“I am surrounded by flatterers and fools. It can drive a man to madness, Ned. Half of them don’t dare tell me the truth and the other half can’t find it.”
— King Robert Baratheon to Lord Eddard Stark in Game of Thrones. (47)
King Robert was talking about the travails of kinging, but we’d do well to consider its connections to dating and the ‘Sphere.
Men have the flattery of “you’re awesome and you’ll find someone like you if you’d just stop looking” or “You’re such a great guy, but…” and the foolishness of “Be nice, be yourself.”
Women get the flattery of a constant barrage of “Hey girl, you’re beautiful” from the likes of Jezabel and sniveling dudes as well as the foolishness of those same dudes not knowing what to do after she says, “Yes” to being the girlfriend.
This post will look at the women and the flattering and/or foolish men surrounding them. The Erudite Knight recently noted a girl on his work crew getting 50 likes for an Instagram photo and now pointless actions get rewarded:
So think about this for a moment…this girl is fucking REARED on her stupid decisions (like putting your face on the internet) gets her REWARDED with dopamine fixes and tells her mind that at least 50 people (probably 48 of them were guys) ‘like’ her for this dumb shit.
I’m betting that the majority of those “likes” were from guys eager to kiss her ass. If it’s anything like Facebook (and judging from my limited experience with Instagram, it is), it’s one round of “Wow, you’re beautiful” after another. It doesn’t matter whether the girl is beautiful or not–telling her that will not set a man apart. He’ll be just like the rest of the pack. The girl won’t be better off either because she either already knows she’s beautiful or she’ll have already moved on to the next round of attention whoring. Or both.
Let’s put this another way. I recently talked with Adonia about dating, and she related the following from her days on MySpace and from her dating experiences. She lays it down here:
I received tons of messages and friend request from men telling me how gorgeous, hot, beautiful and attractive I was. My self esteem was at low at the time…
I do get uncomfortable when men keep asking me to give them my number so we could go out in a date. Some of these men were very aggressive about it which made me super uncomfortable. They wanted to meet me in person after I return a friendly reply when they messages me first. They also wanted to video chat with me.
If a man compliments me on my hair, smile, hobbies and personality, I enjoy it. You don’t want to say: DAMN GIRL, you’re FINE or HOT or even SEXY as your way to impressed her. Sure I like to be called Sexy once in awhile but when you see how they say that to every ghetto trash there is, it has no meaning.
[The man who became her fiancé] had given me an friendly yet appropriate message that wasn’t about my looks. A month later, we started to date and the story of our relationship continue.
He wasn’t aggressive. What threw me off with a lot of guys and I went to him is, he didn’t constantly ask for my number, he gives me time, he didn’t keep asking me when he’s going to meet me or see me, or do I want him as a boyfriend? I was honest to each and every single guy and [and told them] that I just got off from a serious relationship, and my heart got broken and that I need more time. They say: Oh that’s cool then within a few minutes asked me have I changed my mind and wanted to start dating them? Yeah…they lost big time.
I remember this one guy who lived right by me keeps asking me to meet him at the Park near our way. I told him, I’m not too comfortable and rather be around with a lot more people. He told me he is anti social and being around other people makes him uncomfortable. RED FUCKING FLAG.
I think both men and women (well some from both sexes) do not know how to court or even don’t know what is considered bullshit vs genuine compliments. Girls get their head inflated when guys tell them: DAMN girl you ‘is’ fine/sexy/hot! Those kinds of guys are not even worth my time or day but obviously since they are so desperate, they are willing to get any type of attention from a guy. [Emphasis mine]
Flatterers and fools, people. Flatterers and fools. To summarize:
The flatterers thought an incessant barrage of “You’re sexy” and “You’re awesome” would get them the girl and the fools either pushed too hard or didn’t listen to her. Let’s also note her perceptive point about compliments: They are okay if they are genuine, as in “Wow, you must really know your music because of your large record collection” or “That dress really brings out your eyes.” Compliments like “Wow, you’re sexy,” are more or less meaningless because they aren’t specific enough and can be said to anybody.**
And the fools? Let’s start and end it with the “anti-social” guy. What a great way to shoot to shoot yourself in the foot and label yourself undateable and crazy. Perhaps he meant that he didn’t like crowds, but even so, a man has to make adjustments when he’s dating. I don’t like crowds that much either, but sometimes they’ve got to be braved. So it goes!
The idea of “being surrounded by flatterers and fools” will continue in a future post about how it applies to Korea. I’ve noted many young Korean guys will fall all over themselves in trying to compliment the girl and it makes me cringe every time. Until then, I’ll leave off with this: “Don’t be like other guys.”
*For you teachers out there, this kind of connection is called “Text to world.” There is also “text to self” and “text to text.”
** Carnegie noted as much in How to Win Friends and Influence People. Moreover, what I said about genuine vs. fake compliments/praise comes directly from my teacher ed classes. Praise the action, not the individual. There’s a world of difference between “I like how you phrased that journal entry–good use of the word prominent” vs “Your journal entries are amazing.”