And Words That Turn Me Off

“Street art mural of attractive blonde haired woman with red nails and lipstick with shattered face” by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash

Words are really important to me. And in a place like this, it’s all we really know about each other, other than the one small profile image. How people use words and what words they use tell me a lot about them. I immediately know who I like and respect by their words. Conversely, I know who is using tribal markers (rather than their own thoughts that they have come to through their own learning and experiences). I get a sense of who is fundamentally beligerant or lost in the swamp. I feel who is actually strong and confident, and who is the insecure dog at the park, trying to hump all the other dogs in order to look dominant.

Sometimes these words are said to me, and sometimes I just witness them being said to others.

Let’s start first with the words or phrases that turn me off:

  1. I’m an Alpha! First of all, if your were, you wouldn’t have to tell people. It’s like calling yourself a stable genius. If you have to try to get someone to buy into that, then you really aren’t. An Alpha isn’t the guy with the “take no prisoners, take what’s mine, and never say sorry” attitude. That guy is a poser and probably a narcissist. This is what a real Alpha is like, for both wolves and men.

“The main characteristic of an alpha male wolf is a quiet confidence, quiet self-assurance. You know what you need to do; you know what’s best for your pack. You lead by example. You’re very comfortable with that. You have a calming effect.”

2. Using words you heard someone else say, but you don’t really know what they mean. Phrases like cultural Marxist and frankly any of the Jordan Peterson buzz words, because it means you’ve bought into a personality cult and aren’t actually doing any of your own thinking. Thinking is sexy; parroting is not.

3. “Wrong!” Starting out by declaring that someone else’s opinion is flat-out wrong is just condescending and overbearing. The world is a complex and nuanced place. Two people can experience the exact same thing differently. You can point out that someone’s facts are wrong, but even that should be done without the implication that the other person is a moron.

And if you tell me I just don’t understand because I’m a woman, you get extra shit-list points, especially when I’ve got data and facts on my side and you’ve just got your inflated, self-important opinion.

4. “Let me clarify.” Attempting to explain someone else’s thoughts or positions to them is unbelievably condescending. I don’t need someone to tell me what I think or what my understanding is of something. Almost nothing is more of a turn-off than that. The only thing worse is to tell me what my motivations are or what my life is like.

And now to the words and phrases that turn me on:

  1. “Opinions expressed here are ready for transformation from new information.” Joel Barker, you are a stud in my book! I am turned on by intelligent people who are secure enough to want to learn something new, even if it challenges what they already believe.
  2. “You make a good point.” Someone who says that is strong and self-confident, and that is really, really sexy. Even if no minds or positions are being changed, recognition of a valid point is hot as hell, in part because it’s so rare.
  3. Words that indicate there is real seeing going on. “I really love the honesty in your writing.” Anything that indicates connecting on a deeper human level.
  4. “What I learned about myself through all of this….” Self-reflection indicates deeper thinking and not just settling for being some kind of mouthy sex robot. Double hotness points for men who reveal something about themselves that doesn’t fit into the “appropriate for guys to talk about” category.
  5. Anything real or raw or vulnerable. People who talk about these kinds of things are fully engaged with life and all of it’s messiness. Once again, do you want some type of mouthy sex robot or real, sweaty, messy, dirty fun? I know what I’d pick every day of the week.

In nearly every culture around the globe creation stories involve the world either being spoken or sung into existence. The word abracadabra means “I create as I speak.”

Words are important. The ones you choose say a lot about you and that is the real point; not whether you’ve passed some kind of hot or not test of mine.

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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