One of the most important characteristics of the manosphere is our drive for improvement. We strive to improve our physical strength, mental strength, relationships, friends, and family. We strive to improve our neighborhoods, our businesses, and even our nations. We strive so hard for these things that when we don’t see any results it too often leads to men taking the black pill. And who can blame them?
But there is a constant temptation to stop striving. We often want to stop because it is easier. It requires less energy and investment. We are compelled to kick back, put our feet up, and see that everything we should try to improve is good enough. The mind trick that enables us to do that is the bottom of the barrel comparison.
What Is The “Bottom Of The Barrel” Comparison?
When I was your typical blue-pilled loser in my early twenties, I remember meeting this cute girl. I was going to community college and she worked there as a gate attendant. She was an attractive girl, but as I would learn while trying to get with her, she had problems.
She had just gotten out of an abusive relationship with her ex. I told her that was the right move. Then she revealed that she still lived with him. Her ex (I knew he was her ex in name only, of course) was a drug dealer. She said she wasn’t an addict but she still wanted to leave.
By that point, I gave up on trying to hook up with her. Instead, I just told her she needed a better life, because the one she had was a disaster. She agreed, but because her “ex” was a drug dealer, she saw plenty of crackheads and tweakers. She described one really horrible tweaker she had seen and said, “At least I’m not her.”
There it was: the mindset that told her it was alright to live with her drug dealing, abusive ex.
How Fat Are You?
When you compare anything to the worst possible outcome, you generally leave a lot of room to be mediocre. For example, take your weight. Are you overweight? How much do you weigh? 250 pounds? 300 pounds? Hey, at least you don’t weigh 600 pounds like this guy…
Instead, you only weigh 300 pounds, like Artie Lang.
I’ll bet the 300 pound guy loves the 600 pound guy because he can say, “Hey, at least I’m not this guy.” When you compare yourself to the bottom of the barrel, you justify stuff you know deep down you shouldn’t justify. Fat? There are fatter people. Lazy? There are lazier people. Poor? There are poorer people. Weak? There are weaker people.
This comparison gives the user the illusion that they are not these things. It lets them think they are not fat, lazy, poor, weak, and so on.
It Seeps Into Your Worldview
Do you love America? I do. I probably love America more than you, statistically speaking. But as great as my nation may be, it is not above criticism. One problem that allows America and our culture to decline is this mindset.
I’m sure you’ve heard something like this before: “Well, I come from some third world shithole and now I lead a much better life in America. So your criticisms are dumb. You just don’t appreciate how good you have it.”
I often reflect on how lucky I am to be born in America, and I truly wish people didn’t have to suffer living in shithole countries. But comparing America to them only allows it to further decline. It’s a long way from the top (America) to the bottom (Somalia, Haiti, Iraq), but that doesn’t mean it’s alright to slide down that direction.
Change Your Mindset
Comparing yourself to anyone else is a dangerous game. You could compare yourself to the worst and thereby allow yourself to fall into mediocrity. You could also compare yourself to the best and get discouraged. I played drums for ten years and only reached an intermediate skill level. Videos like this made me want to give up:
What I learned as I got older was that although I don’t have the natural abilities of the very best, I can still be great with focus and determination. With renewed focus, my skills improved drastically.
Change your mindset. Change your worldview. Strive for greatness. Hopefully you, and your people, can achieve it.