Friday, June 7, 2013

Alpha Mail: becoming a better man

A foreign reader asks how he can improve himself as a man, a Christian, and a member of Western civilization:
I'm a regular reader of your blogs and also have read some of your books (and must say, I haven't read such good SF in a long time). I'm a 19 year old and I just got in college, where I'm studying eletrical engineering and have a sort-of relationship with one girl in another country, I go to the gym, and reading not only your books and blog, but others in this corner of the internet I realized how wrong was my belief in the nonexistence of God, so I'm making my way back to christianity. I was some time ago what I would describe as a lower beta, but since the I made some improvements.

I'm still kind of shy, being really an introvert, and altought I know I should overcome it by talking more, I just can't have a good conversation with any of the people my age, as almost all of them are just brainwashed liberals, so all conversations end with them saying something really stupid, me agreeing and then politely excusing myself and going somewhere else. Not only that I don't have the drive to go to places, visit other countries (maybe because I've already done that in my childhood), but, at the same time, I don't think only sitting at home reading books and going to gym is going to make me a better man.

So, what I want to ask you is this: what should a 19 year old like me do to become a better man, a better christian, and and to help restoring western civilization and it's people?
Gym is good. Reading is good. But what is missing from your description is interaction with others and service to them.  I sense a little fear in your description of your mediocre conversations; why are you agreeing with really stupid things?  Since you are a Christian, remember that you are not given a spirit of fear, but a spirit of boldness. You cannot become a better man by compromising with lies and foolishness out of fear.

So, that's the first step I would prescribe for you. The next time someone says something really stupid, don't agree with them, but politely explain to them why they are incorrect.  Don't be disagreeable; sometimes it is okay to simply smile and hold your tongue. But do not ever falsely agree with something.

I'd also look for an opportunity to volunteer somewhere. As an introvert, you need a reason to get you out of the house, so find one that will allow you to help others in some manner.

The ancient Greeks believed in strength in body, mind, and soul.  With the gym and with your books, you're already addressing the first two. But now you need to address the latter too.  And always pray to God for guidance. He will provide it, even if it is to places you had never imagined going.


APL said...

"so all conversations end with them saying something really stupid, me agreeing and then politely excusing myself and going somewhere else."

Conversations between men who disagree can be the most fruitful of all, you get the benefit of honing your debating skills and the pleasure of demolishing really facile arguments. With women, not so much - but you do have an opportunity to set yourself apart from the crowd. Don't forget, women are open to be led.

It's really down to your attitude when conducting your discussions, friendly humorous, not too much confrontation.

Your situation seems like a win win place to be.

Peter Garstig said...

What's up with Askiment?

TLM said...

Take a sales position,not retail, for a while. Make sure it's 100% commission with no salary where you have to actively seek out new customers. At first you'll hate it and become discouraged at the massive amount of rejection you'll get. But if you stick with it and seek improvement you'll eventually develop excellent communication skills and thick skin which will positively impact who you are as a man. If you're lazy and don't to try this, watch Boiler Room. Although its about phone sales, it still teaches excellent communication skills and sales techniques which will help you in life.

Weak said...

The easier parts of becoming a better man are lifting and education. The hardest part - by far - is the behavior modification. It's good that you're doing this young, so you don't have years of bad behavior to undo. You will have to be aware of and focus on your behavior at all times. It can't be a switch you turn on and off. You will find it to be difficult and draining to "be on" all the time.

The androsphere rarely talks about how hard it is to conciously shape every interaction you have to go against your natural inclinationss. But that's what you will have to do. Good luck.

Nate said...

My advice on becoming a better man:

Men need real accomplishment. You need to be challenged. You need to beat those challenges.

tz said...

The way you respond to something stupid is key. Saying you disagree is generally irrelevant.

Liberals' argument is not with you but with reality and truth.

Starting with something like "That doesn't sound right, why do think that?" will start to get to the root. Maybe they believe in Mys=ths, maybe they are just regurgitating talking points (liberals from MSNBC, conservatives from FauxNews). You need to take them seriously until THEY start to realize they are stupid and shallow and call you a RHSD or commie-criminal-terrorist lover or something similar. Then declare victory as they have run out of arguments before you did.

But to do this you must be able to think and understand their erroneous arguments to find the contradictions, lies, and unrealities.

Athor Pel said...

Saying someone needs to act with conviction is one thing, finding a conviction worth sticking your neck out for is quite another.

I wrote a comment to a young fellow some months ago. It dealt with convictions and I think it could be applicable here. An edited version is below.

You need convictions, things you know are the truth. Knowing at least some truths will help immensely when attempting to make certain decisions or find the confidence to act. Confidence is built on knowing not wishing.

Lots of ways to go about this but I can only offer one sure written source for truth. Read your Bible. Don't read it like literature, study it. Study it every day. Get to know it well enough that your mind automatically reaches for remembered verses when circumstances require. It hasn't let me down yet.

There are other sources for truth about the world, all fact based, empirical, and based on repeated experience. Nate does a great job of describing how to go about gaining that kind of experience for yourself with his Dragon Slaying blog post. But don't limit yourself to your own experiences, there are plenty of other men that know their shit in regards to the topics they've spent their life studying. In most cases expect to be repeatedly disabused of any conventional wisdom you may have learned, the truth is rarely what you expect it to be.

But convictions are also arrived at subjectively. They are all those things that aren't important from a big picture point of view but make our lives much more pleasant.

For example, what is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Have you tried enough flavors to be assured your choice is the best one for you? How do you like your steak cooked? How about shoes, what kind do you like? Italian loafers or flip flops?

There are thousands upon thousands of this type of decision in our lives and they all add something to our life. They help make life worth living. They are fun to share. Learning as many as you think you need is only rectified with time.

Loki of Asgard said...

I find it amusing when one speaks of "rule of law", but cannot abide by a simple rule of a blog.

Brad Andrews said...

Are all the things the letter writer finds as "stupid statements" really that? I would expect Vox and Nate to think or even say each other said some stupid things (inflation/deflation being one area) without needing to cut off contact.

Don't put up with modern stupidity, but don't expect others to be identical to you to be worthy of discussion. That could be part of your self isolation.

arabic58 said...

When I was in school We thought, no the consensuses , was "Electrical Engineers" were the smartest guys in the room. Hense, people are always engaging you in conversation and asking questions.

To grow as a man, consider the old ways of doing things. Chew on the old Testament. 1st Kings Ch 18. I did a picture down load off the internet; it's caption read "The Last Fire Bender". Elijah calling down fire from Heaven.

Ask your Thermodynamics Professor; " How much energy would be required to do that?"

Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that [was] in the trench. 1st Kings 18:38.

As a christian man, it took me 30 years to remember and figure it out, it is a sin to count the LORD's guns, or to number G-D! Don't be like David in the old Testament or like me a slow learner.

Johnny Caustic said...

I'm always puzzled by complaints about holding conversations with brainwashed liberals. I'm a reactionary living in a very liberal area, yet I never have problems with this. I just don't talk about political subjects.

To bring this back to the blog themes of alphas and game: one thing I've noticed about alphas is that they don't feel constrained to make smooth conversational transitions. They may have the social skills to do so when they want to, but sometimes they don't want to. When an alpha really doesn't like the conversation, he'll ignore everything that's just been said, cut the thread hard, and jump into a new topic he likes better. This is a great skill to practice with women; it shows leadership and social dominance. And it brings the conversation directly to more seductive topics--travel, food, sex, relationships, recent fun activities.

Pequod said...

Lest he become a "lifter" who uses machines and brags about his leg press -

", I just can't have a good conversation with any of the people my age, as almost all of them are just brainwashed liberals, so all conversations end with them saying something really stupid, me agreeing and then politely excusing myself and going somewhere else."

Dude is 19 years old. He shouldn't be talking politics. If he is hanging out with people talking politics, he is hanging with the wrong crowd.

The Great and Powerful Oz said...

Join Toastmasters and learn public speaking. It will do a lot for your shyness and probably increase your SMV ranking by a point or two.

Take up martial arts. I recommend Judo or Aikido for wiring they will leave in your brain. Decades after taking Judo as a teenager I still manage to avoid serious injuries from falls because of that training.

John Williams said...

Always stand strong, sometimes it may be quietly, sometimes not so quietly, but as Vox suggested, do it in a manner that can be respected.

You may not change the mind of the person who you disagree with, but those listening, who don't have their minds set, will relish the perspectives that you show them.

Geoff said...

1. To be a man (or a woman for that matter) study the Scripture, focus on the gospels, and put what you read into practice (Matthew 7:24-27). Jesus is clear that a life based on his teachings is invincible. Shoot, he says his disciples won't even taste death. When death comes we practically won't even notice. If he isn't right, nobody is.

2. Keep track of your progress at the gym. It's important to know that you're becoming stronger. I've kept track of all my training from 18-27 years old. It's nice to know that I've made progress and to look back at what worked.

3. Become awesome at your chosen field. Back to Jesus, "Do unto others as you want them to do to you, for this is the law and prophets (Matthew 7:12)." It sucks to work with a fool. It is awesome to work with somebody who is winsome and skilled at their job.

4. Learn useful skills and apply them to life in ways that serve others and improve yourself. I recommend rhetoric and then whatever else suits you.

simmypants said...

Nate is spot on. Find a fight that's important to you... and win it. Win the shit out of it, be it whatever the day offers. Whatever it takes, make that your fight.

rycamor said...

Young foreign reader:

a) Listen to Nate. Read the post he linked above on Dragon Slaying. Let it inspire you. Wake up in the morning with your heart thumping in your chest with anticipation of the things there are to conquer today. BTW, Nate also has a web radio show on his blog, with some good manly discussion amidst the ribaldry. This episode is a good one to listen and read. Bottom line: don't live your life in a comfort bubble, and don't be dependent on the things around you. Be one who molds his environment.

b. I second Vox's recommendation to volunteer, with an additional recommendation: look for something where you can provide leadership to children. At your age, you are a perfect candidate to coach a children's sports team, be a summer camp counselor, help with some sort of children's fitness program, etc... Learning how to direct children is extremely good preparation for learning how to lead modern adults, who for the most part are just grown-up children anyway.

c. If there is anything I would go back and tell my younger self it is this: don't let others control the frame of discussion. This concept has been elucidated with this recent Game stuff, but it is as old as mankind itself. Your problem: you are emotionally invested in fitting into their world view, and in being considered "good" or at least inoffensive by some metric that is not God's or your own. This way leads only to misery, or if you are a sociopath, it leads to a life of lies (career path: politician).

Be not afraid to stand alone. Consider this: you are with a group of friends and someone voices [standard politically correct opinion]. You want to voice [God's truth], but you know they will come back with a personal attack rather than a logical argument. Something like "HOW could you possibly support gun ownership?? Look at all the violence in the world! And you call yourself a Christian..." The temptation is to try to soften your stance, "Well... of course I hate violence, but... but..." Right there you have played into their frame. They will rhetorically tear you apart, and the more you try to backtrack and please them, the more they will despise you. This is how the female mind works, and the modern liberal mind is essentially female. Better respond with "Really? And how exactly would you put a stop to all the violence? The world is not my problem. Protecting my family and friends is." That's how a secure man responds to personal attack. Or you can use ridicule: "OK, let's role play: I'll be you and you be the violent thug with a knife. 'Oooh.. hold on Mr. Thug, while I unlock my iPhone and dial the police...'" Be secure enough not to need the approval of clueless idiots. So what if you lose all your current friends (you won't), but even so, there are always better friends to be had. Ditto if you lose the girl--there is always another, probably better choice somewhere.

d. Christianity--ditch almost all modern literature about Christianity and spiritual life. It is generally emotionally-laden tripe. Look at the Bible itself, and other ancient literature that helps you put it in context. Don't try to over-interpret it, or find ways to make this or that passage acceptable to the modern mind. Look at documents over the whole history of Christianity. An extremely good way to get an overview of Christianity through the centuries is Paul Johnson's "A History of Christianity". This will also provide you a good bibliography of historical documents to read. Christianity is about what you do and what you know, not how you feel. Worship is not music and prayers and deep sighs and hand-waving--it is living a life in accordance to God's wishes. Learn it.

Geoff said...

One more thought.

As rycmor notes, "ditch almost all modern literature about Christianity and spiritual life."
I agree. For modern Christian authors who do not suck: N.T. Wright, Greg Boyd, David deSilva, C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, Scot McKnight, Tremper Longman, Emil Brunner, Darrell Bock, D.A. Carson, Donald Whitney, Peter Leithart, Craig Keener, Richard Swineburne, William Herzog, and everything you can find by Dallas Willard.

vonTilly said...

First, I want to thank you all for the insight. All the advice has really been helpful and I'll be sure to implement it.

Second, I would like to clarify the meaning of "something really stupid", it is not just minor point of disagreement, it is usually something that makes the whole debate pointless. I'm maybe expecting too much, but you can imagine what people of my age talk about, and after some time it gets tiresome.(Pequod: I see your point, but are you suggesting I just stop caring about it or just stop talking about it? By the way, don't need to worry, I'm more the deadlift/squat/press type of lifter.)

That being said, I do have some problems in talking, so I'll make good use of the advice. I'll search my area for jobs in sales/toastmasters, and also some volunteering job, altought I think I will still have a greater problem with kids than adults.

Third, about the dragon slaying (I have to say I've already done a lot of that in my times of World of Warcraft...), I'll be trying some craftwork, and maybe some minor trip after my finals. But I'm still kind of lost, as I don't know for sure what kind of challenges I should be pursuing.

Last(for I don't want this post to be too long), but not least, having been churchianity that first made me distance myself from the church and then from my faith, I don't think it'll be a problem for I know how to deal with it now, but I don't know how to get back into christianity after so long time as a disbeliver; I read my bible, I pray, I seek to live as God wishes, but I don't know any non-liberal churchs where I live, and the christian groups here are not better, so I end being a kind of outsider. Therefore I end with the impression of living (or trying, I still have much to improve) as christian, but not really being a christian.

vonTilly said...

William Smith

That's a good list, I've already read some Chesterton (not much), so I'll be looking for those authors in the future.

RC said...

vonTilly, you can find many of these authors' works for free on Amazon Kindle.

I also wrote a book on this exact subject that you can obtain for free if you're an Amazon Prime member: Finding a Virtuous Wife in Sodom.

Zick said...

...I seek to live as God wishes...

This, not finding a group of people that is faithful, is the more important thing.

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