In the corporate world it’s not uncommon to see companies hire expensive consulting assistance, pay exorbitant sums for common sense, and searching for answers to simple questions. A common feature of such companies is that regardless of the quality of advice they get, they attempt to implement it, often with fanfare, only to find themselves compromising and backsliding within a few months. This is not only detrimental to the employees, management and shareholders but also a gigantic waste of corporate funds. In my latest appearance on the Mark Baxter Podcast, this was a topic that came up for discussion between Mark, Rollo of therationalmale.com and myself.
One can observe that former PUA gurus such as Style and Mystery, along with men such as Tucker Max (Natural Jerkboy) over time have found themselves forgetting the very lessons they sought to instill in men a decade ago, only to embrace the blue pill, and moving into “relationship advice“. As Style aptly points out in “The Game” his journey as a pick-up artist did teach him how to pick up and bed women, but he found himself unlearning much of it to make the relationship with his oneitis work. He also tells the story of Mystery being deep in depression over his inability to make things last with his oneitis of choice.
In a tweet a while back I made the analogy that the red pill is like diet and exercise, the second you stop doing it, you start the backslide to your old self, and this is a phenomena that can be observed in many men who adopt PUA scripts or red pill ideas only to discard them over time when convenient. To some extent this forms the foundation of the purple pill, where the core premise is that if you are only aware enough of red pill principles you can attain the paradise presented by the blue pill illusion.
The Scripts of Life
Scott Adams has referred to humans as “moist robots” and this means that we are merely running scripts for behavior that we have internalized at some point. When I refer to scripts throughout this post, it’s analogous to a computer script, namely a piece of code that tells a computer to react in a certain way based on a given input.
Everyone is born with some scripts ready to run, breathing, the heart pumping blood, and various other underlying processes that are not subject to our conscious control. For obvious reasons, it would be exhausting for a person to have to consciously decide to breathe, or realizing “Crap, I forgot to pump blood for a minute there”.
Then there are the learned scripts that are part of our socialization process. For those of you who have traveled a bit, the fact that you need to learn new scripts in each country/culture is a part of being one of the Romans. As a person grows up, they learn which reactions are the socially expected ones based on a given input and context. For instance, a baby learns very early that if it cries, the parents come running and attempt to attend to its needs.
A bit later in our childhood we learn about sharing, object constancy, our “pleases” and “thank yous” and various other scripts that help us function as a society. We are told that hitting people as a result of a disagreement is unacceptable, and the totality of these scripts make up the majority of our behaviors.
The average blue pill man learns that hiding his sexual intent is appropriate, he learns that he needs to buy drinks and pay on dates, he learns that he must build a life that he can invite a woman into and many other things. These various scripts make up a “good boy”.
Furthermore, there are scripts that are not explicitly stated to the man that he internalized. For instance, young boys with a cluster B mother, and a meek father, will tend to internalize the scripts that their father used towards the mother. This is no different from how a woman who grows up with poor female role-models will tend to reenact these scripts in her own life.
The red pill is hard work because it requires rewriting the various scripts that over time have become highly internalized and deeply ingrained in your personal software. The red pill in this regard can be viewed as a software update to a man’s existing software package, one could refer to this as “Man: Service Pack 2” that seeks to fix some of the unfortunate bugs that came with the first version of the software.
Red Pill VS. Just Be Yourself
Most men have been told “Just be yourself” at one point or another when asking for sexual market advice, this boils down to “continue to utilize the scripts that are not working for you, you just haven’t met the right girl yet”. Just being yourself is simple as it requires no work to update and clean up the various scrips you have collected over time. This advice is like telling a failing business “Just keep doing what you’re doing!”.
As a man finds the red pill, he begins moving through the classic 5 stages, there is no guarantee that he will ever progress to acceptance. The red pill is difficult not only because it contradicts many of the premises that serve as a foundation for his internalized scripts, but also because it firmly places a burden of work upon him. Where his previous script promised desired rewards in exchange for “just be yourself”, the red pill makes it clear that those rewards are reserved for his best self.
Thus, the red pill not only requires that he rewrite large parts of his belief system, it also means that he must expend energy in order to obtain his desired rewards. He will be the man who goes to the gym instead of watch the game, who sips at a glass of ice-water instead of beer, who goes to the gym instead of sitting in front of the TV. In short, he must sacrifice for his rewards.
Rollo Tomassi refers to this process as “Killing the Beta“, which is a process a man goes through where he must
The Old PUA and Backsliding
For those who are not familiar with the body of work left behind by many of the PUA who have now comfortably slid back into “Just be yourself”, early PUA work is highly centered around developing behavioral scripts. Perhaps the most extreme example I remember from back in the day was a decision tree that mapped out routines, gambits and games from the opener to the post-coital bliss.
This can be liked to an actor playing a part of pick-up artist, much in the same manner that Superman plays Clark Kent. In the suit and glasses he’s a meek reporter, in the Superman outfit he is the man of steel, much in the same manner the pick up artist in sweatpants was himself, the pickup artist in a top hat was his alter-ego.
Such behavior is merely a case of changing one social mask for another, which is something most humans do constantly as a part of every day life. A person acts a bit differently at work, than he does with his parents, and a bit different when he is with he friends. It does not require re-writing or updating the underlying script, it merely requires a new set of scripts that are contextually executed as a result of a given input.
This is perhaps why both Style and Mystery struggled with long-term relationships, as told by Style in “The Game”, because their newly developed “Interaction with women 2.0” script was not a cross-contextual script, it was a highly specialized script that only worked in a given context.
Upon realizing that their “Interaction with women 2.0” script did not yield the desired results, they fell back to their default “Interaction with women” script which is the one that they had internalized early in life.
Summary and Conclusions
When I started reading red pill theory, the self-improvement aspect had very much come to the forefront of the movement. Rather than memorizing gambits, games and lines, the body of knowledge was based around improving yourself as a man. Lifting weights and maintaining a healthy body, is advocated as one of the core elements of being a red pill man, and this is for good reason.
Just being yourself meaning that you indulge in the worst aspects of being human, short-sighted, instant gratification, energy saving, and comfort. In order to maintain a strong and healthy body, you must instead adopt a long-term perspective, be willing to work with little reward for a long time, expend energy and make yourself uncomfortable.
Diet and Nutrition is a great example in this case, because it touches on every element. For instance if one attends a family function or goes out with friends, the short-term and instant gratification of substantial amounts of alcohol and bad food, as opposed to the long-term goal and long-term satisfaction with the result of sticking with a diet. Going to the gym 4 days a week, and being so sore you can barely move 3 days a week as opposed to just relaxing in front of the TV watching “Breaking Bad” for the 4th time.
This not only helps with one area of a person’s life, as the scripts required such as self-discipline, persistence, long-term thinking and determination are cross-contextual, they carry over into other areas of a person’s life. Perhaps the best example is self-confidence, as it is built off success, and success in one area of life, will often lead to an increase in overall self-confidence.
If one does not overwrite the “Just be yourself” scripts with new and improved scrips, the result is that at the first opportune moment, the old script with reassert itself and take over. The overwriting process takes a long time, as one must remember that the old “Just be yourself” script was internalized, refined and present in the brain for decades in most cases, one cannot destroy that which took years to build in hours.
One of the very clear examples of this are the men who enter the manosphere looking for a way to secure their blue pill illusion with their oneitis, are successful in securing the relationship, only to then revert back to their old self.
To be the best man you can be, you must constantly work, to “just be yourself” requires nothing.