I was reading an amusing article on Jezebel – How To Chase Men Away… Using Science! – which was a rant by a woman fed up with reading articles claiming to have found the ultimate secret formula for how a woman can be irresistibly attractive to men… at the least to the men whom she wants to attract. That’s the problem really… we’re all, men and women, attractive to someone, sometimes several someones, we’re just not always attracted to those whom we attract. And being rather complex we tend to want to attract the people who don’t seem the least bit interested in us, rather than those who do. Why?
Further on in the article the writer tackles the problem of chasing away those who are attracted to us, but whom we are not attracted to. Her methods are a bit… Extreme? Drastic? Designed to elicit laughter from the reader?
It’s very flattering to be found desirable enough for someone to face their fear of being rejected to approach us. Rejection is something most of us deal with rather badly. It’s a blow to the ego, our self image, and to our hearts. Some people are bolder than others, they play the numbers game. We admire and hate them a little bit for being so courageous, seemingly immune to rejection, and persistent.
Persistence can pay off… but it also walks the fine line between being determined and being a stalker. Some of the most persistent people who never take no for an answer, who wear you down, perhaps with very charming and romantic gestures, until you say yes to them, although appearing superficially as winners, successful, and driven, are often later revealed as control freaks who are a nightmare in the stages of a relationship which follow the initial seduction and romantic courtship. If they can get you to say yes after you have repeatedly said no… nothing you ever say will have meaning to them because they are in control of you, which is how they like it.
It is very tempting to alter ourselves, how others perceive us, to get the attention we crave. To be desired. To be considered special enough to be pursued. To be in a position to pick and choose who we give ourselves to, and who we don’t. We are encouraged to seek ways of being more attractive, mostly by people who earn a living selling us the tools of being more attractive.
Some of those who profit from our vanity and longing to be the apple of someone’s eye, are advice givers. Those who rake in multi-millions by writing a guide and how-to book. They not only lure us in with the prospect of being a love god or goddess, but they tantalise our minds with promises of imparting secrets and knowledge.
Ultimately though, if we change ourselves to attract who we want to attract… what happens afterwards? Do we have to keep the seductive charade up for the rest of the relationship? If someone was attracted to you for who you were pretending to be, will they still love you when you reveal who you really are?
I have to admit that I don’t really know much about this subject. I scare the crap out of men and women. Strangers only tend to approach me when they want directions, otherwise they tend to leave me alone. I also have one of those faces which tends to attract people looking for a confessional to dump all their troubles, but they never stick around because who wants to hang out with someone who knows all their secrets and sins.
Men tend to find me intimidating, and quite a few have told me that they figured that I was a lesbian. Women tend to find me unfeminine, a bit too masculine in my behaviour, as in I have all the traits which they find annoying in men. Blame it on my upbringing, I didn’t actually think about my gender and all that it entailed until I hit puberty, and by then it was too late, my personality is rather androgynous.
My most attractive trait, based on the behaviour of others, both male and female, is my ability to focus entirely on the person I am with and remove myself completely from the interaction. I don’t think about myself when I am with other people, I think about them and what they need from me. If it is within my power and will to give them what they need, then I do.
Runners up to what makes me attractive – I am friendly, open-minded, not prone to being judgmental, I tend to accept people as they are. I don’t mind making a fool of myself. I don’t take myself seriously, I can take the piss out of myself relentlessly, and I’m quite funny, although my humour can be very deadpan and twisted. I am also a very good listener (see unattractive traits for more).
My most unattractive trait, based on experience with other people, is when I am fully present in an interaction. When I am exactly who I am, saying what I think and letting others know exactly how I feel, not filtering my words to suit my audience and their delicate ears. This can come as quite a shock to those who have enjoyed me at my most attractive. Some people just don’t have the flexibility needed to understand that people are multi-faceted. They can be kind and cruel, one doesn’t cancel out the other.
Runners up to what makes me unattractive – I am arrogant, as in I know myself well and like myself most of the time, this is often perceived as being arrogant which is fine by me. I am unsympathetic, I don’t go to pity parties and don’t feel sorry for people, we all suffer and hurt, it’s an intrinsic part of being human. I have a sick sense of humour, it is never too soon to laugh at something, especially a tragedy (although I tend not to share this due to consideration of the feelings of others. I’m unsympathetic, but I am empathic). I laugh as a reflex to stop myself from wanting to kill myself. I also rarely cry, so my laughter replaces my tears. I am a very good listener, and as I get older I lose patience with how many times I am willing to listen to the same story over and over again. I heard it the first time. I heard it the second time. I heard it the third time. If you tell it to me one more time I am going to snap and tell you every detail I have noticed in the story and you won’t like it. People never do.
That’s me done, your turn…
What makes you attractive to others?
What makes you unattractive to others?