Sunday, February 08, 2009


The Uncharismatic Single Man’s Plan

For practical purposes, one may divide all males into two categories: 1) those who have charisma and 2) those who don’t. They’re easy to spot in pretty much any group, social or professional: Those who don’t have it usually sit silently, appearing to have something to say but never getting to utter it.

Whoever happens to be talking at the time, the uncharismatic male will let him/her finish, because they feel it rude to interrupt, no matter how pointless the speaker’s words are. Also, they know they lack the necessary charisma to do rude things and get away with them.

Their chance to speak rarely comes, because the charismatic male regularly starts talking before the other person finishes. They do this because a) they have enough charisma to get away with doing rude things and b) they’ve been getting away with it for so long that they now assume that what they have to say really is important.

There are advantages in being an uncharismatic male, though, chief of which is that one gets a lot more practice thinking, rather than talking. In his mind he can devise elaborate plans, mainly about how he can get more women to notice him.

The charismatic male never conceives of plans that detailed because he never stops talking long enough to do so. Of course, women are more likely to notice him because he’s always talking, so such plans are less necessary.

Therefore, those who lack charm or personal magnetism must work twice as hard to find a wife (and this usually is their goal, as they’re convinced that they’re of little value by themselves). That’s why they are twice as likely as the unreserved male to have a full schedule. Among the things they’re likely to spend time doing are these:

Reading: This may include fiction, newspapers, self-help books or online reviews of the latest season of The Biggest Loser. The hope is that someday, somehow, the charismatic people of both genders will run out of things to say or (this is an outside chance) actually ask him what he thinks about a subject.

Either of these possibilities present his opportunity to take all the knowledge he has gathered on the subject and synthesize it into a single sentence that is as compelling as it is efficient. Then, just maybe, group members will start asking his opinion regularly, figuring he needs more chances to talk.

Exercising: There is a good reason why males with charisma also tend to be more naturally athletic than those without: Nature loves reserved males more, and motivates them to compensate for their athletic deficiencies by exercising more, and thus living longer (either that, or nature hates uncharismatic males more, and wants them to live longer, more frustrated lives).

Either way, uncharismatic males have to spend more time in gymnasiums sitting or lying in awkward positions, pushing or pulling objects of variable size and weight in certain directions as often as gravity will allow. The hope is that someday, somehow, the women who usually watch the more charismatic male’s antics will look at his more reserved counterpart and say, “I never noticed before, but you’re in pretty good shape.”

A single instance of this goes a long way. It has to: As soon as she’s finished saying it, she’ll go back to watching the charismatic male practice doing handstands.

Working Overtime: A typical charismatic male learns in college that he doesn’t have to work as hard because there’s a less charming, more studious person perfectly willing to supply him with test answers in exchange for nothing save a brief exposure to his puissant personal pull. The charismatic male is also more likely to get hired despite a gap in his résumé because, as his employers say later, “He has that … I don’t know what you call it … that certain something.”

The uncharismatic male must thus, when he finally lands a job, work that much harder to put in solid, workmanlike performances on a daily basis. Hopefully, for every 300 or so workmanlike days at the office, he’ll have at least one in which he puts in a spectacular, career-making performance. Then, he’ll earn the benefits of more money/power/bosses who remember his name, instead of always calling him “Jim.”

Even if he does nothing spectacular in that time, there will at least come that glorious day when he hands in his two weeks notice, and the boss says, “Really? We’re going to miss you here. You did some good work, Jim.”

Traveling Abroad: If he gets too frustrated with being overlooked at home, the uncharismatic male may choose to try another country, where he’ll gain attention just for being who he is.

This will reap dividends, provided the reserved male can ever get used to the attention from locals, many of whom think that a scintillating conversation consists of, “Hello!” “Where are you from?” and “Oh, America economy is not good right now.”

It also helps if charismatic males from his home country don’t also go. If they’re there, monopolizing attention from locals, the reserved male may have to find yet another country.

Talking to Women: If the reserved male can bench press twice his own weight, has won employee of the year multiple times, has seen all the world’s seven wonders and has a quote from Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot appropriate for all situations, it’s still going to be daunting to actually talk to women who are potential wives.

That’s why it’s important to talk to as many of them as possible and whenever possible, even the ones that aren’t potential wives. In doing so, he can learn what they respond favorably to, what to do when the conversation lulls, and when a quote from The Idiot can most effectively be deployed. Most of all, he must practice these things in such a way that looks natural; meaning, without looking like he’s practicing talking to women, because, y’know, that’d be weird.

If he keeps practicing, then one day he can meet the woman who appreciates his knowledge, fitness, dedication and worldly wisdom. His search will be over.

As you can see, it takes a lot of skill and know-how for an uncharismatic male to succeed with women. When he finally gets married, where does all that knowledge go?

Next week we’ll find out.

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