"What they really want is to carry on the game where you give them insights and they pretend to get better; ultimately, this can turn poisonous. If I were less lazy or more ruthless it would be fairly easy to manipulate these people for money or other gratification and that is how cults start, although to be surrounded by weak-willed toadies must be quite trying."
Healthy individuals want peers instead.
Something which all of us, raised under the oppression of egalitarianism, struggle with: if you spend time with your peers, you will notice they're not quite peers. The better you know someone, the more finely you can figure out how their social status differs from yours. Indeed it would be weird if you did have exactly identical social status, even if you were identical twins.
The question, then, is how different is too different?
I like to imagine ye olde cultures knew this so well they almost never had to talk about it. You can be competitive with someone without ever being able to actually beat them, which is close enough. I'm told non-spergs also value company directly; conversation per se is rewarding. However, I don't know how far is too far.
There's also a desire for a small number of somewhat differing individuals. Mentors and mentees or the equivalent warrior & merchant relationships. Normal sons look up to their dad precisely because they can't ever beat him if he's playing for keeps. This relationship is highly inegalitarian, and far from unhealthy, even when the counterparty isn't biologically related.
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