Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The urge to save others from themselves

Do you feel the need to jump in and correct others when you see them making a mistake? Do you get a little rush out of being the hero when you are offering criticism or telling someone that they're doing something wrong? Are you just trying to help?

Well, I have bad news for you. That urge, that tendency, that behavior, is one of the more reliable Gamma tells. You see, you're not the reality police, and often people have different objectives than those you impute to them.

Learn to suppress that urge to criticize and correct. Wait until people come to you for help, don't volunteer it unasked, unless, of course, they are in imminent danger of hurting themselves or others. And if you really can't stand it, ask them if they'd like some advice, don't simply hurl it at them.

The fatal last words of the Gamma: "I was just...."

I don't fucking care. No one is interested in your excuses and justifications. It doesn't matter if you can make a technical case for inserting your irrelevant pedantry in order to get that rush you get from offering a "correction". It doesn't fool anyone when you express your deep concern that someone, somewhere, might possibly reach a less-than-entirely perfect conclusion unless you save the day. Make your own point, stop trying to "improve" and "clarify" and "explain" what others are saying.

FFS, do you really think we don't know that you get off on it? Just don't do it. It's both unnecessary and irritating to everyone else.


dc.sunsets said...

The hardest part to me is realizing this applies to my kids (as they approached and are now navigating adulthood.) As I now see it, parenting was basically an offer of "tips and tricks" for essaying life, and by the time they're teens pretty much all that they were able and willing to absorb was already absorbed.

Unsolicited advice now constitutes criticism; who among us likes to be criticized, especially by a parent? Mine are dead yet I still bitterly recall such comments from thirty years ago.

This is also why I told my sons that if forced to choose between supporting them or my wife (their mother) in a disagreement, she won every time. They move(d) out and on, but she's the one with whom I expect to Sail Beyond the Sunset.

dc.sunsets said...

Also, I read your post here as an admonishment I give myself daily: "Better to be silent and thought the fool than to (you know the rest), or tl;dr version, said in the mirror: "no one cares what you think, if it's not a compliment."

Anonymous said...

Up until 2015. To varying degrees I would correct and adjust, even if unsolicited, and was outcast. Reading here, there, elsewhere helped me figure it out.

My job is to help people execute good form in physical activity, so it's difficult to resist correcting them elsewhere. I've learned to separate my paying clients from casual observers. Also, I have, finally, internalized the notion that No One Gives A F***.

Maybe my husband, and kids, they GAF. But just as I know my own self best and judge which advice is best and how to take it, I have to respect others know the same.

This may be as much a function of maturity as it is of sex, manifesting at different inflection points along the age-sex continuum.

BassmanCO said...

Genuine question I have struggled with at the gym lately. I see teenage boys lifting with terrible form, sometimes on exercises like squats that can do serious damage if performed improperly. Would the latter (dangerous lifting, not simply poor form) constitute enough of an emergency to speak up, or should I leave that up to their parents?

Shimshon said...

TL;DR It's not about you.

Andy in San Diego and Elsewhere said...

@BassmanCO: A man's job is to help lift other men up. If they have dangerous form (and you legit know better), help them.

deti said...

"I don't fucking care. No one is interested in your excuses and justifications."

Not to mention the fact that it makes people just hate you, generally makes you annoying and irritating to be around, and makes people tune you out when you really do have something meaningful to say.

Anonymous said...

The other blog is a gamma magnet more powerful than a black hole.

Anonymous said...

Unless you're hired as their personal trainer, no.

When a man doesn't know something correctly, finding out the hard way makes far more of an impression than being given advice on something. Typically, advice is only wanted if the man has no idea what he's doing and knows he has no idea, in which case he'll ask for it.

Jed Mask said...

... I agree with Andy's advice above to @BassmanCO even though I also see where @VFM #7634 is saying.

In this case however, since I'm @BassmanCO is the "elder man" and the subjects being discussed are "teenage boys"; "kids" in his matured perspective I think it would be appropriate if such opportunity opens up or he can act on his will if he feels led to and show them young guys how it's done in the gym.

Even though "learning the hard way" is usually the more beneficial result out "learning a lesson" I wouldn't wish someone having to go through unnecessary ignorant physical pain if it's simply not needed lol. I think those young guys would turn around when they see a real "serious example" of a man in the gym doing his business than for those young guys to "screw up" and get serious injuries from lifting. It's just how I would want someone to do me if I was one of those young men in the gym.

Depends how "smooth" and "collected" you show the young studs how it's done in controlled alpha dominance and those that are "humble" in spirit may learn their lessons and some that might be a little "hardheaded" at first might shrug you off initially but come around later after they see your "good example".

At the end of the day, you meant well and at least they couldn't say you didn't care or try to help them out in the back of their minds.

It's what I like to do I'd do if I was in @BassmanCo's shoes. Amen.

~ Bro. Jed

Troy Lee Messer said...

"Do you feel the need to jump in and correct others when you see them making a mistake? "

No. I am this guy.

Jed Mask said...

Hmmm... I think a lot of this "eager-to-help-and-save" Gamma behaviour is feigned and not really out of the proper "good intent" but Gamma mindset of "me playing big hero saving the world" when it's simply immature attention-whoring trying to "show off" how "good" you are compared to everyone else that is really what irritates the majority of people.

It's not at all that there is "something wrong" when trying to "save or correct people" out of good proper intent I just think it really boils down to proper action for appropriate context and how the person being "saved" and "corrected" would take it coming from you.

At this point in my life, "pride aside" at certain times, I don't mind getting "saved and corrected" from certain things especially if whoever doing the "saving or correcting" is better at something than me cuz I get to speed up the learning process and do something the right way. It's actually to my benefit than my detriment in being "saved or corrected" lol in the long haul.

I suppose on the "receiving end" the individual being "saved or corrected" has to have the level of maturity, patience, humility and understanding to be "reproved" and learn from the experience cuz it's only uphill from there if received well. If received wrong, well, at the person intending another person's "good" can't be denied that and no one can hold it against you for trying to help them and they refused your help. Amen.

~ Bro. Jed

Hamilton said...

@BassmanCO - there's no clean answer to that question. A personal example, I lifted for maybe 18 months, doing lateral raises and other shoulder exercises to grow my delts. My poor form worked my traps more than my delts. Finally, in frustration, I asked a fellow gym regular with big delts for advice. He admitted he'd been watching me all those months and said nothing. I asked why, I'd have loved the advice and he said, "nah, you wouldn't have." He was probably right. I had to reach frustration.

Ceasar said...

It doesn't bother me one wit if someone shares their opinion. I can take or leave it but there have been times that I have gotten useful advice unsolicited. But then again, maybe my skin is thicker than others. Some people cannot filter out the noise and walk around like a raw nerve waiting to explode on anyone that enters their universe. Not a good trait to have, leads to a very stressful life. Cheers!

Matt said...

Agreed, Jed Mask. Simply stating a fact, or what you learned from personal experience, putting the information out there is not "Gamma". If you're doing it so you can tell all about how you did helped, then it is.

To clarify, the Alpha will boast and be adored. The Gamma will boast and be despised. As has been demonstrated, the Gamma is delusional and desperate to be Alpha, despite having none of the status gained either through use of natural gifts or hard earned lessons.

Desiderius said...

"Learn to suppress that urge to criticize and correct."

How does this sentence not eat it's own tail?

Tatooine Sharpshooters' Club said...

The burnt finger teaches best.

heyjames4 said...

Ive been that guy. To cut down on nose butting I've practiced asking people if they want help or advice before jumping in.

dc.sunsets said...

Major exception to this rule: witnessing a safety violation at a firing range.

The Gray Man said...

If you feel the need to tell someone their form is wrong, just mention "hey, don't hurt yourself doing it like that," and let them ask for help from there.

I have had someone tell me my form was wrong when it wasn't. I did not want their advice. I have also had someone tell me my form was going to hurt me but then I asked how to do it because he left it at that -- I wanted his help, and it worked out.

It's all about how you come at it.

Anonymous said...

Ah. I gotcha. Such as:

Gamma: the guy who wants to go slightly correct the grip of random strangers at the range, because he knows the 'perfect' way.

Normal guy: sees gorillas shooting ak's from the hip and laughs a little to himself at the comedic sight.

Forge the Sky said...

Cross-reference with 'codependancy.'

gammas - men with low self-esteem - need to be needed.

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