Emotional Payoffs vs Real Gains

A few years ago, I read a series of blog posts on ribbonfarm.com that he ultimately turned into a book called The Gervais Principle. When I read it originally I thought it was a really interesting post, and I thought that it was a good model for corporate reality.

But outside of the corporate world, I didn’t see much application.  So, let me VERY briefly explain…

The article is based on the idea of taking something called the McLeod hierarchy and seeing how it plays out in the American version of the tv series, The Office.

Here’s a visual:

I’m going to briefly explain what these labels mean, because they have separate meanings from what they typically mean in every day conversation.

Losers are basically clock punchers.  They put the minimum effort into their jobs necessary to get a paycheck and get meaning from elsewhere in their lives like family, outside hobbies, friends, etc.  They don’t care about their company and are just going through the motions.

Clueless are usually the overachieving team players who end up in middle management for their dedication and going the extra mile for their company.

Sociopaths are not clinical sociopaths…these  are people who are bent on climbing the corporate hierarchy.  They are clever, hard-nosed, tough and very logical and are always looking for an angle or an edge over other people and are willing to break rules or not play fair to win.

The main difference between these 3 from my perspective is how they see  value in life and social interactions.

Clueless seek tangible recognition like job titles, badges, honors to put on their walls, certificates of achievement, etc.  Many conspicuous displays of wealth like expensive cars and obvious brand label clothes could also fall into this category.

What they want is to be respected for their achievements in out-performing others.  This is the kind of person who likes to have lots of initials behind their names, and will make sure that if they have a PhD, that you call them Dr.

In contrast, the Losers care primarily about emotional payoffs.  Emotional payoffs come from the regard of their peers so this is things like being a valued member of the team, being a pillar of the community, and generally getting praise for being a “good person”.  Cheap fame like landing a spot in a reality tv show, or having a lot of followers on social media could also fit into this.

What they want is to feel good about themselves and for other people to affirm them and their life decisions.  This can be in whatever their social circle is so winning a drinking competition at the local pub, and running in a marathon for cancer would be exactly the types of things that Losers love to do.

Lastly, we have the Sociopaths.  Sociopaths, care about what I call, “real” gains.  And “real” gains are anything that checks out from a cost-benefit analysis.  It’s a bit difficult to tease these apart from the accolades that Clueless seek, but the difference is that a Sociopath wants the accolades in as much as they help him achieve some other aim.

They are a means, not an end in that they don’t care about the accolade itself.  They care what it can do for them.  In this regard, a fake would be just as good as a real one if they won’t get caught.

The Clueless wouldn’t be satisfied with a fake, because they want the achievement, itself, and in fact, would be quite upset to find that someone else cheated to get it, while a Sociopath would likely respect a person as clever for finding a way to get the same benefits without any of the hard work.

Now, you might be wondering why I’m even talking about this and how this relates to dating and women and especially how this relates to dating Asian girls so keep reading…

In the dating world, some girls are mainly going for emotional payoffs and others are going for “real” gains.  The smartest girls are going for “real” gains while making it seem that they are after emotional gains.  After all, girls who are only going after “real” gains are called: whores, gold diggers, social climbers, etc.

Now this is where the real difference in dating in the west vs dating in Asia comes up.  Asian women are much more looking for “real” gains than western women.


Well, in the west, if a girl wants a nice car, expensive brand goods, to go on exotic trips, and have a big house, she’s supposed to work hard and get it for herself.

She’s an independent woman and she doesn’t need a man…

So why do they bother with men at all?  For the emotional payoffs of the Loser.  The attention, of course, and then the biological desire for sex is there, but with the modern idea that women shouldn’t try to get “real” gains from men, they are going for the most emotionally exciting experience.

There is no need to take into account practicalities in a western woman’s dating and sex life.

Contrast that with Asian girls who, for the most part, care a lot more about family and don’t want to be spending all day at an office (who does, right?).  So they are looking for “real” gains because that will allow them to stay home with the kids and go shopping and drink tea with the girls once the kids are old enough to go to school.

They also need to lock down a man who is going to stay with them because if you’re a 39yo divorced Asian woman raising your kids as a single mother, people will think you’re a damn fool for not being able to hold on to your man, or for choosing a dud in the first place.

And good luck having a dating life or getting remarried!

Now, whether you agree with this or not is irrelevant.  This is how Asian societies think and it shapes behavior, big time.

On the other hand, the 39yo divorced western women is still hot and can party after the kids are tucked in or the baby sitter shows up.

Once again, you can agree or disagree, but it doesn’t matter…these ideas are out there and they influence behavior.

This is why when many western guys who are awesome with girls back home come to Asia, they have a hard time understanding Asian girls.  They think that a hot club make-out while they’re grinding her clit through her jeans is going to go somewhere (and of course, sometimes it does,) but a lot of times it doesn’t and the guys is baffled when he goes home empty handed.

On the reverse, the reliable guy who may not be very emotionally compelling can get action in Asia like he can’t back at home because he has “real” gains on offer.

Now that I’ve outlined this basic dynamic, I want to shift to talking about why women run circles around guys in the dating world using another ribbonfarm.com diagram.

So, check it out in a few days…