Some guys are just jerks. And they’re fine with that. They think it’s the right way to get girls – it’s far better than being a nice guy, they’ll tell you. And who can argue with that? Nice guys finish last.
Me? I almost lost the most amazing woman of my life thus far before I ever got her because I was a jerk.
A little over four years ago, I pulled a really thoughtless, jerk move on my first date with a girl I really liked. It’s not important what I did, though I should note that at the time, it felt relatively minor to me, but it was major to her, and as a result, she completely cut me off following it. No answers to my phone calls or texts. No emails. No nothing. The only way I turned it around was because we were already heading off overseas on the same tour, and I put in a Herculean effort there abroad to turn things around with her.
Had it not been for that tour we were both already booked for, where we were all but forced to spend time around each other for eight days, I doubt I ever would’ve seen or heard from her again. Instead, I somehow managed to right a sunk ship, and went on to have an amazing 2 ½ year relationship with an amazing woman that helped me grow in ways I could hardly have imagined.
But because I was a jerk, I almost missed that. I came this close to missing that.
When men start learning seduction, they tend to realize what a terrible mistake they made in their nice guy days – back when they kissed up to women, catered to them, and basically let women walk all over them. Those days were no good, they realize. So, they vow to never repeat the same mistake again, and they veer off in the entirely other direction – they become jerks.
And make no mistake, a jerk has an infinitely better chance of finding success with women than a nice guy does. At least a jerk isn’t weak and supplicating, like a nice guy is – a jerk is a man women know actually respects and values himself. If forced to choose between a nice guy who caters to her every whim, making her feel bored and resentful, and a jerk who ignores her and belittles her, making her feel excited and resentful, the majority of women will choose the latter.
Jerks aren’t great, but they’re better than nice guys. But lots of men think being a jerk is the be-all and end-all. It’s not.
Why Men Become Jerks
To a man learning how to get girls interested in him and pursuing him, the markedly improved results he sees with the opposite sex from being a jerk can seem like magic. He makes cocky jokes and remarks, acts like he could care less about women, and makes himself out to be the best thing to happen to womankind since sliced bread. He’s loud, arrogant, and full of himself – and suddenly, all those women who ignored him before, when he was a soft, compliant nice guy, seem to have perked up and taken interest. It’s like he’s walking on water.
Being a jerk is by and large a necessary step in learning the proper way to interact with women. Unless a man is of that incredibly rare breed that already has exactly the right mindset regarding girls, he’s going to need to go through a transition period where he acts rude, self-centered, and abrasive.
The problem that a lot of men have, though, is that they never seem to move beyond the jerk phase. They stay cocky, arrogant, and self-centered forever. It gets them decent-enough results with women, they reckon – so why change?
The Genuine Man
There’s another kind of man, though, who’s different from both nice guys and jerks. He’s a man who is kind and thoughtful toward others, but self-possessed and not a suffering servant by any means. He thinks highly of himself and is incredibly confident and secure in his capabilities, but he remains modest and expresses his expertise in the subtlest ways, eschewing the ways of the braggart and the showboat. And rather than the weak, needy way of the nice guy, or the abrasive, in-your-face way of the jerk, the genuine man carries about himself an air of warmth, inclusion, and kept-in-reserve power and strength.
Genuine men are haltingly rare finds. If I had to rank men in society by percentage, I’d rank them like this:
Nice Guys: 70%
Genuine Men: 2.5%
That’d be my rough guess, just based on the characteristics of the men I meet. The number of nice guys out there might actually be a bit higher – I imagine a lot of them stay home and don’t go out as much, so the men I meet out and about in life may be slightly more skewed toward the more outgoing and confident jerks. But for some rough numbers to work with, these ought to suffice.
Now, it’s important to keep in mind that within these categories, there are men of varying levels of ability with women. So there are plenty of men who are jerks and can’t get girls to save their lives. And there are men out there who are genuine men, but don’t genuinely know a whole lot about women.
But if you take a jerk and a genuine man with equal amounts of ability with women, the genuine man will almost always win in a head-to-head competition. Why? Because the genuine man has all the strengths of a jerk, and none of his weaknesses.
Breaking the Hold of the Jerk
Being a jerk can almost be a little addictive. It feels powerful to be a jerk – most people (nice guys, and most women) buckle in the face of a jerk’s challenges. And those few who don’t (genuine guys, genuine women, and stronger jerks) are easily written off as not being worth one’s time. Meh, who cares about that guy, I’ve got a million other people in my life who love me!
What you begin to realize as you examine the jerk’s actions is that many of them violate the Law of Least Effort (bragging, showboating, efforts to tool others or make them look bad or inferior, attempts to position oneself socially) and many others are lacking in any real social calibration (like coming in too high energy for another individual or group of individuals, or trying to force a conversation toward a certain topic when it’s moving in a different direction). Jerks have some serious flaws in their approach.
What’s more, jerks are rather off-putting to people who have a higher degree of social experience and calibration, and are ignored and marginalized by the most able and successful members of society. Jerks aren’t welcome in polite society. They don’t survive there long. They have a longer life expectancy among such a crowd than pushover nice guys do, but not by much.
The problem with jerks is the same as the problem with nice guys: they’re both on the extremes. Nice guys are big pushovers; jerks spending all their time pushing (or trying to push) others around.
Genuine men, on the other hand, gently but firmly guide the world around them and the people around them in the direction they want. They are assertive in pursuing what they want, but are mindful of others and others’ emotions, and do what they need to do to build alliances and good will. While jerks are often in such a big hurry to show themselves off that they steamroll others along the way, genuine men seek to get others to do their building up and showing off for them. While jerks are busy trying to climb the social ladder, genuine men are throwing down a hand to help others reach the top.
Here are some traits to look for that are signature jerk traits; if you see these traits in yourself, I strongly recommend you get vigilant about stamping them out:
- Inconsiderateness. Do you answer your phone in the middle of a close one-on-one conversation? Do you text in front of people when it’s just the two of you? Do you fail to pay attention when someone is telling you something important? Do you forget to show appreciation for kind things people do for you? All these are signs of inconsideration, and need to be amended where present.
- Posturing. Do you ever say anything that could possibly be interpreted as, “My XYZ is bigger / better / more important than [his / hers / theirs / its]”? If so, you’re doing posturing – knock it off. Women respond far better to men who seem to ooze value from their pores (work on your fundamentals) than they do to men who have to tell them about it.
- Coldness. Do people ever call you selfish? It has little to do with how much you actually give or don’t give – and everything to do with how willingly you seem to give the things you give. If a man gives a little, but gives it willingly, he’ll be thought of as far warmer and more thoughtful than a man who gives much, but gives it grudgingly.
Those should be good to get you started off on the right foot. Just remember that being a jerk is only one step on the road to success. Too many men get caught up thinking it’s the destination, when it’s not.
Become a genuine man. Women will like you more, and pursue you more, than you can possibly imagine, once you make it to genuine man status. And if I had to pinpoint how I saved things with that amazing woman once they were on life support four years ago, I’d tell you that it wasn’t that I reverted to being a nice guy, or that I succeeded in spite of being a jerk. Rather, I’d tell you that on that trip abroad, I figured out how to do a good enough job of making myself into a genuine man that I won her back over, and freed myself at last to embark upon a remarkable journey with a remarkable girl.
Being genuine kicks some serious (jerk) butt.