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How to lose friends and alienate people

by Agnes a Paris Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 07:17:13 AM EST

Originally title of a brilliant and witty semi-autobiography by Toby Young.
Thought it was a good way to sum up the below the fold principles, which I initially posted on my short-lived personal blog.
I like sharing, reactions, discussion and, no kidding, disagreements, even if I tend to overract when facing a potential conflict, as many of you have experienced. I take this opportunity to apologise and hope for no hard feelings. That's why community matters, and I feared getting dumb for lack of feed back on my blog.

The below principles, or "my very own guide to perfect relationships" are a parody of self help books. Not that I question the purpose of these publications : they can be very helpful, but as Paul Claudel put it "Nothing can be more dangerous than an idea when you only have this single one".
The more ingredients you put into the cooking jar, the more interesting (and, true, potentially explosive) the result will get.
This diary is for you to react and quote positive counter-examples, if you so wish.


So many guides having been published in that respect, I thought I'd share with you my own selection of tricks to make relationships work (to my advantage). This list only partly applies to relationships at the working place, as these are theoretically a pure and perfect trade between competences and money. Things may not be that simple, which is why Freud comes in handy to specialists of human behaviour at work and the pharmaceutical industry thrives on anti-stress pills.

Relationships addressed here are private ones. True, the border bewteen public and private life may be tricky to set. To make things simpler, let's say we deal only with relationships the loss of which theoretically affects our private life (friends, mates, pals, buddies, lovers, partners, etc). A handful of ideas to have only the others possibly adversly affected, and you making the most of it.
Rule of thumb : all relationships eventually turn into zero sum games. Be sure to secure the winning side.

-Never ever vest too much interest into one person. The only worse thing would be letting tat person know how much they matter. Allocate your feelings and likings as a wise and prudent investor, depending on your aversion to risk. Your fund manager is fully qualified to tell you what type of investor you are ;

-Always come up as though you had enough distinct contacts to fill one year's agenda with a distinct one every day ;

-Make yourself scarce. people value you by the effort it took to have you in their inner circle. Major flaws : needy, earnest, too keen, anxious to spend quality time with people. This is not cool, and coolness is the essence of post-modernity. See Gilles Lipovetsky (unfortunately not translated into English) : "L'ere du vide" ;

-Make sure you keep the lead and steer the relationship : the key to that is maintaning a feeling of uncertainty as to your level of commitment to the relationship. Use jealousy as a prudent and experienced operator. Some people are strangely immune to this once quite predictably efficient tool ;

-Yield to people's wishes or demands in two cases only : the cost is nil to you ; you got yourself a powerful leeway by giving in ;

-Always dump friends or lovers before being in danger of becoming expandable, or even better, make the relationship so hellish to them that they will eventually break it up, bearing the brunt of guilt for it ;

-Always hold in store a substitute for each kind of relationship : the devoted and plain girlfriend you go shopping with, the mate who has free access to the edgiest clubs, the fantastic lover, the lifetime confident. That will ensure you not have to experience any feeling of loss. Bear in mind no one is unique, except you ;

-Relationships are assets. Be sure to closely monitor their market value and dispose of them when the value to cost of your time falls below a 4 digit percentage.

Display:
I can't comment on Selfishly Organized Systems - I don't understand them. But your list of advice seems to sum up everything that is wrong with business (and the planet) today.

I can't work out whether this is a parody or how you actually behave. If it is the latter, then you must be carrying around more than your bodyweight in Reichian armour and I feel genuinely sorry for that.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 08:36:14 AM EST

The below principles, or "my very own guide to perfect relationships" are a parody of self help books.



She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 10:28:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought "parody" in bold characters would suffice to make my point.
I am genuinely unable to relate to people who behave that way. Sadly enough, such people exist, and it's good to know the "enemy" to remain safe.

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 10:43:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sorry - I misundersood. It is possible to parody and still reveal bias. ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 10:57:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No problem. Are you making an attempt at "psycho-analysing me", Sven ? ;-)

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 11:15:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not really - it's just a habit. Understanding people's motivations.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 11:28:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The reptilian brain typically prevails in people who behave along the rules I criticise in this thread. It is key to understand not only their motivations but also the -fairly simple, when you come to think of it- mechanisms behind their actions.
Saying these mechanisms pertain to the methods of psychological warfare is only slightly overstated ; hence the danger when one is in a "normal" or, at least, standard way of relating to others.

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 12:16:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This sounds eeryly like the American "rules of dating". Good grief.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 08:39:58 AM EST
I once came across "the expanded edition of the multimillion copy bestseller of the Complete book of rules : time-tested secrets for capturing the heart of Mr Right. The title in itself sums it all up.
Utterly nonsensical.
The book fell off my hands after 4 lines of reading.... the chapter headlines

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 10:53:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See Barbara's parallel comment... That stuff is for real.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 10:56:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Definitely very American (albeit not limited to America, as I'm learning.) Do whatever you please, but beware of EVER, EVER appearing that you might need -- or even want to be with -- someone. I think this philosophy is the ultimate denial of our human nature -- we are social animals and as such thrive in each other's company (after careful selection, of course). We want to be loved, appreciated, made a priority. We want to be told nice things and treated well. We want someone we can rely on, someone stable. But someone out there has decided it's very uncool. So we all try really hard and PRETEND we don't want all these things.

I did read once the horrid American book of "Rules" for women who want to marry. "The fastest way to get him to the altar" turned out to be a series of clever manipulations which sends out a signal: I am soooo f&*king aloof and cool and I sooo don't need your sorry ass. To achieve this effect, female readers are encouraged to: appear to be permanently extremely busy and occupied so as not to look like a loser or -- worse -- AVAILABLE! They are told to set an alarm and end each phone conversation with a man after ten minutes, even if he's talking to them about his dying mother in a hospital. They are told to never, ever call a man and initiate as minimal contact in general as possible. After all, the man is the hunter, right (GRUNT!). Play a deer as long as you possibly can. And further priceless advice.  

The sad thing is, this approach works for many men. I met such a specimen last Friday at Miguel's company party. He was talking about his infatuation with his girlfriend who was not quite sure if she wanted him. When I asked him what he liked so much about her, his reply was... "because I get along really well with her (no concrete examples), and (a long pause) because she doesn't make it easy for me. I have to try really hard. " That pretty much sums it up. We are supposed to present ourselves to others as a CHALLENGE. When this fails, no matter how fantastic of a person you are, how many qualities you possess, when you allow the hunter to "catch you", you're as good as dead. It's like the slogan in Selfridges we saw last Christmas: "I like it, I buy it (in this case catch it), I forget it."  


"If you cannot say what you have to say in twenty minutes, you should go away and write a book about it." Lord Brabazon

by Barbara on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 10:20:12 AM EST
do not play these games (as much). If they fancy you, they tell you. It was a shock when I first arrived, as a somewhat overpolite single Englishman with a poor stock of chat-up lines.

The 'ladies request' at dances is no place for male wallflowers. A lack of dancing skills is no excuse, and less than 3 dances in a row is a sign of rejection that is not taken politely.

Whether the lack of gender in personal pronouns in Finnish is a symptom or driver of this equality, I don't know, but it was the first country to achieve universal suffrage in 1906 (ie not only the right to vote, but also the right for candidature)

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 10:55:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Finland -- 1906
Norway -- 1913
Denmark -- 1915
Iceland -- 1915
Russia -- 1917
Lithuania -- 1917
Latvia -- 1917
Estonia -- 1917

After the Central Powers' defeat in World War I:
Austria -- 1918
Germany -- 1918
Hungary -- 1918
Poland -- 1918
Czechoslovakia -- 1918
Luxembourg - 1918
The Netherlands - 1919
Sweden -- 1919
Ireland -- 1922
Romania -- 1923
United Kingdom -- 1928
Turkey -- 1930
Spain -- 1931 (but women lost the vote under Franco in 1936 and did not vote again until 1976)
France -- 1944

Now I wonder why France is way down there? ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 11:04:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
did not read "the girls' guide for haunting and fishing" <s> Genuine "popular fiction" book, BTW.

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 11:14:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The French Chambre des Députés (Parliament) voted law or resolutions in favour of the right to vote for women in 1919, 1925, 1927, 1932, 1935 and 1936 but, each time, the Senate either blocked it or refused to examine it...  

That's one of the many reasons I think there should be a major change in the French institutions, mainly to get rid of the Senate as it is today. Even when they had the majority, the Socialists didn't have the guts to do so...

BTW, the first country was New Zealand in 1893, followed by Australia in 1902...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 11:36:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But Australia and NZ gave only voting rights - not the right to stand for election ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 11:49:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I love your sig' quote. R. Char is one of my all-favourite writers.
A bunch of quotes (most of them you surely know) as a good night gift :

-Le reel quelquefois desaltere l'esperance.
C'est pourquoi, contre toute attente, l'esperance survit

-C'est quand tu es ivre de chagrin que tu n'as du chagrin plus que le cristal

-Sans imagination, l'amour n'a aucune chance

-Un homme sans defauts est comme une montagne sans crevasses. Il ne m'interesse pas.

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill

by Agnes a Paris on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 05:52:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Ne te courbe que pour aimer" is not my sig line, it is my motto... it comes from "A la santé du serpent" in "Les Feuillets d'Hypnos"

An other one is :

"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards, ni patience..."

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 06:41:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In women's suffrage, US territories were leading. The US colony of New Jersey was first in 1776, but they later nixed it. The oldest part of the US with continuous full rights was Wyoming, in 1969 still a territory, and it kept equality even against stiff opposition from Congress when turned a state in 1890. (Utah BTW also had suffrage from 1870, but later removed along with poligamy.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 03:36:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My general theory is that general suffrage has at least since 1900 been great, in principle. That is its advance has not been kept at bay by principled objection as much as inertia of power. When that inertia was weak due to revolutions or chambers with little power anyway (as in Finland in 1906) the principles was more easily advanced.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 07:46:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Last time I was browsing through a bookstore at JFK, I was appalled at  the number of self-help books targeted at women highlighting "how to get what you deserve from a man" and that kind of bullshit. NYC is also the place where I first heard the words "trophy wife" and "high maintenance" woman.

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 11:08:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it's certainly not the only place I've seen either of those things.  Calling a spade a spade doesn't make you the only one with spades.

(Although, that said, the phrase "high maintenance woman" really does annoy me in general.)

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 12:08:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Whether the lack of gender in personal pronouns in Finnish is a symptom or driver of this equality, I don't know

I think it has little role. Hungarian being another Finno-Ugrian language, it also lacks grammatical gender (though there is the construct of adding -woman to professions imported from German), but male chauvinism was and still is pervasive.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 03:43:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
....it's a compe-ti-tive world.. <s>
You've said it all, Barbara. I could not agree more.

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 10:56:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Definitely very American"

I don't have one friend who would not be appalled by this list.  Sounds like you watch too much TV or something.  


Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 11:49:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, obviously, since if they weren't appalled at that list they wouldn't be your friends, would they? It does however exemplify one of the less savoury classes of export from the US: really nasty self-help books - there's a class of really frightening ones like this that always seem (from over here anyway) to mainly emanate from the States. I don't know about the continient, but the UK and Irish radio and day-time TV shows are on the promotion circuit for that stuff ...
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 12:00:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't read your comment before I posted my reply to poemless... we seem to be making the same point. :)

"If you cannot say what you have to say in twenty minutes, you should go away and write a book about it." Lord Brabazon
by Barbara on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 12:11:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I mean, if a friend of yours acted like that you'd run far, far, far away.

It's more awkward when you have relatives that could have written Agnes's piece without parody or irony...

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 12:11:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do people buy them?

Methinks that if these dumb books weren't selling in the UK and Ireland, they wouldn't keep trying to promote them there....

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 12:20:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're depressingly right, probably.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 12:22:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and more and more of them in France too. The Mars and Venus series, which are by far not the worst, have been a whopping success here.

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 12:28:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well look, when you come right down to it, the Tao te Ching is a self-help book, and so is the Bible, and every other book that's ever advised people how to conduct their lives.  Some are merely better than others.  Personally, I don't give much credence to any of them.  YMMV.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 12:36:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But I'd rather read "Qohelet" than "How to make friends"...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 06:45:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

Sounds better than the Rules...


"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 07:52:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, that sounds much better than the Rules, but this, not so much:

"If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son, who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they chastise him, will not give heed to them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives, and they shall say to the elders of his city, `This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.'  Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones; so you shall purge the evil from your midst....

Deuteronomy 21: 18-21

Yow.  Talk about tough love...

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 03:44:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, Poemless. I thought I should have toned it down a bit and realized that it might be offensive, only after I posted the comment. I don't watch any TV at the moment(we had a very heated debate this weekend with Miguel whether or not to allow ourselves the luxury of two channels in our mother tongues.) I lived in the US for ten years (also mostly without TV), and did have a very unpleasant experience with several American men (and women friends) who thought exactly in these terms that are described above. I too have many American friends who would be appaled by the list. Neverheless, it was in the US that I first encountered the necessity to play mind-games of this sort. So here is the root of my bias. Also, books that you find on the European counters with this very individualistic attitude usually have American authors. That does, however, not mean that all Americans identify with this way of thinking. Sorry again for my insensitive cultural reference.  

"If you cannot say what you have to say in twenty minutes, you should go away and write a book about it." Lord Brabazon
by Barbara on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 12:09:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just for the record, when I first wrote this piece, I was inspired by a few people I had met in France. As I was pointing out lower in the thread in response to one of Sven's comments, it would be over-simplification, and potentially unfair, IMHO, to hint that some cultures (or countries) breed more people who behave along these patterns. The environment is indeed of an influence on psychology, but I would definitely say that the rules of action I describe a psychological, more than cultural, profile.
Apologies for the rusty English.

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 12:24:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 would definitely say that these rules of action match a psychological, more than cultural, profile.


When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 12:26:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Really...  You see more of it from America because we simply produce and export more trash than everyone else.  Because we're the cultural colonizers at the moment.  Hardly means there is anything implicitly American about the notion.  Hello, anyone here heard of Les Liaisons dangereuses?  I may say I had the same experience as you when I was in Russia, where it seemed everyone was cold and calculating in their intimate relations and obsessed with self-help. Hm, is it American or Russian?  Or is it just the people whose company we found ourselves in?  Is it just the in-your-face pop culture being rammed down our throats in just the same way it was being rammed down that of the nationals?

I'm reading a biography of Voltaire and Emilie du Chatelet and much of it centers on the politics and protocol of male/female relations during the period.  Anyway, there seems to have been a glut of rules (public and personal) concerning the conduct of the sexes (including how to get what you want and break the rules and keep your reputation at the same time) and frankly much of it looks like it comes straight from Agnes' silly list.  Sex in the City and Men are from Mars look positively demure compared to the politics of courtship in 18th Century France!

Of course, all this was going on in France before America was even a country yet...  But don't let facts alter your perceptions of what America is responsible for...

It may also interest everyone to know, that one of the hippest new self-help books for women on the American Bestsellers lists is by a ... French woman: French Women for All Seasons: A Year of Secrets, Recipes, and Pleasure.


Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 01:06:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would need a direct keyboard shortcut for "could not agree more".

I was about to further your point, poemless, by quoting the philosophical stances of Marquis de Sade. On top of that, many literary pieces in the same vein were published by women in the 18th and 19th century (under the sig' "anonymous", it goes without saying).
Liaisons dangereuses is a perfect example though, as Choderlos de Laclos was a man from the military, and the aim behind his book was to apply the theories of warfare to courtship.
I heard so many people say that Marivaux was light, entertaining, theatrical production.
Beaumarchais's Wedding of Figaro and the less renown Barber of Seville, where these mechanisms are even more obvious...
So many examples.
Perhaps we tend to put things more bluntly/explicitly nowadays, that's all.

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill

by Agnes a Paris on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 05:23:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My "favourite" selection

  1. Be a creature "unlike any other"
  2. Dont' talk to a man first (and don't ask him to dance)
  3. Dont't stare at men or talk too much
  4. Dont't meet him halfway or go Dutch on a date
  5. Dont' call him and rarely return his calls (!)
  6. Always end phone calls first
  7. Don't accept a Saturday night date after Wednesday
  8. Always end the date first
  9. Don't open up too fast, be mysterious
  10. Do the Rules, even when your parents and friends think it's nuts (!)
  11. Don't worry, even men like the Rules (!)


When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 12:40:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Being a man I can answer:

1 Yes, yes yes. I love wild sex.
2 Yes , if you are a dumbass or stupid. It is a self-fulfilled prophecy.

  1. Yes I do not like people looking at my ass.
  2. Yes. I do not like how that "going Dutch" sounds.
  3. Yes, it is very rude to call me out when I do something wrong. It shows you are unpolite.
  4. Yes. it saves my bill. You show you care about the others.
8 Yes. Or any other MOnday, Tuesday or Thursday which is after the first monday of any month, specially November of any year multipled of 4. It shows you do not get politics in the US. I do not like stupid "what iz global warming" girls.
  1. Yes. I like girls which are sexually easy in bed and finish first, no doubt.
  2. Yes.. I also like very much prelimianries in bed... I like very long preliminaries... very very long.
  3. Yes. I do not have nay problem with women doing other men... even if they are called Rules. I just like to be told.. why this is not in the list..?: tell the guy that you are doing "Rules" or any other guy.
  4. NO, NO NO NO.. from my answers is very clear that I do not like Rules.. you see all yes and all sex with women in tyhe answers.it is clear that I am not homosexual. Besides I just do not know who this fucking Rules is.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude
by kcurie on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 02:07:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You made me howl with laughter with this one. You are a pleasure, kcurie...

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 04:24:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
48 is the key

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 04:58:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This sounds exactly the opposite of what I have observed in America, lets say between 1987-2000, at least. This was the period when my daughter was dating, and I often thought that American men of her age must have been wearing their jockey shorts much much too tight. She's is absolutely a knock out beauty, intelligent and witty, but men more often than not appeared aloof and uninterested.

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears
by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 10:09:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
.. you should not be a little bit more.. happy and fun to meet other people?

I am not saying that a social network is not important and that you have to take care sometimes of the things,a ppearance...but at least sometimes (most maybe) you have to enjoy what you do.. and  be nice.

In a word.. one thing is to try to seed any girl you meet as a general purpose..and a very different thing is if you really enjoy doing it and like it to do...

But ei...whatever :)

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 10:28:13 AM EST
the perspective of our American ET fellows. No irony there.

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 11:18:39 AM EST
The reptilian brain typically prevails in people who behave along the rules I criticise in this thread.

The reptilian brain prevails in everyone, but some people understand it better and are better able to channel its demands into what we consider modern civilized behavior. And as implied some cultures do a better job of encouraging all this to happen in a more civil manner than others.

I agree that these guidelines are written for a sociopath, but they contain a good bit of truth, the main difference for me is that in healthy relationships people should be striving for equitable power sharing rather than trying to grab it all. Even in the most loving relationships there is a power struggle present. There is no escaping it and we're all playing the game consciously or not. The challenge is to play the game in a way that causes the least amount of pain for everyone involved, and in the process for the relationships to very beneficial for everyone involved.

When I'm interacting with friends / lovers this isn't the first thing on my mind, but it is there, mostly because when I was younger I was a stereotypical "nice guy" and allowed people to walk all over me, causing a lot of pain for myself. Basically I've been the "victim" of the person following these guidelines. I don't think it's dark or sad to consider all of this consciously, in fact I consider the opposite to be true - you ignore our evolutionary legacy at your own peril.

I've been giving this more thought as of late, ironically I just finished reading The Selfish Gene last night. It's clear to me that most people that accept the theory of evolution don't accept most of its implications. Instead they choose to believe that some of our cultural values, particularly egalitarianism, are actually natural laws, rather than, in fact, cultural building blocks we have created in order to make life better, and vice versa, assuming that selfish behavior is breaking the natural order of things.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 01:45:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's a fun bit of gossip occupying the media in Finland at the moment. Our Prime Minister divorced his wife, somewhat acrimoniously. A few months later he appeared in public with a very nice, smart 'symppis' younger lady (Susan Kuronen) and he revealed that they had met while he was shopping for groceries.

Then they broke up.

Susan has now told her story. Not entirely willingly - but to correct disinformation. She had placed a picture and profile in a Finnish dating site, and got many replies. One of which caught her interest and they were soon chatting in an html chat. She worked out quite quickly that he was in politics, but her first guesses as to who he really was were incorrect. This was taking place just before voting in the Presidential election in which Vanhanen was elimated in the final round. She jokingly accused him of chatting to gather last minute votes even though she thought he was Sauli Niinistö (former Finance Minister)

But eventually she found out who he was, and they met, and seem to have dated exclusively thereafter for several months.

The question is, why, in this connected country, the PM would try to hide his online dating, when everyone knows that for single parents especially (Susan is not) net chats are the very best place to meet?

These chats come alive after 9pm when the kids have been put to bed. Don't ask me how I know ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 11:25:52 AM EST
Caus' you have kids ? ;-))

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 05:25:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I do have two teenage daughters who are with me every other weekends. They are the ichat wizards and spend much more time than I in virtual conversations - often 4 or 5 simultaneously, with downloading, youtubing and wikiing in parallel ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 10:48:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The person who actually prompted me into writing down this list is actually a man. Needless to say he is not a friend, all the more so as I made it very clear from the beginnning I was not going to dance to his tune. He applies these rules to all the people he meets, men and women. So the scope is beyond dating, what it's about is how to control relationships and suck out of people what they are worth until there is nothing left and another pray is at hand.

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 12:54:58 PM EST
in this vein.  

US holds no monopoly.  Nor the 21st century, either.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 03:16:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Agnes, written woman to woman with affection - and what is more, written in my sometime-capacity as high-credibility tarot-card lady!! - a piece of advice: in the light of what you have written, looks like in your current work/social environment you are surrounded by "dead souls"? You're worth a hundred times more my dear - you're alive, vibrant, capable of both human joy and human suffering to an extent - heights and depths - unknown and incomprehensible to those who painstakingly sell themselves on a market = you have nothing in common with these people. So don't even think of adapting to their mores and mentality. Stay open, follow your intuition, explore different venues when your time is your own, keep your pride high! .. meanwhile, if you weep from sorrow and loneliness when no-one can see you, consider it an appeal broadcast on mysterious airwaves that will find its no less mysterious way to...  a truly equal response.
So hang in there - stay true to yourself.

All the best..!

"Ignoring moralities is always undesirable, but doing so systematically is really worrisome." Mohammed Khatami

by eternalcityblues (parvati_roma aaaat libero.it) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 01:46:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
link to Toby Young's website ; just discovered he had published another book "the sound of no hands clapping"

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 01:10:49 PM EST
If you are looking for help in a book written by another person, that's not Self-Help: that's Help.

And i kind of agree with him.

by Torres on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 01:52:53 PM EST
Bear in mind no one is unique, except you  

I think that is my favorite!  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 03:18:21 PM EST
Ever since the late eighteenth century, women had been bombarded as never before with literature...about their rightful place in society: they were born to obey men, belonged in the home, and any activity which mught lure them away from it was not only inappropriate, but actually degrading.  Great intellectual talent could never be anything but a misfortune in a woman, wrote Sarah Jane Ellis, the writer of a number of best-selling manuals for women in the mid-nineteenth century:'a jewel which cannot with propriety be worn'.('The crimsoning blush of modesty,' added the High Tory clergyman Richard Polwhele, 'will always be more attractive than the sparkle of confident intelligence.')

From Courtesans by Katie Hickman

by Sassafras on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 03:17:44 AM EST
There are enormous sections in Barnes & Noble and Borders with those sorts of books.  (Apparently it's okay to have three aisles of that garbage, but it's not okay to stock Keynes's General Theory in the two-shelf economics section at the Borders in Tallahassee.)

Personally, I never found women who felt the need to act as though they always had something to do very interesting.  I know it's a game these mutants of pseudo-psychology tell women to play, but it's moronic.  If you don't give a guy the time to actually take you out, you can't be shocked when he doesn't, you know, actually take you out.

When are people going to learn that they don't live on the set of Grey's Anatomy?

Women who play Hard-To-Get aren't attractive.  They're shallow, egomaniacal (or gullible depending on the girl), and a waste of time.  The same goes for men who can think of nothing but The Chase.®  Not coincidentally, in my experience, it's the men of The Chase® who wind up with the Hard-To-Get-playing women, and both end up miserable, more often than not.

But, hey, just as you get the politician you deserve....

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 02:42:26 PM EST


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