On a Friday evening some weeks ago, I was at a party for singles giving a lecture on ‘The Signs of Attraction’. During one of the mixing games we played during the intervals, a man swaggered over and, while I was giving my presentation (timing is everything, dahlink) said, “There is only one person here I am attracted to…you!”
The truth is, many women, utterly shy and unable to approach people themselves, find such ‘displays’ attractive, putting it down to ‘charm’ and ‘confidence’.
I saw neither charm nor confidence. Firstly, the place was incredibly dark and, unless he had night-vision goggles, there is a very small chance he actually saw what I looked like. Secondly, I was in the middle of giving a presentation, which to me said ‘attention seeker’, not ‘ballsy’ or ‘assertive’. Thirdly, he was carrying a ‘prop’ – one of those e-cigarettes that lights up.
His language too was egocentric; it wasn’t about me but about his supposed attraction. He was nothing more than a show-off.
During the second interval – when people were supposed to be mingling – he took the opportunity to approach me again.
“I obviously don’t have any problems with the ladies, but do you actually get paid for this?”
With a smile, I assured him that I did.
“Who would actually pay for this? I disagree with everything you’re saying.”
Luckily, I live by my mantra: ignore the ignorant.
Having early exiled him from thought and memory, I was approached by a friend who, a little upset, told me she had just had a very strange conversation with a guy. She said that, within two minutes of meeting him, he had asked how long she had been single and, when she replied ‘three years’, he scoffed and said that she must either be a) frigid or b) easy to have stayed single so long.
Needless to say, I knew exactly who she’d been speaking to.
This guy belonged to a group of men called the ‘Pick-up Artists’, who, as the name suggests, go around trying to pick up women. There are several key characteristics linked to P.U.A.s:
- The interesting prop, in this case the fake cigarette: These props are used as conversation starters and to class these guys as interesting and unique.
- Negging: These men say negative things to women, the theory being that beautiful women are used to being complimented and to really get their attention you need to be mean.
- Big entrances: P.U.A.s want everyone to know when they’ve arrived. Think of them like pigeons, puffing their chests up to show off.
P.U.A.s are typically men who haven’t been lucky with women in the past. They operate as a collective, acting as wingmen to their fellow brothers. While the idea of helping fellow shy men approach girls is good in theory, these guys are hideously misguided in the way they do it. Over the years, I have had men come to me after initially seeking advice from the P.U.A.s and not liking it.
The fact is, the P.U.A. school of thought is deluded – it’s fake, prescriptive and encourages men to punch way above their weight. Being taught to chat up the hottest girl at the bar to make yourself feel worthy is not the key to happiness.
Flirting is about being nice to people; it’s about making the other person feel good in the spirit of generosity and kindness. It is not about being over-confident, mean and attention seeking. We deserve to meet a partner who understands, loves and respects us – and if the fake-cigarette wielding twit happens to be readong this post, I will give you a complimentary session with Flirtology, and teach you how it’s supposed to be done.