Brain Hacks: Using Moral Superiority to Turn Arguments | Girls Chase

Brain Hacks: Using Moral Superiority to Turn Arguments

Chase Amante

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One of the most annoying, horrible, and downright irritating situations you'll ever run into socially is someone suddenly inveighing against you with emotionally-charged, finger-pointing, judgmental arguments.

moral superiority

These attacks are usually unexpected when you run into them, and they'll frequently catch you off guard. They can be confusing to know how to respond to if you're more accustomed to calm, cool-headed debates about the merits and drawbacks of a specific subject - then suddenly here's someone sandblasting you with hatred and unadulterated emotion. I'm sure you've experienced it at some point or another:

“People like you are the lowest kinds of people there are! You think you can just take whatever you want and not have to suffer the consequences! You think of no one but yourself!”

Suddenly, you're so deeply on the defensive trying to prove these accusations levied against you are untrue, that you end up effectively putting your hands up and saying, "Whoa, hey, stop, that's not true at all!"

Morality attacks also usually have a powerful communal effect, with any bystanders to the argument usually feeling either a) swept up in the argument and equally enraged and emboldened, or b) so afraid of being castigated themselves that they either just agree out of fear, or they remain quiet and let things unfold, not wanting to get in the way of an onrushing freight train.

That means that when someone starts hitting you with moral superiority, you need to be quick on your feet to not get quickly cast out as whatever you're being labeled as - and the way to do that, of course, is fighting fire with fire: you must use moral superiority right back.

Chase AmanteAbout the Author: Chase Amante

Chase woke up one day in 2004 tired of being alone. So, he set to work and read every book he could find, studied every teacher he could meet, and talked to every girl he could talk to to figure out dating. After four years, scads of lays, and many great girlfriends (plus plenty of failures along the way), he launched this website. He will teach you everything he knows about girls in one single program in his One Date System.



Zac's picture

About the morals thing, you can't really be a nice guy. Because moral superiority is like a taking a lighter and trying to burn someone alive literally. and it happens with work, when you let your boss try to boss you around with more work, especially in sales, where you have to hold your ground. Unless you being paid more to do more, you usually want to hold your ground, when you being paid less and being demanded more than usual.

you want to give value to your boss, but you need to know where you putting yourself.


Chase Amante's picture


Indeed. The ideal, in my opinion, is "nice but firm" or "nice but fierce." e.g., the good king who takes care of his loyal subjects but swiftly deals with those who would do his kingdom or his people harm, or the noble knight who's loyal to a fault, but has his lines that cannot be crossed and refuses to let anyone cross them.

With work, I generally found that answering back with what you can do is sufficient, and making reasons exceptionally clear (again, using "you") if you get pressed for more.

My third or fourth day on my first project in corporate America, I had virtually no work the entire day, right up until 4 o'clock in the afternoon, when I'd already been there 8 hours. Suddenly, my supervisor started bringing me work that'd been sitting on her desk the entire day and asking me if I could do it. She brought me about 3 hours worth of work.

I replied with, "Sure, I can start on this now. Anything I don't have done by 5 I'll tackle first thing in the morning tomorrow." She was surprised - everyone there was working until midnight every day - but after this happened a few more times, she started bringing me work as soon as it hit her desk.

People don't respect your time until you make them.

All the bosses I had while in sales were pretty good, and I usually stayed much later than I needed to to get the job done there, but I was often carrying the sales quota on my back, with the other sales guys just phoning it in, so I ended up seeing it as my personal mission to make sure we hit our quotas (and that I raked in the commissions and overtime). If you're not getting paid extra, and you aren't working for a job you really believe in more than just doing what needs to be done, then yes - you need limits. The pushier bosses are, usually, the more they're compensating for jobs that simply aren't inspiring enough to make you want to throw your back into things by default.


Anonymous's picture

Chase, can you bring back the different categories you used to have like, "Fundamentals", "Seduction", "Relationships",etc.
They just make using your site a lot easier.
Looking forward to getting my membership.
Much Respect

Chase Amante's picture


Sure - these are still used in, say, serving up the posts in the related / recent articles boxes. There weren't many people using them before, so I opted not to have them on the posts or the sidebar to make room for other things.

If you'd like to use them and they're still useful though, you can access them on the Categories Page.

I've added a link to the footer as well so you can navigate there from any page and won't have to type in the link.


Anonymous's picture

Man, you just keep coming up with the goods Chase.

Couple of questions:

When finding things that have changed me for the better; this site through a Google search on ‘how to text girls’, both The Game (though no longer very relevant to my seductions) and the 4hr Work Week through searching in bookstores, I found them through wanting to improve, but there is still an element of luck.
I want to minimize luck, and make sure I am always exposed to and able to find materials such as this, and spend as little time as possible sorting the wheat from the chaff (e.g. if you search ‘how to text girls’ now on Google, yours is the first result. But then you get a number of politically correct articles and then PUA ones that are stuck in the entertainer phase of how to text girls.)
Do you have any advice on how to consistently replicate success, not the learning part, but the discovery part, and not miss out on anything that can improve your life?

Also you mentioned in ‘Are We Just Friends?’ that you don’t donate to charity, and have strong reasons for this. This sounds really interesting, could you explain the main ones? Not for dispute, but because it's always interesting to hear alternative views.


Chase Amante's picture


Finding good resources is always a bit of a challenge. The problem with the Internet is that while it's promised openness of knowledge, what it's really ended up being is some good sources of information, but also an army of people who want to be heard and want to feel like they're producing something rehashing the same things again and again, in watered-down form. There are something close to 700 million websites on the Internet. You'll usually learn more reading a good book by an expert in something than you will surfing the web.

For handpicked material that will improve your life, you generally want to look at places where knowledgeable people are in dialogue. Hacker News tends to have a lot of very interesting articles - half on coding/programming, but the other half on business, life, and lots of other good topics. It's basically a Reddit for highly self-improvement pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps types. Getting on a forum with other likeminded people is a great source of exposure to new ideas too - these can be hard to find, but if you look around a bit you can usually locate some private forums with ambitious, growth-oriented, high caliber people which, if you're qualified, can be boons to be a part of.

Curating the right circle of friends is also very important - most of the new things I try or take on come as a result of one of my friends recommending or suggesting it to me. Even in the digital age, likeminded friends are probably the single best way to find useful, interesting things relevant to your life.

On donating to charity, I subscribe to the old adage, "Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day; teach a man to fish, and he eats for a lifetime." Most of the charities I see are focused on giving a man a fish, because that's easier. Things like handing out food, donating toys or other things to children, etc. These things feel good to do, because you get to say, "See what a good person I am! I'm helping others," but this also creates dependency in the receivers, just like a bear that gets fed by tourists eventually loses the ability to hunt on its own. My view of charity is, "If you have no idea what else you can do with your money to help society, just give it to other people." But I have some things I want to put my money towards - personal projects - that if they work as I think they will work they will do good things for the world economy and make it far easier for men to fish.

So, you might say, I want to teach men to fish, and the way I think I can do that, assuming I can pull it off, scales faster and has greater impact than anything else I see charitable organizations doing right now, and from a pure cost-benefit analysis, I help more people by putting my resources there than I do giving those resources to someone else to distribute as that person sees fit. But that's just me! For most people who don't know how better they can impact other people's lives beneficially, I think charity's probably a very sound option.


Anonymous's picture

Thanks for explaining your reasons on charity. I thought you might say something along those lines, and agree with you. Most large scale social changes - Indian independence, the civil rights movement - work on the principle of empowerment, rather than aid. I’m not sure yet how I will change things, I believe I need to sort my emotional and logical needs before doing so.

For finding resources, you’re right books are normally more informative, but just like on the internet, there is a lot of nonsense to work through. By looking at helpful material in lots of areas, my screening process for good and bad is getting a lot better.
It’s more a fear that I’ll miss out on things.
For example if stock changes in a bookstore, I may miss a book that could have been incredibly helpful. Asking for suggestions from employees is often helpful, but often you may have to search for books on the internet, then you’re into that whole cycle again.
Also there’s the case of not knowing what exactly to search for. For example, when I searched ‘how to text girls’, I wasn't looking for a site that would revolutionize my dating, sex, and well being, just how to text girls! Knowing what to look for is just as hard as finding it.
I feel like I almost want a process, where with the slightest problem I can solve it, and always be discovering things I never even knew of.

Note: could you re-post the link for Hacker News please. There was a couple on Google, but I’m not sure if any of them are the site it is supposed to link to.


Anonymous's picture

Chase how can one show vulnerability if they are outlier males who stive to cover their mistakes. For example how do you show it thanks.

Chase Amante's picture

anok's picture

Chase can you do a post on getting the best out of homeostasis? tried of this inertia.

Chase Amante's picture


Not sure I follow... do you mean how to maximize down periods where you're not getting much done?


JiggaJayHova's picture


dope post man! this isnt even just about girls...i come across people who try to stunt like this pretty often. great analysis on how to diffuse them and walk away with class. If you're ever in nyc and you're tryna pick up some chicks, let me know!

-JayHova the breaks ova

Chase Amante's picture

Thanks, Jiggaman. I was wondering when the King of New York was going to drop by the site ;)


Nuncle's picture

I think a pose of moral superiority is an element of most types of aggression, at least once you're out of high school. In school it's "legitimate" to attack someone for being weak/stupid/ugly whatever but it's not in the adult world so aggressors have to dress the attacks up as moral disgust, even if it makes no sense logically.

If you're not a manipulative person it can be quite hard to believe in your heart that your attacker has ulterior motives. You might suspect it but you can't quite adopt their mindset. This is especially true if the attack makes no logical sense. You think "Oh, there must be some sort of social rule I'm not aware of here!"

The mindset you have to adopt and work from is that you are never doing anything wrong, even if there is a grain of truth in what they are saying. You have to act from the position that they are automatically talking bullshit and you have to start thinking that as soon as they open their mouth.

I suppose this is why a lot of leaders come across as never taking responsibility for even huge mistakes - they can't afford to. I manage shopping malls for a living and believe it or not that can attract a lot of envy from people in town. They're always trying to tear me down and I have learned the way to deal with it is to just brush off absolutely any form of criticism, even though I used to hate it when my own managers did the same thing.

Chase Amante's picture


Yes, absolutely. The best way to think about this sort of thing is:

  • If it's not a status play, it'll be said in private, or they'll start by asking for dialogue
  • If it's not a status play, it'll be said first with respect

People who legitimately want you to listen to them and aren't jockeying for status don't come out guns blazing - they begin with olive branches and polite overtures. Even in private, if someone immediately goes on the attack, it's usually status jockeying - if people will have any kind of ongoing personal or business relationship with you, it can be profitable to subjugate their status to yours by positioning themselves as moral authorities over you.

Really sketchy stuff when you think about it - here are people appealing to "higher standards" who are, in fact, merely using these "principles" as a cloak for their own personal gain.


Bob's picture

Interesting article, but one thing puzzles me. Another article on your site describes how to respond to challenges, and the method appeared to be very different from the response in this article. What is the difference between a regular challenge from a person and an attack based on moral superiority? Furthermore, how can a person recognize this difference and respond appropriately in various situations?

Chase Amante's picture


Good question.

The difference between a normal social challenge (the article you referred to is here) and a morality challenge is a normal social challenge is a challenge to your status or abilities.

A morality challenge is a challenge of your moral fiber, and an attempt to ostracize you by casting you as an "other." It is, in effect, someone pointing at you and saying, "He's a bad person."

When people do this, you need to hit back hard, because everyone assumes it must be true if you don't. Only the villain shrugs off being called "bad;" everyone else responds with fury.

If someone's making fun of you, or implying that you're stupid, or foolish, or lack style, or ugly, or socially awkward, or anything of any color like that, that's just a normal, run-of-the-mill challenge that you'd handle like any other.

If someone's saying anything that implies you are unvirtuous, going against the moral grain of society, are bad, are evil, are manipulative, are a liar, are a conman, are a pied piper leading people astray, or anything of that sort, that's a morality attack, and they're trying to paint a picture of you as morally inferior or a threat to social stability. That's BAD, because people will rally around social threats like antibodies attacking an invader. When someone tries doing this to you, unless you really are clearly in the wrong (in which case, you need to very sincerely apologize and hope for forgiveness), the best defense is attacking them back as the TRULY morally corrupt ones, and then deleveraging the argument (if possible) and winding things down.


Anonymous's picture

The article discusses a direct attack made in public.

What if the same "content" is spread in the form of rumor spreading?

For example: a guy in social circle who is jealous of the attention you get from girls, or a girl in bitter auto-rejection, they go around telling everyone to watch out with you because you are "a player and a creep".

Sometimes, when one of these guys pops up in social circle, the gut feeling is that it's just the tip of the iceberg; he's already been lobbying people either for strategic reasons or because he's been stewing about it and complaining.

. . . like a guy staring and grumbling or a girl you used to know stalking you and approaching girls in your social circle. . . by the time there's an "attack" (if it ever comes) you already saw it coming but also, by then, bystanders are not necessarily neutral.
. . .and sometimes there's no open attack but the damage is done anyway (then I wish they attacked so I could refute them).

No way to deal with the underhanded but move on?

Carol's picture

I guess you don't get many females on this website but I ran across it searching for how to handle people exhibiting moral superiority. Your article was spot-on! I just wanted to get your opinion on something that happened to me at the grocery store that deals with this topic. I'm going down an aisle to get dog food and there's a woman standing exactly in front of what I want to buy so I stop and wait for her to get her dog food and move on. Problem is, she doesn't move on. She takes a couple cans, stops for awhile, takes another couple cans, stops, takes another couple cans, get the picture. This goes on for awhile, so during one of her "stopping" periods, I lean over, grab a few cans, and start to leave. Next thing I hear is, "You're excused!" I stop and say, "for what?" She says, "you were being rude". I said, "well, you were taking forever" and started walking away. She yelled after me, "You are a very rude person!" at which I just laughed and kept walking. Her final words were, "yeah, just keep laughing!" I wanted to tell her to get a life, but refrained since I didn't want to start a yelling war at the grocery store. So... in your opinion did I handle this right? I kind of feel like I took the offensive which is not usually my style, but she made my temper flare for some reason. I'd like your feedback (and anyone else's) if you have time. I know this post I'm responding to is rather old, but hopefully someone is still monitoring it. Thanks!

War Room's picture

I'm not an expert on this, but maybe two heads are better than one.

(Next thing I hear is, "You're excused!" I stop and say, "for what?" She says, "you were being rude".)

Typically, if I am in someones way, I apologize because I was only thinking about myself and not noticing the needs of others around me.

She should have apologized, and maybe she knew that, but she went on the attack instead.

She flipped it on you.

According to this article, you would say no or disagree in some way and then attack her on her strength as she sees it.

Her sense of judgement is her strength.

So in theory,

"You're Excused"

"No, I didn't apologize"

"You're Rude"

"No you just have poor judgement"

"Excuse me, How?"

"No one with good judgement spends that long trying to decide on a can Dog Food."

*Walk Away*

That's my guess anyways, based on the material. If I end up combat shopping, I'll use the method above and report back.


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