Marianne Spellman

Marianne Spellman
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Seattle-ish, Washington,
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April 06
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JANUARY 26, 2013 5:42PM

THE #1 MOST IMPORTANT TRUTH TO KNOW RE: MEN VS. WOMEN!

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Since both Ann Landers AND Dear Abby are now deceased (RIP, cool gals), I feel like I can step in and offer the interhappenings a few slices of hard-won or completely-made-up wisdom. I know, I know...I can hear you all whooshing this huge sigh of relief while exclaiming, "Oh, THANK THE LORD! There just aren't enough people on the internet giving advice to me! What a blessing to find someone so generous of spirit and arrogant of character as to offer their utterly-unwanted musings on life! Hallelujah!"

Because of and despite this, I'm going to go ahead and lay this funky trip on you. This knowledge is something you can use every day, and is handy as eff. If you remember it and adjust your expectations accordingly, you will save yourself possibly YEARS of confusion and frustration. Seriously. OK, here it comes.

THE #1 TRUTH TO KNOW RE: MEN VS. WOMEN IS...

If a MAN tells you something NEGATIVE about himself, BELIEVE IT.

If a WOMAN tells you something NEGATIVE about herself, DO NOT BELIEVE IT.

Why is this so? I shall explain.

Men are socially conditioned from birth to be winners. Winners know that in order to win, they must never show weakness to anyone, lest competitors use that knowledge to take advantage and beat them out of a job, a mate, or a week's worth of buffalo meat. Winners also know that sometimes they must "fake it to make it," therefore men also have a tendency to over-inflate their skills and accomplishments in order to impress others. They do this so often that sometimes they are not even fully aware that they are either bragging or lying, or at the very least, omitting truthful crucial information.

Women are socially conditioned to be nice. There are heavy and very real penalties for women who don't present a sweet and accommodating temperament to the world. If they try to do the whole "winners" thing, they are labeled "hard," "cold," "unfeminine," or the classic, "a bitch." If they tout their accomplishments or skills, they are "uppity," "too forward," "pushy," or "a bitch." Women get socially rewarded by both men and other women by being self-effacing and modest. They will most often underplay any positive quality about themselves, or even attribute negative qualities to themselves that are simply untrue. It's the human equivalent to a dog with lower pack status rolling over on his back and/or peeing in front of an alpha dog.

SO...

Take all those wimpy denials of competence from women with a forklift of salt. They are often just shields to avoid the harsh backlash of social disapproval, and is a weakness of a particularly insidious, self-fulfilling, and sad kind.

AND...

If a guy makes a point of telling you something unflattering about himself, LISTEN UP, because he is actually handing you a RED FLAG that you need to pay attention to. It's kind of a heads-up so much later on when you are freaked out by something awful he did, he can say, "Hey...it's not like I didn't tell you..." and then can avoid the uncomfortable emotions of responsibility and/or dreaded loserdom.

SO...

There. It seems like we all should have moved past this Neanderthal stuff years ago, and in some ways we have, but at the core of things, this is still in force. Do be aware of it, and be aware of it in yourselves. Do be do be do.

With love, your Internet Friend,

Dear Mariannelanders


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I wish I could understand what you're saying, but you'll need to dumb-it-down for me.

Signed,
a man
Sending all young women and a few of us older chicks over to read and memorize.
For the guys too! They don't get a break, either.
Dear MarianneLanders,

You are just too cool to school...
Cool, fool...either way!
I love these big generalizations. But you reminded me of why I keep mentions of my unseemly aspects to myself. Let 'em find out for themselves I say. Well, what can you expect from someone whose favorite song is No More Mister Nice Guy. Oops, is that a red flag?
If a man tells something bad or icky about himself........ well that's why they tell you not to take up with someone who is in your group-therapy group.

ᴼᴥƪ

R
.
There's a lot of truth to this. By and large, women are the ones who speak unflatteringly about themselves, sometimes to a fault. Men rarely say anything negative about themselves. I'm not sure though that it's completely because they're conditioned to be winners. Sometimes women get down on themselves for attention. Men by and large don't do that. And they're impatient with that kind of mentality.

As the mother of two very different boys though, I've seen firsthand the fallacy of generalizing. One of my sons is a pretty confident, self-assured guy who'd never say anything negative about himself, probably not even it smacked across the face. Or, he'd find a way to turn it into a positive. The other often feels incompetent and worthless. He focuses on what he perceives as his faults instead of his strengths. He keeps it to himself mostly but he's the flip side of the confident male winner coin.
Thanks for sharing that...yes it is my personal responcibility to always be nice...
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