Monday, August 11, 2008

Female Narcissism

A couple of caveats: (One) I would prefer to make my first post something more positive… begin on an up note. This is a blog, however, and this is what’s happening with me right now. (Two) I don’t like getting into the whole battle of the sexes thing. The world has enough wars, whether cold, hot, or metaphorical, and I’m not trying to start any more. That being said, I have a couple of things to say about narcissism; in particular about female narcissism. A couple of weeks back Roissy threw up a post with the following quote:

Motherhood has always been the best remedy for female narcissism.”- F. Roger Devlin

I don’t have anything to say about that particular quote, but I do want to offer some perspective on female narcissism. Men are perfectly capable of being narcissistic. The male ego is the most obvious form this can take. The thing about female narcissism, and what makes it so frustrating, is that it so often gets sublimated into some sort of fake consideration. What follows is an example.

I have a profile on an internet dating site. I had a lot of success on it where I used to live, but since moving to DC it’s been a great big bust. I think there are specific reasons for this, but that’s another post. I still go on the site and look around every once in a while. If I see someone that has potential, I send her a message. I keep it short. I keep it light. If a girl is interested, all it takes is to let her know that I’m not a complete moron, and that I can make her laugh. So… what should I think when I send a one-line, very light, very breezy comment to someone, and then, two weeks later, get this message back:

I'm flattered by your interest. You seem like a great person but this isn't what I'm looking for.

Some of you may be tempted to think that she didn’t get my message for a while, or just had so many responses, and since she’s such a nice girl, she wanted to send me a brief, polite response acknowledging my message even though she wasn’t particularly interested.

To any of you who believe that: I’ve got some prime real estate spanning the East River that I can let go for a fraction of its market value.

It’s more likely that this girl experienced some form of rejection herself in the two weeks between my sending and her replying. What better way to make herself feel better, then to “reject” someone herself? The idea that I might have spent that two weeks lamenting not getting a response is so much more insulting than the idea of her not being interested in me. If she had any real interest in being nice, she would have realized that. This, however, is the game we play. We transfer our own feelings around like a game of emotional hot potato. We make ourselves feel better by trying to make someone else feel worse, and then pretend that it makes us “bigger” people.

So, what are the takeaways from this?

Ladies: Get over yourselves. We’re guys. We make advances; that’s just what we do. Don’t make too much, or too little, of them. Since men make the first move most of the time, you’re often going to be in a position to say yea or nay. Don’t let that go to your head. If you get a brief message on an internet dating site, the guy has probably sent out twenty more and expects seventeen to be ignored. Any guy who gets offended at not getting a response back, probably doesn’t deserve the response in the first place.

Gentleman: Don’t obsess too much over what you’re saying to women. It’s much more important how you say things. At the end of the day, she’s going to be making her decisions much more on the signals you’re sending and on her own intuition than on any sort of rational reaction to what you’ve said.

No comments: