The pleasures of conformity and the importance of trends.

Patrick Bateman, American Psycho [2000] played by Christian Bale, is a great character. Complex, smart, unpredictable.

However, in the scene where he hacked Jared Letos’ character, Paul Allen, to bits with an axe. Batemen put on timeless classic ‘Hip to be Square’ by Huey Lewis and The News, quoting the line:

A song so catchy, most people probably don’t listen to the lyrics. But they should, because it’s not just about the pleasures of conformity and the importance of trends. It’s also a personal statement about the band itself. Hey, Paul!

This really got me thinking.

Conformist. Conforming. Conform. 3 words which pretty negative vibes to them. We understand that Bateman wants to conform drastically, to seem as normal as possible. He also mentions this when Evelyn says to him “Well, you hate that job anyway. Why don’t you just quit? You don’t have to work.” to which he replies “Because I want…to fit…in“.

However, as we are not murderous psychopaths and we are only remote, work-hard-play-hard, commit-ophobic sociopaths we’ll have a look at this differently.

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The idea of conforming used to send shivers down my spine. I outright used to say I didn’t want a great job, or a big house or a nice car. If I could afford my bills and just enjoy life I’ll be fine. Recently though… fuck that shit. I’ve penned some new phrases I’d like you all to start rolling out and spreading around:

There is no such thing as too much of a good thing.

More is always better.

Money buys happiness.

People hire people, promote people and give pay raises to people who are like them. They won’t admit that is true, but psychologically it is just what they do. These people, who are all higher up than you right now, have already conformed. They already caved and straightened up! Done what is expected of them. Do well at work, dress well, get their hair cut, clean themselves sharp. And that is why they’re higher than you because their boss, who also did exactly the same thing years ago, hired him. and his boss hired him. And this dates all the way back to caveman times, believe it or not.

Chameleon up bro! Adapt to your surroundings. I did! I talked about this in a previous blog, but if there is one thing that made me cave to conformity, it was being single. I needed a win. and what did conformity give me? WIN WIN WIN BABY! I hit the jackpot! Doesn’t matter what makes you finally realise that it’s the way to go, and I’m not saying get a job in a company and do that for the rest of your life, god no we all have dreams. But in order to achieve dreams, you need to network. And to network effectively you need to fit in. And to fit in you need to, and let’s say this all together, that’s right boys and girls; Conform.

And what else is needed to network? A working knowledge of current trends. Music trends, sports, entertainment, science, politics, it doesn’t matter what the fuck it is! A working knowledge of trends opens you up to more conversation starters, it opens you up to meeting different people through shared interests, friends or even random conversations. Just like the art of conforming effectively, it makes people feel comfortable around you, and when people feel comfortable around someone they don’t mind spending more time with them. And, whether this leads to you scoring that big contract, getting your foot in the door for a job interview or even getting laid! There is absolutely no denying the social science behind the psychology of herds and likemindedness.

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Today’s lesson: Tv Characters who make you think.

  1. Don Draper
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Why? Don is awesome. Don is a real man’s man. He gots the suits, he gots the money, he gots the women.

I like Don Draper because he is the confident, situation winning character that every bro should look up to. He’s a convincer. He doesn’t chase, he waits for people and opportunities to come to him. Why? because he knows that they will. He oozes a certain charisma that demands respect and attention. Jump over to youtube to watch some seriously good clips of how you can assert on workplace and personal situations and individuals by applying a few of Dons’ suave, sophisticated game winning tactics.

2. Barney Stinson

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Barney is a great character to study because he is the kind of bro that walks into the room and magnetises attention his way. And what do we all know attention gets you? Laid.

He is high energy, always looking to maximise the Legendary-ness of a situation in order to assure that he lives his life to the max. He does nothing half-arsed. You can see this by his need to accept every challenge presented to him (and not presented to him). He is the perfect modern character to learn from in regards to guaranteeing that after you work hard, you play hard.

Also: just look at the way he dresses…. damn.

3. Tommy Shelby

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Tommy Shelby is fucking badass and his suits are impeccable. If that’s not enough to admire in a character I don’t know what is?!

Although, the best quality of Tommy is that he is the cool, calm and collected ideas man. He gets shit done! It’s his way or no way and that is exactly how it should be! Why settle for something you don’t want and always know you didn’t really want it when you can figure out a way to get everything you want, all the time. Manipulate your surroundings to suit yourself.

Seriousness in the right situations is a powerful tool.

4. Hank Moody

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He just doesn’t give a fuck.

And this is great.

because why should you give a fuck? Shit happens.

4) Charlie Harper

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Charlie Sheen has always been a favourite of mine, so no doubt his TV counterpart (who is essentially just himself) would be too. I even had a goldfish called Charlie Sheen when I was 12!

Charlie Harper is a character who does what the fuck he wants and is still winning every day. He makes money, parties hard and enjoys life. Just look at his pad! The ultimate bachelor pad, take notes.

In summary:

I’m sure you’ve noticed that all of my favourite TV characters are strong, alpha male roles who dominate every situation they are in. Why? Because the entertainment you watch does, in fact, shape your own humour and mannerisms, because nowadays we watch so much of it! Yes, these people are fictional characters, but the people who created and developed these characters did their research. They would’ve consulted body language specialists and language experts. Don’t just watch these shows, study them, because you’ll take in a lot of speech and body language on board without even realising it.