Comment: I’m generally slightly flirtatious and am so without even trying. However I know about boundaries and would never have designs on anyone else’s man or chase after anyone who is clearly taken. I find this slightly distressing as on previous occasions, I have been accused of stepping over the line but that would never enter my head as it goes against any idea I have of common decency. The fact that people have said this makes me slightly ashamed.
To give you more information, the type of flirting I might fall into is very low key. For example I might make some silly joke about something. But I have never tried to get physically close to another woman’s boyfriend, initiated contact, tried to get alone with him or anything like that. I do not try to become friends with men and I stick to an all female group. Sometimes I might not even be flirting at all and the man or woman involved will tell me that I am.
I would like to tone down my flirtatious nature because on previous occasions it has caused hurt to others. I now cut men off quickly so I don’t lead them on and I try not to flirt with men I am not interested in. But I want to feel free to be myself without it complicating how I get on with others.
State: United Kingdom
Before we begin, I just want to call back your previous letter to me. People can read it here.
I’ll just throw this out there: the people I trust the least are the people who make public declarations of how honorable they are. A wise and mature person would know that they could never say, unequivocally, that they wouldn’t do something. Impulses, emotions and circumstances all factor in to the decisions we make. When people insist that they would “never” do something, what they’re actually saying is, “I’m smarter/more restrained/more trustworthy than other people.” They’re bragging.
I got a whiff of competitiveness and jealousy in your first letter. Now the stench is undeniable. The underlying message in this letter is, “I can’t help it if men find me attractive. (blink blink) How do I fix that?”
What’s dangerous about people like you is that you actually believe what you’re saying. So here’s the first step for you recovery: stop lying to yourself about your altruistic intentions. They don’t exist. You like attention from men. Join the club. That aspect of your personality doesn’t pose the threat. What makes you suspect is that you also like the idea of pissing off other women.Nothing will get me to turn on my heels faster and walk away from a woman is hearing her talk about all the ways she’s committed to paving the way for other females. No, women like that are all about their own personal advancement. Show. Don’t tell.If you have to frequently remind other women how supportive you are, you’re not.
Equally questionable are women who go out of their way to piss off other women. Niecy Nash was promoting her book on TV last night. In it, she advises women to always keep their man sexually satisfied. Ok. Fine. Agreed. But when she was asked about people who critiqued that particular piece of advice her response was, “Well..that’s why they don’t have a man.” Oooooh. Sick burn, Niecy. That sort of tripe is no different that the women and men who toss barbs my way about giving advice while being single, or who habitually have to trot out their relationship as proof that they’ve truly learned to love themselves or reached some magnificent level of awareness. Can we please stop that? That sort of talk is actually the opposite of empowered. All it does is reinforce the idea that what we achieved means nothing unless we have a man in our life to validate it.
While I think some level of competition is natural and maybe even healthy, I believe some people take that desire to be the victor a bit too far. If you don’t want other women to think you’re out to steal their boyfriends, then stop trying to steal their boyfriends. If you’d prefer that your female peers didn’t hate on you for being so confident, then stop trolling them.
OP, until you get past your need to compete with your female friends, this problem will exist. Going after or getting a guy just for bragging rights rarely ever ends well. Not only will you eventually repel any man that does give you a chance, but you will alienate all your friends and other women in the process. You don’t want to be that woman with no female friends. Men and women both will keep you at arm’s length.