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I'm in South Carolina right now on my air force annual two week tour.
I have to admit, I was doing pretty well before I came down here. I had just purchased my plane tickets for India and Ukraine, and was getting super excited for my trip. Being here for only 6 days has managed to send me into an acute depression. I haven't been leaving my hotel room other than to buy food or cigarettes.
I know I make a habit of making long posts, but I ask you guys to have a minute to read all of this as I'm in need of some solid advice.
I'm going to be pretty transparent for a moment. I think that if all of us were somehow sitting in a room together and interacting face to face, I would not be able to share this stuff with you guys; it hits too close to home. Thankfully there's a pretty insightful, intelligent community here and I can take some relief in staying relatively anonymous.
My brother and myself were homeschooled from 5th-9th grade. When we moved to NJ, I begged my mother to send me to school as I wanted to make friends and find out what school was really like. Well, without going into too much detail, it was essentially a disaster. I was not emotionally/mentally prepared for the catholic school environment and was teased mercilessly in the months to come. Most of the teasing was over my height, but also the fact that I was rather awkward. I've always had a problem with anxiety and being in large groups of my peers at the time made me feel constantly on edge and I could never act "normal". The real battleground at school for me was lunch. I managed to find myself at a table of relatively popular people for the duration of the year, but they "kept me around" merely so they could tease, pick on, and bash me on a daily basis; I only stayed at the table because each and every day I felt I could muster up the strength to "prove myself" and fit into their group. Needless to say, I never really did.
My mom pulled me at the beginning of spring as the result of all of this. What was the most interesting (and the point of this opening) was that when they found out that I was leaving, many of them contacted me to express that they wanted me to stay. It didn't take me long to figure out why:
I was the perfect addition to their world. Here we have 10 guys in places of relatively high, yet fragile social power, all together in a high stress environment. I was their perfect whipping boy and emotional scapegoat. With me getting all of the negative attention at the table, none of them were vulnerable to attack. This is the anatomy of bullying and social darwinism. The strong survive, the weak get snuffed out.
I've been over this stuff for awhile, but that year damaged me. I still carry baggage from that year and it comes out from time to time, although not nearly as often. Today I'm a functioning human being who's made some great friends and gotten a chance to do some pretty cool things.
However, I've been getting the "10th grade" experience the last 6 days here in Charleston. I've got 3 guys here in the unit that are using me the same way I was used in high school. I was deflecting the attacks and laughing it off at the beginning of the week, but they've been so consistent that it's starting to wear on me. My weakness, sensitivity, and vulnerability are starting to show through in my speech and body language and it's becoming miserable. They're making it a point now to socially ostrecize me from the other guys in the unit.
And the worst part? The women in the unit are eating it up. When one of them (let's call him P) makes a cocky remark about my height or something to that effect, the girls start giggling, smiling, and showing interest in him. He's showing his "alpha dominance" and I am the weakest link.
I'm 26 years old and these things are generally not a huge issue in my life and this will all be over at the end of the month, but it's all got me thinking. I've done some google/youtube searches about guys beating up bullies. I find myself really enjoying the videos in my current state.
I have a problem. Since my 10th grade experience, I've become extremely empathetic to others. I make it a point to validate anyone that I come in contact with: big, small, pretty, ugly, fat, skinny, and providing they have not anything to directly hurt me. I literally cannot become this man that women (hopefully only American women) want. I feel that I have been cheated. I was raised to believe that these traits (empathy, selflessness, and kindness) would ultimately be rewarded in one way or another. Now, as an adult that has rejected the religious beliefs held by my parents (the foundation of their parenting methods), I feel that I was duped into believing the world was one way when it is in truth to be entirely opposite. I like the person that I am deep down, but I can't help thinking that if I was raised to be a real tough guy and asshole, I'd be having a much easier time and be way more succesful with women (yes, American...I know).
I saw two turtles f***ing in a river by my hotel while I was walking by. Now, turtle sex is nothing special, and we can all find pictures, videos, and the occasional National Geographic special on turtle sex at our own leisure/to our own liking, but seeing it in person was rather profound. I see them, and I think, what makes us any different? We're all in this for pleasure right? Turtles do this, monkeys do this, we do this. I am starting to feel like the runt of the litter, the baby turtle plucked by the bird before he makes it to water, the weakest dog of the pack, or the peacock who's feathers weren't bright or extravagant enough to impress the female.
All this quite frankly makes me wonder why I even keep fighting. I literally CANNOT be an asshole, so I'm fresh out of luck when it comes to dating here.
I'm putting my hope in the fact that when I get overseas, I'll meet people that really fall in love with the person that I am and I'll come alive. If I find more of the same overseas, I will ultimately find my existence to be a complete anomoly. At that point, I'll be a short, decent looking guy with a good head on his shoulders and a good heart, yet NOT good looking/cunning/capable-of-doucheness enough to score (God I hate using that word) a quality woman anywhere in the world. I will be a man with a foundation of principles that are really fantastical, man-made social constructs. I will be a man of peace that lives in a world of war.
I need some help guys. Love you all (No homo).
good luck man what ever you do.
my advice would be...if youre only there for 2 weeks....just be fairly patient and let it slide for the most part.
if youre going to be around these dooshes alot longer, youll have to do something else. my take on it is if youre not in danger of getting your ass beat or court marshalled...you should tell the bullying dudes (when you can catch them one at a time and in private) to basically go f**k themselves with as much courage as you can muster.
i find the older i get, the less shit i take from everyone...i never look for fights and am courteous 24/7 but my thresh-hold for being anyones whipping boy - scapegoat is dangerously close to zero.
seriously if its not your boss or a violent lunatic....definatley confront the dooshbags ask them "can i have a word with you in private?" then keep 100% eye contact with him and in as few words as possible calmly state that "he WILL stop all bullying and teasing of you"
let him respond...
and if its anything but "im sorry" "wont do it again"
you should silently walk away and go up your chain of command.
if he apologizes, keep eye contact and your silence and walk away...(dont make buddies yet)
marriage is a 3 ring circus: engagement ring, wedding ring and then suffering.
Keep in mind that if short people had a severe disadvantage in the dating pool, then their genes would have disappeared by now and there would be no short people, because your male ancestors wouldn't have been able to reproduce. The fact that short people exist in the population means that they do have some reproductive strategies that work.
Age 26 is very tough for most guys, even average-height and above. Girls in that age range have A LOT of options. Men start having more options when they get older because there are more women available to them (all ages incl. younger). But young guys have an extremely limited pool, while young girls can choose from a menu of older men in addition to the fittest guys in their own age pool. It may be necessary to wait until a much bigger proportion of women is younger than you, that's when men start having the upper hand.
Some thoughts based on personal experience:
(1) Remember that no good deed goes unpunished. There's more than a little truth in the old joke. I've generally observed that people tend to get what deep down they think they deserve, but if you find yourself thinking of yourself as morally superior to the assholes, you're taking on a useless perspective. Ditch any martyr or persecution complex, or feelings of personal virtue relative to others. Don't let the right hand know what the left is doing wrt good deeds, and so forth. As for bullies, either ignore them to the extent you can, or
(2) lift weights and get stronger. Then when they start giving you shit, grab them aggressively by the lapels and tell them in no uncertain terms that you don't want any more crap from them. Worked for me twice circa age 21. Bullies' pathologies are rooted in a sense of inferiority, and they tend not to be very strong. Usually they'll back down when confronted.
(3) Things probably will get better overseas, if what you're looking for are women who are genuinely interested in getting to know you and will appreciate good qualities. No guarantees, but most foreign women grow up in cultures that don't promote pathological narcissism, unlike this one.
One piece of advice I learned a from a former co-worker of mine was to never tease someone you didn't like. The reason being is if someone is bullied or teased long enough, they're going to go apeshit. Your peers in Catholic school probably haven't learned their lesson yet.
Unfortunately, my outlook on maturity isn't so great. People change relatively little from 18-28 as evidence from my friends list from my now deactivated Fakebook account.
Also, why is people who treat you badly try to add you as their friend on Fakebook?
I have the same traits that you have, Guitarguy: I was raised to have values like empathy, kindness, and humbleness that were instilled in me by my parents. Unfortunately, in the real world, such traits are often mocked and ridiculed by others, sadly. That's how degenerate of a society we have become. As someone that had similar problems in the military as you are currently experiencing right now, I would suggest you try to avoid those guys as much as possible or go talk to your NCO. Besides, it'll be over in a few weeks anyway, so try to bear with it.
There are countries in the world where you will very appreciated as an empathetic 5'6" westerner who is 26. OTOH, I know in many parts of Asia, a lot of people hate very cocky and pushy types. Guys come from wetern countries (white and sometimes even American Asians) and piss people off by acting this way, sometimes to the point of getting their asses kicked.
Remind yourself everday that before long, you can leave the US and find a new world where nobody will ever push you around verbally or physically again. Believe it and look forward to it. If you understand others, you wil be in a great position to make many friends and create a great life for yourself.
Hi Guitar Guy,
Yes, many Americans are brainwashed, cruel, ignorant assholes and many people in the US military are even more brainwashed, cruel, and ignorant than the average American! So it's no surprise that you're feeling down. Sure, you may have had a less than ideal childhood like many of us here did, but that still doesn't give people the right to treat you like crap!
So just focus on your plans to get overseas and learn to see other Americans as simply rats on a sinking ship!
Just ignore it IF you can!
The guys here are right though about bullies. MOST aren't up too actually getting physical. MOST will back down if challenged!
There are ways to deal with bullies WITHOUT even them knowing it was you BUT I'll leave that to your discretion.
You are young at 26. JUST make your plans, and bide your time UNTIL you can travel.
I'm a lot like you as far as the empathy and such. I older than you AND used to question my self as far as becoming a asshole douche bag in order to get a AW.
I decided to be WHO I WANT TO BE! And though it's caused me pain over the years, it was and is worth it Bill because to try to live a "role" or to try to become or be what other people want you to be in order to gain their love or respect or validation is, IMHO, literally akin to experiencing a sort of Hell on Earth.
Not everyone is going to like you, or respect you no matter who you are, how tall you are, how many "women" you have had, how much money you have etc............It's part of life EVERYONE eventually deals with at some time or another. It's better to be at peace with yourself. The rest of the world's opinions concerning who you are REALLY don't matter much.
"What we are seeing in this headless misandry is a grand display of the Tyranny of the Underdog: "I am a wretchedly longstanding victim;therefore I own no burden of adult accountability, nor need to honor any restraint against my words and actions. In fact, all efforts to restrain me are only further proof of my oppressed condition."
"It is the most perfect trump-card against accountable living ever devised."
I grew up and went through 14 years of public schooling in a culture in which I highly suspect bullying and "social darwinism" are far more prevalent than they are in America. Through the years I learned how to survive by picking on whoever was considered below me; as bad as this may seem it was either go through hell myself or learn how to bully others, although I never took pleasure in taking the easier option like most others seemed to.
In your situation you have two choices; either keep on failing to react and perpetually take shit to no end, or get into a serious altercation and/or fight if needs be. Should you take the second option the abuse is guaranteed to stop.
The ego is so strong in us Westerners that it's developed to a stage where we have an inherent need to disrespect others in order to feel good about ourselves and doing so is deemed socially acceptable and actually seen as respectable. I highly suspect this is not the case in most of the world, where being respectful is an essential trait to have in order to avoid being ostracized. Whatever you do, don't feel bad about yourself for not fitting into such a backwards culture.