I’ve been noticing a sort of alter ego, or at least a big mood change that happens early into a set at the gym.
I get pumped up. Sometimes after a set of reps I’ll barely be able to control myself from dancing up and down, Rocky style. So I actually do that. A few days ago I was so hyped up that I actually hop-skipped down the aisle towards the exit as the gym was closing.
I also get a bit competitive. I have to consciously try to reign this in. One guy handled me perfectly.
I’ll explain by remembering how I handled a few characters when I was a teenager.
Character one was a big a bit dumb bully. Eveyoneone was terrified of him, which is what he was aiming for. But everytime he tried to terrorize me I just pretented that he was just being a normal cool and chill nice guy. I acted completely unafraid and unintimidated, and respected him as a person.
So after a while the bully would only briefly test me, then laugh it off, and treat me as a peer.
Another guy was the short guy with short guy syndrome. It was a bit similar. He was full of bluster, but I saw through it and genuinely was not intimidated.
You can behave this way towards barking dogs, by the way. Or bears, from what I’ve seen on T.V. about the bear man. And I’ve heard that this is how you are supposed to deal with semi-domesticated wolves. When they snarl and get aggressive, you don’t do a dominance play on them, you just say “buh”, and look sideways, signalling that you don’t take their threat at all seriously. Yet somehow you still take them seriously. It’s a difficult juxtaposition to explain.
So anyway, this one guy at the gym had to deal with me when I was in my pumped up and competitive state. When I see very big guys near the equipment I’m using, sometimes I’ll overstep boundaries and invite them to try to do what I’m doing. I know. It’s a dick move. Call it short guy syndrome. I’m small, and want to prove myself, publicly, against the huge monster men. I’m slightly offended at their size, and want to pick a fight.
The guy handled it perfectly, with a sort of “buh”. He said sure. Was not at all psychologically intimidated by me. Laughingly moved the butterfly cable weights way down to 60 kilos, and did a simple 10 reps (against my well over 100 of variously shaped reps of a much higher weight.) Then he cheerfully waved at the equipment to let me have my turn.
That really calmed me down. I got my narcissistic supply. We were on the same level, the same footing. He wasn’t beaten down, which was even better. As he handed off the equipment to me with did an imperceptible bro-chin-nod to each other. Actually we did it with our eyes. He actually wound up putting me in my place, while at the same time humanizing me and acknowledging and accepting me. Game acknowledged – well done sir. Mini fist bump with the eyes.
This contrasts starkly with what happened yesterday. A guy with a gamma mindset berated me for using the equipment that he was just about to use. He said I should pay attention and ask people if they are finished with it. Before giving me a chance to let him use it and apologize, he briskly walked away.
Bad social move. I called out to him to get in my say, but he pretended not to hear me, so I shouted louder and louder. Hey, hey HEY! Then walked up to him, apologized in a very loud room filling voice “I’m sorry for my mistake, please forgive me!” He is Indonesian so my public apology HAD to be accepted, and has the paradoxical effect of making him look small and petty. Which he was deliberately being.
It was pretty obvious to me that he was just angry at me really because when I work out I work out many times harder than anyone else and am many times stronger. I sometimes have to breathe very loudly. It looks showy. People get bitter at show offs, especially when their girlfriend is in the room. And his girlfriend was in the room and actually is a big fan of mine.
So I tried to publicly shake his hand, and patted him on the shoulder, but he snarled at me and was very reticent to touch my hand. Later I went outside to the boxing bag for 10 minutes, then came back to him standing beside his bemused girlfriend (who was trying to calmly explain to him that his social assessment was a bit off) and privately apologized again and said that I should have been more careful and attentive to who was using the equipment. Again with the snarl. He really, REALLY didn’t want to be friends.
It wasn’t about the equipment. He just thought it was. Sort of like a child who “hates” a girl, but really has a crush on her. Explain that to the child, and he’ll think you are nuts. My Dad tried to explain that to me about a girl I “hated” when I was 7 years old. He said that one day I’d understand. I thought he was nuts.
When you are not in touch with your emotions, things like that happen.
So I think we need to recognize that getting physically pumped up is a kind of drug; a very strong drug. It can make big emotional and psychosomatic changes in a guy, very fast. Not quite as much as confronting another man in a fight, but along the spectrum towards that. Not all guys have that happen to them, but if you suspect a guy is in that state, it’s not a good idea to pull a passive aggressive dick-move at him, as he will be fucking fierce and fearless. He owns the fucking gym. It’s a physical thing. Even as his left brain analytically tries to moderate his actions, his limbic system is primal, and he is the incredible hulk, trying to wear a business suit.
People react differently to my weird high weight high rep showboating sets. Some guys know my name and want to gain some of my assumed higher status by saying hello when they meet me. Another guy is just confused, jealous, and passive aggressive. The other day did about 60 reps of a full stack of forearm pull downs, and just as I was finishing up, he comes up with his camera phone and TELLS me to keep going so that he can record it. I stop and he TELLS me to do it again. I pantomime my heart going very fast (I don’t think he speaks English) and say no again. And he again TELLS me to do it again, so that he can record it.
The next time I came to the gym I saw him give a barely contained gamma snarl at me after I looked up from finishing a long disco-dance-and-boxing butterfly set.
Passive aggressive, and jealous, and angry, and has no idea how to think about his own emotions. Is he admiring me, when he tries to video record me? Treating me like a dancing monkey? Or trying to make me smaller than him BECAUSE I’m bigger than him. “Those stupid jocks!”
The attentive long term reader may have noticed that this post is a little bit code for dissing cluster A schizoid/paranoid personality disorder.
Personality disorders are developmental delays. They look very much like the behaviors of a child, however with the added coping mechanism of a clever adult brain. So you get savant like emotional manipulation out of gas-lighting cluster B’s.
Cluster A’s are famous for projecting out their inability to know what they are truly feeling onto others and society, and this has the strange hypnotic power of building communities of betas.
These communities of Betas might look like average dogmatic Church goers. Nietzsche criticized the church going mentality with his idea of what he calls the slave morality. Heavy on the entitlement and sneering at the powerful at every safe opportunity, while also denying their own very real and very strong will to power. Of course communist power sharing IS a power grab, an OVERT display of the exact same will to power that those they would take power from already succeeded at, through more individualized (or out group power grab) means.
Watch out for these cluster A’s. Learn what is projection and the schizoid/paranoid dismissive/avoid attachment style. These people are not able to know what they feel, and behave like children, yet because they are adults they can be charismatic children. They try to suck you into their slave morality, to form a group. Don’t fall for it.
Don’t fall for it because if you do you’ll never be able to be both dominant and sensitive, and therefore never be adored and adoring.
You need to be able to fully feel that dominant energy coursing through your body. Without apology.
AND you need to be a musician and lover and ultimately sensitive.
A schizoid can never properly do either, and can never properly lead a group. His pathology is baked into his personality and echoes and reverberates into a sick and twisted echo chamber cult-community of curated followers.