As we begin a new year, men should remember that standing one’s ground—with women in particular—is a central tenet of masculinity. Far too many guys allow women to get away with irritating nonsense, or worse, borderline-abusive behaviour for fear of missing out on sex. This can happen when a man is approaching women, dating, or in a full-blown relationship or marriage.
It’s not good enough. Let’s all resolve this year to call out bad or disrespectful behaviour when it occurs and and not to fall into the trap of kowtowing to girls just because of their beauty.
A way of talking about this issue that will be familiar to anyone who has a passing interest in game is “frame control”—as it is frequently remarked, the person who controls the frame in any given interaction has the most power and will most likely get their way. Frame, defined simply, is the way in which individuals (or groups like businesses and governments) organize and communicate reality.
As a man, you should be very certain of the types of behaviour you are prepared to tolerate, as well as those that you won’t. If you find it irritating when the girl you are with speaks to you rudely, is dismissive, or plays with her iPhone during dinner then you must be sure to let her know that these behaviours negatively affect you and that you will not accept them. Control the frame—as far as you relation to her is concerned—by setting out your version of reality and ensuring that it remains dominant.
It is good practice, by the way—and also only fair—that you also avoid whatever behaviours you proscribe yourself. That way, not only are you able to maintain the upper hand morally, but also you set out by example what is acceptable and what is not. Be fair-handed, in other words, but don’t be a pushover. When she crosses the line you must speak up.
An Extreme Example Of Frame Control In Action
I was recently reminded of an incident that I witnessed many years ago that for me perfectly encapsulates frame control in action. I once had a friend by the name of Stevie. Stevie may have been well-groomed, but he was not the best looking guy on the planet. His eyes bulged out of his skull like a toad’s, his hair was cut too short and plastered down into a (then unfashionable) side parting, and he was on the wrong side of five foot nine. However, his quick-witted sense of humour, his job in a nightclub, and his rock-solid frame control meant that he was a hit with the girls nonetheless.
One morning I went round to Stevie’s apartment to find him having a huge row with this cute brunette Dora, possibly the best looking girl I’d ever seen at that time (I was 21). This girl, who Stevie had been banging for a month or so, was bawling her eyes out and screaming at him as he had not come to meet her the night before, nor had he called her to explain why.
It was Stevie’s reaction to this outburst that impressed me and that has stayed with me ever since. Rather than attempting to pacify her, or to apologise for his behaviour, he stuck firmly to his guns and wouldn’t concede any of her criticisms. He’d been out all night? Why not—he was a free agent, after all, and they hadn’t made firm plans to meet. He hadn’t called? He hadn’t had an opportunity to do so. Everything was very simple—Stevie was calmly and collectedly putting forward his version of reality.
But after Dora screamed and shouted some more, Stevie held up his hand.
“That’s it. I’ve had just about enough of this. Get out and don’t come back.”
Dora was astounded and so was I. Here was Stevie, a man certainly not blessed with male model-like looks, throwing a gorgeous girl who at that time I would have killed to be with out of his apartment and out of his life.
Enraged at his dismissal, Dora stormed out, but then returned again later, broke in by climbing through a window, and cut up a selection of Stevie’s suits. While I would never recommend that anyone incite burglary and vandalism in a woman, there’s certainly no surer sign that you’ve rattled her cage.
Stevie’s stoic upholding of the standards of behaviour he required in a woman, even to the point where he was prepared to relinquish the relationship, drove a huge emotional response in Dora. A week of so later Stevie was in the arms of another hottie, Dora conveniently forgotten.
If You Want To Be An Alpha, Behave Like One
So how did this happen? How did an average-looking guy like Stevie summon up the brass kahunas to reject a hot girl like Dora? I think we can break it down to these three elements:
- Believing unquestioningly in his own value
- Abundance—knowing that after Dora another girl would be just around the corner
- Rock-solid frame
But what if you aren’t jacked, you’re not good looking, or you don’t earn Zuckerberg bucks? Well, Stevie didn’t have those things either. Here’s the trick. If you want to be perceived as an alpha then you must simply behave like one. Keep the three elements above in your head at all times and embody them whether you believe them or not.
With a bit of faking-it-to-make-it you will create a virtuous circle where, appearing more alpha, people will defer to you more and with time you will gain natural confidence.
As we get into the swing of 2016 remember that the true measure of a man is his ability and willingness to live up to his own standards, and to ensure that those around him do the same. This year, let’s be in no doubt that we are in control of the narrative going on around us and act accordingly.