Average Jane

Girl Whisperer

I never thought I’d say this, but I completely understand what it’s like to be a dog. *looks around* Yeah, I just said that.

For those of you who don’t know, Cesar Millan is my hero. Primarily, he talks about how dogs need to be treated as dogs (not children) because they are dogs (not children). I have much to say on this particular topic, but it is one of his other theories that struck me today.

In the canine world, dogs travel in packs. There are alpha dogs, or pack leaders. All the other dogs are submissive to the pack leader. It’s just in their nature. The alpha and not-alpha dogs can fall into and out of these rolls depending on the pack they find themselves in. Some dogs, timid by nature, may find themselves in situations (maybe with weak little puppies) where they can finally assert themselves. Then, there’s the other side. And this is where it gets interesting.

There are some dogs, assertive by nature, that come across other dogs that humble them into submission. I am that dog.


I am outgoing by nature. Truly. I’ll talk to any stranger that you throw at me. I am “Crazy Lisa” for a reason. Something dawned on me today that bothers me, though. There are certain people around whom I become timid, unsure, insecure, introverted, and afraid. I become unable to make suggestions. I can’t assert my opinion. I become a “Yes-Man.” Wo-man. Whatever.

There are certain people who I encounter that make me nervous. A dominating force that knocks me off of my confident, self-assured pedestal and onto my pre-pubescent, insecure, “please-like-me” butt.

My sentences don’t come out right. I second guess everything I think and say. My voice gets quiet so I’m not heard until the 3rd time I ask the same inane question.

Who the hell is this unfamiliar soul?

{SIDE NOTE: This happens primarily around women. Men I can handle, but women… Any thoughts on this?}

So back to Cesar: He says it’s all about energy. That these alpha-dog-pack-leaders have to have a calm assertive energy. With that energy, they have the ability to manipulate the behavior of the other dogs around them.

Their energy, their calm assertive, female energy, has manipulated me, too. I was saying to Val that I tend to be a social idiot around people I think are “cooler” than me. I’m 25 and ascribing “coolness” to the people I meet in my life. Sad, huh? I notice in my every day life that I think about high school a lot. I think about the social stratus in which I existed, and think about the people who swirled in the strata above me. I don’t think I ever shook that image of myself. I never bothered to get a backbone, I just masked it with humor and sarcasm, with a bad attitude and snarky remarks. The funny formerly fat girl. The other girl. The uncool girl who no one every listened to before, and probably shouldn’t bother listening to now.

I always thought I was an alpha dog, but I’m quite sure I was wrong.


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  1. * Matt says:

    I’m 31 and I still think of people as degrees of “cool” too. That’s natural.

    Cool has to do w/ the following:

    1. looks
    2. money
    3. personality

    We’re primates and we’re all concerned w/ status. We’re all part of multiple, overarching dominance hierarchies. I don’t like kissing my boss’ ass either.

    | Reply Posted 11 years, 2 months ago
  2. * 123Valerie says:

    I would agree with you both on the coolness degress, but my list is a bit like this:

    1. Sense of humor
    2. Comfort level (socially, emotionally, physically)
    3. Looks

    I don’t hang out with ugly people–doesn’t matter if they’re ugly on the inside or the outside. I just don’t.

    Both of you kids passed the test with flying colors.

    | Reply Posted 11 years, 2 months ago
  3. dogs may not be kids, and donuts may be tastier than turkish delights, but in the end, we all are animals, that’s not a point of view, we’re classified in the animal reign, and there’s a reason for that, moreover, there are consequences to it. We haven’t been organised in packs for a shitload of time (yeah, I like to be precise…) but we’ve always had leaders, every time human being gather in a group, consciously or not, they elect a leading man (yes, often a man). Back in the days (I like this expression, although I’m not quite sure it was well picked here, whatever…) I suppose it was based on beating the crap out of the competition, and nowadays, it’s about being able to argue and have people agree with your position, but one thing, I think (can’t and won’t try to prove it) always played a role in deciding who would become the alpha-human being a group, charisma.
    Charisma, is very likely to be the expression of the influence of pheromons on our social relationships. The same pheromons which along with sheer strength makes a dog the leader of a pack. We certainly evolved in ways that made them less influencial than they used to, and we partly replaced them by social and cultural standards, but still, when you meet someone who make you nervous, it’s very probable that they simply are genetically coded to be more of a leader than you. Now that doesn’t mean their better fit for that role or anything, although having grown with that particularity, they might have turned in that direction, but anyway, it just means they have let’s say an odour which you can’t consciously smell, but that your brain considers to be the mark of some kind of superiority. And the annoying thing about it is that you really can’t help it, that’s not even psychological, just animal, one of the few remaining traits of the smelly, hairy, grumbling human beings we once were. The fact that women tend more to make you feel this way, is probably because, as for most of the mammals, in a non violent context, you have some kind of unconscious authority over male, on the other side, as a female mammal you’re supposed to be competing against other females.
    That’s just the way I see things, that’s the one which makes the most sense to me, but I’m no scientist, and I’m not planning on becoming one, so that’s all I can give to you as an answer.

    Bed time, me is sleepy, and I got exams coming -__-

    | Reply Posted 11 years ago

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