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Causes of Self-Destructive Attempts at Toughness

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Causes of Self-Destructive Attempts at Toughness

Post Number:#1  PostApril 22nd, 2008, 11:23 pm

Causes of Self-Destructive Attempts at Toughness
by Scott Hughes

People have many different moral philosophies, and some people even reject morality altogether. Nonetheless, almost all people admire toughness and its associated traits, such as bravery and strength. Unfortunately, in misguided attempts at toughness, many people foolishly engage in needless destructiveness including self-destructiveness. Those wannabe tough-guys* make decisions that hurt themselves and others. In extreme cases, those wannabe tough-guys have a compulsive tendency to engage in self-destructive violence, aggressiveness, meanness, conflict and dangerous activities. Those self-destructive attempts at toughness happen for a few reasons.

Overcompensation - Often times, wannabe tough-guys engage in self-destructive attempts at toughness as a way of overcompensating for their own lack of actual toughness, strength and self-value. They have an inferiority complex. They feel inferior or weak, and they try to cover it up or make up for it by constantly trying to behave or seem like a tough person. So they try to behave in a way they believe will make them tough and strong or at least will make them seem tough and strong. They do that by starting unhelpful conflicts and facing pointless danger. For example, if a schoolboy feels insecure, he might bully other kids; and schoolyard bullies generally bully because of their own insecurity.

Paranoia - Many times when people lash out and behave aggressively, they do it out of fear. Irrational, pathological, or compulsive fear can cause a person to think they need to defend themselves by getting wildly violent and giving the appearance of toughness, bravery and strength. Remember, healthy fear and violence can lead to a genuinely tough and brave person making wise decisions. For an example of healthy fear and genuine toughness, consider a firefighter violently and wildly kicking down the door of a burning building because of the firefighter's healthy fear of the fire and the danger the fire poses. In contrast, paranoia, or excessive anxiety or fear, can cause a person to behave in that wild, violent, aggressive, or dangerous manner when behaving as such will cause more harm than benefit. For an example of paranoia causing self-destructive attempts at toughness, consider the thug who starts yelling at or even violently attacking a second person just because the second person looked at the thug in an apparently intimidating way. Who hasn't seen a paranoid, pseudo-tough thug aggressively yell, "What are you looking at?!"

Weakness - When dealing with others, people who feel weak may try to seem tough or strong as a way of protecting themselves. They try to get others to overestimate them. For example, when an unarmed human comes in contact with an obviously stronger bear, the weak human will act wild and tough, swinging its backpack over its head, hoping the bear overestimates the human's strength and chooses not to fight the human. The fake display of toughness can be wise especially if the faking person is actually weak, but faking toughness can be unwise especially if the faker is not really as weak as they feel. Also, a person will behave desperately when dealing with a fight or obstacle if the person feels weak in relation to the fight or obstacle. The weak person's desperation often manifests as the superficial appearance of toughness. For example, consider how tough an animal tries to behave when backed into a corner. The self-perception of weakness can cause people to hurt themselves and others while desperately trying to seem tough or make up for their perceived weakness.

People who are actually tough and strong do not go around desperately trying to prove it. People who are actually tough do not desperately engage in thoughtless, self-destructive aggression and violence. Overall, self-destructive pseudo-toughness mostly stems from various forms of fear and weakness. Perhaps we can become more peaceful, less destructive, and more truly tough by understanding the motives of wannabe tough-guys like thugs and lowlife gangsters. Better yet, by understanding the causes of self-destructive pseudo-toughness, perhaps we can more effectively deal with self-destructive thugs, lowlife gangsters, and other violent criminals whose self-destructive, antisocial behavior stems from trying to appear tough. By understanding how insecurity motivates them, we can better understand and more effectively deal with, for example, the type of wannabe tough-guys who want to yell or fight—and risk throwing their life away—over small incidents such as someone accidentally stepping on their shoes, someone calling them a name, or someone supposedly disrespecting them in some slight way from which a wiser, tougher and more confident person would just walk away.

What do you think? How do you feel about self-destructive pseudo-toughness? What do you think causes it and how do you recommend people deal with it?

*When I say tough-guys, I mean the term in a gender neutral way to refer to females as well as males.
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Self-destruction

Post Number:#2  PostOctober 11th, 2008, 2:29 am

I am enthralled by your precise and vivid descriptions of the way humans cause themselves harm by acting recklessly and unabashed. Personally, it is my strong belief that humans feel the need to over-compensate and such because they have a rabid necessity to think of themselves in the highest manner possible.

Even those who claim to be a "good" person can in fact be an overly selfish or even fraudulent persona. I will not launch into my rant on "good and evil" here, however. It is the natural human desire to feel superior, such as if a man has done a good deed, whether it be from the heart or out of a need to feel appreciated, he then justifies conducting himself with a inwardly condescending attitude with someone with a seemingly lower moral code. That, in itself, is a source of great irony. (This is not the case for bullies, however) Sometimes, people have been known to take it too far, just to keep themselves content.

As you mentioned, with the bear example, a weaker, unarmed man may flail about wildly in feeble attempts to combat the bear, all out of the need to feel strong and empowered. It can be safely assumed that if that man, who somehow managed to rid himself of that pressing dilemma, would boast his experience, only making himself look better. We, as humans, have an inbred need to feel superior, which is what I believe the cause of self-destructive psuedo-toughness to be.
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Re: Causes of Self-Destructive Attempts at Toughness

Post Number:#3  PostFebruary 6th, 2009, 6:27 am

Scott wrote:Causes of Self-Destructive Attempts at Toughness
by Scott Hughes

People have many different moral philosophies, and some people even reject morality altogether. Nonetheless, almost all people admire toughness and its associated traits, such as bravery and strength. Unfortunately, in misguided attempts at toughness, many people foolishly engage in needless destructiveness including self-destructiveness. Those wannabe tough-guys* make decisions that hurt themselves and others. In extreme cases, those wannabe tough-guys have a compulsive tendency to engage in self-destructive violence, aggressiveness, meanness, conflict and dangerous activities. Those self-destructive attempts at toughness happen for a few reasons.

Overcompensation - Often times, wannabe tough-guys engage in self-destructive attempts at toughness as a way of overcompensating for their own lack of actual toughness, strength and self-value. They have an inferiority complex. They feel inferior or weak, and they try to cover it up or make up for it by constantly trying to behave or seem like a tough person. So they try to behave in a way they believe will make them tough and strong or at least will make them seem tough and strong. They do that by starting unhelpful conflicts and facing pointless danger. For example, if a schoolboy feels insecure, he might bully other kids; and schoolyard bullies generally bully because of their own insecurity.

Paranoia - Many times when people lash out and behave aggressively, they do it out of fear. Irrational, pathological, or compulsive fear can cause a person to think they need to defend themselves by getting wildly violent and giving the appearance of toughness, bravery and strength. Remember, healthy fear and violence can lead to a genuinely tough and brave person making wise decisions. For an example of healthy fear and genuine toughness, consider a firefighter violently and wildly kicking down the door of a burning building because of the firefighter's healthy fear of the fire and the danger the fire poses. In contrast, paranoia, or excessive anxiety or fear, can cause a person to behave in that wild, violent, aggressive, or dangerous manner when behaving as such will cause more harm than benefit. For an example of paranoia causing self-destructive attempts at toughness, consider the thug who starts yelling at or even violently attacking a second person just because the second person looked at the thug in an apparently intimidating way. Who hasn't seen a paranoid, pseudo-tough thug aggressively yell, "What are you looking at?!"

Weakness - When dealing with others, people who feel weak may try to seem tough or strong as a way of protecting themselves. They try to get others to overestimate them. For example, when an unarmed human comes in contact with an obviously stronger bear, the weak human will act wild and tough, swinging its backpack over its head, hoping the bear overestimates the human's strength and chooses not to fight the human. The fake display of toughness can be wise especially if the faking person is actually weak, but faking toughness can be unwise especially if the faker is not really as weak as they feel. Also, a person will behave desperately when dealing with a fight or obstacle if the person feels weak in relation to the fight or obstacle. The weak person's desperation often manifests as the superficial appearance of toughness. For example, consider how tough an animal tries to behave when backed into a corner. The self-perception of weakness can cause people to hurt themselves and others while desperately trying to seem tough or make up for their perceived weakness.

People who are actually tough and strong do not go around desperately trying to prove it. People who are actually tough do not desperately engage in thoughtless, self-destructive aggression and violence. Overall, self-destructive pseudo-toughness mostly stems from various forms of fear and weakness. Perhaps we can become more peaceful, less destructive, and more truly tough by understanding the motives of wannabe tough-guys like thugs and lowlife gangsters. Better yet, by understanding the causes of self-destructive pseudo-toughness, perhaps we can more effectively deal with self-destructive thugs, lowlife gangsters, and other violent criminals whose self-destructive, antisocial behavior stems from trying to appear tough. By understanding how insecurity motivates them, we can better understand and more effectively deal with, for example, the type of wannabe tough-guys who want to yell or fight—and risk throwing their life away—over small incidents such as someone accidentally stepping on their shoes, someone calling them a name, or someone supposedly disrespecting them in some slight way from which a wiser, tougher and more confident person would just walk away.

What do you think? How do you feel about self-destructive pseudo-toughness? What do you think causes it and how do you recommend people deal with it?

*When I say tough-guys, I mean the term in a gender neutral way to refer to females as well as males.


I know this is late in this post, but I just came across it. Since its an older post I’m just going to type this unedited series of thoughts I had when you spoke of 'tough guys'

I am more fascinates by the ‘real strengths’. I refer to the ‘strengths’ that come from man’s ability to improve himself in those things that can be cured by applied philosophies. I say, ‘applied’, because something learned has no value unless it is applied with the desire to become ‘really strong’. Confidence, self-esteem, lack of all fear, and in general those attributes that exhibit strong character development, are the strengths that make those that are bullies tremble.

I have found that the hardest thing to do is tell another of your own character's strengths. In spite of the fact that a person can’t say for themselves that they have whatever strength is being talked about, they will instead choose to argue in such a way that questions the validity of my claim.

A person that carries in his own life, a particular ‘weakness’ cannot speak of what I’m going to call ‘Strength’ from the perspective of a first party, so he can present only the ‘weak’ side of argument, the only part he knows; his ego has convinced him it can be used to devalue the claim of one that is in fact, what I’ll call ‘strong’. Perspective is one thing that can’t be faked! Even if you read all that is to be known about the strength that is lacking, you can’t form the words that tell of it.

This is especially true on the internet. Instead of a person saying he has such and such a problem, he will instead question the veracity of the claimant who does not have problem.

They do this so easily, just type in anything they want and they think they can prove you are held down as low as they are.

I love the argument, I’ve referred to this before, that the apostle Paul gave when he told them he spoke ‘as a Fool’. He goes on telling of things he did, that possibly none of the listeners could ever imagine having done. He also tells them he speaks before God and speaks the truth. It was these experiences that proved witness of how strong he was compared to them. His words proved that he was both durable as a man, and confident in spirit. He stopped those that were weaker from taking a self-proclaimed higher position then he. ‘They’ couldn’t say, ‘Yea, we’ve done more!’. Any words they spoke had to come from a position of weakness. They couldn’t fake them.

Below, I want to use Sales as an example to represent how hard it is to claim some ‘strength’ that is obviously not in ‘their’ life, and get back argument that wants to somehow prove he knows as much. They fight the same way against someone that claims Confidence, Contentedness, Self-assurance, Suffers no guilt, Carries no shame, Has no fears or wants, all accomplished with no more then effort, sacrifice, practice, and dedication.


I find unwarranted denials when ‘they’ are faced with my claims concerning my sales and motivational abilities. For some reason people want to imagine they know more about it then I. That is in fact impossible unless they learned the same skills as I did. It’s sort of like, how foolish I would be, if I claimed to know more about your skills then you do. Like Paul, all of us should be able to tell of those things about which we can tell the truth. Most people present weak challenge to me by saying something like, ‘You couldn’t sell me!’ Really, they have no idea that their very attitude insures me enough understanding of them to insure I could indeed sell them. It was precisely because of their disbelieving attitude, that they made me real good.

In philosophy it’s like trying to tell someone who is in fact in pain, ‘Take your finger out of your eye and it will stop hurting!’ They can either listen, or continue on convincing themselves that what their doing is best.

The Bullies will get their comeuppance, the foolish will get theirs; or so I like to hope.
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Causes of Self-Destructive Attempts at Toughness

Post Number:#4  PostFebruary 8th, 2009, 2:40 am

The foregoing posts clearly and fully portray the “wannabe tough-guy” and how he or she gets that way. I do wonder, however, whether or not the posts are presented so as to best serve the purposes the authors had in mind as they wrote them.

If the purpose was to expose and explain these guys’ defects to past or prospective victims, the purpose was well-served.

But if the purpose was to inform and reform these guys, – and I would expect these particular authors to normally lean in that direction -- the purpose was ill-served. Isn’t it rather doubtful that anyone could reform many people after calling them thugs, bullies, and low-life gangsters, and saying they carry no shame, suffer no guilt, and will get their comeuppance?
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Post Number:#5  PostFebruary 8th, 2009, 6:03 am

Dewey, that is a practical matter well worth considering. My feeling is that those who you and I and other respectable people may call 'thugs' 'bullies' and so on are unlikely to be influenced one way or the other by name- calling by respectable people. Approximately as many thugs or bullies are going to be immune to the respectable culture as are going to feel honoured by the epithets that respectable people deplore. Here in the UK there is a 'punishment' called an ASBO(Anti-social behaviour order) which as well as being a toothless punishment is generally looked upon by the badly- behaved people who are served ASBO's as a desirable badge of belonging to the culture of thuggery.

The best way to reform people may be to give them responsibility and the opportunity to create something based upon their personal responsibility for their project.As well as not being dependent upon linguistic labelling this reforming activity has to be begun as an enforced activity, but I think that the tendency to take pride in achievements kicks in even despite initial stubbornness.

The basis of antisocial behaviour in fear, or lack of role model,can be overcome only by adding real achievement to the fearful and lost person, instead of false achievement that is based upon easy conquests of attacks on the weak and on property.
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Re: Causes of Self-Destructive Attempts at Toughness

Post Number:#6  PostFebruary 9th, 2009, 2:12 am

Dewey wrote:The foregoing posts clearly and fully portray the “wannabe tough-guy” and how he or she gets that way. I do wonder, however, whether or not the posts are presented so as to best serve the purposes the authors had in mind as they wrote them.
?

I'm the author.

Dewey wrote:If the purpose was to expose and explain these guys’ defects to past or prospective victims, the purpose was well-served.?

It is easy to recognize bullies; seeing them for what they are is the trick. When you are intimidated by them, you are too busy looking at your own perceived self as weaker. It's them that need attention, sort of like intimidating them behind their masks.

As is my normal nature, my goal is to show how 'the bully', as is mentioned in the next post, are weak, and shallow [I add], and as such, his weakness can be made visable to all, against his will; and the exposed weakness can easily be exploited by the stronger man inside, the man that thinks he is weak outside, is only because he has not yet tapped his real strengths.


Dewey wrote:But if the purpose was to inform and reform these guys, – and I would expect these particular authors to normally lean in that direction -- the purpose was ill-served. Isn’t it rather doubtful that anyone could reform many people after calling them thugs, bullies, and low-life gangsters, and saying they carry no shame, suffer no guilt, and will get their comeuppance?


You may not reform them when you beat them with sharp [not harsh, but hurtful] words, but they will be forever changed when facing you. I do speak from a very broad experience in the 'control' I share with those that lack. Any 'power' we control exists in the words we speak.
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Post Number:#7  PostFebruary 9th, 2009, 2:38 am

Belinda wrote:Dewey, that is a practical matter well worth considering. My feeling is that those who you and I and other respectable people may call 'thugs' 'bullies' and so on are unlikely to be influenced one way or the other by name- calling by respectable people. Approximately as many thugs or bullies are going to be immune to the respectable culture as are going to feel honored by the epithets that respectable people deplore. Here in the UK there is a 'punishment' called an ASBO(Anti-social behaviour order) which as well as being a toothless punishment is generally looked upon by the badly- behaved people who are served ASBO's as a desirable badge of belonging to the culture of thuggery.


You’re absolutely right! If you ‘name-call’ you are just feeding their self-perceived strength, which they may in fact have, at least physically or in group. It’s spoken words that wound the deepest person to person, preferably spoken quietly face to face; or if in a group, your words have to be designed in such a way, that if he insists on wearing the fake persona, he will be seen as foolish by all onlookers. Humility is a completely disarming experience. Sort of like chewing out the ‘man behind the curtain’ in the Wizard of Oz.

First they are cowered when they see you are talking to the ‘little fearful worm man inside’, and if in their group, like the Professor [Wizard] behind the curtain, he doesn’t want you to expose him to the others; so he meek’s out in order to keep the semblance of power he is showing.


Belinda wrote:The best way to reform people may be to give them responsibility and the opportunity to create something based upon their personal responsibility for their project. As well as not being dependent upon linguistic labeling this reforming activity has to be begun as an enforced activity, but I think that the tendency to take pride in achievements kicks in even despite initial stubbornness.

The basis of antisocial behavior in fear, or lack of role model, can be overcome only by adding real achievement to the fearful and lost person, instead of false achievement that is based upon easy conquests of attacks on the weak and on property.


I personally don’t feel any drive to reform them. I only seek to protect myself, and those that providence puts in my protectorate. I leave all ‘reforming’ to those that are not very good at it; agencies! I figure if God hasn’t changed them, I make poor effort. The only people that can be helped have to seek it themselves.

At least that's how I see it
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Causes of Self-Destructive Attempts at Toughness

Post Number:#8  PostFebruary 9th, 2009, 2:53 am

Belinda, I could not agree more than I do about this statement of yours: “The basis of antisocial behaviour in fear, or lack of role model,can be overcome only by adding real achievement to the fearful and lost person, instead of false achievement that is based upon easy conquests of attacks on the weak and on property.”

But I could not disagree more than I do about this statement: “My feeling is that those who you and I and other respectable people may call 'thugs' 'bullies' and so on are unlikely to be influenced one way or the other by name- calling by respectable people. “

Name-calling is a way of shaming people for their transgressions. It tells them that we consider them bad persons. The focus is placed on the self and not on a specific behaviour. The feeling of shame that we engender in them draws a defensive and retaliative response. Shaming reduces, rather than increases, the likelihood of reformation.

Focusing on the specific act engenders a feeling of guilt and involves a sense of tension, remorse, and regret over a bad thing done. This typically can motivate confessing, apologizing, or repairing the damage done. Not having been written off as a bad person, the transgressor’s future behaviour is susceptible to constructive change.

This new wisdom of mine is based on a single psychology article that I ran across. But it ties in with what else I have seen and read. What do you think?
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Post Number:#9  PostFebruary 9th, 2009, 6:16 am

But I could not disagree more than I do about this statement: “My feeling is that those who you and I and other respectable people may call 'thugs' 'bullies' and so on are unlikely to be influenced one way or the other by name- calling by respectable people. “

Name-calling is a way of shaming people for their transgressions. It tells them that we consider them bad persons. The focus is placed on the self and not on a specific behaviour. The feeling of shame that we engender in them draws a defensive and retaliative response. Shaming reduces, rather than increases, the likelihood of reformation.


Dewey, I do agree with this to some extent. However it depends on whether or how much the thug person identifies herself with the thug-tribe.If she is at heart one of the respectable tribe, she will be shamed and may repent. If she is at heart a member of the thug society she will be honoured by the name if the thug culture identifies the thug and bully names with belonging to the thug society. It's an in-groups and out-groups issue.

Playground bullies are often loners however, and in their case I think that shaming by authority will benfit them, but only if the shaming is outweighed by a change of heart in the bully, and the wherewithal provided for the bully to behave better.The wherewithal may be a position of some authority over the welfare of weaker others, or it may be a position of respect for the work that she is set to do, work which is within her capabilities.

Not having been written off as a bad person, the transgressor’s future behaviour is susceptible to constructive change.
My point was and is that some people want the respectable larger society to write them off as bad persons, because they are so completely at heart detached from the larger society. I make no distinction between suicide bombers and the criminal underclass in this regard. I would however distinguish between the common playground bully and the underclass of suicide bomber bullies.The former is typically a loner and therefore easier to affiliate with the co-operative majority.
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Causes of Self-Destructive Attempts at Toughness

Post Number:#10  PostFebruary 10th, 2009, 12:25 am

Belinda, do you realize you’re up against Maslow and some other psychologists? They think we are all born with the need to belong and to be approved. It’s an innate human trait. You don’t think that’s necessarily true, that some of us are “at heart” -- meaning “innately” -- detached. Accordingly, you see no inhibitions to discourage bullies and other misfits from searching for disapproval instead of approval.

Well, OK. Be glad you live a long ways from Maslow’s grave. Those guys make a lot of noise when they turn over!
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Post Number:#11  PostFebruary 10th, 2009, 7:21 am

Dewey, I have not explained well enough! I am very much with Maslow.

The innate need to belong is the emotional power that holds together boy gang members, and members of militantly religious orders such as the various manifestations of Al Qaeda, and also the old traditional working class solidarity. This what makes it difficult for the larger society to reform the hearts and minds of some criminals, and what makes violent intervention by the larger society so often turn out to be a useless strategy.

The lone bully is different in that he does not belong to any group and he needs help by way of some form of love-agape. Lone persons who are alienated from the surrounding society are ripe for exploitation by sub-culture gangs or religious extremists.

I view all this as according to Maslow's list of basic needs.
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Post Number:#12  PostNovember 29th, 2009, 10:55 am

Hi all, I'm a newbie here. What a cool site with some very interesting discussions taking place.

On this topic, I would just like to say that it is not always true (and perhaps it is rarely true) that people hold "self preservation" as the highest value. As humans we often hold pride/honour/status as a higher value than our own life or health.

We are all acculturated (taught by the society we live in) to hold certain things important. Some of us die for our nation, some die for religion, some die for fame or honour, some are prepared to work ourselves to death in an office.

I don't think it is any less "rational" to get ourselves maimed or killed to preserve our pride or dignity. For some people, proving their own "toughness" is an important source of pride. Perhaps they move around in social circles where physical toughness is linked with status, and therefore worth dying for. It may seem "irrational" to others (just as it seems irrational to me to die for religion), but everybody has different value-systems determined by social factors.

I think Scott's question already contains its own answer. Society does admire "toughness". But aren't "violence, aggressiveness, meanness, conflict and dangerous activities" all ideas which society associates with "toughness"? Also, Western society being individualistic and status-oriented, of course men will feel pressure to present themselves as "tough". Society associates "tough" with "virile" and ability to attract mates and fight off rivals. This association has deep roots in Western history and culture.

(There are now alternative paradigms of masculinity, the availability of which I think depends a lot on class privilege, for example, the upper-middle class "metrosexual".)

I don't think one has to invoke "overcompensation, paranoia or weakness" to explain "self-destructive displays of toughness".... Men destroying themselves to meet the "irrational" demands of society is actually the norm. It may be morally castigated, offend our bourgeois sensibilities, or have unwanted tragic consequences, but "self destructive toughness" is in fact perfectly consistent with cultural logic of Western society (and many other societies as well.)
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Re: Self-destruction

Post Number:#13  PostNovember 29th, 2009, 11:53 am

xXKanpekiXx wrote:I am enthralled by your precise and vivid descriptions of the way humans cause themselves harm by acting recklessly and unabashed. Personally, it is my strong belief that humans feel the need to over-compensate and such because they have a rabid necessity to think of themselves in the highest manner possible.

Even those who claim to be a "good" person can in fact be an overly selfish or even fraudulent persona. I will not launch into my rant on "good and evil" here, however. It is the natural human desire to feel superior, such as if a man has done a good deed, whether it be from the heart or out of a need to feel appreciated, he then justifies conducting himself with a inwardly condescending attitude with someone with a seemingly lower moral code. That, in itself, is a source of great irony. (This is not the case for bullies, however) Sometimes, people have been known to take it too far, just to keep themselves content.

As you mentioned, with the bear example, a weaker, unarmed man may flail about wildly in feeble attempts to combat the bear, all out of the need to feel strong and empowered. It can be safely assumed that if that man, who somehow managed to rid himself of that pressing dilemma, would boast his experience, only making himself look better. We, as humans, have an inbred need to feel superior, which is what I believe the cause of self-destructive psuedo-toughness to be.


Many animals display threatening behavior when they feel threatened. Chimps will do this, and who would not remember the posture of a cobra or rattle snake threatening attack? How about the small dog that gets very excited and noisy when a stranger approaches. There is a biological element to such behavior, with some people just being more easily excited than others, while some humans are naturally calmer than the average.

As dogs are bred for different purposes, so does the variety of our natures serve different purposes. Because of the biological nature of our differences, we can control for a change in behavior with drugs. The book "The Brave New World" describes a society where everyone's mood is control by drugs, except the boy from the forbidden city, where no one uses drugs.

I think in the past my son-in-law would have achieved a high status in a Celtic community. However, in our present culture he is in prison. His son is very much like him, and as a child he would act without thinking of the consequences of his behavior. Some people seem to just lack the ability to realize the consciences of their behaviors. Throughout my life I have made bad choices, such as smoking and other careless health practices, because the consequences of such behavior just didn't seem real to me. Not that it was my intent to prove how tough I am, but denial and wishful thinking can lead to bad decisions.

God, I know I probably shouldn't do this, and I hope you protect from the possible bad consequences of my choice. After all God, I am reading the bible and doing your will, and you promise to take care of me. So off to the wilderness I go, without a clue of what I am getting myself into.

I would say our behavior is very complex, involving many things, like our hormones, and our awareness of dangers and if we sense the words of warning as meaningful, or just word? And as Scott mentioned our awareness of others, as well, can be lacking, or we may have varying degrees of a sense of responsibility to others. We may be loyal to a subgroup, and perceive those in control as the enemy.

I am very concerned about what I am witnessing at a school, as I see children acting out a resentment to being controlled by people who really do not care about them. This is a healthy response to such control, and I have concerns about sheeple who seem too willing to be controlled. Some people may not realize a threat while others may feel threatened when there is no threat, but who is to judge what causes the sense of being threatened- if it is a healthy response to a threat or not? Being trained to be completely submissive to the control of others, is not my idea of healthy, because then who will be our leaders?

Belinda, I really like what you said about social connections. The one boy I am most concerned about has friends, and yet is the most apt to get into trouble, because he does not see the school staff as his friends. He and his friends are Mexicans in homes where English is not spoken, and the school is really failing these children. I feel angry witnessing what I am witnessing, so I sure don't blame the boy who is acting out. I judge the problem is caused by English speaking people being careless of children who are difficult to teach because of a language barrier, and for their own convince are focused on behavior control, not the feelings and challenges of a child.

By the way Scott, I really appreciate this thread. Monday, I must act on the problem as I see it, and hope I stop short at making two positive recommendations, and don't end up unloading my outrage at how the children are being treated.
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ape

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Re: Causes of Self-Destructive Attempts at Toughness

Post Number:#14  PostNovember 29th, 2009, 3:33 pm

Scott wrote:Causes of Self-Destructive Attempts at Toughness
by Scott Hughes

People have many different moral philosophies, and some people even reject morality altogether. Nonetheless, almost all people admire toughness and its associated traits, such as bravery and strength. Unfortunately, in misguided attempts at toughness, many people foolishly engage in needless destructiveness including self-destructiveness.


Overcompensation


Paranoia


Weakness


What do you think? How do you feel about self-destructive pseudo-toughness? What do you think causes it and how do you recommend people deal with it?



Hi Scott!


The one cause is Hate of self as weak or as scared or as any word.


This means that paranoia and overcompensation and etc are only symptoms of that one cause.


Explanation:


When I hate myself as weak, that makes me fearful for and of myself as weak and then that fear is compounded in to paranoia and phobia when I then also hate myself as scared and so become fearful of being fearful and fearing fear itself.


So based on that bad matrix or poor premise of Hate for myself as weak AND Love for myself as strong, I have to be and must be strong and tough by lifting weights or carrying a gun or having a scowl or frown or glare on my face and mouth and in my eyes to love myself and to be loved by all those other persons who also hate me as weak becausr they too also hate themselves as weak.


I must also not only be tough but must also look and sound and dress and act and etc and talk tough and be seen and be known and be heard and etc to be tough. See Matthew 6:1-10.


That's the easy first part.


Then to keep my need of Love and Respect to keep coming, I must be strong and tough all the time and so must over-compensate or over-do or be over-powerful or be over-strong or be over-tough or be etc.


Then here comes the kick-down:


When I am now strong all the time to love me and get Love and R from others, they then call me a bully, who is a person who is and acts strong and tough all the time, and they hate and disrespect me as a bully and for now being too strong!


Sigh


So? So in Hate of ourselves and others as weak or as cowards or as not brave or as etc, getting strong or getting others to man-up is no solution because in Hate we do not know the right time to be weak nor when it is right to be strong, and etc.


The only solution is to have Strong and the Strongest Love for myself as strong and weak so that I know when to be strong and when to be weak and that there is strenght in weakness and weakness in strength, but I never know when to hate myself nor when to not love myself, so that I love and respect those who hate themselves as weak and who are weak or strong bullies or are overstrong or etc.


And so that I can help those macho-men and ladies who hate themselves as weak and can't understand why they are still hated as bullies to start to love themselves as weak and as strong by also having The Strength of Love and finding their strength in Love.
Qed.
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Observations for causation

Post Number:#15  PostFebruary 3rd, 2010, 1:56 am

As a human race we learn through experience, how we perceive ourselves and how we believe we are perceived by others. Our actions, as humans have always been to put ourselves as a race up on a pedestal. It is said that we have been made in Gods image, and so we act like gods. We go where we want, destroy what we want, eat what we want. Stemming from that, why shouldn’t a child born of this world experiencing that this world is made for him and his kind feel a superiority complex?

It is then witnessed peoples tendency to act superior, even slightly. This may provoke in some, no doubt aided by personal experiences and factors in upbringing, feelings of inferiority. They will strive to prove that they are as strong as those around us. I do not think it is something that can easily be changed in these people but it is within our culture, our values which need to be looked at.

If everyone was to be submissive how would this turn out? There is no struggle to work towards. As a race i feel we are bored with our power and our surroundings and as a result we look for stimulation. This can be found in feelings, in the search for understanding etc. Noone wants to be a sheep, otherwise we would have been born of a different nature. We have been given our minds so why not use them, but how to use them, who can say.

These are just my thoughts, please discuss

JS.

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