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monsterland
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28 Aug 2010, 5:36 pm

A_Spock_Darkly wrote:
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Alpha males, first of all, are extroverts at the core.


No, not necessarily.

How many of Clint Eastwood's characters could be described as "extroverts"? Few. Yet most of them fit the Alpha Male paradigm. There's a difference between extrovert and assertive.


Dude.

It's. A. f*****g. Movie.

I've never seen introverted alpha males. They're ALWAYS loud, obnoxious and quite obviously extroverted.

If there's an "assertive" introvert in the crowd, their voice and behavior will always be trumped by a real alpha male, who has been an alpha male their whole life, and to whom it isn't some "learned skill".

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It's not my job to completely revamp your self-esteem.


That is a clever response, but I was referring to one's inability to permanently change from introverted to extroverted behavioral mode. No need to get into personal attacks.



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28 Aug 2010, 8:02 pm

ladyrain wrote:
The position of alpha-male is one where support and loyalty from others is given in exchange for strength, security and leadership. It's a two-way process.

Or the perception that strength, security, and leadership is being given. People tend to assume that that's what going on when seeing alpha status/behavior, so it's a chicken-and-egg situation. Some here have wondered why a guy would try to contort himself (and not that I'm advocating that), but the thing is if you look a part, people do tend to go along with it. And if you don't look it, people somehow will become blind to the positive ythat you do do. In the modern world where guys are not literally slaying wild animals every day image tends to be more important than reality.

(And not that I ever had great success with faking this stuff. I didn't even figure it out until I was 30. I could pull off just enough not to be the lowest guy around who gets all the crap. But the effects of those small things is amazing. People are a bit like robots that way; very predictable. -- Which is disturbing.)

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In actuality the role of alpha is one where there is always the need to be watchful for challenge,

That's also true of the bottom end of the scale, though. You don't want to be the guy that other guys think will easily back down from a challenge, or they'll be lining up to challenge you for a quick & easy status-boost.

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and to foster and maintain loyalties. Without a group structure there is no alpha. Wouldn't an idealistic human equivalent of alpha be something like Captain Jean-Luc Picard (ST:NG)?

Reminds me of the joke about a Picard vs. Kirk fight -- that Picard would try to negotiate, and in the meantime Kirk would kick his ass (and then make out with the green alien woman).



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29 Aug 2010, 2:51 pm

Apple_in_my_Eye wrote:
ladyrain wrote:
The position of alpha-male is one where support and loyalty from others is given in exchange for strength, security and leadership. It's a two-way process.

Or the perception that strength, security, and leadership is being given. People tend to assume that that's what going on when seeing alpha status/behavior, so it's a chicken-and-egg situation. Some here have wondered why a guy would try to contort himself (and not that I'm advocating that), but the thing is if you look a part, people do tend to go along with it. And if you don't look it, people somehow will become blind to the positive ythat you do do. In the modern world where guys are not literally slaying wild animals every day image tends to be more important than reality.


Well I was briefly relating the concept to the kind of environment where it actually fits, such as a gorilla group, where all the troup only interact with each other, and if the head-guy isn't up to the task, he gets ousted. Human structures are more complicated, since it is unusual for a person to only interact with one group, unless, for example they live in a closed community such as Amish, where specific rules govern any outside interactions.

For people, the points you have made are just right. If you look the part it works, but may not be sustainable, because you are actually expected to fulfil your side of a complex social contract. But if you don't have the authority to be noticed, the positives get ignored.
So finding a balance between two options, a third choice, makes sense.

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(And not that I ever had great success with faking this stuff. I didn't even figure it out until I was 30. I could pull off just enough not to be the lowest guy around who gets all the crap. But the effects of those small things is amazing. People are a bit like robots that way; very predictable. -- Which is disturbing.)


Bullying, despite words which condemn it, is actually a thriving social conditioning tool, to which most people have been subjected, even if they don't realise it. Most people don't realise it because, subject to a small amount of adverse social pressure, they give in. But they also learn that they are able to extert the same amount of social pressure upon others. It is always a two-way process. So people effectively self-sort. And yes, looking at it from the outside is disturbing, but I guess from the inside it seems just natural.

Bullying is actually day-to-day reciprocal social exchange gone wrong, because the two-way structure has failed - one side of the exchange is based upon fear.

Apple_in_my_Eye wrote:
ladyrain wrote:
In actuality the role of alpha is one where there is always the need to be watchful for challenge,

That's also true of the bottom end of the scale, though. You don't want to be the guy that other guys think will easily back down from a challenge, or they'll be lining up to challenge you for a quick & easy status-boost.

Which is also interesting, since rather than become boot-lickers, which is what those at the bottom end are supposed to do, the aspie way tends to be to remain defiant to the end - regardless of the personal cost.

Apple_in_my_Eye wrote:
ladyrain wrote:
Wouldn't an idealistic human equivalent of alpha be something like Captain Jean-Luc Picard (ST:NG)?

Reminds me of the joke about a Picard vs. Kirk fight -- that Picard would try to negotiate, and in the meantime Kirk would kick his ass (and then make out with the green alien woman).

Yeah, I picked a starship as a human equivalent closed community. Kirk definitely equates more directly to the gorilla model - the tough guy with his green alien harem. The reason I said idealistic human equivalent and went for Picard is merely because I like that model much better - a Kirk type would never be my choice.
And neither would Riker be, but comments about puffed-out chests brought him straight to mind, since in ST:NG he rather took on the 'guy who gets the girls' role, only in a slightly more subtle way than Kirk.

I definitely think that improving social presence is a good thing - I totally support that idea. It's just that a desire to emulate pseudo-alpha-male behaviour, which seems to derive from PUA guidelines on how to pick-up women in bars, doesn't really offer a sustainable model for any aspie who really wants to find an easier way to get by in the world. It doesn't seem very suitable for people who would rather have just a few nice people in their lives, and passable enough behaviour to anyone else.

One basic problem with faking it, is that if you don't deliver the goods then you will be labelled a jerk. Someone pretending to be something they are not is a con artist, so if that goes against the grain, it's hard to be convincing anyway. PUAs just seem to write off any woman who isn't fooled by the posturing as a b*tch, and the ones who are as fools.

And I think Surya continued from where I'd got to, and gave us a new label to consider.
Are aspies really natural gammas - or at least would they be, if you could alleviate the anxiety and negative stuff. And we could put Clint into gamma too really. And anyone else who neither wants to be the boss or the bossed.



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29 Aug 2010, 4:06 pm

I rarely read posts longer than a line here at WP anymore, but that was spot on, ladyrain.


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ladyrain
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29 Aug 2010, 6:02 pm

Thanks Moog.



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29 Aug 2010, 10:29 pm

ladyrain wrote:
Thanks Moog.


Nice..

I believe, we may think along the same lines..
You seem to have a much easier time with 'words' then I do though

now how do we go about overthrowing them? ;)



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30 Aug 2010, 3:52 am

monsterland wrote:
Dude.

It's. A. f***ing. Movie.

I've never seen introverted alpha males. They're ALWAYS loud, obnoxious and quite obviously extroverted.


You seem to be mistaking Alpha Male for his cousin The Jackass.

Read this.

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That is a clever response, but I was referring to one's inability to permanently change from introverted to extroverted behavioral mode. No need to get into personal attacks.


No need to see personal attacks where there were none.


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30 Aug 2010, 7:36 am

Quote:
Bullying, despite words which condemn it, is actually a thriving social conditioning tool, to which most people have been subjected, even if they don't realise it. Most people don't realise it because, subject to a small amount of adverse social pressure, they give in. But they also learn that they are able to extert the same amount of social pressure upon others. It is always a two-way process. So people effectively self-sort. And yes, looking at it from the outside is disturbing, but I guess from the inside it seems just natural.

I disagree, I see it a means of domination and subjugation. Every human society has untouchables, and they are never given the means (within the system) to push back. That seems a fundamental aspect of hierarchies (and societies) to me.

The disturbing thing I meant was that is you act a certain way, people readily make all sorts of unwarranted assumptions. Act like a desired guy, and it will be assumed that you are desirable. Sometimes I feel like a sociopath without the acting ability or evil intent. I can see how people fool themselves, and how easily they can be manipulated through through their assumptions.

Quote:
Bullying is actually day-to-day reciprocal social exchange gone wrong, because the two-way structure has failed - one side of the exchange is based upon fear.


I would argue that unequal social exchanges are the "natural" norm, and that and reciprocal ones are possibly more common, but of little importance. Power tends to accumulate, and it takes special rules to prevent widespread domination by a few (i.e. democracy).

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Which is also interesting, since rather than become boot-lickers, which is what those at the bottom end are supposed to do, the aspie way tends to be to remain defiant to the end - regardless of the personal cost.


It's a romantic notion, but there is no reward in real life for enduring abuse. There is no audience cheering on the underdog, there is no triumphant ending, no extra-credit points with St. Peter. No one will care, and no one will even remember that you were there.

Anyone stuck in such a position needs to move on, if it's at all possible. There is no valor in absorbing abuse (if it can't be stopped otherwise, anyway). It buys you nothing.

Quote:
One basic problem with faking it, is that if you don't deliver the goods then you will be labelled a jerk. Someone pretending to be something they are not is a con artist, so if that goes against the grain, it's hard to be convincing anyway. PUAs just seem to write off any woman who isn't fooled by the posturing as a b*tch, and the ones who are as fools.

I definitely think that improving social presence is a good thing - I totally support that idea. It's just that a desire to emulate pseudo-alpha-male behaviour, which seems to derive from PUA guidelines on how to pick-up women in bars, doesn't really offer a sustainable model for any aspie who really wants to find an easier way to get by in the world. It doesn't seem very suitable for people who would rather have just a few nice people in their lives, and passable enough behaviour to anyone else.


I think we basically have the same view here. If full-on player stuff is completely at odds with how someone is, then they ought not to do too much of it. OTOH, there is a male role and there are general (especially, initial) expectations; if one's personality is at odds with the cultural norm, then it may not be a bad idea for them to take a few cues from the player stuff. I think it's easy for women to miss how important a guy's initial impression is -- since his looks don't carry the same intoxicating power that a woman's does, so there is comparatively more weight on that.

As far as not delivering -- are people generally honest at first? It seems that the norm is to start out faking it somewhat, and then morphing towards reality over time. The trouble is if everyone is "stretching the truth" like that, then you need to as well in order to keep up (like with resume`s). It's not possible to opt out without losing some "points."


I think there may be disagreement on what comprises alpha guy behavior in all this, though. Maybe this is different than what's in the PUA books, but to my mind the way to tell who isn't the alpha guy is to look for who's beating his chest. The calm guy with a double-ring of people around him is the alpha. He's calm, self-assured, relaxed, and if challenged makes the other person look uncouth for upsetting the atmosphere of the room. He's so in charge that he doesn't need to prove it.

Sort of like that Dos Equis "most interesting man in the world" guy:

Quote:
"Even his enemies list him as their emergency contact."

"He once had an awkward moment just to see how it feels."

“If he were to punch you in the face, you’d have to fight off the urge to thank him.”


(LOL)



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30 Aug 2010, 12:16 pm

Apple_in_my_Eye wrote:
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Bullying, despite words which condemn it, is actually a thriving social conditioning tool, to which most people have been subjected, even if they don't realise it. Most people don't realise it because, subject to a small amount of adverse social pressure, they give in. But they also learn that they are able to extert the same amount of social pressure upon others. It is always a two-way process. So people effectively self-sort. And yes, looking at it from the outside is disturbing, but I guess from the inside it seems just natural.


I disagree, I see it a means of domination and subjugation. Every human society has untouchables, and they are never given the means (within the system) to push back. That seems a fundamental aspect of hierarchies (and societies) to me.


I'd say that social conditioning was a 'soft' way to say domination and subjection.


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monsterland
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31 Aug 2010, 3:59 am

A_Spock_Darkly wrote:
monsterland wrote:
Dude.

It's. A. f***ing. Movie.

I've never seen introverted alpha males. They're ALWAYS loud, obnoxious and quite obviously extroverted.


You seem to be mistaking Alpha Male for his cousin The Jackass.


Semantics. When they're not obnoxious, they're still loud and very much extroverted. It's an internalized trait that you can never fake as good as them.

There is always an Alpha Male in an NT crowd, and if you want to be one, you will have to beat those who have been doing it since they were 5 years old.

People who have been doing anything since age that young are extremely good at it - be it fighting, computers, stealing, manipulation, or being an alpha.

Quote:


Well that was a waste of time. That article says nothing about alpha males. Actually, it says nothing at all.

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Quote:
That is a clever response, but I was referring to one's inability to permanently change from introverted to extroverted behavioral mode. No need to get into personal attacks.


No need to see personal attacks where there were none.


Oh really?

I originally said:

Quote:
My point is, it does not magically make me into an alpha male. Alpha males, first of all, are extroverts at the core. That just won't happen.


You responded:

Quote:
It's not my job to completely revamp your self-esteem.


It was clear that by "me" I could as well have used "you" or "anyone". It was used as a means of making an example.

You, however, responded by making it about me personally, and implying that I have self-esteem problems. You really should surrender your nickname and avatar and give them to someone classier.

. . .

Now back to my regularly scheduled preaching.

I have never seen, nor will ever see, an genuine introvert beat an extrovert at their own game. At best, you can prevent being trampled. You can go up a bit on the food chain and be "normal". "Respectable", even. But being an alpha male means you have to beat the REAL one. Because there's always the real one.

It's like trying to spar with someone who did martial arts since 8 years of age. While you still think about the moves, they no longer think. They're already in your space, f*****g you up. This is what alpha males do, and they do it with a natural, powerful grace.

Good luck trying to climb on top of that pyramid. Only to, in the end, catch a girl who buys into your acting, blissfully unaware that you're about to run out of energy and revert to your normal self.

Been there, done all that, got past that stage a long time ago.

In the end, we have to find a workable balance. And such balance is far away from the extreme behavior of a true alpha male.



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31 Aug 2010, 4:51 am

monsterland wrote:
In the end, we have to find a workable balance. And such balance is far away from the extreme behavior of a true alpha male.


Agree with that completely!



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01 Sep 2010, 10:07 am

monsterland wrote:
I have never seen, nor will ever see, an genuine introvert beat an extrovert at their own game. At best, you can prevent being trampled. You can go up a bit on the food chain and be "normal". "Respectable", even. But being an alpha male means you have to beat the REAL one. Because there's always the real one.

It's like trying to spar with someone who did martial arts since 8 years of age. While you still think about the moves, they no longer think. They're already in your space, f***ing you up. This is what alpha males do, and they do it with a natural, powerful grace.

Good luck trying to climb on top of that pyramid. Only to, in the end, catch a girl who buys into your acting, blissfully unaware that you're about to run out of energy and revert to your normal self.
i had never thought of it this way. on reflection, this rings true. if i were a female who is susceptible to the alpha male, i will be attracted to a guy who appears to be the alpha of the group. but as soon as the actual alpha male walks up the first guy will be rejected. this reminds me of some kind of level-jumping. you have to convince the entire group of males and females that you are, indeed, alpha. and there is only one.

but i think exercises in confidence-building can be good for many people. i found i felt better about myself when i worked on that.

p.s. i have never preferred the alpha male. i.e. when i was a teen girl, on the rare occasion that i was the fan of a boy in a band, it was the drummer. or the roadie or something.

but i do find situational confidence sexy. for example, if a computer engineer gets all excited and respectfully regales me with information about building computers (or if i can watch him at work), i will enjoy that interchange and find his confidently-expressed expertise quite attractive. anybody who is really good at their interests, and can find a way to share that in a nice way, will totally interest me.

i find this hard to explain, so i don't know if i am making sense. and maybe i am alone in that kind of attraction.

[edited to fix quotation]


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01 Sep 2010, 11:10 am

Apple_in_my_Eye wrote:

The disturbing thing I meant was that is you act a certain way, people readily make all sorts of unwarranted assumptions. Act like a desired guy, and it will be assumed that you are desirable. Sometimes I feel like a sociopath without the acting ability or evil intent. I can see how people fool themselves, and how easily they can be manipulated through through their assumptions.



When you get down to it, people do treat you the way you present yourself. I used to be afraid of fighting because of how much I could lose from it. But at one point, I felt I had so little dignity that I believed I was in a worse state than any physical harm would bring. Then I decided that no matter what, nobody was going to have an easy time taking my dignity. The next time some guy tried to establish dominance, I got so defensive he was surprised (and a lot more polite afterwords)

Most people who feel the need to take others down a notch in order to move up have little to no intention of losing face to pull it off, if they even think they'd have to fight too hard and risk looking bad, then in their mind it's not as worthwhile.

When I was living in MO, I walked with my shoulders back and my back straightened, I had no idea how unatural it looked and the only kind of comment I ever got was from a girl who asked if my back had been injured. I've seen people deliberately walk with their arms out a little like "John Wayne" and I just wonder if that's how you look when you try to send the "alpha male" signal.



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01 Sep 2010, 11:41 am

Being a true alpha isn't all it's cracked up to be. You have to spend a lot of time and effort guarding all the 'stuff' you've 'claimed'.


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ladyrain
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01 Sep 2010, 1:44 pm

hyperlexian wrote:
but i do find situational confidence sexy. for example, if a computer engineer gets all excited and respectfully regales me with information about building computers (or if i can watch him at work), i will enjoy that interchange and find his confidently-expressed expertise quite attractive. anybody who is really good at their interests, and can find a way to share that in a nice way, will totally interest me.

i find this hard to explain, so i don't know if i am making sense. and maybe i am alone in that kind of attraction.


Not alone at all. :)