Fake it ’till you Make it! :D

~ response to Penelope Trunk’s post ~

PT: “For example, The Economist reports that men overestimate how attracted women are to them, and women underestimate how interested men are. This research comes from an article in Evolution and Human Behavior, and the conclusion is that the poor estimating is actually good for evolution, because men don’t miss opportunities to spread their DNA, and women make sure to mate with someone who will stick around.”

hahaha Biology aside, in most cases, I find both situations to be true as far as men overestimating and women underestimating. IMO that’s because of what men and women (stereotypically) approach “relationships” for in the first place. I’m not sure who said this, but I read somewhere that “men give relationships to get sex and women give sex to get relationships”. 😀 That pretty much sums it up.

Not that this never happens, but I don’t know ANY guys (who had a choice, that is) that chose their SO without being sexually attracted to her. ‘Matter of fact, I don’t know ANY guys that have ever even dated women that they weren’t sexually attracted to for one reason or another. I’m not saying these women were “hot”, but just that there was something about them that made that guy interested in having sex with her, and that’s what made her a candidate for dating, a relationship, becoming a girlfriend or a wife.

OTOH, women date men all the time that they’re not sexually attracted to. Women date men that they’re not even sure are attracted to women. Again, “stereotypically”, that’s not what they’re ‘in it’ for. They’re in it for the way they relate to him and how it is to spend time with him.

I think the over- and under-estimation is based on projection. Guys know that the main reason they would talk to a woman is that they’re attracted to her, so they project that onto her and figure she’s attracted to them BECAUSE she’s talking to them, or accepting their rap. Meanwhile, women talk to guys they like because they like their personalities and ways of being, so they project that onto the guy, and think he has a platonic interest in her… or, perhaps that he chose her based on what she said or has accomplished in life vs how she looks and how turned on he is by her.

PT: “Here’s another relationship study that makes me think of work: A good relationship hinges more on expressing joy from someone else’s good news than about how you react to their bad news. Benedict Carey writes in The New York Times that a slew of studies find that your reaction to someone’s good news is an opportunity to strengthen the relationship. So don’t brush off your spouse when she has a good day at work, and the same goes for your co-worker’s good news — express enthusisam. (Thanks, Mercedes)”

hmm. I don’t know that the two are different… responding to good news or bad news. I would think the important part would be the quality and value of the response instead of which format the information was received in.

Let’s say the good news was “I got a promotion” and the bad news was “you look fat in that dress” 😀 The quality of her response to either one can strengthen or weaken a relationship. As far as “how the day was @ work”… Women are notorious for telling men things they never asked about. 😀 It’s tough to fake interest in and enthusiasm for something you didn’t want to hear in the first place. OTOH, your advice is on-point. FAKING that interest and enthusiasm is better for your relationship than telling her to get out from in front of the television because they’re about to kick off for the second half! 😀

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10 Comments

  1. Hi, Bill. This makes me laugh, “women are notorious for telling men things they never asked about.” This is completely true for every boyfriend I’ve had, and true for my husband, who now gives me rote responses because I get so annoyed when he says nothing.

    I wonder, though, if this happens at work — which is, of course, the territory of most of my writing. It is clear that women talk differently at work when there are no men in the room. So I have a feeling that women know to adjust conversation for men to cover the topics that the men like (sports, anyone?)

    I wonder, though, if women are able to quell their tendency to talk when men don’t care, or if it is impossible, because men actaully care about so little 🙂 And if that’s the case, then men must be extra annoyed by women at work because usually there is no possiblity of sex.

  2. PT; I wonder, though, if women are able to quell their tendency to talk when men don’t care, or if it is impossible, because men actaully care about so little And if that’s the case, then men must be extra annoyed by women at work because usually there is no possiblity of sex.

    hahaha First of all….. there’s *ALWAYS* ‘possibility of sex’ in the workplace! 😀 Even if there isn’t, the guy THINKS there is or IS THINKING about it anyway, so in his perception (assuming he’s interested in his co-worker) there’s always a chance, however extremely remote it may be… that she’ll hook up with him.

    Second, you’re right that part of the problem is that men care about so little, hahaha. The trick for women is to learn to PERCEIVE when he doesn’t care what you’re talking about. That’s the proverbial “tough row to hoe”, because just as you pointed out that men overestimate how attracted women are to them… women overestimate how INTERESTED men are in what they have to say. Men don’t make this easier, because they ACT LIKE they’re interested to make the situation go away as soon as possible. This isn’t so much of a problem in the workplace, IMO, because she might have some technical information that’s necessary for your job. In that case, men are all ears. As long as it’s something worthwhile TO HIM to hear about, whether that’s business or a shared hobby (fixing cars or whatever), it’s easy to actually be involved in that conversation.

    I guess the bottom line is that if she would just learn about what he actually LIKES to talk about, she’d be able to judge whether or not to bring up the family get-together she attended with her three aunts and grandmother where they talked about crocheting and sipped lemonade in the back yard….. :/

    1. I wonder, though, if women are able to quell their tendency to talk when men don’t care, or if it is impossible, because men actaully care about so little 🙂 And if that’s the case, then men must be extra annoyed by women at work because usually there is no possiblity of sex.

      1. I think you bring up an interesting point, Brian. 🙂

        Men care about so little that it’s going to be tough for a woman that just wants to run her mouth (or does it without knowing she’s doing it) to hit relevant topics that he might authentically engage her in. Of course, he’s going to murmur “Uh Huh”, “Yeah?”, “Oh Yeah?”, “Really?” to make her feel like he’s paying attention to her when he obviously never turned his head away from the television with the game on (which she never noticed, because she’s too busy talking incessantly). I think this adds to the problem.

        Tough Love would be to inform her that he doesn’t care about what she’s talking about and give her a list of viable topics.. Football, Chicks, Beer, you know… Good stuff. Useful stuff. If she wants to talk about that, they’ll both enjoy it. Otherwise, she can keep it to herself.

        Unfortunately, this usually results in the woman keeping SEX to herself, which negates your reason for spending time with her in the first place. This is why guys don’t say anything about chicks babbling about nothing. It’s all a means to an end. “Go Along to Get Along”. It still creates a spiral of non-communication because the guy keeps ignoring her so she keeps giving it up.

        I think men are LESS annoyed by women at work, because there are relevant things for the women to talk about. As annoying as it is to hear about how their day was or what happened when they went shopping, I can listen to an INTELLIGENT woman speak about her field of expertise ALL. DAY. LONG! 😀 Women have no idea how great it is to be able to “talk shop” with them. It’s such an anomaly, it’s just FANTASTIC! 😀

        So I think talking with women at work would be way better than talking with women that don’t have any particular career and are basically unskilled laborers. ULs didn’t actually DO anything today, so they shouldn’t have anything to SAY about today. 😀 … BUT NOOOOOOOO! Yak Yak Yak Yak Yak Yak Yak Yak Yak Yak Yak Yak Yak Yak Yak Yak Yak Yak Yak Yak Yak Yak Yak Yak Yak Yak….

        Thanks for the comment, Brian! 😀

  3. Faking it… (and the suggestion that BC try his hand at couples counseling)

    Anyone who has read the various postings by the One, Mr. Cammack, might recognize my name and pretty much know that I tend to chime in with hard held “facts” based on my own opinions and/or personal experiences. I will deviate from that for a brief moment as I do have questions that could use some answers. For instance faking it till you make it, when does that stop and who is expected to stop?? Better yet, why is the man expected to continue faking it but the woman can suddenly find the righteous and honest side of her personality?

    For instance: “Honey does this dress make me look fat”? What’s the right answer?
    “Not at all sweetie, that cheeseburger you just ate makes you look fat”, NO!
    “What? No No, that extra chin makes you fatter than that dress ever could”, NO!
    “Baaaaaby, the azz that has no starting point and the back that has no ending… That’s what makes you look fat.”, again NO!!

    The correct answer “No my love it doesn’t.” AND even this response will open the door to the next argument of the day “How do you know?? You didnt even look!!”!

    Now, that would require me to keep faking it at a time which should see our relationship in a position to be able to withstand a little honesty or criticism. After all, its her love and appreciation for us that makes her be brutally honest even when we DON’T ask

    For instance: “Uhm, baby… those pants look tight on you. When was the last time you wore them?”. Expected answer “Thank You love, what would I do without you?”.
    “Don’t get carried away, I seen/had bigger/better…”. Expected response “ok, you right. I was getting a little too big for my own good.”
    (Can you imagine telling HER that you seen a better body or had better sex??)

    A woman is prone to poke your gut even if you havent gained a pound since the two of you met BUT dont get caught noticing that she may have gained some “happy” weight. Shyt, if its happy weight then you should be happy I noticed!

    Basically we all understand that we all put on an inflated perception of who we are when trying to snag the other person, Faking it ’till you Make it!! But the questions beg to be asked, how long does the faking continue and why does it not apply evenly to both??

    Penelope… Bill…????

  4. Hi,

    To answer your question I guess it depends on the situation or how much you care about the other person. If the relation ship is not that serious (i.e your just waiting for your turn to make the next pick at the draft) Then keep faking it. OTOH if your really in a serious relationship you have to risk it’s all in the way you approach it.

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