Monday, May 14, 2012

Reversing the social thermostat

One of the things that separates men from women, and ALPHA from BETA, is the ability to control one's emotions and reactions. Roissy memorably linked the ALPHA ideal to a rock that lets the ocean waves crash over it with complete indifference; when the waters calm, the rock is still there, exactly as it was before.

Since supplicants and subordinates are always hypersensitive to the feelings of their superiors, a lack of sensitivity is always interpreted as dominance by men and women alike. In practical terms, this means a lack of reaction to what other people are saying. The more emotionally intense the stimulus, the more important it is to remain calm and impassive. Now, some people come by this naturally. For whatever reason, in a highly charged situation like an emergency or a competitive sporting event, I tend to feel almost as if I go out of my body and I remain much more calm than I would if the situation was an everyday one. Because that has tended to work out well for me, I try to simulate the feeling when it doesn't come naturally.

The way this can be achieved is simply by delaying your instinctive reaction. When your boss yells at you or your girlfriend accuses you of something, don't say anything, don't even allow your face to change expression. Just meet their eyes, breath slowly, and blink deliberately. Then ask them to repeat themselves. Nine times out of ten, they will immediately lower their voice and address you in a calmer, more civilized manner. This is an instinctively submissive response to dominant behavior. If they're completely out of emotional control, though, they will start shrieking and become much more difficult to understand, in which case, you continue to remain calm, explain that you can't understand what they're trying to tell you, and ask them to repeat themselves again in a more civilized manner. Sometimes they will, although they will often storm out instead. The useful thing about the latter is that you can then return to what you were doing before, since you haven't even acknowledged their demand or complaint, let alone agreed to do anything about it.

Granted, it may take a degree of natural narcissism to easily resist the male urge to respond in the face of a perceived problem. But the urge can be resisted, even by the most instinctively submissive Gamma. Remember the wise words of Calvin Coolidge: "Never go out to meet trouble. If you will just sit still, nine cases out of ten someone will intercept it before it reaches you."

But dominant self-control isn't only useful in conflict situations, it's also usefully applicable to situations where a woman is attempting to get a rise out of you, either through sexual provocation or a shit test. Do exactly the same thing. Don't react, breathe, blink, ask for her to repeat herself. You'll find that you can make a woman who is striking a provocative pose to blush and stammer simply by not reacting and calmly asking her to repeat herself once or twice. Of course, because you've gone from played to player, and because women are naturally attracted to both social and sexual dominance, this will tend to create attraction even where none initially existed.

Keep in mind that the point is not to be a robot. You can smile if you like, although this is best reserved for the sexual situations and can cause problems in the conflict situations. You can - in fact, you should - speak in normal tones. And you should react normally in non-hostile situations; acting like you're partially autistic isn't going to get you anywhere. The idea is simply that the hotter it gets outside, the icier you become inside.


Koanic said...

Jacquie said...

Exactly, Vox, spot on. This explains an incident this past weekend.

I'd been hoping to spend time with my husband Saturday night. He cruised the internet until well past when I fell asleep. Sunday morning I felt disappointed with how the evening went and fought my emotions for most of the morning wrestling with whether to tell him how I felt about it or not when he woke. I'd decided to let it go, it was probably not worth bringing up. Nothing could be done about it now except hurt feelings.

When he woke and came to the kitchen my emotions got the better of me and after a morning greeting I made a comment about the night before. I saw just what is described in the first paragraph; the analogy of a rock setting still against the waves. He didn't flinch, or blink, no emotion; he simply told me, "I did what I wanted to do." Nothing further.

The strange thing is, the way he handled it calmed my emotional turmoil. I felt peace and didn't think about it again, until just now when I read your post, and the first image in my mind was of my husband standing firm in front of me. I was able to find refuge from my own waves on that rock.

Thanks, it all makes a great deal of sense.

mmaier2112@work said...

Funny, I did that to my boss last week, though I didn't ask her to repeat herself. She was almost crying telling me she thought my flippancy was disrespectful.

My response was simply "Point taken".

I guess I'm getting better at not taking the female emtional bait.

My problem is responding to statement from females that I find genuinely annoying. Women tend to make personal attacks that seem intended to wound while thinking you can't respond. If you do, they YOU'RE being the jerk. ("He can hit back? WTF?")

I tend to say something in a calm manner but still retaliating. "You're a real ass" was my response to a co-worker recently. It was not well-received, as I fully intended. But it didn't feel right, frame-wise.

Is there a better approach when you're being attacked verbally that conveys that it's not acceptable but retains the "rock solid-ness"?

VD said...

I'd been hoping to spend time with my husband Saturday night. He cruised the internet until well past when I fell asleep.

If you want to get your husband's attention and spend time with him, I suggest being a little more proactive. Don't just sit in front of the television waiting, slip on something provocative, go sit on his lap, and ask him if he's genuinely more interested in what the Internet has to offer.

If the answer is yes, that's your cue to start hitting the gym.

Stickwick said...

Coincidentally, Bill Whittle has a new video up today called "Beta Nation" in which he compares/contrasts a number of well-known alphas and their beta counterparts. His characterization of Neil Armstrong as cool-as-a-cucumber after narrowly escaping fiery death is the epitome of alpha. (Note: Whittle's an old-style patriotic conservative, but his overall point is solid.)

VD said...

Women tend to make personal attacks that seem intended to wound while thinking you can't respond. If you do, they YOU'RE being the jerk. ("He can hit back? WTF?")

You're right to retaliate verbally, but you're doing it incorrectly. Calling a woman an ass is ineffective. You need to make the retaliation personal, to make her feel as if she's been publicly humiliated and disemboweled in one fell stroke.

Which usually means saying something about her weight, her low sexual status, or her relative lack of intelligence. Women aren't men. They're not going to fight, so the best thing is to go nuclear on them. You want to be at the point where women don't dare to engage in verbal sniping with you for fear that they'll take a .50 caliber headshot.

And remember, they will always complain to whoever is the Daddy stand-in. That's what they do instead of fighting. So, whatever you say, be sure it is defensible and appropriate to the level of her attack.

Jacquie said...

The thing is, I knew he was catching up on several blogs he's been learning from, so I didn't really want to disturb him since alot of what's been gleaned has changed our relationship drastically. It just wasn't my prefered timetable; my bad.

mmaier2112@work said...

I guess I have too much lingering White Knight-itis; that seems like a really low blow. I know I have those attacks in the arsenal and I've THOUGHT about using them but I think I'd instantly piss everyone around me off.

Which might just work to my advantage, long-term.

I guess factually calling someone fat isn't even an insult, is it? So I would hope that would be a shield from the HR actions...

VD said...

I guess I have too much lingering White Knight-itis; that seems like a really low blow. I know I have those attacks in the arsenal and I've THOUGHT about using them but I think I'd instantly piss everyone around me off.

Have you learned nothing about Game while you've been here? Your Gamma/Delta instincts are stunting your development. The one rule is to experiment and learn what does and doesn't work.

VD said...

It just wasn't my prefered timetable; my bad.

Keep in mind that the bad isn't your distinct timetable, it's that you didn't give him the option to put the two divergent timetable in sync, you simply got mad because his timetable didn't happen to match your own.

But it would only do so by pure coincidence. With men, you should always ask before concluding you've been rejected.

mmaier2112@work said...

Point taken.

Mr. Nightstick said...

How do you practice this?

Giraffe said...

I guess factually calling someone fat isn't even an insult, is it? So I would hope that would be a shield from the HR actions...

Dude, factually calling someone fat is definitely an insult. The truth hurts.

You can hurt a thin woman by calling her fat if she's insecure, but a fat woman knows she's fat. It will cut through all that blubber right to the bone. It is a social convention that you don't go there. Simply stating the truth is considered a low blow.

Stickwick said...


When I was first married, I expected my husband to be a mind-reader, which was neither productive nor fair. I now know that being direct about what I want is usually the only way I'll get it. I've found that the best approach (honed through years of trial-and-error) is to wrap my arms around him, give him a kiss on the neck, state what I want as plainly and sweetly as possible -- without qualifiers or reasons why he should acquiesce -- and then wait for him to decide if/how/when he'll do it. I get favorable results 90% of the time with this approach, and you probably will, too.

Yohami said...

Yes. I've found that asking "what do you mean?", having them really explain their point works better than reacting / thaking their initial argument at face value.

Yohami said...

*taking their initial argument

The Money Monk said...

Well going right to pointing out a woman's fatness/ugliness/etc would work, its not going to help you out much overall if you are in like an office setting, and could certainly get you into trouble.

I have found that a good retort is to call them out directly for acting like a baby. I'll say something like "Stop acting like a child" or simply, "You're acting like a child". That seems to usually stop them butt cold. I think deep down the (small) rational part of their brain realizes they are having a temper tantrum, they just do it because that's what usually works. Bonus points for actually using the word "Temper-Tantrum" that seems to get their attention. In past instances I have said, "You know they have a word for getting all upset when you don't get your way; it's called a temper-tantrum. You're acting like a child"

After that its virtually impossible for them to continue using the "but I'll get angry!" tactic without completely losing face. If they are really crazy simply say, "Come back when you are ready to behave like an adult" and simply leave.

LP 999/Eliza said...

Helpful post.

Seeing that I'm a female, the following is semi-related but that not that great of a comment:

Estrogen grinds on estrogen like testosterone grinds on testosterone, perhaps its why mothers and daughters fight. Women trifle and things spin out of control. During an interview last week, I was asked how I'd respond to someone who is irate/very mad (clerical/front desk work)? Intrigued by the question, I asked for her to elaborate, give an example, etc.

Poor example given, so I gave a general empathic answer (BS really, I don't know). "I'd walk them through the logic of their demands, or ask them what is really wrong, what is the point and diffuse the anger. That isn't difficult do, people have moods and are not going to stay angry especially in public when one can remain composed."

All well-fed 4 women disagreed and said how wrong I am. They have the jobs, I don't. All hail their wisdom & perfection, I guess.

This interview was more dysfunctional than a separate scenario where a phone interview went wrong. I was asked to supply 50 names of people I know for their sales leads, I cancelled the interview. Utterly inappropriate.

Jacquie said...

Thank you very much for the suggestion. I usually do this, and the results are most favorable. I am not a woman lacking attention by any means.
The main point of my comment seems to have been missed. I am proud that my husband stood up to me, like a rock. He and I have learned a lot over the past year and our marriage has benefitted greatly. I knew I shouldn't have brought it up, perhaps it was one of the fitness tests that I don't even realize I give him, but he responded just as Vox described in the above post. Not only did he exercise his dominance seemingly without thought or hesitation, I found benefit from his response as well, and the subject was dropped.
It works.

Mac said...

"But dominant self-control isn't only useful in conflict situations, it's also usefully applicable to situations where a woman is attempting to get a rise out of you"

This is useful in a wide range of situations, my favorite being during the approach. If you can hold your body still, keep your eye contact strong, not have emotions ripping across your face, and keep your words measured (ie be unreactive), women will start twitching like epileptics from the sexual tension. They will also tend to start blabbering whatever comes into their heads.

Very entertaining. And useful.

Stickwick said...

I don't think we so much missed the main point as overlooked it in favor of a more salient point. But, I hear you. My husband is the proverbial rock, as well, and thank GOD. I've had previous boyfriends who crumbled when the stormy waters would rise up, and all it did was feed the madness. My husband, OTOH, stands there, expressionless, asking me, "How old are you again?" It's annoying as all get-out, but it forces me to reevaluate what I'm doing and calm down.

Boogeyman said...

I mastered calm self control a long time ago, but not for the reasons listed here. I realized that if I didn't get a handle on myself I'd end up in prison for killing the endless numbers of people who piss me off. Homicidal rage can get in the way of a normal, healthy life. Heart attacks and prison sucks.

Still, I have to admit, I was kinda hoping that whole Y2K thing actually happened. I'd be able to go down the list of all the assholes in my life, check them off without fear of police reprisal. I'd also be able to live out my Mad Max fantasy, minus the leather and chain bondage outfits of course. That stuff looks like it chafes.

Stingray said...

Oh man. Annoying as all get out is right. I get the the "You are being completely irrational" (Thankfully I haven't had to hear it in quite some time). Annoying, because dammit, I know he is right. It rankles something fierce.

I wouldn't give it up for the world either. Being married to a rock is an amazing thing and I am eternally grateful for his strength.

Stickwick said...

Word, sister.

If you wanna talk about rankling, the worst/best moment was a couple of months into dating my would-be husband, when one of my drama-induced conniptions earned me a sardonic round of applause. It stopped me cold, and I actually remember thinking, "Holy crap, the usual stuff's not working. Now what?" I thought he was the biggest jerk in the world at the time, but now it's one of my fondest memories. :^D

Senior Beta said...

Must be an election year. Stick that was a great video by Whittle. Best conservative commentator by far. Wonder if Roissy will pick it up as now mainstreaming the manosphere. And wasn't Coolidge's comment that the problems were like boulders coming down the road that might roll off into the ditch before they every get to you? We could use a guy like that now.

SouthTX said...

Yes, I have learned to be an emotional tampon over the years. I let her vent on her admittedly stressful life. But I won't have her take it out on me. I don't get mad too often. She know's if she call's me and tries to chew on my ass for some minor crap. I hang up in the middle of a sentence and go on with my day. Being as smart as she is, she always apologizes later.

SouthTX said...


Stingray said...

Stickwick, That's awesome. ; )

SouthTX said...

Ladies. It sounds like you get it. I know my wife is very comfortable in her God given role. Sounds like you are too. As I've seen so far, your children will Thank You. God bless.

Doom said...

Yeah, the more I read, sometimes, the more I question my alpha seeming status. Oh, no, I seem to do what you advise. But it is appearances only, sometimes. I might quite literally be shaking in my boots, quavering like a little girl before a bear, or such. But no one else seems able to tell. And my solution is to... buy time. I remain stoic, to the outside world. But in here I am going through... all kinds of shit. At least in personal interactions. In near or actual car accidents and the like, I have zero problems handling the stress. Hell, I like it. But when it comes to people, sometimes even my own woman, the inside is not what the outside appears to be. So... I am not sure about it all. Depends on my mood though. It's more when I'm in a vulnerable type mood where I can shake in my boots. Dunno, just... Makes me wonder.

Meh. Shut up.

SouthTX said...

Interesting experience working for a True Natural super Alpha.He was a Supervisor in the 80's, when i started. No degree but highly respected. Circumstances caused me to go back to my tool's. The Wife was unsure but tell's everybody she is so much happier I don't bring the stress home. Plus a lot more money. His word is Law. But we know he will back us up. I've seen Him back down global Leader's in our company. But if he is mistaken, he will listen to reason. I chewed his ass out onetime over a misunderstanding. He apologized. He is Alpha enough to listen to the folk's who work for him. In my field, 1/2+ are Alpha's. It's a dangerous field of work. He has my loyalty. Because I trust him to look after us. What I don't see are many beta's complaining about girl problems.

SouthTX said...

We all fear the day he retires. He has 37 years. We know somebody has to step in. But it's a large pair of shoes to fill.

Daniel said...

FYI - Not alpha. Mood? No. Don't deceive yourself because it isn't fooling anyone and it isn't helping you.

"Fake it until you make it" is a good idea for people who are honest with where they are and aspire to something higher. In other words, not you. You may aspire, but you have no clue where you rank, which is most definitely and obviously not alpha. Figure out where you really rank (i.e. being a competent "team" leader at work doesn't make you alpha, for example, but probably gamma) then you can have a better idea of what you can achieve going forward.

Daniel said...

Omega mayhem fantasies are weird.

Daniel said...

Well...he could have learned internet stuff later. There is another element of learning: practice. Next time give him the chance to practice.

Carlotta said...

Girl, he can read another time! Do what Vox said :)

Carlotta said...

Yikes! What I wouldn't give to see that in action. You don't mean in marriage, right?

Also, you don't mean with Celtic, Hispanic or Black women right? They do hit men, alot, and sometimes can beat them up LOL.

Carlotta said...

Mmaier, watching a guy take a verbal beating by a lunatic women is just sickening to watch. Everyone standing around is watching to see if they all get to pee on you after she does or not.

Carlotta said...

Great advice, this also works with toddlers.

And also, if you are a female and do this to other females they get really, really pissed off. But it is more fun then flipping out on them back. And when they go run to tell someone they have to say "Well, she told me to calm down and say it again because she couldn't understand me..that bitch!"


Carlotta said...

Eliza, sorry to hear this. You know, maybe a little "game" would do you in good stead. I mean, maybe you could use it against them to get the position and then just do whatever you want once you have it. Consider them a hurdle to your goal. They want feminized people in, great, you know the answers (inside you may be puking) but if it gets you past the gates...

I am not the type of personality to be able to do that for long, but certain people can make quite a game of the work place and enjoy it :)

Anonymous said...

"Granted, it may take a degree of natural narcissism to easily resist the male urge to respond in the face of a perceived problem."

^^^^ This...I don't believe the leopard will so easily be able to change his spots with respects to the social thermostat.

One would have to expect this will be far more difficult to master than the collecting of numbers and closing aspects of game.

mmaier2112 said...

OK, it's certainly not THAT bad, by any means. It's more like digs, mostly little things. If anyone ripped into me seriously, I doubt I'd hold back.

But it's mostly annoying crap that just adds up and annoys. Trust me, if I must, I will make these women cry without much effort.

SouthTX said...

My wife occasionally has a hormonal meltdown I tolerate it without feeding it. Afterwards she apologizes. I know it is her nature. But she takes good care of my kids.

SouthTX said...

The boys have learned to avoid Mom during those times though. I don't have a choice. I do, but my Faith keeps me off the streets

SouthTX said...

Guy's know that if you are willing to step up. You will have to deal with the results. A stray cat dropped off 4 kittens. I bought a Gamo silent cat to take care of it six months ago. She talked me out of taking care of it. She knows brings in the kittens. It's hard to deny the best kittie's. I gave in to the the best cat who will kill the deadly snakes.

SouthTX said...

Being the Alpha can sometimes suck. If you want to go down that road. Be aware that you will have to be the asshole from time to time. It's not always easy.

SouthTX said...

Folk's, don't mean to start a pissing contest. But as a Husband and a Dad. It is a very rewarding but tough path. I encourage all male's to find it. But find your spouse early. Let her lock you down. A good Wife is beyond measure. But never forget her nature. My own as she has aged has realized the truth. Therefore, she doesn't shit test me. We get along great. We look after the children.

Jestin Ernest said...

Richard Fernandez / Belmont Club relates a particularly striking story in which Game was shoved in his face:
"“She said being married to me was like being married to a corpse.”"

Badger said...


I used to be a hothead so I've trained myself to this exact style, to be unflappable in the face of someone else's emotional turmoil. I've drawn huge results from being no-reactive when people try to provoke response. And it's really all about controlling that first wave of rising response inside you, once you can override that the rest is pretty easy.

And when a woman is genuinely upset about something worth getting upset about (impending danger, family emergency, etc) it's a huge DHV to be the rock and calm she can break against.

Also, lots of people use their emotions to manipulate others to do and own shit that's not theirs to do/own, so by not reacting, you refuse to reward that behavior and train them away from going to you for it.

A related aphorism I've come up with: anger is a very effective emotion until the other person stops caring that you're angry.

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