Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Dave: Facing the Dragon

If I have to read about or listen to one more ignorant demand for men to be more confident … It’s up there with ingeniously advising a stutterer to ‘speak slower’ or suggesting to a paraplegic to think really hard about it then leap out of their wheelchair.

C’mon girls, do we insist you inflate your bust, or go on a diet, or complain about that monthly bleeding, moody thing you do? Okay, some of us might do. But that’s not the point.

Besides, it’s alright for women, they’re not born with irreversible expectations of magnitude on their shoulders. We all sympathise with the sexist mantra handed them – of seeking a husband, raising a family, and forming an unhealthy bond with Karen Millen – and so totally encourage all the options for modern life.

In reality, women are aware that thanks to the male libido, which they mock so disparagingly, they would never be permitted to falter in life. If they needed somebody, anybody, they could emotionally (read sexually) ensnare them with considerable ease. Now, even if that were true for us fellas, we wouldn’t believe it.

How can men exude confidence when women are in control of pulling situations? It’s tantamount to publicly presenting ourselves to the Dragon’s Den panel, then waiting off screen while they consider their options. What the fuck are our, oh so flattering, options? Wait around for somebody to approach us, then blow it due to the coronary induced by the overwhelming shock? Or be fortunate enough to be like the ‘lads’ women go for who prowl around indiscriminately trying on the same line to 50 ‘birds’ in one night, looking for a hole to poke no matter how unattractive they find the packaging. Hmm, I’d love to view it like that.

Most of the guys who are able to approach women on a whim are self-absorbed, over-confident jack-the-lads with a brains the size of seedless grapes. But I think most women know this, it’s part of the attraction and yet hypocritically they still berate us for fantasising over the moronic air-head with the fantastic legs and long blonde hair. There’s a difference? Well actually yes, there is. And we still hold the moral high ground. The most absurd differentiation adopted by some women is the divergent category theory: nice equals spineless. Is that like pretty girl means dumb as fuck? On the contrary, it depends on how the term spineless is judged. Nice and shy could still be the most authoritative character in a crisis, whereas bold and brash quite often equates to cowardly and ineffective.

What frustrates me is the fact the women so often fail to appreciate the blindingly obvious – the less confident the guy is in the girl’s company the more flattering it is for her, as he’s quite clearly smitten with her. And a decent rule of thumb, I’ve noticed through observing some of my less than admirable acquaintances, is that the more confident the guy appears, the less the woman he’s smooth-talking is actually doing it for him. You might call it a bit o’ rough justice.


blueskies2day said...

Men have a tough deal when it comes to some women: the type of women who fall for the "bad boy" (read: not very nice man who will mess her around) and then she complains that "all men are bastards". Meanwhile, the nicest, most caring man she's ever met, her friend, stands in the wings waiting patiently for her to notice him as she gets messed around by the arrogant ones.

Some women, though - they like the nice (and possibly not quite as confident) ones. I promise - there's hope yet.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this, and thank you blueskies2day for leaving that optimistic comment.

My whole life has been playing the role of "the nice guy". Watching friends I care about get hurt by guys I could tell were idiots, players and out and out bastards, picking up the pieces when things fell apart.

And worse still, watching women I had fallen for, hard, continuously going for the "bad boys", telling me how sick they were of being messed around, complaining about these guys and how they could never find a "nice guy". But that I was always too "nice".

Then the one that completely tore my heart in two. She left the country, with a "bad boy". A man she did nothing but complain about his behaviour, his attitude, how he didn't care about things she cared about. Arrogant. All this in the same breath as explaining that she was leaving with him. That I would always be the sweetest, nicest guy she'd ever known, but I just didn't understand the appeal of a bad man.

I told her that I'd seen it all before, that the bad guys grow tired and move on, leaving the girl behind, hurt. And that when that happened, as it had always done, I would be gone, moved on. I haven't, and this time I'm not sure I will. I'm still in love with her, and it still hurts every damn day.

So, ladies who want but never take a "nice guy", and who always fall for the bad guy. Just remember that nice guys are nice guys because they get hurt, because they care about you. And that all too often by the time you realise that, they've gone, moved on, fallen out of love, got over it. And when it happens too many times, we turn bad ourselves, because it's easier to not care than to got through hell all over again.

TheRose said...

Ok, I hate to be the one to come in with an opposing view, but...

OK, no, I don't. I love coming in with opposing views.

There's an interesting conflation here: un-confident = nice, and conversely, confident = nasty.

If you won't (not "can't", unless you're dead, dumb, or not actually present) approach a woman, that says nothing about your moral fiber or lack of it. What it says is that you lack confidence in that area.

Now, that's a bummer. I'm sure it makes it feel better if you say "ah, yes, but the only people who find that easy are bastards". But it just ain't true. (The ones who aren't bastards aren't seen on the pull much, though, because they tend to get snapped up real quick! Hence, the bastard confident ones are more visible because their relationships keep breaking down.)

And there are rather good reasons for not dating men who aren't confident, actually. They're often clingy, they frequently rely on their partner to prop up their self-image, they're quite likely to get co-dependent, and they can be a pain socially because they lack the confidence to go out and do their own thing. Oh, and they'll constantly be terrified of doing something wrong and losing you (the girl), which can be quite wearing.

I realise that blaming the other sex for your own failings is a time-honoured tradition, but it's not very helpful here.

(Blaming yourself and saying "oh, god, I'm useless" is equally unhelpful. I'd suggest therapy. No, seriously. One of the lesser-known benefits of some serious self-examination with a professional - and it worked for me - is that it can help unearth the reasons you feel like you can't approach the opposite sex. )

Anonymous said...

therose - I couldn't agree more!

"Less confident" may mean "nice" in that they're less likely to fuck you around, but experience has shown exactly what therose said: they're clingy, dependent and a pain socially!

Anonymous said...

I've never understood the whole going for the 'bad boy' thing. The brainless loud ones. Do that many women *really* do it? Are they all thick too?

Because it seems to me that intelligence and general niceness is always much more attractive than brash. I like the quiet type. Geeks especially. I can't surely be the only one who appreciates decent men?

Women don't always go after the bad lads, and those who do probably aren't worth it in the first place.

Anonymous said...

therose has a point, but I think he/she is making a different point from Sam.

Yes, it is a fallacy to say that "unconfident" = "nice" and "confident" = "nasty". But that's not what Sam is talking about.

Confident guys can be both, unconfident guys can be both. Sam is driving at the perception that "nice guys" are spineless wimps - you see a girl you like, you don't want to make a jackass of yourself, so you take a few moments to compose yourself, approach, and in those few moments the local jackass has stepped in, and not being a jerk you don't get engaged in a macho bullshit fight over the woman.

So the nice guy appears spineless, when generally they're not. The "nasty" guys are good at what they do so without a thought will hit on, chat up and attempt to get into the pants of the girl they want to fuck. "Nice" guys tend to be a little more hesitant, because our aim isn't to get a shag that night, so ask 100 women and you might get lucky.

Our aim is to be with YOU specifically. You're not a statistic or a notch on the bed post. So nice guys take a more considered approach (aided and abetted by nerves) and suffer because you've probably been hit by the scatter gun of the nasty guy.

Anna said...

I agree wholeheartedly with Blacksilk. Shy guys are adorable, geeks in particular. That said, they're almost impossible to approach because you worry that they might scamper off into the woods if you say hi.

As for having more confidence - my dear, it's all a sham. Everyone is faking. Everyone. People who are naturally introverted can learn to fake confidence too, and use it very occasionally when there's a lady worth the risk.

piglet said...

Actually, the thing I find very attractive in a man is when he shows that he likes me. Not obtrusively - just enough to make _me_ confident enough to approach him. Mind you, us women have as great confidence issues as anybody.If a guy doesn't talk to me, doesn't even look at me, of course I think he finds me uninteresting.

lalita said...

since when does being confident equal being stupid? I don't get it. How does the inability to approach a woman make a guy "nice"? I would expect that because of his complexes he will be difficult later on. People who have a problem with self-esteem can sometimes project their "issues" on the rest of the world, making others miserable.

Virginia Daring said...

Therose, good point about the conflation of assertive = awful.

I like to think I date nice guys, and usually shy ones. However, I've noticed that that particular equivocation can become problematic in the relationship. It's a bit of a phenomena. The tragedy was the one that went to extremes to avoid "being a jerk." Unfortunately, that meant a total lack of assertion where strong feelings were involved. The worst of it was telling me twice that I was allowed to leave him if something better came along (look, he isn't possessive!)and minimizing how he'd feel about it if I did. To assure he didn't "limit me" he didn't really express much desire to be with me.

Now, obviously there are other issues there, but the underlying assumption for him was that he was a nice guy and hence there were things he was just not going to do, like being assertive about his wants or feelings.

There are other guys I've seen who've displayed the same sort of reasoning. Assertive is often good. The one thing the "jerks" do right is to be upfront with what they want. A girl likes to know there's interest and that she's (still) wanted. Modeling your approach strictly off of not being a jerk, in that regard, is a mistake.

And now that I've strayed far from the point I'll stop typing.

Canuckian's Evil Twin said...

couldn't agree more with therose and virginia daring.

women do want 'nice' guys, but nice guys that can also fuck you roughly when you want them to, and aren't afraid to voice their opinions even if they're opposite to your own.

IMHO, this post is just another whinge from dave (yet again, against women) to deflect attention away from the fact that guys (or girls for that matter) who have confidence/esteem issues should be looking to heal/improve themselves rather than blaming it all on the opposite sex.

Anonymous said...

dave, sweetie, we're not all bad. don't tar us all with the same brush.

M said...

I recommended everyone to read this page:
to find out what women are REALLY complaining about when they're complaining about "Nice Guys".

"All too often we hear self-professed "Nice Guys" complaining about why they can't get a date, and whining that women just want to date jerks, etc. etc. The truth of the matter is that there are genuinely caring, compassionate, decent, fun guys out there who have NO TROUBLE meeting people, getting dates, and having relationships.

Unfortunately, many of the guys who DO have trouble, insist on laying blame and asserting that women don't want them because they are too "Nice". These people who call themselves "Nice Guys" can't see that THEIR OWN behavior is the problem. Whether it is targetting women who are troubled to begin with, or acting in a manipulative, patronizing or obsequious fashion, these guys sabotage themselves and blame others for their misfortunes. "
- Heartless Bitches

Red Shoes said...

I would have been with you, Sam, except for the part where you dismiss the facts of societal sexism against women because some men have trouble getting laid...

Annie said...

what a depressing view you have of relations between the sexes, Sam. Is it really like the Dragon's Den? Women are not another species, men could try just, I dunno, talking to them, rather than seeing it as dragon slaying.

And In reality, women are aware that thanks to the male libido, which they mock so disparagingly, they would never be permitted to falter in life - I've read this sentence a few times and am still unclear...

Canuckian's Evil Twin said...

i'd like to point out that it's dave, people, not sam.

Annie said...

Soz - it came up as Sam in the reader.