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.

Published by Rollo Tomassi

Author of The Rational Male and The Rational Male, Preventive Medicine

10 comments on “Compensation

  1. I have to say that from personal experience learning and adopting game is like learning a new language. It often feels uncomfortable stumbling through the words.

    If you speak a few words iin another language and the foreign person you’re speaking to looks at your weird you default out of familiarity to your native language…

    But the more you perservere, the more you come to recognize the patterns and the reactions are just that…reactions from girls: shit-tests, surprise, etc…

    Many reactions to my game surprise me. In some cases, girls I’m gaming try to out-game me…

    I had a girl I’m gaming totally try to flip the switch on me today…at our dance class, she turned me down, then got up with some AFC.

    Rather than being upset, I grabbed the hottest chick in the place…then grabbed girl I’m gaming’s friend. I don’t know why or what the girl’s game was…to make me beg, to shit-test, to embarrass me to get hand….

    But the old me..would have defaulted to a “Hey, what’s wrong?” or tried harder to win her approval or get her to agree.

    It felt awkward for me to walk away. But the result was interesting.

    Girl who was gaming me…suddenly posted a photo of me dancing with her friend.

    Hamster is spinning.

    When you game, you get all sorts of reactions. The default position is to go back to nice guy AFC if the girl gets upset.

    But if you look at the girl’s reaction as girl game…it only means it’s game on.

    Also, after gaming hot girl, she flaked on me with a lame text about not feeling well 3 hours before our meet up.

    I had spent time with this girl, chatting, dancing, email. It was cocky-funny, but aloof and always tight. She still flaked.

    The old AFC me would have said “hope you feel better….”

    New me waited 3 hours before replying, then 5 minutes after the agreed upon meeting time I replied with “Oh. Just got this. If we meet up again ur buying”

    She replied 1 hour later playing along with “ok i will let you know when I’ve saved up enough in my piggy bank” a lame attempt to recover and a game-message that she’ll contact me when she’s back in town.

    It feels uncomfortable pushing back, pushing, pulling, and teasing.

    But after a while, it becomes more natural.

    1. “But if you look at the girl’s reaction as girl game…it only means it’s game on.”

      Great point. Well said.


    I wish I was little bit taller,
    I wish I was a baller
    I wish I had a girl who looked good
    I would call her
    I wish I had a rabbit in a hat with a bat
    and a ’64 Impala

    I wish I was like six-foot-nine
    So I could get with Leoshi
    Cause she don’t know me but yo she’s really fine
    You know I see her all the time
    Everywhere I go, and even in my dreams
    I can scheme of ways to make her mine
    Cause I know she’s livin phat
    Her boyfriend’s tall and he plays ball
    So how am I gonna compete with that

  3. My one critique of the post is there is a better law of power which you should have been cited.

    Law 25: Re-Create Yourself

    Do not accept the roles that society foists on you. Re-create yourself by forging a new identity, one that commands attention and never bores the audience. Be the master of your own image rather than letting others define if for you. Incorporate dramatic devices into your public gestures and actions – your power will be enhanced and your character will seem larger than life.

    Law 17 does make brief mention of “Only man has the capacity to consciously alter his behavior, to improvise and overcome the weight of routine and habit. Yet most men do not realize this power. They prefer the comforts of routine, of giving in to the animal nature that has them repeating the same compulsive actions time and time again. They do this because it requires no effort, and because they mistakenly believe that if they do not unsettle others, they will be left alone. Understand: A person of power instills a kind of fear by deliberately unsettling those around him to keep the initiative on his side. You sometimes need to strike without warning, to make others tremble when they least expect it.” You should have quoted this context rather than quote the chapter summary, and your point is better suited by law 25.

  4. Pingback: Year One «
  5. I got into the manosphere at 16-17ish (27 now). It fucking worked. I went from literally most bottom of totem pole to whatever I wanted to be in high school. It was the hardest thing I ever did to this day (and I’ve done stuff like get into ivy league phd programs).

    There was a moment though when I was 20 when I CRASHED. I was gaming this girl, and she picked this younger lamer dude over me and I lost my mind. I got so fucking depressed its unbelievable, my thought process was “What the fuck was all that insane effort, I’ve nothing to show for it! I’m not even any better than I was before” After an insane semester of depression, I took a break on improving myself and focused on grades. Landed a GF then, my first real one, funny how you get what you want when you stop wanting it. Anyway, I then realized, even in my resting state I had changed. I was incredibly extroverted compared to my peers, and just gave way less of a shit. And when shit really mattered I could bust out game for things like interviews. I stopped trying to improve my game though, hell I tried avoiding it completely (but it still came out naturally). And now, after reading this and in hindsight I realize how much those few years of extreme self development affected me.

    And I’m still not where I want to be and a cycle of reinvention will start again (hence me reading this article). Its nice to know starting down this path again, that it really was worth it before and it will be worth it again.

  6. Even language is an acquired skill, so is magic – nope, no one was born with the ability to be awesome, everyone became awesome.

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