Don’t let a sour grapes attitude ruin your life

February 13, 2012 by Joshua
in Awareness, Blog, Nature, Tips

A friend asked why guys who have trouble meeting women insult them. With the worst insults you can think of, no less.

As we’ll see, not only men in that context do it. In other contexts women do it. And not just about other people. I do it. You do it. Everybody does it.

What’s going on?

Let’s look at the pattern. It keeps you from improving your life, so it’s important.

When people can’t attain something they want, they put it down — a more general effect than in dating. They’re resolving a conflict in their mind (aka a cognitive dissonance): “If I can’t have it it must be worthless. Or worse!” Like Aesop’s fox who can’t reach the grapes, they say they must be sour.

The greater the discrepancy, the greater the need to resolve the internal conflict, so the less secure the person, the deeper the insult.

People who can’t build muscle insult muscular people and call them meatheads. People who can’t get smart insult smart people and call them nerds and geeks. People without charisma call charismatic people manipulative and shallow. People who can’t afford luxury put down luxury. People who can’t get popular call popular people shallow and flighty. The list goes on.

If they could attain those things they’d stop belittling them. Or if they recognized the internal conflict and took responsibility for getting what they wanted or accepting they won’t get what they don’t try for.

Wikipedia’s page on cognitive dissonance describes some underlying psychology theory.

What to do about it

Start with awareness, mainly knowing this effect and when it happens. Then remember what you like or not and check if your behavior is consistent. If you like women but call them names, notice the conflict.

When you recognize the conflict, take responsibility for getting what you want. Figure out how to get the grapes. If you can’t get them, learn to accept that you can’t (after you accept you can’t, find something to celebrate about the situation. You can.). Find other things to enjoy. Your inability to reach the grapes doesn’t make them sour. Calling them sour when you don’t know means if something changes and you can get them, you won’t.

People who insult people they don’t know how to attract worsen themselves as partners. If you eventually get access to the grapes, if you think they’re sour, you won’t get to enjoy them. You won’t motivate yourself to get to the grapes.

Resolving a cognitive dissonance by putting down others can make you feel better about not being better yourself, but that feeling better comes at a major cost of hampering your ability to improve yourself. These guys want relationships with women. If they believe women are worth insulting, they’ll prevent themselves from having great relationships with them. So they feel better in the short term at the expense of attaining goals, judging people (which is unattractive), developing bitterness toward the people they want to attract, etc.

As I said above, women do the same thing. We all do about different things.

The antidote is increasing awareness and taking responsibility for your life.

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1 response to “Don’t let a sour grapes attitude ruin your life

  1. Pingback: The Act of Sour Graping – REVERIE OBSESSION

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