Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sprezzatura

A friend of mine used to sigh "Life is one of the hardest" anytime he encountered failure. And he was right. No matter how well off you were born, how successful you are and how positive your overall constitution, there are always up and down days.

And that's not a bad thing. In "Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives" my fellow scientist David Eagleman describes an alternate universe in which human lives are divided into the same periods of time as ours: 30 years of sleep, 200 days in the shower, 18 days staring into the refrigerator and so on. Yet, while we constantly parcel and mix these things up, the people in the other universe have to go through them sequentially. The only difference between the bored people life's in the ficticious world and ours is frequent change.
We need the ups and downs of life, otherwise we get bored.

But, there are different ways to deal with hardship.

You can sigh and frown and worry, or you can see it as a game and not lose your wit.

Women are magically drawn to men who seem to have an easy life. Men who constantly smirk, wittily joke and brush off anything that might hurt their ego. Women prefer men who are optimistic and determined over guys who carefully weigh all the options. Female sexual instincts get triggered by easy-going, "here I come" bad boys who take life less seriously than others, because not being weighed down by sorrow and visibly being depressed means you are coping well.

And Sprezzatura is the art of remaining this way on the outside even when the shit hits the fan:

"A certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it. The ability to disguise what one really desires, feels, thinks, and means or intends behind a mask of apparent reticence and nonchalance."

It's one of the most alpha traits there are.

And it's the essence of glamour - the promise of a way out (to a better life, a golden world).

It's a skill. It is something one can learn. And it is one of the manly triats that people get motivated to get into their repertoire since women like it, yet (once you achive it) it affects your entire life.

Never let them see you sweat.

4 comments:

  1. I absolutely agree. Also, nobody wants to be around someone that's a downer. A shitty attitude is more contagious than a cold. I think its ok to display exuberance, ebullience, joviality and other contagious indicators of charisma, but not to show the weakness which is conveyed by depression, sadness etc. Attracting people with charisma is the foundation of social proof. Show self doubt and weakness however, and far from being sympathetic, women will hold such a display of betatude against you forevermore. When someone asks you how you are doing the appropriate answer is "excellent, and you?"

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  2. By the way, having read the page on Sprezzatura, I tend to think that women are tend to be master courtiers by nature. Everything is nuanced and indirect with them, and often downright contrived/manipulative. Even their emotionality is usually calculated to elicit a given response.

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  3. We need the ups and downs of life, otherwise we get bored.

    Dude. Reading my mind again. Just thinking today how, even within the general "ups" of a fun relationship with a quality woman, her little feminine moods (the "downs" to a weak man) are part of the spice that makes the dish taste good.

    Of course, dealing with those moods takes exactly the sprezzatura you are talking about here.

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  4. This is some stuff I can work on. Being negative sucks. One thing I am learning as I grow older is that way more good things than bad things happen in life. The bad things just seem more salient.

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