• Dumping all of your emotions on someone the instant you get close to them.

It's said that in the course of your life, you'll do really well if you manage to make a few good, trustworthy friends and confidants.

The problem is when you give someone a "confidant" role they never asked for.

If you've ever been on the receiving end of this, you know how painful it can be. Imagine meeting a shy person in your class, taking pity on them, and treating them well. Good for you. They slowly open up, have fun in that class, and seem genuinely grateful for your "give to give" attitude.

But eventually, they start to take advantage of your good nature. They complain about their parents to you. They complain about their love life, or lack thereof. They start using you as an emotional springboard, and suddenly the relationship becomes less "give to give" and more "expected to give" on your part.

It's creepy. It's exhausting. It makes you not want to hang around that person anymore because you know they place such a low premium on your time and energy.

Now put yourself in their shoes.

Have you ever met someone and done something similar to them? Maybe they were one of the first cute members of the opposite sex to show you positive attention. Did you take advantage of their good nature and give them an emotional dump?

Yeah, when you have true friends, you should expect to be able to lean on them for emotional support once in a while. And you should expect to give that kind of emotional support in the same vein.

But when you do it too much, and too early, it has nothing to do with friendship - and it has everything to do with self-centeredness. If someone has legitimate issues, there are people who are paid to listen to problems and be helpful; they're called therapists.

Don't be anyone's therapist, and don't force anyone else to be your therapist. They'll only resent you for it.

  • Browsing through the Facebook and Instagram albums of friends and acquaintances for ogling purposes.

Yeah, I know that when people put something up on social media, it means they don't mind people looking at them.

But do you really think they have someone's 2 a.m. ogle-fest in mind when they put their pictures up?

And consider what it does to your confidence. Pretend you're a shy guy in a college class with some beauty, and you found her on Facebook. Do you really think that ogling her pictures on Facebook is going to build your confidence around her? No. Deep down, part of you is going to know how you spend your time.

This is why I encourage everyone to spend most of their time with hobbies that are for themselves. When you spend your time consciously, when you spend it improving yourself, you build momentum for the other areas of your life you hadn't considered. How much more confident will you feel if you didn't spend your nights ogling Facebook, but spent them reading, or writing, or studying, or getting a good night's sleep?

Think of confidence like a muscle. Ogling women you know online is like eating junk food. Yeah, your muscle will still work...but if you do nothing else, it will atrophy, and the junk food will only weigh you down.

  • Defaulting the the easiest possible method of communication.

I've been guilty of this one far too many times, with predictably awkward results. Don't make the same mistake I did.

It goes like this: you talk to someone in person and you think you hit it off. You share a few jokes, maybe you even flirt. Part of you wants to work up the courage to ask them out, or maybe volunteer a place to hang out - whatever it is, you're interested in moving from flirtation territory into "let's hang out" territory.

But rejection is scary, so you wimp out.

Then you see her on Facebook later through a friend. Success! A second chance at love! You send her a message, ask her out, and...

  • ..no response.

Why? It was creepy. You had your chance to say something, and instead you turned to the armor of Internet distance to separate yourself from the risk of rejection. But it backfired: the less willing you were to risk rejection, the more you increased the possibility of looking like some dud who doesn't know how to talk to women in person. Blech.

So what should you do instead?

  • Putting people on a pedestal.


I cringe every time I see a celebrity post a Tweet, followed by a zillion "I love u" "pls respond" replies. It's basically a nuclear version of what creepy people do in their private lives, which is place people on a pedestal.

Almost all creepy behavior boils down to this one issue: scarcity.

The more emotionally invested you are in someone before you even ask them out, the more likely you're going to come across as creepy. If you've ever put off asking someone out for an entire semester and then "laid it all on the line," only to see them mutter a polite rejection and disappear from your life, you know how uncomfortable it can make someone feel.

Here's a great example from /r/cringepics:


In the above, the person on the other end creeps the OP's profile and starts imagining all these future scenarios of them getting together. He's "in love" with her with almost zero interaction.

What. the. hell.

This is why I recommend guys never ogle or research women they know online: it leads to daydreaming. It leads to seeing all of the stuff they put out for you to see; they're not posting things that make them look like someone with flaws. It leads to imagining what your life would be like with this person in your life. It leads to all sorts of unhealthy things when your time is better spent indulging your own hobbies and learning to enjoy life by yourself.

  • Too much persistence.

I know, I know - persistence wins the day when you're trying to achieve your dreams. And you hear constant tales of happy couples where the man "wore down" the woman and she finally "gave him a chance."

That's a myth. It's stupid. Get rid of it from your mind. In fact, let me make it abundantly clear:


In how to handle rejection, I noted that you should take a woman's - or a man's, for that matter - word for it when they reject you. They're not "shit testing" you. They're not saying "you have to game me more first." They're rejecting you.

Yeah, sometimes they'll regret rejecting you, but how they feel is really none of your business. Your job is to be a normal human being about it and move on.

It comes to a basic question of abundance and scarcity. A man with better things to do will think, "oh, she's rejecting me...I'm just wasting my energy here. Better to do something else." A man who spends all day daydreaming about how this person is a perfect flower who will rescue him from his despair won't even think about something else.

Don't be the latter guy. Find the abundance in your life, no matter where it may be. Don't worry about rejection, because the clock ticks forward, there are more people to meet everywhere, and lief is full of fun opportunities to live in an inspiring way.

Persist belongs in business or at the gym. When it comes to asking someone out, don't be persistent. Move on.

  • Holding back out of fear.

Inspiration: hover hand man.

When you read a list like this, it's tempting to grow an unhealthy fear of ever being called creepy by a member of the opposite sex. It leads to all sorts of bad things. You think, "am I being creepy now? Should I back off? Can I talk about this topic with her? Am I staring at her too long?"

Forget all that. Ultimately, what makes a person creepy is placing too much emotional investment in what someone else thinks of them.

Yeah, you should invest a little in what people think of you. You don't want to be a sociopath who doesn't recognize discomfort in other people.

But when you get so turned off the idea of creepiness that you can't even touch a woman when you're in the same picture, you've gone too far in the other direction.

Be yourself. Have fun. Be forward occasionally. Touch someone in the appropriate times. Back off at other times. Make fun your goal, make it a priority to give other people a good time, and let their opinions of you sort themselves out.

After all, you wouldn't want to be all creepy about it.

nov 13 2018 ∞
mar 17 2019 +