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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 25-Aug-13


Sunday 25-August-13

How to handle men in three easy steps

My daughter recently told me about her secret formula for getting men to do what she wants. Here's her method, plus a few notes from her father.

1. Look them in the eye

Looking a person in the eye for anything more than a moment has two possible meanings: that you are showing aggression (I'm sizing you up for attack) or showing attraction (You're so gorgeous I can't take my eyes off you). Normally the context makes it clear which is which. But when a woman looks at a man directly in a non-romantic situations it can cause him to be rather confused (Does she fancy me? Is she being dominant?). Thoughts of dominant stares might cause an aggressive reaction, but the implication of a possible romantic undertone softens this and very largely avoids confrontation.

Overall, the man is likely to give in, at least a little, perhaps in a faint hope of a romantic liaison and perhaps because his is a bit cowed (remembering a dominant mother or teacher, perhaps). And perhaps he also suffers a paralyzing combination of the two. When paralyzed like this, we grasp at straws, and so he becomes more pliant and open to suggestion.

2. Be direct

My daughter suggests here telling men what you want from them. Be clear and concise. Do not beat around the bush.

One of the sources of uncertainty between men and women occurs where the woman sends what she things is a subtle but very clear message, but which goes straight over the man's head. Women get subtle communications far more than men, who tend to be more direct. Being direct with them uses their own style and hence improves the chance of understanding.

In conversation with other males, directness can show assertive dominance, which men may dislike. The previous step of eye contact, however, will soften up most men sufficiently so they do not push back.

3. Laugh heartily at their jokes

A common pattern between men and women is that women laugh more than men. This is helped by the way men try more to make women laugh. When a man makes a witty comment, then a wry smile is not enough. A genuine and wholesome laugh is appreciated more, though beware that a prolonged and forced guffaw would not be appreciated.

While this is not directly related to persuasion and so may seem a strange third item, it is one of the best ways to ensure that men like and accept you, and so create a route to agreement. If they make a witty comment, then laughing pays them a compliment that costs nothing and leads to them wanting to reciprocate the kindness. It also seals agreements and makes them think 'What a splendid person'.

Overall, I thought these a neat trio, though perhaps a little limited. After all, people are far more complex than this. Yet these methods are derived from practice and my daughter does seem to have plenty of compliant male friends. Maybe she's onto something. Women of the world, take note! Men of the world, practice your jokes.

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