I was visiting earlier today with yet another new friend of mine who will soon be a part of the Virtuosity series. One of his specialties is body language and “semiotics”… that ultra-cool study of the “signals” we as humans send each other, even unconsciously.
Basically, the real-world truth is that if you can get some of this stuff down it’s like having super powers when it comes to relating to others, especially when it comes to measuring a woman’s interest level. So this was a truly engaging conversation, without a doubt.
So later this afternoon, with my mind tuned in to this subject already, I happened to notice that someone left the TV on again in the living room. One of those dating reality shows was on, and in it, something fascinating was happening. A guy was talking to a woman, apparently attempting to flirt with her.
Nothing new there. But this was a particularly curious example.
The gal was one of those hotties who in MTV production-speak “appears between 18-24”. As fortune would have it, she was also petite, smiley, and had one of those high-pitched happy-go-lucky voices that tends to make other women’s eyes roll, but to some (if not most) guys represents some sort of innocent, fun “cuteness” that tends to drive them wild.
So she was bouncing about her business, with the guy following her around running game on her.
And to my utter, complete horror he was talking to her in the same exact tone and inflection that she was using.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’ t really think this was that guy’s usual style. It’s just that when we are wrapped up in pursuing what’s commonly known as “rapport”, we as humans tend to use “mirroring” behaviors as a way of building common ground. We can do this either consciously or unconsciously.
And the thing is, this is typically a GOOD IDEA. Anyone who has ever been coached ahead of some key face-to-face meeting like, say, a job interview, has been taught this sort of strategy. You know the drill: “When the interviewer changes his/her seating position, change yours to the same.” “When he or she nods, nod also.” “If the interviewer uses a certain style or cadence of speech, follow his or her example.” Like I said, this usually affects the intended results (i.e. rapport, trust, etc.) like magic.
There’s only one problem with this strategy as it relates to the “dating show” situation above. And that’s this issue we’ve come to know affectionately as “Igniting Femininity With Masculinity”.
If you’re a true grizzled veteran of online dating (relatively speaking), you may remember how Match.com at one time included “baby talk” in its litany of selections under “turn on/turn offs”. They quickly discontinued it. This probably had something to do with the fact that 99.999% of all women had it checked as a “turn off”. Meanwhile, most guys don’t use those ridiculous checkboxes anyway, if they know what’s good for them. So essentially, it was a moot option.
Women can’t stand it when men “baby talk” them. Following logically, this also means that women probably also can’t stand it when men “mirror” their feminine, “cutie-pie” voice inflection.
Think this doesn’t apply to you? Check yourself. It can creep in before you even realize what has happened…to the most masculine of men, no less.
Years ago I used to live in one of those apartment complexes with the notoriously thin walls. Beside me lived a city police officer and his wife, who happened to fit the aforementioned MTV girl’s persona fairly closely. On weekend mornings, I’d wake up not to sounds of orgasmic pleasure from the other side but rather to plaintive, sweet wailings of “C’mon honeeee….puh-leeeze? Don’t you want meeee? Why don’t you want to tryyy thaaat??? Awwww….c’mon….Whyyy nawwwt??” You guessed it. It was HIS voice, not HERS. And this guy seemed like a decent enough man when I saw him around…he was a cop for Heaven’s sake.
Well, it wasn’t long before she kicked him out. Go figure. But in his mind, my guess is that he didn’t even realize how he sounded. He was just relating to his wife in a manner that to him signaled rapport.
So how do we as guys get so blind to this? Maybe it has to do with the fact that we talk to small children like this all the time. And puppies. I guess. Hey, it was good for Mr. Rogers, so that must be how it’s done. Every guy who doesn’t have kids of his own-or even nephews and nieces-basically goes “Fred Rogers” on every little kid he meets due to sheer lack of practice. And yeah, that’s a particularly large number of us guys, isn’t it?
My own personal epiphany on this issue came a couple of years ago when my then five-year-old daughter was living with me full-time. One of my female friends noted that I essentially talked like Justin B. Frenzione (see “Nice Guys Need Love Tooooo” Comedy-Cast on iTunes) to her. I responded by stating, “Well she’s a kid…so I talk to her like a kid.” Female Friend didn’t miss a beat in retorting with, “Yeah well, I’m a cute redhead in a sundress but I don’t hear you talking to me like you’re…um…a cute redhead in a sundress.”
So I tried talking to my daughter in the same tone of voice I speak in to everyone else…even if the subject matter itself is slightly different. The result? No more discipline issues. The kid has almost super-human self-confidence. And I’m basically her hero, or so she tells me.
But this isn’t about parenting, it’s about YOU pulling wild success with cute redheads in sundresses. Just like my daughter needed a DAD, even the petite cuties want a MAN. This means that you keep your identity in check and resist every urge to “mirror” her inflections or (need I say this?) her mannerisms. Keep your identity as a MAN intact that you’ve been deserving what you want with elsewhere. She’ll respond powerfully. Either that, or if she has a similar problem she’ll start talking to you in a gruff voice with her eyebrows furrowed.
I saw your reaction to that last statement. Yikers. It sort of puts everything in perspective. Men love women. Women love men. Deserve.
[About the Author]:
Scot Mckay is well-known for his monumental The Leading Man program, for his multiple top-ranked podcasts on iTunes and his unique formula for online dating success–in which he objectively demonstrates how to literally dominate one’s entire metro area on the dating site of your choice.