Becoming a Renaissance Man, Part 1

Read the introduction if you haven’t done so already to understand the basic concept of the series.

Now let’s get into ways to become more of a Renaissance Man. Rather than give ultra-specific steps, my approach is to give general ways to live that will help you become more of a Renaissance Man in every aspect of your life.

Be Willing to Throw or Take a Punch If Needed

I touched on this in the introduction post. This does not mean to go out looking for fights, or to use fighting as your first resort to solving problems. Part of being a man is knowing when to let things slide and when your pride and self-respect demands physical action. Some drunk guy bumps into you in a bar and is unapologetic? Probably not worth it. Somebody threatens your girlfriend and/or kid in public and is unapologetic? Confrontation is needed. Some chick you haven’t been dating long is trying to get you and another guy to battle over her in a classic case of the mindgame “Let’s You and Him Fight?” Charge her to the game and move on. You’re wife’s ex is calling you out and pushing your buttons to a ridiculous degree as shown in this comment by Private Pigg in the comments section to the previous post? You have no choice but to throw a punch at that point.

Also important is to get a sense of who you’re dealing with. If you’re a middle class professional guy and you are dealing with a lower-class thug who may have been in and out of jail numerous times, you have much more to lose than him and he’s probably willing to take it to a level you don’t want to bring it to, like stabbing or shooting. Also, does he have a group of guys who look willing to jump into the fray?

Like I said, one has to use their judgment, and it should be a last resort, not a first. But you can’t go through life telling yourself it should never, ever be an option at all. Most guys fear fighting for the same reason most guys have anxiety about approaching strange women. Their ego can’t handle the prospect of failing publicly. It brings to mind that scene in Fight Club where one of the assignments Tyler Durden’s disciples must complete is to start a fight with someone else and deliberately lose, and they find that it’s harder than they expect because most people in civilized society will do anything to avoid fighting.

Control Your Apologies and Gratitude

We apologize and show gratitude much too often in our society. From what I hear from foreigners, Americans and the British are actually the worst at this. (If anyone who is well-traveled out there can support or refute this for me, it would be appreciated)

It gets so bad sometimes that you can bump into someone and they’ll reflexively apologize to you before you have a chance to even say anything. We overapologize and overthank to the point that apologies and gratitude become cheap, insincere and meaningless. As an assignment, start keeping track of how many times you and others around you apologize and thank people over the course of a day and you may be surprised by what you notice.

I used to overapologize and overthank all the time. At a restaurant, for every single thing a waiter would do for me, I’d respond with a “Thank you.” Most civilized people on average do this, so I thought nothing of it. One day my friend says to me, “What the fuck are you thanking him for? For doing the bare minimum of his job description?” At first it seemed like an assholish thing to say until I thought about it further and realized he was right. Why was I thanking him for doing the minimum of what I expect, for doing what he was being paid to do? And multiple times for every single task he did?

After that, I only would thank once with any encounter with a service person, and only at the very end of the transaction. Any extra thank yous before the end would only come if the service person was doing something above and beyond what he needed to do. The most important form of thank you, the one that mattered most, was the gratuity I paid at the end of the encounter, and I now realized if I compensated well at that point, that was what really counted.

The same goes for apologies: apologize selectively, and only when sincerely sorry. Don’t apologize for your thoughts, although you may apologize for expressing them tactlessly or at an inappropriate time. Apologize for your actions such as stepping on someone’s toe, but not for your beliefs.

The reason for this rule is because of the messages overapologizing and overthanking send both to yourself and to others. It conveys what you think you deserve. You are telling other people and yourself that they are doing you a favor just for being nice to you and treating you decently. If you work hard for your money and are spending it in someone’s establishment, you deserve good treatment. If you believe something and express it without malice and with tact, you don’t have to apologize. If you slightly bump people in the shoulder in an extremely crowded train where everyone can’t avoid bumping into each other, you don’t have to say “sorry” or “excuse me” every 10 seconds each time it happens. It’s unavoidable, it’s par for the course, it should be expected, and as long as it’s not excessive or painful contact it should be understood. Anyone who can’t get that is an unreasonable dick, which is not your problem.

This is a harder rule to implement than it seems at first glance, because we are unaware of the many covert ways we thank and apologize. It’s bigger than just verbalizing the words “sorry,” “excuse me” and “thank you” less. We often unwittingly thank and apologize with our emotional reactions and our body language.

For example, picture as a single guy you walk into a club and you see a group of women. The average guy will try to innocuously or meekly make his way over to them and maybe open by stammering “I don’t mean to bother you, but…” If he doesn’t get blown out right away, he visibly gets excited and looks elated and continues on. STOP RIGHT THERE AND THINK ABOUT WHAT JUST HAPPENED. His body language and words were apologetic. Before he even opened his mouth, his walk was apologetic, like he was sorry for taking up space and didn’t want to call attention to himself. He had no swagger and no confidence in his physical approach, and swagger and confidence are inherently unapologetic. Then he started with “I don’t mean to bother you..” Openers like this are also apologetic. So are openers like “Excuse me, but..” or “Sorry, but…” He is apologizing for talking to the person, as if a conversation with him is such a bad thing that he must apologize whenever he inflicts the experience on another human being. It sounds harmless, but people pick up on that language on an unconscious level and often respond accordingly. That’s why I used to like opening up with things like “Hey, you know what?” or “You’re not going to believe this” or “What are you guys gossiping about over there? or even just “Hey!” Anything except an pseudo-apologetic setup. Look around at guys around and you and you’ll see that not only do many guys lack swagger, they actually have an apologetic walk to them. Some people are so bad they give off the vibe like they’re apologizing just for existing.

Same goes for that physical reaction that implies gratitude. When someone responds positively to your approach or request, you don’t act pleased, you act like you’re entitled to it, like you expected no less. The message you send when you visibly show gratitude is that you are not used to such good treatment, that you don’t feel like you deserve it, that it’s an anomaly, something special that you only get as an occasional fluke. Since that is the opposite of how an alpha male or renaissance man is used to getting treated, the person reasons you therefore must not be an alpha or renaissance man. Even leaning in too much whenever she speaks to make sure you don’t miss a word is borderline apologetic. Lean back, look relaxed, force her to speak up or lean in to close the physical gap if you can’t hear her. Make her work to please you. If you ask someone out on a date and they say yes, don’t act excited or noticeably happier like she did you a favor, act like she did herself one by accepting. Go as far as saying something cocky like “See, I could tell you were a smart girl.”

The same goes for asking for a raise for your boss or asking your landlord to fix something or sending your food back to the kitchen when it’s subpar. This is bigger than a trick for picking up women, it’s about lifestyle and expectations. Don’t say “Sorry to bother you, but this food is cold.” Why are you sorry for expecting good food. Don’t preface your raise request with complimentary fluff like “I just want you to know I really enjoy working here, but…” That’s an apologetic intro, you are conveying you feel guilty for what you are about to ask, as if you don’t deserve it.”

Don’t take it too far and become an abrasive, unapologetic ingrate. Courtesy and manners are an important part of being a gentleman in a civilized society. The point is that you want to convey what you feel you deserve and how you expect to be treated, and you also don’t want to cheapen your words. Overapologizing and overthanking cheapen your apologies and gratitude. When used sparingly, your apologies and gratitude end up carrying more weight when they do get expressed, and you also train people to work harder to please you.

32 Responses to “Becoming a Renaissance Man, Part 1”

  1. Spot on advice.

  2. Good idea, when applied thoughtfully. Unfortunately this seems like the sort of rule where the only people who follow it are people who’ve already overshot in the other direction.

  3. A usual fine post as I expected. Do continue…

  4. Some of your advice is good, but I suspect that you have not done restaurant work.

    When the waitress at lunch today put my food in front of me, I said “Thank you.” Nothing “beta” about that: I am merely acknowledging that she is a person and not a Mark IV Servo-Matic robot.

    A little politeness lubricates human-to-human interactions.

    Chas S. Cliftons last blog post..A High Plains Graveyard

    Chas S. Cliftons last blog post..A High Plains Graveyard

  5. Excellent points T. I came to these same conclusions myself over the years. First I agree that you need to be willing to take an ass whuppin’ when decorum calls for it. People respect your willingness to defend your honor even if you think you can’t win. As a bantamweight myself, I have successfully stood up to men twice my size and rarely had it degenerate to actual fisticuffs. These fellows respect the fact that even though you have a clear disadvantage physically, you are willing to defend your honor.

    Sometimes unshakable confidence is disarming in the face of a confrontation where you seem to be outgunned. You can see their gears turning as they reevaluate you and consider that you might be able to do more damage than they originally thought. Proper body language and maintaining eye contact are critical here. A slightly psychotic aspect definitely helps in these situations. This is invalidated if you are grossly disrespectful yourself however. If you push someone just because you are a cocky SOB and cross the line, they will then be forced to defend their honor. Mutual respect is the key to maintaining your power and avoiding physical confrontation.

    Apology is grossly overused and conveys a weak aspect as is unwarranted gratitude. I make it a policy to never apologize unless I have really messed up, however, if you do make an error of judgment, say at work, and you need to address the situation, you can gain a lot of credibility by taking accountability for your error and apologizing for it. Taking responsibility and taking action to remedy a true mistake is a mark of manhood as well. The key is whether you have actually screwed up or if you are using it as a social nicety when unwarranted. Generally you should banish the words “I’m sorry” from your vocabulary, and display unrelenting masculinity. There is no need to apologize for correct and just actions or beliefs.

    Keep them coming T. Being an alpha or renaissance man = competence, confidence and self-determination as I posited in my philosophy page.

    alphadominances last blog post..Good money after bad?

  6. Chas, m not saying never to thank people. If you thank your waitress when she sets the food down, that’s fine. However if you also thank her when she hands you the menu, each time she refills the water, each time she asks if you need anything (“No, I’m fine, thanks.”) and when gives you the check, at that point you’d be overdoing it. That was my point, that many people reflexively and excessively exchange niceties. It’s the excessiveness that’s my complaint.

  7. a_c, Agreed. It’s unfortunate, but only the ones who are extremely excessive even by American standards would think to correct this behavior. The average American who apologizes and gives thanks according to our country’s norm is rarely even aware that he is doing anything wrong that could stand to be improved.

  8. “We apologize and show gratitude much too often in our society. From what I hear from foreigners, Americans and the British are actually the worst at this. (If anyone who is well-traveled out there can support or refute this for me, it would be appreciated)”

    I’ve lived in France, Sweden, and England. The French were dicks, the Swedes were better, but still extremely unapologetic (arrogant?), and the English, well… I tended bar in London and if I didn’t get a lukewarm Guinness or a John Smith’s filled up to the absolute brim of the glass, I’d usually get the beer back with a gruff “Top that fucker off!” in a sweet British accident. One girl asked me where I was from then stated she “hates Americans.”

    I suppose the terseness could be the result of being an American who is unapologetic to frogs, gay Nordic dudes, and limey bastards. And the fact that the Iraq War started while I was there.

    Seriously, I liked them all, but none of them were even remotely apologetic. And I learned to fill up their fucking beers.

    PrivatePiggs last blog post..A Round-Up of Presidential Predictions

  9. mentioning that they hate Americans is one thing I notice no culture in Europe seems to be too polite to mention.

  10. I agree with you on everything except the gratitude thing. I love it when a guy shows gratitude to service industry workers. But I’m a bit biased since I used to work at a hotel back in college. I totes feel you on the apologizing for everything thing. That is so wack! 🙄

    Kittys last blog post..Testing, Testing…

  11. People seem to think I’m saying to show zero gratitude to service workers. I think you should show gratitude, but just once for regular expected service, maybe once more when parting, and any extra thanks should be for acts that go above and beyond the call of duty.

    Also, me saying not to thank the service person for every last thing he or she does is not the equivalent of saying you should be aloof, brusque, dismissive or rude either. You can make small talk, smile, have a deep engaging conversation, crack jokes, be personable, lay on the charm, whatever you want to do to be friendly. It’s just overdoing the gratitude for run of the mill service I’m against.

  12. I used to overapologize and overthank all the time.

    You’re reading too much into this. Saying thank you and sorry is just basic social courtesy. You aren’t sending any “messages” by thanking and apologizing because you’re just doing what everyone has been conditioned to do and expect. You would only stand out if you went to a culture where people don’t thank and apologize as a matter of courtesy.

    Your friend sounds like a douchebag.

    For example, picture as a single guy you walk into a club and you see a group of women. The average guy will try to innocuously or meekly make his way over to them and maybe open by stammering “I don?t mean to bother you, but…”

    The only thing wrong with this is context. Obviously it’s a bad opener for approaching women, but if the guy was just asking them a question it would be perfectly ok to start with that.

    Same goes for that physical reaction that implies gratitude. When someone responds positively to your approach or request, you don?t act pleased, you act like you?re entitled to it, like you expected no less.

    This make you arrogant, not a “renaissance man.” And again you’re reading way too much into things.

    If this guide is supposed to tell you how to become a renaissance man, it’s failing miserably. A renaissance man, or a polymath, is a person well versed in multiple subjects and fields. Leonardo da Vinci is an example of a renaissance man. You don’t become a renaissance man by concentrating on how people perceive you when you’re out clubbing.

    It’s funny but the wannabe alphas and PUAs are usually the biggest girly men of them all.

  13. I don’t delete or moderate comments or ban unless absolutely necessary, but I just want to warn other readers beforehand that tokyofist likes to troll blogs by chronically disagreeing with every point made and then deliberately acting obtuse whenever you engage him by simply refusing to get your point. This is in order to get you to keep re-explaining it to him and get you frustrated and flustered by his seeming inability to ever grasp what you’re trying to say. It’s a very clever trick, but don’t fall for it by engaging him. He doesn’t want sincere dialogue.

  14. Am I the last intelligent person left on the Internet? Literally everywhere I go, people immediately start accusing the opposition of trolling because they can’t come up with anything else, or they change the subject. Or maybe it’s not a lack of intelligence, maybe people just expect that they’re automatically correct and everyone will agree with them. Many seem to believe that the Internet is just a gigantic echo chamber.

    Don’t post on the Internet if you can’t handle the replies, and don’t accuse others of not wanting dialogue when you’re the one who immediately refuses it.

  15. Case in point, trolliojesusfist said:

    “Literally everywhere I go, people immediately start accusing the opposition of trolling”

    So basically, everywhere the man goes, he gets called a troll. This is not a new accusation for him. Yet he doesn’t change at all. Why? Because he likes the attention of being called a troll.

    Don?t post on the Internet if you can?t handle the replies, and don?t accuse others of not wanting dialogue when you?re the one who immediately refuses it.

    Haha, classic trolling 101. When threatened with being ignored, escalate the trolling by turning the accusations back around and acting like you are the one being wronged. 🙂 You really must think I’m a rookie.

    Look on this blog, I debate people all the time when they sincerely want to debate issues. You, however, I’ve seen in action on other blogs. No matter what I say, you will either (1) deliberately refuse to get my point to get me to keep rephrasing the exact same points over and over again until I get frustrated, (2) sidestep arguments at will and come back with unrelated bitching and backhanded insults or (3) resort to ad hominems to make me lose my cool.

    You don’t give a damn about the actual issue being discussed, the debate is just an intellectual smokescreen to your real purpose, which is to just cause dissension and frustrate. Save it someone dumber than you. I know mindgames inside out.

    But hey, just for kicks you can have the last word. This is my last response to you.

  16. So basically, everywhere the man goes, he gets called a troll. This is not a new accusation for him. Yet he doesn?t change at all. Why? Because he likes the attention of being called a troll.

    People are never, ever able to back up their accusations. They call their opponent a troll because that’s all they can come up with. There’s no need for me to change because I’m not doing anything wrong.

    Haha, classic trolling 101. When threatened with being ignored, turn the accusations back around and act like you are the one being wronged. 🙂 You really must think I?m a rookie.

    I initiated dialogue by pointing out flaws in your post, and you immediately started accusing me of trolling and completely ignored the substance of my post. You are the one who refused dialogue.

    Look on this blog, I debate people all the time when they sincerely want to debate issues. You, however, I?ve seen in action on other blogs. No matter what I say, you will either (1) deliberately refuse to get my point to get me to keep rephrasing the exact same points over and over again until I get frustrated, (2) sidestep arguments at will and come back with unrelated bitching and backhanded insults or (3) resort to ad hominems to make me lose my cool.

    1. What point am I refusing to understand?
    2. This is exactly what you are doing right now.
    3. And this is another thing you’re doing right now. Classic trolling 101, as you put it.

  17. good post. the hard part is not seeming like some jerkoff who is a customer service nazi (has never worked a low end job on the way up in life)……

    Benedict Smiths last blog post..Emotional Pump n’ Dump

  18. Agreed Benedict. Also, one thing a lot of people aren’t taking into account too is that common niceties don’t always translate to good treatment. In big cities you can find lots of politically correct liberals who make a big show of being overly polite and saying all the social niceties, yet do such unreasonable demands that passive-aggressive and condescending tone a lot of them have that the server still feels demeaned. That tone where they act like you’re their children? Meanwhile we’ve all known people who are not very verbose and have economy of speech but you always feel respect emanating from them. If we all think hard enough we can come up with examples of both from our lives.

    I think it’s a myth that social niceties always equal a feeling of respect, or that less of them always generates a feeling of no appreciation. Actions speak loudest, and sometimes less is more.

  19. PrivatePigg – I’m sorry, but being English we apologise all the time. The poster who did bar work and described our barefaced rudery when it comes to being served piss-weak, warm alcohol? Can’t argue there. But out on the streetz, it’s a different matter. Bump into anyone and they really will apologise first. We start every other sentence with ‘I’m sorry but…’. It’s ingrained in the language – it’s pathological!
    I’ve learned the art of not apologising and overthanking, and it’s been so liberating. T, you should rename this post ‘Tips for English Men’ :mrgreen:

    china blues last blog post..Songs in the Key of U: Life Lessons from my iPod

  20. T, usually I agree with what you write. I like that you take a stance and don’t try to play both sides. I’m going to have to differ this time with regard to saying thanks.

    I think that it’s a slippery slope. What happens when your girlfriend starts to just expect that you open the door for her, buy her flowers, pick her up from the airport, take her dog to the vet, allow her mom to live in for 3 weeks, etc. It snowballs into discourtesy. Thanks is a nice way to recognize someone helping you, even if it is his job.

    Apologizing, however, should be saved for times when you’re really sorry. I wouldn’t apologize for talking to a girl in a bar; I meant to do it! Neither for asking for a raise. I say sorry when I bump into someone on accident. But to the guy crowding me at the bar last week: I didn’t apologize for my elbow in your spine and I’m not sorry, either.

    Regarding other countries: I live in Tel Aviv. People don’t say sorry as much as in the USA. People don’t say thanks as much, either, but the younger generation says it more and it’s considered civilized. And no one throws down. I can’t go a fortnight in the US without seeing someone get bloody but here, violence is rare. They say that people here are very aggressive and will yell at each other during arguments to let off steam. That defuses the fight before it happens.

  21. I think that it?s a slippery slope. What happens when your girlfriend starts to just expect that you open the door for her, buy her flowers, pick her up from the airport, take her dog to the vet, allow her mom to live in for 3 weeks, etc. It snowballs into discourtesy.

    It all depends on what you consider the bare minimum and what you consider a real effort. For example I don’t expect a thanks every time I open the door for a woman. Maybe the first time at most, but not every time. There are so many doors to open over the course of a day, and it’s not that much of an effort to do it on my part. On the other hand picking her up from the airport, taking her dog to the vet, allowing her mom to live in for 3 weeks, all without complaint, that’s really some upstanding stuff that requires some sacrifice that a lot of people wouldn’t handle in as classy a fashion. That definitely deserves thanks.

    Thanks is a nice way to recognize someone helping you, even if it is his job.

    I have no problem with telling someone thanks for helping me if its their job, but only if I feel they are making a sincere effort to do a good job. I feel however that if someone just did the bare minimum, a Renaissance Man should just give one thanks during the course of the interaction and reserve any additional thank you’s for any above average acts the service person does for you.

  22. I?m sorry, but being English we apologise all the time.

    Is my favorite Brit engaging in intentional irony in this sentence or was this a slip? 😉

  23. Good points on over apologizing and overthanking, and a very good point on being willing to throw or take a punch. A counter-point with a request for comment though:

    Regarding situations where one person is the obvious situational superior, like a manager with employees or a customer with a service person, I’ve found that being slightly overgenerous with thanks results in a higher standard of performance. What I think is happening is that the person in the subordinate position is recognizing your recognition of them as a person, and with that recognition they positively emotionally engage in the work you’ve set out for them, with the expected beneficial results. While overthanking isn’t the only way to do that, doing it just a little can be a useful dominance tool.

    On a related note, I’ve found thanking peers and even superiors with the right delivery (the same one you’d use to thank a subordinate for a job well done) can result in a reversal of the superior / subordinate dynamic, which can be useful for any negotiations, like raises or perks or promotions. Comments on why that might be so?

    I think the troll might actualy have unwittingly raised one interesting point to ponder, namely the difference and overlap between the definition of Renaissance Man you’re using and the traditional one, which overlaps heavily with ‘Jack of All Trades’ and ‘Polymath’. Your second post on the topic seems to indicate you’re overlapping both as well, but I think there is something different, something subtle enough that I can’t put my finger on it immediately, between the two definitions. Is that your thought as well, or am I imagining things?

  24. If I’m a troll then surely you can easily provide evidence to prove such an accusation.

    Oh, and there was hardly anything “unwitting” about what I said. You’re basically hijacking my post and claiming it as your own.

  25. KennyC, if one really wants to motivate people the most, you know what actually has been proven to work best on managing employees according to many studies? Gratitude in the form of merit-based yet intermittent rewards. I spoke about intermittent rewards in my Compliance Recipe series. It’s where you keep doing things over and over and get rewards almost randomly without rhyme or reason. For example most gambling is addictive because of intermittent rewards. For example in a slot machine you keep putting quarters in and get a different result each time, so you keep trying to figure out the pattern and do it over and over again because you’re sure the next time will be a reward. Checking email compulsively is even a form of intermittent rewards. Sometimes you check and get a reward, sometimes you check and there are bunch of emails you were looking forward to. So you keep checking more frequently to see if what will be there this time. If on the other hand you get something predictably, you start to value it less and take it for granted. You don’t work as hard to chase it. With merit based intermittent rewards, you don’t give the rewards as totally randomly as the slot machine example. You only do it if something meritorious was done, never for a bad job, but you do it inconsistently and without a clear reason. So if an employee does a good job, you praise him to the high heavens one day. If he does an equally good job another day, you pat him on the back or just give him a slight nod of approval. He starts to rack his brain wondering what he did differently the second day to get such a lukewarm response as compared to the first day. This makes him get extra intense trying to figure out the pattern and master it, and he’ll keep trying harder to chase that reward and figure out the pattern. This is one of the reasons a lot of girls love occasionally nice jerks over the two extremes of super nice guys and total assholes with no redeeming qualities. Jerks use the intermittent rewards system.

    I’m not really a fan of this, as I find it borderline cruel to be on the receiving end of it. But I like letting people know about it so that they can realize when someone is using intermittent rewards on them to make them jump through hoops.

    On a related note, I?ve found thanking peers and even superiors with the right delivery (the same one you?d use to thank a subordinate for a job well done) can result in a reversal of the superior / subordinate dynamic, which can be useful for any negotiations, like raises or perks or promotions. Comments on why that might be so?

    I think just as behavior sometimes follows your thoughts and feelings, oftentimes thoughts and feelings can follow behavior if that makes any sense. Hence the “fake it till you make it” mantra. If you do a behavior long enough, the corresponding mindset to the behavior starts to get internalized. Here’s a sick example (I feel like I’m giving away a lot of dirty tricks today, but I’m in a good mood so fuck it): if you consistently tell someone to do things they were going to do anyway (create the behavior first), they will start internalizing the message that they should listen to you (the mindset follows). For example, as someone is going to sit down, say “Have a seat.” As they are hanging up their coat, say “Why don’t you hang your coat?” You subtly throw in as many of these commands as you can for things they were going to do anyway and the behavior will slowly start causing them to internalize the mindset of following your commands. After a while of this, you can start giving commands to things they weren’t already planning to do and they will start doing them as a result of the “behavior training.”

    This is probably the same concept at play with a subordinate constantly thanking superiors as if they were beneath him. It starts to train him to react accordingly. The problem with these techniques is that if you are not subtle and are obvious with it, you risk being called out by the other person for it. You can’t do it too transparently, especially if the other person is very dominant themselves and socially savvy, or you risk being called out.

    As for TokyoJesusfist, I don’t think his good point was unwittingly raised. I think he actually has several valid points, and that’s not my issue with him. My problem with him is that from what I’ve seen on other blogs, it’s impossible to make him grasp your counterarguments, and he seems to use a mix of insults combined with a refusal to give credence to what you’re saying combined with repeatedly driving the same points home over and over again as a cocktail for frustrating his opponent. I don’t even want to go down that road. If I thought he was sincerely interested in open discourse so that we could learn from and improve each other, I’d totally engage him. But to me, he just wants to attack and frustrate people who he doesn’t agree with.

    Since you’re bringing up the same point now and I believe you really want to discuss the matter honestly, I’ll now respond to that same question. I took the term “Renaissance Man” from Tariq Nasheed. The reason for the term is simply that you are a guy that takes the best part of all different types of men. Like I said, I don’t believe you can be a pure alpha male in this society without either being an unrepentant criminal or a filthy rich powermonger. But there are benefits as well as drawbacks to being the pure alpha jerk. Also, there are benefits as well as drawbacks to being a guy who plays by the rules, cooperates with others, etc. There are benefits and drawbacks to being really intellectual. There are also benefits and drawbacks to being a metrosexual. What the term Renaissance Man means is a guy who combines the best parts of the different types of men while minimizing the drawbacks. So it does satisfy the “Jack of All Trades” angle in that respect. But since one of my upcoming steps actually does revolve around making yourself a polymath, it satisfies that definition too.

  26. I agree 100% that being willing to throw a punch is vitally important, unfortunately the “never fight back” mindset has been rammed down our throats to such a degree that I really, really fear that most men will never be able to change.

    Peters last blog post..Tuesday, February 3

  27. Fuck all you tough nuts! Go smoke a joint or something and get off on your hip-hop garbage. Admittedly I didn’t have time to read all of this. And thank you all very much!

    “So I’m heading out to the highway
    I got nothin to lose at all
    I’m goin to do it my way
    Take a chance before I fall
    A chance before I fall”

    Now take my advice like I said earlier and go fuck yourselves!

  28. This is great! I think this should be part of a Swag 101 class. Apologizing, and begging guys are THE most DISGUSTING ever! They’re so annoying, and always crying about how something they’re unsure about. If you’re my man, i’m going to need you to be confident. Even if you are second-guessing yourself, don’t apologize for it. I mean, I wouldn’t be unreasonable; if he really does have an issue, I’d want him to talk to me about it, but what I don’t want is for him to come bitching everyday to me about some crap that’s not even that serious.

    I work with a guy like that. He’s actually one of our contractors – he and his mom. He’s a bitch, and she’s an Uuuuber-bitch. I kid you not, they sound the exact same way – profusely thanking and apologizing. WTF are you sorry about!? GEEZ! Grow some balls!
    .-= The Sphinx´s last blog ..Bachelor of Arts, Master of Conceited Bastard =-.

  29. I actually learned this point from a ‘womanizer’ I was crazy about. There was nothing I could do or say to make him apologize for anything he did or the way he made me feel. He taught me one of the most valuable lessons in life, being to live your life deliberately. I think his perspective for being unapologetic was different from mine because of his lack of empathy. However, once I stopped apologizing for myself I stopped expecting apologies from others. People start to take you more seriously because you mean what you say. Women are particularly pathological apologizers. What pisses me off generally about women is that they apologize for joking with you. If you know someone is getting your sarcasm don’t apologize! If they take it seriously then don’t hang with them next time!

  30. T – what about revenge? Is that ever justified?

  31. Ok, I read a couple of your posts and I just had to write a comment… Personally, I think you’re full of s**t. Being a renaissance man is not being afraid to fight and not apologizing and thanking so much?? I really hope nobody takes your advice seriously… I’m afraid of punching someone on the face, not because I might lose the fight, but because in a country with LAWS you get your ass SUED! You lose your house, your car, your underwear, etc. And while I agree that people apologize too much unnecessarily, being thanked for doing your job is a good thing going and coming…

    Dude, being a renaissance man is waaaay more than that… think of all the great renaissance people in history… are they known because they sure as hell didn’t take any crap from nobody??? no, because they delved into science, art, the humanities, they invented all kinds of crap, painted all kinds of paintings, composed all kinds music…

    Seriously dude… try harder next time…

  32. The over-thanking and over-apologizing makes sense, and I have to disagree with the violence portion in the context of the ex-husband making outrageous comments. To me, it sounds like the same trap you explain PUA’s fall into when they back turn on a girl who is being a bitch – you are rewarding the real-life version of a troll.

    I agree that a man should not be afraid to take violent action when necessary, but some insecure loser mouthing off hardly seems to be such a case – especially considering the legal consequences. By taking violent action, you are essentially acknowledging that his words were a threat to you. Someone of high value, on the other hand, would be un-phased by the desperate ramblings of a hack. If ignoring him doesn’t work, and he needs to be silenced for the sake of the woman, it seems more high-value to me that he turn the mockery back on the offender.

    If I ever have to resort to violence, it will be because it is truly necessary and, in that case, I won’t be just popping someone in the mouth to satisfy egos – I will be fighting unfair and doing some damage to make sure that the threat is neutralized.

    I’d be interesting in hearing your thoughts as to why you might think this situation with the ex is different than the PUA who just learns how to get better with lower quality women.