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Angry Red Piller offers MATHEMATICAL PROOF that fat women are ruining dating by being equally fat as men or something

Happy fat women: The Red Pill’s worst nightmare

By David Futrelle

The misogynistic men I write about on this blog — whether they classify themselves as perpetually dateless incels or “slayer” PUAs — are forever claiming that dating in the Western world, and in the United States in particular, is worse than ever, by which they generally mean that the women they think they’re entitled to seem to want nothing to do with them.

Women, these men complain, are too picky, too feminist, too … fat.

Not that the women they want to date are fat, they’re quick to add; it’s just that, with the allegedly undateable fat women out there effectively off the market (for these guys), the number of acceptably hot women has shrunk.

In one post on the Red Pill subreddit from a few years back that I ran across recently. a fellow called One_friendship_plz offered MATHEMATICAL PROOF of this fat-lady effect. Well, sort of.

In a post titled “Why fat women are ruining the dating scene for men, and how you should prepare for the future,” he declared:

It is high obesity rates (undateable women) and average girls overvaluing their looks causing the dating problem in the USA.

Really. that’s what’s making dating suck? Not things like, oh, this?

Apparently not.

Average girls overvalue themselves because they aren’t fat so have more men after them than what they would in a healthy-body sized country. There is basically not enough healthy-sized women to fill the rounds, and 97% of men want a healthy-sized female.

Never mind that he pulled this stat out of his ass and that most people are likely to disagree with Red Pillers as to what counts as a “healthy-sized female.”

When the obesity is closing in on half the population it is INEVITABLE that close to an equal portion of males are going to lose out on the dating game unless they resort to asian countries or they get desperate and.. shivers

I’m assuming that last bit is a reference to homosexuality? Because in addition to being wildly homophobic that’s just … not how sexuality works.

But back to the main point:

So half of all American men won’t be able to date because American women are slightly more likely to be obese than they are?

Red Pillers like to talk about obesity in America as if only women have been gaining weight. In fact, the rates of obesity aren’t radically different between adult women (41.1 percent of whom were classified as obese as of 2016) and adult men (37.9% of whom were classified as obese).

Even if we were to assume that every obese American was in fact “undateable,” which is very definitely not true, men and women would “lose out on the dating game” in similar numbers.

As long as obesity stays, even if women became less promiscuous and more loyal, the competition would still be about being a HIGH SMV [Sexual Market Value] male when there’s a huge portion of women that are undateable solely because of their uncontrollable consumption of mcdonalds.

And now it’s time for MATH:

An average girl can go up 2-3 points on her sexual value based on the percentage of obese women, and if this number keeps increasing then what you’d define to be a 5 would soon become a 7 because of its scarcity.

I would ask One_friendship_plz to show his work here, but obviously he has done none.

Ugly will become average, and average will become hot. and anything that would be hot would become a unicorn (even if it has a shitload of flaws, betas would be in denial.)

Says a dude in desperate denial of his own manifold flaws, most prominent among them the fact that he posts crap like this on Reddit.

Do not ever stop improving your value men, the game will possibly get harder in the future based on how much feminism spreads to the point six figures might not be enough for a decent looking chick in America.

Well, no, not if you’re a Red Pill shithead that rejects close to half of all women as “undateable” based on their weight and calls the few that meet the standards of your boner “decent looking chicks.”

As for me, I will continue fatting, and dating, as usual.


172 replies on “Angry Red Piller offers MATHEMATICAL PROOF that fat women are ruining dating by being equally fat as men or something”

Hmm, I have some thoughts on “fuck our racist police.”

To me this feels a bit different than “fuck you.” To me, “fuck you” is personal, from one individual to another, expressing that the speaker no longer wishes to continue discourse or is too angry in the moment to formulate a proper response. My main issue with it is the casual use of a sexual act from one person to another, seemingly without consent.

“Fuck the police” and variations of it goes deeper. It’s not about temporary anger and inability to formulate a strong argument; it’s more about brevity. There’s so much packed into that statement. It’s used to express disgust at a system where deadly force is used against children and where the oppressors feign fear to get away with it, while the people who actually have reason to fear are prevented from expressing it under threat of violence. There’s too much to say, too much anger, to succinctly put it any other way with the level of impact it needs.

I’m all for “fuck the police.”

I find myself feeling like I’m opening myself up to abuse whenever anybody takes a dominant position over me. I guess my question is how does a person reduce their defensiveness to criticism while still recognizing and protecting themselves from outright abuse?

I’ve been thinking about this, too. I have similar difficulties. But I think I’m coming up with a solution for myself thanks to yesterday’s conversation.

Unfortunately I have to go to work now (it’s 8 am over here), but when I’m back and people haven’t already said everything possible regarding this, I’d love to come back to it. Thanks for bringing up that point, though. I thought I was the only one with that problem, so I wouldn’t have said something myself.


I think my use of pejoratives depends on my surroundings. Among most close friends nothing is off limits. Nothing.

However with my American friends I avoid the C – Bomb as I know they don’t view it the same way Brits/Aussies do. I think it’s just about be flexible. One word I did used to use in the past but don’t now however is “gay”.

I used to use it because I was insistent that if a word has moved on in meaning we should be able to use its new meaning without people insisting on language not being able to change.

However I don’t think “gay” has sufficiently changed meaning so I don’t use it as a pejorative anymore.

I find myself feeling like I’m opening myself up to abuse whenever anybody takes a dominant position over me. I guess my question is how does a person reduce their defensiveness to criticism while still recognizing and protecting themselves from outright abuse?

yes yes yes yes yes yes yes that is what I meant…

I’m not sure “fuck the police” is such a great example. That is one storied phrase that exists in pretty much every language, but often worded wildly differently, and fucking them is actually not that often the recommended course of action. The oldest variant I can think of is the famous daloy polizei, then there’s the slightly more recent mort aux vaches and its visual equivalent (so that one’s actually older I think, but as far as I can tell it only became about cops later). I’m absolutely sure there are even older ones but I’ll leave that to someone with better history knowledge.

On that note, ACAB is something you see on the walls of every city in pretty much every part of the world, though as a literal bastard I find it pretty unfair 😉

I find myself feeling like I’m opening myself up to abuse whenever anybody takes a dominant position over me. I guess my question is how does a person reduce their defensiveness to criticism while still recognizing and protecting themselves from outright abuse?

As an artist, I’ve faced this question time and time again. When I was getting started, I felt really insecure. I wanted to be proud of my work, but being a newbie, they were not great. Sometimes I mistook genuinely-offered constructive criticism as some kind of slight and lashed out as a result. Given time and the benefit of hindsight, you can gradually see which feedback aided you and which only hindered you.

One of the problems with the internet is that the connections are tenuous. A fly-by comment saying “Your anatomy isn’t very good; try doing this, this, this and this…” hits you like a punch to the gut because all you can glean is the text and the tone of that text. Somebody who has built up a rapport with you, somebody who has offered valuable insight in the past and has demonstrated that they value your growth will take a different tone.

If I’m on DeviantART and I come across an art piece and want to critique it, I take the tack of starting with a declaration of my overall takeaway–that at least demonstrates to the artist that I’ve taken the time to ponder the work as a whole and consider it in good faith. From there, I can move on to more technical aspects, starting with strengths: “I like the choice of colours, love the pose… etc”. Critique for improvement comes at the end and I never phrase it as something that “sucks” or is “bad”… it just “needs work.” Cuz heaven knows, my anatomy was terrible once too. I’ll offer any advice I can such as “Try using references for hands. Don’t be afraid to trace some of the difficult parts until you feel confident enough to draw them yourself.” I then conclude it with a reiteration of the takeaway to leave the artist with a sense of accomplishment.

Somebody who actually cares about your personal growth will conform to this formula in some capacity. It’s been a while since I’ve offered critique to another artist just due to time constraints (and isn’t that always the problem?), but one of the reasons that I feel that snark is so rampant (like on this blog for example) is that bad faith is so rampant. We’ve been primed by society to take advantage of each other at every turn and with the internet being the primary mode of communication, verbal “pwning” is now the only way to show dominance. Shit, I’m guilty of relishing a smackdown of those I don’t like. As a result, genuine engagement and showing one’s true feelings leaves one vulnerable to being taken advantage of. Look no further than the tactic of lovebombing to try to coax somebody into abandoning their connections.

Good faith is rare and that’s what I evaluate when I come across a new information source. There’s plenty of good faith to be found here, for example, whereas the examples that David digs up and writes about here are nothing but people at best exaggerating tropes they’ve already internalized (about “game” or “the wall” or “hypergamy” or somesuch crap). At worst, they’re literal abusers and rapists justifying their own hideousness to themselves. Most simply harbour terrible opinions and coat it in 12 layers of lacquered irony to prevent the world from seeing it (see: 4chan, Republicans). There’s a reason we deploy snark with these people: we know they’re bullshitting us from the get-go.

The good faith folks, the ones willing to share a personal story… they’re few and far between. I value them when I find them, as I value this blog and its regular commenters. 🙂

Thank you so much for the confidence, you guyse! <3 You're too nice to me. Please mind that all of this stuff is just my opinion, and I'm often wrong.

how does a person reduce their defensiveness to criticism while still recognizing and protecting themselves from outright abuse?

You can’t.

Well, no, you can.

But, uh, well, not really.

Right, okay, there are two things in there! Recognizing abuse and protecting from abuse. They’re different things. So let’s slice them apart and see what we get.

I’m pretty bad at recognizing when someone’s interested in belittling or abusing me; I tend to just sort of assume everyone is being genuine, which is not a very clever thing to do. Others have made good points on this; scroll on up to what the talented and caramel @Croquembouche had to say on that bit. Only thing I’d add is that you have to practice weathering hostility in order to keep your head level in the middle of it. Your autonomic response will spike in that scenario, and you need to have it, uh, not do that. So, learning to keep your cool while someone’s making you look or feel humiliated could help you in objectively recognizing when someone’s aggressing for bad reasons. I have feelings on that; and that sort of leads into the second part.

Protecting against abuse I have unhappy thoughts towards. My thoughts on this are a bit of a jumble this morning, so I’m going to be a bit more poetic than I ought. If they’ve determined to sharpen the truth into a weapon to skewer you with, you can’t both turn the point aside and accept the truth into you. You either preserve yourself or fall on the point of the blade.

And you don’t even know whether the weapon they’re using on you is true or not at that moment. When someone’s being aggressive and abusive towards you, you have no idea whether they’re saying things that are true, and you shouldn’t trust your judgement of what they’re saying. You’re full of stress hormones and threat responses at that point, and they very easily overwhelm your ability to evaluate. So you have to decide based on other factors – whether they’ve been abusive in the past, how they behave with others, etc.

I often say that rationality is a path of self-destruction; that’s pretty much what I’m talking about. Someone who’s being abusive can still be saying things that are actually true. I’d even suggest that they’ll often say things that are actually, true, because those words hurt the most.

I have found no good defense against the hurt of abuse or aggression when I’m accepting criticism. I’ve found it much more useful to learn how to be good at rebuilding myself from the wreckage than anything else.

It sounds sort of grim that way! But that’s what it is, I guess. Take the hit as hard as you can, see what’s left over, put it back together. Repeat as required. Being stubborn and prideful, it usually takes a few times.

Not sure if that helped or not! But it’s enough rambling from me. Something to think about perhaps.

I used to think rather highly of myself (intellectually, anyway) because I tested quite highly on aptitude tests throughout my early years. I had to take myself down (quite) a few pegs when I started reading a lot on the internet! I think I was lucky that there was no internet until I hit my late thirties and that I’ve always been hesitant to jump into anything I’m not too sure of, like comment threads. Comment threads were amazing and intimidating.

I started out on an ex-Christian forum and was led to places like Pharyngula, feminist fora, and the now defunct* fat-o-sphere. And, of course, here!! Watching these commenters take down trolls was quite the education and allowed me to come to terms with my dwarfed intellect in private because I didn’t engage much online.

Not that I’ve never had my ass handed to me! And yes, it stung, but I’d already learned that doubling down and defensive attitudes wouldn’t gain me much worth having.

I’m now only sure of the fact that I won’t be diminished by being wrong. Oh, also that getting older isn’t all a bad deal!

The point of all this is that I think getting taught that being wrong isn’t fatal should be a thing that happens much earlier in life.

*I am still Kate Harding! *sniff*

I’m now only sure of the fact that I won’t be diminished by being wrong. Oh, also that getting older isn’t all a bad deal!

Word. Best thing about getting old is you can admit you know very little. Experience has driven that point home by then, frequently. 😛

Katamount, your comment about constructive criticism in art (thoughtful post BTW!) made me dig back through Rebecca Parham’s youtube channel and find her video “How I Found Self-Esteem Through Animation”, which I thought contained good advice – and not just about growing in the creative sphere:

I would tend to suspect that if someone makes a statement, and you have firm basis for believing they have hostile intentions, then you should probably not alter your level of belief or disbelief of what they claimed, in either direction.

Even supposing you chased down independent sources or evidence and determined that the statement was true, it might be only a part of the truth — the part a hostile enemy wanted you to know, leaving out whatever parts they didn’t want you to know. That a factual statement from an enemy checked out doesn’t negate the possibility that it’s biased in some way.

Raising your credence in the statement, even after some sort of verification, could be playing into a badguy’s hands. Don’t even start looking up possible verifications! If you later come across them independently, let them sway you, but don’t let the enemy directly or indirectly sway you.

Lowering your credence in the statement is risky. It might be true, and you’ll be making your ontology less accurate, which may be what they want. It could be reverse psychology.

All you can know for sure is that they had some nefarious motive for making the statement to you instead of keeping the thought private.
If their motive in making the statement to you was likely to harm you, then the only sure way to thwart their aim is to cause the future to turn out the same as if they had kept it private. And that is done by ignoring what they said completely, as if it was just white noise.

Note: None of the above applies, at least not unmodified, if: a) the statement may have been made in good faith, rather than out of an ulterior motive; or b) there was a larger audience present than just you. You may in the latter case need to protect the other audience members from deceit, if you have reason to suspect the motives of the speaker and doubt some others in the audience knew of that reason. Let them know of your distrust in the speaker’s motives, and the reasons for that distrust. That might be as simple as a link. For example, let’s say the statement was related to climate change — maybe not frank denialism, but, say, favoring carbon capture and storage or geoengineering over switching to renewables. Anything on the topic, really. You know the speaker is an employee of Exxon. The speaker has not made that clear during the current whatever-it-is, though. So, link everyone present to the speaker’s LinkedIn page or some other neutral thing that shows them to work for Exxon! Now the audience is likely to take anything he says about climate change with a grain of salt, which is as it should be.

Okay. 24 hours and many good replies later, here goes.

First, I want to make it crystal clear, that this is meant as an addition to what was already said and not a contradiction. It’s another aspect of the issue, which to many of you probably is so obvious that you didn’t even mention it, but which is absolutely vital to me, so I’ll spell it out.

If you want the very short version: Even the best advice is context dependent. What is a brilliant, useful thing in one context can be the worst idea ever in a different one. There are no easy answers. You’re going to have to decide how to act in every single situation anew, there are no “recipes” for “doing the right thing”. This holds true for what I’m going to say as much as for the advice already given, of course.

One part of that situational context – just one out of many, all equally important – is you as the person responding. And – from my personal experience – there are some you-contexts in which telling yourself what, for example, Scild suggests (which is brilliant advice in general, please don’t get me wrong) in an unmodified form can be counter-productive.

I’m going to use myself as an example for such a you-context now, not because I want to make this all about me, but because mine is the only personal-emotional context I can speak about with any authority without making really arrogant assumptions. That also means – yet another caveat – you could have the same background and completely different needs and coping strategies. On the other hand, most of this comes from a very wise psychologist who has dealt with a lot of people with similar problems before helping me. Apart from that, I really don’t want to give away to much about myself on the internet, but some I have to to make this understandable.

So, me-context, as short as possible: I experienced (mostly) emotional and psychological abuse as a child and teenager in different contexts. Since I didn’t say anything back then and nobody intervened, I became seriously ill in my late teens. It took a lot of therapy, not all of it out of institutions unfortunately, and many years to get better again. As is probably normal, the scars and the catastrophic coping mechanisms of that time will most likely stay with me for a long time, though, maybe forever.

I can identify now the two general elements that were central to the abusive contexts and that caused most of the damage to me – and they matter here, so bear with me: The first was powerlessness. It didn’t matter what I did. Most of the time I couldn’t actually do anything. My voice wasn’t heard and it wasn’t listened to. The second was complete disregard for my boundaries. I wasn’t seen as having those. The few times I tried to articulate them, I was told I had no right to them. The one’s I felt were there – I shouldn’t be yelled/slapped for minor stuff that was normally laughed of, just because an adult had had a bad day, I shouldn’t be called “disgustingly fat” even if “only in jest”, I shouldn’t have to have sex with my boyfriend if it was painful and I didn’t like it (I did love him, right? I didn’t want to be responsible for him to get depressed again and harm himself?) – were trampled down and run over. Again and again and again.

The consequences of this can be and were a complete disaster. I developed a severe illness centered on (intrusive thoughts of) self harm and sexual violence (on me, mostly) all in the context of utterly crippling OCD/Anxiety. Why? In hindsight it’s completely logical: If hurt you instinctively want to defend yourself. You get angry or scared as that is the “fuel” that’s meant to power life-preserving fight or flight responses. You can’t make yourself heard, you can’t act, you’ve learned that you have no right to defend yourself? Where does the anger go, then? It turns against you. It becomes desperate auto-aggression, just so your instinct to fight, to act has some outlet. Sexual violence is obviously one of the most boundary-violating acts imaginable, so that one’s obvious. And anxiety/OCD. I could never protect myself. So I ended up not trusting myself at all. I was never save, because I couldn’t protect myself on my own. I was – in the best case scenario – extremely dependent on and submissive to other people in the hope that they might protect me. Which of course meant no boundaries towards them, which meant vicious circle, right there.

Right, enough background, on to the point. I overcame this, in my mid-twenties – years ago, so don’t worry – mostly by understanding what the problem was and by developing strategies to solve it. Defining and defending boundaries, maintaining agency, reminding myself that I had it and – most importantly – proving to myself that I could now protect myself by doing this. Sometimes I suspect that the damage of bad experiences can only be healed by having enough different and good experiences to convince yourself on a deep, non-conscious level. So this is what I did, and this is – finally – the point (the situational context) from which my answer to what I quoted yesterday develops.

I believe that what was said about – unintentional – dominance displays and “submission” in this discussion is very true and really is at the heart of much of the trouble with being “defensive”, at least for someone like me.

My solution to yesterday’s question is mostly to take much of Scild’s – and other people’s – advice, but crucially to rephrase some or all of it. Or to use one name of the actual technique to reframe it. And that’s not such a little thing as it might seem, because how we perceive something or present it to ourselves can have a huge impact on what it does to us. So in order to not fall into the “re-enactment” trap, where you feel like “oh shit, it’s all happening again” and voila, your wounds are all open and bleeding again and what happens actually strengthens you maladaptive responses once more faster than you can recognize what’s happening (aka you get triggered), you need to control your own perception of what’s happening to you and how you deal with it to fulfill some vital criteria:

1. I have agency in this situation. I can act, I can consider things and I can come to the conclusion that convinces me. Consideration, a change of mind based on it, perhaps agreement and definitely respect for the other side’s position and emotions but not simply submission. “Re-enactment mode” in regards to trampling you and you being powerless cut off right there.

2. I have boundaries that are inviolable. They do not get trampled over or ignored. I will defend them. This stops “re-enactment mode” of “I can’t defend myself” and also “I have no right to boundaries” or “Other people’s feelings and boundaries matter more than mine”. They don’t. They’re – to start with, subject again to situational context – perfectly equal in value. For some people it’s important to learn that other people’s feelings are not worth less than their own, for abuse survivors it’s often a much bigger problem that other people’s feelings are not per definitionem worth more than their own. Abusers always have a reason why right now your feelings are less important than theirs and so how dare you set boundaries. (Remember, we’re trying to avoid “re-enactment” or “flashback-mode” for ourselves when confronted by certain situations, here. We’re not casting the nice people of WHTM as “the abuser”. We’re not actually at the point of answering the criticism yet. And believe me I’m sorry for that… ;-))

So, that’s what we need. How do we get there – preferably without starting a flamewar on Mammoth or forcing Mammoth to deal with issues that are very much ours to deal with? Much of it has already been said. Recapping with some amendments:

1. Do not reply right away. Feeling hurt, attacked, defensive? Do not reply right away.. In fact, your level of pissed is probably pretty much proportional to your level of “should not reply right now”. One of the best pieces of advice wise therapist(TM) every gave me? “Imagine anger or any emotional response on a scale of 1 to 10. Somewhere around 8 the ability for rational thinking and decision making switches off. You can’t. You go into full scale “fight or flight” survival mode. So don’t act, leave. For your own protection. What sounds like a really good and adequate reaction to the situation at anger level 8-10 is almost definitely something you wish you hadn’t done later and probably something that harms you, too.”
Examples: Hitting someone, telling the person your career depends on to “fuck the hell off”, basically screaming at someone that they’re a “rape-apologist” for suggesting that “compromise is a part of all relationships” (that was me – to the therapist…) or somewhat lower level, accusing Axe and WWTH of being “just as bad as your abusers” – I am still sorry for that, by the way.

An example in the current discussion: When I read what Scild wrote about teaching yourself to appreciate different types of music, it stopped me in my tracks. I could feel myself getting angry, all self-defenses arming in approximately 10 seconds. More, I realized I felt physically sick. A few years ago, that would have turned ugly, because I would have replied right away. Now, though, I thought about it first. Took me about ten minutes and I had the reason for my reaction, the place where it really belonged: A situation at about 22 where a (female) doctor told me the following with regards to my boyfriend: “Oh, well. Some women just don’t like sex or find it painful. Nothing to be done, you’ll just have to live with it. Can’t expect your partner to live without sex, can you? Just think about how happy you can make him. You have to train yourself consciously to like it! There are therapy programs for that…” Back then: “Why don’t you find a nice fire and go die in it?” would have been, I think, an appropriate reaction. Obviously, though, it wasn’t now. But it would have been the exact answer I’d have given had I replied instantly. Next, having identified the source of my anger, we got to the interesting question: Just how likely was it that Scild was trying to tell me exactly the same thing that doctor did? That this was the meaning behind her example? That what she said about music meant that she would say something similar about letting yourself be used in a sexual way? Easy. That likelihood was exactly 0.
But maybe she meant something else? Maybe she meant that training yourself to see and appreciate all manner of different angles of a thing and not just those that are immediately apparent to you, was a good thing? If so, hey. That was a brilliant point! One of the most useful things to do all round. I keep practicing that, too – with music among other things. So essentially, we agreed more than we disagreed perhaps? Good thing then that I hadn’t told her to find a nice fire, wasn’t it?

So, don’t reply. Step back. Work off your feelings. Then think. Analyse you feelings. Find their reasons. Make sure what you’re feeling is a reaction to what is happening now and not a reaction to what happened in the past. If it is the latter, then take the time to deal with it before attempting to deal with the here and now. Otherwise, those “old” feelings will just sneak back in when you do attempt to tackle the present situation. Those little bastards have a habit of doing that. Once this is done – a lot easier on the internet than in RL, proceed with the actual thing at hand:

You said something. You probably didn’t mean to hurt someone ( because, if you did, I’m not talking to you here and please enjoy your banhammer, you insensitive bastard…). But someone replies and calls you out. You did hurt someone. They’re hurt and maybe angry now. And they – at least implicitly – demand an apology and for you to retract what you said. Maybe they’re saying you said something that hurt a cause you actually care deeply about and would never consciously want to hurt. Maybe they aren’t being too friendly about the call-out either. After all, they probably have their own me-contexts, as well. And maybe – as is rumoured to happen sometimes – you don’t actually agree with what they say. You really don’t see how it’s hurtful or contra-productive. How to deal with that and still maintain your own healthy self-perception?

After “I’m sorry” (because you are sorry that you hurt them, right?), a brilliant starting point is Scild’s suggestion of “I have so far only considered aspects a and b and came to my original conclusion but now that thanks to your call-out I’m seeing c, d and e, too, and I can see your point now.” You’re not opening yourself up to anything abusive here. You are still in control, you are still acting, your are not “lying down and taking it”, you are not leaving yourself defenseless or in any danger of being hurt. Therefore your mind doesn’t start to re-enact the past and your self-defense doesn’t spring into action, activating things like hypervigilance, fight-back-take-no-prisoners-mode or anything that might get in the way of actually learning, making amends, salvaging relationships, etc.

Now to the rephrases I would do. I wouldn’t – for by now probably obvious reasons – talk about about “letting something in”, “letting something wound you”, “taking the pain” or similar. That doesn’t mean I disagree with the point of accepting criticism and allowing it to change you, even if that change is difficult and fundamental. That is completely right. But I need my self-perception to maintain some vital points mentioned above and that includes boundaries and the right to self-defense. I need that. With my past they are not strongly enough established in my subconscious to make letting go of emphasising them to myself an option any time soon, perhaps never. This is what keeps me healthy and prevents bad things to return – and no, I can’t consciously control their return, this is not a conscious process at all.

So what would I say instead (answer to the quoted poster part 2)? First, absolutely nothing is allowed to be let “in” (to use a picture, I tend to picture “in” as something within a very short perimeter around my physical body – a metaphor for “into” my heart, soul, whatever) or wound me. Nothing. Access. The fuck. Denied. Doesn’t mean it never gets “in”, though. It does simply make a very vital stop on the way. To use an image again: I accept “it” in my hands and then I look at “it”. Right now, it goes no further, but I don’t have to kick it in the teeth and reject it either. Then I look and I consider. And here the training of considering different angles comes in really handy. Then often enough I see the point or points or the benefit of the call-out. And then I gladly incorporate it, because hey, growing as a person rocks, yes? But it’s me doing all this. It’s me in control. No opening the self up indiscriminately to anything. Not being at someone’s mercy. No need to get defensive.

The second I would rephrase is this the reaction to the immediate feelings of defensiveness. They’re in themselves good things. You perceive a threat, you want to protect yourself. That’s good. They’re like a little kid that went with you through all the shit in your past, all the while desperately trying to protect you. They are your friend. Thank them. But don’t do as they say. Because they can’t really tell the difference between then and now. Between all the times their protection was needed and the times where it’s really not. Your grown-up self, your rational mind can do that, using what you’ve learned in the meantime. So don’t beat them up. Acknowledge them, take their little hand and tell them to wait just a sec while you evaluate the situation at hand. Most of the time that will end with something like a kind explanation along the lines of: “I appreciate what you’re doing, little one, but I think I got this covered.”, and they can retreat to the back of your mind again. Unless, of course, your rational mind comes to the conclusion that this very likely is another asshole trying to abuse you, in which case, have at it. Funny thing with hypervigilance, it does makes you see more threats than there actually are, but that doesn’t mean that everything it thinks is a threat is in fact harmless.

And the third “reframe”, though this is really more of a “spelling out of what was probably implicit already”: Abusers and what they say being true. Those are two different things. What they say can absolutely be true. And you should accept it. And you shouldn’t jump in their faces about the thing they’re saying. But they can say something true andis still be an abusive asshole about how they say it. And you can – in my opinion – absolutely jump in their face about that. It doesn’t matter how true the statement, that’s not what you’re objecting to, it’s about them being an asshole. And that you have every right to object, too. To avoid any misunderstanding on that score, I like to make a point of saying that their statements are correct and have changed my mind, before addressing the asshole part. Don’t reject something you’re told just because the person telling you is an abusive bastard about it. But don’t accept someone treating you like shit just because somewhere in there, they might have a point or even several. Points can be made without abuse. And you – as everyone else – deserve respect. I don’t see this as a version of the tone-argument for two reasons: 1. Originally, the tone argument was developed as a counter strategy to the bad-faith practice/fallacy of trying to discredit an objectively true argument by focusing on the tone (as the argument is true, so you can’t focus on that). This is not what this is. I’m not taking exception to someone’s tone to discredit their argument. I do, in fact, accept the argument. It really is the tone. 2. I get that people get angry, I get that they have reasons and I get that they have every right to and that it is healthy. I know that from my own experience. But. This is a rights of others vs. rights of self issue. Where’s the line? I can only answer this one for me, in my own context. Of course, everyone can be angry. Of course, everyone can vent. Of course I have tolerance for people triggered by something I said reacting pissed. That actually goes a long, long way, because I know it from myself. And yet. There are limits, contingent on the above background. I am a valuable person, as well. I am not a lightning rod, I am not a doormat and I’m not a punching bag. I was that for years. I’m not going back. I do in fact allow this to happen most of the time, because I understand the reasons, as described above, but that is my decision (Agency, not being powerless, boundaries and defending the self, again). There is no automatic right to take a however righteous fury out on me by hurting me if I haven’t caused it. I like people. I empathize with people, often enough to the point of sleeplessness and tears. But I am done with making others more important than me as a general rule of life. So sometimes I do say stop. In RL those are simple rules and I do make them clear: Yell at me, we’re done. Make threatening physical movements towards me, we’re done. Belittle or mock me and we’re done. I don’t give a damn if there’s an actual point you’re making on the side and that point’s the ultimate truth, I take that point but the conversation is over.

This way you can be sure and you can show yourself that you’re not a defenseless person just “taking” abuse. You define reasonable boundaries – mine above are things that I know would trigger a resurfacing of symptoms if I let them happen – and you defend them. Politely at first. Not so politely after that. And regardless of the truth of any argument being made concurrently with the boundary-violation and you acceptance of that truth.
So concerning abusers and them making truthful statements, you should accept the point and say so, you should always consider the point to see if it is true, but you don’t have to put up with the abuse. And that’s possible because they’re two different aspects of what’s happening.

In conclusion. Apologize for causing pain. Acknowledge the criticism. Consider it. Reevaluate your opinions. Tell them so.
If you changed your opinion, cool. You’ve learned something and you are now in agreement. Otherwise, agree to disagree. But. Always remember that everyone else is
just as important as you. So in looking after yourself be sure not to make yourself more important than them. Which is why you always apologize. You always stop doing or saying something if someone tells you they feel violated by it. It’s usually enough to state your own position once without arguing about it again and again and again. Don’t think the word under discussion in this thread is always problematic? Okay. But accept that others do, stop using it and just leave it at that.

“I see your point. I’m sorry for hurting you. I won’t do it again. I’ll continue to be very careful with that word, as I now know it hurts people even if it doesn’t hurt me. I still don’t completely agree with you but I’ll be more watchful and I will do as you asked and stop using it and causing you pain.”

See, that isn’t submitting to dominance or opening yourself up for abuse. And just as importantly, by influencing your perception of the situation you didn’t make yourself feel as if you did.

(This novel took several hours to write, so I’m just going to post it, apologize for the rambling and hope it might make some sense.)

…so I’m just going to post it, apologize for the rambling and hope it might make some sense.

Thank you.
No apology needed for making clarity a priority
It does.


(This novel took several hours to write, so I’m just going to post it, apologize for the rambling and hope it might make some sense.)

I learned from every word of it. Thank you for taking those hours to write it.

That was a brilliant post, @LittleLurker, thank you for writing it <3

You hit the nail on the head, exactly. The whole concept of "taking the hit" is just about being aware that defensiveness can make it hard to accept something, it doesn't mean that you just have to accept abuse or trauma. You actually used the exact words I used in a paragraph I deleted – the idea of keeping the comment and holding it in your hands to look at, later on, when you're cool. That's when the real evaluation happens.

I'd have to say that that evaluation, and the ability to "keep it in your hands" is a lot harder than it sounds, too. Thinking of the thing that an abusive or aggressive person was using as a weapon against you will make your defensive impulse rise up again, and quelling it is hard. That's what the "taking the hit" part is supposed to help you with, actually – but again, you're absolutely right that no one is under any obligation to just accept abuse, for any reason.

All of this is about short circuiting your instincts, and everyones' instincts are slightly different. I'm in circumstances where sheer resilience is a lot more important than defensiveness right now, so i'm more prone to think in terms of how I can weather something than how I can block it. That's probably why I'm a bit more fixated on dealing with trauma than I am with preventing it. (Or maybe I'm just making excuses for having such a self-defeating attitude towards it? Hm.) I do think that everyone has to come at this differently, though. There's no formula for success; everyone deals differently.

Thanks so much for your reply, it was really good and it's given me lots to think about.

Thank to to Katamoumt, Scild, LittleLurker and everyone else for all their thoughtful posts. :)💕 There’s a lot to mull over, and I would like to do so before I write a detailed post. 🙂 However, there was one thing that jumped out at me.


“If they’ve determined to sharpen the truth into a weapon to skewer you with, you can’t both turn the point aside and accept the truth into you. You either preserve yourself or fall on the point of the blade.”

I LOVE this metaphor, and I think it makes the point brilliantly. Basically, if something is true, it shouldn’t matter whether it comes from an abuser or not, it’s the TRUTH, and I can’t both take in a truth and turn it away, right?

But I think the hang-up that I’m still having is that with abusers, they hardly ever deal with the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Their goal is to open you up so that they can get to your insides and control you, so when they say a truth, it’s usually only bait to get you to swallow their poison, and THAT’s what I’m afraid of.

I’m not afraid of falling on a clean blade, of taking in a truth and having it tear me apart. It’s the poisoned blades that I’m afraid of, because I’ve fallen on poisoned blades in the past, and the poison spreads everywhere, and is difficult, if not impossible, to expunge.

Sorry for any rambling/mistakes, or if I sound argumentitive or disagreeable (I don’t mean to be!) I’ve had to type quickly, so I hope my meaning is clear. 🙂

Have to be brief, work work work.

You’re absolutely right – the worst thing about these abusive people is that they’ll take the germ of something that’s true and mix it with as much awfulness as they can, because their goal is to hurt you and humiliate you, not to teach you or give you something good. The true thing is the point of the spear, and the rest of it is what can cause a lot of damage.

Dealing with it’s the same, really. I like LittleLurker’s comment of just making sure you keep what they say with you, in your hands and not your heart, so that you can evaluate it later. That evaluation is where you winnow out the good stuff from the bad. It’s also why I mention that being good at putting yourself back together is important, ’cause those hurtful things will do damage whether you’ve defended yourself or not.

This conversation of art-critique just makes me think of the vast ammount of “cringe” and “bad-art” blogs that i used to follow that i use to follow when i started using Tumblr. At first i got into them because i just found them “funny” but over time i came to realize, that a lot of the folks behind them were just assholes using the idea of “criticism” as either a crutch or just a diversion. Specially when it came from blogs that took random works/pictures online, including teenagers/children, talked shit about them and left a public link to allow people to give “criticism”.

This whole cringe/”laugh at stupid” “culture” is quite frankly just an excuse for assholes to engage in ego-tripping while often being rather mediocre themselves (i’m looking at you, Sargon of Akkarl).

I’ll admit, i sometimes still look at “bad” art (or sometimes things that are just so bizarre/fetishy that its either funny or just plain confusing), but I still respect the piece/artist who made it, because sometimes, it tends to be more sincere, memorable and endearing than the art of “professionals”. (i.e. The Room, Who Killed Captain Alex, Tails gets trolled, Ed Wood’s “masterpieces”)

As an aside, that comic from the header is fucking adorable.

Somewhere around 8 the ability for rational thinking and decision making switches off. You can’t. You go into full scale “fight or flight” survival mode. So don’t act, leave.

And if you can’t leave, or leaving will also have serious consequences (get fired, flunk something, etc.)?

And if you can’t leave, or leaving will also have serious consequences (get fired, flunk something, etc.)?

Yep. The short answer is, I don’t really have a working strategy for those situations, either. (And I really hope I didn’t sound too much like an annoying self-help guru up there. I didn’t mean to. I’m really far from perfect in dealing with that stuff myself.)

So, I really don’t have a good answer. There’s stuff I try, which sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t. I’ve fucked up enough situations just like those you describe, precisely because there wasn’t enough time to distance myself first. I mean, that’s the advantage of online conversations, isn’t it? There’s usually no immediate reply required. In RL not so much.

Just disjointed thoughts now:
One time I actually reacted with “I quit.” and hung up on the yelling boss mid call. Since that left me without a job, it probably ranks as “not too good”, though. Once I got up and left the course and then had to do it again, so not so productive either, although both did help with no longer feeling so scared and defenseless towards people, but still.

When I know beforehand that the situation might get triggering, I try to make a plan of how I’ll react (what I’ll say) and then repeat it over and over in my head before I get there. Works…sometimes. Because when someone throws a comment at you, you have an immediate go-to response. But life has this tendency of ruining the best plans.

Sometimes when I notice getting angry I try only giving the shortest, most matter-of-fact answers possible and inwardly focus on not exploding. And then I have to spend a lot of time in the aftermath sorting things out in my own mind. But then…the situation itself kinda stays unresolved, so…not the best scenario either.

I might try to get myself a cigarette break or use the bathroom when that’s possible, so I have at least a few minutes to myself, to focus on not following my feelings right away. I even make quick cell phone calls sometimes, to the one or two people I know can get me somewhat grounded again. But that only works if you can at least temporarily get out of the room and don’t have to react right this second.

Then there’s times where I go back to my old mantra of: “I have to this now, so I will no matter how I’m feeling while I’m doing it.”, said to myself not too kindly. That is seriously not healthy imo, though, as it amounts to kicking oneself as opposed to taking care of oneself. I try to reserve that for maybe one or two situations (jobs I really have to keep, tests or courses I really can’t fail without risking my entire life-plan) and try to no longer do that the rest of the time.

Sometimes lately I’ve tried being honest, reacting with some variation of: “This is kind of triggering for me right now, sorry.” That has…varying degrees of success. And it might be my trust issues but I feel it’s kind of risky because you’re really opening yourself up and showing vulnerability here and not all people are kind and understanding. So I try to only do that when I happen to know the other person a bit longer or better. I might with my current boss, for example, but I’d rather avoid it if possible.

And then there’s the remaining about 50% of times in which something like you describes happens and I just…screw up and have to deal with the bad consequences. Cause life really sucks at times for people who have issues and triggers, as most of you probably know as well or better than me. 🙁 So if all else fails I just…react. And hope for the best and try not to beat myself up for it later.

And sometimes it really isn’t a “false alarm” either and the other side really is an abusive asshole, so at least it’s not undeserved then. Although, if it’s an abusive asshole in a position of power, I’m still fucked most likely.

Anyone any better ideas?

PS: Time for a name change, I guess. I don’t lurk that much anymore. And if I’m going to stick around, I might as well use my usual internet name. 🙂


I’m also a completely hopeless actor. So no matter what I say or do, in RL people most likely will notice the initial reaction anyway. Another aspect where the internet has clear advantages.


“And if you can’t leave, or leaving will also have serious consequences (get fired, flunk something, etc.)?”

I would think that if leaving has such bad consequences, that staying and getting very angry would have worse.

Thought about it for a few days and I don’t have anything to add because there are already so many thoughtful and awesome posts in this thread that’s there’s nothing left to say. 🙂 Thank you for this informative discussion. 🙂

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