In 2009, 48 year old George Sodini killed himself and 3 women at a Pittsburgh area LA Fitness. He left behind an online blog detailing his years of loneliness and rejection from women. While he complains that women never were attracted to him, he also speaks of having no friends or a social life. This was the true root of his problems.
Why he did it..
To say Sodini committed his crimes “because he hated women” is an oversimplification of his reasons. He was a social outcast. For men who are socially isolated it is very hard to find women who are interested in dating them. If he had friends and a social life, women would have been attracted to him.
When most people think of an isolated loner, they think of a bearded, unkempt, person who can’t take care of himself. In reality, the vast majority of loners don’t fit this characterization. Many are productive citizens who present themselves well.
Sodini did not fit the stereotypical loser profile because he had:
Despite his financial situation and appearance being highly desirable, his life was absent of two things:
While he was no Brad Pitt, he could tell he wasn’t incredibly ugly for a man his age. He wasn’t overweight, short, or bald. He didn’t have messed up teeth or skin. He wasn’t a drug user or alcoholic. He wasn’t poor or unemployed. His problem was that he had no friends or social life. That’s what drove him to kill several women and himself at an LA Fitness.
Things never went past the first date
Despite going on dates with women, Sodini was always rejected after the first or second date. This indicates women were interested in him until they learned about his absent social life, which was only apparent after they met and talked to him. Once they figured out he was a loner they didn't want to see him anymore because this is perceived as boring and weird.
Sodini’s problem of having no friends was a circular one. If you have zero friends to start with, it is very hard to make new ones. Sodini fell into this trap. Over the years, the effects of social isolation compounded more and more. For him, being rejected by women was the most obvious and frustrating part of being socially isolated. As a result, he took his revenge upon the women who he viewed as rejecting him (in reality, his victims were innocent third parties).
Normal people can have no friends too
The bearded loser on the bus on welfare understands why women are not interested in him. He knows he has nothing to offer and accepts his place in life. But what if you have a job and money and you’re still alone? For these people, it’s much more difficult to face the boredom and isolation of having no friends.
There is a stereotype that poor people are the ones who are socially isolated. If you’re educated and have a good job you’re not supposed to be a loner. You should have people in your life and things going on. If one part of your life is normal, everything else should be as well.
Boredom drove Sodini to murder and suicide
In his videos, Sodini spoke of the boredom that came with being a loser. He spoke of going for long drives and running errands. For a loser, doing errands and running around is sometimes the highlight of their day. It gets them out of their houses and gives them the opportunity to be around other people, albeit total strangers.
While some loners turn to drugs or alcohol for entertainment (to fight boredom), Sodini did not drink or do drugs. For 20 years, he desperately tried to kill the time by going for drives and working out from time to time. This was not enough. He wanted more out of life, but found himself unable to achieve it.
He was left getting older and watching his opportunities and life situation further deteriorate. His frustrations only increased with age.
Getting older bothered Sodini a lot
It can be inferred that when he was younger Sodini had hopes and dreams for his future. As he aged, it became more obvious that these dreams would never come true.
Part of aging that bothered him was his fleeting ability to attract the younger women he desired. He felt that he had about 10 years to find an attractive partner. He wasted the best years of his life alone standing on the sidelines while everyone else was out having sex, socializing, and having fun. At 48 years of age, his time was running out and the pressure only increased.
Getting older is depressing for everyone, for loners trying to break into the social world and develop romantic relationship it is even more depressing.
Sodini a hero?
After his crimes occurred, many guys expressed their sympathy with Sodini’s life situation. Through online discussion forums and video postings, guys spoke of their loneliness, boredom, and experiences of rejection and social isolation. Sodini was not a hero to these people, but moreso a symbol of their own anger and frustrations.
Like Sodini, these guys search online dating sites only to be constantly ignored by uninterested women. It can be a demoralizing and painful experience. While 99.9% of Sodini sympathizers are not dangerous – they are able to contain their anger unlike him. These people also don’t condone his horrible crimes – they just relate to his experiences.
There are many adults who have worked very hard throughout their lives. They tried to do the right things. They did well in school, got good jobs, avoided drugs and alcohol, yet were never able to establish themselves socially. As a result, despite all their hard work their lives are lacking. They are unhappy.
- Facebook depressing
- Everyone else is busy
- Slow responses to texts
- "I have no friends"
- Indicators of social rejection
- Depressed by old pictures
- People don't initiate contact
- Having no social circle
- Fat people with no friends
- Never invited places
- Lonely people who stop trying
- Dating: men vs. women
Identity and Backgrounds