[adv/disc] Dealing with assholes and homosocial displays of douchebaggery.

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Post by Guest on Sat Nov 01, 2014 10:02 am



Louie Season 1, episode 9: Bully videoweed.es 018efa7c09e5f (The website has popups and shitty ads, so apologies in advance.)

So, I came across the Youtube video above some days ago and while I had some anxiety watching it, it didn't quite prompt me to make this thread until I watched that particular episode of Louie.

I suppose I felt uncomfortable watching that 'prank' (seriously?) video because I can totally see that happening to me, i.e. I can seem like The target because I don't have the physical presence that garners respect and because I have a lot of traits that read "weak man". I fear being in that situation because...I would just break the fuck down and it would be a sorry sight. And also the videos adds more weight to my social expectation that no-one will really have my back but me. Another thing that upset me was how no-one called the guy out for being a prick or defended the guy being 'pranked'. And how they all seemed to nurture the fucker after he got clocked, like what the hell?

Watching that 'Bully' episode also made me lose faith and feel both anxious and....let down/disappointed. Because again, what Louie's date did really rubbed salt in the wound, as it was a confirmation of the things I'd read and it's what I would expect to happen to me in the dating realm. Especially to me. But that's not exactly the focus of this thread, so I'll ask:

a) To those of you who participate in and are privy to social dynamics, is the kind of behaviour in the videos above common (I'm guessing and hoping the answer's no) and more importantly, do the assholes get away with it? Is it specific to particular groups and age demographics?

b) Are there resources out there that teach you how to defend/compose yourself in response to asshole behaviours and displays of male dominance? Kinda like the social equivalent of defensive driving, martial arts, conflict resolution techniques that aren't corny and work etc.? (I know that there's a 'How to deal with difficult people' article on succeedsocially.com, but I haven't got to reading it yet)

Thoughts? Advice and discussions are welcome.

Thanks.


Last edited by HermitTheToad on Sun Nov 02, 2014 6:22 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by BasedBuzzed on Sat Nov 01, 2014 11:20 am

As a participant in the occassional dickwaving contest, the most important part is that you don't "win" these interactions themselves, which most of the time peter out without really going anymore. It's how you frame it to friends afterwards, and that is intimately tied to self-image.

In the vid, the prankster frames it as an overreaction by someone without a sense of humour, who is probably too insecure to laugh at himself. The other party probably sees it as a moment in which he has to assert himself, or else the whole crowd will perceive him as weak. Most of these encounters aren't filmed, so there's no time to analyze body language and event order. Use this to your advantage.

Me getting beat up at a party once? Gave me the chills of people who looked like they were victim-hunting for a time, and anger at not being able to defend myself properly. But the damage was pitiful, the main perp got community service, and I am a person who tends to laugh it off, so I was quick to sell it as "fuckers didn't even manage to do much damage while breaking a beer bottle on me, and that stuff gave him 100 hours of community service plus a rap sheet". It's ego preservation, everybody does it, and the fear of how your friends will react should be reframed as a filter for whom you actually want to hang out with(would you want a person who dropped you because you weren't alpha enough?).

What is perhaps the primary lesson is that a strong sense of self is the best safeguard against the fallout from these anti-climactic confrontations, before any de-escalation techniques and verbal strategies.

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Post by Enail on Sat Nov 01, 2014 2:45 pm

I didn't watch the second one, but the first seemed very 'high school bullying' to me.  There are places and social circles where this kind of thing happens, even among adults, and where the assholes get away with it, but I wouldn't call it common at all.  There is a huge variety in what's acceptable in a social circle, so if you see this kind of thing being accepted or encouraged in a group, those are probably not people you want to hang around with.

Cues that a group is likely to not tolerate that kind of behavior: Look for people who show kindness and seem to care about their impact on those around them (as opposed to shoving into people while walking, leaving messes in public spaces, taking up more than their fair share of room), who respond agreeably to small assertions of boundaries, who don't tend to tease people on subjects they're likely to be sensitive about or to get angry if someone doesn't find a joke funny.  My impression is that this sort of thing tends to be more common among younger people and in male-heavy groups.  

In regards to aggressive assertions of male dominance particularly, I've found lgbtq-friendly spaces correlate highly with greater acceptance of flexible gender roles, which means less jockeying for dominance and aggression towards men perceived to be weaker in some way, so that can be a useful cue to look for.
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Post by Guest on Sat Nov 01, 2014 9:31 pm

But as far as learning to defend oneself is concerned, there should be resources out there that teach you how to navigate these social difficulties, right?

@BasedBuzzed: "Use this to your advantage."

I don't think I follow. What kind of advantage would I be making use of? What you've described is basically how I think I'd react.

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Post by nearly_takuan on Sat Nov 01, 2014 9:58 pm

HermitTheToad wrote:@BasedBuzzed: "Use this to your advantage."

I don't think I follow. What kind of advantage would I be making use of? What you've described is basically how I think I'd react.

Just a guess, but I think he's referring to after the fact. Even if the moment itself catches you by surprise and you don't react in a way that immediately stops the incident from happening, you'll still usually have the time and opportunities later to put some favorable (to you) spin on it.

I mean, it's not really clear to me how; generally the true story of what exactly went down favors the victim's side of the dispute anyway, so I don't know what other than my detailed memory of the experience itself I would have to or want to add to it to win extra support or save face. I hope BasedBuzzed or perhaps someone else here can expand on that part.
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Post by BasedBuzzed on Sat Nov 01, 2014 11:00 pm

You can change the narrative of the encounter you have in your head. Your motivations and feelings can be changed. You can go from 'victim who was inviting it with body language' to 'unsuspecting victim who was hit out of nowhere', and from 'deadly scared' to 'utterly confused' in times you retell the encounter, and the funny part will others believe you, but so will you yourself eventually.

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Post by Enail on Sat Nov 01, 2014 11:17 pm

I'm sure there must be some resources out there, but it's not something I've seen much of, I suspect because, like many social skills, we tend to assume that you have it or you don't. I know many people have said that doing martial arts helped with their ability to approach interactions in a more confident way that made them better at dealing with them as a side effect, but resources focused specifically on the skill itself, I haven't encountered.
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Post by Guest on Sat Nov 01, 2014 11:30 pm

Enail wrote:I'm sure there must be some resources out there, but it's not something I've seen much of, I suspect because, like many social skills, we tend to assume that you have it or you don't. I know many people have said that doing martial arts helped with their ability to approach interactions in a more confident way that made them better at dealing with them as a side effect, but resources focused specifically on the skill itself, I haven't encountered.

Hm, that's a bit disheartening. I can see how martial arts could help me gain confidence though.

Speaking of martial arts, does anyone have recommendations for a style?

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Post by Guest on Sun Nov 02, 2014 12:46 am

Call me heartless, but Pizza Slap Guy is an asshole and got what was coming to him.

I'm fortunate enough to be a big dude, 5'11", 200+ lbs so people don't tend to fuck with me very much. Only those that know me and know that I'm harmless will mess with me and usually that's in a loving way.

As for you concerns, Hermit, well...


a) To those of you who participate in and are privy to social dynamics, is the kind of behaviour in the videos above common (I'm guessing and hoping the answer's no) and more importantly, do the assholes get away with it? Is it specific to particular groups and age demographics?

Do you mean pranks or outright fights? Because pranks can happen and fights can break out. However, I like to think it may indeed be specific to age demographics and personality types. Although, I'm not sure what you mean by groups... In any event, I think it boils down to age groups, personalities and friends group. I don't think I've ever seen grown men go at it unless they were drunk or had no other choice.

Thankfully, I've never been in a serious scuffle, drunk or sober. I drank a shitton last weekend and I was trying to get with some cuties (I'm not proud of this) and somebody said, "Hey, man, she's with this guy", to which I promptly said, "Oh, dude, my bad. I'm real sorry." And we were back to drinkin'. Razz I may have been drunk outta my mind, but I'm not stupid.


b) Are there resources out there that teach you how to defend/compose yourself in response to asshole behaviours and displays of male dominance? Kinda like the social equivalent of defensive driving, martial arts, conflict resolution techniques that aren't corny and work etc.? (I know that there's a 'How to deal with difficult people' article on succeedsocially.com, but I haven't got to reading it yet)

Uhhh, I honestly have no idea. Again, mostly because I've been blessed with being a large fellow that I've not been messed with too much. Although, I've found that keeping your cool and keeping collected works the best, take a breath and let it go. Also doesn't hurt to take a self-defense class either. ;D

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Post by Guest on Sun Nov 02, 2014 6:19 am

The Mikey wrote:
Do you mean pranks or outright fights? Because pranks can happen and fights can break out.

I mean situations where one party looks to emasculate another, to prove how much better they are.

Uhhh, I honestly have no idea.

(ಠ_ಠ)

Again, mostly because I've been blessed with being a large fellow that I've not been messed with too much. Although, I've found that keeping your cool and keeping collected works the best, take a breath and let it go.

Ok, so this may be where our situations and experiences sharply diverge. Your suggestions? Fine in text and it'd be great if the desired outcome occured everytime. But like you've said, you're a big dude. You get to not worry about that shit. It would be ignorant and dumb of me if I wasn't worried and didn't have contingencies for situations where I'd need to have my own back.

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Post by reboot on Sun Nov 02, 2014 11:54 am

I have not been in many situations where people have picked these types of fights/pulled this kind of thing with me, but I have been around when people have done it with the men I am with, so might have a few useful tips on avoiding the situation in the first place:

1. Always scan the crowd of where you are and keep an eye out for "live wires". The guy being loud with an angry edge to his vioce, the one giving the bartender and wait staff shit, the guy scanning the room looking for targets (e.g. focusing on men around his age mostly), the guy fighting with his girlfriend, etc. and avoid these people, sometimes to the point of saying, " Hey, that dude looks like he's itching for a fight. Let's get out of here before he scratches. " By doing this you look perceptive not weak. If you can not leave for some reason, just keep your eye on the potential problem and make an effort to avoid.

2. If someone picks a fight with you for something like spilling their drink or looking at their girlfriend, apologize (even if you did not do it) and offer to buy him or him and his girlfriend drinks then walk away and get out of his sight line. It is amazing how fast it can deescalate if you do not take the bait.

3. If you are in the verbal escalation stage, keep calm, keep your voice low pitched and steady. Keep saying, " Hey, I just want to get back to my friends. Can we just drop this?" "Calm down, this is not worth yelling about." "I am going now" and walk away if he does not deescalate. Turning your back on an angry person is pretty scary but it shows you are not being the childish douchbag. Lots of times they will just yell insults at your back. Keep walking and when you get back to your group go into a tale of "Can you believe that guy?"

4. If it gets physical, be more on the defense unless you are a confident fighter. If you can talk, keep saying, "What the hell is your problem?" This frames it as an unprovoked attack to onlookers and usually ends the beating faster than fighting back (unless you are a good fighter). You will not look weak. You will look like a guy dealing with a vicious douche.

The key to all of this is to look like someone who does not want to fight because he would rather hang out with his friends, not because he is scared. If you like I can ask some of my friends this happened to more often about specific scenarios.

Also, it is not common in all social spaces, more a specific subset like some bars around military bases, some working class bars, some single ethnic group (if you are not that ethnic group) bars, some frat bars, some large public festivals/events, etc. so you can generally avoid these situations by avoiding those places. Occasionally you will bump into a drunk douchbag pack on a train or bus, but the advice is the same.
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Post by kleenestar on Sun Nov 02, 2014 1:23 pm

Hmm, I wonder whether there are books on conflict resolution that would help. I've seen things that teach you how to defuse / avoid / lower the stakes, but I'd have to go back and look at them more carefully before I'd be willing to make a specific recommendation that I thought would be applicable to your situation. Does that sound like something that would be helpful?
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Post by Guest on Sun Nov 02, 2014 2:20 pm

HermitTheToad wrote:
I mean situations where one party looks to emasculate another, to prove how much better they are.

Aha, okie. Well, that probably happens as much as you'd think, which isn't very often.

I've only witnessed it a few times, once at a Chargers/Falcons game where an Atlanta fan punched a San Diego fan, of course shit always goes down during NFL games (lets be honest, football + beer + douchebags = fun /sarcasm). And another time at a hookah lounge which was pretty recent, IDK the details of that scuffle, I just know everyone in the lounge got up to look outside the window. Razz

HermitTheToad wrote:
(ಠ_ಠ)

Sorry, bud. Neutral

HermitTheToad wrote:
Ok, so this may be where our situations and experiences sharply diverge. Your suggestions? Fine in text and it'd be great if the desired outcome occured everytime. But like you've said, you're a big dude. You get to not worry about that shit. It would be ignorant and dumb of me if I wasn't worried and didn't have contingencies for situations where I'd need to have my own back.

Reboot has some pretty good advice, the only other reason why I don't have a lot of advice to give/offer is because I don't hang out at bars and clubs, that ain't really my scene and I'm not about to drop $8 for not even an 8 oz. glass of whiskey, let alone a $10 cover, unless that cover gets me unlimited drinks in which case, FUCK IT LES' GOOO.

All in all, I agree with reboot's advice there. It's pretty good. Razz

reboot wrote:
Also, it is not common in all social spaces, more a specific subset like some bars around military bases, some working class bars, some single ethnic group (if you are not that ethnic group) bars, some frat bars, some large public festivals/events, etc. so you can generally avoid these situations by avoiding those places. Occasionally you will bump into a drunk douchbag pack on a train or bus, but the advice is the same.

In other words, it can happen anywhere, some places maybe more than others.

But it's funny you mention 'single-ethnic group', my friends were at a hookah lounge one summer (I wasn't there this time) and they were getting dirty looks from some of the Middle-Eastern folks there before they decided to bounce and these were young people mad-dogging them too. Then maybe a week later there was a shooting there Shocked (my buddies weren't there thank god).

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Post by Lemminkainen on Sun Nov 02, 2014 3:28 pm

Reboot, I love your advice-- and I've found that something similar works well for me. I'm often a pretty flirty person, and at college parties, I frequently wound up flirting with women who had partners (who also sometimes flirted back). Sometimes the partner (who was usually drunk, and almost invariably a stronger and more muscular-looking guy than me) would come back and be pretty annoyed with me. I would usually deal with them by de-escalating the flirting and being polite and friendly to them. At that point, it became clear that slugging me would actually make them lose status in the eyes of their girlfriend and the people around them (particularly since I'm weak-looking, so beating me up would not be very impressive), and they would usually just cool off and have a polite, friendly conversation with me.

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Post by Conreezy on Mon Nov 03, 2014 5:59 pm

That video was ridiculous.

I've never been in a violent situation like that myself, but I'm pretty sure I was just in a non-verbal micro-agression dickwaving contest recently.

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Post by Autumnflame on Mon Nov 03, 2014 7:00 pm

HermitTheToad wrote:Speaking of martial arts, does anyone have recommendations for a style?

Krav Maga and BJJ generally have a good rap as being the most useful to real-life situations - many encounters go quickly to the ground, and if you've no idea how to deal with that you're fucked. Krav Maga at least is more specifically geared toward street-level self defense than tournaments and tends to emphasize fighting as the last resort, behind de-escalation and simply running away, at least IME. Kung fu is just fun and makes for some nice flashy routines though, plus the fun of weapons in later stages. Smile
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Post by Guest on Mon Nov 03, 2014 11:28 pm

@reboot: Thanks for the advice.

reboot wrote:If you like I can ask some of my friends this happened to more often about specific scenarios.
kleenestar wrote:Does that sound like something that would be helpful?

Sure, if that's Ok. No rush though.


On being calm, though: Yeah, this sounds like the most crucial and difficult part. Because being calm and having your shit together requires you to a strong sense of self (like BasedBuzzed mentioned), self confidence to the nines and an ability to not care so much.

Because, I'm easily intimidated and I assume that I'm usually the person in the lower power position. So, my instinct is to either:
a) Feel like my balls shrink into my body, or
b) Match the level of aggression aimed at me by being equally intimidating or greater in order to tip the power balance.

For example, I had an ugly confrontation with my father some days back over him saying things he should know better, to not to say to an adult woman. I escalated, by yelling at him amidst tears for the first time, specifically because I was afraid of him. Like, prior to the incident I'd never challenged him. Ever. To a third party, it would've looked like Bambi trying to stand for the first time - a bit pathetic and clumsily executed, but the point was that I stood up to the fucker.

So for me, taking out the fear component or at least mitigating that instinct, seems like something that I'll always struggle with.

I also wonder about how to deal with someone who won't let you go without getting a reaction out of you? I think this superficially overlaps with women's harrasment: how do you women deal with men who just won't leave you alone?      

Autumnflame wrote:
Krav Maga and BJJ generally have a good rap as being the most useful to real-life situations - many encounters go quickly to the ground, and if you've no idea how to deal with that you're fucked. Krav Maga at least is more specifically geared toward street-level self defense than tournaments and tends to emphasize fighting as the last resort, behind de-escalation and simply running away, at least IME. Kung fu is just fun and makes for some nice flashy routines though, plus the fun of weapons in later stages. Smile

Thanks. Yeah, I kinda figured Krav Maga would be one of the more useful styles.

For those interested in martial arts and haven't seen it yet, Okinawan karate training is hardcore [/tangent].

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