I have a habit of pressure testing a lot of what I read when it comes to nonfiction. Since its usually human behavior I observe how I interact with others and sometimes unsavory characters. Generally, those who like to hustle, sometimes I see it, and sometimes I do not. The following examples come from the previous month, doing things most do not catch until after if at all.
In ConCom, between the three levels of our minds only the human deals with words and symbols, so I am thinking the monkey (emotional/status) and lizard (survival/animal) levels speak through body language. Having said that, one day I walked by a supervisor realizing after I passed I had puffed up to make myself bigger. It did not cross my mind until after I passed that my inner monkey was insecure at that moment.
In another situation, I tried to politely move out of a person’s way so he can get to the trash. Instead he glared, saying ‘excuse me; I’m trying to throw this.”
In my head I felt how dare he speak to me like that, the indignation coming from my ‘status’ being ‘challenged’. When you can notice it, with practice you will catch it in time, since actually we both probably thought the other was being rude. It was not personal, we did not know each other, and it just felt like it.
Then you have a higher end social conflict, a potential ‘dominance fight’ to get ‘respect’, also known as the Monkey Dance. I walked out texting a friend, while tracking a particularly loud person in my peripheral vision, who was talking to this girl, then he asks me as I passed, “Hey man can I use your phone?”
“No.” The alpha and omega of boundary setting, no way around it.
“I ain’t gonna take yo shit; I got three smartphones at home. You better walk away or I’d beat yo’ cracka ass.”
I had never stopped walking, and he was not following. I am not sure if he was a resource predator or a guy looking for a fight. The lessons: While I was fully aware of him, I did not look aware. You only need one word to set a boundary and easily enforce it. Finally, do not let that little voice in your head (monkey brain/limbic system) get you into shit that you either do not walk away from or lands you in jail or the hospital. Ego is a stupid reason to bleed who does that impress?
This last example was during an active threat assessment that happened at a gas station where I was waiting for my wife to come out. I had a big truck pull in facing me at the pumps, which triggered a part of me that I hadn’t seen since a pair of muggers interviewed us (documented in Ronin’s Journey, verified by a retired cop), that I suspect is what Rory called the lizard/human hybrid. It is when someone who can function adrenalized (wakes the lizard) with the problem-solving human completely focused on survival. Summed up its asocial resource protection facing someone who wants your resources, seeing the predator as a problem to be solved, no emotional hang-ups, just cold math.
The guy got out of his truck apologizing (trying to get me in my social mind, instead getting the survival one’s attention), asking if I could buy five dollars of gas for his truck so he can get home. Nice truck, nice clothes, may be legit, followed by it is something I could do from the pump. Maybe he really did need help so I agreed. When he got to the agreed upon price (not smart of me to not be the one pumping), he asked for five dollars more.
I didn’t figure him for a hustler; this was a type I had not seen before, until three weeks later, he approached me again for the same thing…really? Thing is, I do not regret helping him the first time; it could be a legitimate need that I may find myself in. The second times though, yeah, fool me once…you know the rest.