Guys are aggressive, goal-oriented and more confident than their female counterparts.
Sure, that was an extreme generalization and stereotype-enhancing statement, but there’s certainly some truth to it. As females, we’ve been spoon-fed the ideals that women need to be ladies, think about others first, be passive as to not offend anyone and be a ‘nice’ girl. And while I am all for embracing my femininity, being a fierce female and loving my feminist leanings, I can’t help but notice the ways in which guys manage to get ahead and lead a more stress-free life by simply ‘acting like guys’.
Since it’s more socially acceptable and even expected for men to behave in certain ways, they tend to have a leg up on females and the way we operate. In some situations, harnessing male aggression and assertiveness can pay big dividends.
Modesty and humility seem to be essential characteristics of a well-mannered woman, or so we are told. But when interviewing for a job, asking for a promotion or writing your resume, confidence and bravado are crucial. If you’re deserving of a promotion or qualified for a job, you need to be upfront and toot your own horn. Take every opportunity to boast about your recent accomplishments, achievements and successes with practical examples.
Companies want to hire and advance individuals that are confident in their skill sets and not afraid to display their assertiveness. In the same way that companies hock cosmetics, you must unabashedly market yourself — what are your strengths, what do you bring to the table, what about your track history is indicative of future success? Articulate the reasons that you are an ideal candidate for a promotion or job. If you aren’t confident in your skills and knowledge, why should anyone else be? Of course, there’s a fine line between arrogantly bragging and conservatively self-promoting, so use your best judgment.
Check your feelings at the door
Stop taking things personally and don’t take every comment so seriously. When your roommate or professor says something slightly cutting, don’t take it to heart and let it fester. Guys have this amazing ability to blow off criticism, insulting jokes and offensive remarks. While it’s important to stick up for yourself and defend your character when necessary, we should take a cue from males and let thing roll off of our figurative backs a bit more.
Women as a whole are a bit more sensitive, and this sensitivity is often the source of conflict. Meanwhile, guys pick and choose their battles a bit more, and they seemingly look past rude remarks or joking potshots. Someone at the bar make a snide joke about your outfit? Laugh it off, smile and rock that cute ensemble, secure in the fact that you look fierce and fabulous.
Love that cute vintage purse at the thrift shop or garage sale, but think the price is too steep? Did you order your steak well-done but it came out bloody and barely cooked? Are you considering buying a friend’s used car but the price tag is just a touch out of your range? Whether demanding a refund, sending food back or negotiating a bargain, it’s important to assert yourself and stand your ground. Don’t be concerned with being viewed as a bitch or demanding — it’s your money and you’re entitled to receive what you want and what you ask for.
The Dating Game
Taking on a male mindset when it comes to dating can be truly beneficial. Buck tradition and stop playing the waiting game. For the most part, when a guy sees a girl he likes, he goes after her, and there’s no reason women shouldn’t act in the same manner. Why wait for the cute blue-eyed boy at the gym to talk to you? Sashay over to his treadmill and start up a conversation about the marathon you’re training for. Is that boy at Starbucks hiding behind his laptop making your heart skip a beat? Shoot him a flirty smile and make your way over to his wannabe-virtual office. Taking charge and being assertive can be a real-turn on to guys. Playing coy and hard-to-get in 10th grade homeroom might work, but as a grown woman, these silly games are slightly outdated and juvenile.
Ever notice how wonderfully uncomplicated male friendships are? Guys tend to not over-analyze their friendships and roll with the punches. Unlike females, males have a penchant for taking things at face value and not reading so deeply into everything. Faced with a conflict with a buddy, a typical male will just let a few days pass, decide to get over it and go out for a cold one with the offending buddy. By not holding grudges or letting their concerns fester quietly, most guys I know actually have healthier friendships than their female counterparts.
Have a beef with a friend? Say something. I’ve noticed that guys speak their mind in a blatant and up-front manner, instead of being passive aggressive or harboring hurt feelings. Another way guys have healthier friendships is through pigeonholed purposes. Guys tend to categorize their friends: drinking buddies, buddies to confide in, their boys that they can rely on, guys that are a fun time but otherwise useless, and so on. Boys don’t expect to have an all-purpose friend, they know what their buddies’ strengths and weaknesses are, and act accordingly.
[Got any other tips? Let us hear ’em…]