I am addressing this article to men, specifically. This is not because the behaviors listed and detailed in this article are exclusive to men, but because I am not a female and have no interest in lecturing them on how to be “better women.” For the same reason I curl a lip in derision every time I see a woman lead off a sentence with: “real men do/don’t…”, I won’t presume to tell them how to do things.
While I won’t speak for women, I can, however, speak to men. As a man who grew up one of four brothers, has been in aggressive, hyper-masculine peer-groups and social circles since my early teens, and have founded two organizations that are male dominated- I know how men act. I know how they interact, and I know what they talk about, value, fear and desire. I also know what triggers their disrespect and scorn.
It’s been said that a woman’s highest need is to feel loved, but that a man’s highest need is to feel respected. We have spoken often in the past of the need for physical prowess, both in a strong physique and a personal relationship with violence, as a pre-requisite for respect in a male dominated honor-group. It should go without saying that any man reading this should be engaged in the cultivation of those physical attributes- here we are focused on a few of the more amorphous, “behavioral” details.
What follow are some of the ways men erode their respect from other men, often without even being aware of their behavior.
- No Emotional ControlFor that matter, lacking self-control in general. Men don’t respect men who can’t “keep their shit together.” Whether this means getting a better grip on your temper to not fly off the handle in small, petty situations, or not acting like a wreck after a break-up- take stock of your current emotional self-control and determine where you are.This goes double for not publicly displaying weakness on social media, which is one of the most flagrantly weak ways of showing a need for self pity and validation. Basically, other guys know that if you can’t maintain an even balance and keep your head, you’re no good in any high stress situation, which signals your lack of value in a peer group.
Combat this by exercising methods of self-control, programmed in the same way you might try to increase your deadlift.
If you don’t understand it, or where it comes from, start by educating yourself on the topic. We can’t fight something we don’t know, or can’t identify. Here’s a video I shot on the topic a few weeks back, in case you haven’t seen it. Explore other methods of identifying and gaining control over your emotional state- in order to have the respect of others, you must have enough respect for yourself to be in control and mentally and emotionally organized.
- BrokeNo matter how cool your buddy is who always “hooks you up” when you’re out is, and no matter how many times he says “it’s all good,” he will come to resent you, and other males will notice that you always need a “spot.” What you are telling your friends by always expecting them to help you out, is that your time is more important than theirs, because they are sacrificing time and personal wealth for you constantly, whereas you are sacrificing none (or not enough) of yours.There’s a big difference between having generous pals who have no problem kicking down every once in a while -generosity is a respected trait- but relying on the generosity of others is never respected.
Get it together, and make your own scratch. If you are having a hard time with financial responsibility, look up a few ways to help budget what you do have, like the envelope system. Check out a few of the Fiscal Fitness videos I did last year to get you started, or pick up a copy of a popular start-up guide like “the $100 Start-Up” by Chris Guillebeau.
Increasing your personal resources and cashflow is a critical part of not only living the way you want to, but also establishing respect with the men around you.
The money is out there- get some for yourself, then do something nice for that friend of yours who used to always be the one helping you out. You’ll feel good, and people won’t resent you for being a leech.
- Chronic ComplainerIt’s hard to like someone who always has some bitch or complaint. Again, venting to friends now and again? No problem. Constantly having something to be negative, downtrodden or whiny about? Sounds like you need to raise your test, stiffen your upper lip and set about improving what sounds like a really shitty life. It’s on you to fix your own problems, and no one really, truly, at the end of the day, wants to hear your problems.Remember that, because its true. No one wants to hear it. They might be ok with being the occasional emotional support if you’re going through a hard time, but they’d rather you didn’t. Your problems are yours alone, and complaining has never, ever helped resolve a bad situation.
Problems are solved with a positive, head-on attitude and the correct application of force in the right direction. If you feel negative often, try writing some basic mantras to repeat to yourself in the morning- I know it sounds fucking tacky, but even this simple step of self-reinforcement and direction at the day’s start can really help change your mindset.
Try to pay attention to the way you word things, and avoid putting a negative spin on them. Instead of complaining, focus on the positive aspects of things, or remove emotional connection to your problems and attack them rationally instead. Next time you find yourself complaining, just remind yourself of your goal, and remember that its all in how we look at it. The way a man deals with adversity even on a verbalized level tells a lot about him.
- “Thirsty”/DesperateThis one is huge. Not only are high-performing/confident males put off and disgusted by overt shows of “thirst,” or sexual desperation, the irony is that so are women. As a former musician, bartender, and bouncer, I have spent countless hours hearing women talk about the pathetic dudes who throw out weak pick-up lines, comment on their social media profiles, or send self-deprecating direct messages that they think are charming, but are really just sickening and creepy as hell.Avoid thirst traps, and don’t fall for them! A thirst trap is common parlance for a social media post put up for the sole intention of attracting attention from “thirsty” individuals- a classic example of this is a girl saying something like “loving this new hairstyle” with a close-up photo of her at an angle that aggressively advertises her rack, with her hair barely even on camera.
Engaging with these sort of things is always the wrong move, for several reasons.
When Ragnar Sonsofanarchysson posts a comment on some overweight “shieldmaiden’s” page, or acts like a little desperate puppy dog in the bar, or wherever, a couple of things happen. First, you actually do the female no favors, nor any other male, because you create a false sense of self image for the female. Inflating their ego to unreasonable levels with your “go-girl” fan comments, or your sexual predator-esque text-version-of-heavy-breathing-on-the-other-end-of-an-anonymous-phone-call is desirous to no one, ultimately not even them.
The other kicker is, no healthy, normal woman really wants a man so weak and malleable that she can control or dominate them. Your desperation signals weakness to them, and inability. It’s elementary stuff, but women want men who are confident, self-controlled, and respected by other men. More often than not, it is the male with the highest standing in his male peer group or amongst his friends, who has the most desirable female. You can’t fuck with millions of years of human evolution.
Think before you comment on a girl’s picture, or say something to her at the gym, bar, grocery store, or wherever you meet women- although with the levels of technological mediation at this far off the charts, I’m surprised when people even meet in person anymore without a swipe of the screen.
Ask yourself, “am I signaling sexual dehydration, like a man crawling through a desert?” And then, just don’t- ultimately, men respect other men who are capable, and this includes being capable in the realms of male-female social interaction. I guarantee your “damn” and “looking good” posts are being noticed by your more self-aware friends and are a source of ridicule- and if they aren’t laughing at you for your desperate attempts, maybe your friends are part of the problem.
- Try HardThis is similar as the last one, but it refers to men who are overly desperate, not for sex, but for the attention of other men. Try-hards are the kind of guy who will laugh loudly at jokes that you tell that aren’t very funny, act like everything you say is a work of art, and constantly self deprecate around you because they think it will make them likable.It doesn’t.
No one likes a try-hard, because it is a display of feelings of inferiority. You don’t have to be a narcissist to be confident and have good self image. Cultivate this through spending time with strong, intelligent and capable people, embracing physical culture through fitness and strength training, martial arts, increasing your standing at work or in business and so on. But never by sucking up and exhibiting that hated characteristic of “please like me.”
- Bragging/One UppingMy mom always used to quote, “let another’s lips praise thee,” when we were kids, and I took it to heart. I even get kind of uncomfortable when other people do it. Bragging and excessive showboating is sure to earn the ire of your peers, simply because they will get tired of your mouth, unless your bragging is seriously salted with humor.Even worse than this is the “one-upper,” who always has done just one more than whatever you did. You benched 315? He just did 320. No, “his phone deleted the video, bro. But it was solid.” You hooked up with a good looking girl the other night? He “totally snagged a ten, dude. Yeah, no, she wasn’t from here, and totally had to leave town, but damn, you should’ve seen her.”
Let your achievements speak for themselves. Spend your time praising other’s achievements that you think are inspiring or meaningful- if what you do is awesome enough, there will be enough people praising you that you can give it a rest.
It is important to recognize these “respect killers” and work towards the respect of men you like, who are in your peer group, because this is one of the key elements of honor, the bedrock of any strong in-group.
Honor is a currency that can only be attained through actions that bring strength and increased reputation to your gang or crew, and through the adherence to that gang’s code of conduct. Sometimes this is written down somewhere in black and white, but often it is an unseen understanding between members of “respect.” Pay attention to the details, cultivate it, and value it higher than gold. Because unlike money- this currency, once lost, can sometimes never be regained.
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