The secret to almost every male interaction is power: seizing power, and increasing social standing and status, both immediately and in the long term strategy. Jokes are a particularly effective tool with a multi-fold purpose. They entertain, which adds value to the group. They reinforce the immediate societal values. They usually glorify our individual exploits, which raises our standing in the group, they promote a sense of belonging, they often make everyone else feel slightly less cool and inferior while increasing your own coolness and superiority. These stories are a game: they are competition. There are winners and losers. We one up each other in stories and exploits, telling taller and taller tales, stretching the truth to the barest limits of believability. And the trick is to be confident, warm, strong, magnetic, powerful, funny, to do things that others envy, and be the man that the others want to be. This is why rich men and poor men have trouble being peers. It has less to do with money and more to do with contribution to conversation and relatibility of experience. If the poor man cannot convince the rich man that they are equals in contribution, it will never work. We must walk a delicate line: strong enough to be respected by the other men and maximize our personal honor and greatness in the groups eyes, and yet not so much (among “equals”) that everyone will hate you and label you an asshole.
Speaking to the difficulty that women frequently have experienced when inserting themselves into the “Male” room and conversation, too many women overcompensate for their uncomfortableness in such a situation, and either cone on too strong or not enough, and dont know or play by the complex social rules of power that men have been learning since we were boys: such as when children enter a new school with older and bigger kids. Effectively, as women trying to enter the group, watch what new men do when they enter a new group. There are two primary approaches: 1. Sit quietly and listen. Figure out this new group dynamics, relationships, etc and figure out how you fit. 2. Predetermine who you are and bull your way in, and win everyone over quickly by establishing your value. Men require each other to provide some type of value, that is universally seen as important: humor, strength, wit, experience, wisdom, power, connections, money, etc. We look for men of roughly equal talents and abilities to ourselves, that compliment our own dynamic. We feel threatened if someone else can wield our primary skills better than we can. This is because they dilute our potential for winning the group’s honor, respect, and power.
Life is a series of dick measurings and pissing contests: who has the better job, who has the prettier woman, who has the better car, who is smarter, who is funnier, who is more successful, who is better, who is richer, who is more experienced, who has more and better sex, who can drink harder or more? That is really what is going on in the living room over bourbon and beer, through conversation. Words are weapons and the aim of the game is increasing standing.
In conclusion, the secret to breaking the Male glass ceiling at work and in male social interaction is to understand and wield techniques to maximize your power through respect, honor, and desirability.