Handling bossy and intimidating people difference between close friends and dating
Fuck, most people don’t want to decide between the chili cheese fries and the patty melt, let alone pay attention and come up with a unique thesis about the humans around them in the absence of a cultural cheat sheet.
The fact that everyone you know is telling you the same goddamn thing says more about this tendency than it does about the way the world works.
You’ll think that you’re smoothly presenting your best self or whatever the hell, but underneath that smooth exterior there will be a conflicted, roiling, angry sea of premature assumptions about who you are (great, rejected) and who he is (afraid, weak, rejecting) and how it will all play out (crash and burn).
Having empathy for a man you assume is shivering in your presence is not the answer.
I just want to be an awesome, messy, wonderful, horrible person alongside someone else doing their version of being awesome, messy, wonderful, and horrible? It’s downright dehumanizing to a man you don’t know for you to enter the interaction assuming that he’s so fucking weak that he can’t handle a beautiful, confident woman who knows her own mind and heart.
As long as your contact with men is clouded by this assumption, you’ll be subconsciously blocking them from getting to know you as a real live human being.
But your friends and family sense this conflict and instead of understanding the layers of it and reminding you of who you really are and telling you, “Don’t worry, someone will see you and love you like crazy,” they think, “She is pretty bossy” and “She is kind of a steamroller” and then they grab for that old trope “MEN HATE AMAZING INTIMIDATING SUCCESSFUL WOMEN. Everybody loves to repeat the same old gendered tropes to each other.
And as long as you’re going against the grain, gender-wise, the whole world is going to believe that you’re doing it wrong.
And they know when someone is too anxious to see them at all. Even though you say that you are awesome, messy, wonderful, and horrible, you can’t quite live out in the open with your awesome messy wonderful horribleness yet, or you wouldn’t be asking other people what men really want. “I really, really want to date you, but I’m too intimidated.” He’s a shitheel, and I’m better off without him, but this one sentence keep echoing because it matches the story that not only have I been telling myself for years, but that my family, and friends, and the culture at large tells us: intelligent, capable women who talk about how they feel and what they want scare the crap out of men.