Should Men Ignore Negativity?
Many popular bloggers have publicly stated they won’t write about or give their attention to the antics of those they disagree with anymore. Even writers who’ve made their name bashing feminists, extremists, and opposing social views are starting to wake up to the idea that focusing their attention on negativity won’t make there be any less of it in the world.
At the same time, many of these same men discovered the websites, ideas, and communities that have improved their lives by first noticing negative patterns in culture around them. So which is it? Do we ignore the negativity in the world or tell everyone who will listen about what needs to change? Will paying attention to the problems of the world drain our energy or keep us vigilant? Is there a way we can leverage that negativity for our benefit?
When Seeing Negativity Is Helpful
Seeing negativity in others can be helpful when it allows us to see the negativity in ourselves. In order to let go of a pattern, you first have to become aware of it. Because we are resistant to seeing our own faults, sometimes it is easier to see them in others. Seeing the problems of the world can be a stepping stone to correcting those problems within ourselves.
When I first discovered Return of Kings and similar blogs, I knew I was not a feminist, but I still held many of the negative beliefs associated with that worldview that I had been indoctrinated with growing up. Reading critiques of feminists allowed me to see how those ideas had influenced my own thinking, let go of those beliefs, and become a happier person.
For someone just discovering Return of Kings or red pill philosophy, reading responses to negative ideas can be helpful if the reader still hold those ideas himself. Most men go through an angry phase when they discover how they were lied to about women, relationships, and attraction growing up. Anger is a perfectly natural stage of grief, but eventually one must move past it into acceptance, integration, and creating the life you actually want, rather than dwelling on the life you used to have.
When you know what you don’t want, you know what you do want. Seeing negativity can be incredibly helpful if it makes you aware of the patterns you need to let go of and the positive direction you actually want to go. By reveals the contrast between where you are and where you want to be, negativity can be a positive force that points us in the direction of what we are really wanting.
When Seeing Negativity Is NOT Helpful
Dwelling on negativity is not helpful when it is done merely to feel superior to others or to juice feelings of anger and victim-hood. This is the most common reason people read, write, and talk about negativity in the world. Studies have shown readers are most likely to click on headlines that produce feeling of anger, and because publishers want page views, authors have incentive to write stories that appeal to these feelings. “Hate-reading” or producing and consuming content that is meant only to infuriate is the most dominant and common form of writing online.
This type of content transcends all political and social demographics. Conservative sites will publish articles bashing liberals, liberal sites will publish articles bashing conservatives. Environmentalists, feminists, men’s rights activists, Christians, gays, and virtually every movement or subculture online has a website dedicated to chronicling the most outrageous actions of their opponents. Even within movements, members will generate traffic by bashing one another and publishing articles that serve only to divide or tear down their communities.
The most reason people focus on others failings is to feel better about themselves. I’ve written about the comparative mind before. It’s much easier to compare yourself to an overweight underachieving whiner, than it is to take yourself from good to great. It’s even harder to just be content, happy, or grateful for the things you have. It’s easier to avoid the feeling you might not being enough, if compare yourself to someone who clearly doesn’t think they’re enough.
Likewise, creating a story that you are a victim of all the evil and misguided people in the world is an excuse to avoid action or change. Saying that feminists are keeping you down is the conservative man’s version of “the dog ate my homework.” While the world may create obstacles, these obstacles can make us stronger if we treat them as creative challenges and opportunities for growth.
The question men need to ask themselves when reading negative news stories is whether or not they are using information to become more aware of what they truly want, or whether they are using this information to create a story about why they can’t have what they want. For most men, becoming aware of the negativity around them may initially helpful, but staying in that negativity is not.
When Talking About Negativity Is Helpful
Talking about negativity in the world is helpful when you are using your speech to change that negativity. If you are part of a community that is participating in a negative pattern, then speak up about it. In this case, you are not giving your attention to negativity, but your own transformative power to change it. The same way noticing negativity in the world can be an opportunity to let go of it, pointing it out in your community creates an opportunity for the community to change, and for those who no longer wish to participate in it to change or leave that community.
Whether or not writers chose to write about the problems of the world depends on their audience and goals. For men who already know what they want, spending lots of time on the problem isn’t helpful. Sites dedicated to a more general audience might benefit from some contrast, so their audience understands the problem enough to accept the solution.
Personally, I enjoy delving deeply into problems because I see them not as problems, but as challenges. My goal when I write about negativity isn’t to complain, but to make men aware of the patterns involved so they can clear those patterns within themselves and the community around them.
What matters most is the intention. Are you writing about the negativity in the world to enlighten others and change it, or to complain and create a story about why change is impossible?
When Talking About Negativity Is NOT Helpful
Most of the time men focus on negativity, it reflects more about them than the person they’re bashing. If a conservative man was to obsessively watch gay porn, blog about gay porn, and talk about gay porn because they “can’t stand all those gays having sex” you’d probably assume that they were secretly attracted to men, and just couldn’t admit it to anyone including themselves.
Just as there are bloggers obsessed with men’s attraction to men, there are bloggers obsessed with men’s attraction to women. Several writers devout their entire blog to bashing men who study game and seek to improve their sex lives. They call these men “players,” “misogynists,” and “rape-apologists” the way a closeted preacher might hurl the word “fag” to cover up his own homosexual attraction.
If you obsessively read sites by players, blog about players, and constantly talk about players because you “can’t stand all those players having sex,” you’re probably secretly attracted to the player lifestyle and and just can’t admit it to anyone including yourself.
Likewise, women who constantly blog about rape often have rape fantasies.Women who constantly blog about fat acceptance wish they were pretty and men were attracted to them. And many of the men who constantly blog about feminism wish they had the privileged and attention they believe attractive women command without having to put in the work necessary to achieve it.
All of these men and women blogging about the things they hate could experience many of the privileges they ascribe to the opposite sex if they took the energy they dedicate to complaining about what they don’t want and put it into improving themselves and pursuing what they do want. Jealously is a powerful force, but building yourself up is much more rewarding than tearing others down.
The best way to change the world is by focusing on who you truly are and what you truly desire. Use the contrast of every negative experience to point yourself in the direction of what you prefer. Negativity can be a positive force if you treat it as a creative challenge rather than an excuse to avoid change. The process of transforming negativity into positive experiences can be incredibly exciting, if your intention and focus throughout the process is positive.