Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Men Care About How You Talk

Consider two ways that a girl can (and American girls often do) speak the same message:
[In a whiney, high-pitched voice] "Do you even KNOW how difficult it is being a girl in a bar? last night I WANTed to just, like, hang out, but then this suuuper weird guy, like, comes up to me or whatever, and just STANDS there and is all awkward, like, as if he was going to start a conversation or whatever, but like, then - I don't know - he just... looked at me... it was just, I don't know, weird. So then he just goes 'can I buy you a drink?' and I didn't know what to say because I felt bad, but then Jenna just steps in all of a sudden and goes like, 'what do you want? do you wanna to talk to her? why don't you just TALK to her? because buying her a drink is just like buying a conversation from her anyway.' I mean, like, the whole thing was sooooo. embarrassing. I should have just, like, never even gone out."
...compared to:
[In a normal female voice] "It's awkward sometimes being a girl in a bar. Last night I didn't particularly want to meet any guys, but I went out with some girlfriends anyway. One guy - who was more than a little strange - approached me, hesitated awkwardly for a few long seconds, then nervously asked if he could buy me a drink. I froze up because I didn't want to hurt his feelings by refusing. But then Jenna stepped in and rudely demanded to know what he really wanted from me. She even asked him why he didn't just start a conversation with me, rather than trying to 'buy' the opportunity with a drink. The whole situation was embarrassing; I wish I'd stayed home."
I am sure you don't need me to tell you which of the two is more attractive to men. But here is the interesting thing: I know plenty of genuinely smart women who talk like the first example. It isn't always so bad, but often it is. Rather than using their abilities to do otherwise, they subconsciously attempt to mimic stupid women. They do this because stupid women are usually also beautiful and popular. In other words, they emulate them out of insecurity and a desire to be more beautiful or popular. Smart, confident women - even if they aren't beautiful - do not talk like the first example.

Smart girls that do talk like idiots are right in one sense: men are attracted to the women who talk that way. But what they don't realize is that men like these women because they are beautiful - that is, in spite of their apparent lack of intelligence, not because of it.

You've seen the same phenomenon in men. Think about how many guys you know that are smart, but still talk like jocks or meat-heads (whose speech habits actually do represent their lack of intelligence) to some degree, in order to feign masculinity, "coolness" and confidence:
[In an exaggeratedly deep, "macho" voice] "Dude, so, after we hit the beach, do you wanna maybe... I don't know, hit up downtown tonight? I mean, but first we should grab something to eat or somethin' 'cause I'm gonna be starving. Gotta make sure we eat before we party, you know? Otherwise tomorrow morning will be suuuper painful man."
...compared to:
[In a normal male voice] "Hey, what do you think about going out downtown tonight after we get back from the beach? We should stop to eat first though; we don't want to drink on an empty stomach - that's like begging for a hangover."
Think about how much less attractive the first example of male speech is compared to the second. That is how ugly you sound to men when you talk like the first female example. I have met or seen a few gorgeous women that I was uncontrollably attracted to until they opened their mouths, and I've experienced the same loss of attraction in lesser degrees countless other times.

So stop and think for a moment about your speech habits:

  • Do you articulate ideas or stories concisely?
  • Do you say "like" or "you know" or "um" all the time?
  • Do you over-emphasize modifiers rather than choosing ones with stronger meanings?
  • Do you talk in run-on sentences?
  • Do you hyperbolize your vocal tone into an obnoxious pseudo-feminine whine?

If you do any of these, stop. You are crushing your ability to attract a man on a personal level. Even if men don't need you to have a PhD, we are attracted to women who can think; and if this isn't evident in your speech, we will assume that you cannot.

29 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks. I want to hear what people think about those stick figures. It took me a long time to get the expression right on the dude. It is supposed to be a kind of "turned-off, puzzled" look.

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    2. The picture is great I think in part because it looks as if the lady is oblivious to the distress of the male.

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  2. I hated it when women talk like that. They think it makes them look pretty and popular and maybe in high school it does, but in the adult world... successful, beautiful, and powerful women don't speak that way.

    With men, I see a lot of this: "Hey sexxxy! Wut U up 2? Hit me up sumtime," like a horny, desperate 7th grader.

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  3. Interesting post - I was just wondering if this extends to her a woman writes to a man online? By the way, you definitely got the expression right on the guy.

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  4. Yes, beauty is the first qualifier, then intelligence to ensure she is not boring or tiresome, but not intelligent enough to point out your mistakes or to laugh at them.

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  5. I agree with this post. How you talk is attractive. It can lead to deep and meaningful conversation.

    Andrew, do you think if when a man and a woman are new persons to each other, they can get crushed from how they talk and when the conversation deep and meaningful ?

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  6. Great post and artwork. Unfortunately that whiney, high pitched way of talking is taking over the world. In England girls who talk like this also have a habit of abusing the word "literally" all the time.
    "I'm like, literally dying of hunger"

    Horrible.

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  7. And let's add in women who talk like stupid men. And those who use foul language for no reason. It seems to be part of the feminist trend of making women into men with tits. Either way, whatever the cause, its not attractive.

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    1. So true! I live on Staten Island so the rougher ones sound like construction worker thugs and the girls from my neighborhood like valley girls. As for the business world-I think women do it because they're trying to sound relevant and young.

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  8. I so hear you! I've been asked out by handsome black men but they used so much ebonics I cringed. If he says "Shorty, I'm just tryin to get witchu, and step to you," that doesn't count as an invitation to a date.

    It's important to be aware of tempering accents as well. I've met very nice guys from rural towns who had great boyfriend potential but their accents were so thick I spent the whole date asking them to repeat themselves. My family is well spoken and would shred men like that to bits.

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  9. great drawing. very expressive

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  10. Women get nervous too. I often find that when I'm talking to a guy who I find extremely attractive that my sentences somehow fill themselves with 'like' 'um' and other annoying turns of phrase. I get so tongue tied, lose my train of thought, and the alternative seems to be blushing and silence. I don't have this problem when speaking to women or unattractive men.

    This phenomena is not always a matter of mimicking stupid women out of insecurity. For me, at least, trying to speak to a really hot guy makes me suddenly stupid and unable to articulate. This is something I've been thinking about lately, but I don't know how to bluff my way through it or adequately control it. The best way I've found so far is just to avoid eye contact, but avoiding eye contact is bad form. Any suggestions, Andrew, for how to stop this inarticulate nonsense when it counts?

    And for guys, I suppose this is a good indicator that a woman wants what is in your pants?... Whether she is mimicking out of insecurity, or just uncontrollably hot and flustered, apparently women speak like idiots when they really, really are attracted to a man?

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    1. Some women "speak like idiots" because ... they're not very smart. Some women speak like idiots out of habit because they're addicted to drama, and the first conversation is much more likely to hold the attention of her friends and win her points with them. And, as you noted, others speak like idiots because they're nervous.

      The problem is that none of these possibilities is particularly appealing to a man like Andrew who is looking for someone to marry. Of course, the last possibility (nerves) is the most flattering interpretation, but it does signal to the man that you hardly ever receive attention from someone so good looking, which has to make him wonder why.

      Maybe Andrew can share how he got over his anxiety about approaching women. I imagine the same techniques would work for keeping calm when approached by someone you are attracted to. (Of course, it's a lot harder to practice this since you have to wait for someone attractive to approach you.) If you can convince yourself that attractive guys simply won the genetics lottery and aren't worthy of worship on that basis alone, you'll be on your way.

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  11. I attract the most guys when I say nothing, witty funny girl who remembers all the ny times articles she reads is not very hot. When I say nothing I really get complimented to bad I prefer making people laugh.

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  12. I'm from the south, so down here we say yall or ya. Would it be better to stop saying that?

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  13. Point taken... If one tends to talk like that, know how others might take it... I disagree with the "subconscious" imitation by smart women, though. I find I talk more like that when I'm feeling hyper and silly. Perhaps it's associated with excitability? I live in a party city and some of my friends talk more like that than people of the same education in other cities. Maybe, somehow, it's related, like through personality or subculture, with being fun-loving?... I'm just guessing... But I know that being beautiful or popular isn't related to being dumb (I don't buy that one), so if it is related to talking like that, maybe there's something else common to the two... Maybe a bit of extroversion, even... Thinking out your words less before you speak, being less aware of them... More just talking as you think or feel...

    Love your blog, by the way (don't agree with every point, but appreciate that you took the time to write all this). People should talk more about these things, but it's often considered impolite or not-PC to point out certain things. The beauty and freedom and authenticity of the written word and the internet (I know, authenticity and internet writing... often the opposite of true).

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  14. For those of us who aren't American, what's your take on accents? Are some accents regarded as unattractive?

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    1. To American men, most foreign accents are attractive. I don't think there is one that is categorically more attractive to all men than the others - or if there is, I don't know what it is.

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  15. I have spent far too long surrounded by people who use ebonics, and I CANNOT STAND it. Then again, I was raised by an English major and it would be hard for me to break my habit and do what you're warning against.
    (I do pitch my voice higher at times, since I've tricked some people into thinking I was a boy.)
    Thanks.

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  16. very well written. anyone would get this and that's what i think is the strength of this article.

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  17. i just stopped here to comment that the drawing of the boy is literally phenomenal and you should write a graphic novel with dating advice.

    maybe not. but you have a talent for putting dating advice into a succinct cartoon.

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  18. I actually like how the first guy sounds. Kind of more energetic/enthusiastic than the second one.

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  19. I just stumble on your blog Andrew and I can't stop scrolling ang clicking the related post. I love it and will absolutely share this link to my friends. It saved me from buying those catchy titled magazines and books in the store but seriously nothing worth reading but just be sorry you actually just paid for the thick cover as if some kinda bullet proof. Man, seriously if we could pay for reading your blog I would pay rather than buying those expensive push-up bras ahaha. This actually helps a lot than taking Trigonometry in school (well, obviously I don't know why I used trigo as an example) . This is so much help for girls who grew up watching romantic movies and goes paranoid everytime the guy she's dating just liked someone's profile picture on facebook or simply by knowing if the guy in the bar u danced with and asked your number really likes you. I would literally beg for you to keep this GENIUSNESS because yes, girls sometimes, well most of the time, we overthink from the guessing game of what the hell is on your (guys) mind.

    So keep it up and don't even get a break!! Haha kidding.

    Art LYnne saying HI from the Philippines.:)

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  20. I sometimes get a very weird accent that kinda sounds British and Caribbean at the same time, people often point it out, but especially guys. They mostly repeat what I say the way I say it, mocking I guess? But anyways, I just wonder if they think it's attractive or they just think I'm stupid.

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  21. I wanted to add that a overly strong accent added to the first manner of speaking for a women doubles the desire not to speak with her. Especially here in boston where the accent can be a bit much. As a man growing up here i have a lot of it but its balanced with quality speaking skills and vocabulary. and many women say its attractive on a smart Boston man. However i have never heard anyone say they think its hot to hear a boston accent on a female !

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  22. I am shocked that so many women on this site are lapping up information from this self-proclaimed expert. Please, women, have more self-respect! You're being advised to be smart, but not too smart, wear makeup, carry yourself a certain way, etc. Who is this person, who holds himself out to be an expert on matters involving women? I wonder how successful he has been in his personal relationships. Not very, I'm guessing.

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