Saturday, March 12, 2016

Alpha Mail: sociosexuality in action

An observant reader sent this in:

Gamma vs Would-Be Alpha

I was front row center to an interesting exchange between a drunk gamma and a beta-who-thinks-he's-alpha. Up until this point, the two had been close friends, as near as I could tell.

The Characters:

Gamma: a Bernie-loving hipster, complete with problem glasses. Every girl I've met who knows him has commented on how unattractive and off-putting he is: classic Gamma indicators.

Beta: a narcissist who confuses being abrasive with being Alpha.    

The Exchange

The Gamma comes in fresh from the bar. He sees the beta sitting with an average woman, solid 5.5.
G: "Some of these people are regulars, you know."

This sets up the assaults that are to come. All of the people that will be referenced are people that come in regularly, with whom I've had exchanges. The implied insult is that Gamma might be able to blacklist Beta from the venue, despite absolute lack of any such power. The Beta knows where this is going and hopes to head it off at the pass.

B: "Dude, you know me. I don't give a fuck. Whatever."
G: "(Lesbian) hates you. You've been totally impolite to her and that's not cool. There are other people, you know, and you have to treat them with respect."
B: "I never did anything like that."

The white knighting begins. It's true that the lesbian in question absolutely hates Beta's guts. From my perspective, it seems more a hypergamous gut reaction than anything based on merit. Therefore, it's not necessary for him to have done anything in particular, she just hates him because of who he is.

G: "Yes, you did. Just last week you were very rude to her."
B: "I didn't say anything to her."
G: "Okay, well, she hates you. And it's not just her. You call <someone> Brain Damaged <someone's name>. You think that's funny? You think calling someone brain damaged is funny?"
B: "That's just a nickname. He thinks it's funny. I've known him way longer than you have, dude!"
G: "He has never said that it's funny."
B: "We talked about this before I even started calling him that!"
G: "Well, he doesn't think it's funny."

Here we start to see the more extreme Gamma aspects of our Gamma friend. Before we could write him off as a loser white-knighting for milady, but now he's defending the honor of all mentally handicapped people everywhere. Notice how he shifts the accusation from "he never said it was funny" to "he doesn't think it's funny." My gut tells me that being called Brain Damaged doesn't make the guy particularly happy, and Beta probably overuses the insult, but I doubt it's anywhere near the problem that Gamma is making it out to be.

G: "You're mean to everyone. You said I was stupid and worthless and needed to die."
G: "You did. Two nights ago, you called me uninformed, you called me jobless, you said I didn't know anything because I'm not in the job market right now..."
G: "You did, too. You said that I was stupid and worthless."
G: "Well, that's what I heard."

I saw these two hanging out yesterday, mind you. The Gamma must have let his rage build up for some time, playing the friend until alcohol made him stupid. Note the direction this is taking. Gamma accuses Beta of insults that he imagined or read into the conversation, not the ones Beta actually used. This is the real heart of the exchange: Gamma was offended by Beta in some way. However, Gamma didn't have the stones to stand up for himself, so he used surrogates in order to vent his own frustrations.

G: "You did say all of that. Yes you did."
G: "I'm just saying..."

And there it is. The Beta has rejected the Gamma's assault, but the damage is done: his self-esteem is shaken and he's violently angry. It took Gamma a minute to realize that he'd gone a bit too far, as Beta was getting out of his chair and ready to start an actual fight, which Gamma could never hope to win.
The Aftermath

Gamma walked away with that smug "I'm right, I won, whatever" attitude that they tend to develop whenever they get a rise.

Miss 5.5 didn't like the anger in Beta. She said something along the lines of "I'm gonna move. I don't like confrontation", then proceeded to go and talk to the Gamma.

Beta protests angrily, telling her to sit down, but all for naught, and is left seething in his seat until he storms off.
The Takeaway

The first thing I noticed is how the girl sided with the Gamma when the Beta got aggressive. Because the Beta rose to anger at the frankly vapid assault from the Gamma, he unwittingly ceded the power in their exchange entirely to the Gamma, whose sole purpose was to trigger the angry response from him.

Second, notice how the Gamma framed the exchange as an assault primarily from non-present individuals. This is the same tactic the likes of Scalzi and Sarkeesian will employ - "Of course it's silly, but other people could have really been hurt by [fill-in-the-blank]. It sounds much less petty to stand up for others than to admit that you're the one butthurt.

Third, note how close Beta is to an actual Alpha stance. He's aggressive and wants to control the exchange, but he lacks all skills required to do so.

Finally, think about how easily this could have been blown off, were Beta an actual Alpha: "You're drunk, Gamma. We'll talk about this tomorrow."


Blue88 said...

So true. "Fuck off, man, you're drunk. We talk tomorrow." heheheh. How many times have my friends said that.

I get so Gamma when I drink

S1AL said...

Is the explosion at the end there a result of the Beta feeling betrayed? Everything you've written about them suggests that they're genuinely friendly people.

Anonymous said...

The takeaway? Don't hang out with gammas. I used to have one as a friend growing up, but his character flaws became increasingly apparent. So he got the boot.

Oliver Märk said...

This gamma only hears what he wants to hear, can’t stand the truth. Well, lets give him some credit, he was drank. Nevertheless if he would take a step back and look at himself he would notice how little his word match reality. But I guess if he could be more honest about his life he wouldn’t be such a gamma – at least not to that high degree.

The reaction of the girls was typical: Girls ally with gammas in confrontation as women ally with little kids who are fighting against someone stronger. But it is the small kid they feel sympathy with not the (“adult”, if you can call him that way) guy.


Anonymous said...

He should unfriend him on Facebook

Verne said...

All I could think was. Good lord dude, why are you arguing with a drunk friend? And why do you call that guy your friend at all?

Maybe it was just too damn much alcohol for all concerned. The 5.5 was actually a 4 without the beer goggles.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting. Will have to keep this in mind for the future as such setups tend to occur the longer you live.

Ron said...


I suspect she allied with him because he succeded in getting beta to react, which means he has power and is a good person to use in the future if she needs to destroy someone,

I also suspect gammas that have been alpha-slapped do not get the girl alliance

ScottC said...

These "gamma" men infantilize women by fighting their battles for them. Maybe the fellow who shouted the gamma down had good reason to be rude to the woman? Even if he didn't, it didn't concern the gamma.

These men don't want women to join the adult world. They are condescending toward women.

John Williams said...

Everything you've written about them suggests that they're genuinely friendly people.
There is nothing as durable or valuable as friendship in the warren. Gamma's will turn on whoever the conventional gamma non-wisdom says should be the next scapegoat.

Double E said...

A natural alpha is very unlikely to be friends with a gamma like that, and though they most likely will be very civil in the beginning, I don't think a natural alpha is going to just say "we'll talk later". They would likely ridicule the guy in a jovial way, without being overtly cruel, that would infuriate the gamma. What they definitely would NOT do it defensively address the guys accusations as if they are real issues (like the beta did in this story).

This is how an alpha reacts when somebody says they said something mean:

Rek. said...

"He lacks all the skills required to do so."

Could u expand on this? The gap (eventual jump) from beta to alpha is worth an entire post IMO.

WS said...

I've read accounts of game interactions gone right, but this is the first one I've seen gone wrong. Very instructive. This is what I'd like to see more of.

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