A reader writes about his experience observing the predictable utility of the Socio-Sexual Hierarchy.
I recently watched your SSH video and I have been tuning into the Darkstreams more often. The insights about gammas have been surreal as I reflect on interactions I have, a recent one stands out at church.
After service, we took a fellow out to lunch for his birthday. There were six of us, all men, few of us married. I sat across from him, and as conversation built up I asked him (call him Joe) all about his work. He’s a shy guy, slight autism is probably there, but he gets along with and is adored by everyone in our circle. I know nothing about his field, so I asked him lots of questions, genuinely interested, and also ensuring the focus was on him being able to talk about what he loves, after all it’s his birthday. He was having a great time talking about his work, his hobbies, and all of us gave him the spotlight, except…
There’s a guy beside him (call him Gamma) who I didn’t know well but one of the guys apparently had asked him if he wanted to come along. Now, every single time there was a nanosecond lull in the conversation, this guy physically jutted his head forward over the table as if sticking his boot in so you can’t shut the door, and he’d inject something like “So I went to the gaming convention a couple weeks ago, the one that was blah blah.” I mean we would ask Joe about himself, share memories about him and church, but as soon as there was a fraction of an opening, boom! This guy just couldn’t stop talking about himself. It was unreal, I had never witnessed anyone so self-involved, especially when we’re out for lunch treating the guy beside him whose birthday it is!
Several of us were obviously annoyed but no one wanted to ruin Joe’s birthday, we just ignored the Gamma mostly, nodding and smiling as he would go on. When lunch was over, the Gamma asked if one of us could give him a ride home, as he’d come with my friend Alex who was heading back to church to get his wife. We all looked uneasy but one of the guys whose wife wasn’t a part of the event at church said sure. That night, the guy who gave Gamma a ride calls me about some church events coming up, then mentions Gamma. “Dude, he just talked the whole way.” I laughed, but I still hadn’t figured the gamma attribute until my friend said, “I mentioned I gave Gamma a ride to Sue, and she gave me this sour look. She said all of the gals try to avoid him, he’s always trying to approach some of them to chat and they find some way to get out of it.” It really clicked with that, the women thing. They just cannot stand him.
Thanks for being ferocious in exposing the patterns of behavior. It has inspired me to look at myself more often, check what my patterns are. Also, it has been saving me a lot of time from being around men when I notice certain patterns, and can avoid the exhaustion they’ll bring.