My New Favourite Blog

I recently discovered Game for Omegas, and it immediately became required reading – I’ve even gone through all the archives. It’s written by a self-described “Omega” (i.e. low-status man) and while some details are withheld on grounds of privacy, the blog is brutally honest, dealing with sexual dysfunction, social anxiety, and general marginalisation. The author also writes with stunning perspicacity about relationships. For example, in perhaps his best post, Dopamine vs Oxytocin, he writes:

Alpha males don’t want support in a relationship because they don’t need it. They are dominant and in control and have comfort and security because of that; they want fun, pleasure and novelty. Women in general do not want much support in a relationship; the world is a much kinder and safer place for women than for men. They get emotional support from their girlfriends and female relatives, and can usually at least get by with the jobs they have. They also want fun, pleasure and novelty. Sounds like a good match right? The one problem with this is that for the alpha male novelty means multiple and new women. Plenty of women won’t even mind the multiple part; they just don’t like the new part, as in being dumped for new women.

Lower status males will to various degrees look for emotional shelter in a relationship, as they are taking more of a beating in the world. Women who would provide emotional support to a female friend or relative might do this to some extent for a male partner, but to a lesser extent….

Women don’t want nice [not] because they are evil, or because they don’t need it, but because that is not primarily what they want from a man.

Ouch.

What’s great about the blog is that it’s highly rational – this is a man who clearly has a lot of emotional trouble, but doesn’t let it overtake his analysis. His advice is well-thought-out, but he recognises its limits – he’s not saying there are any easy answers, just small and incremental improvements. What’s particularly brilliant is his avoidance of the primitive evo-psych so prevalent among those who write about “Game” – instead is his focus on learned behaviour.

From my own perspective, I can relate to a lot of this. One of the most important things I learned in my battle with depression is that it’s a learned behaviour, and it may even be adaptive (i.e. evolutionarily “useful”). It was really transformative to be told no, your brain isn’t “crazy,” you’ve reacted perfectly rationally to an unfavourable environment, but some of those behaviours really aren’t helping, so let’s try and fix them.

I’m not sure if it’s objectively right to call me an omega – depends a lot on context. But certainly that is the way I view myself. The truth is that I’ve never much valued things like “status.” I vividly remember being asked aged 12 (I forget the context) whether I’d rather be liked or feared, and I immediately responded I’d rather be feared. This wasn’t a serial-killer thing, it’s just that I couldn’t see what being liked would get me. Being feared seemed fairly useful – I’d recently read LoTR, where being feared had helped Sauron – whereas it seemed harder to translate being liked into money or power. The idea that people would want to be liked just for its own sake never occurred to me. And honestly I still need to remind myself from time to time that most people want to be popular and liked, it just seems so strange to me, although I now have a greater appreciation of how useful it is to be liked.

What makes me less omega is that I can be pretty high-functioning when I make the effort. But without that effort, I’m definitely in the omega trenches. I shall definitely be keeping up with that blog in the future!

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Thanks for your kind words. I don’t talk much about evo psych not because I think it’s wrong, but because the subject is overemphasized and done to death by gamers.

    In “When I Say No I Feel Guilty” the author talks about depression as being an evolutionary adaption to bad circumstances- for example lack of food or winter. If there is a lack of resources that is temporary and outside of your control, it makes sense to sort of shut down for awhile until things improve. Depression is found more among people from cold climates so this may well be the case.

    Depression is pretty difficult to deal with. I think the drugs probably hurt more than they help unless somebody is a danger to themselves. Exercise and pleasurable activities are the best thing.

    Reply

  2. Posted by I am not... on February 27, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Thanks for commenting.

    To be clear – I wasn’t saying evo-psych is “wrong.” Just that it is emphasised in a very primitive way among most “Game” writing. I think the way you talk about adaptive behaviour is a lot more useful.

    In terms of depression, I found that drugs could be a kick-start but in the long run they fade out. They also have serious side-effects. Exercise and pleasurable activities are great, but when someone is severely depressed, almost nothing is pleasurable and they cannot be motivated to do exercise. The advantage of drugs is that hopefully they improve the mood to the point where you can start doing those behaviours.

    Reply

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