Introvert Survival: Reducing Your Profile

If you’ve ever seen an oil painting or engraving of two men with dueling pistols, you might have noticed that they have both turned their bodies sideways with their arms tucked behind them so that they might be as small a target as possible.

All too often the Subtle person is in conflict with their society and finds that they are an enormous target. The accepted order has many means of attacking and coercing them. The situation seems all but hopeless.

If one would have any measure of independence from the mass society’s arbitrary standards, it is necessary to reduce your profile.

Avoid the tragedy of the lords

Most people try to appear as high in social status as possible by purchasing the highest social artifacts they can afford. This means buying a huge house, fancy cars, fancy clothes that keep one perpetually in debt. The consumer of today can look at Polynesian cultures that attached social status to gigantic stone wheels or towering ancestor statues and marvel at the absurdity of it all. Yet they remain oblivious that their own culture’s status artifacts are just another version of those very things. All their hoarded belongings are just a Yap stone wheel weighing them down.
For the Loud person, the drive to social competition and fear of social competitors simply become more acute with every dollar earned. The more they earn, the more they must appear as though they earned it. The wealthier they are, the higher the wages they must pay their wealth.
History is filled with kings who taxed their peasants as much as possible. Ironically, such a despot is no longer necessary. Today’s consumers continue to hand over money until the brink of starvation without any person or government coercing them. The mindless tyrant of mass social expectations has become more effective in stripping people of their resources than governments ever were.
Only if one separates from the mass culture can there be any hope of living one’s own life.

Financial liabilities tie you to the whims of society

Once you have mortgages, leases, and a car that depreciates as soon as it leaves the lot, you are committed.
Once these enormous commitments have been taken on, you can’t move anywhere, you can’t quit your job without going broke. You tell people you are ‘making a living’ but in reality you are hanging by a thread. Under such circumstances, you do not have the luxury of self determination. You have to do what the accepted order tells you to do so you can make it to the next paycheck.

The more dependent you are on society to give you money, the more vulnerable you are. High vulnerability makes you a very large, very easy target should you ever transgress.

Establish multiple passive sources of income

Investing in a steady, dependable portfolio and establishing side businesses establishes alternate, independent sources of income.
Money comes from these sources whether your boss likes you or not, whether or not you accidentally pissed off a co-worker at the company party, whether or not you are working for anyone.
The more money that comes for alternate sources, the less leverage society has against you, the smaller the target you present.
The dream is to reach a point where you no longer have to care what anyone thinks.
At this point, you may walk the streets, watching everyone else hurrying to their workplaces for the sake of their survival and realize that you alone of all those thousands have achieved freedom.

This is Social Immunity

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4 responses to “Introvert Survival: Reducing Your Profile

  1. Interesting conclusion. Compare it to Buddhism, where freedom is achieved by letting go of desire.

    Why bother to make more money? You probably have more than you really need already. You can get fulfilment without it.

    Keep writing such lovely thought-provoking articles :D I like reading these.

    • I am definitely fascinated by Eastern philosophy, particularly taoism and confucianism, but I see myself as more of an Epicurean Hedonist. I see life as an exercise not in eliminating desires but in learning the art of mastering them and deriving happiness from no more than necessary. I believe in learning to benefit from desire rather than be led to disaster and ultimate misery as happens to so many. It is an exercise in balance.
      The big trap that people fall into is the indefinite escalation of expectations. We quickly get used to anything no matter how great it might be. So for many people, life is an arms race against boredom, malaise, and despair. This is a miserable existence as one must live in fear of one day running out of new entertainments or worse, losing the pleasure sources one already has and descending into an unimaginable hell. For each pleasure source one has, the more resources one must have just to keep what they already have, the harder it is each time to find a new pleasure as stimulating as the last. It is a terrifying trap to fall into. One ends up addicted to pleasures, yet devoid of happiness and satisfaction.

      True happiness and experiencing deeper pleasure lies in carefully limiting and sculpting one’s happiness.
      For instance, one might allow themself to be hungry before eating so that even the humblest of fare might taste like a feast every time. Pleasure is experienced sustainably, intensely, and reliably. There is none of the fear that attends rampant material accumulation. In the absence of uncontrolled escalation, a disastrous and painful end is averted.

  2. Pingback: Theoretical Coffee » Day 4?

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