1. Be confident
Here’s a massively undefined trait that gets convoluted with ‘aggressiveness,’ but it’s been lost in the fray of egotistical ideals. Confidence isn’t forcing your agenda over your peers; it’s being satisfied with who and what you are. Confidence is knowing who you are to such a degree that you seek no validation – from your peers or women – for your actions or disposition. You’re driving the vehicle of your life even if you’re not totally convinced of the destination. I know that seems like a paradox, but it really isn’t. It’s the quote from Lost in Translation,
“The more you know who you are and what you want, the less you let things upset you.”
It doesn’t matter if you’re an introvert or an extrovert, if you’ve got jokes or if you’re the laid-back, absorbent type, confidence is being at ease with your personality. It isn’t forced and it isn’t conceited.
2. Have an opinion and be decisive
In dealing with women, having no opinion is boring and sometimes frustrating for everyone. I was at a friend’s house when a couple sat on an adjacent couch and asked each other where they should eat,
Her: Where should we eat?
Him: I don’t care, wherever. What kind of food do you feel like?
Her: Hmm, I don’t know. Where haven’t we been in a while?
Him: I’m not sure…I’m up for whatever.
This went on for another fifteen minutes. I was on my computer Yelp-ing restaurants and offering recommendations just so I didn’t have to listen to it anymore, and I consider myself a patient person. This is like when you’re on the freeway and you slow down to let someone merge into your lane, but they hesitate and take so long you step on the gas.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t take other people’s opinions into account or refuse to come to a consensus, but for the love of god, when having an opinion and being decisive will make everyone’s lives easier (including people who have to listen due to proximity), rise to the occasion.
3. You’re allowed to disagree
Now that you have an opinion, you’re allowed to disagree. Don’t disagree for the sake of disagreeing because that’s super annoying, but agreeing with everything a woman says in hopes that the more times you say, “Me too!” the more she’ll like you, is backwards. Disagreements are conflict, and conflict is interesting and it reveals character. It doesn’t make you an asshole unless you act like one.
For instance: I don’t like country music. When the topic of country music surfaces in whatever organic (this is key) way it does, I have to be honest and say that I’m not a fan. This is sometimes disheartening for country-loving women to hear. I don’t go on a ten-minute rant bashing country music and calling anyone who likes it an ignorant redneck (that would be fun, but I don’t), because artistic tastes are subjective, which is why you shouldn’t be afraid to speak your mind despite our ingrained, psychological drive to ‘agree’ so as to ‘belong.’ You’ll get more respect from honesty than anything else.
4. Be sometimes vulnerable and sometimes self-deprecating
I say ‘sometimes’ because like anything, this can get a little annoying or exhausting if taken to an extreme. We expose ourselves more today than any other time in history with the advent of social media, but we’ve grown increasingly neurotic over our ability to control that exposure. I think that’s why we find it so refreshing when someone tells an embarrassing or self-conscious or childish story about themselves. Drop the façade. Once you do, you’ll realize men and women are both using one.
A friend introduced me to two of her friends from school, and before we went out, the topic of ‘public speaking’ was brought up and I said, “I can’t stand public speaking. I start sweating and turning red, then I get freaked out that people are watching me sweat, which makes me even more nervous. It’s a mess.” They seemed surprised and started asking questions until I called them out for trying to be my therapists, and that was hilarious to me and them because they knew I could care less. After I admitted that, it freed everyone up to be more open and vulnerable while unintentionally projecting a sense of self-confidence.
5. Be busy
If you’re not that busy, at least pretend like you are. Read books, pick up a hobby, and fill your days with something productive that brings you a sense of fulfillment. The most miserable and depressing times of my life have been the ones when I became so lazy and complacent that entire weeks blended together into one blurry Netflix binge. It took a toll on my energy levels and confidence, worst of all, I had nothing to talk about with anyone who wasn’t watching Lost. A relationship shouldn’t be an escape from boredom or the only thing you’ve ‘got going’ for you, I think that’s a little parasitic and will ultimately make both people miserable.
Men generally don’t like dancing because they think they don’t know how, think it’s effeminate, or think they’ll look stupid trying, which makes it one of – if not the – most obvious signs of confidence. You don’t have to take lessons – go line dancing with no idea how to do it and have women teach you. I’ve been line dancing several times and still don’t really know how, let alone I don’t like country music. Have you seen how people dance at festivals like Coachella? There’s no structure to it, there’s really no ‘moves,’ just let loose. Dive into the moment, it feels good. She’ll love you for it, and more importantly, you’ll love you for it.