It’s an interesting confluence of events and reading here. We’re in the middle of the U-Man archives known as “Shame the Beta” month, I’ve posted my own history of beta on the road to Alpha, and I’ve been reading Ricky Raw’s articles at Nexxt Level Up on toxic shame as it relates to the HBD (Human Biodiversity) cult. I’m having second thoughts and opinions on the…. target of the message, of the old articles from U-Man. I originally thought they were hilarious and amazing. Now I’m calling those opinions of my own into question.
So. I’m going to work through some of my thoughts here. It might get to be some deep shit, so get prepared.
Oh, and I’d say go read the articles. They’re long, but like anything Ricky Raw writes it’s worth it:
The Truth of Shame
Shame is a paralytic feeling. If you feel shame, you generally will freeze, will hide, will tear someone down. You will do anything to hide your shame if you are prone towards blaming who you are for your mistakes instead of what you did for your mistakes. It’s a subtle, but terribly powerful difference. Ricky explains and gives some wonderful demonstrations in what is probably the key part of the first article:
Shame, which is more toxic and primitive, is when you think there is something wrong with what you are. Guilt, which is healthier and more mature, is when you think there is something wrong with what you’re doing. Shame-prone people will think “I am wrong” while guilt-prone people will think “I did something wrong.” Shame-prone people will think “I am stupid” while guilt-prone people think “I made a mistake.” For a guilt-prone person, an action at the end of the day is an action, but for a shame-prone person, an action is a commentary on their very being. For a guilt-prone person, since an action is simply an action, when they commit a faulty action, the way to fix it is to confess, come clean, and try to take corrective actions. For a shame-prone person, since each action is a determination on their very worth as a person and a commentary on their whole identity, faulty actions must be concealed, explained away, blamed on others, rationalized, repressed, or dealt with using any number of popular defense mechanisms.
I think that these concepts of shame vs guilt are the core of what stands at the difference between a successful, charismatic man and a whimpering whipped boy. Or, to put it in a simple binary of terms – what many of the ‘Sphere would call Alpha and Beta. I’m beginning to walk away from such binary thinking myself, but that’s another post entirely.
The reason I think this is such a critical difference, and possibly the only difference between the two, lies within what those two different responses will prompt a man to do within his career, his health, his hobbies, and his women. The average man will go as far as he can until he has to put in an honest, painful effort to improve. Until he has to make actual sacrifices of things important to him he will gladly go along his merry way – taking himself only as far as his natural abilities will go. Then he stops. He rationalizes not going further in any number of ways – unable to, too much time/effort/money, too much pain, not willing to give up a single night a week. He does this despite the fact that he knows, at some level, that he would much rather have what his original goal was than what he’d have to sacrifice to get it. The only thing holding him back is his shame. His shame that he isn’t good enough, that he has to make such a sacrifice, that it doesn’t come naturally to him as it appears to do so to his heroes, his idols, his motivational figures, his god, or even himself if he compares his growth to all that he’s gained before so effortlessly.
The only thing holding him back is his shame.
Thus he is afraid to grow.
These shame driven boys have previously invested energy not into their own skills, happiness, or satisfaction. Rather, these boys have invested energy into the image of being a man rather than the growth and change of self that it would take to grow into being a man. They come to a place where it would require them to actually stop investing in the image they’ve come to hold so dear, but instead invest into the man they want to be. The boy inside them sees this destitute man he’s neglected. He see’s the beggar inside of himself. He sees the ravaged, bleeding bear of his masculinity that he has caged for so long.
And he’s afraid to let it out.
He’s afraid it will eat him. That it will hurt him. That he will be someone else. That he will be something else. That he will lose control of his life, that people will see him as a fool, that the begging man inside him will become his true self and he will never be able to trust himself ever again.
So he puts his head down.
He explains it away.
He pulls a beer out of the fridge.
And complains of the long day at work, at school, at the gym….
And how it’s just such a shame that the world is set against him.
That poor, poor soul.
He’s such a special snowflake now, isn’t he?
My Own Shame Wracked Self
After writing and re-reading and considering my life; my “Road to Alpha” as it were…. I think I can pinpoint a few things out. I think these things are going to get a lot of thought from myself over the next week, and I think I will grow in ways I wasn’t expecting to a week ago. Maybe they can assist some of you as well.
From that post:
If ever there was a way to camp, shoot guns, hunt, fish, ski, wrestle, be an Eagle Scout, play soccer, play baseball, play bass guitar, and be an actor in theatre…. Well, I found it.
Yes.There are Beta ways to do those.
Yes, beta ways for all of them.
And yes, I found every. single. one.
I realize now that there aren’t multiple beta ways to do them, but on specific underlying theme. This Shame that I speak of. Because I was raised by my mother for the most part, if she saw me frustrated with my progress and starting to have to make sacrifices…. Well, she’d cut my motivation off at the knees. I doubt she knew what she was doing, but this shit is scary for how often you hear it in the mass media and how subtly invasive it is into a young man’s mindset.
Don’t worry sweetie, I’m sure you’ll achieve whatever you were meant to
Don’t hurt yourself trying too hard
Don’t stress about not being the best. It’s all about having fun.
Well everyone gets a trophy
I’ll love you even if you lose
Why don’t you take a break and go have fun outside?
If you’re feeling so miserable, you can call in sick/skip practice/whatever
You’ll find what you need in life. It will just happen and make itself apparent
You’re so intelligent and talented! Everything just comes naturally to you! Why stress about what doesn’t?
Don’t worry about what others can do. Just ignore them and play the game
The underlying theme here is that each of these comments downplays the competition boys thrive on. They all strive to cushion the pain of possible failure, but in so doing assume failure will happen or subtly imply it. They encourage a “no pain” strategy towards life and improvement that simply doesn’t work in reality.
Much like how women assume love will ‘just happen’, most women in today’s society seem to raise their boys to believe that careers, talents, schoolwork, and success will ‘just happen’ as well. Then when it doesn’t the boys check out and move onto the next subject or do just enough to continue getting the praise they’re accustomed to without getting booted out of the team/program/school/relationship.
I know that this is what happened with me. Dear lord, just look at that list of activities I was a part of – all of which I did moderately well at until I got too frustrated and moved on to another area, following the path of least resistance.
I went from that, to this:
I went to grad school and continued doing the same with under grads. Things I would have thought before I shouldn’t have been able to do at all. Let alone morally done. Sex in public places. Demanding satisfaction.
I went from a place of shame, where I was paralyzed and unable to change, to one where I demanded change. Both from myself and those around me.
Examples from other men:
Here’s an example from Ashur’s Road:
I stagnated there for a while because I assumed that the SMP environment was what it was, and that it was like a current that swept us along leaving pre-ordained winners and losers. I just assumed some men were carried along down the SMP river, while others were dashed against the rocks.
This early reading was very useful, and I credit the MGTOW guys among other sources for showing me the rocks, explaining how to avoid some of them, and showing me why I was getting banged up so badly.
Fast-forward a few years, and a friend of mine tells me he was reading a book called “The Game.” I fully intended to read it, but still haven’t. Maybe someday. But while reading up about the book, I found my way to the Manosphere, and ultimately its center of gravity: The Chateau.
The red pill is dispensed all over the Manosphere using everything from soft-sell to hard-sell. At the Chateau, however, the red pill is already dissolved into the cocktails they serve – it’s like taking a truth-roofie. It affects you before you even realize you’ve ingested it.
I don’t remember the first post I read there, but I remember the second – the Sixteen Commandments of Poon. After smacking into the SMP river rocks for years, Sixteen Commandments was my first swimming lesson. The Chateau gave me permission to see the world for what it really was, call it as such, and showed me what I could do about it.
From Mentu’s Road:
As stupid as it sounds, I honestly had no idea that I could break up with a girlfriend. Go ahead and laugh if you will, but with my hand on a stack of Bibles I swear to God I was completely unaware that I could bounce a bitch for stepping out of line. Though I never White Knighted or became a continuous softsoap pink tea and lemonade beta, my principles led me to love my girlfriend as Christ loved the church. Too often I crawled up on the relationship cross and said “Father, forgive her, for she knows not what she does.” That statement is only Alpha if you say it while you’re dying for the sins of all mankind. If you’re saying it while listening to a woman bitch about you leaving the toilet seat up in your own goddamn apartment, well, that’s the definition of a beta moment.
Can you imagine what torture it was for me to be way too Alpha to put up with a woman’s shit, but still feeling the need to “work it out” no matter what? My beta tendency to keep a relationship together at almost any cost was not born of a silly Disney love story or some beta fear that I’d be alone forever – it was out of a sheer sense of Christian duty instilled in me since birth. Once my girlfriend of three loooonnng years realized her chances of being tossed out on her little princess ass was nil, she punished me for taking the excitement of the unknown, the potential drama, and the fantasy of someday embracing her hypergamous nature away from her.
One day as I was navigating yet another quarrel with my girlfriend of three loooonnng years, I decided to put an end to the argument by being my usual Alpha dick self.
From Shame to Guilt
In these three examples Ashur, Mentu, and myself all appear to have undergone a change. Instead of being ashamed of who we were and what our actions said of us we flipped to a script where we felt guilty about our actions.
Thus we changed our actions
Thus we changed our results
Thus we found satisfaction
An Ongoing Process
Until now, the mindset switch from one stuck in a trap of Shame about myself to one of Change and guilt over my actions was an unconscious one. I wasn’t even aware it had happened at any of those points in my life, let alone how to duplicate it and make it a constant state of mind. One must be aware of how one thinks and feels in order to control how one thinks and feels.
Pickup has a similar type of term called ‘state control’. Namely, that you learn how to control and adjust your energy levels to match the situation. It’s a shallow term and process, even if hard to learn, but I’m going to attempt to expand this in my own personal life to encompass whether I am feeling shame at who I am for my actions; rather than the healthy response of feeling guilty. The first will get me stuck, the second will allow me to move forward in a positive and intelligent way to find satisfaction in life.
This new found awareness has also been illuminating to show me that, for the last month, I had slipped back into a state of shame based reactions. I know that I and others have talked about slipping back into “beta moments” in the past. Sometimes with women, sometimes with a diet, sometimes with health, fashion, career, or other areas. I’m sure I’ll continue to slip – breaking out of a shame based mindset will be painful and hard.
I’m also fairly confident in saying that I will have to review many of my actions in the last year and a half to examine whether the effort I put into them went into an image of the man I am as opposed to the actual man I want to become.
One is healthy
One is not.
I will see if the simple act of knowing the difference will self correct the energy to an extent, or whether I will have to put forth additional energy to correct myself onto the path I want to take. Being the man I want to become, instead of merely being an image of it, will be worth going back and putting forth the extra effort.
As Always, I’ll keep you updated.