Monday, February 23, 2015

Alpha Mail: Extreme Gamma

FC asks if there is anything she can do about her middle-aged Gamma brother:
I'm enjoying the gamma posts. They explain a lot of behaviors I'd noticed without being able to put them into a coherent frame. I really liked the parenting advice today. It sounds like solid generic parenting advice since all kids indulge in that behavior to some extent. The points concerning the need to be right even to the point of turning a petty matter into a full blown argument  or social embarrassment sound very familiar.  I'm curious how you would deal with a gamma-type in your immediate family who has no apparent inclination to change.

My brother has a very pernicious habit of asking for advice on his life which clearly reflects a fear of changing, being wrong, and taking real risks. He lives with my parents, is in his 40’s, and has never had a girlfriend. He asks for advice about "his problems", and then picks apart your opinions on his circumstances, tells you all about why your advice won't work for him, and why your opinion is wrong. This especially seems to happen while we are having drinks or just watching a movie, generally having a light, good time.  It basically pisses all over the evening.

This is a particular thorn in the side for me because I'm aware I’m needy. I instinctively want to fix people. I feel pained for him and his missed life. It's a conversational bait and switch that caught me for years but now that I recognize it, I don't know how to respond to it because a large part of me would like there to be some response that would wake him up. Engaging him on this topic at all just seems to feed into his sense of rightness. Is there any way I could shut down these types of behaviors and still try to nudge him in a better direction? Or maybe I just need to accept I'm not equipped to do that?
This sounds more like an Omega than a Gamma in some ways, but the attitude she describes is pure Gamma. However, it seems to be very hard for some people, especially women, to accept that not only is it beyond their ability to change another adult, it is neither their responsibility nor their right. FC's brother is content with his life as it is. It may not be what he ideally wanted, he may not be all that he thought he could be, but obviously he is content with it. If he wasn't, he would do something about it and he would be grateful and heedful of advice concerning how to change it.

What he is doing when he asks for advice about his life is simply making himself the center of attention. He doesn't want the advice, he has no intention of changing anything, he just wants everyone to talk about him. FC can either oblige him or she can reject his attention-seeking, but regardless, she needs to stop taking his pretensions seriously. Of course he talks about "his problems", what else does he have to talk about? His property taxes, his kids, or his wife? He doesn't have them!

FC also needs to stop feeling pain for him and his "missed life". He hasn't missed anything he really wanted. He is leading the life he has chosen. God has granted him that privilege and FC needs to do so as well. The man is in his 40s. He's not going to change now. The time to intervene was when he was 9, not more than three decades later. He has constructed his Gamma delusion bubble, now let him live in it in peace. No one is equipped to change a man so strongly rooted in his ways; even if her parents threw him out of the house tomorrow it is unlikely he would modify his attitudes in the slightest.

My practical advice would be to stop offering him advice and to simply offer sympathy if she is in the mood to put up with his narcissistic preening, and to tell him that she's not interested in hearing the same old song and dance if she is not.

38 comments:

Yohami said...

which problems? you're killing it!

Earl Thomas said...

The more gamma is dissected...the more it seems it's a human personality weakness and not just gender specific.

Seriously you could apply this to gamma males and those women whose life is nothing but problems.

Vox said...

The more gamma is dissected...the more it seems it's a human personality weakness and not just gender specific.

You are absolutely and totally wrong. First of all, learn to speak the English language. Sex refers to people, gender refers to language. If you're not distinguishing between DER DIE DAS or LA IL/LO or LA/LE, you're not talking about GENDER, you're talking about SEX.

And while there are certainly similarities between unsuccessful gamma male behavior and unsuccessful female behavior, there are many gamma male behaviors that have no female counterpart.

Markku said...

False.

Gender \Gen"der\ (j[e^]n"d[~e]r), n. [OF. genre, gendre (with excrescent d.), F.genre, fr. L. genus, generis, birth, descent, race, kind, gender, fr. the root of genere, gignere,

to beget, in pass., to be born, akin to E. kin. See Kin, and cf. Generate, Genre, Gentle, Genus.]
[1913 Webster]
1. Kind; sort. [Obs.] "One gender of herbs." --Shak.
[1913 Webster]

2. Sex, male or female.
[1913 Webster]

Vox said...

Sex is annotated as different from gender in the Oxford English Dictionary, where it says sex "tends now to refer to biological differences".

Markku said...

Yes, at some point after the early twentieth century there was a move into that direction, and now there has been another move back to the original meaning. You can use the revised meaning if you want, but that doesn't make the original wrong.

Vox said...

Okay, fair enough. But it's a pretty good tell that you're dealing with someone who is, at the very least, influenced by equalitarians.

Markku said...

Well, we were always taught that gender is a euphemism for sex, especially when using "sex" in the sentence leads to a double-entendre that might make an immature grade-schooler snicker.

hank.jim said...

Simple advice to the nice person who fixes people and then feels pain. Stop it.

First of all, your life isn't Miss Perfect. You don't have a better life objectively than him. You're in pain afterall.

Second, you can't fix someone else. You can only fix yourself and your pain. Objectively, you haven't fixed yourself. You keep stepping into the trap.

Third, you need to have your own life. You're watching movies and drinks with your 40 year old brother. That's a joke. I haven't watched a movie with my brother and sister for over 40 years. We meet a few times a year for family get togethers with our families and leave after a few hours of catch up.

Let him talk about himself. Listen, then talk about your life. Don't give advice. Smile. Leave.

David The Good from FloridaSurvivalGardening.com said...

The guy sounds like a sociopath/narcissist.

Earl Thomas said...

'Sex refers to people, gender refers to language.'

That's one of the definitions of gender. Another is the essence of a person. The state of being male or female.


'And while there are certainly similarities between unsuccessful gamma male behavior and unsuccessful female behavior, there are many gamma male behaviors that have no female counterpart. '

From what I can tell there are three common traits of gamma behavior...narcissism, neurosis, and victimhood.

Vox said...

The guy sounds like a sociopath/narcissist.

He sounds like Will Ferrell in The Wedding Crashers.

willy nilly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Corvinus said...

He sounds like Will Ferrell in The Wedding Crashers.
Not really... they're both in their 40s and living with their moms, but Ferrell was an obvious Sigma in that movie, picking up attractive women at funerals, and completely dominating his mother.

More like a cross between Will Ferrel in Wedding Crashers and 40 Year Old Virgin.
The 40-year-old Virgin was a classic Omega, but he didn't appear to have any Gamma traits whatsoever.

SarahsDaughter said...

It's pretty much what I figured you'd say and aligns with what my husband has said but in more depth. However, the advice helps me not feel responsible for him and his state. Kind of permission to not feel bad, and can now avoid those stupid depressing/infuriating conversational traps

Realizing it's possible that your husband knew and agreed with you asking about this situation, I say the following in the event that he didn't:

Your husband has said similar things and now you feel you have permission to not feel bad, you now don't need to feel responsible for him, and can now avoid these traps?

What if Vox had advice that contradicted your husband's?

If you've already been given advice from your husband (which I'm assuming was of the "it's not your responsibility to fix your brother and is beyond your ability to change him") how are you behaving any different than your brother by continuing to seek advice? Especially when the advice you've already been given comes from the one source you should respect most?

hank.jim said...

To not listen to your husband is a bad precedent, but not unique. This is true of many wives who often seek the advice of everyone in her proximity like her family, friends, aquaintances, and perfect strangers. Only after tallying up the results, she finally admits her husband is right. LOL!!! No wonder husbands are the last to know. Wives cannot expect a husband to lead if she doesn't follow.

Husbands often defer to the wife regardless of what his friends and family tells him. Only she can make the household pleasant or a nightmare. A woman who doesn't listen to the husband is taking the lead and she is misleading herself.

willy nilly said...

What if Vox had advice that contradicted your husband'?
shown it to my husband. We both go back and forth about these conversational traps when it comes up. He's pulled it on both of us. Sometimes he gets caught in them but not like me because he doesn't have my weaknesses on that matter.
Honestly, I admit I was hoping for something new along the lines of magical words that would make my brother not what he is. It bugs the hell out of me when it happens like being trolled. You are right. No denying it. I'm looking for an out on something I already know but feel guilty about.

David The Good from FloridaSurvivalGardening.com said...

@Vox

MOM!!! MEATLOAF!!!

mmaier2112 said...

I want to agree with you on "sex vs gender" Vox... but that's a Hell of an uphill battle to pick. I only use "gender" when discussing language in my own speech / writing but it's unreasonable at this point to expect the rest of the world to follow or agree.

Dystopic said...

An adult Gamma can change, but only if he truly desires the change. Even then... I don't know. Vox's musings have helped me greatly, but there is a certain Gamma stain that never entirely washes away. A man can lighten that stain greatly, of course, and the effort is definitely not wasted. But it remains, however faded. In some ways, I suspect even Omegas have an easier time escaping than Gammas.

Anyway, your brother is the only one who can help himself, at this point. It doesn't sound likely that he ever will. In my case, my Alpha father served as a yardstick. I knew, deep down, that I failed to measure up to him in almost every way. That was the seed that finally convinced me I was weak and wrong, even if it took a long time to grow. Then I sought out help, here and other places.

I sincerely hope your brother has such a seed planted in his head somewhere. One never knows. You'll know if it happens when he seeks out help on his own, and doesn't bother telling you. You'll see the change in him without him asking you for advice. Then he might be receptive.

hank.jim said...

"Well, we were always taught that gender is a euphemism for sex"

I thought that sex is biologically male or female, while gender is personal identification for male or female.

Here's one definition of gender "1.the state of being male or female (typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones"

If gammas have female traits that males take on, it still doesn't blur the gender distinction. The men don't want to be women. Gammas are gendered male personality traits.

Markku said...

That is indeed the new spin that "gender" has taken lately. And since it is completely novel, then that should be fought on every turn. But there's no point in fighting its use as a euphemism for sex, since that is a meaning we can see in the 1913 Webster.

MATT said...

40 yr old virgin was a self imposed omega. He didnt have to end up with an old single mom either.

In the movie he easily hits on the girl in the bookstore, elizabeth banks, and turns the conversation sexual.

Some are genuinely incapable and unwanted, others do it to themselves for whatever reasons

automatthew said...

I want to agree with you on "sex vs gender" Vox... but that's a Hell of an uphill battle to pick. I only use "gender" when discussing language in my own speech / writing but it's unreasonable at this point to expect the rest of the world to follow or agree

Grow a pair and help us reclaim the language.

Say "sex", not "gender".

Say "coitus" or "fucking", not "sex".

Say "queer", not "gay".

Reclaim the word "gay" for the use of the righteous.

thehaproject said...

Take Counselor Bob's advice: http://youtu.be/Ow0lr63y4Mw?t=2m34s

dw said...

"Say "coitus" or "fucking", not "sex".

Settle down Sheldon.

hank.jim said...

Sex= babies.

Arvind said...

speaking as a gamme, 28 going on 29 now, its unbelievably painful trying to become human. vox is right, this shit should have been rubbed out at 9. at this age its very very painful and difficult. i have to believe that its doable. as dystopic said, you have to really really want to change and it has to be internal. i find that lifting and a little prayer helps. accepting reality which is the hardest part has to happen. the missed life thing is total bullshit - i've done it for years after flunking out of a good school, and its just a self pity tactic.
as yohami said somewhere, you have to accept the emotions and pain of the grandiosity gap and keep trying to move forward.
i think of it this way - i've actuarially got maybe 50 years left to me. i can't take being a loser for that much time. and i can get somewhere that i want in that time. you may not go everywhere, but you can go somewhere.

Arvind said...

if i ever have children, which is possible, i'm gonna make sure they get it right from the get go. thats the best legacy i can leave behing.

Dexter said...

What he is doing when he asks for advice about his life is simply making himself the center of attention. He doesn't want the advice, he has no intention of changing anything, he just wants everyone to talk about him.

This is classically female. The first time I heard that when women ask for "advice" they don't really want a solution, they just want to be petted and stroked, I said, fuck that, what's the point, I'm not going to waste my time.

I'm kind of curious about this guy's parents. Why hasn't his father put his boot in the guy's ass? Why didn't he raise the kid right in the first place. I can easily see the male child raised by a single mother becoming gamma, but how often does it happen with any kind of normal dad?

Ron said...

@Arvind

For what it's worth, I think you are doing something tremendous. I honestly think you one day you are going to be very proud of what you have done. I know from my own struggles how hard this is, and I have a great appreciation for what a good thing you are doing. I wish I had started this at 29. I suppose you probsbly wish you had started at 19, and the 19 year old probsbly wishes he had started at 9. But you know what? So what. You are doing it now, and that's what counts.

In addition to this site, there is another resource that might be beneficial, because they have a 30 day series of challenges to get you more outgoing, I would recommend trying to find a friend or two to work on it together:

30.simplepickup.com

Also their podcasts are really good. I would suggest going to their main site and purchasing a subscription to their stuff, because they have a lot of great content.

LP 999/Eliza said...

Yeah right, I tried to dislocate the gamma, offend him, say i was seeing someone, I'm not into you, you ask endless questions like a fed, screw off, here a girl friend of mine who likes you. "No, I only want Linda."

"BS, you have facebook and a string of girls there, so shake the girl tree."

I tried everything I could under the sun to stop all. I am maxed out gammatudes drain me. Alpha, sigma, delta mostly delta fit best for me.

I brought the matter to MK and he said I'm around idiots, That worries me b/c I'm MPAI too and don't want to sink further into stupidity.

The gammatude's bro or best friend was brought into the situation. I cried fowl. In 2/2013 a local lifter send the best bro and gammatude into dad and my life to be my boyfriend. I did not have a choice or chance to stop this the day it happened, I have to be civil at the gyms.

No, I'm stuck with a super FALSE sweet, nice, nice, nice, I'm always going to be there for you, L -. He said my name too many times, its creepy, silence speaks better than words, I can't cope with questions, answers, dysinfo.

Anyways, the police were called on me b/c I rejected gammatude and poorly responded to being yelled at. Gammatude did not defend me or say "stop yelling at her."

I was yelled at for making the gamma tude invest 2 years in me. I said, nein, we all invest our time and lives into everything, logic fail. I cannot get along with gammatude. The police were called to make it look like I harass them when neither of us 3 actually harassed each other, its all a ruse to make gammatude innocent. There was a screaming match along with an event that I wrote about in part 1 of gamma, it would be about 4 posts down from this post.

I told the police what happened and they said continue no contact, dont respond to anything again and its no true. I was accused of ruining gammatudes and best bro's life b/c gammatude mopes without me. He never got me to begin with, its the orbiting. The police said neither are nice nor did I ruin anyones life.

I cannot tolerate changing someone. I do not care what a man is, I leave men alone to be the man they are, when we don't jive, its nothing personal, its 2 souls bumping into each other, no harm, no foul as I quickly disappear into the world again.

Perfect example, mom and I. Despite what I thought was a solid relationship, it was broken. I cannot change her or get too close again. It's over.

It is more than over for 2 men versus me when I'm writ large pro-man, anti-feminist, Christian and nothing changes that. I can see the roots of feminism in how 3 people could not get along at all thanks to feminism. Ganging up on me with two other gen xer's begs the question, why are we so divided when we should not be divided like this over my poon? There is other poon out there, threatening me proved that gammatude might be a nice person to best bro but he is not nice with me.

The fakery drops, real man reveals himself.

Jack Amok said...

speaking as a gamme, 28 going on 29 now, its unbelievably painful trying to become human. vox is right, this shit should have been rubbed out at 9. at this age its very very painful and difficult. i

Dude, you are walking into your prime. The world is your oyster if you're just willing to shuck it.

I know, that doesn't make any of it easy, but it does remind you that it's worthwhile. You're not putting a bunch of effort in for nothing. There are tangible, valuable, desirable rewards for doing the work needed to be as good as you can be.

De l'audace, encore de l'audace, et toujours de l'audace

SirThermite said...

"But there's no point in fighting [the word "gender"] as a euphemism for sex, since that is a meaning we can see in the 1913 Webster."

Absolutely. It isn't just the egalitarians who use "gender" to mean "sex." My own father, a war veteran who became a school teacher, and who also became a devout, conservative Christian before having more than a dozen children with my stay-at-home mother, says "gender" instead of "sex," in the same way that he says "with child" or "in the family way" instead of "pregnant." I remember him telling me as a teenager that "pregnant" is a term used to describe the condition of an animal rather than that of a human women carrying the gift of life. Some would consider his use of euphemisms to be weak ...in fact I do myself at times, but then I have yet to be fired upon, to bring a life into this world, to lose a child, or to teach children who aren't even my own how to read and write. Whatever his position is, it's certainly not ignorance.

SirThermite said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mavwreck said...

I know I'm a bit late to the conversation...but this struck me:

This sounds more like an Omega than a Gamma in some ways, but the attitude she describes is pure Gamma.

What would be an Omega attitude be?

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