One of the higher orders of physical standards women hold for men is height. There are countless threads in the community that address this, but I think that for the better part it’s not difficult to observe this in the ‘real world’. I should also add that this is one characteristic that is central to the Social Matching Theory in that human’s are sensitive to asymmetrics and imbalances.
Now, before I get told in so many ways that this isn’t always the case or the “not all girls are like that” exceptions to the rule, let me start by saying that this isn’t the point of this thread. I don’t want to debate the logistics of why women prefer a taller mate or the tendency for like to attract like in this respect. No, what I’m on about is really the root of the infamous “short man’s disease.” That’s right, you know who I’m talking about; the ultimate in compensation for inferiority, the dreaded ‘short man’s disease.’ You know the guy. About 5′ 6″, pounding out the weight on the bench press. Bad ass attitude, hangs with the bigger guys (which is pretty much all of them) and throws his ego around. What a tool, right?
But if you think this is only limited to short men (or women), you’re making a mistake. You see, in so many ways we all compensate for deficiencies. I recently read a thread on another “non-community” forum that saw fit to start a topic asking why men lie and it got me to thinking why any of us lie, man or woman. I’ve also been fielding a lot of questions regarding issues we kind of take for granted after having discussed them to death in the manosphere; one of those being the nature of personality and one’s ability to change their own or have it changed by circumstance, or often both. I think it’s a tragic miscalculation on our part to think of personality as static, unchangeable or to question the ingenuousness of that change, but more tragic is the doubting ourselves for that change.
One simple truism that a lot of people love to use as their convenient escape clause is the JBY (just be yourself) notion. This of course is just what ones says as advice when they really don’t know what else to say. Given that though, what is it that makes a personality shift ‘genuine’. Any number of us probably know an individual who began acting differently at some point in their life. This can be the result of some kind of tragedy or trauma (think PTSD) or it can be that the individual felt a need to change their fundamental way of thinking and made the change of their own accord. Usually in these cases we think of them as posers or try-hards, trying to be something they’re not. They reflect this change in their appearance, their regular practices, their friends or the people they associate with, attitudes, behaviors etc. And this is what’s jarring for people who knew their prior personality.
From the 48 Laws of Power:
Law 17: Keep Others in Suspended Terror: Cultivate an Air of Unpredictability
Humans are creatures of habit with an insatiable need to see familiarity in other people’s actions. Your predictability gives them a sense of control. Turn the tables: Be deliberately unpredictable. Behavior that seems to have no consistency or purpose will keep them off-balance, and they will wear themselves out trying to explain your moves. Taken to an extreme, this strategy can intimidate and terrorize.
What makes us doubt the sincerity of a personal change is what’s at issue. If their change is something we agree with or generally think of as positive, we are less inclined to doubt the ingenuousness of this change. But when their change conflicts with our own interests, when it dramatically clashes with what we’ve come to expect of that individual, this is where we doubt their sincerity. We say “dude, stop trying to be something you’re not”, we tear it down, we fall back on JBY platitudes because it clashes with our interpretations. And in this doubt, we fish for reasons as to why a person would want that change; essentially, what are they compensating for? It may be funny to presume someone driving a monster truck down the highway is making up for a small penis, but the root of that ‘compensating’ is what makes us feel uncomfortable in our own internal compensating.
It’s a difficult enough task for an individual to critically assess their own personality, and even more so to effect a change in it, but the final insult is to have other’s doubt the veracity of it. What others fail to see is that at some point in the development of their own personalities, they themselves had to compensate for deficiencies, discontentments and prompts to grow and mature. This is a gigantic hurdle for most AFCs wanting to transition to being something more. On SoSuave we’ve always called that being a DJ (Don Juan), but that doesn’t encompass the entirety of maturing. I like the term positive masculinity, but the crux of all that is the ingenuousness of the actual change. Why are you changing?
There is a saying that AFCs are like a bunch of crabs in a barrel. As soon as one is about to climb out there are always half a dozen ready to pull him back in again. Add to this a self-doubt from societal conditionings that tell him to stay the same, not to aspire to more, he’s doing it right, and it’s amazing that any AFC becomes a DJ. This has been termed the ‘Societal Cockblock’; they tell him he’s compensating, and in a way they’re right, but for the wrong reason. PUA skills, DJ psychology, Positive Masculinity are all compensations for deficiencies. They go beyond behavior modification – that’s the easy answer. PUAs teach a set of behaviors and scripts to be aped in order to mask a deficit. These are easy pickings for the JBY apologists because they are actions that generally don’t match a person’s prior personality. They’re not “really” like that, so they’re posers, or worse, they’ve been duped by guys hawking the PUA brand of self-help tools. What they don’t see is the genuine desire to change and the reasons for it.
When we compensate, we improvise, we fake it till we make it; but who determines when we’ve stopped faking it? We do. I read all kinds of articles doubting the realized capacity a person has to adopt ‘natural Game’ into their personality. It’s an internalization process for sure, but there has to come a point of transition where a Man’s default response IS his Game response. That’s who he IS now.