Violence, Deep Emotion and Rational Talk

Okay, let’s start out by sounding completely ignorant.

Violence is an amazing tool to get people to do what you want. It’s quick, easy to do and super effective. In a straight up violence vs. violence lizard brain match up, whoever is the best at it, gets to be in charge of the relationship. Men tend to be bigger, stronger, faster and thus significantly more effective at violence than women are, so that’s a major reason why on a biological level men are in charge of their relationships and women tend to be the followers.

Or put more plainly, I’m a foot taller than Jennifer and outweigh her by 40%. In an ass kicking competition I win easily. I don’t even have to act outwardly aggressive in the slightest, and there’s still going to be part of Jennifer’s lizard brain quietly ticking over in the background aware of the fact that I’m significantly more physically powerful than her.

Of course men these days get a crap ton of education explaining why smacking women around is plain wrong, and that education and social shaming often results in a huge reluctance to ever use violence as a problem solving tool. We’re at a point now where many men are so adverse to using violence, that some women have a sense of impunity if they are violent with their men. Overall the situation seems about even now between men and women, men doing it less frequently but typically with greater damage, women doing it more frequently with less damage.

But the basic rule still stands. If someone is prepared to use violence in their relationship, they are in charge of the relationship. You can attempt to use Rational Talk to them all you like trying to get them to change, but it’s completely ineffective because they can just thump you if you keep talking to them about something they don’t want to hear.

The only way to trump Violence is to use Outside Force, i.e. greater capacity for violence to force the issue. The police, courts and prisons being “outside force”, all backed up by the capacity to Taser you, slap you in physical restraints and drag you into a jail cell kicking and screaming and lock the door behind you.


Violence beats Rational Talk. Outside Force beats Violence.

Now let’s get to emotional drama and tears.

Men are more physically powerful than women and for a huge period of our time on the planet, “outside force” pretty much amounted to another thug or at less something vastly less organized than modern law and order. Thus women have had to adapt and learn other coping skills to advance their interested.

Hello Emotional Psychodrama and Confusion.

Just like the violent people, highly emotionally sensitive people are quite cooperative and delightful when you’re giving them what they want. But if they aren’t getting what they want and especially if they are losing a debate with you, that’s when the entire frame of the debate changes into a maelstrom of emotion, accusations, gunnysacking, DARVO and all-purpose accusations of your inappropriate behavior and abuse.

Women are far more verbally adept and have a stronger ability to channel their emotions into an argument, so most men have terrible trouble in dealing with highly emotional women. Added to that, the modern male faced with a smaller, insulting, toxic person not doing what they want, typically loses about 79.3% of his brain capacity to the task of overriding normal lizard brain functioning and NOT slapping her. Which to the woman looks like he’s having a small stroke and is generally spun as an example of exactly what she’s been complaining about, i.e. his complete inability to have an emotional connection and pay attention to her.

There’s also the thing where excessive emotion can hint at, or directly imply future debates will become violent. This is what smashing or throwing things is all about. It starts with door slamming, then breaking things, then throwing things against a wall, then throwing things near you, then throwing stuff at you, or hitting you. It’s a gradual escalation of threatened violence to get you to comply with what they want.

So here’s another rule.

Deep Emotion beats Rational Talk.

Think about that for a minute because it’s a core complaint many men have. “Why does she become so irrational when we talk about the relationship. Why can’t she just talk about something normally?”

The answer is simple, because as long as the Rational Talk gets her what she wants, she uses Rational Talk. But when it doesn’t, that’s when she goes to Deep Emotion to win the argument.

In those cases, Deep Emotional just looks irrational, in fact it’s an incredibly rational strategy that totally, totally works. In fact it would be irrational of her not to be so irrational. Two wrongs make her right.

Men just aren’t typically as good as women are at the Deep Emotion strategy, so they typically don’t try it out much. In fact, if you see two men having a serious disagreement, it tends to stay in the Rational Talk phase for an extended period of time and if it all goes to a bad place, it tends to skip Deep Emotion and head directly to Violence. Incidentally this is why when a cheated on husband seeks out the other man for a “discussion”, the other man is typically scared witless and backs off quickly. Cheated on husbands tend not to spend much time on the Rational Talk or Deep Emotion phases… it just skips to Violence and the husband typically is significantly better motivated to fight.

This is also why when you have a serious woman vs. woman disagreement, it can descend into a mutually assured destruction approach of emotional nuke after emotional nuke as each attempts to carry the day with the Deep Emotion strategy.

If it’s two drag queens having a serious disagreement, it goes to the Deep Emotion strategy pretty quickly, until someone pulls a wig off and then it gets Violent.

So lets recap…

(1) Outside Force beats Violence.

(2) Violence beats Rational Talk. Violence also beats Deep Emotion.

(3) Deep Emotion beats Rational Talk.

(4) Rational Talk is a winning strategy for getting what you want, when neither party is going to use Deep Emotion, Violence or Outside Force. Ultimately it’s often seen as a form of weakness in that you’re displaying how effective the Violence and/or Deep Emotion strategies are with you because you can’t use them yourself.

So the too long didn’t read…

Rational Talk is completely useless in getting what you want from people prepared to use Violence or Deep Emotion.


What the heck can you do about all that is the question.

The first thing you do when someone starts using the Violence or Deep Emotion strategies, is you stop trying to use Rational Talk with them. You stop because you already know it’s a losing strategy against them. The more you try and use Rational Talk, the more Violence or Deep Emotion is effective against you. So you just stop using it.

Both Violence and Deep Emotion are based on creating a sense of fear, trying to get you to give up your personal power in the relationship, so your partner gets what they want from you. So the second thing you do is start using actions that aren’t based on a position of being fearful. You use Fearless Actions.

In the case of Violence, your Fearless Action is to make a direct appeal to Outside Force. Very frequently escalation toward the use of greater Violence stops, the minute someone starts making a police report. I’ve seen very large, threatening, powerfully built, psych patients routinely become instantly co-operative the minute the police arrived. (Those that didn’t of course… well nurses don’t carry Tasers… so good thing we called the police.)

In short, you prove by your actions, that you will make the use of Violence a losing strategy by calling in Outside Force. Which is why my psych patients usually became more generally co-operative after that first police visit.

If they use Deep Emotion though, your Fearless Action is to also make it a losing strategy, by refusing to have a Display of Low Value in response, and not acting the way their emotional state is demanding you respond. If you’re facing a teenage daughter having an screaming meltdown about wanting a horse for example, you don’t act frightened that you’ll be deeply hurt by the loss of her love, should you fail to produce a horse for her. You simply say, “No pony.” and move on with your day. The key is not play into their emotional state, quitting the conversation completely if you must, and pointedly fail to give them what they want. You make the Deep Emotion approach a losing strategy.

If you can make Violence and Deep Emotion losing strategies, people will stop using them against you. This will force them into trying the only remaining strategy available to them…

…Rational Talk.




  1. JackSchitz says:

    Awesome post.

    This links into a conversation I was having with a friend a few days ago about politics. My premise to him (a liberal) was that everything apart from hyper rational policy debate about the best way to achieve a goal was TACTICS to get what that individual wanted on a personal level. Some liberal politician caterwauling about the “war on women” in light of all the crap that Bill Clinton pulled off without a peep, TACTICS. Discussion about a minimum wage hike when pretty much every sentient non-marxist economist on earth will tell you that such an increase will also increase unemployment, TACTICS. The list, unfortunately could go on for a while…

    As for ways around this, may I suggest that the best way is to kill the TACTIC as soon as you first see it (i.e., when you’re first dating). A simple and calm “I’m leaving” or “Get out” will do wonders. In fact now that I think about it, we should welcome these incidents (particularly when they happen early in the relationship). Think like Ceasar Milan who says he welcomes when a dog acts out because it offers an opportunity to train the dog out of the bad behavior. When a girl, child or effeminate bitch “boy” pulls this crap, simply laugh, tell the person they are acting like an irrational 10 year old girl (note this doesn’t actually work with 10 year old or less girls) and banish them (or extricate yourself if you don’t own the terrain). Whatever you do maintain rationality, understand that this is a TACTIC and revert to amused mastery ( ).


  2. Too bad I took a couple extra decades to figure out what you’re saying. After ten years a bachelor, I remarried and all was well for a couple years. Eventually, I had to deal with the Emotion beats Rational Talk trap.

    My working solution (thanks to the manosphere) was to put the burden on her shoulders, when emotions took control of her. If she said it, it had to be either true or….then what did it mean?

    When a woman blurts out some irrational emotional nonsense, and you won’t let it go – you just keep asking her to clarify, justify, explain what she meant, etc…eventually she will admit it was emotional nonsense. And then you can move forward.

    But you have to let her shoulder the burden. You can’t let her blurt out lies, accusations, or hurtful bullshit, and then just change the subject and go all happy…let her wallow in her shit for a few days…so that she knows that without fail…if she creates a pool of shit…she gets to wallow in it for awhile…..

  3. Blackburn says:

    Ever see the cell phone video of the wife’s complete meltdown in the car because hubby wouldn’t go to the beach? I think the deep emotion equivalent to calling the cops is the threat of posting the video to youtube / facebook etc. and letting all her friends she what she is really like behind closed doors.

  4. Peregrine John says:

    Brilliant post, great commentary! I’ve nothing to add, unfortunately, but this puts together several things I’ve observed over years and never quite connected. My thanks.

  5. 2manypasswords says:

    Good post. I’ve found that one of the best ways of dealing with angry people you have to see regularly (for example, the in-laws in my case) is to treat it like being on the witness stand in court. I don’t speak unless spoken to. When spoken to, I say absolutely no more than necessary. The less you say to these types, the less able they are to suck you in to their drama.

  6. Trimegistus says:

    One problem: in a lot of places, Outside Force automatically presumes the man is the danger, no matter what the circumstances are. So men are stuck with either complying with Violence, or calling in Outside Force and spending a night in jail and/or losing custody of the kids.

  7. “Overall the situation seems about even now between men and women, men doing it less frequently but typically with greater damage, women doing it more frequently with less damage.”

    How are you working this out? Four slapped faces=one rape?
    And what are your sources?
    Read the statistics. Maybe start with the homicide statistics.
    Don’t propagate ignorance.

  8. @pegala:

    I’m sure an actuary could determine the damages and calculate a slap to rape ratio.
    But, what stats are you asking Athol to provide? Do you have them? You can’t just accuse someone of perpetuating ignorance and not having sources or statistics without providing your own. That’s not how it works.

    Now, from personal experience, I can tell you I have been 1) slapped in the face, 2) had something thrown at me, 3) smacked in the face, and 4) punched in the back by women who did so because they were certain there would be no equivalent response.

  9. @hodor
    actually that is how it works. @athol_kay is making assertions about domestic violence, it is his responsibility to make sure they are accurate. This is the internet, statements like the one I quoted will be quoted by others as fact.
    I am sorry you have suffered domestic violence. Every victim should be supported and get justice.

  10. Eric Ashley says:

    You should definitely try the Revolution! board game. In gaining influence over others in the town you bid, Money, Blackmail, and/or Force.

    Nothing does nothing.
    Money beats Nothing. More Money beats less Money.
    Blackmail beats Money.
    Force beats Blackmail.

    And certain folk in the town are immune to Blackmail (everyone already thinks he’s a scuzz so one more story ain’t gonna change anything.) or Force (the Captain of the Guard laughed out loud when the little punk threatened to break his knees.)

  11. Christopher says:

    Love your stuff; wish you wrote more often. You have been one of several key factors in saving my marriage, so thanks. Anyways, about halfway through reading this I thought you were going to pitch your coaching service (i.e. outside force). You didn’t and wrapped it up well with how to do it at home. I appreciate that so thought I’d pitch it for you. Here goes, outside force doesn’t always have to be cops! Outside force could be a caring family member, pastor, counselor or coach. Anyways, if your never able to get through the emotional or violent break points calling outside help (depending on the situation of course) is also a great way to force…rational talk.

  12. Christopher says:


    Reading the non-fatal violence statistics seem to support what Athol was saying, intimate violence to females has declined substantially to under 5% and violence to males has remained flat and low. Even more so if men report a wife slapping them less often then wives report men slapping them, which is most likely the case and what @Hodor is saying, I think. These statistics say nothing about how often men DO NOT call the police on their wives. Really, how do you count something NOT counted? I think an intelligent reasonable person could deduce that Athol was using it as a literary example and only fools quote from the internet as fact without verifying first to quote Athol on what “seems” to him to be a situation as fact in the world of domestic violence is crazy. Also, it misses the whole point of the article and that is sad. Because he is making a great point…

  13. OK, I’ll say a couple of last things then shut up about it.
    It is well documented and recorded that many more women are murdered by a partner or ex partner than men. Women are also far more likely to be seriously injured by their partner. No one disputes this.
    What is not well-documented is how much low-level violence is committed by women against men. @athol_kay is saying that this happens a lot, in fact it happens so often that women hit men more than men hit women.
    And not just a bit more: this epidemic of low-level attacks by women is on such a scale that it somehow ‘evens up’ the deaths and injuries caused by men.
    I have a lot of time for Kay, but when it gets this ridiculous we part company.

    (PS I also know that, outside the home, men are much more often the victims of violence than women. If you’re a man your chances of getting through life without being assaulted are a lot less than for a woman. So I get equally angry when someone says that violence against women in general is a bigger problem than violence against men.)

  14. @Pegala – I’m not sitting here doing math in my head that one rape equals four slaps. The point of the post is to get victims of domestic violence and emotional abuse to take action about it. To realize that the abuse won’t stop, until they do something to take action. That it simply doesn’t “just get better”, that the strategy of violence and emotional abuse just plays out endlessly into the future.

    It’s pretty much impossible to effectively help anyone when it all turns into a gender debate, which is why I do my best to minimize that angle and focus solely on getting someone to do something.

    What I want people to get from this post, is that lightbulb moment where someone realizes “oh my god, she just played the Deep Emotion card”, or “ahhhh… he just threatened Violence”… and then they start making changes for the better.

  15. @Athol_Kay, When they resort to Deep Emotional and engage in the “maelstrom of emotion,” gunnysacking, false accusations, DARVO, do they really or truly believe the BS they spew?

    I thinking some level of consciousness they know the truth, but it gets suppressed.

    Also does gaslighting fall into the category of DARVO or the Deep Emotional strategy?

  16. An earlier commenter touched on this, but I want to expand it into a real question: how does a man deal with a woman using the Violence strategy? Outside Force (aka cops) isn’t as easily used by a man as by a woman:
    1. As you say, female violence is more frequent/less intense, thus less likely to leave evidence. A solution to this would be in-home surveillance, but that also is a bit drastic (and perhaps costly).
    2. In absence of incontrovertible evidence, it becomes he said/she said, allowing the woman to turn the Outside Force against the man, such as with a false accusation. This presumes a bias in law enforcement toward believing the female account, and I do believe such a bias exists.

    Much respect for your work.


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