Men, when they’re communicating with women employ a range of strategies.
These interactions could be grouped together as their ‘flirting style’. Understanding them can help you understand the men around you – and how they behave towards you.
There is an optimum point
Conversations with my sister are usually very funny. I suppose it’s the shared life, shared blood, and shared parents. People say we don’t look the same, but we sound the same. (She would say that I speak in a really posh-grammar-school way. She seems more South-(sarf)-London).
We cover many topics: from race, to politics, through to the latest discussion my parents were having. More often than not though, we end up analysing social interactions. Over the years, I’ve found myself asking questions, listening, and categorising her ramblings. One night a few years ago, we were musing about men and how they talk to women. Over the years, we’ve been out socially together a lot. I’ve seen men approach my sister, and she’s seen women (and men) approach me (FYI: At the time of writing I’ve been married to my wife for over ten years. My sister is in a long-term relationship with a great guy). Mostly, I’ve laughed at men’s failed attempts to have some kind of interaction (i.e. flirt) with her, and then laughed more at her ability to cut them down.
From that conversation, we have created categories of men in their interactions with women. It was so equally funny and profound that I made a note of it and told her I’d write about it.
Think of this list as less of a list and more of a parabolic curve. There is an optimum point.
Consider the idea that the groups of interactions men might have with a woman could be put together as their ‘flirting style’. Men probably have a preferred ‘flirting style’ – perhaps the more sophisticated and socially adept can employ different ‘flirting styles’ to different situations.
This set of categories is both tongue-in-cheek but useful. Categorising things helps simplify complicated stuff (see my post about Mental Shortcuts and Models) – which then makes choices simpler and potentially more effective.
The Blatant Perve
He stares. Blatantly. Obviously. The wannabe-alpha dreams of women throwing themselves at him – but they don’t. Instead of actually making an approach, he stays risk free, and aloof. Pretending he’s a strong guy. He’s likely to be the alpha amongst the men, attractive to the women, but hollow inside. He’s really a mollusc (i.e. lacking in backbone).
He flicks his eyes around the room. He scans. He notices how she’s dressed. Her cleavage. The legs. Hangs on to the blatant perve and wishes he could own the room the way they do. Perhaps a bitter and twisted Crap Flirt or Shit (see below).
Armed with a smile, he’s able to start a conversation. And actually be normal. But there’s a (not so hidden) purpose to his interactions. He’s goal-oriented and well-trained. It’s almost too practised. But he’s the envy of his friends because he closes the deals and produces results. Women see through him, but they enjoy the ride. He may be the (hidden) alpha – or more likely – the alpha’s friend.
Seemingly indifferent and aloof, but actually secure. Most likely not single, or perhaps not interested in the ladies around. Maybe out for a good night with friends. And yet – those women are very likely to be attracted to, or feel comfortable around him.
Desperate. Wants to be a Good Flirt and frequently out-performed by them. Perhaps on his way there. May be a little clumsy – but occasionally produces a result…which spurs him on. Most likely to get friend-zoned and be too nice.
Desperate. Says nothing. Too afraid to blatantly perve, or even slyly perve. Stays nervous with his friends. May eventually find a talent and become his polar opposite – the blatant perve.
Hilarious and Insightful
My feeling is – we can identify with being any of these styles on a night out. Perhaps more than one during one night – given other variables such as alcohol consumption, social group or venue.
The funny thing about these categories is that we hadn’t read Neil Strauss’ (somewhat incendiary) book The Game at that point. When we eventually read it, I thought it was utterly hilarious. Then my sister and wife read it – and they both thought it was utterly hilarious.
At the same time – it’s incredibly insightful.
- Observe how the men behave at your next social gathering – can you see a flirting style?
- Notice how you feel the next time you’re out and there are great guys around.
- Let go of any seriousness and have fun. Take on being real with every interaction.
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