“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” (David Brinkley)
This post may not apply to many men out there in percentage terms, but judging by comments received over the last decade of writing within this blog, I would expect that it applies to more than a few male readers out there.
A disintegrating friendship
It pains me to say this, but my once best friend and I have become increasingly distant in contact terms over the last four to five years. It would be easy to blame COVID-19, and the associated restrictions during this time that have manifested into lower general social interaction for today, but that would be a weak reason. The signs were there well before. I always try and blame myself first in situations of this nature in order for the purpose of credibility and balanced argument, but after further analysis it just started to become that bit clearer.
Of course, nothing can stay the same in friendship terms, or at least it rarely can. I have no problem with this, as friends settle down, get married, and have kids. I am not a huge socialiser myself (I am a socially interacting person, but the distinction in words and actions should not be construed as a contradiction), therefore the last thing I desire is anyone ringing me every week to go out on a routine and frequent basis.
As what was two or three nights a week becomes once a week at best. Once a week soon turns into once a month or so. Once a month transfers to every few months. Once every six months soon becomes difficult to commit to. Before you know it, a year (or a couple of years) have passed, and you realize you have not had any meaningful or sustained conversation in all that time. The role of me performing best man at his wedding now seems a million years ago. If the truth be told however, I could have done a much better job of it.
With that said, I dismiss the possibility of this estrangement on the wedding roles. Since then, I have suffered cancer, and he was supportive during my dark moments. We did not distance in significant terms post his wedding, and he never once made me feel like he was disappointed with my efforts. In fact, on a few occasions he thanked me for keeping the stag do low profile. He is not the biggest drinker out there, and knowing this I deliberately refrained from exposing him to any typical bachelor party games (much to the disappointment of the twenty other stags).
The early signs of alienation
Whilst far from a bad looking guy, my friend falls into a very mediocre standpoint of male physical attractiveness. Being a couple of grades above him in this respect, I never used to sense any kind of resentment on his part when we went out together. In fact, I always recall him telling me that he once asked a woman he knew (an ex-girlfriend of a friend of his) what she thought of my aesthetic blessings, concurrent to me talking to her friend. Whilst I would not go as far as thinking he ever took pride in standing alongside a much better male friend (most men do not, but a tiny minority of men actually do), I equally never picked up on a vibe of bitterness either.
Nevertheless, it was around 2019 that I first noticed his discomfort when we went out for a drink. As I documented in this previous post, there was one occasion when a woman commented on me as we left the bar. On the same night in a later bar, a few tidy young women transparently placed themselves in our vicinity. Around this similar timeframe (a few months earlier), there was another night when he pointed out a hot blonde haired girl at the other side of a pub. At the risk of tooting my own horn, I saw this blonde checking me out. I kind of think he saw this too.
The firm sign of alienation
Then came the late spring/early summer of 2021. Restrictions had been lifted in terms of social gatherings, therefore little genuinely stood in the way of any potential get togethers. I suggested going for a drink during a phone conversation, and his reluctance and reservation was all too obvious – stating he was still not confident in the social gathering aspect due to COVID numbers still being high. This would have been fine and accepted by me, but the problem was he let it slip a few minutes earlier that he had regular Friday nights meeting up with his local neighbours/friends over recent weeks, and in the local pub.
Then he made this big thing about me inviting another close friend of mine (who my once best mate knew through me, but who was never even near to being a close friend of his) when we next meet up. I found this somewhat strange, because he had not seen my other friend for a decade by now. Further still, he had never held such a desire in the interim period within this decade.
Up until a few weeks ago, we had not even shared a conversation in over a year. I can recall no more than half a dozen texts (during just one message phase) between us. We always send each other a birthday card, but I half expected he would not send one this time. My birthday came around, and as predicted no card came through the letterbox. Not even a text message. We were finished, as far as I could care by now.
Four days after my birthday, I heard a knock on the door after dark. I went round to the back gate, to see him there with his daughter. It was almost like he was using her as a hiding place, literally and proverbially. I let them in through the front door, and he was there with a belated birthday card. He made it clear early on that he could not stay more than a few minutes, although the conversation was amiable. As he left and I again proposed a catch up, he once more felt the need for my other friend as referenced above to be there if we did.
What is the conclusion?
I can only give my honest opinion based on what I see, in addition to life experience in other interaction scenarios over many years. I hate to say this, and I sincerely take no liking or pride out of it, but I place the main reason down to male physical inferiority complex of another man.
An argument could be put to me along the lines of why would this be the case now if it were not the case as far back as our late teens and throughout our twenties? Good question. My honest answer to this would be that, as the responsibility of marriage and kids has naturally taken its toll on his physical appearance (although to be fair he still looks young for his age), I have developed and maintained my physical allure predominantly as by-product of a less stressed and low responsible to others lifestyle. The physical gap in our late teens/early to mid-twenties, whilst noticeable, was most likely never significant in his eyes. As the years have passed, the gap has become wider. This gap has brought about discomfort on his part that enforces him to subconsciously (and maybe consciously) not want to be with me on his own.
Any other examples?
As I am conscious to not make this post any longer than it needs to be, I will not roll off another dozen examples that I could describe. Instead, I offer you the tell-tale signs that cannot hide the perennial vision of one man being uncomfortable (which will mainly be due to his inferiority complex) with another man.
· Extraordinarily little eye contact with the other man.
· Body leaning at an angle away from the other man.
· Transparent discomfort in body language when alone with the other man.
· An obvious need to end any conversation as soon as possible with the other man.
· No return questions, irrespective and despite the other man asking about his life.
· A sudden burst of comfort and confidence when other men come into the close proximity and environment.
· Ridicule towards the other man when other men are in the same real estate, yet no ridicule (or conversation in general) when just the two of them are together.
· Awkward body language that is all to clear to interpret that he does not want to be in the same close area as the other man.
· Spiteful looking face when together. No smile or comfort when the other man is talking.
· Only talking about himself.
· Displeasure when the other man mentions something about his own life.
What about women in this dynamic?
Women follow a similar path to how all is described above in these scenarios. In fact, as women place their greatest power in their physical beauty, if a man is better looking than her in gender relative terms then she is even more in discomfort, bitter and acrimonious than exampled inferiority complexed man.
Regardless, what women do is to place every given effort to not put themselves in that irritable and distressing feeling or presence in the first place. Based on the fact that they can usually choose where stand, sit or associate, in addition to many social environments being same-sexed, they can mitigate and eradicate any such awkwardness in the first place. Further still, they can by and large choose which men they socialize with, and they can most certainly choose which men they become more intimate with. By vast majority, they will choose men who make them feel better about life (hence, lesser looking men) in comparison to not choosing men who make them feel lesser about themselves (hence, better looking men).
Do not allow alienation to destroy you
Alienation can be a lonely place. In a world where most people rely on social interaction, social reassurance and social acceptance, when other people are not forthcoming towards you, or worse still they are resistant and retracting when faced with your existence, you will have days when feel so alone that you question what life is really all about.
The good news is that, even though people – women and men alike – follow a general trend in socio-psychological behaviour, there is still enough variation in human personality and character for said alienated man to live in the hope, and eventual knowledge, that a brighter day will one day be his. It may take more screening for to find these people who are engaging and embracing of your uniqueness, and they will be at times awfully hard to locate, but there is enough of them out there, even in their small membership, to produce a better day.
When you do find these people, I can assure you that just one of them is worth a thousand of the jealous and disgruntled losers out there. It is like a breath of fresh air, such is their rarity. You enjoy talking to them so much that the other thousand idiots who do not like you become irrelevant and invisible as far as you are concerned. You learn to spend more time on those who value you, and less, or no, time on those who resent you. It probably has not always been that way if you are honest with yourself. I certainly took a while myself to fathom who I should spend my time, money and love on. I will be the first to admit that I did not always get this formula right. I wish I could have that time again, but the next best thing is getting it right for today.
Q-tip: Your greatest lessons are a result of your biggest mistakes. Your biggest mistakes will usually be high in naivety and low in life experience. As you get older, the mistakes you make should decrease in greater numbers. If you are still making the same mistakes in later life as you were when much younger, you are simply not taking note of your life patterns.
A final thought – alienation for women
It is only fair to balance out this alienation debate in considering whether women – in this respect the top end physically attractive women – face the same predicaments as the highest value men encounter. There are similarities, with obvious variations.
From my experience, only a tiny percentage of men (men of all shapes, sizes, ages etc) hold a tendency to alienate the hottest women in the same or similar fashion to how women, as described earlier, alienate the most aesthetically gifted men. Quite simply, men will generally suck up to and pedestalize hot women, whereas women by majority resent the existence of hot men.
This miniature segment of men who do give the cold shoulder to beautiful women are men who have given up hope in ever being able to attain such a woman, and they try to disguise this frustration by stating words to the effect that she is too high maintenance or a gold digger. In easy explanation, these men act this way because they have conceded they are not good enough to secure women at the high end of the sought after spectrum.
In terms of whether other (mainly mediocre or worse looking) women are inclined to alienate their much hotter female counterparts brings about a more complex description of events. From where I have been standing all my life, it appears that most women do not refuse to be in the company of a much more attractive female acquaintance or friend. Whilst this companionship may be insincere in association with concealed inner hatred and jealousy, you have to remember that women are obsessed with their social standing, and how socialising with another person can elevate their social proof and popularity. Therefore, even if plain Jane or the fat/uglier woman has a natural dislike to the hotter woman’s visual attributes, she will use her hotter friend to elevate her own reputation.
Nevertheless, in fewer cases I have seen hot women being alienated, ridiculed, or attempted to be devalued by lesser looking women. You can probably picture in your head the gobby (and often ugly) woman in the group. With this said however, I have also seen it by women who may not even be that lesser looking than the woman they belittle.
Whilst a clear part of this nasty attitude will be down to envy of another woman’s hotter blessings, it is no coincidence that a larger default towards this loathsome disposition is when another woman belongs to a much more desirable male partner. You will find it hard to locate any factor out there in the world, in so far as illustrating female indignation and mean-spiritedness, as when one woman has to concede that another man is far more craved for by other women than the man she is with.