Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Alpha Mail: you are not the Reality Cop

A gamma working his way up the hierarchy poses a question:
I'm a former gamma, still working my way up and out. I recently married a smart, sexy woman and erstwhile bitch. Sometimes my gamma and her bitch come out together to remind us what a horrible couple we would have made 10 years ago. For example, yesterday while driving home from a friend's house and discussing something completely innocuous, she said a particular thing had never happened, which I thought was improbable in the extreme. (It's not important what it was that did or didn't happen.) I didn't want to say "That's absurd," so I said something like "It probably happened and you just forgot about it."

Then followed an argument of the yes it did/no it didn't sort until I stepped back and asked why we were arguing about something that didn't matter. She responded with, "What do you mean it doesn't matter? You're telling me that I'm stupid and don't have a fucking clue about what goes on in my own life!" (She actually has a higher IQ than I do, but her intelligence is frequently eclipsed by her emotions.) I denied it and then we argued about that for a few minutes before I said I was done and nixed the topic.

We rode the rest of the way home in complete silence and didn't speak more than two words to each other at a time until the next morning. The entire night I knew that this was exactly the wrong thing to be doing, but I couldn't for the life of me think of the right thing. I know that we'll be in this situation again, and I'd like to be able to handle it better. What are some better responses?
The best response was to simply let it go from the start. This is why sigmas tend to find women so much easier to handle than gammas, we're too caught up in our own narcisstic interests to be overly concerned about whatever their latest whims happen to be. To recap, she said something completely trivial and he not only took it seriously, he actually went out of his way to be disagreeable and start an argument. Consider this to be the requisite slap to the back of his head.

What the gamma needed here is Indifference Game, which is all about letting the wookie win. Did it matter what she said happened or didn't happen? Did he care one iota about the matter before she brought it up? It's hardly unheard of for women to say absolutely stupid and provably false things for no reason. So let them. You are not the Reality Police. Unless a woman has asked you to refine her mind or is showing an active interest in improving her capacity for reason, always leave her to her Happy Unicorn Land. Unless a woman is actively disagreeing with me or is opining on a substantive issue, I don't care if she wants to assert that the Yankees won five Super Bowls or Brad Pitt is sexier than George Clooney. What does any of that have to do with me or my interests?

Gamma: "Um, I think you mean the Cowboys or the 49ers. Or maybe you were thinking of the Steelers, they won six."

Sigma: "Are you a Yankees fan too? I love the Yankees! Do you think they should have drafted a quarterback this year?"

That doesn't mean to ignore a woman when she is talking or to communicate solely in the form of wordless grunts, it simply means that you should go along for the ride. You can have a perfectly lovely time discussing practically anything with practically any woman so long as you don't take them seriously. This is why women consider gay men to be such great conversationalists; most gay men could not possibly care less what any woman thinks about anything and they are perfectly happy to ride along on whatever flight of fancy happens to present itself.

And while everyone does it from time to time, arguing about arguing is totally pointless. It merely leads to absurdities like the gamma's wife demonstrating that she is, at the moment, at least functionally stupid and without a clue. Hint: if you are beginning a sentence with "are you saying that" or "you're telling me", then the chances are the accurate response will be "no, I'm doing nothing of the kind." Once the argument reaches that point, stop talking, stop listening, and enjoy the fact that you have an evening of guaranteed free time on hand.

On a tangential note, I suspect one reason that many women instinctively dislike online games is that they have entirely defanged the threat of the silent treatment. "Okay, I understand that you're mad. But let me get this straight. You're not going to lobby me to go shopping, watch a romantic comedy, or even interrupt me while I play Call of Duty online for six straight hours? I shall endeavor to survive the punishment."

43 comments:

indyguy77@work said...

This is one thing about women that just hurts my brain.

How the hell can a woman say something with utter conviction and total passion and then forget she freaking said it? Even when it seems (to me, anyway) that the moment involved was a pivotal one in your relationship?

The vapidity makes you want to rip out your hair to think that you ever take her seriously at all about anything.

Seriously: how do you make a lifetime committment to any female without wondering if she's going to apply the same selective amnesia to your marriage vows?

Anonymous said...

If it weren't for your obsession with trotting out your AD&D Monster Manual of 473 distinct categories of male personality (at least 470 of them wholly imaginary), this would've been a really great post. But any reader can infer from context which arbitrary Greek letters translate to "alpha" and which to "beta", so the problem's not fatal. And make no mistake, that is what all of them do, because absolutely nobody is going to waste half an hour searching your archives for the Secret Codebook.

Anonymous said...

indyguy77,

If the only thing still keeping her faithful is a vow she made x number of years ago, the marriage is dead already.

Female Amnesia is not itself a serious problem. But if there IS a serious problem, Female Amnesia is one of the ways she will express it. If you don't let there be a problem, there usually won't be. Any girl behavior pattern comes in two flavors: Dominant-bitchy, and cute-submissive. Her manner is the message; the putative content is really just a sort of neutral carrier wave.

If she feels like she can get away with all the bullshit girl behavior that drives you nuts, that's because you've been letting her get away with it, and because you've been letting it drive you nuts to begin with, instead of maintaining an air of amused mastery and command. She wants that amused mastery, and is punishing you for not providing it.

NateM said...

A rider to these instruction: only respond to an obvious rejoinder to an argument when your WoW guild has a raid scheduled for that night and you need to free yourself of obligations to your girlfriend or spouse.

indyguy77@work said...

Best I can remember, I've typically reacted with a very incredulous "How can you not remember that?" which is typically responded to with either "I really said that?" or "I never said that!" followed by my "Oh, yes you really did", usually ending it right there.

Thinking some more, I don't think any serious arguments have ever come from it.

It just hits my instant outrage button, just like when my niece or nephew would do something right in front of me and then vehemently deny having done it two seconds later.

It just makes me want to yell:
"ARE YOU RETARDED? I JUST WATCHED YOU DO IT!"

modernguy said...

"You don't remember that?" works because you're not directly implying that she lied to herself, which she obviously did. It also implies that you might be a dullard with no insight.

The problem is that you're accusing her of building her reality on lies, which women are prone to do. But men are generally not perfect either, so if your house is partially made of glass don't throw stones.

Interesting that Vox advocates ignorance born of indifference.

Vox said...

Interesting that Vox advocates ignorance born of indifference.

It's small talk all the way down. I've stared into that Abyss long enough to know that there is no bottom.

The way I look at it is that etiquette requires me to exhibit about the same level of interest in a person I have never met as women customarily exhibit in philosophers or economic theories they have never encountered.

Spacebunny therefore merits great consideration. She has listened to my critiques of Sam Harris, my theories about the nature of money, and a brilliant German penetration of the Soviet defenses in Red Barricades.

Other women, not so much.

indyguy77@work said...

"It also implies that you might be a dullard with no insight."

Oh, without a doubt. Ask anyone that knows me.

My standard retort is "Oh, no... I KNOW why I'm still single."

King A said...

Anonymous wrote: If it weren't for your obsession with trotting out your AD&D Monster Manual of 473 distinct categories of male personality (at least 470 of them wholly imaginary), this would've been a really great post. But any reader can infer from context which arbitrary Greek letters translate to "alpha" and which to "beta", so the problem's not fatal. And make no mistake, that is what all of them do, because absolutely nobody is going to waste half an hour searching your archives for the Secret Codebook.

This cannot be repeated enough on this site. Come out of the anonymous closet so that your repetitions acquire some force. The Monster Manual characterization is the most poetic yet.

You have to realize that the author is entirely too invested in his taxonomy to abandon it now. It's a matter of pride, not accuracy.

Just try to politely ignore it and engage the good stuff. A preponderance of indifference may yet encourage the "hierarchy" to quietly disappear, like the Homeland Security Advisory System. ORANGE GAMMA ALERT! But don't underestimate the stubborn staying power of pride.

Anonymous said...

For trite conversations and/or arguments, certainly I understand that it is best to ignore it, since it does not matter in the least. But what about those things that possibly DO MATTER. As in she is trying to prove a point in your relationship and she says she did (or did not) do X or say Y. And you remember distinctly that she did and she will be using that point as a jumping off point to further tear things up in the relationship or to push you further down.

King A said...

Vox wrote: To recap, she said something completely trivial and he not only took it seriously, he actually went out of his way to be disagreeable and start an argument.

... You can have a perfectly lovely time discussing practically anything with practically any woman so long as you don't take them seriously. This is why women consider gay men to be such great conversationalists; most gay men could not possibly care less what any woman thinks about anything and they are perfectly happy to ride along on whatever flight of fancy happens to present itself.


Well said. What decades of pain and frustration men are in for when they fail to acquire a working imagination of how a woman's mind works. Clue: It's not like ours.

When the "erstwhile bitch" flashes her twisted countenance, don't be defensive. It's time to play! That's when the fun begins, and if you do it right, you'll be fucking that scowling inner-harpy right back into its lair on a wave of forced pleasure before the end of the night.

Bitchery isn't a misfortune. It's an opportunity, a teaching moment, a gift.

marky mark said...

While I agree with anonymous that Vox's categories of Male personality can be confusing, you don't really have to waste a half hour searching through the archives to find his definitions.

There is a link to them in the top right hand corner of the blog, in the "Foundations" section.

NateM said...

"You can have a perfectly lovely time discussing practically anything with practically any woman so long as you don't take them seriously. "

so the sigma perspective on this To Wit: a sigma, in his infinite narcissism, enjoys any conversation in which he is a part.. sounds about right.

As for the taxonomy, I felt it breaks it down fairly well, though some are based on sometimes circular logic "he's successful because he's alpha/unsuccessful because he's gamma" it definitely describes men's real conditions well, further breaking down Roissy's binary Alpha/Beta dynamic

Anonymous said...

Wow. 'Indifference' is a form of game I might actually be able to pull off. It's a good place to start anyway.

-PORCUS

Vox said...

You have to realize that the author is entirely too invested in his taxonomy to abandon it now. It's a matter of pride, not accuracy.

I suggest you read the bottom of the page. I'm not saying it would be impossible for me to care less about anyone's opinion of the taxonomy or anything else on this blog, but it would be extremely difficult.

You can use whatever taxonomy you like. I will certainly do likewise.

Wendy said...

"Are you a Yankees fan too? I love the Yankees! Do you think they should have drafted a quarterback this year?"

That's just plain awesome.

Houston said...

"It's hardly unheard of for women to say absolutely stupid and provably false things for no reason."

Exhibit A: The View. At my last job (a home based business) the office TV was occasionally tuned to this show. "I feel..." followed by opinions utterly unconnected to logic, history, or economics, as if five millennia of human experience had never happened. My wife would be disgusted and bored in such company but the average woman would find it pleasing or at least inoffensive.

JT said...

You can have a perfectly lovely time discussing practically anything with practically any woman so long as you don't take them seriously. This is why women consider gay men to be such great conversationalists; most gay men could not possibly care less what any woman thinks about anything and they are perfectly happy to ride along on whatever flight of fancy happens to present itself.

I love this. Except that I don't see how to apply it when moving beyond dating and into LTR where agreements on important decisions need to be made. Which is exactly the line that gays don't cross.

szook said...

"Are you a Yankees fan too? I love the Yankees! Do you think they should have drafted a quarterback this year?"

And the female's next response:

"Oh NO! I think they need a new Seeker way more than a quarterback..."

JCclimber said...

JT, here is how the agreements work. You agree on a common paradigm, say bible based christianity. Which will mean that you are the decision maker, with her input on all important decisions since her role is as your helper.

The agreement is that you are the final decision maker. With the attached accountability for good decisions and bad decisions. Most men wimp out on this, because they don't have the balls to take the flak for their bad decisions, own up to the responsibility, and make corrections.

I think most men fail because they keep projecting themselves into the conversation, rather than enjoying the discussion. Just roll with it, baby.

mnl said...

Indifference game (ignoring) can work in a lot of situations. And if one must choose between the two, it's better to be indifferent than to get sucked into an emotionally draining, no-win argument. But sometimes the context requires you to call-out a woman on her bullshit.

Very often a women will utter a wrong recollection or bald-faced lie as a sort of provocation, as a type of shit test. That's right: it's entirely on purpose--though not always malicious. Yet the motives aren't obvious--not even to her.

Sometimes, a woman simply needs to test your tolerance for the implausible. She's testing how far you'll let her distort reality. What she's doing is exploring how easily you'll adopt her frame. ...And while this particular provocation or social mis-recollection is benign, it's an unconscious rehearsal for other, potentially more serious reality departures in the future (should she ever need it). Yea, the issue of interest at that particular moment is about "something completely innocuous." But she's testing the waters. She's subconsciously undertaking the mental preparation in case she ever needs to distort reality over something much more critical: "Honestly dear, I know I kissed that exotic new guy visiting from the foreign office but I really didn't enjoy it. It was kind of disgusting actually. My friends put me up to it."

So, rather than be entirely indifferent, I say you should call-out the false verbal reconstruction--all while avoiding a no-way-you-can-win-Afgahnistan-type relationship conflict. Indeed, as the man, you may be entirely correct about the facts. But all you "win" in return is plenty of celibate self-time with which to pat yourself on the back!

You need to adopt an *air* of indifference and surf the situation ("roll with it" as JCclinber said), but still let her know the you can see her reality distortion. A smirk clearly helps in the execution. Here are some examples:

- If you don't know the girl all that well: "Do you know your Adam's apple sticks out a little in your neck when you tell fibs like that?"

- If you're in an LTR: "You're cute when you remember things wrongly. It's quite obvious you need me, don't you."

- MNL: "Looks like Alzheimer's is starting early. But don't worry, baby. I'll love you through it all. [Smooch]"
Mrs. MNL: "I know you don't believe me but it's YOU who has the Alzheimer's. It really is the way I remember it."
MNL: "You're adorable. You should know that I don't change adult diapers."]

mnl said...

One more thing... Women, in general, are more concerned with the FEELING around events than they are with the events themselves. If she's recalling something wrongly, it's perhaps because that's the way she WANTS to recall or feel about it; that's the way she PREFERS the memory be imprinted (the actual facts or events be damned).

So, if your faced with this sort of emotion-laded mis-recollection, then you're best off just playing with that feeling. Entertain or magnify it. Let it run its course inside her. Copious sex will follow. Then and only then, after the emotion has run its course, you can reset her on the facts--amazingly without any of the previous resistance.

In fact, there's some social psych research that suggests that the social re-telling of events in new, different ways actually *recreates* the synaptic paths associated with the memory. So, her re-telling of events does, in fact, change her physical memory of them. See...

Pasupathi (2001). "The Social Construction of the Personal Past and Its Implications for Adult Development" in Psych Bulletin,

Thorne (2000). "Personal Memory Telling and Personality Development" in Personality and Social Psychology Review.

King A said...

Vox wrote: I suggest you read the bottom of the page. I'm not saying it would be impossible for me to care less about anyone's opinion of the taxonomy or anything else on this blog, but it would be extremely difficult. You can use whatever taxonomy you like. I will certainly do likewise.

Is this a demonstration of your "indifference game"? Theory in action, now we are getting somewhere!

"it would be impossible for me to care less about anyone's opinion..."

This is a weakness in a man, not a strength.

If you are not generating criticism, you are being too timid. Churchill: "You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life."

If you are ignoring criticism, you are missing opportunities to shore up your vulnerabilities. Churchill again: "Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things."

Wendy said...

Well, King A is an apt name.

indyguy77@work said...

Churchill was a slimy, lying, murderous, warmongering scumbag.

At best, you could say SUBSTANTIVE criticism might serve some function.

Please be kind and let us know if any appears. It more resembles bleating right now.

Markku said...

Well, King A is an apt name.

Haha, I knew someone would make that joke eventually.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic. Vox is in love and the aspies are white knighting. Somebody pass the popcorn.

ThirdMonkey said...

"You can have a perfectly lovely time discussing practically anything with practically any woman so long as you don't take them seriously." That has got to be one of the best observations about women I've ever read. Since reading this post, I've treated my wife, mother, and two female supervisors with the same seriousness I treat my three year-old daughter when she says something, and it's been a great, frustration-free week. I think I'm going to try this with most people, men and women alike.

King A said...

Wendy: Well, King A is an apt name.

Wendy: Haha, I knew someone would make that joke eventually.

I don't get it. Care to explain?


indyguy77@work: Churchill was a slimy, lying, murderous, warmongering scumbag.

... who could turn a mean phrase and had a nearly unparalleled facility with the English language.

Markku said...

I don't get it. Care to explain?

King Asperger's.

Badger said...

In some relationships you just have to take half of what the other person says as white noise. Especially if they're an extrovert, they tend to think out loud so you are hearing undifferentiated thoughts. You gotta master the "really, you don't say, I can't believe it" type of verbal stubs that don't show any real investment in her conversational frame.

http://badgerhut.wordpress.com/2011/06/08/i-told-you-that-girl-crazy/

King A said...

Markku: King Asperger's.

Oh. I'm only starting to decode the secret language of the dorks who tend to find each other in these precincts. Thanks for the heads up.

Now I've got one for you: "omega orbiter." Vox is quite capable of defending himself. No need for the random cheerleading and inert cries of heresy when someone presents an argument in opposition. The fact that you have adopted a cute little pejorative label for serious dissenters is an emblem of your dependency.

And of course it's a borrowed label.

Most undignified of all: you're not even applying the insult correctly on its own terms.

Are you the one who was doing subcontracting work in Vox's offices? Laying carpet or some shit?

King A said...

Are you the one who was doing subcontracting work in Vox's offices? Laying carpet or some shit?

Sweet sufferin sycophant, you are:

http://tinyurl.com/6ccwxsn

Have I stumbled into the wrong seminar room? Is this some kind of employee reunion, or just the local chapter of the Vox Fan Club?

I'm here for the SuperPUA Master Class in Mystery and Venusian Seductarts.... I've got my handy glossary....

Anybody know the way to the Nuclear Neg confab? If you see dudes in fluffy hats, risers, and shirts open to their chest, give me a shout.

Markku said...

Now I've got one for you: "omega orbiter." Vox is quite capable of defending himself.

Take it to Wendy. Although I might have made the joke, I didn't happen to do so. I merely explained it to you.

Wendy said...

1. I said it. Why are you going off on Markku? Why get so emotional because some schmuck made a somewhat tongue in cheek comment about your screen name, and then direct it at the wrong person?

2. Actually, I had a different A-word in mind, but Asperger's works just as well, given the complete lack of sense of humor. The comment was based on the topic below in which you seem to only understand the asshole part of game with nothing else to balance it out. It was a half-hearted comment at best. But congratulations, you rose to the occasion instead of laughing it off.

3. "Serious dissenter" might be a bit generous as you have so far tended to make silly assumptions about people (in this case both Vox and Markku) and when corrected...passive aggression is the result. It doesn't make for instructive reading, except the reminder that sometimes it's better to think before typing.

4. All questions above are rhetorical. Further comment is unnecessary.

King A said...

Wendy typed ruefully: "4. All questions above are rhetorical. Further comment is unnecessary."

But Wends! What if I want to give you my rhetorical answers? I already feel I owe you for flattering me with the title King Asshole.

Now there is a sycophancy I can get behind, figuratively and literally. Would you please be a doll and assume the position? (Note that per Vox's advice I am now asking politely.) Your little brother Marku can watch if that's his kink.

Markku said...

Well, this is highly entertaining.

Remember, King, most of us go way back at Vox Popoli, this blog being its spin-off, and actually know who's who.

Wendy said...

Get a dictionary. I said nothing ruefully.

You're really stuck on the sycophancy idea. It never occurred to you that you might simply come across as an ass?

"I already feel I owe you for flattering me with the title King Asshole."

For the record, I never called you King Asshole. I said King A is an apt name. I had King Ass (the old school meaning of ass) in mind, but your knee jerk emotional reactions makes me think Queen A might be more apt.

King A said...

Wendy, I think you and I got off on the wrong foot. Let's backtrack and start over.

This is what I'm picturing: 22-years-old, small-to-medium chest with just a trace of sag. Natural dirty blonde but dyed brunette to be taken seriously. Your last freckle abandoned you last year. Chunky glasses you really don't need. Bottom a little flat but you're pretty sure your kickin hourglass makes up for it.

Am I close? Way off? I'm never wrong about these estimations, but I wouldn't be surprised if you're my first. You have a little bit of the princess about you, that's all I have to base it on.

Anyway, please indulge my coarseness while I work diligently to update my Old School Ass to New School. See you around the comboxes!!!

Markku said...

LOL, Wendy, knowing your last name from elsewhere, are you the one with prominent Google results? You know, with the fascinating hobby.

Wendy said...

Wrong as usual, King A. Finito.

@Markku, yeah, that's probably me. It's a good challenge to keep learning and improving, and it pays well enough to allow a bit of international travel.

Legion said...

indyguy77@work said...
"Churchill was a slimy, lying, murderous, warmongering scumbag."

Well, now we know what it took for a Brit politician to stand up to Hitler.

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