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Personality, like nearly all human traits, is heritable. There remains debate about how much of personality is genetically predetermined versus how much is formed and shaped by interaction with the environment, but unlike IQ which is hard to change at all over the long-term with intensive intervention, personality is “spongier” and less resistant to active efforts to change it. One can adapt and alter one’s personality to suit certain social contexts, and though personality tends to rebound to one’s genetic default over time it’s possible through repeated efforts to make nontrivial and long-lasting improvements in one’s character and demeanor where one sees fit to do so.

Since personality is an umbrella term for human relational characteristics that include charisma and coolness, Game falls under its rubric. Game is, essentially, cultivated personality.

I bring this up because yesterday’s post about psychological biases links to research that strongly suggests the old Game maxim “fake it till you make it” really works.

10. If you think of yourself as flexible, you will do much better.

People’s own theories about who they are influence how they behave. One’s self-image can therefore easily become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Carol Dweck of Stanford University has spent much time researching such effects. Her takeaway: if we view a characteristic as mutable, we are inclined to work on it more. On the other hand, if we view a trait such as IQ or willpower as largely unchangeable and inherent, we will do little to improve it.

Note that this isn’t social priming (which deserves more study but to date hasn’t been very replicable). This is about adopting a mentality that encourages practice, and people will do better at any task or skill if they have practiced it. Not everyone will achieve the heights of facility with the skill they practice, but they will get better than not doing anything at all.

In Dweck’s studies of students, men and women, parents and teachers, she gleaned a basic principle: people with a rigid sense of self take failure badly. They see it as evidence of their limitations and fear it; fear of failure, meanwhile, can itself cause failure.

Some people (we call them black pillers, mgtows, and feminists) enjoy wallowing in failure and pessimism because, as I wrote, “The men who swear up and down [self-improvement] is impossible are usually the men who daren’t try. Fear of success is as strong in the human condition as is fear of failure, because success, unlike failure, sweeps away the refuge of excuses and rationalizations weak men flee to for comfort.”

In contrast, those who understand that a particular talent can be developed accept setbacks as an invitation to do better next time. Dweck thus recommends an attitude aimed at personal growth. When in doubt, we should assume that we have something more to learn and that we can improve and develop.

President Trump’s secular religion is personal improvement. I think it worked out for him.

But even people who have a rigid sense of self are not fixed in all aspects of their personality. According to psychologist Andreas Steimer of the University of Heidelberg in Germany, even when people describe their strengths as completely stable, they tend to believe that they will outgrow their weaknesses sooner or later. If we try to imagine how our personality will look in several years, we lean toward views such as: “Level-headedness and clear focus will still be part and parcel of who I am, and I’ll probably have fewer self-doubts.”

If you think you can change — better yet, if you think you WILL change — then you’ll be more eager to set about doing those things which help bring about the change you seek. It’s a psy op that denies the genetic overlord his tribute in predetermination by creating a cognitive loophole that evades (if not entirely) the helical straitjacket.

Overall, we tend to view our character as more static than it is, presumably because this assessment offers security and direction. We want to recognize our particular traits and preferences so that we can act accordingly. In the final analysis, the image that we create of ourselves is a kind of safe haven in an ever-changing world.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it: create an image of yourself as a charming mofo irresistible to girls. THAT should be your safe haven (safe for you, not so much for the delicate hearts of your conquests). Create it till you make it.

And the moral of the story? According to researchers, self-knowledge is even more difficult to attain than has been thought.

This explains why the majority of men who come here for guidance fight tooth and nail against the lessons imparted. Self-knowledge eludes them, because it’s frightening to contemplate the abyss at the center of our souls. Very few will heed my wisdom, but if even one man is saved it will have been worth it.

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