Have you ever sat down to watch an old Western movie? Maybe not, since many of them are clunky antiquities rife with overacting and hilariously bad gender and racial stereotypes. But odds are you’ve seen one of the good ones at some point- one where a steely eyed lone gunslinger cuts through swathes of bad guys with his fists and razor wit, challenging anyone who looks at him wrong over a dram of whiskey in a dirty glass. Somehow, these men come across as hardened heroes, lust inducing heart throbs, and are usually touted as from the time “when men were men.” So in the pursuit of finished manhood, it’s gotta be worth it to emulate the manliest cowboys around, right? Yeah, not so much. Here are some reasons why channeling the manly behavior of your inner Eastwood can be a bad idea.
The Challenges of Manly Behavior
We’ve all seen him- that guy at the bar or the beach that wanders around glaring down other men and swaggering along clearing a path through the crowds. Lots of these guys are unfortunately misinformed about how women interpret their aggro behavior; there’s a difference between alpha male characteristics and juice monkey douche bag traits. Where’s the line? How do you know if you’re actually driving women (and everyone, really) away in embarrassment and discomfort? Let’s start with the biggest ‘manly’ mistakes.
I’m gonna beat the shit out of that guy! Are you one of those guys who is constantly threatening to kick the crap out of every idiot you see? Do you teeter on the verge of pummeling anyone who you think might be looking at you? Sweeping declarations of violence make you look like a irrational man-child. I’ve lost track of how many guys have asked me, “Do you want me to beat that asshole up for you?” over imagined slights and sometimes just pure jealousy. This impresses no one. I promise you, 99% of the time, someone drunkenly stumbling into us, asking to borrow a chair from our table, or stepping on your dope fly kicks is an accident. The other one percent is comprised of careless behavior, rather than calculated insults; seriously- life is not an after school special and young adults don’t stay up all night hatching Machiavellian plots regarding how to make each other look foolish. Constantly offering up violence as your go to strategy makes you look impotent and unintelligent. As a rule, think “Walk away for yourself, fight for someone else.” As cliche as it sounds, just remember the spirit in which it was coined: women daydream about their man standing up to purse snatchers, not frothing at the mouth and causing a scene over the cost of cover or about an accidental jostle in a crowd of people. In fact, that’s more likely to dry up our junk faster than a ShamWow. (As an aside, I’ll refrain from making the “It tastes better the second time around!” joke here.)
You fucking goof! Surprisingly enough, reacting with red faced rage, excessive yelling and fist clenching is not an effective way to win friends and influence people. Despite popular entertainment making the call out appear to be a glamorous and surefire way to drop women’s panties and secure you a cadre of brosephs, think about the times you’ve seen it in real life. That guy who’s bullying the coat check girl, or the man who’s screaming and posturing around a pizza stand after hours? Usually, if there are any females near him, he’s got a chick who’s doing her best to melt into the scenery or who is ineffectually hanging off his arm to calm him down. You don’t see other women admiring his manly veins, sticking straight up out of his rapidly darkening purplish skin, or running over to bask in the decibels of his one sided stand off. In fact, he’s usually the one everyone within earshot is laughing at/pointing to/awkwardly ignoring. While you might feel like you’re pummeling the offending party into the dirt with your searing wit and overwhelming onslaught, it’s much more likely people are going to believe you are an unstable idiot with an anger issue. And if you make a habit of this type of behavior, that might actually be the truth; women are going to avoid you for fear they will need to constantly babysit you to prevent these outbursts.
When it comes down to it, not acting like a steroid addled train wreck is pretty good advice to live by. As for impressing women and becoming a better finished man, a sense of unflappable cool is indicative of a stronger guy than any amount of self righteous yelling at a cabbie. Reserving your lung capacity and your threatening stance for the few times that something really matters will make you someone to be reckoned with, rather than someone to be derided or patronized. Women appreciate a man who won’t horrifically embarrass them by flying off the handle and barking loudly at the rest of the pack. If a woman wants you to constantly ‘defend her honor’ or encourages you to be overly aggressive and get in fights, drop her faster than your trou- that’s an unhealthy relationship you’ll be a million times better off without. If you feel like you need a dashing manly cowboy role model, think more along the lines of Maverick rather than Liberty Valence; just leave out that whole cheating at cards thing.