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Saturday, June 02, 2018

Mailvox: opinions solicited and otherwise

A Darkstream viewer comments on a recent video:
Spot on. One additional tendency worth noting: Gammas feel an almost irresistible urge to contribute their unsolicited opinions. Most folks do this from time-to-time, of course, and it is usually relatively harmless. But with the Gamma, it is pathological and constant. The need for attention, for adulation, means he must do this all the time.

For the Gamma seeking to rid himself of Gamma behavior patterns, as you said in the video, it is often preferable to just shut the fuck up. Fact of the matter is, smart or not, Gammas are insufferable toolbags and nobody wants to hear their opinions, even if the Gamma is right. No, especially if the Gamma is right. The only thing worse than a loser is a loser who, by some quirk of fate, chance, whatever... is actually right about something. He'll lord it over everyone and talk himself up incessantly. He'll milk it far past the point of good sense.

I know, I did enough of this in my time as a Gamma.

If a Gamma (or a former one, I suppose) feels the desire to contribute his opinion, it is often best to do so in private, one-on-one, and not speak of it further, not use it for social gain, posturing, etc... This increases the chance that the opinion will be appreciated, rather than dismissed as coming from a passive-aggressive ass.

Put another way: let others take the credit for a while. Serve and follow - for those worthy of those things, anyway - don't try to command. It never works for the Gamma.
This is one of the most readily identifiable aspects of the Gamma, which is his insistence on offering unsolicited advice, opinion, and correction. Not only is it unsolicited, it is absolutely unwanted, particularly when it can do absolutely no good at all.

There are few things more infuriating than presenting something that is clearly finished, only to have the immediate response be, "do you know what you should have done instead?" No, I really don't, and I especially do not want to know right now, even in the unlikely event that you happen to be right.

The petty delight with which Gammas appear to take in attempting to crush the joy in the accomplishments of others is possibly their most despicable trait. I don't know if they are genuinely seeking to be helpful, if they are seeking to demoralize, if they are being passive-aggressively mean, if they are constitutionally giving a compliment without providing a complaint to balance it, if it is an expression of envy, or if it is some combination of these motivations that depends upon the circumstances.

But unless you are the other individual's coach, mentor, or boss, do NOT offer criticism unless it is specifically requested when something is first announced or shown to you. It not only doesn't make the other person appreciate your helpful contribution to their future success, it makes them want to punch you in the face... and determined to leave you out of the loop next time. The correct thing to do is say, "congratulations!" The polite thing to do is throw in a compliment or two, if you can honestly do so. And then leave it at that.

What positive purpose is served when telling someone that something that is obviously finished could have, or should have, been different?

I'm not saying that you should lie if someone asks you if you like something. If you don't like it, then don't say you do. But if you do, then say so, find something nice to say about it, and leave it at that. There is a time and place for criticism; the moment of the initial unveiling is absolutely not one of them. Relentless negativity is not attractive to anyone, and creative men and women are particularly averse to it by necessity.

That being said, I have learned over the years that most people's opinions of incomplete art are totally useless. I call it "the drums are too loud" phenomenon. It used to drive me crazy, when playing an early rough cut of a Psykosonik song for someone, that they would almost inevitably fail to have any useful opinion on the melody, the rhythm, the structure, the lyrics, or the vocal stylings, but would reliably concentrate on something entirely trivial like the mix. I finally stopped letting anyone hear anything that wasn't at least a prospective final mix.

UPDATE: NH attempts to answer my implied question:
You said you weren't sure if gammas offer unsolicited advice because "they are seeking to demoralize, if they are being passive-aggressively mean, if they are constitutionally giving a compliment without providing a complaint to balance it, if it is an expression of envy, or if it is some combination of these motivations that depends upon the circumstances."

It starts because they have no experience and little to offer, so in a sense, it's meant to be harmless, maybe helpful in its own way. Criticizing feels smart when you're young, and it's easy. They honestly don't know at first how much pain and sacrifice lead up to presenting that finished product.

Over time, however, they learn how they get a strong emotional reaction when they do it... and that's power. If there's one thing that a gamma is dying of thirst for, it's power over others. So, they keep doing it until their bitterness eats them alive.

Labels: ,

50 Comments:

Blogger Roger Hill June 02, 2018 6:10 AM  

There are very few things more useless than unasked for advise. This is something that can drive a husband batty when dealing with his wife. But when it is a male acquaintance or friend, it is especially disrespectful.

Blogger Mark Stoval June 02, 2018 6:15 AM  

Great post Vox. Between the quoted comment and your comments on that -- this was most entertaining and useful. I have known people like you describe and have hated them.

The question I have is; are there more gammas now that in the past? I think so, but don't really have any way to prove that.

Blogger Looking Glass June 02, 2018 6:25 AM  

"This is one of the most readily identifiable aspects of the Gamma, which is his insistence on offering unsolicited advice, opinion, and correction. Not only is it unsolicited, it is absolutely unwanted, particularly when it can do absolutely no good at all."

It's Anti-Honest. It is also, by Biblical definition, the act of a Fool.

"A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,
but only in expressing his opinion." Proverbs 18:2 ESV

I think the Honesty issue is the key driver. Making sure everyone knows what you think on a subject means even your statements are suspect, as you aren't even talking to give any insight but to be heard. The intentions for even speaking are selfish. Given the Gamma's nature of self-deception via self-talk, it stands to reason that they're actually verbalizing their own internal self-rationalization, to an extent.

On the music production issue, I think that's was partially a "poisoned audience" issue. Everyone that isn't in music production is so used to amazingly produced music that the first thing they will notice that needs work would be the mix. It's the only information within their purview that they can understand the in-production music. In thinking of other examples, this applies to nearly all artistic or production endeavors.

Blogger Rick June 02, 2018 6:29 AM  

A gamma is a specialist in a lazy profession. In his case he wastes his life developing and refining a negative trait at the expense of positive, attractive ones. Like over exercising one muscle while others wither.
Do this too long and you don’t know how to do the other.
Don Rickles is funny in small doses. Imagine living with that person every day.
I’ve known people like this. It becomes their identity and they can’t do anything else. Their negativity is a conditioned, instinctual response from over use.

Blogger Rick June 02, 2018 6:36 AM  

Old Gamma Retirement Home, population: 1

Blogger #6277 Hammer June 02, 2018 6:41 AM  

@Mark Stoval "The question I have is; are there more gammas now that in the past? I think so, but don't really have any way to prove that."

This question also came up over at Idka. One explanation given is that gamma behaviour is more encouraged in today's feminized world.

Another could also be that since Vox' explanation of the socio-sexual hierarchy and particularly expanding on gamma traits we are just more attuned to pick up on gamma behaviour.

Blogger Harris June 02, 2018 6:44 AM  

Well, if you ask MY opinion...

Just kidding.

The older I get, the less inclined I am to offer my opinion - even with my own children. Perhaps it's because you discover that people's minds don't change that often, and they're not really open to change. So why bother. Also, keeping quiet most of the time actually increases the impact when you do have something of value to share.

It's kind of ironic that the older and wiser I've become, the less inclined I am to share that wisdom. I guess I'm looking for effectiveness more. That's why I like Trump. He's effective. The words don't matter as much as the actions.

I still love teaching, but only with those who want to learn. For this website, I'm mostly a reader, not a contributor to discussions. I don't care about some of Vox's topics, and on others I disagree. But I've learned to wait and watch. I've been proven wrong, and Vox has been proven right on more than one topic on which we disagreed at the start.

I actually enjoy being proven wrong, because I learn something in the process. I suppose that's the other thing that has happened as I've gotten older. I have learned to value more highly the opinions and contributions of others, and I've also become more familiar with my own limitations.

Vox is right. Sometimes it's better to shut up for a while. You might learn something. And if not, then it's okay to let the other guy be wrong. It's not the end of the world.

Blogger Rick June 02, 2018 6:52 AM  

Gammas bring recipes to a pot luck supper.

Blogger Daniel June 02, 2018 7:12 AM  

If you have parents from Southern Europe, you've never heard a compliment on your work in your entire life. Only criticism.

Blogger Anno Ruse June 02, 2018 7:42 AM  

Guy has a public blog. Allows comments from the public. The public leaves comments, disagree with what the blogger wrote.

"GAMMA!"

Blogger Michael Maier June 02, 2018 7:59 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Anchorman June 02, 2018 8:08 AM  

As noted before, it is instructive to note the similarities between Gamma and female traits.

I wonder if part of Gamma rage is the inability to establish social hierarchy often seen in female groups, but in male or mixed groups.

Women can tear and pull others down, rather than see one they think is unworthy ascend.

In male groups, many men will support or shrug off ascendence of men who exhibit strong traits. The Gamma, experiencing the world through a pseudo-female perspective, declares that person "wholly unworthy" (because he is not like him, or more exactly, because the Gamma is not rising), so the Gamma reacts in what men often describe as a "female manner,"

Blogger Constantin June 02, 2018 8:12 AM  

This is a reason why I don't comment often on this site, even though I read every post Vox puts up. Most of the time I don't have anything of value to add beyond what's already been stated in the post, so I don't see any reason to fill up the comment section with pointless statements.

People these days believe they are entitled on their uninformed opinions. They like to chime in on subjects they have no clue about, give an opinion just for the sake of it, then expect you to respect that. And when you don't, when you call them out on their stupidity, they resort back to the good old fallacy:

"It's my right to have an opinion!"

I avoid people who act like that. They offer nothing of value to your life, and most of the time they are a nuisance. I know too many people at work like this and it is why I spend most of the time there with headphones on and music blasting in my ears just to cover up the background noise of worthless conversations.

Blogger Wynn Lloyd June 02, 2018 8:19 AM  

Another site discusses gammas? Would you mind sharing the link, please?

Blogger Mr.MantraMan June 02, 2018 8:24 AM  

#7 agree

Blogger Wynn Lloyd June 02, 2018 8:27 AM  

Gammas are fascinating. Why, evolutionarily-speaking, are women so repulsed by them?

Blogger #6277 Hammer June 02, 2018 8:29 AM  

Sorry I'm on my android so can't link to it (using the Idka app)
It's on the ELoE group on Idka

Blogger VD June 02, 2018 8:30 AM  

Why, evolutionarily-speaking, are women so repulsed by them?

I suspect they grasp the gamma rage possibility better than men. Women don't fear shooting down or breaking up with a Delta. But shooting down, or worse, breaking up with a Gamma can trigger the same destructive rage that I've seen in the organizational context. I think they are not merely unattracted to them, but also frightened of them.

Blogger tuberman June 02, 2018 8:33 AM  

From a mentoring viewpoint, you always build up strengths using enthusiasm with a practical work ethic. Weaknesses cannot be directly criticized. If the person being mentored asked directly for advice on a weakness, then measure the motivation, and deal with it carefully, and with perspective of who they are.

Especially with kids, as weaknesses are slowly dealt with after strong confidence from strength is built, and sometimes even then the weaknesses should be left alone.

Most advice is given to supposedly shore up weaknesses, but this is often false, and the person giving the advice is posturing and suggesting the person given the advice "will fumble it, and fail," as they are not as wonderful as the parental advisory.

Blogger Peaceful Poster June 02, 2018 8:42 AM  

This video inspired me to re-read some old posts over at Alpha Game. There's some great stuff over there but I could not find the series on Delta men.

If anyone could provide a link to those, it would be much appreciated.

Blogger NO GOOGLES June 02, 2018 8:45 AM  

I've been around a lot of gammas from my time in the MTG/desktop gaming community when I was younger (and likely would have been described as a gamma in my teen years) and I have to say, I recognize a lot of these observations as behaviors I did as an adolescent and it makes me wince.

Probably the greatest advice to a gamma is just to learn to serve first. "Service" has gotten a bad rap in this emasculated nightmare world we live in but it is really essential to have experience serving and does wonders for helping keep an ego in check.

Blogger Zaklog the Great June 02, 2018 8:49 AM  

You know, Vox, I was just thinking, what you should have done for this blog entry is . . .

Blogger JACIII June 02, 2018 8:54 AM  

I'm with #7.

1) The occasional, "If I don't say something, when it goes to shit I will regret having not."
2) The "I wish someone had told me 'X' when I was in 'Y situation' or period of life."
3) There's someone obviously hanging out with an old man who is trying to sort through some things.

That's pretty much it, for unsolicited advice.

Blogger tuberman June 02, 2018 8:55 AM  

17. VD

Hell, hath no furry as a Gamma scorned!

Blogger Timmy3 June 02, 2018 8:58 AM  

Would Gammas find this unsolicited advice useful?

Blogger Al K. Annossow June 02, 2018 9:02 AM  

Here's a hypothesis based on self examination:

Looking inward, I mostly see gamma tendencies, but have always had self awareness so I keep them inside. Early in life, I took 'know thyself' to heart. I suspect the tendencies come from correctly evaluating that I have more good qualities than most alphas, but am not appreciated simply because I don't know how to play the social game. (For several reasons combined, I am missing the particular social skills to even recognize the rules and subtle actions going on in front of me.) So OBVIOUSLY it's unfair that my important talents are overlooked because a lesser person simply knows how to play stupid social games! I could easily act very gamma if I didn't recognize the envy and squash it. Exaggerated actions that are out of proportion to the proximate trigger would come from accumulated frustration at the ongoing situation. Frustration turns to gamma rage.

So I act delta at work, though people try to draw me into beta-like partial leader roles because I'm very smart and likable (self control works). I prefer to be alone, so socially I've been omega transitioning into delta; but I've finally developed enough skills to act sigma. Now I actually enjoy the little time I spend with others. It's an unsettled existence but much better than outwardly living as a gamma.

If it sounds like self deception, please speak up. I've only recently found the expanded hierarchy and am trying to incorporate it into my understanding.

Blogger Avalanche June 02, 2018 9:03 AM  

(sigh) The more y'all talk about gammas, the more I think gammas = girls! I keep seeing myself over and over; maybe I'm weird for a girl (okay, definitely I'm weird for a girl: I'm here aren't I?) but so many of these traits seem to be all-girl!

Blogger wreckage June 02, 2018 9:15 AM  

@26 It's more normal for girls, because relational violence is more normal for girls.

@25 From someone a bit similar, it sounds to me like you're taking control of it. That's the biggest thing. The next thing is: delta is awesome. Delta is where it's at. Delta built the British empire and the USA. Let go of the need to be alpha, and the envy of alpha. Alphas thrive and flourish in an environment of constant, intense competition. Leave them to it.

Blogger Mark Stoval June 02, 2018 9:17 AM  

26. Avalanche

"... (sigh) The more y'all talk about gammas, the more I think gammas = girls!"

I have worked with a ton of women over my lifetime since I am in teaching. All I can say to you is "right on sister!"

I do think that gammas are like girls. Perhaps effeminate would be the word. (perhaps not)

Blogger wreckage June 02, 2018 9:20 AM  

@17 women's last-resort defence against men is relational violence. Men beat them at physical violence as a general rule. So, it makes sense that women find men who are relationally violent particularly frightening; it's men's normal passivity and pacifism in that regard that makes us "safe".

Or, to look at it another way, women, for whom relational violence is the most common way to attack people, recognize the gamma "tells" as fundamentally violent.

Blogger VD June 02, 2018 9:21 AM  

Would Gammas find this unsolicited advice useful?

This is not unsolicited advice. I am writing my thoughts on my personal blog. You have to come here, of your own volition, to even find out what I am writing about. I have not mailed this to anyone, much less said it to their face.

I suspect the tendencies come from correctly evaluating that I have more good qualities than most alphas, but am not appreciated simply because I don't know how to play the social game.

I would say you have diagnosed yourself correctly. That's an illuminating insight into the gamma mindset.

If it sounds like self deception, please speak up.

Focus on reliably achieving Delta patterns. There is nothing Sigma about you. Gammas and Omegas often think they're Sigmas, forgetting that Sigmas are ALWAYS confused for Alphas, especially by Alphas. What Gammas think is the Sigma path is just another manifestation of their delusion bubble.

Blogger KPKinSunnyPhiladelpia June 02, 2018 9:47 AM  

VD wrote:Why, evolutionarily-speaking, are women so repulsed by them?

I suspect they grasp the gamma rage possibility better than men. Women don't fear shooting down or breaking up with a Delta. But shooting down, or worse, breaking up with a Gamma can trigger the same destructive rage that I've seen in the organizational context. I think they are not merely unattracted to them, but also frightened of them.


When a woman interacts with a gamma, she confronts an analog of her darkest self. Her revulsion is a profound evolutionary response. Her rage is a deeply psycholgical one.

Blogger Marsh June 02, 2018 10:08 AM  

Can a man be an alpha if he doesn't have a lot of male friends? Are there sleazy alphas, who aren't respected by other men?

Blogger VD June 02, 2018 10:20 AM  

Can a man be an alpha if he doesn't have a lot of male friends? Are there sleazy alphas, who aren't respected by other men?

You have to distinguish between the social alpha and the sexual alpha. They are often combined in one, but not necessarily. Plenty of sexual alphas are not respected by other men, but they tend to come to bad ends sooner rather than later.

Blogger wreckage June 02, 2018 10:38 AM  

@32 @33 locally there is a guy who really is "sleazy alpha". He is in no way a leader or champion nor dominating nor even physically capable. But mysteriously, he gets so much damn tail it's frightening. I mean, everything. Housewives. Under-21s sports teams. He is absolutely magnetic to vaginas.

It's a rural area and one day he's going to have a fatal accident involving hunting or heavy machinery.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother June 02, 2018 10:49 AM  

Like this guy, Vox.

https://heartiste.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/alpha-of-the-month-porfirio-rubirosa/

Blogger Gritón del Desierto June 02, 2018 10:58 AM  

"Relentless negativity is not attractive to anyone, and creative men and women are particularly averse to it by necessity."
In other words,don't be like Daria.

Anonymous Anonymous June 02, 2018 11:03 AM  

What positive purpose is served when telling someone that something that is obviously finished could have, or should have, been different?
If the critique is actually on target and the advice is taken, they won't make the same mistake again.

What sort of personality would gratuitously repeat a mistake "BFYTW"?

Blogger Wolfman at Large June 02, 2018 11:44 AM  

I've had to make a rule about not commenting on these posts until there are at least ten other comments because I was becoming clear that I was just annoying the other readers.

also kneejerk reactions are never useful insight, If I have anything useful to add it will be after I've had a chance to think about it and not simply the first thing that comes to mind.

Blogger Nate73 June 02, 2018 11:45 AM  

I'm not sure if this is the same thing, but it might be someone who is a bit autistic noticing that X isn't the best and pointing that out, thinking that well it's obvious it's not perfect and why is nobody commenting on it? But as for myself I generally don't offer criticism at all unless it's specifically requested; I just assume it will either upset them or be ignored to begin with.

More generally I've struggled to classify this type of incessant verbal diarrhea when it comes from women. 'Nagging' implies they want you to do something previously discussed, and it's not really a direct command either. It's more like, I'm going to chime in an offer an opinion on this even though I know less than nothing about it. Like I could say I'm going to go get the new FVO4AA kawasaki engine and a woman of this mindset might say "Be sure it's got the oil!". Sometimes this sort of unsolicited advice is just funny, but usually wrong and frustrating.

Blogger SmockMan June 02, 2018 12:01 PM  

Women a usually bad at saying "no", at least in a direct way. Do gammas share this attribute?

Blogger VD June 02, 2018 12:07 PM  

I'm not sure if this is the same thing, but it might be someone who is a bit autistic noticing that X isn't the best and pointing that out, thinking that well it's obvious it's not perfect and why is nobody commenting on it?

It's definitely included. Notice the false assumption that X must be the best. It's also related to the common "oh, you're talking about X? Well, Y is EVEN BETTER." It's all posturing and positioning in order to strike a superior pose.

Blogger Patrick Kelly June 02, 2018 12:56 PM  

"I finally stopped letting anyone hear anything that wasn't at least a prospective final mix."

Especially if the conversations starts with something like, "what's that you're playing? What are you working on? What is that for?" at a very early state of creation.

Sometimes it is authentic curiosity or interest, but often what follows is a demotivating attempt at "just trying to help".

A local guitar hero was asked how he came up with his signature tunes and sound. His reply was something like, "I play a bunch of stuff and throw away all the crap. What's left is usually pretty good".

People who have little experience with a successful creative process don't have a clue and their critique of others work is rarely helpful.

The vision in a mind and soul often requires a messy process through some crap and failure along the way to achievement.

Blogger artensoll June 02, 2018 1:25 PM  

26. Avalanche "(sigh) The more y'all talk about gammas, the more I think gammas = girls! I keep seeing myself over and over; maybe I'm weird for a girl (okay, definitely I'm weird for a girl: I'm here aren't I?) but so many of these traits seem to be all-girl!"

Bitches, are what they are. What woman wants a bitchy little boy? I disagree that women fear them; my own reaction is varying degrees of disgust, the same as bull dykes.

Blogger tublecane June 02, 2018 3:44 PM  

@26- You're not wrong. Girls talk just to talk, but they also talk to release emotional pressure. Just get it all out so they can fill up again. That sounds like what Vox is talking about.

Females are also passive-aggressive and seek to manipulate others indirectly for their own benefit.

Blogger tublecane June 02, 2018 4:00 PM  

Opinions are like you-know-what. One reason lefty gammas are more annoying, perhaps, is at least under PC those with heterodox beliefs know to hold their tongues on certain topics. If they wish to remain in polite society. No such knowledge holds left-gammas back.

Yet another reason we should mourn the demise of traditional manners and social hierarchy. Demotic manners compel us to treat everyone as if their opinions matter, at least until proven otherwise. How silly. Back in the day, unsolicited opinions of commoners on the dress of a lady, for instance, or of some idiot off the street on the practice of a professional man, forget it. They'd know to defer.

I have long wondered if certain people are incapable of that feeling normal people get when they notice something is wrong or realize they disagree with something, and let it go. Because it's not worth expressing, because who really cares? Occasionally that can be frustrating, but mostly it's liberating.

Blogger tublecane June 02, 2018 4:09 PM  

@2- I couldn't say whether or not there are more gammas. But gammas are certainly freer than they used to be. Because we don't enforce "every man in his place" anymore. Because demotic philosophy, manners, and social structure have deluded people into thinking we're all the same. No such thing as station, and so forth. Everyone's opinion matters as much as everyone else's. It's madness.

Even if you have a homogeneous, monocultural society with a democratic form of government and citizens with "skin in the game," you still can't live like everyone's opinion matters. Greek city-states, Swiss Cantons, New England communities, or whatever other models for working direct democracy you have in mind, were all actually aristocratic and socially stratified when you dig into them.

Gammas thrive in the rat utopias of modern urban or virtual living. Not in traditional culture of any kind.

Blogger Lyon June 02, 2018 4:37 PM  

@34. "...mysteriously, he gets so much damn tail it's frightening. I mean, everything. Housewives. Under-21s sports teams. He is absolutely magnetic to vaginas."

This made me laugh. I have a friend who, in his younger years, was this type, minus the awareness that he was acting like a sleaze. He was simply an inexplicable hit with females of any age or stripe. He wasn't a traditional alpha, by any stretch. Fortunately, for him, he matured by his late 20s into a decent human being and a bit of a Sigma male, if that's the term for it. His turning point was channeling his energies into noble pursuits. If not for that, everyone that knew him would agree that he would have met a sorry end early in life.

Maybe the guy in your town is not beyond redemption just yet. Though he may have to get out of town, all the same.

Blogger Patrick Kelly June 02, 2018 5:13 PM  

"He is absolutely magnetic to vaginas."

A friend's son is like that. So magnetic he had a hot, very attractive older woman and her adult daughter (many would confuse them as sisters) competing for his attention. Weird. And he's slightly on the effeminate side of appearance, mannerism,and speech. Rather low key and mild mannered. Does have that cliche hollywood chiseled jaw head and face.

Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but much of this "game" stuff doesn't.

Blogger Daniel June 03, 2018 9:58 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

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