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Don't Bring Up Your Own Negatives

People are often nervous, defensive and stressed out about flaws they have.

For example: they are short, they have a small dick, their breasts are too small, they weigh too much, they have a blemish...

If everything else goes well, many of these issues frequently wouldn't matter to their date. But people bring up their own flaws and then act weird about them. The social awkwardness of saying, "I know I'm too fat but please don't be a bigot against me" is a much bigger problem than an extra 10 pounds. Saying, "I'm going to warn you in advance that I have a small dick, but I'll be really try-hard to make up for it." is even worse. (They don't say "try-hard" in those words, but they say stuff which has this meaning and is unattractive for this reason.)

It's ironic because people create their own disasters by awkwardly drawing attention to their own flaws. Then they take that as evidence their flaws are a big deal, deal breakers even, and so they're even more worried the next time.

If you don't bring up a flaw, a lot of times it will never be brought up. Relax and focus on stuff that matters, not "flaws" that aren't even a big deal you're just worried the other person will care about. If you don't want someone to care about something, don't start talking about it!

The same issue comes up in other contexts. Don't have a lot of work experience when applying for a job? Or maybe you haven't already done work exactly identical to what this job involves. Or you had a 2 month break between jobs. Or you got a B in a relevant university class. Or you and your previous boss didn't get along. In general, don't mention it. Don't start objecting to yourself and telling them reasons not to hire you. Address it briefly if they bring it up, but often they won't.


Elliot Temple on April 2, 2017

Comments (6)

I thought being truthful was good. Is this a trick to deal with people who don't like being told the truth?

FF at 12:44 AM on April 5, 2017 | #8533
there's no lying here.

Anonymous at 12:53 AM on April 5, 2017 | #8534
Why not teach people to appreciate honesty instead?

I imagined full disclosure of bad stuff was a good way to start. After talking about the horrible stuff the other person would have no expectations left. Then Bombard him with all the good stuff.

But I know your advise is practical and it works in the real world. I have failed many times with my method :-(

FF at 6:26 AM on April 5, 2017 | #8535
there are lots of *small* interactions where teaching people huge stuff about live wouldn't really fit cuz e.g. you only ever interact with the person for 10 minutes total.

Anonymous at 6:31 AM on April 5, 2017 | #8536
Its strange how people choose to focus only on the bad stuff after you reveal it. Maybe it is their dumb defense system that looks for bad stuff and once it sees it ignores all the good.

I always try to reduce the other person's expectation before sharing my favorite book, food or movie. I present them like it's the worst thing in the world and expect them to have a surprise when they see its not that bad. But I fail.. :-( They have a bad experience because they would be thinking about what I said when experiencing it.

FF at 6:43 AM on April 5, 2017 | #8537
#8537 underselling a favorite thing like that is very conventional social lying, so people just ignore the "it's not that good" lying. if you're sharing it you think it's good enough to share and they know that.

Anonymous at 6:45 AM on April 5, 2017 | #8538

What do you think?

(This is a free speech zone!)