Life of Liz

A Question for Men

In Authentic Life, Goal, Red Pill on April 12, 2013 at 6:30 am

I love seeing life through post red pill glasses.  For example, I recently helped chaperon a field trip for my 6th grade daughter.  In all, 75 kids, mostly all 12 years of age.  The trip required a bus trip into the city, which meant an hour each direction so I was able to spend some quality time and gain a bird’s eye view of their interactions.  Here are some things I observed:

Jonathan, a twin was the first boy to catch my attention.  He’s is easily shorter than most, but what he lacks in height he made up for in confidence.    This kid was equally charming, yet respectful to adults and up for anything and playful with both boys and girls. In fact, while we were waiting for the buses to come back for our return trip he took a dare and danced to his iPhone, pretending to be a street performer.   That held the attention of girls that were easy going and cute – but eye rolls from another group of girls that were pretty, but awkward.  He could also rattle off upcoming games for our local MLB teams, how the local NBA team would fare in the playoffs and why he thinks the Kings should remain in Sacramento so it appeared he also had a niche within the boys club.  And I noticed less confident boys navigating towards him, trying to appear as though they were in his group.  I didn’t know boys did that!

How will he fare as he gets older?

Will he jump at the chance to become tied to a girlfriend and let her rule his life? If she breaks his heart will he recover?  If he doesn’t get taller (and the other boys do) will it affect his confidence?  Or will he date many girls through out high school and graduate with his confidence through the roof?  By the way, his twin brother doesn’t have the same charisma and also seems introverted – but doesn’t cower to his more outgoing twin.

Boy Group:  Not very well defined, but probably 10-15 that comprised the core. For the most part they were able to completely entertain themselves without involving the girls.  However, I soon noticed Girl Group #2 was always near by and watching or interacting with the boys.  The girls came to them.  Will this change in high school?  I’ve read a lot of manosphere blogs that speak to the toll high school can take on a boys self confidence so I am wondering if most boys possess self confidence prior to high school and if they do, what happens when they get into high school?  As a side note, it seemed the core 10-15 boys were confident and comfortable and unlike a girls’ group I did not perceive any power struggles or one upping behavior.

Girl Group #1:  A small exclusive group (less than 12) that was made up of  pretty, but somewhat awkward girls that seemed to serve the purpose of making the other kids feel self conscience.  At first I assumed this was the ‘popular’ group, but upon a second glance I didn’t know.  They didn’t smile much; they played on their phones and looked around to see who may have been noticing them.  They seemed to understand (at 12!) how to dress for boys.  Honestly, they appeared bored with life already.  Later on my daughter confirmed they were the ‘popular’ group … but for how long is my question.  In high school will their looks be enough to attract the boys?   Do 14-17 year old boys care about more than appearances?

Girl Group #2:  Larger and less well defined, made up of easy going ‘cute’ girls at first glance and seemed to be the up and coming group.  That is until I put on my Red Pill glasses and spied mostly short hair, androgynous dress and very little femininity.    If this group figures out how to be girls they could go far because I perceived they made the boys feel comfortable and they were fun to be around and could be prettier with longer hair and more girlie attire.

My daughter is in Group 2, although she does have long hair.  But I understand raising daughters.  I’ll keep finding creative ways to nurture her femininity so that hopefully she’ll receive some positive feedback which will set her up for success in 5-10 years.

My son though is an entirely different animal!  So men, if you were able to go back to middle school and then re-do high school what would you do differently?  How would you make that time of your life better?

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  1. That depends. Would I be going back in time with complete knowledge of how the stock market has moved? In that case, I could just buy shares of Microsoft…

    In terms of personal development, I would acquire more practical knowledge of small businesses. I would get a job in a computer store, for example, instead of being mostly jobless. I would learn about the rudiments of accounting and law in high school, back when they might have me some good.

    I would save my pennies and spend my savings on decent computer hardware. I would become an IT expert in high school instead of after college.

    I would have taken more college classes instead of slacking off during high school. (In real life, I took a few college classes because my high school didn’t offer any advanced classes. But mostly I was a slacker.)

    I would not join that garage band. I would ignore music and focus on preparing for college. (In real life, I spent too much time on music, and it went nowhere.)

    I would try to get some practical knowledge of civil engineering from the civil engineer who was a friend of the family. (In real life, we never talked about his work.)

    I would skip all the Dungeons and Dragons silliness and make friends with overachievers. (In real life, I made friends with D&D geeks.)

  2. 1. Remember that 5 years after high school I’ll never see most of these people again.
    2. Due to point #1 most of these people don’t matter to me
    3. Their opinion of me does not matter. I will not care what they think of me.
    4. Pay more attention to things that matter
    5. Take more risks while you can. (Risk here is defined as trying something and failing not “hey y’all watch this” crap)
    6. Ask her out if she says no, it’s not the end of the world. Forget about her and move on
    7. Work first, play afterwards
    8. Save more money
    9. Spend more time with your Dad and your brothers
    10. Take responsibility for yourself.

  3. I’d get into more fights. My own beta-tude was cast and set in concrete by a sharp desire to avoid physical pain. Accordingly, I have spent my life as a greater beta.

    • Thanks Lamont – hard for me to agree that my adorable little boy should subject himself to physical pain .. but that’s probably b/c I am a female lol!

  4. Another thing, and perhaps the most important of all, for your son’s teen years: Instill a mastery/learning (as opposed to performance) goal orientation and growth (as opposed to fixed) mindset.

  5. My memory with pre-teen life is that we were just boys and friends were just friends. There was bullying and being picked on, pranks, fights, and not everyone was friends with everyone, but there was no social order among the boys. No grudges. It was innocent. Then puberty changed everything.

    There is personal carry-over from age 12 to teenage years, or middle school to high school. But that’s minor in comparison to how the game changes entirely with puberty. Say, at age 13. The game of boyhood ends. The game of manhood begins. The before/after is stark. The boy changes. His relationships with adults change. His male peers and friends change. Chums suddenly become remote and spend their time with others. Friends turn into different people and, more, try hard to be different. Cliques and a social order form. Girls change (and how!). With no announcement the game has changed, the dynamics of his whole social environment changes. The standards of social judgement and long-term expectations (eg, college) change and expand.

    My advice:

    Before your son and his peers hit puberty, it’s fine for him to be a boy. Teach him what you have to teach him. When puberty begins, though, it’s best for him and you to recognize, understand, adapt, and actively take on the changed game as soon as possible.

    Late starters in the game of manhood, even in their early teens, fall behind. A lot of social development occurs rapidly in the teenage window. A lot of it is relative to peers. They can catch up to their peers, but it gets harder and more discouraging over time. If they start the game late, they may be whole steps behind their peers by the time they wake up to the deficit. Their compensation strategies, such as withdrawing from the game altogether, may be unhealthy and lead to long-term compounding downstream harms. It’s just best not to fall behind at the starting line in the game of manhodd.

    You should pay attention that your son hits his developmental milestones on time, especially with dating girls. As soon as you realize he’s interested in girls, the best thing you can do for him is to encourage him – even push him if he’s shy – to ask girls out. This is where early (teen-appropriate) red pill would be useful to minimize Oneitis, pedestalization, and beta orbiter behavior that might him hinder his development. If he’s a natural alpha, great. He’ll be on his way. If he’s a romantic idealist who insists on starting beta, the sooner he encounters beta pitfalls with girls, the sooner you can help steer him to a healthy alpha state.

    Emphasis again: As soon as you know he’s interested in girls, if he’s yet too shy and scared to ask girls out, pressure him to ask girls out ASAP. Age 13 is not too early to start dating even if they’re only simple kid, antiseptic, chaperoned dates. The sooner he gets over the hump, the better. Let him know if he likes a girl, the right thing to do is ask her out, the sooner the better. Let him know Oneitis is bad, and if waits for the perfect moment to ask out his crush, he will only be wasting developmental time he can’t afford to waste. If she says no, he should move on. Let him know that rejection is normal and okay. Rather than be discouraged, he should improve his game and go to the next girl.

    Generally, your son should compete (win or lose), build up his physical fitness and body control, and gain advanced skills. He should take (calculated) risks, go outside his comfort zone, and do his best to succeed while also embracing difficulty, setbacks, and failures as teaching tools. While useful skills are best, the difficulty of acquisition is more important than the particular skills. If he can gain tangible competitive prize/recognition (sports, music, dance, theater, science, math, debate, etc) and hierarchical ranks (team captain, Eagle scout, newspaper editor, etc), that will be good for him.

    Like milestones, explicit rites of passage matter for young men.

    As far as particular skills, he should learn traditional men’s skills like hunting, survival/camping, fighting (boxing, martial arts, wrestling, etc), fixing things, and building things. I also recommend he invests in math, music (instrument), and dance, even if he’s not naturally inclined. Many boys shy away from dance and/or theater because of the public judgement and homosexual implications, but they provide useful skills.

    Hope that helps.

    • Great response Eric. I couldn’t agree more. I was one of those who somewhat suffered as a late bloomer and my dad wasn’t exactly hands on or even knowledgable about showing me the ropes.

      • Thanks. This is a sensitive topic for me because I’ve entered my mid-late 30s now, haven’t ‘bloomed’, and my life has completely stalled. I’m a cautionary tale. With my sun setting, the manosphere with the red pill and positive masculinity is a last-chance grasp at a life preserver to make my peace, with MGTOW if nothing else.

        I was raised by a single mom (widowed) who did her best but didn’t know how to train a man. She emphasized school and manners, and figured the rest would take care of itself. Her social advice has been counterproductive. (Note: I don’t blame my mom. She rallied admirably from my father’s death to provide for us. Like I said, she did her best.)

        My pre-teen socialization was normal enough. But I’m introverted and anxious, and when the game changed to manhood and became alien, I withdrew from it. I failed to appreciate the underlying long-view purpose of the behaviors and pursuits by other boys my age. They weren’t equally valid personal choices nor infringements on individual identity, but rather necessary basic developmental processes. My learning manhood fell behind at the start, the deficit has compounded, and I’ve fallen further behind over time. I’m literally retarded.

        Milestones and rites of passage are necessary for men, and it’s important to get them right at the proper age. Perhaps some boys can pursue them intuitively, but other boys need to be guided actively and pushed to achieve them.

      • Thank you Eric for your thoughtful suggestions.

        Before adopting a red pill worldview – I would have parented just like your mom b/c that makes sense to a woman (be nice, be a gentleman and everything will fall into place). I am so thankful that my husband and I see things so differently now and have started paying attention to ways we can prepare our son to have a successful adult life.

        It is by educating ourselves that we’ll be in a better position to help him … especially since he has 6 pretty dominate older sisters! My husband read your suggestions and thought they were spot on.

        AMD – thanks for your comments too. Henry doesn’t love things like camping/ect. but understands the need to impart that knowledge to our son.

      • Your son’s game of manhood is going to be Henry’s game, too. Speaking as someone who grew up missing his father, I believe a core, essential part of every son’s manhood is reserved for his father to shape. Or neglect. (If the father is missing, maybe a surrogate can fill in. I don’t know. I didn’t have either.)

        Even if your son’s teen years are blessed with positive male role models (teachers, coaches, scoutmasters, etc), only one man in his life is directly connected to him by their Y chromosome. When your son flips from the game of boyhood to the game of manhood, his father-son relationship should be paramount. If your son is doing it right in HS, his life will be busy with life-skills-building activities, but none of them should have priority over quality time with his father. Of course, respecting your son’s other activities means Henry will have to schedule their time together wisely with the understanding that he may need to rearrange his activities to ensure regular and sufficient quality time with his son.

        You and Henry can set the stage before your son hits puberty, but Henry will only get about 5 years while puberty is rewiring your son’s brain and body to teach him to be a man. And, unless your family has a Duggar-style life, Henry will only get a fraction of that time with your son while school and the rest of society is busy plugging him into the Matrix. Their father-son time, limited by everything else, should be top priority and serious business – foundation-setting, core-building, not-a-moment-wasted Army Basic Training serious.

        Done right, Henry should be instilling positive masculine fundamentals your son can use to set his own course, not defining your son’s life for him. Where I live, there’s a radio ad about retirement in which an older man talks about his father teaching him everything about construction, skills he still possesses. However, the older man didn’t follow his father into construction; instead, he pursued his life’s passion, ballet. Does his ballet career mean that his father’s construction-based teachings were wasted? Not at all. The older man makes clear that he cherishes everything his father taught him and makes use of the construction skills. More importantly, the life lessons he learned from his father in their time together laid the foundation for his success in life.

      • Add: While rites of passage outside the family are necessary, fathers can train their sons with their own custom-designed rites of passage, too.

  6. I was a late bloomer and always fairly awkward and small for my age. If I could do it again, I would worry less about trying to fit in and probably take a larger interest in lifting weights than I did (and wish books like Starting Strength were around when I was young). I also wish I learned to play guitar as a junior high kid instead of as an adult. I look back on that time with neutral reflection, wasn’t great, wasn’t terrible. Despite my awkwardness and self consciousness, I still had a few girlfriends and a few good friends and lots of acquaintances. I am curious to see our kids in that type of environment you describe, on the cusp of puberty and all the social aspects that start to happen at that age.

    • Thanks for the insight – all of it makes sense. It is funny to watch their interactions develop. We parented our older girls much differently since we saw the world differently. But now we encourage the girls to be feminine and to become comfortable around boys (at ease); we probably were encouraging our older girls to compete with boys (although I didn’t realize it at the time) and I never thought about the end game … to be a happily married wife and mother. For our son we really want to make sure he can be a boy and withstand the onslaught of “boys are bad” once he gets a little older.

      • Agree completely. It’s interesting to see how the kids are picking up on our changing attitudes towards societal “norms” at ages 5 and 7. Our daughter (7) is growing her hair long, like mom, and our son says girls are pretty with long hair and dresses. We’re doing our best to allow our son to be a boy, and hope to give him the mechanisms and support him to deal with the feminized school environment. Also, we’re trying to instill clear cut dynamics in our house, with the whole “Captain, First Officer” type model as an example for when they get older. I hope to be able to provide my son with the “secrets” of the red pill world that I was never given, and we’ve already started a “guys weekend” camping trip where I hope to bond and share without the women as he get’s older. Thanks for sharing, I like seeing this kind of stuff with kids coming of age.

      • I think it was Stringray who suggested letting your young son ‘game’ you in situations that don’t really matter. It gives him confidence and builds up his natural game. I have started doing this (which would have never occurred to me!) and he is really running with the encouragement. Yesterday he asked for another cookie and I said no. His response? “well Mommy men need to eat a lot so they can develop their muscles. I am a man and need another cookie” … hmmm, should I be scared, lol?

  7. >So men, if you were able to go back to middle school and then re-do high school what would you do differently?

    graduate (very) early, start various and concurrent enterprises, retire at age 22, then maybe enroll at college to pass the time and wife hunt.

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