In the first installement of this multi-part series, I explained how dominance starts with dominating yourself using self-discipline.
In today’s post, we’re going to explain how inner dominance connects to outer dominance, and what dominance and submission really mean.
How does inner dominance connect to outward dominance for introverts?
Mike over at D&P recently wrote a good and very relevant post called The Difference Between Discipline and Abuse, and in it he goes over the difference between the two. I suggest you actually go read the post itself. It’s short and sweet.
In summary, Mike explains that discipline comes from a place of higher standards and goals, whereas abuse comes from uncontrolled impulses, anger and powerlust from being weak deep down. I mention his post here because it covered an aspect of what I wanted to talk about.
The very foundation of self-discipline is derived from general discipline points that Mike expounded upon:
- Discipline has a purpose.
- Discipline is objective.
- Discipline is guiltless.
- Discipline is based in love.
- Discipline evokes understanding.
Understanding. That’s a big one.
Taking the word “understand” to its most literal meaning means to stand under something, to behold it, to submit yourself before it. That’s a kind of submission that hits deep to the point where there is no room for ego.
To have a purpose, be objective and yet remain guiltless and forgiving to yourself about your mistakes with your eyes set on the goal takes understanding of yourself.
When you can understand yourself and make a disciple out of yourself, you can begin to understand others’ wants and needs. I will explain why this is important in a moment.
Why have outer dominance at all?
In this society, you need to in order to survive or make anything of yourself.
In the false duality way that our culture understands dominance and submission, if you’re not dominating, chances are you are submitting.
Someone else is making decisions and taking actions for you, for better or for worse. In terms of the worst, these are parasites who want a piece of your time, your livelihood or your emotional energy without giving you anything of value in return.
Now, outer dominance in this case does not have to be active dominance, where you actively seek to get people to submit to your will.
By refusing to submit or by simply saying “no” to things that are not aligned with your goals, you become passively dominant. This is easy for introverts to do. It requires thinking and making a choice. And guess what? Dominant people make choices.
A common introvert stereotype is the weedy nerd who doesn’t say or do anything and lets others walk all over them and decide things for them or belittle them for not participating in their popularity contests.
Once you can deny the parasites, the people who want to take something from you without giving anything in return, you start to become dominant.
It’s passive dominance, but it’s a start.
Now there is another way to achieve dominance passively where people may actually want to help you with your goal. It requires a kind of submission we tend to overlook, and begins to appear nothing like the kind of dominance we tend to think about.
What comes out of the duality of dominance and submission?
In the midst of the black-and-white sort of false dichotomy of dominance and submission, we overlook the real force at play between the two:
Cooperation is the magical end result where dominance and submission meet. When we drop the dualistic illusion that is dominance and submission, we see what is cooperation and compliance — the very essence of what civilized human interaction is based upon.
The idea that two or more people teaming up to chip in a bit of effort or direct others’ efforts toward a singular goal so that everyone can reap the rewards is the endgoal of cooperation.
Cooperation is also evident in inner dominance, where your egotistical and lower minds operate united toward the same goal as your higher aspirations.
In nature, dominance and submission are mere communication patterns. “Alpha wolves” don’t exist in wolf packs, and it’s a romanticized trope.
The idea of an alpha male leading wolf packs through superior strength or force is ingrained in our culture. Popular werewolf fiction usually involves the trope. The idea dates from the 1970s, a time when we knew a lot less about wolves than we do now. Research since has found that wolves don’t fight for control of a pack—males simply breed, and then look after their family. Wolf experts today simply refer to the “male parent” or “breeding male” when describing that position in a pack.
So it turns out the leaders of the pack are simply the patriarchal figures. It’s still something we can learn from.
(And I am aware that David Fatrelle has used the “alpha wolf” figure-of-speech as if to say HA YOU ARE NOT A LITERAL ALPHA MALE while enabling himself to be a deficient human being; but we aren’t using this information for the same reason as him.)
What I want to point out is that all the signals we see as “dominance” and “submission” are like a mere dance between two individuals to decide on favorable interaction that may lead to either cooperation or short-sighted selfish behavior.
The Lion’s Share – Value and Cooperation
If we look at lions as another example, there are only one or two males around. The females do all of the hunting and the males defend the pride and its cubs. Oh, I almost forgot to mention this other interesting fact that lions do a lot of scavenging to acquire their food:
Lions prefer to scavenge when the opportunity presents itself, and scavenged food provides more than 50% of their diets. They scavenge animals either dead from natural causes (disease) or killed by other predators, and keep a constant lookout for circling vultures, being keenly aware that they indicate an animal dead or in distress.
The big badass lions take “the lion’s share” of their food from competing scavengers and predators. They also get to eat first even though the females hunt for the food. Why is that?
They provide value to their pride. The big male lion is suited to defending his pride from not only other male competitors, but also from competing predators. We see him as “dominant” but he’s simply playing his part. As are all the other lions.
All of the individual interactions that we read into as “dominance” and “submission” is merely cooperation in terms of the bigger picture. A small contribution from each for a bigger payoff toward all.
This is the same in human interaction, where things can either be purely for short-sighted selfish gains, or where they can be oriented toward cooperation and enabling everyone to win in the long run.
Stay tuned for the next parts.