Don't Overreact

by Carlos Xuma

This article covers a specific test a woman will administer to you and your confidence. It's one of her many tests, and this one is meant to see if you're really a confident, controlled man, or just another wuss she will be able to dominate.

First of all, let me start off by sharing a well-known but not so well understood aphorism that you need to internalize and believe:

The one who cares the least will control the relationship.

Think about it. In every relationship you've been in where the woman was a needy, hopelessly infatuated partner, what was your interest like? It probably didn't need to get too high, because her interest carried you both. Her low self-esteem probably incited her to make every overture of romance to you that she could come up with. Notes. Gifts. Phone calls at all hours.

She was so into you that you didn't need to be all that into her. You didn't need to care, and YOU controlled the relationship. You might have even felt a bit smothered. Your stand-offishness was a challenge, and it always kept her wondering if she really had you. Hmm?

"The one who cares the least will control the relationship."

So what is this test I'm talking about?

As you date, and understand the advice from other dating men and Don Juans, you know that confidence is perhaps the single most determining factor of how much a woman will respect you. It precedes almost everything in a relationship, and determines to a large degree what your posture and standing will be with her for as long as you're together.

Let's be real: No one is confident all the time. In fact, most of us lack confidence a great deal of the time. Does this mean that we're being a phony when we act confident? No, not at all. True confidence, in fact, is a bit of a conundrum. You act confident to feel confident to act confident again and keep it going. It's a self-reinforcing, upward spiral, if you can get it started. (See my article re: the Confidence Treadmill.)

However, most women can sense when we're pulling the "fake-it-before-you-make-it" approach to confidence. They don't know if we're just showing bravado (which is confidence with very little sincerity) or if we're really a confident guy. So, here's how she tests you:

You're out on a second or third date. You're both having a good time, and you're getting more comfortable with each other, loosening up. You let her know beforehand that you planned for the two of you to go see a movie, something gender-neutral. She pulls out her test card and says, "Gee, Brad, I really think we should go to see that 18th Century romance movie."

Now, you know from your training that the right thing to do is to be confident and insist on your original plans. You don't get mad or react to her. You say, "Gee, Jessica, I don't mind going to see that next week, but we're going to see the movie I planned for this time around."

In many cases, she'll give in and acknowledge that this is fair and right. In other cases, though, she'll whip out test card #2 and start acting pouty.

She'll act as displeased with you as she can muster, and you'll start to panic. "What's the big deal?" she asks. "It's just a movie." She crosses her arms. She'll hit you with a certain 'look', and your panic will step up another notch. She may even make a comment about how inflexible you are, or how she likes men who are 'laid back' or 'easygoing'.

Most men give in here. It's hard to handle a woman's displeasure with you. It triggers all kinds of panicked reactions, most of them dealing with approval-seeking in general (and some Freudian ones about mommy's approval, but I'm not going that deep here).

The trick is to know that you can take one of two approaches:

1) You can give in and please her so she won't be angry with you. You want to appear flexible and 'laid back', so you end up in a theater full of weeping fat broads, pinning your eyelids open, and feeling like a crappy Budweiser commercial.

She knows that she owns you, and now knows exactly what to do to get her way. Your 'confidence' was a sham. Just hand over your testicles and join in the weeping.

2) You can stand your ground (with a smile) and say, "Okay, we can see your movie -- next week. Tonight, we're going to see what we planned."

(You're aware that 'laid back' is not mutually exclusive with confidence. Laid back means that you don't react angrily, no matter what buttons she pushes. And if she likes pushing those buttons too much, you press the one labeled 'EJECT'.) And you add, "Jessica, you wouldn't respect me if I didn't stand my ground, would you?"

Oh, it's hard, my brothers. The things women will do to get their way so that they can quickly establish where you give in, where you break. They'll cry. They'll act like little brats. They'll withhold sex.

Ignore these displays of childish behavior.

A few hours later, after you've shown that your confidence is not to be questioned, that you don't react, or overreact, to her manipulations, they'll be happy and grateful. This will work at a layer just under their conscious thinking, and they'll sense that they've got something better here, something worth keeping.

And if they don't? If they persist in shunning you until you give them their way, until you bow down before them and supplicate?

Why in the name of all that you stand for would you want to put up with that? For ANY woman?

Think about your future with her, what your life would be like after ten years (if you lasted that long). You'd be one of those pitiful married guys at work that you ask to come to happy hour, and they reply, "Well, let me check with the Boss." The sly wink and smile he throws your way at the last word implies 'Oh, you know how it is.'

Yeah, I do, and I've got another plan in mind, thank you very much.

Carlos Xuma