There is a saying online that goes “never reveal your power level” and people need to learn more about it now more than ever before.
Though it’s used in a tongue-in-cheek manner to refer to general nerddom and Internet culture, I take it to mean that you should never reveal or attempt to reveal whatever “special knowledge” or “truth” about the world that you think you have to others, nor should you act like you have exclusive access to this “special knowledge.”
After all, if you found and read something for yourself, you don’t have exclusive knowledge, you’ve merely done something else that someone with an inkling of curiosity and the mood to read could have done themselves.
Revealing too much of your power level can cause a lot of grief, stress and it could even end up being a social death sentence. Let me explain why…
You come off as a know-it-all or a weirdo
People generally don’t like knowledge or “truth” revealed to them by others, especially if they never asked.
This includes “the red pill” and whatever you believe “the red pill” to be. Maybe your “red pill” is in conspiracies like the “9/11 truth” or banking elites and every other little fringe theory under the sun.
Years ago I’ve made the mistake of revealing “the red pill” (the manosphere variety) to close male friends who had lady troubles. It was met with some very mixed reception.
A few of those (good) friends said “yeah, I knew that already and I agree,” others were indifferent and thought it would be too much trouble to look into, or others disagreed or even outright hated and ostracized me. (good riddance)
The revulsion was not because of the content of “the red pill” but because of its implications. Raw “red pill” belief is very socially upsetting to most people simply because it can come off as a dishonest means of “cheating the system.” Today I do not take “red pill” as gospel, but it does illustrate the nature and state of society in a way more honest than contemporary paradigms.
Beside the fact that those people who would readily disown you for an idea they disagreed with are not ones you want to keep in your company, the real problem was that some of them automatically assumed I thought I was “better” than them or knew better than them (which speaks more to the insecurity of their own mindset, but that’s beside the point).
The point is, when you “reveal your power level,” people will likely perceive you as trying to put them in a “student” position. If they don’t already respect you for having some knowledge and they aren’t asking you questions about that stuff, they in all likelihood don’t want to hear it from you.
Same goes for online. In all my years of casually browsing Reddit, it’s not uncommon to find neophytes from /r/theredpill in completely different boards using the lingo and the terms to lecture others or the stereotypical attitude related to /r/theredpill community in the middle of a discussion about something very tangentially related. Predictably, they are bombarded with downvotes.
They think they’re doing everyone a favor by “spreading the truth” when in reality it’s done their cause a disservice. The truth is that nobody knows the “real truth” and everything is just another perspective.
Proselytes are annoying
Ever had those Mormon guys show up on your doorstep, or a lady with a nicely-illustrated pamphlet about how Kingdom Hall’s version of Jesus can guarantee you and your loved ones an exclusive spot in Heaven if you join them (and give up Christmas and Easter eggs and all those fun pagan holidays)?
Even if they were really kind and understanding that you didn’t want to talk to them about their beliefs, weren’t you at least a little annoyed?
This is proselytism.
Proselytism is a bit of a mixed bag. People need to know something exists in order to learn about it in the first place. However, some of the best ideas are the kind that can spread themselves. The kind of ideas that require others to thrust them upon you tend not to be able to stand up on their own, especially under scrutiny.
If people want you to reveal your power level to them, they’ll ask you. Sort of like the Freemasons where you have to ask one in order to join. You don’t need to advertise it because you won’t change the world by trying to force an idea onto others.
You merely become a useful idiot if you try to push someone else’s agenda for them.
There’s also a reason both men and women lambast “Tumblr feminists” because they see them for the petty proselyte control freaks they really are. Being desperate to get your viewpoint and worldview across makes you look like an asshole with an agenda, seeing others as “lost souls” who need to be changed to your viewpoint instead of understanding they are people too.
It categorizes and labels you
When you start talking or writing about something, whether or not you totally believe or identify with that thing, others may begin to categorize or label you. For some people, categorization and labeling is a compulsion. They can’t deal with ambiguity or mystery, and for some reason their brain cannot manage those gaps in information without filling them in with something.
Shorthands, dichotomies and caricatures are perfect for labelers. For them, everything can be black or white, liberal or conservative, MRA or feminist, Pepsi or Coke and so on. These are all labels, and labels are abused and misused by people who don’t realize they are more the map and not the actual territory of the idea to be explored.
The worst part about being labeled is that it makes you easy for them to dismiss or dehumanize as a person. They may have never heard of (paraphrased) “the mark of an educated mind is one that can entertain an idea without wholly believing it.”
Though you should be secure in the fact that what you believe, think or know is something you are entitled to, and people are going to think what they will think, it’s still good to be aware that some socially undesirable side effects may occur from revealing your power level so haphazardly, especially concerning ideas that are not currently “acceptable.”
You don’t have to pander to ignorant people, just be aware that they exist.
For example, if you’ve used lingo from “the red pill” like the alpha/beta dichotomy, hypergamy and so on, you’ve already been stereotyped as yet another “red piller.” In their mind you could be a sleazy pickup artist, a fly-by-night online huckster, or a woman-beating misogynist. Even if what you said was reasonable, someone unreasonable will find fault in it because of their kneejerk bias against those words and what they are associated with.
They might be biased against it, and so what? It’s not your job to convert anyone to what you believe. Let what they believe be their own personal problem, but just don’t remind them about their beliefs relative to you in the first place.
(It is also possible to delve into a topic without using those keywords that trigger their reflexive bias response, but that’s a topic for another post.)
So what should you do?
There’s actually a few things you can do to not carelessly reveal your power level to others.
That’s right, do nothing. Keep your mouth shut.
- You can’t easily be labeled
- You won’t come off as annoying or a know it all
Have you ever heard of that Biblical quote about “casting pearls before swine?” You don’t need to reveal anything to someone who doesn’t ask for it or will not find it useful. Even the Bible implied that Christians were wasting their time on people who simply didn’t care. It’s a fact of life.
All the suffering that you may see around you is the problems that person brought upon themselves whether it is inadvertent or not. If they were already looking for answers or solutions, they would have stumbled upon them by now or asked you if they thought you were the expert or at least somewhat better informed than they. You may naturally be a kind and helpful person, but it’s not your duty to try and solve those problems for other people, online or offline. You live your life, they live theirs.
Preach only what you’ve practiced
This requires being honest with yourself first. “Fake it ’til you make it” is hardly a way to live unless you want to fake it to make a lot of enemies if you can’t keep your little ruse together.
If you aren’t a bodybuilder or powerlifter, you don’t need to lecture others about reps, sets or form with the authority of one. If you aren’t an honest to God pick-up artist, don’t act like you’re Casanova. If you aren’t a bonafide “internet hustler” and haven’t earned more than $5 online, don’t give financial advice as if you were one.
Be real: speak only from your own experiences as much as you can help it.
If you’re just playing by ear, be honest about it.
Even on the Internet. When I first began my site PillScout.com in early 2013, my experience with nootropics was limited to piracetam and a little blend called Get Smart, all stemming back to about 2010. After the site was founded it became a huge dumping ground and a journal for everything I ended up trying. I became an “expert” of sorts simply because I gained those experiences. I put in the time, did all my armchair research and trial and error experiments.
People will naturally ask you questions if you appear to them to be a good example of someone they can learn from. If someone asks you something you don’t know, be honest that you don’t know and just point them to some good resources. Books are great in this case. Blogs are a little bit out of the way for others but may work too. I refer people to good resources I’ve found all the time if I don’t have the personal knowledege or experience.
Why be so honest? It disarms people who are ready to assume that you know better than them and feel insecure for it. Being “vulnerable” or honest about the limit of your abilities and what you know proves that you are a person that can be trusted and may make you a more valuable person to others.
Even if you are more competent than someone else, not lording it over them paints you in a better light. You should have nothing to prove because it should be self-evident.
Write about it on your own site
Instead of arguing with career arguers and trolls on forums and imageboards to get people to see your wonderful ideas, take your perspective to your own site instead of blathering to others.
The proof is in the pudding: you’re reading this blog right now. You sought the information on here for one reason or another. Why is this so different from a forum or an imageboard discussion? This isn’t a dialogue, it’s an article on a website and you can choose to take or leave the information on this as you please.
People looking for answers you may have will find your website and read what you have to say. They can sense your power level and seek you out. If they like what you put out there, they’ll bookmark it or otherwise subscribe to it. If they don’t like it they move along and forget about it. That is life.
Agree and amplify
Based Lawyer Mike Cernovich gave his example of “JuiceBro Lawyer.” Words only have the power that you and others give to them. Flirting with the words of your most ardent haters and revealing your self-awareness in this manner shows you have great social intelligence to others and typically makes haters take their ball to play elsewhere.
In Mike’s case, the media will no longer write about him for fear of getting entrenched in another fiasco they can’t win.
Of course, this technique should be used moderately. With experience you’ll get a feel for when it’s appropriate and when it comes off as try-hard.
Never reveal your power levels, guys. At least not carelessly.
As tempting as it may be, it’s often foolish. Take the information you study and learn and practice it and leave it at that. Try out all the weird and interesting ideas you find but keep them to yourself until you find they work.
Don’t preach to people who don’t want to listen. Instead, let others ask you or reach out to you in the rare occasion that they do, and even then try not to show too much of your power level — you’ll be thankful later.