How To Really Get a Man’s Attention

December 16th, 2010

Dating, Dating The Crazy, Online Dating

We’ve discussed here before the many reason why men avoid confrontation and being honest. We can call them pussies, cowards, weaklings, etc. The main reason is that they just don’t want to deal with the inevitable drama.

“But I’m not like that!” you say.

It’s quite possible that you’re not. But I think many of us have said that. And when emotions get going or you’re up against a man who just doesn’t give you the answer or acknowledgement you feel you deserve, it’s easy to go from zero to sixty. Then you join the ranks of every other woman that has flipped out on a guy, and give him another reason to believe that we’re all crazy lunatics.

I completely understand the desire to be acknowledged. Completely. Ultimately, though, we end up chasing our tail. When confronted, it’s highly unlikely that a man is going to be honest anyway. So you have two choices: You can accept that little to no answer is the answer  or you can get up in his face and hear what is likely to be a big fat lie told to you to keep you from ragging on them on Facebook. If you prefer the latter, then you’re not looking for the courtesy you say you seek. You’re trying to “win.”

There is no winning in these situations. The victory is shallow and brief. After a few hours or a couple of days, after you’ve told and re-told the story to numerous friends, you realize that the guy just told you what he thought you wanted to hear to make you go away.

There is no act more transparent to a man than a woman trying to be all sassy! So he gives her that. He lets her get all finger waggin’, how dare you, don’t you know who I am, you’re lucky to have been with me, you were lame in bed anyway. He let’s her wind herself up and spin around until she tires and just falls on her side, depleted.  Most men know when a woman is looking to a fight or angling for something. The pre-emptive strike of notifying someone that you will no longer be seeing them when they’ve made little to no effort to see you anyway is a great example. Don’t do that. Actions like that have the exact opposite effect that we hope them to have. We’re trying to get the guy to hear us out by threatening to take away something that they really didn’t want in the first place. They’ll nod or listen and wait for us to wrap up. Then they’ll say “Okay.”

That’s it. Just “Okay.” (That’s the worst, right?) Now we’re left with either disengaging so we can complete our act and take our bow…or we continue to try to prod them in to having the conversation we really wanted to have. How often does that ever work??

And that’s the catch. Whenever you try to reclaim some sort of control or dignity by using anger or confrontation (even in its most calm form), what you really do is exhaust the very power you are trying to gain.

The bottom line is that if a man you’ve barely dated hasn’t given you the attention you want, or has decided to move on without you, nothing you say is going to make him care what you think or how you feel. It’s not personal. So all the verbal back and forth and innocent questions and pleading texts or emails are in vain. He doesn’t care. He’s moved on. He’s not trying to hurt you or shame you. He’s just not expending the energy in to something that has no bearing on his future or his life. There’s no point in arguing as , in his mind, there’s nothing to say and nothing to defend. They’re not trying to shame us or make us feel bad. If anything, they’re trying to prevent us from doing something really, really stupid like not letting go. That’s why they aren’t indulging us. Yes, absolutely, there are men who get off on making women go crazy. But most men aren’t like that. Many men genuinely feel for our situation, but just don’t wish to encourage us. They actually fear they will be doing more harm than good.

You want to make a statement? Say little to nothing. That sort of cool speaks volumes. It’s the one kind of response that has a higher likelihood of getting you the response you want. I know you want to get angry. I know you’re fed up and frustrated.

Don’t let loose. You’ll hate yourself for it. You’ll regret it and second guess yourself and wonder what he’s thinking. I know you want to just explode. That is exactly what most men expect. So suprise them. Be different.

If there’s one message out there swirling around is that women are being told to cater to men, treat them delicately, and not to speak up for fear of scaring a man off.  You can’t scare someone off who was never  that interested in the first place.

I think this message is being misinterpreted.   I think what pundits and writers are actually suggesting is to pick your battles more wisely and choose maintaining your dignity over a hollow “victory.” Speak up to and defend yourself to a man a man that actually matters to you.  These men that you go out with once, twice, three times?  The guys that blow you off, don’t reply to emails, only contact you when they’re horny or have nothing better to do?

They don’t matter. Do not give them the type of attention that says otherwise.

 

17 Responses to “How To Really Get a Man’s Attention”

  1. Saj Says:

    - If there’s one message out there swirling around is that women are being told to cater to men, treat them delicately, and not to speak up for fear of scaring a man off. You can’t scare someone off who was never that interested in the first place. -

    I really do agree with this statement and I guess I have my own history with showing the crazy and the effects it has on a man.

    I’ve never hid the crazy from anyone or tried to play the cool calm cat because it feels like I’m trying to be something that I’m not. The men in my life however always treated it like an endearing quirk though rather then bunny boiler alert run run run!

    If you really need to talk to someone and let your emotions be heard and if it’s coming from a sincere place then he will listen to you. It’s only the narcissists that toy with you or guys just NOT really interested in you as a person that cause you to get riled up just to play it back that hey I’m the calm one and your the psycho that are the problem. When that happened to me I didn’t think well I should have just kept my mouth shut and saved my dignity, I just thought well he’s a douche bag and I don’t care what he thinks of me.

    I asked my husband his opinion on this and he said this. “Well you gotta be you, trying to be someone you think they will like is going to come off as phony to them. If they never get to know you it’s not going to work. If showing the crazy means being who you are then you have to show it or you are just sabotaging your future. Unless you are ashamed of yourself and are hoping the person will give you the strength to be a better person.

    When I asked if Its more of a case of being afraid to ask for what you need without him thinking you are clingy or crazy he said if you just started dating and you feel he is neglectful then just stop dating, that’s an easy one.

    Reply

  2. Paula Says:

    >>The bottom line is that if a man you’ve barely dated hasn’t given you the attention you want, or has decided to move on without you, nothing you say is going to make him care what you think or how you feel.

    If someone you’ve barely dated is causing you to bring the crazy, then you wuz crazy to begin with.

    However, if you’ve dated longer than say, 2 months, or slept together more than 3 or 4 times (whether FWB or because you think you’re in a relationship), then it’s time to bring some Madonna to the table…

    Long stem roses are the way to your heart
    But he needs to start with your head
    Satin sheets are very romantic
    What happens when you’re not in bed
    You deserve the best in life
    So if the time isn’t right then move on
    Second best is never enough
    You’ll do much better baby on your own

    You may disagree where the line is…but at a point, both the woman and man have to be able to speak up and communicate about the relationship, or it’s time to move on. And a woman doesn’t have to bring the crazy with all the personal attacks to let the guy know where he went wrong (and guys should do the same rather than pulling the fade, which we’ve also discussed here.)

    Reply

  3. peppermint Says:

    I think it was Tony Robbins who said, whoever has control of their emotions wins. (If he didn’t say it, then I am. :-)

    “You want to make a statement? Say little to nothing. That sort of cool speaks volumes.”

    Exactly. If for no other reason, exercising your womanly right to be emotional won’t get you what you really want. I’ve gotten so much juicy information just staying calm and neutral. Guys don’t necessarily wanna keep things bottled up inside — they wanna tell you stuff, they just don’t want a bomb to detonate in their face. What you find out may not help salvage the current situation but at least you’ll learn something for the next time.

    Reply

  4. Kim Says:

    The best thing I’ve ever heard. Where was this post four days ago? Dammit!!

    Reply

  5. cricri Says:

    What I’m curious to know is whether that technic also works for married couples. People don’t simply stop behaving passive aggressively when they marry and things that were tolerable before simply unbearable when added with the specific pressures that marriage and cohabitation brings. In those cases, there is no way to simply stop dating your spouse. People call you crazy when they don’t want to listen to you, not because you’re calling them out. Or maybe, they just don’t care for both either, the truth is they checked out already

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  6. Mari Says:

    Long before you marry a person, you should pay attention to whether you are able to have a calm discussion, accept each others differences, and work stuff out. Should have known this many years ago..don’t marry someone who is passive aggressive, gives you the silent treatment, brings out the crazy..etc. I agree that it is good to keep quiet and that crazy thing never seems to work..but you can’t spend your whole life never speaking up and seething inside. For someone you haven’t dated very long, I would pay attention to how they are behaving, and listen A LOT more than talking..and if you are unhappy with a behavior – see if you can either live with it, or talk about it calmly..if not, time to move on..and skip the personal attacks..pointless and after the fact humiliating (having done this as well)

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    • dimplz Says:

      I don’t think she’s advising not to say anything, but when something bothers you, it’s not necessary to point it out every time. If the behavior is really offensive, then it’s proper to say something. But, men make a lot of allowances, and I notice that women really don’t. They seem to be a lot less tolerant of the slightest transgression, and those little annoyances can end up in a lot of fights. If someone is in the habit of being late, tell them to be at your house earlier (but don’t let them know you’re telling them an earlier time). Unless it’s a wedding or an event where time is really important, it’s a non-issue. If you take it easy, the behavior may correct itself. It may not, also, but at least you wouldn’t be getting worked up about.

      I think issues that warrant a discussion would be: dishonesty, possible vices like excessive gambling, drinking, etc, lack of communication, and poor attitudes. There may be others, but these are huge issues for me.

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  7. seekingpeace Says:

    “Don’t let loose. You’ll hate yourself for it. You’ll regret it and second guess yourself and wonder what he’s thinking. I know you want to just explode. That is exactly what most men expect. So suprise them. Be different.”

    For eight months, this was my mantra. And then last night, for the first time, I blew it. However, I am really having to look at his behavior and how he seems to push for a blowup. He got what he was looking for and seemed almost satisfied.

    Reply

  8. Cat Says:

    I completely agree with Moxie on this one. I used to let a guy have it when I felt their behavior qualified as rude. I didn’t yell/freak out, but a sharply worded text or e mail usually delivered the message. While venting always makes me feel better, I began to wonder how the message was received. Ideally I hoped it gave them pause for thought, but realistically I realized they probably laughed it off as another crazy girl. I have since taken the route of silence because I think/hope that indifferent silence delivers more of a blow than a well worded “screw you” e mail.

    Reply

  9. Vox Says:

    I have a slightly different take on the subject. I used to coach myself to remain cool and calm, saying nothing when I wanted to blow up over a man’s behavior. Eventually I started asking myself why I felt the need to blow up in the first place. Nine times out of ten, my desire to flip out over something came from one or two of my own emotional issues: ego and/or insecurity. I am a firm believer that anger is a secondary emotion.

    So for instance, let’s say a guy is habitually 20 minutes late, and today is the day it’s really pissing me off. Instead of sitting there letting my blood boil, I ask myself: why is 20 minutes of sitting here having a glass of wine at the bar such a big deal to me? The truth is, I’m probably mad because I am thinking “If you cared for or respected me you would show up on time,” or “prove that you care by getting here at 8!!!” Well that’s ridiculous and is MY problem. It isn’t fair to hinge my emotional needs & issues on another person’s actions. If a late gal pal doesn’t cause me to doubt our friendship, why do I feel that way about a man? That’s on me.

    I’d caution women against staying silent when you want to freak out, because you run the risk of using silence as a punishment, and that is hardly better. If something need to be said, say it. Just recognize that “unleashing the fury” and “the silent treatment” aren’t the only two options. Sometimes you have to look at yourself.

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  10. Stache Says:

    This is a very good article! Emotional control applies to everyone, not just women. Some people just don’t seem to have any boundaries at all–they have emotional responses to everything around them. That’s gotta be the definition of weakness. It tends to be more tolerated when women do it, but women don’t always understand that’s not a privilege they should be taking advantage of–it’s the same tolerance that’ extended to toddlers. A guy who can’t stop getting angry at every little thing is not going to really welcomed by his friends, and is going to get a lot of needless grief in business. (Supposedly, being loud and intolerant in business is supposed to be an “alpha” trait. In actual fact, the guy is going to experience needless resistance and sabotage from clients and coworkers).

    Guys are very straightforward. We don;t think aobut secrets adn we don’t care about secrets. We value directness, and a woman who is direct with her feelings and strong enough to weather the consequences regardless of what they are, is a keeper.

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  11. ska Says:

    Moxie – you rock, really and truly. Having gone through this very thing recently – where I was the raging woman battling a clearly non interested man, I ended up feeling ashamed. Not him.

    Reply

  12. sarah Says:

    I think when you are w the right person (man or woman), you feel safe enough to share how you feel. and it doesn’t get to the point of exploding. i think if you feel insecure w someone, sometimes it tis your own issues. however, if you are in an FWB or similar situation, where you aren’t really able to experience everything a REAL relationship has to offer, you are bound to feel insecure about stating how you feel.

    Reply

    • Stache Says:

      “Safe enough” to share, or not feeling safe enough so that you explore, are two sides of the same conterfeit coin. A person is responsible for thier own emotional stability, and a person has to have well defined boundaries that they can say whatever needs to be said without drama. Clear, honest communication is the individual responsibility of each person in a reationship, whehter or not the other person is able or willing to hear it. What sarah is describing as a “real” relationship is the image of her ideal relationship. Usually it’s an ullusion crafet by one party to seduce anther party.

      Reply

  13. WisdomIsMisery Says:

    Wanted to take the time to comment and say I really enjoyed this post. I was actually linked to this blog with the following quote, “We’ve discussed here before the many reason why men avoid confrontation and being honest. We can call them pussies, cowards, weaklings, etc. The main reason is that they just don’t want to deal with the inevitable drama.” because of a blog I wrote on Friday: Truth Is, Men Are Scared of Women: http://bit.ly/gM0bkn

    Additionally, even as a man, I heavily advocate for this quote. “I think this message is being misinterpreted. I think what pundits and writers are actually suggesting is to pick your battles more wisely and choose maintaining your dignity over a hollow “victory.” Speak up to and defend yourself to a man a man that actually matters to you. These men that you go out with once, twice, three times? The guys that blow you off, don’t reply to emails, only contact you when they’re horny or have nothing better to do?

    They don’t matter. Do not give them the type of attention that says otherwise.

    Great post.

    Reply

  14. Crotch Rocket Says:

    “It’s quite possible that you’re not [a drama queen].” Sure, it’s possible. But we don’t know that for sure ahead of time, so we’re going to take the less confrontational route and thereby avoid finding out.

    “I think what pundits and writers are actually suggesting is to pick your battles more wisely and choose maintaining your dignity over a hollow ‘victory.’” Exactly. There are very, very few things in this world really worth fighting about. More importantly, they are things that a healthy couple would be fighting against together–not fighting with each other about. That doesn’t mean you have to agree on everything (how boring is that?), but you need to be able to agree to disagree on the little stuff–and separate amicably and move on if you disagree about the big stuff.

    Reply

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