Sunday, August 14, 2011

Be an Alpha Male, not an Alpha Buffoon, for a Great Relationship and Marriage

There’s a fine line between being an alpha male and being a bully, buffoon, or a show-off. Know where it is, and don’t cross it!

Before we get into today's lesson, I had a very telling e-mail from a new reader that I must share with you, one that all you Gentlemen need to let soak in and grasp the full impact. It was regarding a recent post about the difference between men and women’s emotional scales (see http://forum.makingherhappy.com/showthread.php/217-Understanding-Our-Emotional-Scales-Another-Key-to-a-Great-Relationship-and-Marriage). It read:

“David are you available for marriage??????? Surely you're taken!”

There was a follow-up e-mail after this one in which the woman introduced herself and made it quite clear that she was hoping we could get on. And all because I could explain the difference between male and female emotional structure. I’ve had quite a few letters like this when I’ve discussed this in the past as well, so you must take this at face value: Understanding a woman’s emotional needs, their source, and the behavior that they induce is one of the most important things that a woman wants you to know. (Right Jan?)

And I GAVE that to you in that post. Read it. Use it. And then think for a minute about how great the information in my book must be if I’m going to give you information like that. ;-)

Let’s move on to today’s lesson. Have you ever had a “textbook moment”? One of those occasions that provide a textbook example of exactly what to do or avoid doing in a certain situation? I have a lot of them because I look for them, and I had one over the weekend that I really need to pass along to you.

There’s a wonderful Mexican restaurant a couple of miles from my home, one of those little “hole in the wall” places that you’d probably never go into if you didn’t know how to read a parking lot to find a great restaurant (look for cars of all makes, models and ages, meaning that everybody eats there, regardless of income, indicating the food is exceptional but priced affordably, and is crowded because it’s exceptional and affordable, not because it’s trendy, in which case you usually see only late-model high-end cars. An old pick-up truck parked next to a new BMW is a great clue, especially for Mexican cuisine and barbecue!).

This place is in the middle of nowhere and is packed all day and all evening, every day of the week, and it’s a great place to watch people. As you’ve noticed if you’ve ever done much of it, people-watching in a restaurant comes with its risks, such as the risk of having to endure an insufferable drunken buffoon at the table next to you while you’re trying to enjoy a good meal and your partner’s company. Such was the case Saturday night.

We walked in, and this really pretentious jackass was standing up at his table, trying to order the serving staff around in Spanish, and changing the dinner and drink orders of those at the table with him because he thought he knew what they wanted better than they did; every other sentence ended with, “Trust me, I come here all the time.”

My Spanish is poor at best, but I heard this guy order a fence for one of his friends and a bathtub for another; the waiters repeatedly had to question his selections in English and he was being abusive to them because of it. Even worse, he had had too much to drink, and was trying to justify his own inebriation (at 6:30PM) by forcing alcohol on the other guests, including one woman who was obviously about to give birth and another man whom I know to be a non-drinking alcoholic. Are you getting the picture?

What this man either didn’t know and apparently didn’t care enough to learn (he was in his late fifties) was that what he was doing was not alpha male behavior, and did not remotely resemble leadership. He was loud, obnoxious, over-bearing, bossy, bullying and controlling, and generally annoying to everyone within earshot, and I could see from the expressions on their faces that he was downright offensive to the majority of people sitting at the table with him after trying to force an alcoholic beverage on a pregnant woman and an alcoholic. Nobody was having a good time, and would you care to guess how his wife was reacting to this?

You could see the storm building, and lightning struck when he stood and yelled at a waiter across the room, got his name wrong for the fourth time, and tried to get him to bring “Maggie-ritas” to the pregnant woman and alcoholic for the second time. She grabbed the tail of his sport coat, yanked him down in his seat very hard, and said, “You have embarrassed our guests more than enough, and me for the last time,” with such venom that it was clear that she was either going to kill him or divorce him when they got home.

True leadership, that thing that excites women to no end when they see it, is about initiating action, not dominating it against others’ will. It’s about being decisive, not dictatorial. It’s about being authoritative, not autocratic. It’s about inviting and stimulating participation, not browbeating a crowd into submission while you grandstand for them.

For example, if when they arrived he had said, “I come here often, and I strongly recommend their Fajitas Supremas and Enchiladas Especiale, as well as their Margaritas,” that would have been great, but trying to impress everyone by barking bogus orders in a language he couldn’t speak and changing people’s food and drink orders (not to mention ordering alcohol for a pregnant woman and a reformed alcoholic who had ordered iced tea and already refused a drink when offered) was beyond bad; his wife was mortified, and rightfully so! As you can guess, mortifying your wife with obnoxious behavior is not the way to entice her to join you in the bedroom for dessert.

You can’t command respect as long as you are seeking attention and/or approval. Is it obvious to you that this is the underlying reason for this man’s behavior? He’s not a leader, not knowledgeable of a foreign language, doesn’t hold his liquor as well as he should to be drinking in public, and plainly sucks as a host. He’s a “wannabe,” not the real deal, and knows it. His efforts to try to impress everyone around him are in fact an attempt to gain their approval, and is indeed subordinating himself to their acceptance and approval, not elevating himself to the post of a leader. Bad move. “Nuff said.

Not everyone is a born leader, but anyone who steps up can lead if they know what leadership is about. People will naturally follow anyone who steps up to lead if they do nothing more than project self-respect, a noticeable level of confidence, and appear to be acting out of common sense instead of hysterical frenzy or emotionally-driven recklessness. It doesn’t have to be in a critical situation; making a decision to go to the beach and getting everybody and everything together to do it and enjoy it creates just as much excitement for a woman to watch as you ordering a work crew around, which is considerable if you do it like a leader and not a wannabe or a dictator.

For those who don’t quite grasp the concept, the bully or control freak barks out orders, like “Everybody drop what you’re doing and grab your stuff. We’re going to the beach, and don’t aggravate me by making us late, or else!” Participants are threatened with punishment if they don’t go along with the bossy person in his quest to have a good time.

The social approval-seeker is on the opposite end of the scale. He lobbies, almost apologetically, to get his way: “Wouldn’t you like to go to the beach today? I mean, it seems like everybody has fun there when we go. Can’t we all just get our stuff and head out there and try to have a good time?” Note all the negativity, telegraphing the expectation of a bad time, not a good one.

The leader’s approach is irresistible: “Hey everybody! Let’s jump in the car and head for the beach! The weather’s great, and we’ve all earned some fun. C’mon!” Not irrationally exuberant, but visibly excited about the prospect of having some quality time and expecting to do so.

Learning and doing little things like this can make you an entirely new person, in your eyes and hers. It makes you feel better about yourself, and anything that makes you feel better about yourself will get your partner’s attention. The strangest divorce-stopping story I’ve ever heard was told by one of your fellow readers (congratulations again, Dale!), who was promoted to a managerial position near the end of the divorce negotiations.

His pay increase was so marginal that it had no bearing on the situation. The promotion put a different image of him in her head, one of a man leading a group of people, where she had formerly regarded him as “a prairie dog in a cube farm” (a guy who sits in an office cubicle day after day, raising his head to watch other people come and go while he is going nowhere), and her response was, “I didn’t know you had it in you, so I’m sticking around to see what else you might surprise me with.” That was her way of expressing new-found respect. I wasn’t surprised when he told me about it, and after he finished reading “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” he wasn’t surprised either. Why?

Because he then knew about attraction, both how to create it and how to kill it. He also understood communicating with women well enough to understand that when his wife said she was sticking around to see what else he might surprise her with that she was giving him instructions and success criteria. She liked seeing him succeed, liked seeing what it had done to him, liked being surprised, and expected him to understand and continue instead of falling into another rut and leaving her bored to death. Would you have understood that from what she said?

If not, go to http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your own copy of “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” right now, before you do another thing, because you need to know what makes women tick, what they want, and how to correctly interpret and act upon what they tell you. That knowledge will stop a divorce from ever starting, and stops one cold that’s already happening in many circumstances, because most divorces are initiated by women, and most are initiated because a woman gets bored after attraction is lost and the man can’t understand her when she tries to tell him what’s happening and how to fix it.

Protect yourself and your family by becoming one of us guys who know what most men don’t, what women want and how to listen to them, because life’s too short to have to start it over in the middle if you don’t have to. Ask some of the guys on our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com, about it.

In the meantime, live well, be well, and have a wonderful day!
David Cunningham

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