Being One Of The Others. Part IV. Risks and Rewards.

The concept of “otherness” is based on the idea of “us vs them”. In short, when we have established what we are, everything else is not us, and therefore must be “them”. The “other” is the individual who has not yet found a place where they belong, or who primarily deals in an environment where they do not belong.

In Part I: Stepping Out, I explored how Other Girls (OGs) are less often an absolute reject and more often the female equivalent to the male rogues: capable, gender-conforming individuals who feel at odds with the main group they live among. In Part II: Partnering, I explained what makes an OG tick and how an OG winds up choosing another Other as her partner, addressing all major variables from unattractiveness to countercultural preferences. In Part III, Beyond School I observed how everday social interactions change for OGs once they are in control of their lives. Now I’m moving onto the final part of the series so far: risk and reward. What does an OG chase, what does she avoid, what does she want and what variables affect these decisions?

RISKS.

Everyone has a risk reward ratio. It helps us to assess what is worth the effort we put into it and what is likely to backfire. Do we jump the fire as a part of a tribal ritual? Well, we probably should because the risk of getting burned is less dangerous to us than the risk of expulsion. Do we jump the fire for giggles? Well, we probably shouldn’t because the rewards of social approval are less beneficial than not burning our butts.

Naturally, a person who lives life on the outside of society will have much greater sensititivity to risks. This is because when there are fewer people to pick up the pieces, we are less wont to chase danger. And even when we are surrounded by police, health care and good samaritans, a feeling of otherness leaves an instinctive fear of danger. We keep an eye out for anything that might go wrong, sometimes to a point of paranoia, because we can afford it far less than anyone else.

However this sensitivity does not always make an OG act in a risk averse manner. Sometimes the risk is calculated, seen as high and taken. This is because being outside of society also means you need to chase your own rewards. Nobody will defend, clothe or feed you, so you need to take very calculated risks to minimize danger and maximize your rewards.

REWARDS.

OGs will work tirelessly for rewards. But what they perceive to be a reward may not be obvious to someone internal to the main society. An OG often needs something that is disproportionately rewarding to chase it, otherwise it is never enough.

An OG can share rewards valued by her original or main culture, but the nature of living outside it means that there must be things she values more or differently. If she valued the main culture most of all then she would be working harder to conform to it. As it stands, she must be operating differently to embrace nonconformity.

Some reward variables in OGs include:

  1. Placing greater value on loyalty. As someone who is rarely the recipient of loyalty, an OG treasures it greatly and offers it gingerly. When she has someone’s loyalty she will reciprocate thoroughly because to her, that loyalty is gold.
  2. Willingness to discard people. On the flip side, if you are not valuable and not loyal to an OG, she is ready to drop you. This is because an OG lacks the social infrastructures that allow most women to be deeply nurturing, and taking on burdens and risks for any degree of reward is too much effort.
  3. Self respect and internal motivation sits high. Again, if you are out on your own you need to be willing and able to sweat your own work. If she is socially isolated or disconnected you might find she places value on herself and her work, and on anyone and anything that contributes to it.
  4. Self loathing is a constant battle. On the flip side, many OGs blame themselves for their situation, be it true or not. They need to work hard to produce anything, and every failure rests on their own shoulders. Thus: failure is inadmissible.
  5. Being comfortable is a luxury and a trap. Like all humans, an OG wants deep down to sit back and never work again. Unlike many main society girls, an OG cannot sit back without increasing risks in her life exponentially. She may be constantly striving for the next good thing, never savouring the fruits of her labour.
  6. In isolation, primitivism can be engaged. On the flip side, an OG is also very happy to rest on her laurels whenever she can and will often reduce her life to bare essentials to make it easier. She will glaldy live only for food and idle pleasure and be oddly happy with this situation.

Not all OGs have all these points, and every additional variable mentioned until now still counts and can change the result. However those six should provide something to mull over when attempting to decipher what motivates an OG.

REALITY.

Many variables can change the way an OG perceives the world, most of which have been addressed in Part I. However it is important to consider both sides of the coin, the good and the bad. And not all variables to an OGs behaviour are pleasant.

Remember how I mentioned that an OG can be rejected even though she is pretty, feminine and extroverted, because she has behavioural or personality issues? Well there is a reason for this. OGs are vastly more likely to have mental or personality disorders than main group girls. In essence, however you rank each individual problem, there is something that separates her from the main group, whether it’s her choice or someone else’s. It’s less that an OG is more likely to have or develop a mental disorder and more that a girl with a mental disorder is more likely to be an OG. Having a handle on various common mental disorders and especially the minor, more manageable ones can shed light on the behaviour of OGs.

Being forced into a state of isolated independence has an odd effect on anyone. Even a mentally healthy OG may seem a lot colder on first impression, or whenever she is out of her comfort zone. An OG has either been rejected or disappointed by people many times in her life. Therefore she has learned to either shrink back from society, which is the introvert option, or to present a cold front, the extrovert option. Oftentimes the OG is nothing like that underneath the surface. Introverted OGs can be bold and tough and happy when they socialize in small doses. Extroverted OGs can be soft, sweet and friendly when they get to know someone. But the guard will be up for anyone new.

OGs are often fast to reject one sex or another. OGs are more likely to be introverted than extroverted and introverted OGs are more likely to have issues with one sex. The reason for this I don’t know, but I assume that between being an introvert and being an outcast it is easier to experience social life from the sidelines than it is to mingle thoroughly. However this can either take the form of discomfort… or bitterness. If an OG has excluded half the human population from her social boundaries, whatever the reason, it can be very hard to prove her prejudices wrong and gain her trust.

OGs can be incredibly tribal. Even introverted, unsubcultured OGs who socialize minimally and do not connect themselves with any distinct culture seek a tribal structure. At the end of the day, OGs are still humans and women: weak, hairless, armourless, slow, small animals that have long depended on numbers and big strong warriors for protection. That sort of ancestry doesn’t leave your genes any time soon. An OG will more likely warm up to someone who actively shares her interests and spends time in the places she frequents. This is a positive for many subcultured rogues (Other Men), who are often excited to meet girls who are genuinely interested in their hobbies. But it’s a nightmare as well, as any deviation from her passions can be taken as a personal threat and result in exclusion from “her tribe”.

These variables have great impact. A mentally ill OG, however minor her problem, may perceive risks and rewards very differently to a mentally stable OG. An OG will often perceive opening up socially to be a risk, and this risk may be enormously skewed against one sex. The reward sensation an OG experiences upon meeting someone who shares her interests is overblown, but deviation from that could easily reignite her risk alarms.

In short, getting close to an OG can take a very long time. It can be difficult. And sometimes it’s just not worth putting up with the wait and the standoffishness, because, let’s be honest, you don’t need everyone in your life. But when you meet an OG you just get along with, or when a girl who was quite cold slowly starts to grow friendly towards you, don’t necessarily be surprised. And if you’re absolutely desperate to get close to an OG on your own terms, then test the water, sit back a bit, see what happens and test again. Act as though you were on a friendly mission in enemy territory, and you need to get through a defensive battlefield to have an actual discussion with someone important. Because, let’s be honest, forcing yourself into an OG’s life is essentially breaking tribal barriers.

Got any more questions about OGs? Wondering about something I have already touched on? Got something to add? Ask away in the comments. 😀

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.
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How To… create an ambiance.

An ambiance is something hard to define as a word and hard to explain in reality. The word basically means “environment” or “atmosphere” in French. It’s a metaphor for the general feeling you get when you’re in a room or building. For example, the ambiance could be relaxing because the room is in light colours, the lights are dim, there is a pleasant fragrance in the air and you are sat somewhere comfortable. But ambiances can also be jarring, just not work. It’s like interior decoration for the soul.

So this is how we create an ambiance.

Step 1: Pick a theme.

This is so that there won’t be much conflict between the various elements.

Relaxing themes: seaside, cabin retreat, library, forest.

Vibrant themes: big city, bar, toyroom.

Festive themes: Christmas, Valentine’s, May Day, Easter.

Seasonal themes: Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring.

Topical themes: colours, items, textures, places, etc.

Try and pick a theme you will enjoy year-round or that you can easily transform.

Step 2: Fit the theme to your house.

For example, a seaside theme in a bigger house or room can feel like a beach, the water, rockpools or a boat. This is because it’s easier to make a bigger room feel like the outdoors. In a small room you may want to go with the “beach hut” or “boat cabin” theme, like the seaside will be just beyond the window.

Step 3: Consider what’s missing.

For example, your “big city flat” theme would be incomplete without the sounds of traffic. You may want to add them or adjust the theme to explain where the traffic went.

Step 4: The space.

Now we’re going to start on the senses. First sight. The first impression people will get of your room, your home, your office. Look around. Ask yourself how you can reorganize the room to better suit your theme. You want the theme to come together and look “right” the moment you step in the door, so consider that angle first. Look at what furniture you have, where you can put it, from what angles the room looks open or closed. Open areas make vibrant themes more extreme and quiet themes more subtle. Closed areas make quiet themes cozier and energetic themes more peaceful.

Step 5: The colours.

Pick colours for your room now. Choose a primary colour for the theme and a secondary one and look up compatible colours to give you more ideas. A city theme would be black and white, with either as the primary and plenty of bright colours splashed here and there. A sea theme would be primary blue, a boat theme would be primary white and a beach theme would be primary brown or yellow. Think carefully about the colours, the rest of the room will not come together otherwise.

Step 6: Furniture.

It can help to pick one or two items of themed furniture in your primary or secondary colour and build the rest of the room around them. Usually a chair, picture frame, table, dresser, mirror, bed or media cabinet will be the centre of the room’s decor. Chandeliers, bathtubs or desks can be too, but that would be more statement.

Also consider the comfort of the furniture. Sharper lines, even if the furniture is quite soft to touch, can make people feel like they’re on the go. Armchairs make people inclined to rest. Do you want everyone at the same height when they sit?

Step 7: Decor.

Try and pick ornaments and decorations inkeeping with your theme. Prominently display the ones that fit your theme. Put others further back or somewhere else. Paintings should actually reflect on your theme, not be it. Paintings of the seaside can ruin the feeling that you’re in a seaside cabin. Instead, photos of you on the beach and paintings made with sand will look more authentic. Try and think about the materials that would be available to you if your ambiance were a real place.

Consider minimalism, but bear in mind that traditional ambiances like rustic, hippie or forest will lend well to clutter.

Step 8: Lighting.

Hopefully you won’t need different lighting with your colours, but sometimes a room just doesn’t look as good by day as it does by night, or vice versa. If that’s the case, try these lighting tips:

Natural light for nature themes.

Bright light for Summer and pop themes.

Coloured light for city, sci-fi and 80s themes.

Dim light for peaceful themes.

Soft light for childish, boho or girly themes.

Incandescent light for indoor themes.

Fluorescent light for metallic and plastic themes.

Step 9: Scent.

Humans rely on our sense of smell far more than you would think. We associate certain smells with food, danger, home or fun. Using this can boost an ambiance very subtly, making someone feel energized, at ease or ready for food without really noticing why.

For clean-cut, urban themes, use scented candles.

For natural, boho, hippie themes, use incense.

For rustic themes, try and rely on the natural smell of firewood, flower arrangements or baked goods.

You can also spray perfume on furniture and curtains for light bursts of classy fragrance.

Try and avoid overusing air fresheners, they just don’t provide the same quality of scent.

Step 10: Sound.

Some themes lend themselves very well to sounds. Depending on your theme, you could use relaxation tapes, music, audiobooks or TV to bring the room to life. This can sometimes pull an ambiance together, such as using wave sounds for a boat theme or music for a bar theme. Just be careful as some themes, such as cabins, do well without sounds and can feel tacky if you add sound.

So that’s how to create an ambiance. You can follow all the steps when modelling a room or you could just follow a few to improve the ambiance in your home or to prepare a room for a dinner party.

What are your favourite ambiances? What feel would you like your home to have? How do you prepare the house for guests? Do tell!

TTFN and Happy Hunting!