Playing a social game like Survivor can be difficult for the emotionless gamebots that view it only as a contest of strategy. Fear not, gamebots, Emma is here to help you navigate your social interactions!
My tribe mates keep going off for a good cry after talks about family. How can I turn this to my social advantage?
–Brainy in Bayon
Give your tribe mates their space, and then once they’ve had the chance to cry, comfort them! Let them talk to you about their families and you’ll build a bond stronger than any idol’s power. Unless it’s the Tyler Perry Idol.
I struggle with revealing my emotions. Is it true that if you don’t say “I love you” back to your girlfriend that she’ll be mad at you?
–Cautious in Cambodia
I don’t know if mad is the right word, but she’s not going to be happy. She’s probably feeling uneasy about the relationship, so make sure she knows you care about her, assuming that’s true. As for love, if you’re but a young lad who hasn’t been in love yet, it may be hard to know what you’re feeling. I suggest spend some time apart, perhaps in an environment devoid of love and compassion. When you see her again, focus on the emotions you feel and things should become clearer.
If I were to take a pair of tweezers and force myself to cry by pulling out leg hairs, would this create sympathy for me from my tribe mates? And what is sympathy anyway?
–Looking for Sympathy in Southeast Asia
Not if they catch you doing it! Sympathy is typically considered feeling sorrow for another person’s distress. To get the full effects, you would need to pull out the leg hairs while in close proximity to your tribe mates, increasing the chances of getting caught plucking. If that happens, not only would your tribe mates be upset at being deceived, but some of them might be upset that you had tweezers and have been holding out on them! Gotta keep those eyebrows fresh.
Dear Human Female,
My tribe mates keep getting mad at me for pointing out their flaws in logic and gameplay. But my observations are correct! How do I convince them that they are actually doing it wrong and should listen to me?
–Rational and Rice-filled
Nobody likes to be condescended to. For example: Are you stupid? You’re aware that Survivor is a social game, right? I don’t care whether your tribe mates are all idiots or morons, you can’t talk to them like they are if you want them to vote with you.
My tribe mate is thinking of flipping on my alliance: how do I explain to her that being sixth in our six person alliance yields her a 23.3333% chance of making it to the final 3?
–Crunching Numbers in Koh Rong
Dear Crunching Numbers,
Never ever, ever, ever, ever, ever,
tell someone that they are the sixth person in your six person alliance. If you don’t want them to flip, you have to make them think they are in your final three. Once you inevitably betray them, be sure to lay it on thick at final tribal: They were too much of a threat, you’d never be able to beat them. Problem solved.
I’m seeing this new girl who is a little, shall we say, spirited. Her last two relationships ended pretty badly with a lot of drama, so there are red flags. But I like her passion. It turns me on. How deeply should I commit to her?
–Aspiring Dragon Tamer
Okay, first things first:
Now that that’s out of the way… Run, don’t walk. (Unless you have COPD. Then just walk quickly.) Get out of there, just trust me on this one. To steal a line from the brilliant Bojack Horseman: “When you look at someone through rose-colored glasses, all the red flags just look like flags.” You’re focusing too much on the positives of this girl when the negatives should be deal breakers. There’s plenty of fish in the sea and plenty of goats on the beach.
Favorite seasons: Heroes vs. Villains, Micronesia, Cambodia, Cook Islands, China, Philippines
Favorite players: Courtney Yates, Parvati Shallow, John Cochran, Cirie Fields, Yul Kwon, Kim Spradlin