Emotional “Display Rules”
There’s a kind of secret compliment I’ve heard men give over and over to certain women when they’re talking with other men and I’ve finally figured out what it means. This is a kind of “guy code”; an unspoken, but universally understood male slang.
Men will refer to some women they know as a “cool girl” or a “cool woman”.
Ever heard a guy say this? It sounds simple and vacuous at first, but when men say this about a woman, they’re talking about something specific and interesting they see and feel in the woman.
So what does this guy code of a “cool girl” actually mean? In my experience, after hanging out with hundreds of men and getting the same general idea of what they mean when they say a “cool girl”, they mean that the woman “gets” certain social and emotional dynamics that resonate deeply with men.
And more importantly, there’s a subtle implication that the woman is someone that the man would like to spend time with. That being around her is all about good experiences and fun positive energy that the man can relate to, and not about any negative things that menunfortunately associate with other women they know and don’t like.
Yeah, that’s right… Some men actually take some women that they don’t like or have bad experiences with and although they don’t really know that they’re doing it, associate most other women in their lives with the same behavior and experiences that they dislike.
Kind of sad huh? But it happens. Ever been talking about something you feel strongly or kind of “emotional” about and the guy you were talking to either shut down, seemed irritated, or started in on you for some unknown reason? This reaction was probably because the man associated you with a woman or an experience from his past.
Actually, there’s even a larger stereotype floating around some places in society that men promote along these same lines: women are “hysterical”. Come up against that one before? It must be really frustrating to deal with.
But let’s get back to the idea of “cool girls”. What are these women doing that makes men see them that way?
After looking around, watching the way some of the “cool girls” behave, I’ve seen a few things they all do and don’t do.
Let’s start with the “Do’s”.
- Cool girls don’t complain much or talk about things that are impossible for anyone to solve given the current situation.
- Cool girls bring funny positive thoughts and feelings to situations.
- Cool girls don’t have to control much with the situation around them for their own comfort. They’re willing to go with the flow when it comes to social things, but make assertions when they have opinions and ideas.
- Cool girls have options and things to do that keeps them satisfied so they don’t feel like they’re left out if they’re not invited to something.
- Cool girls don’t try and make a man do something if he says he doesn’t want to, they’d prefer for the man to make up his own mind.
- When cool girls need help, they find simple, noncontrolling ways to ask for it. Cool girls know that getting or asking for help, and communicating about it in a positive way, means keeping their own emotional agenda at bay.
- Cool girls can handle almost any social situation that comes up. They don’t get emotionally rattled by people, places, and situations.
- Cool girls don’t require or ask too much from a man at any one time. They know there’s always tomorrow.
- Cool girls don’t need a man to validate their emotions and ideas.
- Cool girls aren’t afraid to be completely honest.
- Cool girls know that the way they feel and talk about themselves is how men will feel about them.
And here’s a couple of “cool girl” Don’ts.
- Don’t minimizing your feelings when you’re really affected or bothered by something. Men have a sense of intuition too, so don’t lie about your feelings. Take the time to observe your feelings and be patient with how you express them.
- Don’t exaggerate about what’s going on around you or what a man’s doing, unless you do it to make a joke or make fun of him in a playful way.
- Don’t say everything that you’re feeling and experiencing. Think before you speak.
- Don’t mention bad situations, issues or problems from the past unless it’s a total “must” or extremely important and you haven’t been able to talk about it yet. Otherwise, live in the present.
- Don’t try to force or convince a man to talk about his feelings. He’ll think you’re being needy.
It’s important to mention that the goal isn’t to keep you from having your feelings. It’s critical for you to acknowledge and respect the feelings that come up to you from inside. But the goal is to bring you to a place where you can begin to observe how you’re feeling and make conscious decisions by using BOTH your emotions and your intellect. The goal is to use your new emotional and intellectual wisdom before you act in certain situations.