Stopping Men Who Want to "One-Up" You

Paul Dobransky MD's picture
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Stopping Men Who Want to "One-Up" You

You have all been there. Whether it's regarding women or work, and he's a man who thinks you were born yesterday, and he wants to "One-Up" you.

You may know him well, barely know him, or don't know him at all, you sense just a little too late that he's already gotten one over on you, poached the woman, pilfered your information, or even robbed you blind.

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Comments

why buy the whole cow where you only need the milk

very substantial article....this is a 10 article compressed into one

About the film 300

I enjoy the article and your emphasis on boundaries, yet I have a disagreement with your perspective of the character of the would-be soldier who "betrays" King Leonidas.

Leonidas was appointed king, yet his personality was much more that of a warrior intent on negotiating with Xerxes at the end of a blade. The commander of Leonidas' phalanx was a lover, intent on giving his beloved son an opportunity to rise in rank amongst the Spartans. The politician who sold out the queen was a magician, enthralling the Senate with his bewildering skills.

The grotesque, would be soldier had the strongest king personality in the movie. Xerxes was also a magician who fascinated people into believing he was a god. The exiled Spartan had the best knowledge of the terrain surrounding the kingdom in between the Spartans and the Persians. He applied this knowledge by negotiating first with Leonidas and then Xerxes. At the end, he seemed more ashamed of Leonidas and his inability to expand his personality beyond that of warrior.

I've watched this movie several times and am often brought to tears at the end when the rousing speech nears conclusion and the Greeks charge forward. Each time I watch the film, I have more appreciation for the character of the exiled Spartan and the decision he makes to adapt into Persian society once he learns that he could never rise in rank in Spartan society, despite all that his father had taught him.

The Betrayer

I really like this comment. Even though the point made by King Leonidas to the disfigured, would-be soldier is made (that may he "live forever" - and never know the male glory of dying for a noble cause, in battle) - a point that it is masculinizing to males to have found a legacy), your observation of the pathos of this character is worth mentioning - that many men have strivings and wishes that may go unmet, through no voluntary fault of their own. In this case, the determinism of the condition of the body, which would never afford him the ability to fight in battle...

...which was of course King Leonidas' tragic flaw with him, and the impetus for the betrayer's character to change sides. One could make the argument that he simply chose a Machiavellian course of action, going where the most masculinizing source of resources was - in Xerxes' ranks...

This highlights that even lacking in character, our brains seek out the most masculinizing opportunities. For example, one might think of why young men might join street gangs coming from underprivileged homes - a sense of belonging to a team "mission," even a bad one, granted status, rank and territory no matter how dastardly...