Subtle Social Manipulations.

I shared this with a friend and since then I fleshed it out into a philosophy that I can quantify.  Despite going into detail about how and why the way I specifically manipulate situations works, it’ll still work on you and for you with other people.  Even when they know its coming.

Stage One:

The reason this works; it hinges on one immutable fact; I do not “Talk Shit” online.  Some people call it “Talking Trash”, “Selling Wolf Tickets”. It all depends on where you grew up.

Not talking trash online, threatening people online, speaking negatively about people, or in any way responding to negative comments online directly results in people believing the false narrative that I never have problems with anyone. That’s not true, but it benefits me for you to think that.  

NOTE: Unfortunately, the world as it stands has delivered a bumper crop of weak men who throw insults around online from behind an internet-mask like a pack of high school girls.  Those few of us who don’t are raised to an almost god-like standing in society.

Stage Two:

The only people who get to find out that I do have problems with people are the people I actually have problems with!

The vast majority of the time, there is someone who resents me for living the life I choose, on my own terms, who does not have the courage to openly voice their opinion to me and be willing to deal with the consequences.  Consequences that are almost always able to be resolved humanely and discreetly, with me.

Instead, they become provocateurs.  People who instigate and foment dissent around me and with others who they hope to convince to share their displeasure with me.  The Internet is the perfect place to leave questionable observations and lies designed to make people enemies.  It works, under most circumstances.

Fortunately, I am not most men.

When I see these things happening, I call the person who is the other target, the other man who is just as much a victim of online keyboard-warriors as I am.

 Note I say “call”, because the people who are being rallied against each other are rarely, if ever strangers.  It’s almost always someone on the fringes of the group/social circle trying to turn the core against itself.  To some, “Chaos Is A Ladder”  that they can use to pull themselves up.

When I call, under the best circumstances I am talking to a man who is as genuine tough guy, as accomplished, and as unafraid as I am.  Since we are less prone to erratic, impulsive behavior and always make sure that we have a good reason with well-researched causes before choosing to be “Not nice”.   I say choice, since it shouldn’t be a decision taken lightly.

Remember that fearful men make poor decisions, quickly.

This is the script I use when I am talking to someone who may have been given bad information on why we should be enemies.  Feel free to use it.  To be clear, sometimes they should hate me.  I am alright with hatred, just not for a false narrative, if that’s what they are being fed.

Me: “Listen, you and I read the same thing online.  Before we decide to make a move, let’s sit down and have pancakes while we talk about it.  I’m not scared and neither are you, so if we talk, and figure out that we have a problem that’s fine, we go from there.  However, if we don’t, then we can figure out how/why a few idiots online are trying to make fools out of us.  Either way, I am not about to perform for anyone online or give them a show to watch.  Besides, I have an ego and you have an ego, so us talking without an audience or people watching puts us in a position to be able to open up and unpack what may be going on.  Can we do that?”

90% of the time I get a “Yeah, let’s do that.” 100% of the time we are able to resolve the issue and choose to “Be Nice”.  Even and especially if we really do have a problem with each other.

Why this works:

  • “Show respect to get respect” is an adage that has saved me in lots of situations.  When I tell someone that I am not going to talk trash about them or be disrespectful, even if other people are trying to convince me I should, it doesn’t make me look weak, it makes me look like someone who thinks before he acts and that should be shown respect as well. Remember, the most dangerous men you will ever know or read about will always be the ones who showed what they could do and let everyone else talk about it afterward.
  • I use “pancakes” to take some of the tension out of the situation!  It’s not easy to keep a “war face” when a man tells you that he wants to resolve a conflict over pancakes. 
  • Most of the time, when people post “He Said/She Said” garbage online, it’s a pack of lies designed to get people upset with each other.  Most problems with reasonable, tough, unafraid men can be resolved quietly.

If the other guy really does have a genuine problem with me, it puts him in a situation to realize that I won’t go away easily and I am not afraid to look a monster in the eyes and say so, without an audience and without a crowd.  That makes him re-prioritize whether or not he wants to go into a conflict with me.  I showed him, from the beginning, that I am very proactive when I have a problem.  I have been in situations that I knew I could not win and still made it clear that I was not afraid to engage.  Bullies universally would rather find softer prey that deal with someone who might get lucky or just come back stronger.  I got bullied a lot when I was a kid, by the time I set out to see the world, I was done with it.

I’m sharing this insight with you hoping that it can save you some pain and trouble when you are thrust into a potentially volatile situation.  I didn’t come up with this model on my own, it was given to me by a successful mentor who used a closely related version of my script.  The difference is that his was suited for a time before the internet.  The reason it still works is because although the ways we communicate change, human nature does not.

Remember, a good mask should express more of who you really are and not be something you hide behind.

If what I wrote is interesting or you enjoyed it, send $5 in BitCoin to this address.
It’ll buy me coffee to fuel my mind while I write!




YusefWateef (at) Gmail (dot) com


  1. Pingback: Subtle Social Manipulations. |
  2. Poyan | Dynathrive

    Hey Yusef,

    I just came across your blog and your first post stood out for me, so I decided to jump in. It was a solid read man, thanks for writing it.

    Avoiding conflict or a hostile threat is one thing—but knowing how to deal with it and put it to rest is a skill set many men that don’t have the roots to ground themselves aren’t capable of utilizing. This article definitely helps bring some of the social aspects of this topic to fruition.

    Keep writing man.

    Respectfully yours,

    – Poyan


  3. Pingback: 40/40 Vision: A Retrospective. | Yusef Wateef, Adventurer!

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