All people are inherently self-centered. This is a truism that people apply easily to others but really can’t apply to themselves without constant work. What makes this even harder for some is when they count themselves among a group of people who see themselves as perpetually wronged. Today we are going to talk about just such a group, nerds. Yeah the free ride is over nerds. I’m calling you on your bull and I took AP classes like a Klansman who once dated a black girl I’m one of you so don’t even try to say I’m just picking on you, I’m not trying to hear it. Nerds are people who are constantly portrayed as sexless losers who are constantly picked on in high school. What makes this a problem is that as nerds grow up they gain a ton of privilege but never shed the mindset that they are perpetually under-appreciated. This leads to all kinds of self-centered behavior that basically boils down to being one of the worst kinds of asshole. The one who blames their on everyone else.
The “Oh Now You Like Me” complex Stage I: The Incubation – You knew this was coming. In high school the nerd felt like no one appreciated them. In all honesty that probably wasn’t even the case. Everyone is adored by someone, the issue was that the nerd totally overlooked the people who liked them for the Quarterback, Cheerleader, Class Clown, or Fly Girl . However in the self-centered mind of the nerd no one has ever liked them because they were so “different” from the rest of the plebes. They dream “in college things will be different, people will be more intelligent, they’ll want more than muscles, a pretty face, or whatever it is that they are attracted to but are angry at everyone else for desiring. You can see the formation of the douche qualities early. The blithe dismissal of others choices and decisions. The hypocritical judgement of others due to not being able or willing to do the same things that they are doing.
Stage II: The Metamorphoses
Once they reach college however the revenge begins. Bright eyed and bushy-tailed freshman enroll determined to be better than those losers they left in secondary school. With a new beginning and among a group of strangers some become what they really wanted to be in high school, the very tyrants they left. The numbers of their fellow-travelers are high and in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king so the nerds will choose a new ruling class of cool people. It is at this point the notion of exemplifying their ideals is put to the test. Earlier signs of the self-centered nature that was nurtured in high school begin to be impressed upon the outside world. Instead of looking for the people who embody all the qualities they told themselves that they would value in high school they chase those with the exact characteristics that they condemned others for going gaga for back then. The difference is that the kids in high school who hooked up with the captain of the cheerleading squad or the big dog on campus probably actually liked them, often they settled down and got married and while they may not be materially rich their emotional life is absolutely satisfied. In college that’s rare. Instead you have a lot of people making up for lost time and trying to really get it in, if you catch my drift. Hearts are broken but who cares because they’ve been hurt before. Really it’s someone else’s fault for making them that way. If others had recognized the special little flower they had been all along people wouldn’t be suffering now. The people who aren’t climbing the social ladder lament the shallow nature of those who have risen and tell themselves “once I go to grad school/law school everything will be different. People will like me for my intellect and unique vision they let too many people into this college anyway. The next step that’s where the crème de la crème is at.” or whatever. Repeat ad infinitum until you have a doctorate.
Stage III: The Transformation Is Complete
If further schooling isn’t in our extremely bitter nerds future then making a lot of money is. This is where we leave from the self-pitying jerk to full-blown “they never liked me before so it’s my right to be an a-hole now” douche. Once they are successful in making that money, love that money, they are fully ready to lord it over all they survey. Despite the fact that the people that they loathed in high school are most likely nowhere near their life now they’re feelings were hurt once upon a time and that insecurity has never left their psyche, someone has to pay. This leads to what Panama Jackson at Very Smart Brothers has labeled as “diva dudes“. I’m not quite sure of the female analogue but I strongly suspect she’s the young woman who does all the interviews lamenting how they can’t ever find a man who’s “on their level” every six months when the media wants to remind the world that black women “just aren’t getting married”. I can’t say for sure but when I see those articles I suspect I’m seeing a very smart and capable woman who had to have at least a few brothers who were in the same classes as she was but has conveniently forgotten that there are fellows with doctorates next to their name who aren’t dating white women or other men. In conclusion the issue is that their superior intellectual intelligence is coupled with a stunted emotional intelligence. Not every nerd falls into this pattern but enough do for a trend piece in the New York Times.
- Top 10 Things I’ve Learned from Living with a Nerd (gemmafawn.wordpress.com)
- Nerd badges (syrco.wordpress.com)
- “Revenge of the Nerds” (mooooniez.wordpress.com)
- King of the Nerds Is Looking for Bay Area Geeks (blogs.sfweekly.com)