I have friend named Floyd. Floyd is in his early 50′s and spent the better part of his life in the military. He’s in fairly good shape for his age and has the rough, but stoic attitude of a soldier who’s seen actual combat. He doesn’t talk too much about those years, but he is an interesting guy and has a wealth of world-learned experiences that he’s more than ready to let you know about.
Floyd is not what I’d call a Type A personality, but he does have the pragmatic ‘get it done’ personality taught in the military, and he’s prone to being opinionated. At the risk of splitting hairs again, I’d definitely say he’s Alpha, but in a subdued, matter-of-fact, self-evident sense rather than the stereotypical in-your-face douchey Alpha caricature most beta chumps like to associate it with. Being a Man comes natural to him, and his expressions (or non-expressions) of such irritates the betas we know – but in a passive sense rather than an aggressive one. Just being who he is, often enough, gets eye rolls from our more plugged in friends.
Unfortunately Floyd’s Game-ignorant. After his discharge, he followed the ex-military formula for marriage by getting involved with a very domineering woMAN who promptly got ‘accidentally’ pregnant 12 years ago. They have a son whom they share custody of, the divorce not being final until last year. For all his Alpha cred, he followed the ‘do the right thing’ script right up until the finalization of his divorce. In the military, he was ostensibly a badass; with his ex he was always trying to find a solution to her problems with a rational ‘get the job done’ approach. He didn’t see the method behind her madness then, he does now.
Since the finalization Floyd has gotten together with a new girlfriend, Ann, who is the polar opposite of his ex. Against my advice he’s moved her into his home, but the bright side of this arrangement is that Floyd has learned the importance of maintaining Frame with her. Maintaining Frame with Ann isn’t too difficult for him as she’s about a point below Floyd in SMV. She’s not unattractive, but Ann loves Floyd because he takes care of business like the Alpha her ex never was.
I was hanging out with Floyd last weekend and the conversation got around to how unlikely it was that Ann would get with a hard ass like Floyd. She say, “Oh that’s just his schtick, he’s really a big softee. Underneath all that he’s really a sweet guy.”
Now I realize these are the words of a 48 year old woman who’s vested interest and second chance at long term security are in my tough-guy friend, but it struck me that no matter how genuine a Man can be in his personality, no woman wants to accept a personality that is incongruent with her own imperative.
The main reason for this is rooted in women’s innate solipsism. If the reality doesn’t fit with her interpretation, rationalize the reality to force fit it to that interpretation. The nuts and bolts of it is that Floyd represents a valuable prospect at a second chance for provisioning. Floyd is not an overly emotional or emotionally available guy, but to reconcile the wish that he would be, Ann must tacitly endorse that he is; “you just don’t know him like I know him.”
A lot of freshly unplugged guys have trouble accepting Game as being anything more than an act – a series of behaviors meant to elicit a response in a woman, and once she’s been attracted they can go back to their regularly scheduled personality. They rely on rote memorization instead of learning and internalizing Game. What a lot more don’t understand is that even in their blue pill Beta Game days they also followed a similar ‘acting’.
This acting is encouraged in much the same way as Ann was attempting to distort her own reality. As with most women, they fall in love with a dichotomy; they want a sweet guy, who’s tough and gets shit done. If one of these aspects is out of balance her rationalization engine (i.e. Hamster) will make subconscious attempts to compensate for it in her words and beliefs. “I want a sweet guy with a good heart” is boilerplate for the feminine imperative because it ‘sounds right’. Men hear this and ‘act’ on it in the deductive belief that it will endear him to women in general.
The greater truth is that, for all the conflicting messages about men needing to get in touch with their feminine sides, and then men need to Man-Up, your personality is still going to be rationalized to fit a woman’s psychological ideal.
Upping the Alpha Doesn’t Mean Offing the Empathy
I think too many critics in the manosphere believe that the underlying message is about men needing to kill off the emotional, sentimental or impassioned aspects of their personalities. I would never advocate this. Firstly because I don’t think it’s entirely possible, but more importantly, you shouldn’t have to. No man should lessen himself or his human experience to accommodate the feminine imperative.
When I wrote Kill the Beta people assumed I meant that doing so would also include killing of the better parts of their personalities. Beta is a mindset in the same way Alpha is. You can be an emotional Alpha, and women will swoon, but be an emotional Beta and you’re doomed to feminine pity. Emotions and passions only reinforce a self-defeating loop for a Beta mindset, but in careful, self-controlled measure they strengthen an Alpha mindset.
The problem is in the measure. Most Betas, raised from birth to believe that women want a “sweet man with a good heart”, build a personality around that message. Thus we have several generations of men trying to out “sweet” one another. In the end of The Game Neil Strauss worried that PUA practitioners would turn into “emotional robots”; men only aping the behaviors that have value in their getting laid and not genuinely emotional. I think his worries are unfounded, because most men of the last generations have such a foundation of ‘being in touch with their emotions’ the issue is more about the self-control necessary to maintain that emotionalism.
Upping the Alpha doesn’t mean offing the empathy. Game doesn’t mean learning sociopathy – it means learning control of one’s psychology. Most Betas find themselves miserable because they’ve been raised to believe that self-expression and open communication of emotions are the keys to successful living with women. It’s interesting that for all the understanding about how women are wired for emotion and men are wired for reason that it should be the men of the last generations who are more emotionally expressive than any preceding generation.
Guys like Floyd aren’t any less emotional or compassionate or sentimental, they simply know the value in controlling their more ephemeral aspects. They know when to apply it and when to withhold it. They know the reward value a rare display of emotion means to women who want to write their own script for the Man they’re in love with.