The 9 Male Identities and How They Affect You with Women
One of the pieces I promised sometime back was a write-up on identities, and the role these play in your social interactions, seductions, dating, and relationships.
Identity is a huge, important topic with vast implications for how you move through society, but it isn't one that's much talked about because it's difficult to conceptualize, and more difficult still to nail down.
Nevertheless, having a grasp of what your identity is today, and what you'd like it to be tomorrow, helps shine a little more light on the direction you're headed in socially, and being aware of the different gradations of identity allows you to accurately pinpoint where you might be going right with a given identity, and where you may be going wrong.
So, join me on this journey through the looking glass, and let's examine the sometimes-strange and always interesting topic of your social identity.
Your identity is, plainly and simply, what you identify as and aspire to be, and what other people pinpoint you as identifying as and aspiring to be, and what they stereotype you as.
To best understand how important identity is, we must first understand stereotyping, and the role this plays in our social dynamics. Stereotyping is a powerful, dominating social influence that impacts you far more than you're probably aware it does.
And if you aren't actively cultivating an identity that affords you stereotyping you can best use to your advantage, you may be subject to the whims of negative stereotyping based on less consciously-chosen identities - maybe even identities that, instead of you choosing for yourself, other people have chosen for you.
Stereotyping: The Social Amplification System
A conventional, formulaic, and oversimplified conception, opinion, or image.
One that is regarded as embodying or conforming to a set image or type.
Stereotyping is a mental shortcut used by all human beings to place new individuals they meet into neat little boxes for choosing how to deal with and behave around those individuals. A lot of people get upset about stereotyping, because stereotypes are often heavy-handed and inaccurate, and are sometimes based on very incorrect information - however, because they are a core mental shortcut, no amount of pouting and screaming is going to do anything about them. Even the people who rail against stereotypes themselves make ample use of stereotypes.
Some common examples of stereotypes are:
- Men are more violent than women
- Women are cattier and more gossipy than men
- White people are boring and good at making money
- Black people are confident and aggressive but more prone to criminality
- Asian people are all smart, quiet, passive nerds
- Americans are dumb, fat, arrogant, and uncultured
- British are cultured, unattractive, and stiff
- French are eloquent, attractive, snobbish, and picky
- Latins are unscrupulously sensual individuals in constant search of pleasure
... and so on and so forth. Obviously, these stereotypes are nowhere near universally accurate... in fact, many of them may be quite off the mark for a large portion of the people they aim to neatly wrap up and pack away in a box.
But if they're so often wrong, why are they so damn pervasive?
A simple look at your close friends, colleagues, family members, and paramours probably shows you (assuming you don't live in a totally homogenous community) plenty of exceptions to the usual stereotypes who don't fit that rule - your friend of XYZ race who's nothing like the stereotype for that race; your ex-girlfriend from ABC country who has only the slightest resemblance to her country's stereotype, and you really have to try hard to make that box fit.
Yet, when you meet NEW people from XYZ race or ABC country, you still stereotype them regardless. How come?
The reason why is because your brain is constantly looking for ways to both keep you away from dangerous or unfruitful situations and to drive you toward helpful or fruitful ones. That's the reason for the unconscious reaction and stereotype Jesse Jackson, the prominent black rights activist, admitted to realizing he held some years back:
“There is nothing more painful to me … than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery, then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved.”
It isn't that Jackson believes that all black people are dangerous. It's that he believes he's much safer walking through a bad part of town if he turns around and finds a random white person behind him than if he turns around and finds a random black person.
The clincher is this: if Jesse Jackson turned around and saw someone he knew, it wouldn't matter if the person behind him was black or white. Because he'd know this person, and he'd know he was in no danger. In fact, he'd be even happier to see an acquaintance, black or white, than he would a random white stranger.
Stereotyping is used almost entirely in our assessments of those we don't yet know, to help us decide on the fly how we need to respond to this person:
Is this person potentially a physical danger - might he try to hurt us or rob us?
Is this person potentially a social danger - will being seen with him hurt our reputations?
Is this person potentially a social boon - will having him in our life make our lives better in some way? Might he, then, become a valuable ally?
Is this person a potential mate - is she someone we could take to bed and be happy with?
Those are just a few things we're assessing on the fly about someone new we've just encountered, and while they're often wrong, the mind isn't focused on precision - it's focused on avoiding potentially very bad situations and embracing potentially very good ones.
e.g., seeing an angry-looking guy walking toward you and being afraid of him and getting away is probably silly 9 times out of 10 - there may well be a good explanation why some random guy is walking in your direction looking angry most of the time (he wants to fight that person just in front of you; he's just having a bad day, and is walking home; etc.), but 1 time out of 10 you get attacked for no reason, and maybe even killed.
Conversely, seeing a beautiful woman looking excitedly in your direction, and going over to meet her, may in fact not lead to anything substantial a huge chunk of the time - maybe she was just staring off into space thinking good thoughts, or maybe it was actually your buddy whose attraction she was trying to attract. Yet, the chunk of time you take action and end up with her in your bed makes all the times you took action and got nothing largely irrelevant.
Stereotyping is focused on maximizing opportunities and minimizing threats.
How Do Stereotypes Affect Us?
You're constantly stereotyping everyone you see - "He's fat, so he must be lazy," "She's got a tramp stamp, so she must be a slut," "He's wearing glasses, so he must be smart," "She's dressed quite elegantly, so she must be a real lady" - based on any number of different little tells they give off. You may be right some of the time, or even much of the time, but you almost certainly aren't right all of the time.
But your stereotypes are not what we're concerned with here (and if you want to get rid of the worst negative effects of these, read the article on actor-observer bias); rather, what we're concerned with is how are others' stereotypes of YOU affecting you?
Because I can guarantee you, the effect on you is quite large, and it's almost certainly larger than you know.
From "Automaticity of social behavior: Direct effects of trait construct and stereotype activation on action", published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 1996:
“Previous research has shown that trait concepts and stereotypes become active automatically in the presence of relevant behavior or stereotyped-group features. Through the use of the same priming procedures as in previous impression formation research, Experiment 1 showed that participants whose concept of rudeness was primed interrupted the experimenter more quickly and frequently than did participants primed with polite-related stimuli. In Experiment 2, participants for whom an elderly stereotype was primed walked more slowly down the hallway when leaving the experiment than did control participants, consistent with the content of that stereotype. In Experiment 3, participants for whom the African American stereotype was primed subliminally reacted with more hostility to a vexatious request of the experimenter. Implications of this automatic behavior priming effect for self-fulfilling prophecies are discussed, as is whether social behavior is necessarily mediated by conscious choice processes.”
- People who felt viewed as rude behaved more rudely
- People who felt viewed as elderly walked more slowly
- People who felt viewed as "stereotypical African Americans" became more impatient and more aggressive in response to annoying questions
In other words, how you feel people view you actually dictates, to some extent, your actions and behavior... even to the point of becoming ruder or more impatient or walking more slowly down the hallway because you think you're old.
From "A model of (often mixed) stereotype content: Competence and warmth respectively follow from perceived status and competition", another Journal of Personality and Social Psychology paper, this one published in 2002:
“Stereotype research emphasizes systematic processes over seemingly arbitrary contents, but content also may prove systematic. On the basis of stereotypes' intergroup functions, the stereotype content model hypothesizes that (1) 2 primary dimensions are competence and warmth, (2) frequent mixed clusters combine high warmth with low competence (paternalistic) or high competence with low warmth (envious), and (3) distinct emotions (pity, envy, admiration, contempt) differentiate the 4 competence-warmth combinations. Stereotypically, (4) status predicts high competence, and competition predicts low warmth. Nine varied samples rated gender, ethnicity, race, class, age, and disability out-groups. Contrary to antipathy models, 2 dimensions mattered, and many stereotypes were mixed, either pitying (low competence, high warmth subordinates) or envying (high competence, low warmth competitors). Stereotypically, status predicted competence, and competition predicted low warmth.”
The net finding here was:
People viewed as high status (superiors) are perceived enviously as high in competence and low in warmth; conversely,
People viewed as low status (subordinates) are perceived with pity as low in competence and high in warmth
For our purposes, we can extrapolate this to mean that if someone views you as low status relative to herself, the main problem you have is demonstrating to her that you "get it", and are not some naïve putz; alternately, if someone views you as high status relative to herself, the main problem you have is demonstrating that you are, in fact, a warm person, and not some holier-than-thou high roller who's out of her league.
And here's one more study, this one on the difference between the stereotyping of boys and that of girls, published in the May 2010 volume of Sex Roles:
“Eagly’s social role theory (Eagly and Steffen 1984) was tested examining children’s gender role stereotypes via implicit information processing and memory measures. We explored whether children’s occupational stereotypes were less restrictive for females who engaged in counterstereotypic occupations (Mary-Doctor) compared to males who engaged in counterstereotypic occupations (Henry-Nurse). Fifty-seven American eight- and nine-year-olds from a southwestern city were orally presented with stereotypic male and female names paired with masculine and feminine occupations and asked to create sentences using the name-occupation pairs. We conducted analyses of the created sentences as well as tested children’s memories for the various pairings. Consistent with social role theory, the findings revealed that children’s gender role stereotypes were more restrictive for males, than for females.”
If you read the news media, you may be aware of the constant clarion call for Western women to throw off their restrictive gender roles (as well as for Western men to "man up" and... toe the party line for their own gender roles), but in fact it's the boys, not the girls, with the more restrictive roles here.
Now, I didn't find any research that was quite as cut-and-dry as this research for boy and girl stereotypes, though there are some interesting papers if you want to read more here:
Patterns of Gender Role Conflict and Strain: Sexism and Fear of Femininity in Men's Lives: a discussion of the gender conflict in men's lives as a result of men's fear of being stereotyped as feminine
Gender Role Conflict and Depression in College Men: Evidence for Compounded Risk: a study found a higher risk of depression among men hewing closely to more traditional male gender roles
Confirming Gender Stereotypes: A Social Role Perspective: a study finding that men in moments of high emotional vulnerability, men retreat to "safer" male gender roles, while women in moments of high emotional vulnerability make no effort to retreat to female gender roles
Anyway, the point of all this is not to play "who's the bigger victim"; rather, it is to point out that men are every bit as "restricted" by their stereotypes than women are - more so, in fact.
In other words, people stereotype men harder, and men get stuck deeper in their chosen identities... or, the ones chosen for them by others.
Identity: Your Escape Hatch from Stereotypes
There is, however, a way around all this stereotyping. Its something researchers from Indiana University refer to as an "escape hatch" - a way of pushing the eject button from a given stereotype-identity mix.
That "escape hatch" is merely selecting a different identity to associate oneself with.
From "Capitalizing on Multiple Social Identities to Prevent Stereotype Threat: The Moderating Role of Self-Esteem", published in the February 2010 volume of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin:
“One troubling aspect of membership in a stigmatized group is that negative stereotypes about the group’s performance affect one’s personal performance (i.e., stereotype threat). Women who are made aware of the negative stereotype that “women are bad at math” perform worse than women who are not made aware of this stereotype. However, women can use an “escape hatch” to avoid stereotype threat by identifying with another social identity (i.e., college students) that has positive stereotypes for math performance and having greater feelings of self-worth. This research shows that women who had greater self-esteem and were presented with an alternative, positive social identity were buffered from stereotype threat by eliminating working memory decrements responsible for poor math performance. Women lower in self-esteem, however, did not benefit from a positive, alternative social identity when it was available and thus fell prey to stereotype-based working memory and performance decrements.”
The interesting thing to note here is that the women in the study who were low in self-esteem were unable to switch identities, and thus really were "stuck" in whatever stereotype others used to pigeonhole them with. High self-esteem women, conversely, were able to shut down negative stereotypes by switching to an identity with more positive stereotypes.
On this site, we call this frame control, and it's
essentially down to how good you are at imposing your view of yourself,
others, and the world on the people around you, versus how good they
are at doing it to you. The more dominant individual tends to win here
- or, you might say, the individual who more strongly subscribes to his
own view of the world, in which he makes the rules - the individual
with the higher self-esteem.
So, the bad news is, if you're low in self-esteem, you're probably not in a place yet where you'll be able to effectively switch identities and adopt strong positive stereotypes at will.
The good news is though, if you're high self-esteem, you very likely can - and even if you're lower in self-esteem, you can still chip away at them gradually and adopt enough of the traits and qualities of a separate identity that people begin to treat you that way and you begin to feel it and believe it yourself.
Before we get to what the 9 different identities are, I want to touch on three (3) different aspects of identity that impact your results with women, and just socially in general:
Gradation is where you fall
status-wise in a given identity. For example, a wildly famous and
well-liked rock star who's had a long and productive career would be
near about the highest grade you're going to get for an artist;
whereas, some guy just starting out playing music who can't even cut a
chord on a guitar is sitting at the low end gradation-wise when it
comes to artists. For our purposes, we'll refer to gradation as the
"strength" of your identity - an identity with a higher grade is a
Combination is the combination of identities you hold - the more identities you hold of similar strengths, the harder it is to box you into any one identity (although, one very strong identity and a number of weaker ones will still find you getting stereotyped by the strong identity - e.g., if you're a tennis star but you also enjoy writing and have a small clothing label, you're still going to get viewed as an athlete, simply because your one very strong identity eclipses all the rest). There are both advantages and disadvantages to having no clear #1 identity.
Vibe is the general air about you above and beyond your identity, including things like:
- Your sexual vibe
- How smooth you are
- Any edge you have
- Your degree of warmth and humbleness
- A devil may care attitude
- A nice guy attitude
- A bad boy attitude
- A jerk attitude
... and the like. Attitude has
only a little to do with identity - while there are always some attitude expectations that go
along with identity (e.g., an athlete identity comes with a certain
expectation of "bad boy" or "jerk"; meanwhile, a regular guy identity
carries a certain expectation of warmth, humility, and
approachability), none of these are given - you can have a sexy rebel,
and you can also have a very un-sexy,
So, don't think that choosing a particular identity lets you off from having to maintain the right air about yourself - building the right vibe is every bit as key here too.
The 9 Male Identities
The 9 male identities we'll cover here - which all have innumerable sub-identities that we won't spend much time on (e.g., artist --> writer, painter, singer, actor, sculptor; athlete --> sports player, bodybuilder, runner, swimmer, mountain climber; etc.) - cover the full gamut of what you'll normally see socially. There are other identities we won't include here - holy man, crazy person, vagabond, male prostitute, etc. - but I'm assuming we don't have a whole lot of guys reading the site who'd fall into, or have much interest in falling into, one of these other groups.
Our 9 identities, in no special order, are:
- Regular Guy
- Social Butterfly
Let's have a look at each one.
Identity #1: The Rebel
The rebel is most easily defined as the guy who is "fighting the system." He marches to the beat of a different drummer. He does things his own way. He doesn't care about The Man - and The Man sure doesn't care about him (he believes). The rebel holds a lot of contempt for anything remotely mainstream, and indeed, he positions himself precisely as everything that mainstream society is not.
Some of the positives of the rebel identity are:
- He's cool
- He's independent
- He's interesting, intriguing, and different
- He's not swayed by social pressure
- He fits very easily into the bad boy mold
- He usually exhibits a range of Byronic characteristics
Some of the negatives of the rebel identity are:
- He's pessimistic
- He's an outsider
- He's sometimes looked down on by more socially plugged-in women
- He has a harder time breaking into many social circles
- Authority figures tend to like making life difficult for him
A good way of thinking about the rebel's strengths and weaknesses is that his strengths are the things he's picked up from operating independently on his own, while his weaknesses emerge any time he needs to use "The System" - that is, organized groups of other people with their own rules and routines he hasn't bothered to learn or adopt.
Some of the more common variants of the rebel include:
- Punks / goths / emos / hipsters
- Solo inventors / mad scientists
The rebel typically has an easier time sexualizing himself and being appealing to women than a variety of other male identities, mainly because he offers something - an escape from the mundane - that most of the other identities do not. Also, because he's so used to operating "outside the system", the rebel is one of the least likely identities to struggle with behaving in ways mainstream society tries telling him are "bad" - like sleeping with lots of girls and moving fast with them and not worrying a whole lot about committing to them unless he really, really likes them and wants to do this.
Identity #2: The Student
The student is anyone who's in the process of learning something new. The easiest examples of students of course are those in their primary, secondary, or tertiary educations; however, you can be a 75-year-old martial arts or vocal student, as well.
The student identity is one most typically of a certain degree of subservience and inelegance; you are there to do what your teachers tell you to do, and because you are not yet very learned, your performance and execution in any number of things is often sloppy and leaving something to be desired.
Some of the positives of the student identity are:
- He's actively upgrading himself
- He's perceived as intelligent / curious
- He's someone with "potential"
Some of the negatives of the student identity are:
- He's a follower, not a master
- He's a "bookworm" - rather than doing something, he reads about it
- He's viewed as inexperienced and unworldly / unwise
- He's rather boring and ordinary; unexceptional
The student almost has a childlike identity, where people look favorably on him as someone who can do "anything", someday... but he just isn't there yet. Today, he must study; tomorrow, he can begin thinking about doing something with what he's studied.
Some of the more common variants of the student include:
- School student
- Specialty student (musical instrument, martial art, etc.)
- Nerd (kind of a "super student")
Because of their childlike qualities, students can often be difficult to sexualize. Male students tend to struggle with trying to create a sexual, masculine identity, just as female students can really struggle to be taken seriously as fully grown, sexual, feminine creatures, and not just pupils. Nerds fall on the extreme end of the student identity - their grade is "strong" in student - and for this reason have an even more childlike air about themselves, and tend to be stereotyped as almost infantile in their behavior (temper tantrums, childlike fascination, dislike for or suspicion of girls - watch any "nerd" movie and you'll see these stereotypes).
For this reason, even if you are a student in some way (and most of us are - heck, if nothing else, you're reading this website, which probably means you're a student of seduction and social dynamics), you're best served adopting a different identity, at least for when it comes to meeting women.
Identity #3: Tough
The tough is a fellow whose primary identity is as a hard ass. He's
aggressive, he's imposing, and you do not
want to get in his way... or on his bad side. He's one not to be
with. Included in the tough identity are everyone from common
criminals at the low end, to firemen, soldiers, and police offers at
the nobler end.
Some of the positives of the tough identity are:
- He's high on perceived physical dominance - one of the key attraction signals
- He usually commands a fair bit of respect - even if some of it is grudging
- He frequently has a solid social circle of friends like him and women who like him
- His identity is usually very clear and very stable, because it's so far removed from other identities
Some of the negatives of the tough identity are:
- Many women are more intimidated by him than attracted to him
- His work is usually physically demanding and/or, and leaves him
too exhausted or too busy much of the time to maintain solid long-term relationships
- His proneness to violence, bravado, and taking things into his
own hands frequently lead to run-ins with the authorities, legal
problems, and sometimes jail time, in addition to fights with other
toughs, unless he is one of
the authorities (and sometimes even then)
- Because his identity is so clear, and his social circle so set,
if he wants to switch to a different identity - say, student, or
athlete - this can be quite difficult, and he can face a good deal of
negative social pressure from those around him
The tough is typically fine and does well enough with women so long as he sticks to "his" turf, what he's familiar with, and what he knows. Toughs who want to spread their wings and mingle with other crowds though can find this difficult, as most other types of people are cautious around their hard, aggressive demeanor and frequent inability to fit in with more "cultured" crowds. That said, well-dressed, more presentable toughs who've taken the time to cultivate a degree of some of the other male identities can still find a selection of women outside their usual circles that find them exciting, "dangerous" in an electrifying kind of way, and may even prefer them to the more boring, "less masculine" men those women are around the majority of the time.
Some of the more common "disreputable" variants of the tough include:
- Drug dealer
- Gang member
Some of the more common "respectable" or "noble" variants of the tough include:
- Some manual laborers
- Police officer
The tough, like the rebel, has an easy association with edgy, masculine, bad boy qualities, and is one of the more easily sexualized identities. In fact, he's a lot more likely to be viewed as masculine, aggressive, and dominant than either the rebel or the athlete is, and is probably the strongest of all the identities in these respects. On the downside, he's very frequently so strong in these areas that he becomes intimidating or unrelatable to most of the women outside of the circles he travels in; but so long as he sticks to the women who have a "thing" for guys like him, he'll usually have no problems whatsoever.
Identity #4: The Regular Guy
Ah, the poor regular guy. He goes about his life, just following the beaten path, not trying to cause any ripples or do anything too crazy, just like almost everybody else, but he just can't get no love. All the regular girls around him - and, just like most guys are regular guys, most girls are regular girls - want some other kind of guy... not him. The best way of describing the regular guy is "vanilla" - he's just bland. He's normal. He just... kinda there. No "passions", no real drive, no motivation - he's not trying to change the world. He just wants to live a good enough life and not worry about all that pointless wall-climbing and barrier-breaking all those crazy people TV seems to glorify keep doing.
Some of the positives of the regular guy identity are:
- He's very relatable
- He's not crazy or a misfit
- He doesn't have to worry about being judged as "too extreme"
- He doesn't polarize women, so there are no women who really
Some of the negatives of the regular guy identity are:
- He's just like everybody else - he's a dime a dozen
- There's not much about him that's all that interesting to women
- It's hard for him to meet new women because he won't break social convention and cold approach, and his social circles usually tend to be quite limited
- He doesn't polarize women, which means not only are there no women who really dislike him, but also that there are no women who really like him, either
The regular guy is the guy who's a student when he's in school, and a regular guy once he's out, and that's pretty much all he ever is for his entire life. He frequently finds women frustrating, and is prone to being a nice guy and ending up in the friend zone, since it's hard for him to differentiate himself from other men and he ends up trying to compete by showing women how kind, thoughtful, and stable he is - things that 25 other men competing for the same women he's competing for are competing with him on as well.
Some common variants of the regular guy include:
- Family man
- Average Joe
- Office workers and middle managers
- The "down on his luck" guy on unemployment between jobs
- Line workers and non-tough manual laborers
The regular guy is probably the
hardest of any of the identities to sexualize, outside of
perhaps some sub-identities like the nerd.
That's because he just doesn't have much going on ordinarily that
lights up any of women's sexual interest triggers. The good news for
the regular guy is that because he really doesn't have too strong of an
identity, it's usually pretty easy for him to begin adopting another
identity - one that lends itself more readily to becoming sexually
attractive to women, like the athlete, the artist, or the rebel. If he
does this, the regular guy can often still maintain the things he
already has in his life, while adding an entirely new dimension of good
Identity #5: The Social Butterfly
The social butterfly is a real connections guy. He's always in good spirits, knows a ton of different parties he can invite you to, and has dozens of people he wants you to meet. The social butterfly lives for people - meeting people, getting to know people, talking to people, entertaining people.
Some of the positives of the social butterfly identity are:
- He's friendly, social, and gregarious
- He's optimistic, upbeat, and inspirational, with contagious energy
- He is always deeply plugged into the social circle, and is never
- He meets lots of new people, all the time... he's never at a loss for new acquaintances
Some of the negatives of the social butterfly identity are:
- He's often too busy networking to focus much on building very deep connections
- He can have difficulty zeroing in on one particular person in social situations
- People who aren't butterflies themselves often consider him shallow and trite
- His social life is a revolving door... new people come in, but
old people go out, too, or at least quickly move to positions of
increasingly little prominence in his life
You can most easily think of the social butterfly as "someone who needs to constantly be making new connections." Connections for himself, and connections among the people he knows - little puts a smile on the social butterfly's face more than connecting two people he knows whom he think will be a good fit. The person at the center of the majority of social circles is a social butterfly of some sort of another - he's just naturally a guy who likes bringing people together.
Some of the more common variants of the social butterfly include:
- Party host / emcee / promoter
- Marketer / sales professional
- Leader of the group or life of the party
- "That guy" who loves talking to everyone and laughing and having a good time constantly
The social butterfly is somewhere in the middle of the pack when it comes to how easily sexualized his image is... because he doesn't zero in on people by default, it's challenging for him to build the strong sexual tension that comes from an intensely focused gaze on and immersion in another person, and the identity of "social butterfly" itself inspires more friendly "gee, he's a swell guy" feelings in women more than it does any burning, passionate, lusty desires. However, because the social butterfly is so socially experienced and so comfortable with people, it's often easy for him to adopt a more sexual identity to combine with his fluidity with other people that allows him to very easily rack up a number of lovers in a short span of time.
Identity #6: The Businessman
The businessman is all about work, efficiency, and production. He doesn't care so much for social trifles, like the butterfly does, nor is he all that concerned with doing a lot of status jockeying or "proving himself" like the roughneck and the rebel, respectively. He also isn't content living an ordinary life like the regular guy - the very idea sounds intrinsically boring to him. Instead, the businessman wants success - usually defined as money - and he wants a lot of it.
Some of the positives of the businessman identity are:
- He has a killer instinct that makes him good at seizing the things he wants
- He doesn't dilly-dally, and creates opportunities to move as efficiently as he can
- He commands respect, mostly due to his effectiveness and no-nonsense demeanor
- He's down-to-Earth, blunt, usually honest, and straightforward
- He has a masculine aura about himself, and is generally regarded as powerful
Some of the negatives of the businessman identity are:
- He can be too boom-boom-boom, and scare off those who prefer a more relaxed pace
- He's often quick to write things off that aren't panning out fast enough - sometimes leading to missed opportunities
- His lifestyle is generally one that's more stressful than most of the other identities'
- His relationships can be short-lived, due to his uncompromising and impatient nature
- He can be off-putting to more sensitive individuals who prefer more indirect communication
A good shortcut for wrapping your mind around the businessman identity is thinking of the businessman as a "let's make it happen" kind of guy. He's focused on concrete, tangible results, and sees everything else as a waste of time. This can make him less appreciative of some of the finer things of life, and he has a difficult time connecting with or maintaining relationships with people more interested in smelling the roses than in bulldozing them to put up a strip mall.
Some of the more common variants of the businessman include:
- Rising star (in business or politics)
- Upper management / executive
- Small business owner (non-lifestyle business)
- General, admiral, or police chief
- Flimflammer or conman
The businessman is somewhat easily sexualized, due mainly to his masculinity and "take-no-prisoners" attitude. However, he's normally very difficult to relate to for a large segment of the population, and his demeanor can screen out a number of women who might otherwise find him attractive, but instead find him overly terse and abrasive. If the businessman can adopt another attractive but more relatable identity in addition to his businessman identity - e.g., artist, athlete, etc. - he can take the edge off some of this harshness and lend himself the more "human" feel that's lacking when he's nothing but a results-oriented human steamroller.
Identity #7: The Intellectual
The intellectual lives in a world of the mind: ideas, philosophy, experiments, tactics, strategy, theories, hypotheses, arguments, and debates are his forte. The intellectual is a true "brains over brawn" type - he outmuscles the competition with thoughts and words more than fists and fury. At the top end, intellectuals command some of the most respected (and almost untouchable) positions in Western society.
Some of the positives of the intellectual identity are:
- He's viewed as a leader / authority due to high perceived levels of competence
- His life is generally relatively stable, with stable career paths as a thought leader
- He carries a certain mystique that the other identities
- He's one of the best of the identities at securing a "legacy"
- He's often "eccentric", a close cousin of the rebel's independence
- His otherworldly identity affords him much freedom from social
Some of the negatives of the intellectual identity are:
- He can seem unrelatable to less-educated women
- He can have a difficult time breaking free from the stability he creates for himself
- His need for intellectual dominance often leads to falling outs with those who don't "toe the party line" he sets out for them intellectually
- He can be viewed as overly arrogant and haughty by some of those who do not share his love for ideas and the mind, and these may actively taunt, challenge, or work against him
It's easy to think of the intellectual as a man who seeks to express his masculine dominance through the intellectual domination of others - he is right, and everyone else is wrong. Intellectuals establish their identities by winning academic "fights" and debates with challengers, using their ideas as the proof of their strength as men.
Some of the more common variants of the intellectual include:
- Nonfiction writers
- Documentary makers
- Movement leaders
- Public speakers
The intellectual frequently finds himself having a not-so-difficult time being sexually appealing to a large chunk of women - typically who find his large degree of frame control and strong certainty about his purpose and the world to be very compelling and things that easily position him as an authority figure. Intellectuals very frequently find themselves in positions of leadership - whether commanding the public spotlight as a prominent thought leader, or commanding a group of unruly 6-year-olds as a kindergarten teacher. Because of this, they get very accustomed to telling others what to do, and very used to being challenged - and overcoming those challenges. If the intellectual really wants to up his results with women though, he'll take some time to cultivate another, more mundane identity - say, athlete, rebel, or even a touch of regular guy - to allow him to more easily relate to the population at large - and to those women who might ordinarily be intimidated by his normally towering (it seems to them) intellect.
Identity #8: The Athlete
The athlete, like the tough, relies on his brawn most of all, though unlike the tough, who uses his brawn in the wilds of day-to-day life, the athlete more typically channels his resources into excelling in the more rule-based and restricted realm of competitive sports. This actually makes him more approachable to a larger swath of women than the tough is - he more closely fits the "safer", rule-oriented life a regular girl knows - though he sacrifices a degree of edge in order to get this (and you will often see many athletes trying to mimic tough behavior in order to try to attain some of the tough's rawness - though they never quite get there).
Some of the positives of the athlete identity are:
- He's big, strong, and manly - things very attractive to women
- He's physically dominant - another major attraction trigger
- He's typically quite confident; especially if he's remained an athlete for a number of years, that's probably because he's been enough of a winner to keep at it
- He's used to working with and (often) commanding a team of similarly powerful, more dominant men, which makes dealing with most women fairly easy for him
- He offers a "bad boy experience" without the danger of a true tough or rebel
Some of the negatives of the athlete identity are:
- He's viewed as less intelligent, which can cause some women to write him off
- He lacks the raw edge of a true tough and some rebels - his brawn is used only in constrained / artificial / hobby environments, rather than in the real world in dangerous situations as a way of daily life
- He lacks the "pulling off impressive things with his mind" factor of the businessman, intellectual, and artist
- He lacks the good-with-people persona of the social butterfly
Essentially, you can think of the athlete as a one-trick pony; his trick is that he's big and strong and reasonably successful at sports. This is both his blessing and his curse; there are a number of women who find him exciting for this, but often just for brief flings, and he will very often have a good deal of trouble holding onto women in relationships.
Some of the more common variants of the athlete include:
- Sports player
- Fighter / boxer / martial artist
- Mountain climber
The athlete usually has an easy time being sexually appealing to women; he has raw masculine sex appeal as a result of both his physique and his prowess at vanquishing other men or obstacles, as well as the show of discipline it takes to reach these heights. Where he's lacking is in relationship staying power, and in consistently landing more educated / ambitious women; for these, he's best served cultivating the businessman or intellectual side of his personality, which gives him a very strong one-two punch of brains and brawn.
Identity #9: The Artist
Rounding out our identities list is the artist, that creative soul who finds joy in bringing new works of beauty and profundity into the world. The artist holds an almost mythical status culturally, as someone out there, magical, and sometimes all but driven by demons.
Some of the positives of the artist identity are:
- He's creative - something that's very closely tied with sexual attractiveness
- He walks his own path and shrugs off social norms, like the rebel
- He's uncommon - women don't meet artists every day
- He's intriguing; what is he creating? Why is he creating it?
- He's seen as eccentric, and is able to get away with many things that would be seen as odd or incongruent for men with other identities - e.g., pulling women he's just met into unusual places for fast sex
Some of the negatives of the artist identity are:
- He's something of a social dropout - some women are put off by his lack of "real world" credentials
- His eccentricity can be a turn off to certain sections of women
- He's often poor, with an unstable life, which can make long-term relationships more difficult
- He can sometimes be dominated by toughs, businessmen, and other identities who consider his talents effete and "not worth doing" (though he may just slip the girl his number regardless when these men aren't looking)
The artist is the dreamer of this bunch of identities. He's an idealist, and longs for a "perfect" world where things are exactly as he thinks they should be. His art is an effort to render that world and merge the real world with the dream world, and for this reason he's something of a captivating person - he's someone many women feel they can lose themselves into, caught up in his dreams and carried somewhere faraway and fantastic.
Some of the more common variants of the artist include:
The artist is usually easily sexualized, due to the intrigue he builds around himself. Intrigue combined with the clarity of his artistic vision makes him a captivating potential lover for a number of women, looking for an escape from their dreary lives. Like the athlete though, the artist suffers from poor long-term prospects, and can also be written off by certain types of women - in this case, those who view art as "not a real contribution / not something worth doing" - and, for the broadest desirability among the largest set of women, along with the best long-term prospects, he's best taking on a secondary identity with something both a little tougher and a little more material - the businessman and the rebel identities are usually the best complements to artist here.
Selecting Your Identity(ies)
How do you pick the right identity for you?
Well, you'll of course want to select an identity that appeals to your natural inclinations. If you love competitive sports, you'll probably be a lot happier as an athlete than as an artist. If you love efficiency above all else, you'll be much better suited to a businessman identity than a social butterfly one.
But once you have your identity established, and it is a firm one - that is, you have a high grade in it and are "strong" in that identity - you'll usually be best served developing a secondary or tertiary identity to your primary identity that is complementary of it. Having a complementary identity to your primary one allows you to compensate for some of the weaknesses of the primary identity, and makes you better able to connect with a broader array of women and people.
Identity is a powerful phenomenon. Our behavior and perceptions of ourselves are shaped to a large degree by how others think of us and how they treat us. Yet, we can shape how others think of us and treat us by adopting different identities, and acting in ways or communicating about ourselves in ways that lead to those others then treating us differently.
There's a great deal you can do with controlling how others view and interact with you, and identity is one of the biggest parts of it. So choose yours wisely - its ripple effects will be felt in every aspect of your daily life, both now and in years to come.
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