You’re Not That Special (and Neither is She)
Sunday, 1 December 2013
One of the things you don't start picking up on until you've spent much time out of the West, then rotated back into it, then out of it, then into it again, is the "epidemic of specialness" the West has going on.
When you visit Asia, some parts of South America, and some parts of central or Eastern Europe, for instance, most of the people you meet will describe themselves as "just an average [nationality] girl/guy."
Part of this is humility - everybody believes he's special to some degree - but part of it is just down-to-Earth honest-to-goodness realistic-ness. The guy knows he's just another human being, and merely one of very many.
But travel back to the West, and you're quickly smacked in the face with the order of the day here: that is, everyone is special.
Not just special, but unique.
And, deserving of your utmost
adoration, and respect.
Only, because we're not all that special or unique, a great many people in the West are living in a constant state of vast cognitive dissonance, ready to explode at a moment's notice as soon as anyone suggests they are not as special as they'd like you to think they are.
They're living a lie - an illusion - and the only way that illusion is maintained is if they can make everybody else around them subscribe to it, too.
And if anybody around them doesn't... well, look out.
Quick, name somebody really
special. Historically special.
Ready for an alarming wakeup call?
That definition of "specialness" is purely subjective, and has very little basis in objective reality. Take a removed-enough viewpoint, and all the most "special" people in history, even, quickly become rather ordinary.
If you read the Harvard Business Review's "The Making of an Expert" (or the book based on it, Geoff Colvin's Talent is Overrated), you quickly come to realize how much individuals of seemingly mythic talent are really rather ordinary men with the good fortune of having been born into extraordinary training programs.
A pair of teachers with no particular chess skill trained their three daughters into three of the top chess players in the world, largely just to prove a point: that talent is taught:
Tiger Woods became a legendary golfer not because he was a born talent, but because his father trained him rigorously in golf from the age of 2.
Michael Jackson became a legendary singer and performer not because he was a born talent, but because his father trained him rigorously in song and dance from a very young age.
Mozart became a legendary pianist not because he was a born talent, but because, again, his father trained him rigorously in piano from a very young age.
Even Alexander the Great, that conqueror of conquerors, was not a legendary leader and statesman because he was born that way; rather, he was trained in commanding armies since he was a child by his father, Philip II of Macedon, and was leading armies alone by the age of 15; he had at his disposal the innovative Greek hoplites and phalanx, the most devastating soldiers and military formation in the ancient world; he was schooled by none other than Aristotle himself; and even his mother bred him for greatness, steering and directing him, and having assassinated those of his siblings by other wives of Philip whom she viewed as possible threats to his ascension to the throne (though he never forgave her for this, it certainly helped ensure his rise).
Take any man, and replace Woods, Jackson, Mozart, or Alexander with that man, and leave all the rigorous and thorough training itself in place, and would that other man not attain greatness as well?
Certainly, there are individual differences - another man raised similarly to Alexander might never have left Greece, content to rule in that region.
But perhaps another still would have approached the morale of his men even better, and have been able to push all the way through India and into China, instead of having had to turn back midway through the Indian subcontinent as Alexander had.
Have you ever been somewhere with lots of beautiful girls?
Or, flipped through the pictures on a Tumblr page dedicated to putting up images of attractive women?
There are tons and tons and tons of them... each with her own name, each with her own story, each with her own dreams and background and experiences and aspirations.
But, taken in the grand scale of things, together they are more or less commodities.
You will never meet two women who are exactly alike. It's true; each one is different.
Yet, the role that one woman satisfies in your life will not be too different from the next one, or the one after her, or the one after her.
That's because women are commodities. And so are you and I.
When I was relatively inexperienced with women, I overestimated the impact I was having on the lives of women I brought into mine. I certainly impacted them, and they certainly fell in love with me, yes; and the ones I kept around in some long-term capacity did indeed tend to view me as a person of unique significance to them. Nevertheless, when our relationships ended, I was easily replaced. Not by someone who was a perfect replica of me (though I have had past girlfriends tell me they'd found a guy who was "like your clone"), but by someone who fulfilled the role I'd fulfilled for the girl satisfactorily enough.
And I've seen this same pattern repeat itself among the breakups of
every pair of humans I've witnessed; there are various mourning periods
for the various partners (men's are typically longer), but eventually,
both partners have replaced the former partner, and have blissfully and
happily moved on.
We men are commodities, my friends; and the women we date and lust after and chase down are commodities themselves, as well.
What Makes You Special?
If you watch old Hollywood flicks, it's pretty clear that Americans didn't used to think of themselves as individuals who were much more special than anybody else.
Sure, they had their own quirks and differences, and they'd be happy
to tell you about them: "I'm not like
the other girls, Stan... are you sure you want me?"
... but at no point do most of them ever display an ounce of thinking that they are better than or superior to their fellow men (or women).
Take a gander at people in the West (and particularly in English-speaking countries), and there is a very distinct sense of "I'm not like all the other rabble out here... I'm different... better."
That feeling of "betterness" is the biggest difference between the way things used to be and the way they are right now. And you can see how it affects life and dialogue in a variety of negative ways:
Politeness is out and rudeness is in - if someone doesn't give you the honor you deserve, or is not worthy of your kindness, it's fine to trash the person or call him out
Entitlement mentalities are completely rampant - everybody feels entitled to whatever else he or she thinks he or she "deserves": money, mates, romantic partners, friends, clothes, vacations, respect. Rather than earn it, people want to just be given it - and not just any old time - they want to be given it on demand
Social ostracism is being used as a weapon to employ on anyone who doesn't subscribe completely to your beliefs - rather than try and understand others, people throw them under the bus and undermine their social status with ad hominem attacks and personal discrediting to shield themselves from threatening alien beliefs
Auto-rejection, among both men and women, is everywhere, and most people seem to be on hairpin triggers. One tiny wrong move, and they erupt into seething hatred against you, for your ceasing to recognize and respond to their greatness
All of this is stuff you almost never see in old movies - or in Asia and those more civil, humble parts of South America and Europe. Why the difference?
I'm pretty sure it all has to do with advertising. And that's largely it. Advertising is everywhere in the West; meanwhile, its history in Asia, South America, and Central/Eastern Europe is far shorter.
The advertising in the West tells us that we are perfect, and deserve to have [xyz thing we want] - we just need to do / buy this one thing.
Over the years, parents have picked up on this message, and fed it to their children: "You're PERFECT. You deserve THE BEST."
But if you deserve the best, that means something pretty important - because by its very definition, "the best" is the cream of the crop among a number of lesser things.
And not everyone can have "the best", obviously. Probably only a select few, in fact.
And if YOU are ONE of the people who gets to have "the best", then you must necessarily BE one of "the best" YOURSELF... and, therefore, BETTER than almost everybody else.
Of course, if everyone is raised to believe that he or she is better than almost everybody else, you suddenly have yourself in a bit of a quagmire: because, pretty soon, those people are going to have to interact with one another... and they're going to have to deal with the fact that, in all likelihood, they are NOT the best.
“I Don’t Believe It”
If you think people getting out there into the real world and confronting a world full of individuals believing they are all "the best", just like those people themselves do, will disabuse them of these superiority complexes, think again.
Just like religion in the face of science, people don't drop their beliefs simply because they've encountered evidence that invalidates specific parts of those belief systems; they simply revise them.
So, okay, Timmy gets to college and realizes he's not "the best" at getting good grades anymore, like he was (just about) in high school. That's fine, because he still does pretty well, AND he's [super cool / a great athlete / really funny / other source of specialness]. That PLUS still pretty good grades (even if not the absolute top of his class)? He's clearly still among "the best."
And, all right, Annemarie makes it out into the workforce, only to discover that some of her colleagues are just way more motivated to work and dedicated to self-promotion in their careers than she is... and they get promoted significantly faster, and go from colleagues to superiors to regional managers all while she's been stuck at the same level. Well, that isn't because they are better, she knows; she's still better... they just spend more time marketing themselves. Their "betterness" is nothing but an illusion they've constructed by being smooth talkers that they used to trick the bosses into giving them raises... the bastards.
In the face of contradictory evidence, most people do not discard their beliefs; they simply revise them to include the evidence. In the paper "When Corrections Fail: The Persistence of Political Misperceptions", published in Political Behavior, researchers note the following phenomena where individuals were corrected on a belief immediately after being given that belief (in a false / mock / misleading news article):
“An extensive literature addresses citizen ignorance, but very little research focuses on misperceptions. Can these false or unsubstantiated beliefs about politics be corrected? Previous studies have not tested the efficacy of corrections in a realistic format. We conducted four experiments in which subjects read mock news articles that included either a misleading claim from a politician, or a misleading claim and a correction. Results indicate that corrections frequently fail to reduce misperceptions among the targeted ideological group. We also document several instances of a “backfire effect” in which corrections actually increase misperceptions among the group in question.”
That is to say:
Much of the time, immediately correcting an incorrect claim with a correction does not work, and the incorrect claim is clung to regardless
Some of the time, correcting an incorrect claim even causes individuals to cling even more strongly to their beliefs
There's also been a great deal of research into cognitive dissonance caused by disconfirmation of a belief - most often centered around religious prophecies that fail to materialize, and the counterintuitive effect they have on actually increasing disciples' adherence to the religion, rather than disillusioning them.
The first of these studies was Festinger's heavily cited 1956 paper "When Prophecy Fails" (almost 1800 citations to-date, which is quite high for scientific literature), of which there's been extensive research and refinement done over the past 6 decades, both to support it and refute it.
But it does seem that, at least in some of the cases (as this meta-study published in The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions goes on to investigate), and particularly with hardcore believers in a thing, disconfirmation makes people believe in their beliefs even more strongly.
So if you think someone's staunchly held house of cards belief that he or she is among "the best" will come crashing down as soon as he or she encounters the harsh real world filled with legions of other people who all consider themselves "the best", who all mostly treat him or her as little more than just another commodity... you've frequently got another thing coming.
The cards won't crash. They'll just be repositioned.
However... people aren't stupid.
I notice a lot of men in the West complaining about the treatment they get from Western women. It's really a fascinating study of cognitive dissonances clashing, when you boil it all down.
Here's what you've got, cooking in the pot:
A man who thinks he's "the best", approaching a woman he expects ought to be lucky just to meet a great guy like him
A woman who thinks she's "the best", being approached by a man who then proceeds to treat her like just another woman he wants to sleep with
The woman, experiencing cognitive dissonance at believing herself to be "special", but feeling treated by this man like just another commodity, reacts viscerally and from a wounded place of dissonance, rejecting him harshly for not realizing how incredible she is, and making herself feel better in auto-rejection by comforting herself that she is so desired she gets to be the chooser and rejecter of men... now this man must go off and lick his wounds and obsess over this special woman he wants but cannot have
The man, experiencing cognitive dissonance at believing himself to be "special", but feeling treated by this woman like just another commodity, reacts viscerally and from a wounded place of dissonance, auto-rejecting her in his mind (or maybe even snapping back to her aloud) harshly for not realizing how incredible he is, and making himself feel better in auto-rejection by comforting himself that he is very desired, so this woman must be stupid, shallow, slutty, or all of the above... she will doubtless end up with some low caliber man, and one day will be alone and regretting the day she turned down a man as wonderful as himself
... and then you end up with a whole bunch of upset people, bitter about the opposite sex, and annoyed out of their skulls with one another.
It's really quite amusing to watch, all the angry men whining about women, and all the angry women whining about men. Everyone is so certain that no one else "gets" it.
And the "it" they don't get?
That each of these people are really, really special... in fact, they are "the best"!
And treating them like anything short of the top 1% of humanity is an absolute insult.
But lecturing others about the right way to treat you is not how you get the results you want.
Instead, making them feel special is.
It’s About Her – Not You
When I first came up with deep diving, it was constructed as a way for me to let women connect to me without me blowing them out and sending them into auto-rejecting (or, alternately, by boring them) by talking up my own value too much.
One of the side effects of deep diving, that I didn't fully realize at the time, but now do, was that it allows women to tell you what's so special about them, and helps them to feel like you are one of the few people on Earth who actually really appreciates them for them.
Which, if you are genuinely interested in what she's telling you, and you're doing a good job of eliciting values and really diving into her dreams and motivations, you almost certainly will.
Using a cookie cutter approach with cookie cutter pickup lines and
cookie cutter routines doesn't work so swell for any woman, but it's particularly
difficult to pull off with Western women. When you don't personalize
things and customize them to the girl, she's usually left feeling like
she's just another piece of tail to you.
Now, with women who don't care so much about being seen as "special" or "unique", this doesn't matter, if they are themselves out looking for something fun and free as well.
Yet, even with Western women who are out to hook up, if you fail to make the interaction feel personal to them, you can easily have them take offense and leave. In this case, ego needs outweigh sexual desires - and if you don't tend to the ego, you lose.
The point is, she must feel like the relationship is deeply personal, and that you chose her because you RECOGNIZE that she is the best.
Telling her "you're the best" or "you're special" or "you're unique" is not enough (and often will backfire), because, again, these statements themselves are one-size-fits-all statements that you can just reel off to any girl you're talking with.
You must make her feel it.
Her reception of you, reaction to you, and acceptance of or rejection of you is not really about you at all - it's about how you make her feel.
She’s Not a Commodity
Trust in the West is at a record low. Americans' trust in one another has declined by a full third since 1972, when 50% of Americans said most people could be trusted.
Today, a mere 33% believe that most people can be trusted, according to a poll conducted by AP-GfK.
It's difficult to pinpoint exact causes for something like this, but if I had to hazard a guess, I'd wager that at least part of it comes from the expectations that people are being set up by their parents and the media to have ("You are the best!") vs. the treatment they actually get out in the real world by salespeople, customer service, bosses, colleagues, classmates, teachers, friends, and prospective mates ("You're just another guy/gal").
If there's anything that can cause you to lose faith in people, it's not having them recognize and appreciate the positive things about you that you know are true.
Therefore, a large part of seduction ends up becoming how you show a woman that she is not a complete commodity to you. Rather, you recognize and appreciate what is special and unique about her - because there always is something special and unique about everybody.
Even if, in reality, we all really are more or less commodities to one another.
… But She’s Got to Show You She Isn’t
The other large part of seduction though is in getting the girl to show you she isn't a commodity.
That is, you show interest in her, and show her you recognize some really interesting, unique things about her. You give her a little - you show her that, unlike all those other guys who will pay lip service to her specialness, then chase her down the same as they do EVERY woman (all those more "average" women out there), you are different.
Instead, you recognize her uniqueness... then don't chase her down.
This drives women absolutely bananas.
Here is a man who FINALLY recognizes her unique specialness. He:
- Deep dives her and really gets to find out what's unique about her
- Stares into her eyes as if he's peering directly into her soul
- Touches her in ways that excite her and make her feel deeply connected with him
- Talks to her in a voice that is low, intimate, and dripping with meaning
- Exudes sexual energy around her that is contagious for her and makes her feel like the two of them are destined for one another
... all that, and then he doesn't chase.
Instantly, you have differentiated yourself from all those commodities of men out there. You are that rare soul capable of recognizing the specialness she knows she has. Because this is something she wants, but doesn't have - most men try to make her feel special, but only end up making her feel cheap and commoditized - she will pursue you to make sure she doesn't lose it.
Desperate for Proof
Many of us in the West are desperate for validation of the fact that yes, we are special. We are unique. We are "the best."
We were told growing up that we were. But the reception we get once we make it out into the real world is entirely different. The real world treats us like commodities.
The man who can inspire other people to feel like not commodities... who can
recognize the specialness in them, and make them feel something they've
largely lost the feeling of that they had in childhood, and now spend
their free time chasing after from purchasing those products that are
supposed to give them the feeling they deserve, or trying to get the
promotion that will bring the recognition of their specialness they
know must be around the next corner... that man has a power over them
that little else ever will, because that man is the provider of the emotion that people
raised to believe they are "the best" need to allay the dissonance they
feel, inhabiting a world that does not treat them the way it is
"supposed to" (according to the mental models they've been
raised with and indoctrinated with).
This desperation to have you in their lives is something you see with both women and men once you get good at making people feel special quickly and intimately. You become one of the few people who recognizes their uniqueness, and gives them a level of emotional excitement and reassurance that all the other things they've been chasing after have failed to give them.
You will actually begin to see signs of desperation from women who earlier acted aloof toward you, but whose dispositions change radically once they realize what you do for them emotionally. You validate their "bestness." You show them the reflection of themselves they spend most of their lives working to see.
This is both encouraging and sad, and even as the "specialness epidemic" is most prevalent in the West, you see it to some degree with everyone everywhere... everyone likes feeling special, even if she's someone who doesn't usually believe that she is.
But, very, very few people ever learn how to make others feel special.
They're far too caught up in trying to feel special themselves.
We are all so very desperate for proof of our own specialness, and position among "the best."
Being a True Validator
There are many forms of validation a man can give a woman:
He can be an orbiter - a man who inhabits her friend zone, wishing to be with her, and making her feel good about herself, confident in the knowledge that a man wants her... but not fully confident, because he is not a man she wants (elsewise she would be with him, rather than friend zoning him). This man validates her somewhat as a person and as a sexual being, but not fully - his validation is less powerful than were it coming from a more powerful, desirable man than himself
He can be a legitimate friend, who builds up her value and speaks and thinks well of her, while not trying or aiming to sleep with her - here, he validates her differently than an orbiter does, validating her value as a person more highly, but not doing much to validate her as a mate
Or, he can be the lover, who sees her for the beautiful person she is and desires her and takes her as a mate, and whom she values equally highly herself, and feels wholly validated by on having taken as her lover and having him having taken her
Alternately, he can be the guy who one-size-fits-all approaches her and sends her hurtling into cognitive dissonance, gets rejected, and ends up in dissonance himself.
The one you want to be, obviously, is the one who recognizes the unique things about her, and is appreciative, but not floored. The attractive man whose social value is through the roof, and who recognizes her social value as near to his own, though not above it.
Being able to create within her the feeling of being recognized for her specialness - which, coming down from an objective mindset (where we are all no more than commodities) and into a subjective mindset, pretty much everyone has - and then being attractive in your own right and inspiring her to invest and give chase validates the belief she's been inculcated by parents and media from an early age to believe: that she is among "the best."
And really, would you want to be with a woman who isn't?
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