As someone who has dated a bunch of different people over my lifetime and failed to find the real Mr. Right, I know a little something about what types of men to AVOID. An article in the June 2012 issue of Psychology Today titled DIFFICULT PEOPLE: How to Handle Whiners, Manipulators, Bullies and More prompted me to think about some of these men and the telltale signs that indicated I should RUN AWAY from them as fast as possible.
So in the spirit of sharing some of my knowledge gained through experience (and the experiences of others) and the desire to help us all find a good, healthy match I will begin a series on Men To Avoid: How to Spot Them and Thwart Them.
The first type of man I would like to bring up is the braggart.
My father once told me that if someone has to repeatedly tell you how fabulous they are they probably are not fabulous at all. Fabulous people are simply fabulous and you can figure this out for yourself. The late Carnegie Melon Professor, Randy Pausch of The Last Lecture fame, reinforced this idea in his now famous lecture when he notes that one should pay attention to ones actions rather than their words.
Telltale signs of the braggart:
He feels must tell you everything about himself on the first date. You will barely get a word in edgewise though he may even deign to ask you a couple of questions he will probably cut you off to talk more about himself. But before the evening is over you will know a lot about his divorce, his ex-wife and HER problems, his career and how critical he was to his company/country/team, what clubs he belongs to, the prestigious places he vacations, how he absolutely must fly first class, how much his former or current house(s) cost and the names of all his most famous and influential friends. He will bore you by literally telling you how wonderful he is, what a great catch.
WARNING: He is really a used car salesman trying to sell you a lemon.
A friend set me up with this man as on the outside he appeared to have many of the characteristics I am looking for in a mate such as a good sense of humor, established in his career, available (as in definitely divorced), has lived overseas with strong ties to France, interested in travel, food, the performing arts and is involved in charity work.
We met for dinner and he seemed very nice – at first. Then he started talking about his divorce and how his ex had screwed him over which took up about 30 minutes. He regaled me with tales of his affairs and how clever he was to keep all seventeen of them from his wife. He shared how his children won’t talk to him though he considers himself a great father. He dropped names of people, places and events. Then he spent another 30 minutes telling me how honest, loving and caring he is. It was all I could do to keep from laughing out loud -or crying from boredom and sadness of how clueless this guy was.
The food was fantastic, however!
After I made it clear to him that I was uninterested in meeting him again he hounded me with texts for days trying to convince me what a great guy he is and how I should reconsider – completely disrespecting the boundary I set.
This type of person makes a poor relationship candidate. The are unable to step outside of their own head to be empathetic or very much care about you and the things that are important to you – one of the keys to relationship success. The best course of action is to just say “No” to this person and avoid engagement of any other sort.
Do you have any stories about braggarts you would like to share?
DATING TIP: Always carry enough money to get you home via cab or public transportation on the first few dates with someone so you can feel confident in your ability to escape a bad date if you wish.