Extroverts Vs. Introverts: Survival of the Fittest

Leads To: Extreme Competition Reduces Adaptability

Why is extroversion better?

The answer is common sense for the extrovert.  When we look at the world around us, extroverts are in demand, have higher status, are the life of the party, get what they want.  In the competitive jungle of society the fittest survive.  The extroverts who fight their way to the top are clearly the fittest, the introvert who can’t even find friends or make contacts with powerful people is a clear loser of the game.   Extroverts understand ‘fitness’ as one football team eliminating another from the playoffs, one worker getting that promotion over another.  Extrovert fitness is the concept that one achieves survival in direct competition by having greater prowess and determination than one’s rivals.  “May the best man win.”

The truth, however, is that ‘fitness’ is a minimalist proposition.  In nature, those creatures that reproduce the most for as little cost as possible win.  This often doesn’t mean being competitive in any way that occurs to Loud people.  After all, one can hardly imagine a stadium full of fans screaming fanatically for a team called the ‘dodos.’  Yet dodos were very much ‘fit’ until sudden change came along.  Their lack of wing development and their inability to move quickly were desirable traits because it costs a lot of energy to grow strong wings or speedy legs.  Many people who do well in social competition look down their noses at the welfare parents who are losing the game.  These parents may be at the bottom of the social scale, but they are the most biologically fit in a post-industrial society.  They produce the most offspring for as little effort as possible.  They have a model of survival in which they don’t have to be smart, skilled, fast, or strong to reproduce.  Thus, they are the truly efficient survivors who exemplify fitness.  The mighty animals and competitive strength that extroverts love to idolize develop among the species always as a last resort when all the cheapskate strategies have failed.

I’ve just discussed the issue in terms of biological fitness when the extrovert is worried about social fitness, but the same principles apply.  In human society, just as in nature, the more energy one invests, the higher the stakes and the higher the return one’s effort must yield just to break even.  Fighting the way to the top of human society takes huge amounts of talent, energy, and risk.  Just being a homeowner competing with the Joneses across the street can make for a nervewracking existence.  Being a winner of human society is inherently difficult but what is the prize that makes all the strain and stress worthwhile?  In industrialized society it isn’t about being able to produce more offspring than other people.  On the contrary many great social winners have few if any children.  Indeed some are so busy striving for social fitness that their biological fitness is compromised.  If being the ‘fittest’ in the social sense isn’t about reproducing what then is the goal?

The end objectives obviously are recognition, adulation, power, wealth, desirable mates…  But why have all of these?  Any extrovert could consult their common sense and say that these are all very nice to have.  They’re things that make us feel good.  Not having all these things can make life horrible.  It makes us feel bad.

So we could succinctly say that the goal is an enjoyable life or simply happiness.  Yet being socially fit doesn’t even necessarily yield happiness.  Lots of people at the top suffer under the pressure of the huge expectations that come with their station and can never easily trust anyone precisely because of the high rank they’ve worked so hard for.

Surely, if happiness is the basic end goal, there has to be a more efficient, more reliable way of getting there than going down the long, treacherous path towards social fitness.  If we were to strip away the complex layers of this problem, we eventually reduce down to the self.  Certainly by focusing on this much smaller, much more immediately controllable problem we can arrive at the goal both more reliably and more efficiently.   Achieving the overall goal through these means could be considered more ‘fit’ than the whole notion of a competitive system of social fitness.  It is no coincidence that self-cultivation is the domain of the introvert.

Competing socially in an attempt to squeeze some happiness out of existence is a rather illogical approach, but it’s what we’re taught and what we’re pressured into doing all through our lives.  Only by stopping and thinking about our existence do we realize that complete devotion to the orthodoxy won’t necessarily fulfill any of our desires.

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Extrovert Success and the Introvert

What kind of life in society is considered a success?  In obituaries we see ‘was a great person/parent’ and all kinds of statements, but never do we see ‘This person was successful.  In their time alive, they accomplished all the most important things in life.”

How are we to be successful anyway according to the mass society all around us?  Upon examination it seems nearly impossible.

Even if one has a happy marriage and great relations with all their family members, maybe they have difficulty getting along with their boss at work because of all the time spent with loved ones instead of work.

Even if one does great at work and is the boss’s favorite, maybe they’re workaholics distant from their spouse and family.  They’ve done well at the office because they put in those necessary extra hours.

One area of excellence excludes another in a competitive environment and yet extrovert ‘success’ requires excelling in every one of them.

The result is a society of illusion where everyone strives to appear to have the best of everything in their lives.  One’s most publicly visible assets, a house and car are naturally the most important means of deception.

Though extroverts try to wake introverts up to ‘reality,’ they in fact live in a fairy tale land of their own making where every family has its own castle and magic carpet.  The price of illusion is a lifetime of servitude to the image they wish to project.  Never having known anything else, they are driven by vague notions of ‘success’ that they thrust on everyone around them in turn.  They devote themselves entirely and without question, but do they ever really reach ‘success?’

Many introverts out of desperation go looking for ways to become more extroverted, but would ‘success’ in converting necessarily be salvation.  Even if one got more resources and recognition by becoming extroverted would one have eliminated the ability to experience happiness from these gains?  Would one end up lost in the maze of social comparisons, only happy or sad as others seem worse or better off?

To feel anything other than unfulfillment as an extrovert, one must hurry to have(or the appearance of having) a steady and loving marriage/relationship, a steady, highly paid, emotionally fulfilling job, a house, cars, an active social life, a fulfilling family life, a solid benefits and retirement package, above average, well-behaved children.

These criteria might even sound fairly ordinary but most people never come close to actually achieving them, even if they appear to do so.  It’s difficult to maintain marriage, family, friends, children when working a job that actually pays and provides benefits.  Even if one gets benefits, not many people can spend long enough in a single job to really benefit from them.  Even if one actually has the qualifications and social contacts to get one of these salary jobs, it’s still not enough to really pay for a house and cars, just for the appearance of being able to pay for them.  Even in the best of worlds where someone manages to somehow have all the bases covered, it’s an exhausting, stressful, demanding, noisy life to live.  Even in this best case scenario, this is the bare minimum one must do in the mass Western society before one has permission to be even moderately happy or successful.

In the current social climate, it takes an introvert to step back and realize that real life is by nature messy and imperfect.  That one can’t ‘have it all.’  That succeeding in one thing usually means sacrifice in another.

Once one starts asking questions, the whole idea of extrovert ‘success’ is sadly delusional.  Happiness or sadness is all about expectations.

If one has unrealistic expectations, one can never really end up happy.  Success ends up being a theoretical ideal to which one tries to mold themselves.  Happiness is distant and intangible.

If one has realistic expectations, happiness is fairly easy to come by.  Success lies in making one’s peace with an imperfect, chaotic, transitory life.  Happiness is immediate and obtainable in our everyday lives.

The extrovert path to happiness and success is long, complicated, and comes with no guarantees.

The introverted path allows the possibility of happiness so long as one has clothes to wear, food to eat, and people to bond with.

It all goes back to a fundamental difference.

Loud things are grandiose, convoluted, and bloated

Subtle things are elegant, simple, and minimalistic

Introverts: Denizens of a Social Ghetto

Leads To: Subsistence of the Soul,
The Mark of Cain

When we say the word ghetto, we generally think of rap, thugs, and crime.  What we usually think of  is a modern economic ghetto, a neighborhood where all the poorest people live  and can’t afford to leave.

I would be bold enough to suggest however, that true introverts live in a social ghetto.   We don’t fit in and are forced to live as misfits and outsiders on the margins.  Most extroverts barely even seem to realize that we exist.  We are pushed aside into a separate ‘neighborhood’ where we live out an isolated existence.  Our state of existence is one of social poverty.

Growing up and even into college, I had to fight off resentment whenever extroverts complained about relationships and other forms of social connection I hadn’t even the luxury of aspiring to.   I understood that these people lived in another universe and that there was no way I could hope to make them understand that I had truly lived most of my life at the bare subsistence level.  Even if I could explain my situation to the other person, the response might be bewildered pity or possibly even contempt, but never understanding.  Part of the torture is that I couldn’t even really talk to anyone about my situation.

Over years, a lot of my energy had been focused on merely surviving.  It makes long term planning very difficult for me to this day.  Not long ago, I was bewildered whenever someone asked me questions about marriage, or having children.  That was all so distant as to be completely off my map.  The asker, usually a girl, would see my deer in the headlights look and conclude I was weird or just stupid.  To me, stable social relationships and settling down was a thing that the Accepted liked to talk about.  It had no relevance at all to my life.

Every encounter I had with normal people became akin to a clash of understanding and values sooner or later.  Usually sooner.  Our expectations of life were on different planets.  They were counting on a comfortable life and a family.  I was hoping for survival.  I could very well be in the same economic bracket as the person to whom I was talking yet clearly I was in some way impoverished.  Truly I lived in another place altogether from these normal people, a social ghetto of sorts.

On the internet, I’ve been discovering more and more people who grew up in the same neighborhood that I did and I’m enjoying it very much.

As a final note:

The first ghetto, Il Ghetto, was not an economic ghetto.  It was a holding area in the city of Venice where all the Jews in town were forced to live.  These Jews were often quite economically wealthy, but their social unbelonging led them to experience another, equally oppressive form of poverty.

Introvert Males and the Girl Conundrum

Men with strongly Subtle tendencies typically have acute difficulties in relating to the opposite sex.

Women tend to be  more socially oriented than men and this can be a huge obstacle for the least social of men who are also the least social human beings.

Relating to women is difficult because the highly social ‘girly girl’ is the polar opposite of a Subtle man.  She is a creature of brightness, daylight, and fleeting passions while the Subtle man loves the safety of shadow, anonymity, and long term devotion.

If we envision a visible human spectrum, we could suppose we could find extremes in the infrared and ultraviolet.   The most socially grounded females in the ultraviolet range, the least socially grounded men in the infrared.   Ultraviolet females are a challenging personality for even the most social men when it comes to sustaining relationships, but their tendencies often seem to actually facilitate finding relationships in the first place.  While there is most definitely intense competition amongst females, getting cut out of the gene pool entirely by competitors isn’t a huge concern like it is for men.  An infrared male on the other hand has a huge disadvantage without any section of the female population to match his temperament.  He lacks an asset, an edge possessed by all other males.

It is thus easy for an introvert man to come to the conclusion that he hasn’t the slightest thing in common with women and has very little place for them in his life.

On the other hand, a Subtle man is still a man.  One of his strongest instincts is to desire a woman in his life.  A life without sex and physical affection is difficult and lonely.

When it comes to girls, he is torn between the anger seeping from his lifetime of emotional scar tissue and his annoyingly unkillable hope for intimacy, love, and acceptance.

Thus we have the Girl Conundrum that is the torment of introverted guys everywhere.

Solution #1 – PUA

Many introvert men notice that they have never had success with women and they decide they need to change.  Who do they need to become?  The pickup artists who can seduce girls whenever they want, of course.  The PUA community promises access to what was inaccessible, power instead of helplessness, and even vengeance intead of being trampled underfoot.  All these together form an irresistible formula and indeed many gurus of pickup claim to have once been average frustrated guys with no ‘game.’   Indeed, many outcasts find a home in this place.  This community has lots of philosophy and insight about human nature.  It’s an exciting, stimulating place to be for bright, outcast men.  There’s nothing to lose and no reason not to take as much from women as possible.  After all, every introvert man has seen numerous times from his low ranking position how awfully, how truly condescendingly girls treat anyone they consider beneath them.  He has no reason to offer any mercy or concessions.  He would rather just be himself, but her unfortunately outdated packet of instincts precludes honesty.   Against a lifetime of isolation and struggling for survival at the very bottom, the realpolitik philosophy of pickup makes sense.

Unfortunately it still doesn’t resolve the Girl Conundrum.  Provided someone gets somewhere with PUA tactics, that’s definitely an improvement over isolation, but all the same issues remain.   Reducing women down to a packet of instincts hardly fosters respect for them and yet he still has that desire for love and acceptance with a woman he respects and trusts.  His desires remain in contradiction.  Some introverted guys understandably relegate ‘loving relationships’ to the trash heap of other outright lies and unhelpful advice they’ve been given all their lives.  Their anger is strong, but they would love nothing better than to learn that they’re mistaken.  They remain torn between hate and hope.

I never got into the pickup community, but I definitely read some PUA works and benefited from them.   For some people it takes the almost mechanical pragmatism of these books to awake from the reigning politically correct gender feminist garbage.  It’s potentially a step in the right direction.   Two out of four stars.

Solution #2 – MRA

I didn’t know these guys existed until I looked for them on the internet.  A few years ago, I’d just returned from a foreign country where the girls had been much nicer and I was experiencing severe reverse culture shock in my home country.  Surely someone had noticed that girls here were impossible!  I entered search terms into google, probing for anyone out there who might have had the same thoughts.  To my surprise there was a lively community of men who are tired of the contempt and disrespect that men regularly receive from women and the feminist establishment.  Unsurprisingly, a good portion of these men seem to be introverts, who have seen mostly the very worst of the opposite sex.

For me, MRA writings have done more than any other source to get rid of cultural baggage and put maleness in its proper perspective.  They have a broad focus and explain methodically with statistics how gender relations work in aggregate across entire societies.  The system revealed by their analysis is one of stark injustice that stems from both the facts of biology and social expectations.  MRA writers like to patiently and systematically point out all the ways that women are in fact privileged.  One comes away from such reading with higher confidence and with lesser need to put women on a pedestal.  However, this literature doesn’t endear women to the reader or bring one much closer to a loving relationship.  Girl conundrum unsolved.  Yet it is vital in teaching men how not to be exploited by the opposite sex.  MRA writers provide a plan for independence from women, an end result they persuasively argue will benefit both sexes.  This is not the solution to the problem, but it is most definitely a gateway and enabler.  Four out of four stars.

Solution #3 – Use A Prostitute

Continued in the next post

Introverts, Social Loyalty, and Social Immunity

Builds Upon: Social Immunity
Leads To: The Most Precious Resource: Legitimacy

A Subtle person often grows up an outsider and never really bonds with their birth society.   Not only do we lack commonality with the whole, we might very well also have feelings of resentment after years of complications arising from basic incompatibility.  Such a Subtle person might wonder why on earth they should put their efforts into working hard for the sake of a collective for which they have no affinity.  They see the daily grind and the question is ‘why?’  All that hard work to just to keep it going!  Most people out there seem miserable and drained from the effort.  Should we keep it going?

I’ve written my last posts about the Subtle perspective of social containment zones and coercion throughout the life cycle.  Someone who fits in and is successfully socialized during youth is not going to think in this way.  One who sees themself as a part of  the larger society does not feel they are being coerced.  Because of their group affinity, they are willing to participate in whatever is expected of them.  Because of their deep bond to their group, they could hardly imagine deviating from everything that has defined them since birth.  When a bond is that deep, there is no ‘why?’ to be asked.  One might actually be incapable of conceiving of another social system and perhaps has never encountered one.  When there’s just one way, what else could one do?  Belonging could make them miserable or even get them killed but there quite simply is no other option.  The birth society holds a monopoly on their social loyalty by default.  Good or ill is just a roll of the dice.

For those who have never belonged, involvement with the orthodoxy continues because they have no choice.  They feel helpless, confined, and coerced through all of life.    Worse still, they must suffer silently while surrounded by people who can never understand them.  Everyone has a basic human need to belong somewhere and those who are Incorrect must somehow find ways to live without.  Someone Incorrect must live with the knowledge that they would be crushed beneath social censure if their true nature were discovered.  The necessity of self-concealment makes for a life of loneliness and insecurity.  The nonsensical and irrational aspects of a society that everyone else accepts without question seem glaring errors to one who has never belonged…

Beyond coercion, why should one be loyal to a social organization that has yielded alienation and suffering?

Why should one hesitate to leave it if there were ever a better option?

When one grows up receiving mostly negative reinforcement from social institutions, from authority figures, from one’s parents and peers why be loyal to their ‘reality’?

Why continue a tradition that only brought misery into one’s life?

Why would one ‘contribute to society’ if they weren’t forced to?  Isn’t perpetuating a hostile society against one’s interests?

Although the practical and economic reasons are obvious one might ask on the philosophical level:  On what grounds is a society one is born into by mere accident entitled to one’s labor and loyalty?  Angsty teenagers everywhere have a point when they say “I didn’t choose to be born”  We didn’t choose to be born and yet every one of us is treated as though we signed some kind of contract before we entered the world.  We all get the responsibility without any of the power.

It is important to consider to consider this philosophical level because of the implications.  Since birth is an accident in which we had no part, then our birth society can have no special or legitimate claim on our lives.  Many people rationalize, “I couldn’t have survived without this society, so now I(you) owe it.”  The angsty teenager points out however “I did not ask to exist, I can’t help that I’ve been existed in a form that requires other people for survival, so how can I be held responsible for all the costs my existence has incurred?”  If one must actively choose to take out a loan or use a credit card to be held accountable for a debt, on what does a birth society base its demands for obedience and loyalty?

What it boils down to:  Without the successful acquisition of deep social affinity in one’s early years, only naked coercion remains to enforce one’s compliance and loyalty to a society.  Under such circumstances, it is not only desirable to secede, but ethical.  To continue to bow to tyranny dooms the next generation of Incorrect persons to the same fate.

How does one secede then from a body that is all encompassing?

One does it by using a given society’s resources in one’s own anti-social interests.  To ironically use money, the material substance of social approval and influence to escape the demands of the society.

To carve out a personal domain by achieving Social Immunity is the first step in bringing about a new ‘reality’ that could ultimately incorporate more than one person.  Otherwise, one remains stuck on the same treadmill that seems to define the lives of everyone else.  A treadmill that seems there to keep people occupied and too busy to really think about life until it’s too late.  For a true introvert it seems there must be a better way to live, but the demands of survival leave limited time to think about it.  For an Incorrect person, no treasure is so precious as time to stop and think.  Never until Social Immunity has been achieved can this treasure be harvested without constant interruption and interference.

Social Immunity

Leads To: Breaking the Iron Law:  A Game of Social Arbitrage,
Breaking the Iron Law: Developing Public Resources

In the beginning of life our family/guardians control our lives

A little later, school controls our lives

After school, a boss controls our lives

After retirement, the curators at a ‘senior home’  control our lives

All during that while, a host of peers in our same situation expose us to mass social expectations of what to buy, what to like, how to behave, who to associate with.

Every small child dreams of being a ‘grown up’ but they do not yet understand that they may never have any more control over their lives than they do as an infant.  In fact, they may very well have less.  Small children can go and play with their toys nearly any time they desire.  Adults might be able to play with their toys on Saturdays if they’re lucky.

If we ever find time to stop and think(most of us won’t), the entire social experience seems like a raw deal.  Surely, there’s the possibility of something smarter, something more fulfilling than a life moving slavishly from one containment zone to the next until the day we finally keel over and die.

Anyone who has ever stopped to think has probably imagined Social Immunity, a complete escape from the standard containment zones and the gravitational pull of economic necessity that keeps us within them.

To gain the ability to choose the peers who form our social environment and how we associate with them.

To be able to live life without a stultifying repetitious routine.  To orchestrate a day by one’s desires rather than the schedule of some monolithic organization that can care nothing for the individuals that comprise it.

To be able to enjoy all the wonderful things societies produce without having to give a lifetime of subservience in return.

To view all of the swarming mass of society as if from an airplane.   To have the luxury of being able to regard all desperate human struggles taking place below with a sense of distance and detachment.

Many if not most people would accuse such a dreamer of being fanciful, self indulgent, and selfish because such concepts are antithetical to ‘reality.’

Yet a sense of lack of control over one’s life is one of the greatest sources of emotional turmoil and stress.   People who live under chronic stress experience a significant lowering in life satisfaction and life expectancy.   They have far more illnesses and health problems.   People often point to smoking as one of the deadliest habits, yet it pales next to feelings of helplessness and alienation.  Such feelings drain the human spirit and even the will to live.

I once read of a senior home that experienced a massive drop in the deaths of their residents when they changed one simple thing:

They gave the old people menus from which they could choose their meals instead of simply thrusting standardized trays of food at them.

This one small change gave helpless elderly people a sense of control and purpose in their lives and with it the will to live another day.

Seen in such a way,  is the human craving for Social Immunity greedy and selfish or is it a desperate human hope for the most basic things that make life worth living?

Societies must constantly produce in order to avoid being engulfed by rival societies, but why couldn’t even a small collective of socially immune individuals outcompete a multitude of those who are drained and subjugated?

Introvert Survival: Reducing Your Profile

If you’ve ever seen an oil painting or engraving of two men with dueling pistols, you might have noticed that they have both turned their bodies sideways with their arms tucked behind them so that they might be as small a target as possible.

All too often the Subtle person is in conflict with their society and finds that they are an enormous target. The accepted order has many means of attacking and coercing them. The situation seems all but hopeless.

If one would have any measure of independence from the mass society’s arbitrary standards, it is necessary to reduce your profile.

Avoid the tragedy of the lords

Most people try to appear as high in social status as possible by purchasing the highest social artifacts they can afford. This means buying a huge house, fancy cars, fancy clothes that keep one perpetually in debt. The consumer of today can look at Polynesian cultures that attached social status to gigantic stone wheels or towering ancestor statues and marvel at the absurdity of it all. Yet they remain oblivious that their own culture’s status artifacts are just another version of those very things. All their hoarded belongings are just a Yap stone wheel weighing them down.
For the Loud person, the drive to social competition and fear of social competitors simply become more acute with every dollar earned. The more they earn, the more they must appear as though they earned it. The wealthier they are, the higher the wages they must pay their wealth.
History is filled with kings who taxed their peasants as much as possible. Ironically, such a despot is no longer necessary. Today’s consumers continue to hand over money until the brink of starvation without any person or government coercing them. The mindless tyrant of mass social expectations has become more effective in stripping people of their resources than governments ever were.
Only if one separates from the mass culture can there be any hope of living one’s own life.

Financial liabilities tie you to the whims of society

Once you have mortgages, leases, and a car that depreciates as soon as it leaves the lot, you are committed.
Once these enormous commitments have been taken on, you can’t move anywhere, you can’t quit your job without going broke. You tell people you are ‘making a living’ but in reality you are hanging by a thread. Under such circumstances, you do not have the luxury of self determination. You have to do what the accepted order tells you to do so you can make it to the next paycheck.

The more dependent you are on society to give you money, the more vulnerable you are. High vulnerability makes you a very large, very easy target should you ever transgress.

Establish multiple passive sources of income

Investing in a steady, dependable portfolio and establishing side businesses establishes alternate, independent sources of income.
Money comes from these sources whether your boss likes you or not, whether or not you accidentally pissed off a co-worker at the company party, whether or not you are working for anyone.
The more money that comes for alternate sources, the less leverage society has against you, the smaller the target you present.
The dream is to reach a point where you no longer have to care what anyone thinks.
At this point, you may walk the streets, watching everyone else hurrying to their workplaces for the sake of their survival and realize that you alone of all those thousands have achieved freedom.

This is Social Immunity