Ask A Guy: Are Men Intimidated by “Strong Women”?
I know I am a woman of high value, worth and integrity. However, I tend to attract emotionally unavailable men and struggling what to do about this issue.
I have been told I am an alpha female and have toned down a bit since re-entering the dating scene. I think men are now attracted to me due to my recent career success, yet I think the right men are intimidated by me. Any insight?
You brought up a few points that I want to touch on.
First, let’s talk about the whole “strong woman” / “alpha female” topic.
In American culture, movies and media, there is a strong push for an archetype of the “strong woman.”
How many movies have you seen where a woman acts like a complete pain in the ass the whole movie and the protagonist dude chases her around the entire movie like a puppy dog? I’ve even seen it in a children’s movie (I think it was “How to Train Your Dragon”).
The fact is – it’s not real life! Guys with any power to choose will actively avoid women who act like a pain in the ass.
Why would a guy want to choose a negative influence in his life? Why would he want to invite someone in who minimizes him and doesn’t appreciate him. Other than true masochists, guys who have choice don’t want this.
I bring this up because often times when a woman tells me she’s an “alpha female” or “strong independent woman,” alarm bells go off in my head.
- Strong people don’t need to tell you they’re strong… people who are scared of being taken advantage of do…
- Independent people don’t need to tell you they’re independent… people who are scared of losing themselves in another person do…
- Alpha people don’t need to tell you they’re alpha… true alpha men and women tend to be compassionate and have nothing to prove. Controlling people often mistaken themselves as alpha… when really they’re the opposite.
Now, I’m not saying all of this to accuse you of being these things. I am bringing them up to highlight that our culture has a huge misconception of what is actually desirable.
Before certain members of the audience accuse me of being a “misogynist” or “degrading to women”… relax. I am not advocating some old-fashioned viewpoint that women should be nice, quiet, agreeable creatures who exist solely to please their husband. In fact, what I talk about goes for men and for women.
What I’m advocating in this post is to identify insecure behaviors masquerading as admirable traits.
I know all sorts of truly alpha women in my life. Truly alpha guys too. And I can tell you – they don’t walk around all day thinking about how they’re alpha.
Rather than calling it “truly alpha”… let’s call it being secure and self-sufficient.
When someone is secure and self-sufficient:
- They don’t need to control other people. They are relaxed and can guide their interactions and make their needs known without trying to dominate or control
- They have tact and compassion – they can say what they mean clearly without being offensive or arguing.
- They have nothing to prove – they do as they do for their own reasons and desires.
- They are whole and fulfilled because they live their life by their own standards and don’t seek fulfillment through others.
- They are emotionally open and unguarded. They are secure enough to know that they can defend themselves if necessary, so they don’t need to keep a constant guard up to drive people away. Insecure people guard their emotions highly, since they fear that if they let their guard down they’ll lose themselves in another person or get hurt.
When you see it from that angle, anyone would be attracted to true alphas.
Unfortunately, our culture is currently confusing what is alpha with its opposite: being demanding, controlling and disagreeable.
Bullies are not alpha. Bullies are men and women who are deeply afraid on the inside, so they stop at nothing to control other people (even if it means through fear, intimidation, etc.)
If you have those types of traits, you’re only going to attract two types of people:
- People who don’t really care about you, so they don’t really care how you act… (a.k.a. emotionally unavailable)
- Aimless, spineless people who co-dependently need you to control them.
If you feel that you are attracting emotionally unavailable men to you, I suspect it could have to do with some of these behaviors. The truly alpha side of you is great.
If you have any behaviors that could be construed as bullying, demanding, disagreeable or controlling, then you’ll do best to lay them to rest.
You can have control without being controlling. You can reach the agreements you want without needing to be disagreeable. You can have your desires met without demanding them. And you can have compliance without intimidating the other person.
In the words of Benjamin Franklin [Tact and Tactfulness]: A spoonful of honey will catch more flies than a gallon of vinegar.
Hope it helps,