No one cares about your feelings. People care about their feelings, and that’s one of the major, underdiagnosed problems nagging our society. The obsession with feelings at the expense of logic and effectiveness stems from at least three factors:
1) Feminism. Because women want to indulge their feelings, part of what’s happening under the radar is that women now believe their feelings are always valid and should be listened to and relied on for guidance. Feelings are often maladaptive and need to be suppressed, not indulged. In David D. Burns’s popular book Feeling Good, he defines emotional reasoning as: “assuming that your negative emotions necessarily reflect the way things really are: ‘I feel it, therefore it must be true.’” This is nonsense, although the idea is widely and foolishly indulged by schools. “Trust you feelings” is a vicious lie.
2) The pursuit of “happiness” as a goal. “Happiness” is bogus. Effectiveness is more important. What does “happiness” really mean anyway? Who the fuck knows, but like all feelings it’s fleeting and inconstant. Happiness in itself can result after doing something that will later cause unhappiness, and vice versa. For example, I might not want to go the the gym, because lifting is hard and I’ll be sore and I’d rather go home and fuck my girlfriend and eat pizza. However, in the long run, I’ll be happier if I go to the gym consistently; indeed, if I don’t do it, I’ll likely lose my girlfriend and won’t be able to replace her because I’ll be a fat ass. Same result with eating Big Macs or drinking beer–short term happiness, long term misery and regret. Time horizons matter.
3) Squishy parenting/education. Ironically, Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” may have manifested as the Wokeness we see today, because the only way to ensure no child is “left behind” is to start down a road where students aren’t held accountable for bad performance or behavior. The fastest, easiest way to “leave no child behind” is to lower the bar in terms of rigor, professionalism, and expectations, significantly. Students in most states are now socially promoted (that means they don’t have to pass their classes in Elementary or Middle School) on up to high school, where they’re coddled in such a way that a well watered plant could earn a diploma. Schools used to suspend or expel kids who were behavior problems, hold back or expel kids who couldn’t pass their classes–there were penalties for fucking up. Now–and again this started with NCLB–schools excuse fucking up in the name of promoting equity and making sure as many kids graduate as possible, because that is how they’re judged, broadly, by their school boards, communities, and voters. However, what this means in practice isn’t improving instruction or accountability–again, it’s lowering the bar.
In some cases there are good reasons to do this: kids who grow up in poverty have far worse attendance and test scores than rich kids. Kicking them out for basically being poor and having parents who have to work multiple jobs to survive OR aren’t good parents for other reasons (like alcoholism or drug addiction) isn’t fair, nor is it good. The really tricky thing about poverty, however, is that it is self perpetuating and very difficult to escape for the reason that someone who grows up poor, on top of often not having good role models in parents or the community, does not have the same options, advantages, or opportunities when compared with a kid who grows up rich or middle class.
On the other hand, if you don’t get burned for putting your hand on the stove, you won’t learn to stop doing it. Or, as Glenn Loury and John McWhorter have argued: you don’t help poor kids by getting rid of math and reading tests…you help them by teaching them how to learn the material and be successful. Attacking the measure doesn’t eliminate the thing being measured. And on the flip side, while kids who grow up poor have bad attendance for reasons outside of their control, people who don’t learn to show up to work every day on a consistent basis aren’t going to stay employed consistently, and are therefore almost certainly going to remain poor. Lowering the bar for rigor, professionalism, attendance, and expectations don’t do poor kids any favors–it sets them up for failure in their adult lives, and worse, gives them the false impression their feelings matter and that society and their employers will excuse their shortcomings and make everything OK.
Our society has become one where people are very much concerned with how they feel and then validating and acting based on those feelings. It’s like we’re ignoring the scientific method in favor of pre-science, pre-Renaissance belief and truth structures. This is a huge problem, because “how you feel” locks you into a state of perpetual childhood. “Living your truth” is a bullshit way of saying “everything I do is valid and if I don’t get what I want it’s unfair and someone should fix it for me.” But who is that person? Who is going to solve these people’s problems?
Women and children instinctively want a daddy, and maybe a big part of this is that we’ve raised generations that are increasingly childlike, weak, fragile, and unwilling to accept agency and responsibility for their lives. I don’t mean that people are irresponsible—it’s not that. It’s that they’re not willing to take responsibility for their own role in creating the conditions in which they live.
Are there a lot of factors out of our control that have perverse or pernicious effects on our lived experiences? Absolutely. Is our political system broken on many levels? Absolutely. We currently live in a country (the US) where one party is comprised entirely of a bunch of feckless pussies who lack the wherewithal to actually do anything close to what it would take to create a better society and economy, and the other has devolved into nihilistic Reevers who think everyone who doesn’t share their worldview is a child molester. I’ll let you figure out which is which. Nothing politically is going to change anytime soon, and spending a lot of time caring about it, screaming into the void, is a complete waste of time.
Factors out of our control are out of our control. One of the most appealing things about game and seduction when I first went down the rabbit hole was understanding this, and that I should focus on things that I can control rather than things I can’t. Marcus Aurelius figured that out a few millenia back. If everyone took true agency/responsibility for their lives, focused on what they could control and made the best of their circumstances, our society would likely transform into something better and ultimately more equal, just, and prosperous.
Instead, despite our glorious material lives (at least when compared with basically every other society in human history; read Steven Pinker)–or maybe because of this–we’ve become enthralled with bitching: finding reasons to complain, be offended, play the victim, cry foul, whine, etc., like little kids waiting for daddy to fix things. And again, this applies to Trumpsters and Wokesters alike–there’s not a lot of gumption, problem solving, or ownership going on in today’s society, and on the other hand there’s very little gratitude, grace, tolerance, or shared humanity happening either. We need to focus on creating a more serious culture. Seriousness demands logic over feelings.
Passively listening to feelings engenders a sense of outrage and injustice, fear and anger, that’s entirely avoidable if we focused instead, on doing things that would improve our lives in some way, like building something, helping someone, or using your brain and body to experience the beauty and wonder of the world.
For a man, one of the best feelings in the world, apart from figuring out a math equation or seeing your code compile without errors, is shooting your load in a hot 20 something chick you could never have scored before you made yourself into a better man, after blowing her mind in bed and running seamless escalation on the date.
If you want help figuring that out, hit me up for coaching. Otherwise, go lift or make money or talk to some girls. There’s never been a better time to be a player.