You’re not “Nice”.

Everyone wants to be “nice”. Some people go as far as to say “I’m a nice person”, “be nice” and will affirm they are “nice” if you ask them whether they think they are. But it can be hard to pinpoint what they mean.

“Nice”, as per the dictionary, means “giving pleasure or satisfaction; pleasant or attractive”. There is no popular definition that denies this, there is no requirement to being “nice”, it is just “something pleasant”. This gives us a problem: you can’t decide whether you are nice. Only other people can decide whether or not you are nice.

If you call yourself “nice” you can mean only two things:

  1. You are pleasing to yourself, you approve of yourself. Which means nothing as all healthy humans, and many unhealthy ones, enjoy themselves and approve of their own behaviour.
  2. You seek to please others and be approved of, and believe your behaviour is pleasing and worthy of approval. Which means nothing as you don’t get to decide what other people enjoy.

And there are two motivations behind calling yourself “nice”, both of which can result in either of the two meanings.

  1. You are ignorant of what you are saying and responding to how you were educated. Your parents told you “be nice”, meaning “appease and please” and you did so. All you mean is “I want to make others happy” or “I’m doing what I think is right”.
  2. You know that niceness comes from others and you are demanding their approval or, in the case of “be nice”, that they should act as you want them to. What you mean is “you should agree with my morals” or “you should appreciate that I’m not actively hostile”.

Quite simply: you can aim to please others and garner approval, but you cannot make yourself “nice”. How nice you are is not up to you.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

As a side note, Twitter really has improved my succintness.

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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.

Who Here Is Simple?

A while back insanitybytes raised an interesting point. Many men and some women choose to define themselves as “simple”. Many women and some men are baffled by this and offended when the same thing is said about them.

Our cultural definitions of simplicity vary, but at the core, the idea is “this is not complicated”. A simple task is one that takes little time, effort or expertise to do when compared to similar tasks. A simple book is one that is short, plain and easy to read compared to similar alternatives. So simplicity is not only cultural, but relative in general. What is a simple book to a ten year old is complicated to a four year old.

When we get to people it becomes even more confusing. Because people are so multifaceted, simplicity isn’t quite so… simple. People have minds, hobbies, bodies, interests, needs and hearts. And each of these things can be simple or complicated, in the good sense and the bad sense.

Someone’s mind can be simple in that they are not very bright, or simple in that their thoughts are clear. Or be complicated in that they are highly intelligent, or complicated in that their thoughts are random and cluttering.

Someone’s hobbies can be simple in that they are easy, fun or cheap, or simple in that they are infantile. Or be complicated in that they are expensive and troublesome, or complicated in that they require high skill.

Everyone has their own idea of what it means to have a simple mind, body, heart or need. Some will paint it in a good light, others not so much. There seems to be a split, similar to the introvert/extrovert split, between simple and complicated people. There are people at one extreme who are dull, easily pleased, boring, cheap, clear, concise and readable. There are people at the other who are bright, dissatisfied, exciting, expensive, unclear, waffling and unpredictable. And there is an entire spectrum in between. And, much like introverts and extroverts can view “party girl/guy” or “the quiet type” as mildly insulting or somewhat complimentary, simple people and complicated people view “simple” or “complicated” as either a good thing or a bad thing.

Therefore, a complicated person is likely to view “I am simple” as self-depreciation and “you are simple” as insulting. Likewise, a simple person is likely to view “I am complicated” as an excuse for poor behaviour and “you are complicated” as insulting.

But neither is always the case.

When someone considers themselves “a simple man/woman”, often they mean it in the good sense. As in, their speech is direct and to the point, their needs are few and easily met, their hobbies are uncomplicated, they discriminate their entertainment carefully, etc. Just because you are simple in some ways or overall doesn’t mean you are simple in every way. A simple person can be highly intelligent. They are just direct.

When someone considers themselves “a complicated woman/man”, often they mean it in the good sense. As in, they are outgoing and fun, they have a busy schedule, they enjoy a wide variety of hobbies, they are intellectual and gregarious, etc. Just because you are complicated in some ways or overall doesn’t mean you are complicated in every way. A complicated person can be highly agreeable. They are just busy.

When you think about it, you’ll find that you lean one way or the other and most people you know could be called simple or complicated, whilst some are only slightly one way and some are dead-centre. What are you, simple or complicated? What is your opinion on simplicity or complexity in people? How do you get along with your polar opposites?

People come in all forms. Some simple people are dumb and some complicated people are annoying. But just because those words can carry that meaning doesn’t mean that is the only meaning they convey.

After all, when someone asks “What do you want for dinner?” and someone else answers “Steak and chips are fine. I’m a simple guy.” he probably doesn’t mean “I’m an idiot.”

TTFN and Happy Hunting.

5 Ways To Be More Independent.

We would all like to be more independent. After all, we live in a world where self-deification is the norm and pride, envy and greed are all justified, as you clearly deserve everything you want.

So whether you’re one of those people who feels worthy of everything they want or need or just someone who wants to avoid relying on those people, we all want to be more independent from others. This isn’t a safe world in which to be completely dependent, after all.

So what are the ways in which we can limit our dependence on others? Here are my top five.

1.- Self Awareness.

Self awareness is the very baseline. It is a raw, amoral, unemotional, rational analysis of who and what you are. Ask yourself these questions and answer as honestly as you can.

Who am I?

What defines me?

What do I add to others lives?

What do I get from others?

What is my purpose in life?

Who chose that purpose?

Am I fulfilling that purpose?

What are my flaws?

What are my shortcomings?

What holds me back?

What are my advantages?

Am I making use of them?

What are my goals?

Are they realistic?

Do they align with my purpose?

What am I doing with my life?

Am I making good use of my time?

How much do I have left?

What are my motivations?What is my priority?What matters most?

Are any of these questions making me uncomfortable? Why?

Did I answer any of these questions dishonestly? Why? What is the real answer?

Go through them again and again until you start to get a feel for who you really are. Face every side of yourself, especially the aspects you don’t like. The less you like them, the more you need to observe them. The parts of you that you least like are the ones you need to be the most aware of.

2.- Self Actualization.

Abraham Maslow defined self actualization as “the desire for self-fulfillment, namely the tendency for him [the individual] to become actualized in what he is potentially.” In other words, it is the desire to become the very best you can be, combined with a striving to become that best.

You cannot be independent without self actualizing. It is the next step from Self Awareness. Once you know who you are, you become aware of your potential. You might not know for sure how well you can do, but you will have an idea. Now you need to hunger for it.

You need to feel that compelling urge, that burning desire to reach the pinnacle of what you can be, to be the best.

Whatever you want out of life, whatever your purpose is, whatever you’re headed towards, you need to strive for it and strive to do the very best you can do.

3.- Self Sufficiency.

Part of becoming the very best you can be is cutting unnecessary dependence. And the biggest form of dependence is when you depend on others for your basic needs.

Of course, you can never actually eliminate the need for others unless you also eliminate others. If you want food, someone has to grow it, pick it and transport it. If you forage wild food you depend on there being wild plants, on having the ability to access them, on being protected from others who might interfere with your ability to forage. In short, as long as there are people, you will need people, even if it’s just to stop the other people from becoming a nuisance to you.

However there are many ways you can maximize your self sufficiency and ensure that you aren’t relying too much on individuals or organizations for support.

Look at where your money, your food, your shelter come from. These are the bare basics. The very first step is to ensure that your food and shelter come from your own money, not someone else’s. If your food and shelter come from your money, consider where your money comes from. Think of how you could use less money to have the same food and shelter. Consider whether it is preferable to work for someone else and get a stable paycheck but rely on your employer for work, or to work for yourself, rely only on yourself and your customers for work but risk earning less.

Some common forms of becoming more self sufficient are gardening, learning basic skills such as woodwork, plumbing or cleaning, installing a renewable energy source and walking or cycling rather than driving.

4.- Self Care.

The other side to reducing dependence is to reduce the need for less essential things. Other people provide company, affection, validation, stimulation. And it’s only natural to need and want these things. But we don’t want to rely on their continual supply. Needing someone else to validate you daily is as much a form of dependence as needing them to feed you is.

Instead, cultivate a form of self love through self care. This should be easier when you are self aware, self actualizing and largely self sufficient. You know who you are, where you are headed, what you want and you don’t desperately need anyone to get you there. This means you already have important, internal sources of validation: your skills, your identity, your goals.

But you need to also spend some time caring for yourself to cultivate this self love. Spending time alone if good for you. Even if it takes some effort at first, try and enjoy your own company. Make your own entertainment. Find books, films, games or hobbies that intellectually and emotionally stimulate you. Consider important questions and matters and reflect on them on your own. Play Devil’s Advocate against yourself.

Show yourself some tenderness. Afford yourself treats, relaxation time, idle hobbies and guilty pleasures.

Basically, learn to live on your own, to live with yourself. You don’t have to do it all the time. But it needs to be an option. You need to be able to be left on your own without pining.

5.- Self Integration.

Finally, I have been continually mentioning that you actually do need others for a lot of these things. You rely on either an employer or clients if not both for your income. You rely on gun manufacturers, law enforcement or other measures for your safety. If you plan on reading to liven your mind, you are relying on the writer, the publisher, the source of the book. You can never cut yourself off from humanity.

So the last crucial step to independence is to integrate yourself well into society. You will always need people. So try and only rely on people worth relying on. Rely on select people minimally and let them rely on you minimally. Establish clear boundaries in your relationships as to how far dependence can go. You want to be an active member of society. But you want to be a self aware, self actualized, self sufficient, self caring one too.

TTFN and Happy Hunting.

Do you view yourself as independent? What do you find yourself relying on too much? Do you find you’re at the other end of the spectrum and too detached from people? What parts of the self awareness questions did you find hardest? What parts of yourself are you fighting to reconcile with? If you feel comfortable doing so, share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

Soulmates, Percentage Possibilities and Waiting for “The One”.

I have recently been reading about the concept of “one-itis” and the belief in soulmates and, whilst I agree that people need a harsh dose of reality when it comes to settling down with or holding out for “the one”, I also believe that a more balanced argument could be presented.

So, here is my essay on soulmates and the laws of probability.

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For starters, let’s differentiate between soulmates and “the one”. “The one” is an abstract concept. It allows for much confusion specifically because people want it to. Your evil ex was “the one”, but your best friend’s sweet dead girlfriend was also “the one” and that girl your cousin met on holiday in France was also “the one”. It needs to be abstract and intangible so people can justify obsession. It’s usually the sort of relationship where you “just knew” they were “perfect” and that “it would last forever”. You don’t need to quantify or qualify it, d***it, they were the one! Or, basically, “the one” is shorthand for “I’m not sure I should have left this relationship, as I still wonder about what could have been”, or, even simpler, it’s shorthand for “regret and pining”.

On the other hand, “the one” is used to mean “the one for me”, implying there is one and only one human you could ever spend your life with, it’s just you haven’t met them yet. Again, you don’t need to qualify or quantify; when you meet them, you’ll “know”.

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A soulmate is a more flexible, yet more specific concept. Firstly, you can explain what makes a soulmate. You may have a list of absolute requirements and a list of preferences and a soulmate meets all of these. If they didn’t meet all of them, they wouldn’t be a soulmate. If you could improve on them even slightly, then they are a good match, but not a soulmate.

Yet soulmates are, as mentioned, a bit more flexible. They needn’t be perfect at first, or cause you to “know”. There is always the option that someone you are yet to become familiar with could be a soulmate. They may make you discover that some of your preferences weren’t preferences at all, or that some of your requirements were actively stopping you from meeting the right people.

They’re more specific, but there’s more wriggle-room.

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And now I’ve made all the “soulmate” and “one” believers go “aww”, it’s time to draw in the reins. You know that soulmate? Well, how many people do you think meet every requirement? It’s not just one. No, it’s not everyone either, but it’s definitely not one. So, let’s look at my requirements objectively. They will be listed alongside a percentage and a number. The percentage will be based on the total global population. The number will be the number of people with that quality. However, I will take my second percentage and, therefore, my second number from the previous number, rather than from the full 7B, to narrow it down.

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Race, European. Yes, it’s a requirement. I’m too narcissistic and prejudiced to want anyone but a Caucasian person. So sue me.

16.43% of 7 000 000 000

1 150 100 000

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Seeing as I’m straight and want to reproduce, let’s narrow it down to Caucasian men.

8.215% of 7 000 000 000

575 050 000

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Now, I wouldn’t really date someone younger than me, but, despite my belief that 10-15 years older is the “sweet spot”, I have personal issues regarding dating someone that much older than me. Instead, I prefer men around ten years older at the most. So 20-30 year olds.

5.9% of 575 050 000

33 927 950

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Without going into politics and starting even more of a debate when the race requirement can more than handle that on its own, let’s just say he should be a minority party voter.

As 3rd party candidates rarely get more than 3% of vote in the US, let’s use 3% as our ballpark.

3% of 33 927 950

1 017 838

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Not married. This is an important one. He needs to not have already committed to a relationship.

Ignoring the bias towards men and women taking traditional paths and marrying young in this group, also ignoring those that are taken, assuming all unmarried are single, we shall just go with the average marriage rates for Caucasian, Western men. 23.5% of men married, 76.5% not married.

76.5% of 33 927 950

778 646

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Upper 30% in terms of looks. Any less is not really possible in terms of sex.

30% of 778 646

233 594

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Alpha. 27.9% is the largest estimate and allows for any debate as to what exactly constitutes an Alpha to be ignored.

27.9% of 233 594

65 173

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Worked out around 5% of alpha men willing to settle down and be monogamous at this stage in their lives.

3 259

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So that’s 3 259 potential soul-mates already.

Now for the things I couldn’t find stats for:

They’d have to look and act fairly like I do. I am very narcissistic. Someone too different to myself in terms of appearance, even from the upper 30%, would be hard to feel a passion for. This is probably the primary motivator for the race selection too.

They’d have to be non-aggressive towards me, but aggressive/sociopathic toward the rest of the world. Again, I like people who are like me, but I like people who like me. Someone who enjoys an almost locked-in relationship and who can cope with my bouts of introversion or need for social recovery is important. Someone who I can share my misanthropy with and who will be able to agree with and add to it from their own personal experience is someone worth keeping around.

They’d have to want children. I want a large number of children. If they don’t want them, the relationship just wouldn’t happen.They’d have to feed my narcissism. Narcissism either grows and thrives or collapses and rebuilds itself. Some narcissists enjoy the confrontation of the collapse. Others enjoy resting in their own stability. Due to other personality traits, I couldn’t live with someone whose life-goal it was to destroy my narcissism.

They’d have to be willing to engage in debate. Not just banter or small-talk. We’re talking prescribing of contraception, Ayn Rand, whether modern humans are more sociopathic than humans before, the potential of an afterlife, etc. Things that get people riled. They’d have to engage unemotionally and calmly. Yet they’d have to generally share my beliefs, or be willing to reach consensus. Again, I am a narcissist. I can handle criticism of my beliefs and calm conflict over them, but I won’t like it. And I’d rather be with someone who I like interacting with. Which includes debate. They’d also have to be willing to play Devil’s Advocate if I want to continue exploring an area in which we have already agreed.

They should enjoy spending time with me. A lot of time. Someone who meets all these requirements could quickly become the only person I want to interact with. Whilst my social requirements are few, it could be quite a burden to someone who likes seeing their partner only late at night, or a couple of times a week.

And they’d have to do all the above off their own backs, without being a doormat. I want someone who would do it if I never mentioned it and indeed, who does many of these things before I mention them. I don’t want someone who capitulates. That’s weak and weakness disgusts me. And believe me, I can tell.

Physically, I am happy to conform to anything for a person like this, bar surgery. I am happy to share my hobbies with them and engage in theirs. Many aspects of my personality are flexible and I enjoy enough of a range of things to embrace whatever I need to.

Finally, they’d have to love me as I loved them: fairly unemotionally, yet passionately and for everything they are and I am. I couldn’t deal with someone whose love was 100% or much over 50% unconditional. I couldn’t deal with someone who loved me reluctantly or dutifully. I want someone who genuinely adores what I am.

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So definitely not “the one”. Probably not even one in a million. But it’s safe to say there’s around 750 of them out there.

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Now I’d have to meet them before they became married or I became too old for children. And meet them properly. I generally dislike humans and keep interactions to a minimum, so for someone to catch my attention they’d have to either be vying for it or engaging in something I found interesting.

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What I’m saying is, there are enough of them out there that there’s a chance. But that chance is 0.0000107%. Still, that’s assuming all humans, across the world, have an equal chance at talking to me, at making an impression. Maybe with a bias towards people I would interact with, eventually I could narrow it down to one of them? Yet it doesn’t always work like that. Our social circles are based around interests, but also needs and obligations. We don’t only interact with people we like and we don’t meet everyone we could like. We don’t necessarily only like the sort of person we would date. We have people we like interacting with as friends who never will be dating material. We have a limited amount of time to dedicate to other people every day and we must spend some of this on keeping up appearances, maintaining friendships, sorting work, talking to family and arguing with strangers online. In reality, many of those 750 could die before I met them. Many could be brushed away due to business, or decide to marry someone else, or not marry in the time it takes. As it takes several weeks for me to decide if a human is even worth continuing talking to and several months for me to consider them friendship material, then I may not meet any of those 750 at all before we’re both too old.

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You aren’t “destined to be”. You aren’t “destined to meet”. You aren’t entitled to have one. There’s a chance that there really is only one person out there who could be perfect for you. And you may never encounter. If you wait for them, you may spend your whole life waiting. It’s up to you to decide whether sacrificing every sexual aspect of your life is worth it.

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I managed to work this out years ago, when I was a silly seventeen-year-old. I realized that my chances of ever meeting a soulmate were stupidly low. Being the way I am, settling for less and burdening myself and my potential partner with that sort of a relationship just wasn’t an option. The very idea horrified me. Fortunately for me, I didn’t get to carry on with my mission to remain a virgin crazy-dog-lady and become a biker, painter, international journalist. I actually found someone who met my list of requirements and who meshed so perfectly with me, I found it hard to believe he existed for the first month of our relationship.

But I defeated the odds. I wasn’t pro-active. I didn’t go out and hunt him down. I just got used to the idea that I would never meet anyone worthwhile and suddenly met him. Getting lucky hardly counts when it comes to the reality that that was probably less than a one-in-a-million chance.

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And, finally, the last stage of being soulmates. If you meet someone who meets the criteria, at the right time, who’s ready for a relationship and who wants you just as you want them to want you, the next thing that happens is when you become the one you want to spend your life with.

Not as in “the one” above. As in, you’re now one with them and you’d probably never be able to be with anyone else ever again. As in, other humans start looking bland and unattractive and they’re the only person you’re drawn to. As in, if they pass away of old age, you’re probably dying the next day to join them.

This isn’t something that “just is”, or you “just know” as so many people seem to believe. This is a perfectly natural, biological, healthy response to meeting and joining a soulmate. You have sex, you cuddle, you talk. Your hobbies and interests change, but they change together. You learn together and become more and more similar. You reach a point where you are so deeply connected by oxytocin bonds and the ribbons of time that you’re inseparable. That is what “the one” should be: someone who was pretty much spot-on and who you bonded with over time. A soulmate that withstands the test of time and just seems more and more perfect, day after day. If you have to fight desperately, call them back and beg them time and time again and eventually end up separate, you weren’t “soulmates”, it wasn’t “destiny” and they certainly weren’t “the one”.

If you find a potential soulmate, one of the 750, or 300 or 1000 or whatever it is for you, you may only properly meet them once. It’s worth getting to know them well, starting a relationship with them, seeing if it can go anywhere. If they truly are a potential soulmate, they may become a proper soulmate and eventually become the one human you want to spend the rest of your existence with. The others are omitted, not from day 1, but after years of bonding to that particular one you chose to be with. Hold onto them tight because there will be nothing better than this while it lasts.

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So yes, there are soulmates out there for you. And yes, there is more than one, which does give you better odds. But I am agreeing with the consensus that eternally holding out for one may be a bit of a stupid idea. After all, if part of your life goal as a human is to have sex, reproduce and/or get married, then you need someone else for that. And if you waste your life waiting for the soulmate to waltz in through the door, then you’ll just end up bitter and disillusioned. Set a time-limit, try and find one if you’re desperate, but prioritize yourself over a currently-imaginary person you may never meet. After all, there may be 300 000 or even 1 000 000 people out there who aren’t quite your soulmate, but who could make you so happy you’d hardly know the difference.

However, unlike many of my fellow bloggers whose works I’ve been reading, I will add something. I am a statistically insignificant success story. But n=1 says that if you find someone as suited to you as Jon is to me, you will be happier to embrace them than if you rejected them with cynicism. So if you defeat the odds, find someone who is absolutely, measurably, objectively perfect for you, then have them. And don’t give them up. After all, they may not be “the one”, but they could always become the one to spend your life with. And will you ever meet another person like them again?

Humans Cannot Act Against Human Nature

“We are exactly as nature “intended”. We couldn’t exist otherwise, as the process of evolution would have cut us from the tree long ago. Our minds are exactly as nature “intended”. All nature “intends” us to be is successful or dead. Our minds have made us what we are, have made us immensely successful, and that includes our rational decisions regarding our own instincts. As we are still alive, it’s safe to assume nature “intended” reason to be part of our human nature.”

Again, as always, let’s be clear on the definitions of “human nature”. The Oxford English Dictionary currently defines it as:

“The general psychological characteristics, feelings, and behavioural traits of humankind, regarded as shared by all humans.”

So, that would make “human nature” better defined as “human behaviours, feelings and other characteristics”. By paying special attention to the word “psychological”, we note that we are not talking exclusively about actions committed, ideals or instincts, but a combination of all three and more. By paying special attention to the word “regarded”, we note two things. Firstly, the opinion of human nature is not an absolute. It is perceived to be, or “regarded” as shared by all humans, however this does not mean that any specific behaviour actually is. Secondly, as an opinion, it is subjective. Need I say more?

As the view on what constitutes “human nature” is subjective, generalized and broad, we must try and regard “human nature” without trying to make it objective (implying complete knowledge of the human condition and mind), absolutist (making it automatically incorrect, as an absolute is either right or wrong and one exception makes it wrong) or specific (forcing us to focus on the nuances rather than the entire state). To do so, let’s say that “human nature” is an abstract concept. It’s intangible, we can’t witness it, but it is necessary and at the very core of our every behaviour, feeling and characteristics. It is the puppet-master behind the scenes that triggers everything we are, say, think and do. Human nature is everything that makes a human human.

Now, here is where most find their first and final pitfall: we often confuse human nature with pure instinct. We assume that, as every aspect of human nature must stem from our biology and, therefore, our instincts, that the purest form of human nature is animal instinct. That, if we act against our baser drives to eat, fight, mate, flee, or our simplest impulses we are somehow acting against human nature.

Yet, if you observe how humans behave, this Freudian simplicity is… well, too simple. Humans are social animals. Humans are rational animals. We may feel an impulse to eat, but first inspecting the berry is wise. We may feel an impulse to mate, but mounting the Alpha’s partner is unwise. We may feel an impulse to flee, but to first scan the area, follow a lead or consider other evasion tactics is also wise. The right, rational decision can make or break our success. Our behaviours are just as much influenced by our minds and society as they are by our impulses and environment. Ergo, our human nature is just as much rational and social as it is instinctive.

In fact, our minds are what make humans distinct from other animals to begin with. Instinct and impulse did not create metropoli. Sure, you could argue that the desire for food, mates and safety created metropoli. But, without our minds and social natures, humans would, like so many other animals, have settled for following the migrating game and gathering seasonal produce, forcing ourselves upon suitable partners and defending ourselves through evasive and defensive means. Our minds are absolutely necessary to explain our successes. Our social structures are also necessary, as, without intricate hierarchies and extensive bonding and trust, sedentary life and all the things that can be created within it would be impossible. Without our minds, we are animals. Without society, we can’t use our minds. When we have both, we are human. The take-away message is that, if our minds and society make us human, then anything created by our minds and our societies also stems from human nature.

“If we take the angle that reason and society are also parts of human nature, then we can understand why people act against their instincts or best interests. The woman who kills her own child does so, not because of an instinct or an impulse, but because she believed it was the best option. An anorexic starves themselves, not because of an instinct or an impulse, but because they feel they should. Humans engage in unnecessary risk-taking, not because we are following an impulse but because we consider the reward to be worth the risk. We use our minds to overcome our instincts, and often to excellent results.”

This goes a long way toward explaining that which Freudian simplicity and the absolute perspective of instinct=human nature fail to: why is it that humans act against our instincts, our impulses, even against our own best interests? If all of human nature could genuinely be boiled down to our base instincts, the survival of our genes, or sex, food and survival, then many behaviours are hard to explain. For example, faith is not instinctive, about your genes or about survival. On the contrary, faith often requires humans to make sacrifices, act against their basic reproductive instincts and even die. Yet faith continues to form part of our lives, as it fulfills emotional, social and spiritual needs that go beyond what an animal requires, but are necessary for humans to thrive.

Likewise, a mother who plans to kill her child, a man committing suicide, an anorexic starving themselves or a voluntary celibate are acting directly against their main biological imperatives. Often, they are viewed as “outliers”, or “exceptions” that act “against their nature”. However, this is just an excuse for a limited, absolutist view of human nature; a way of arguing that the absolute view is still correct, rather than accepting that it has been proven incorrect by a variation. Yet, these “exceptions” are very much the norm. If you wish to argue that the main driver of human nature is survival of the individual, then you must ignore the fact that most humans engage in risk-taking that threatens their lives, directly or indirectly, often for no apparent reason. If you wish to argue that the main driver of human nature is the spread of our genes, then you must ignore the fact that humans without access to contraception are very consciously selective about their choices of mate, rather than going by their horniness alone. On the other hand, if we take the angle that reason and society are also parts of human nature, then we can understand why people act against their instincts or best interests. The woman who kills her own child does so, not because of an instinct or an impulse, but because she believed it was the best option. An anorexic starves themselves, not because of an instinct or an impulse, but because they feel they should. Humans engage in unnecessary risk-taking, not because we are following an impulse but because we consider the reward to be worth the risk. We use our minds to overcome our instincts, and often to excellent results.

Of course, you could then say that the mind is an add-on that complicates matters. That, without the mind, we would still exist. That to act without the mind is to act the way our bodies were made to act. But to deny the mind is to deny humanity. By negating the mind, you are implying our entire lives would be better if we were instinctively driven, as “nature intended”. But nature did not “intend” us to be irrational beasts. Nature made us as we were and we took what we were and turned into what we are today. If applied to everything, the negation of the mind would cause society to disintegrate and humans to devolve. If we exclusively ate what felt good, we would get ill. But it’s natural to eat what feels good. If we exclusively eat as our ancestors ate, we would suffer famines, poisonings and malnutrition. But it’s natural to eat following nature and the seasons. If we exclusively mated with people we see as “hot” and did so whenever we wanted, we would have many illegitimate, attractive children that would die from lack of social structure, creating a bottleneck. But it’s natural to want sex with lots of hot people. If we exclusively mated with those who are functional and were very selective about ever mating before bonding, matings would be few and few matings would result in children. But it’s natural to select the very best mates we can obtain. If we acted on every impulse, would we be being “truer” to our nature? Even if acting on these impulses killed us en masse, resulting in another bottleneck or even the extinction of the human race? We are small, weak, maladaptive animals with extraordinary brains. We are exactly as nature “intended”. We couldn’t exist otherwise, as the process of evolution would have cut us from the tree long ago. Our minds are exactly as nature “intended”. All nature “intends” us to be is successful or dead. Our minds have made us what we are, have made us immensely successful, and that includes our rational decisions regarding our own instincts. As we are still alive, it’s safe to assume nature “intended” reason to be part of our human nature.

“If you are currently trying to explain why you choose to act on your instincts rather than not, you are making your instincts a matter of reason. If you try and rationalize how you embrace instinct and reject reason, or how you decide which instincts and impulses are to be followed and which not, you are making this a matter of reason. If you try and explain why all reason is, at its core, instinct-driven, you are making this a matter of reason. As a rational animal, the only way you can escape your rational and social nature is by rationalizing yourself into a state of unreason or opting for a lobotomy.”

Society, culture and faith are human. They stem from our needs and are an integral part to how our minds work. To argue that instinct trumps culture in the game of “what should we do” is, as explained above, to regress. To act against all society, all culture or all faith is to destroy these structures. By destroying social constructs we remove society as we know it, which removes the need for humanity as we know it. Therefore, we must act in accordance, or at least in harmony with our society. And that includes culture, trends, fads, religion, etc. As a human, to choose to act against your instincts is part of your nature, as you are a rational animal. As a human, to consider society in your reasoning is part of your nature, as you are a social animal. Of course, you may choose to reject religion and insist there is nothing out there. But that is also a belief, replacing the absence of a belief in a faith. You may choose to join or create a counter-culture or even an anti-culture. But that is still the formation of culture. You may choose hermitage, but that is still a socially-motivated choice. You can’t escape your human nature.

Finally, let’s consider that your choices and actions matter more than your instincts. Indeed, if you are currently trying to explain why you choose to act on your instincts rather than not, you are making your instincts a matter of reason. If you try and rationalize how you embrace instinct and reject reason, or how you decide which instincts and impulses are to be followed and which not, you are making this a matter of reason. If you try and explain why all reason is, at its core, instinct-driven, you are making this a matter of reason. As a rational animal, the only way you can escape your rational and social nature is by rationalizing yourself into a state of unreason or opting for a lobotomy. Even then, no success is guaranteed. Your mind makes you human. It makes you who you are. It gives you the choices that let you embrace or reject instinct, embrace or reject society, embrace or reject faith.

And, as a human, as a rational animal, your only biological imperative is to make whatever choices you believe are correct. If you believe you should not reproduce, you are acting against your genes’ desires, but in accordance to human nature. If you wholly embrace your basic instincts, you are acting against your reason, but in accordance to human nature. If you strictly control your diet, you are acting against your basic impulses, but in accordance to human nature. You may be biologically successful or not. Socially successful or not. You may embrace nihlism and reject any concept of success in this world. Move and behave according to your goals. But don’t try and pretend you, or anyone else, is acting against human nature. That is a complete impossibility.