rewarded by the opportunity to vigorously fellate the True Alpha.”

There’s a bit of exaggeration there, but not much…

Before I start running my piehole, I should disclose the following:

I care if I’m happy.  I worry about making the most of things, and achieving my goals.  I have my own goofy code of honor I abide by.   Some folks think I’m nice.  Some think I’m a dick.  A few people hate my guts, and a few would donate endocrine organs if I needed them.  Most people on this planet don’t give a shit.

Is that Alpha?  Beta?

Is the answer useful enough to justify your skull-sweat?

Probably not.  Don’t pull a Donald Rumsfeld and throw the baby out with the Ba’ath water, though.  The alpha/beta/sigma/omega labels are useful conversational shorthand.  Using those terms as frameworks to hang ideas is beneficial.  There are limits, though.  Asking “What would a True Alpha do?” all the damn time is like asking a painting for advice.

With that bit of soapboxery in mind:

What is your decision process when somebody asks you for a favor?

For this thought experiment, imagine the favor would occupy four hours on your day off, and cost you an hour’s sleep.

Who did you imagine asking?  What gut reaction do you have?  How do you hope to interact with that person, one week after the favor?

Who do you wish would ask you for a favor?  What is your desired outcome with them?

Get brutally honest with yourself.  Channel your inner Spock.  Run your mental tongue over the notional teeth of your past experiences, and ask:

Is your hopeful interaction status post favor realistic?

Is it really?  Be alert for wishful thinking and self-deception.

The answer to this question is a useful way to judge the distance between who you are and who you want to be.

If you’ve pondered this stuff for a few minutes and find yourself smiling and joyful, then the rest of this missive isn’t for you.  You’ve got it down pat, and could probably teach me a thing or two.  How about spending your time helping me get the rest of this fucking crown molding up instead?  It’s kicking my ass.  Feel like swinging by Saturday afternoon?  I’ve got plenty of beer, a miter saw, and an endless stream of expletives for your entertainment.  Bring me a bottle of half-decent Scotch and I’ll teach you how to do Mozambique drills with my air nailer.

For the rest of us non-carpentry motherfuckers:

Favors can be tricky things.  Each favor asked of or received is an entry on the ledger of one’s self esteem.  A few mutual favors can move an acquaintance toward friendship.  Unrequited/unacknowledged favors can make enemies, even of family.

If you’re a dude who’s just feeling that Red Pill slide down your throat, here are some things about favors and women you should consider:

1. Do not expect a girl you like to respond like one of your buddies when you do her a favor.

This is a big sticking point for a lot of guys.  I’ve heard explanations ranging from “Women have no honor” to “women are not intelligent enough to be autonomous”.  You could earn a fistful of PhDs coming up with reasons.  It’s fun to argue about, but it’s not always practical, is it?

Sometimes, feelings of betrayal for unrequited favors metastasize into contempt for women in general.  I get it – I’ve been there.  One thing that helped me manage my contempt was a little perspective:

I’ve got a few friends I will drop whatever I’m doing to help.  When they say,”Dude, I’m in a fucking jam here.  Any way you could go and….” my priorities just got rearranged.  It’s “cost” me in ways both large and small.  I’ve been late to work and flaked on girls I was dating for them.  I’ve lent prized possessions to them – and given forgiveness when they broke something.  I quit a job I liked and moved to a strange city when one friend needed some help.  They ask (and receive) things from me that would get a girl I’ve known for 6 months laughed right the fuck out of my life.

Why?

Because they do the same dumb shit for me.  I’ve punched drunken, angry holes in their walls.  They’ve fed me when I was broke.  They’ve helped me move.  I bent an ambulance doing something dumb, called my friend at 0200, and he fixed it before my boss found out.  One guy kept me from bleeding to death on an Interesting Day several years ago.

See the context?  Those friendships work because we want the same things from each other.  I have their back because they have mine.  I sacrifice for them because they sacrifice for me – we’re trading with the same currency.  Apples to apples, etc ad nauseum.

Doing stuff like that for a woman you want to have sex with is barking up the wrong tree.  Sure, after a few years of building trust and looking out for each other she might lend you $1,000 or bail you out of jail.  She might be someone you can rely on in a pinch.  She might even marry you.

Her wanting to fuck you is an entirely different question.  Don’t attempt to purchase attraction with a fistfull of reliability.

2. Beauty and Habituation

Have you ever talked to a young woman on the phone, sight unseen, and noticed a subtle entitlement, an undercurrent of puzzlement and irritation if you don’t comply with her wishes immediately?  Does she get miffed if you say something like,”Sorry, I’m not going to do that because it’s against the rules?”

You can see it on forums and blog comments, too.  Some woman will say something you’d expect to hear from an enthusiastic paint-huffer, and be terribly hurt when people tell her to lay off the gold Krylon.

2:1 odds that girl is physically attractive.  Males have been bending the rules and giving her special treatment/attention her entire adult life.  It’s as natural to her as gravity.  Over the phone, though, she’s a mere voice.  On the internet, she is just her ideas and grammar.  Stripped of her loyal sidekicks Pretty Face and Smokin’ Body, the world is a different, harsher place.

This isn’t always obvious.  Girls Who Think figure it out quickly and compensate. Dumb girls, or those who dislike being without their Loyal Sidekicks stick to Facebook.  Pay attention and you’ll sometimes sense it though, like a thin haze of smoke long after the fire’s been extiguished.

Why is this important?

Because a non-thinking hot girl won’t even notice your effort if that’s all you’re bringing to the table.  In her world, what goes up comes down, water is wet, and men pay attention to her.  The currency of favors more inflated than Weimar Republic Papiermarks.

A thinking hot girl has seen your brand of bullshit so many times she knows what you’ll do next before you do.  There are five other interchangeable guys pining for her right now, offering the same. boring. crap.

3. Treating people how you’d like to be treated only matters to you.

Now, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have personal ethics, or strive to be honorable.  You’ve got to live with yourself, after all.  Those quiet, solitary moments before sleep will always be there.  Life is a lot nicer when you don’t dread that time.

But….

You’re not the Arbiter of All That’s Right And Good.

You might think it’s a nice gesture to clean my ambulance – you know, organize everything and get it all purdy ‘n stuff.  Gosh, you think, I wish someone would do something like that for me at my job!  It’d be great to show up after lunch and have everything A J Squared Away!

So you slave away, imagining how happy ol’ Dogsquat’s gonna be when he gets back on the truck…

Do it once, and I’ll tell you politely to never touch my shit again, ever.  Do it twice, and I will consider you to be potentially lethal to my patients, dangerous to me, arrogant, immoral, stupid, and a tragic waste of good carbon.  I’ll treat you that way from then on.

Why?  You’re just doing me a favor – treating me how you’d like to be treated!

But it’s not the way I want to be treated.  I have my own system.  I sometimes need stuff in a hurry.  I run out of something, people could die.  If you rearranged the drugs in my drug box to your satisfaction I couldn’t find things by touch anymore.  I could make a lethal mistake, or waste a bunch of time, or…you get the point.

You’d be an asshole.

Don’t be an asshole.

Treat people how they want to be treated.

 

 

 

So, when should you do a girl a favor?

Easy – whenever you want to.  Do it when you like the work, or want something to do, or want to spend time with her, or see her smile.  I do favors for people all the time – it’s fun to show off a bit (with panache and class, of course) and I like making people feel good.  I like teaching, and seeing people learn.

If you’re doing favors and hating it, or hoping it will change her in some way – knock that shit off.  Gratitude in that situation has a half-life shorter than most transuranic elements.

Smile politely and say,”No.”

Lots of times, the aftermath of that little statement is more fun than hours of toil, anyway.
Try it sometime.

Tools #2

As often happens, I got busy as hell and wasn’t very active on this blog or the others I habitually frequent.  This little corner of the internet takes up rather more time than I thought it would.  Right now, it looks like I’ll be able to update once a week or so, and I’ll be slow answering comments for about the next month.  Sorry ’bout that, but real life is more fun than the internet.

Alrighty, then – to the next entry:

No Shit – there I was, trapped in Time and surrounded by Evil.  I was low on ammo, and it was dark and cold.  I didn’t know what time it was, and I looked over at…

Shit.

Wrong story.

Ahem.

In the post Tools #1, I talked about subconscious attraction cues and using pattern recognition as a stepping stone toward recognizing your own.  Some of them are
obvious – guys generally like healthy appearing women who exhibit signs of fertility.  (Eureka….snooze….)  Culture plays a roll as well – I’m not much into gals with stretched out necks, but some Burmese dudes dig it.  Poor bastards get raised that way, I guess.  That’s not what I’m talking about here.  The issue I’m addressing is that last 10%, that indefinable something that causes to you perceive some women as goddesses, and others as mere generic Hot Chicks.  Believe it or not, that differentiation happens in your own brain-housing group.  It has little to do with the objective qualities of the woman.  Recognizing the traits that flip your switch like that is worth considering.

You may find that your indefinable somethings are healthy and contribute to your long term happiness.  If that’s you, you don’t need this post.  Go play bocce ball or fold your laundry for 20 minutes or something, you psychological showoff bastards.  If, on the other hand, you’ve found yourself drawn to women who have a net negative effect on your life, come with me on yet another humorless journey of hellish introspection.

Huzzah! and such.

If you haven’t yet, please read the post titled “On Insecurity”, as those ideas figure prominently.

If you have your shit together (more complicated and debatable than it sounds – more on that later), a good woman will be like a combat multiplier – she’ll enable/push/allow you to do more of whatever you want to do.  That could be anything from providing focus and stabiltity in your life, to providing a little boost to your ego when you need it most, or adding fun, pleasure, and friendship to otherwise mundane hours.  I heard some women even have babies from time to time, so if you want to own one of those baby-type things you’re going to have to deal with a woman at some point.

It’s a fucking fact, though, that women can Wreck. Your. Shit. if you lack situational awareness.  Divorce, gutted self-esteem, wasted time, wasted money, and missed opportunity all await the man who chooses poorly.  “They” say that behind every great man stands a great woman.  That’s true for a lot of succesful men.  Behind a lot of guys who aren’t worth a damn stands a woman who helped pave the way toward mediocrity.  “They” don’t trot out that little platitude much, but it’s true.

A little common sense dictates picking a woman that adds good to your life, right?  What do you do, then, if you find yourself inexplicably drawn to women that have a net negative effect on you?  Do the Blue Pill thing and redefine “negative effect” and “common sense”?  Settle? Start hanging out in gay bars?

Give this an honest effort, instead:

Reject the statement “inexplicably drawn”.  “Inexplicably drawn” describes the relationship between moths and a Coleman lantern.  You are not some six legged flying horror destined for fiery oblivion, you’re a fucking man.  There are reasons for what you do, whether you choose to aknowlege it or not.  Accepting this is the first stumble on a journey of a thousand blisters.  Sure, some of those reasons are not nice.  Some of them say things about you that you might not like, things you wish weren’t true.  That’s fine – you can work on that junk later if you want.  Don’t shy away from the “bad” stuff – pull it out and examine it.  It’s a huge part of Why You Do What You Do.  Nobody’s watching, and nobody will know.  It’s important.

Next, objectively evaluate the impact a woman (or women) are having on your life.  Keep in mind that no person is entirely “good” or “bad”, and no relationship is, either.  This evaluation is harder to do than it sounds, and bears some careful consideration.  There are short and long term goals, second and third order effects.  If you’re not in tune with what drives you, what holes you’re looking to fill, and why you desire certain things, you’re going to be inaccurate in your assessment.  Garbage in = garbage out.  Spend some time thinking about this.  If you have trustworthy friends, seek some input.

Personal example time:

I mentioned in the last post that I used to be Sergeant Save-A-Ho.  I was really attracted to women that were….shall we say…a bit “troubled”.  About four or five years ago, I also started reading about/practicing Game.  Those two things were a Perfect Storm of Shit.

Seriously – I’m sitting here typing/thinking back, and when my mind brushes across those years, I get this wierd icy-cannonball-in-the-gut feeling.  It all seems so obvious now, but I wasted a tremendous amount of time and energy doing The Wrong Things For The Wrong Reasons.  Blech.

Over about a two year period, I was involved with:

-A stripper
-An architect
-A cocktail waitress
-A psychology grad student
-A yoga instructor
-A semi-pro model/sommelier
-A professional modern dancer

All of these girls were attractive.  Most were fun.  Some were smart, a few were funny.  I had a reputation for dating beautiful women.  Once a week someone would say,”Dude, how do you do it?!” On the surface, I was doing great.  My acquaintances were envious.  My very close friends were ready to pack me off to a monastery.  Why?  Here’s a more accurate list:

-A stripper (‘nough said)
-An architect with an eating disorder
-An alcoholic cocktail waitress
-A psychology grad student with poorly controlled bipolar disorder.
-A yoga instructor with daddy issues and pronounced gold-digger tendencies – come to think about it, she had some issues with food, too.
-A cokehead semi-pro model/sommelier who’s abusive ex-boyfriend/dealer tried to stab me
-A professional modern dancer with sexual identity problems (weird, weird shit, man –  not suitable for children, the aged, or the infirm.)

I’m a decent-looking guy (my mother says I’m quite handsome, actually), and I have reasonable Game.  I had a lot of stuff going for me – I was the Head of Security at a very hot club/lounge, a lot of connections, many acquaintances, and a shitload of pre-selection going on.  I made decent money at a fun job, and I knew what a bunch of hot girls looked like naked.  Of all those girls, only one dumped me – and she begged for me to take her back two months later.  According to some of the more superficial Game blogs, I should have been as happy as a pig in shit.

Why do I get that cannonball-in-the-gut feeling when I think back to those days, then?

Because some part of me knew I was just treading water.  I was floating on an ocean of women, riding wave-crests of hope and booty, then sliding into the troughs of disappointment and depression. Over and over and over again.  I was getting cynical and mentally tired.  I was acting like an animal, without introspection or higher thought.  I let myself be a slave to my insecurities.

Insecurities!?, you ask, aghast – How could a guy with all that going for him be insecure?

I’m glad you asked, even if you didn’t.  Here’s what I was insecure about:

-I was having some lingering physical difficulties from a bad day in Iraq.  You just ain’t the same after you get blowed up a time or two.
-I didn’t like my physical appearance.  I’d put on a bit of weight and lost some muscle after getting out of the military.  I have some ugly scars as well.
-I was terrified of getting dumped by a woman I was in love with…again.
-I hated myself because of some very ugly things I’ve done.
-In my bones, I was still a Blue Pill chump who thought he was lucky if a pretty girl gave him the time of day.
-Superficial, dead-end job.

One guy dating so many effed up women in such a short time doesn’t seem like such a statistical improbability now, does it? I was programmed to seek out a certain type of woman, one who could mitigate some or all of my issues.

Some of those insecurities had more influence than others, and some didn’t manifest in a consistent manner.  The most powerful was probably the self-hate.  I felt (and still feel) a powerful compulsion to even the scales a bit, to do some good, try and balance some terrible things I’ve done.  An early attempt at this was to try and “save” women with problems.  The dead-end job issue lead me to alternately desire and shun women with (relatively) prestigious career paths, depending on how I was doing.  My appearance/physical issues led me to value the physical perfection above all else in my girlfriends – “proving” in a goofy way that I was still attractive and desirable.

Once I got a handle on this stuff, I addressed what I could.  I got into decent shape.  I’ve put some Good Things into the universe, and come to terms with some of the Ugly Things. I get paid for “saving” people now.  I have a career path, rather than a job.  I beat the last of that Blue Pill Chump out of myself, mostly through repetition and endurance.

Addressing this crap had a predictable effect on my attraction triggers.  The thought of dating an addicted/disturbed woman is flavored with distaste now.  My lizard brain no longer perceives a diversion/opportunity, but a burden.  I deal with that shit at work, and it’s the last thing I want to come home to.  I still sense it on women, but it doesn’t create a drive anymore.  Same deal with abuse situations – I get my kicks practicing Krav.  Going to jail (however “heroically”) in defense of a pathologically troubled woman seems stupid rather than noble.  I’ve got things I’m proud of these days other than what my girlfriend looks like.

Feels good, man.

All of these things look quite simple and obvious laid out on the screen, don’t they?  If you were my friend back then, they’d be easy to spot after knowing me for several months.  Hell, you probably could’ve laid it out for me, like I did just now.  Easy peasy, right?  You’re probably nodding along because you know a guy who does the same thing…dumbass doesn’t even realize how obvious it is…

Guess what?

You’ve got a list, too.  It’s probably not the same as mine (I hope not, for your sake), and it influences you in different ways, but you’ve got one.  No shit.  You might have been shy in high school, and now find gregarious women attractive.  You might want other men drooling over your girl’s half-naked body so you feel better than them.  You might be messy, but find yourself drawn to very organized women. The correlation might be easy to see, or Byzantine in it’s complexity – but it’s there.

Not all of your drives/motivations/insecurities lead to bad outcomes.  Not all of them are worth spending time and effort on (like redheads with big tits?  So what?).  Don’t dismiss them all, though.  Think hard enough, get brutally honest with yourself, and pay close enough attention, you’ll realize a few that you’ve paid dearly for.

One of the things I’ve always found interesting about the human animal is how good we are at judging others, and how terrible we are at taking our own measure.  Thinking men get better at this with experience and practice.  For a young guy (or an unpracticed one), nothing beats using his relationships/attractions as a tool to ferret out things he has trouble admitting to himself – or simply doesn’t realize.

Seeing one’s target clearly is often the most difficult task.  If you can see your target, you can hit it.  If you can hit it, you can kill it – and move on to the next one.

Feel free to argue, disagree, learn, or teach in the comments.  Some of you guys reading this have been through similar transformations.  Let the younger guys in on how you did it.  Some folks might think I’m full of shit – that’s fine, too.  I don’t have All The Answers, just the ones that worked for me.  I’m happy to clarify or elaborate, time permitting.

Bonus points for connecting what I’ve talked about here to Game.  There are a bunch of corollaries in here, but this is the hand-crafted, individually tailored, eight essential vitamins and minerals version – not the mass-produced, one-size-fits-all, high fructose corn syrup stuff.  Apply moderation with both.  Arrogant foodies are more irritating than leprosy, but McDonald’s will kill you eventually.  More bad metaphors next week.

Thanks for reading and thinking.

Tools #1

I’m basically a beat down grunt that’s trying to learn some medicine these days.  My definitions of psychological principles are worth nearly what you paid me for them. Bearing that always in mind, here are some basic definitions:

Transference:

Unconsciously transferring feelings experienced earlier in life to an object encountered later in life because the two objects are similar.

Me – I fucking hate horses.  When I was a kid, a horse stepped on my toe and broke it.  I can barely remember the actual incident, but I sure as hell know I hate those dumb goddamned animals.  Probably as a result, I dislike camels.  Those long faced, humpy pieces of shit are too close to horses for any sane person’s (by that I mean me, of course) comfort.  That is transference.  I hate horses, camels are pretty close, so I hate those sons-of-bitches too.

I sometimes dream of owning a horse ranch, but instead of letting little kids ride the horses on the weekends and stuff, I’d just make a fortune in cat food.  I’d also teach courses on long distance precision marksmanship with camels as targets, and I’d die a happy man.

I don’t do so well with girls who like ponies, and I don’t fucking want to, either.  They are infatuated with my equine enemies, and are treated like the traitors they are.

Anyway.

Countertransference:

This one’s a bit stickier.  It typically refers to the interaction between a therapist and a patient.  Basically, the therapist feels certain emotions based on the emotions of their patient.  The therapist’s emotions are usually tied into the therapist’s own past, and aren’t necessarily relevant to the situation being discussed with the patient.

If you try and look this one up on the googlebox, you’re going to get bogged down in a bunch of psychological mumbo-jumbo.  Since Siggy Freud coined this term, anybody who’s a Jung fanboy is going to have a conniption fit, and you might get dragged into an argument about which dead brain-shrinker’s dick is bigger.

Who cares about all that?  Not me.

Here’s what I’ve noticed, and how I use my street-level definitions:

Most people you interact with evoke some feelings in you.  The feelings aren’t usually all that strong – a general happiness if you like the person, or some mild distaste or even dread if the person’s a pain in the ass.  Now, once in awhile, you get some really strong feelings that motivate you to do something when you encounter a person.  The mere fact that you had these strong feelings in an otherwise routine interaction is the key to start paying close attention.  You need to kick up into Condition Yellow, or even Condition Red.  Your radar is telling you something.  Why?

Here’s another example from my own past experience:

If I talk to two different women about normal stuff for five minutes – different times, different venues, with both women being equally attractive – I’ll come away being really attracted to one of them.

Here’s what I know:

The woman who I’m really attracted to has problems.  She’s got a coke habit, sexual abuse issues, an eating disorder – something like that.  The women and I won’t talk about that stuff, but my subconscious has picked up on certain patterns and mannerisms.  Those subtle cues have rung the fire-bell hanging on the wall where my own personal White Knight hangs out.  That bastard starts polishing up his rusty armor and looking around for his sword.  He’s gonna go rescue this chick from herself, and he starts conspiring with my limbic system to make me attracted to her.

See?  The gal with problems acts a certain, subtle way.  Subconsciously, she’s broadcasting her pain/problems out into the world.  Because of certain experiences I’ve had/the way I was raised, my antennae are very sensitive to certain signals.  Because of those signals, I feel certain things – attraction, the need to rescue, the need to “be there”, etc.

I’ve just been countertransferenced!

For whatever reason, I was a rescuer.  I’m initially attracted to people I think I can help.  After a few disastrous relationships, I’ve learned to look at that initial extreme attraction with a very skeptical glance.  I learned that my “girl picker” was broken.  If I act on that initial extreme attraction, before long I’m going to be looking up various support groups for my girlfriend, or even having her drug dealer ex-boyfriend try and stab me in a parking lot after work (yes, that actually happened).

More people ought to do this kind of analysis about the people they’re attracted to.  If the new person makes you feel exactly like the person in the last five shitty relationships did at first – well, there’s probably something to that.  Start looking for patterns.  Don’t just dive in to those feelings.  Sure, enjoy them, but realize those feelings are there for a reason, and those feelings signify something important. Just because the feelings are good doesn’t mean you’re going to end up happy, either – don’t confuse the two.

Don’t get too wrapped up in my examples.  I used to be Sergeant Save-A-Ho, and maybe you laugh at guys like that.  No worries – I don’t care.  Just don’t overlook your own patterns.  Every guy has a “type”, and physical appearance isn’t always the biggest part of that.  What is yours?  Think back to girls you instantly were attracted to – what did they have in common?  Upbringing?  No gag reflex? Lots of brothers?  Slutty, but hiding it?

By mastering, then monitoring your countertransference radar, you can learn things about people they don’t want you to know.  That information will help guide your course, and keep you efficient in your efforts.  It takes some effort and thought to get this kind of working knowlege of how your subconcious works.  I assure you it’s very worth the effort.

Transition Mantra #1

He was three steps across the bedroom floor before his brain finished booting up.  He ripped the screaming alarm clock out of the wall for some fucking quiet.  His first conscious decision of the day was to line-drive it into the opposite wall.  Fuck that bitch, anyway.  Too bad that dent is just in drywall, and not her lying fucking face. He took a deep breath and sank to his haunches, palms grinding the sleep out of his swollen eyes.  Goddamn…gonna have to buy another alarm clock – a louder one, he thought.

The Lying Whore kept reaching out of his past to torture him.  Her latest trick was to appear in ever-changing mental movies.  The movies were short loops, and the only consistent characters were The Lying Whore in the thrall of utter sexual satisfaction and a nebulous male listed as “The Guy She’s Fucking Now #4” in the credits.  This trick was the worst so far, because it ambushed him as he drifted into sleep.

Moving to a different city had helped, especially at first.  He’d been busy with the details of the sudden move and lining up a job.  The eternal dilemma of What To Do Now? occupied the rest of his mental energy.  The new city didn’t have The Lying Whore’s favorite restaurant, or the lakeshore where he’d proposed to her, or the apartment that once felt like a fortress of bliss.  He decided the new city was going to be home for awhile, and to stay alive.  Things weren’t great, but they weren’t terrible.  He’d been through worse, for sure.  He smiled as often as once per week now.  Progress.

This latest trick was undermining all that.  Sleep was no longer a welcome respite, easily achieved.  The latest trick sent claws of anger, jealousy, and despair ripping through his guts every time he started to drift off.  He slept fitfully when exhaustion overwhelmed him, but only for a few hours at a stretch.   Exercise helped a little, and whisky helped more, but he’d started dragging ass at work.  Fatigue lessened his control of the constant rage that seethed just under his skin.  He’d slept through his alarm twice this week, making him late to work.

He was three minutes late that night.  Nobody noticed but him.  He liked his job as a bouncer, and a year ago would’ve been there ten minutes prior to the start of every shift. The recent struggle to show up on time mystified him.  He’d never been late to anything until The Lying Whore fucked him over.   Now, even good things were a struggle.

Working at this bar was good for him.  His employers wanted friendly, competent staff who engaged with the patrons and cultivated relationships with the regulars.  He’d always prided himself on being professional, so he donned the expected role like a costume.  Even pretending to be happy was preferable to his normal state.

He made his first walk of the night through the place, bro-hugging the regulars and chatting with the new faces.  A cocktail waitress pulled him away from one such conversation.  She asked him to throw a drunk guy out for groping her ass and grabbing one of her tits.  He verified the drunk guy’s identity and observed the drunk guy’s group for half a minute.  Usual shit, he thought.  Routine.  He told the other bouncer what was going on, and went to do his job.

The talk with the drunk guy started out like they all did.  Evasions first, then the possibility of mistaken identity was trotted out.  After that came denial and demands to speak to the manager.  Refusal to leave was next, and finally the drunk guy telegraphed a geriatric right hook in the general direction of his head..  He did what he usually did – step in, quick shot to the xiphoid, twist out an armbar, promise to break that elbow first if anyone in the drunk guy’s group even thought about moving.

Maybe the drunk guy was whinier than most.  Maybe fatigue was a factor.  Maybe he had a strange kind of crush on the aggrieved waitress, or decided the drunk guy was an adequate stand-in for The Guy She’s Fucking Now #4.  Instead of going out the front door like usual, he steered the drunk guy out back into the alley.  He smashed the drunk guy’s face into the brick wall, gave himself time to transition to a choke.  The drunk guy struggled feebly and went limp.  He rammed the unconscious man into the dumpster a few times, enjoying the noise.  The drunk guy’s shirt tore, and he lost his grip.  The drunk guy sprawled boneless onto the asphalt.  He dropped the scrap of shirt and kicked the drunk guy in the stomach.

He stepped back and admired his work.  The drunk guy started moving his limbs in spastic, weird little circles.  A few seconds later, the drunk guy scrunched his face up.  A scratchy wail sobbed out of a bloody mouth.  He toed the drunk guy face-up, then stood on both the drunk guy’s elbows.  Pinned like a butterfly.  He looked into the drunk guys eyes until he was sure full consciousness and awareness had returned.  He let a gobbet of spit drip slowly onto the drunk guys face.  The drunk guy shook his head from side to side, but the spit just rolled around on the bloody face.  The drunk guy started crying, really sobbing.  Tears and quivering lip, snot and rivulets of blood.

He looked up, and saw the other bouncer watching from the doorway.  The other bouncer accused him of having problems.  He thought about it for a few seconds, and then a few seconds more.  He rehearsed some retorts in his head, but they didn’t make sense, even to him.  The other bouncer wasn’t going to agree that this was actually The Lying Whore’s fault.  The drunk guy was a dick, but he wasn’t The Guy Who’s Fucking Her Now #4.  Even with the reality-bending power of post-combat rationalization, he couldn’t make the pieces fit. Shrug.  Sigh.

He agreed with the other bouncer.

He had lots of problems.

_______________________________________________

Just get your guts ripped out by a woman you loved with every cell in your body?  Recently, or does it just feel like that?  Are you fine most of the time, until some random association shits you into the clogged toilet of hellish introspection?

The guy in the story’s been there, and most guys who’ve read or ever will read these words have been there, too.  Depending on your circumstances, it’s one of the worst things that will ever happen to you.  It sucks, no doubt about it.  It’ll get worse, unless you do your new job well.

What?  New job?

Yup.  In addition to all the other shit you’re dealing with, you have additional duties and responsibilities that you didn’t ask for.  No, you don’t get paid.  There are no vacation days or scheduled breaks.  Sometimes the gig is pretty easy, and sometimes it’s a cast-iron bitch.  You’ll hate it for awhile.  Do it diligently, though, and you’ll be extremely gratified.

Here are your duties:

1. Don’t communicate with her. No phone, text, email, Facebook, smoke signals, semaphore flags, or heliograph.  Don’t even say “I’m not talking to you anymore.”  Nothing. Every time you re-engage with her, you’re setting the clock back to zero.

2. Don’t get addicted. Don’t rely on non-prescription chemicals to cope.  Be cautious with prescription chemicals.  Sure, get fucked up and blow off some steam – once.  The absolute last thing you need is a Xanax habit or a DUI.  Feel shitty now?  Imagine you feeling shitty, except in detox and headed to jail soon.  See what I’m saying?

3. Conduct yourself with dignity at all times.  Venting, bitching, begging The Universe to deliver you from your torment – all that’s done with extremely close friends or family – and sparingly.  Cryptic emo poetry about how unfair it is does not belong on your Facebook.  You aren’t Maynard James Keenan, and all that shit does is make you look foolish.  Same thing goes for appearance and grooming.  If you let yourself go after a break-up, you’re broadcasting inner weakness.  Be sad and depressed and angry for awhile – that’s fine.  You can still wash your ass, brush your fangs, and do your laundry.

4. Do not get an STD.  Pregnancy is hereby defined as an STD until further notice.  The ancient wisdom that “The best way to get over a girl is by getting on top of another one” has some truth to it.  Notice how the saying does not endorse pissing razorblades, Planned Parenthood, herpetic lesions, or writing child support checks to a bar skank?

5. Don’t get fired.  If you’re still in college, don’t let your grades slip.  You’re bummed out right now.  The repo man doesn’t give a shit.  Neither do the grad school admission folks.

Do these things, and in a few years this part of your life will be a minor bump.  Fuck them up, and you’re doing yourself permanent harm.  You won’t be able to look back and say,”Yeah, it was rough for a minute, a bit of a nut-check, but I came through alright.”  Instead, you’ll be begging your parole officer to give you a ride to your shift at Arby’s.  You’ll have proven that your ex was correct to leave.

Your pain is like gasoline.  Some men douse themselves in it and stink up the joint.  Fuck them – those guys are hazardous and toxic.  With a little discipline and work, you can put that gas in the tank and drive somewhere better.

Be that guy.

On Insecurity

Wikipedia says:

“An intimate relationship is a particularly close interpersonal relationship that involves physical or emotional intimacy. Physical intimacy is characterized by romantic or passionate love and attachment, or sexual activity.”

No shit, right?

Anybody who’s reading this spends an inordinate amount of time thinking about relationships – how they work, when they happen, what kind of people they happen to…

I’ll bet you could spell out in exact detail the type of relationships you want, and with whom.  Would you consider a single mom?  Your current girl, but 15 lbs lighter? A reformed carousel rider?  Twin bisexual cheerleaders who inherited a chain of liquor stores?

How should she treat you?  Supportive and submissive?  How many blowjobs a week is optimal?  You looking to start a family?  How much debt is that hottie dragging around?

All that stuff is important to work out, right?  You’ve got to know what you’re looking for and who’s a bad bet, or you’ll never be happy.  That’s common knowledge, of course.  Of Course…Everybody says it so it’s gotta be true…

Right?

Well….no, not really.  Not yet.

You’re starting in the wrong place.  You’re attempting a kidney transplant surgery believing a semester of high school biology is perfectly adequate preparation.  Make an incision and get started, if you want.  In the grand scheme of things, another rapidly cooling corpse is no big deal.

So, Smart Guy, I hear you ask – just what should I be thinking about?

The answer, as with so many things, is You.

Seriously – what the hell are you after?  What are you hoping to achieve, to feel, to become, in your relations with women?  If you’ve never before thought about this, it’s deceptively hard.

“No it’s not!” the novice crows,”I just wanna bang that receptionist with the big tits!”

The novice isn’t answering the question.  Why her?  Why not some other clerical worker with similar mammary glands?  Why not an actress with small boobs or a lunch lady with one?  If you can’t honestly answer, you’re going in blind and dumb.  You’ll have more fun and better long-term results wrapping 50 feet of duct tape around your head and sprinting across highways.

Why is this particular question so critical?

It’s the only way to recognize your insecurities as they pertain to relationships – and every human being yet born has insecurities.  The answer to that question is the first part of identifying the habits and subconscious strategies you use to compensate.

Insecurities are highly individual – possibly even unique in their manifestations from person to person.  A lonely nerd might pine for a gregarious woman – a relationship with her might prove to himself that he’s just as good as the “popular kids”.  It might salve the red, suppurating rash of loneliness, or offer an opportunity to shed his old social identity like a snakeskin against the rocks of her world.

A disorganized, grabasstic underachiever might be drawn to a woman who keeps a clean house – possibly seeking to benefit from her structure and stability, to learn a bit of that for himself.  He could also be working with some weapons-grade cognitive dissonance, seeking to prove to others he’s not actually that much of a slob.  Shit, his girlfriend wears librarian glasses and has plastic wrapped couches in her apartment.  She makes people take their shoes off inside!  A girl like that would never date a guy who didn’t have his shit together – obviously.  Her librarian glasses signal to himself and others that he’s reliable and organized…at least in his mind they do.

Even though insecurities are as unique as fingerprints, they have some common attributes.  They all influence one’s social environment – from the girl with a weird tooth who hates smiling to a fat asthmatic kid who affects intellectual superiority toward athletes.  Tooth-Girl’s lack of smiling will gradually nudge her toward interests, peers, and activities that are different than a more smiley person.  Maybe she wears a lot of black eyeliner, listens to The Cure and VAST, and starts smoking at age 15 with the goth kids.  They don’t smile, either, and she’s more comfortable with them.  The fat asthmatic kid will preserve/obtain his self esteem from other kids who don’t like sports – maybe he gets into programming or theater.

Insecurities also influence who we sustain intense attraction with.  A partner who assuages, invalidates, or compensates for our insecurities evokes more than attraction from us.  In extreme cases, you can feel like a person has “fixed” you or made you whole – in addition to more pedestrian love and attraction.  You can come to depend on them for your identity. They fill some hole you have in your ego. This can be very powerful.

Your insecurities are communicated overtly and covertly to the people you interact with.  It’s helpful to think of them like smells – you stink like hobo socks and skunky Budweiser and you ain’t getting in to that club.  The right kind of pheromones, though, can make a pretty girl into a goddess – for the right kind of guy.  So it is with insecurities – you’re interacting with people who’s brains are highly adapted for picking up subtle cues in their fellow humans.  Not much gets missed.  Many times you think you’ve gotten away with compensating, the other person simply didn’t call you out/think it relevant.  They notice and evaluate, though, even if it’s subconscious.  Uncle Paul’s elevator shoes ain’t foolin’ anybody, and neither are Jeremy Piven’s hair plugs.

It seems that most people never bother to examine their insecurities in any meaningful way.  We’re all experts at spotting others, but our own might only warrant some blustery talk or a bullshit waist size on some relaxed-fit jeans.

Consider that for a moment.  Other people can’t fool you very easily, can they?  You can spot the Napoleon Complex after 10 seconds of interaction.  You see the strange head tilt and heavy makeup of the girl with the big zit on her forehead.  They can’t hide this stuff they so obviously want to hide.  You are no different – you broadcast your crap just as they do.

How do your insecurities influence you?  What “choices” do you make that are really the dictates of your insecurities?  What does being massively infatuated with some particular person indicate about your self image and your personal context?  How has that influenced other areas of your life?  Why are you attracted to X?

Could you change it if you wanted to?

Couple things about this stuff I wanted to mention:

Sometimes our insecurities are ugly, or stem from ugly causes.  That’s fine – if you liked something about yourself, it wouldn’t make you insecure, would it?  If you shy away from thinking about them, though, you’ll never, ever improve.  It’s necessary to either bull through this natural aversion, or learn to examine yourself objectively.

One technique to identify subtle insecurities that influence your present behavior is to get ruthless and clinical about your past. Sit somewhere quiet for an hour and think.  What were you after when you did X? How did Y make you feel, and what would have made you feel different?  Why do you like Girl 1 but not Girl 2, and what does that mean?  What would your mother say about that?  Your best friend? Teddy Roosevelt?  George Washington?

Also, this stuff might not be useful if you’re just looking to bang bar-skanks.  It can be a lot of uncomfortable work, and there are many easy, somewhat effective ways to camouflage the insecurities most detrimental to rapid-rate booty.

It’s also tempting for a naturally shy guy to use this focused introspection as a means of avoidance.  Don’t bullshit yourself.