A lot of men are constantly worried about upsetting a girl. They’re terrified that if they create any kind of tension — they’re going to lose their opportunity with her.
They avoid all conflict. They don’t speak up for themselves. And they don’t ever lead. They think that leading is going to come off as controlling.
These guys end up being too passive and safe. They count on women to make all the decisions in their relationships. And the whole time they believe they’re being the perfect nice guy that women want.
But without that leadership, they lose some of the greatest qualities which make a man attractive. They lose the respect that leadership commands. They don’t embody the strength that leaders do. They don’t give women the sense of security they get from a man who knows what he wants.
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As a result, these men get walked all over, friend zoned, and rejected. Unfortunately, because of their frustration, they turn to what they believe is the only remaining solution…becoming a controlling asshole.
What they don’t understand is that there is a HUGE difference between being controlling vs being a leader. You don’t have to compromise your values to be an attractive man who isn’t afraid to take the lead.
What it means to be controlling
My definition of being controlling is:
“This is what I want and you have to agree or comply with me. What YOU want is irrelevant. I will do everything in my power to coerce or convince you to see that.”
- Manipulate. They guilt trip and make a woman feel bad for disagreeing or disobeying them. They use gaslighting techniques to make a girl feel stupid or crazy for not seeing things their way. They are passive-aggressive and harbor resentment.
- Threaten. Instead of discussing or compromising, they shut down and try to force a woman to agree to their ultimatums. They imply that they may just leave and go find someone who does listen to them.
- Persist endlessly. Even after a woman rebuffs or challenges them, they don’t give up. They see backing down as losing. They persist until a woman feels like she has to accommodate them.
- Intimidate. They raise their voice and act pissed off to get their way. They may use their physical presence to scare others. They might even hint at self-harm to push a woman to give into them.
Being controlling comes from a place of insecurity and low self-esteem. It stems from the fear that an independent woman will be more likely to leave or find someone better. So controlling men incorrectly believe that they must have a tight grasp to prevent those things from happening.
And sometimes it works — everyone’s seen the overbearing asshole with the attractive girlfriend. Especially if it’s early in the relationship or the woman struggles with low self esteem, she might put up with it for a while. She may be willing to overlook your control issues because she’s interested and attracted to you. She might even think that she can change you.
But eventually, the charm will wear off and all that will be left is your controlling insecurity. Any self-respecting woman will eventually fight against it. It’s human nature to seek personal freedom.
She’ll realize you’re treating her as an inferior and you’re not actually a strong, confident individual. And she’ll do exactly what you feared in the first place — find a real man who treats her better.
What it means to be a leader
My definition of a leader is:
“This is what I want and you are entitled to what you want. I am going to communicate my needs or ideas and see if that works for you. If they don’t, I will accept that and see if we can compromise.”
- Motivate and inspire. They let their passion do the talking and they often lead by example. Their ability to express their ideas with confidence and enthusiasm draw people in. People naturally come to their side and want to follow their lead.
- Set healthy expectations. They express what they want while remaining positive and even playful about it. They are assertive, not aggressive in enforcing their boundaries if they’re feeling challenged or don’t want to do something. They allow a woman to set her expectations as well so they can both have their needs met.
- Respectfully challenge other people’s opinions. They don’t force their beliefs on others, but do try to help people understand where they’re coming from. They’re willing to debate about different viewpoints without getting defensive or resorting to verbal attacks.
- Know when to stop leading. They will lead with what they want. If they face hesitance, they may wait and then try again. They express their opinion but don’t mind following a woman’s lead, too. And if they’re willing to admit the error in their ways if need be.
Leaders understand who they are, what they want, and what it takes to go after that. And they fully accept that a woman is an individual with her own needs. They respect that and treat her like an equal.
They lead with their intentions and give a woman the opportunity to follow that lead or suggest something else. They don’t tiptoe around their desires or constantly ask for permission. They recognize that she has a voice, too — and let her use it. They understand every adult is personally responsible for speaking up.
When leading, you communicate your thoughts and feelings on a subject. You’re willing to engage in a conversation about your differences and have a healthy debate. And in the end, you know it’s completely up the other person whether or not they follow your lead.
And after this healthy debate, you’re able to compromise, change your mind, or recognize that this woman isn’t a good fit for you. Because you have high standards for yourself and aren’t desperate to settle, you don’t endlessly chase after someone just for the prospect of sex.
As a leader, you’re secure in your abundance mentality. Women sense that and are more willing to work for you and follow your lead. They also trust you more because they know you have their best interests in mind.
Because of all this, attractive women appreciate your value. They still maintain their independence while knowing they have a strong man. They don’t feel the need to escape or try to find someone better because they already have everything they desire.
Examples of being controlling vs leading
She saw her ex while you were hanging out with her and her friends. She went to talk to him and forgot about you for an hour.
Controlling: “Don’t you ever do that again, do you hear me?” “I don’t want you talking to him. You’re with me.” “Why don’t you go sleep with him instead?”
Leading: “If you want to talk to him, that’s fine. But it’s not cool to leave me alone with your friends who I don’t know after you invited me out.” “If you got caught up, I would’ve at least appreciated you letting me know. I felt disrespected and like you didn’t consider me at all.” “That guy used to treat you like crap and I just don’t think you should even give him the time of day.”
A guy hit on your girlfriend while you were out together. He was very forward and she didn’t tell him to stop or address your concerns. You want to talk to her after…
Controlling: “You’re not allowed to do that.” “Why didn’t you fuck him right there — that’s what you wanted, right?”
Leading: “You saw that I was physically uncomfortable and I don’t feel like you were there as my partner. I understand that you may have wanted to avoid confrontation but you could’ve talked to me. I’m upset that you didn’t address how my feelings or even offer to leave the situation.”
She’s been spending an unfair amount of time with her friends.
Controlling: “You’re going to need to stop hanging out with your friends so much, okay?” “Do you even give a shit about me?”
Leading: “I know you love hanging out with your friends and I’m great with that. We just haven’t spent much time together and that’s important to me in a relationship.”
You want to address something which she hasn’t been contributing to.
Controlling: “You just leave your shit all over the ground.” “If I see your clothes here one more time I’m going to throw them all in the trash.”
Leading: “I get that you’re tired when you get home but seeing clothes everywhere overwhelms me when I’m tired, too.” “I want to keep our place clean. It’s not fair that I have to pick up your clothes and I would like you to pitch in.”
You feel she has been talking down to you when you had a fight.
Controlling: Screaming, “You better not talk to me like that again or else!”
Leading: “You can be upset all you want but I am not going to tolerate talking to me like that.” “The way you’re speaking to me is unacceptable.”
You don’t appreciate that she talks about your relationship woes to her friends and not to you.
Controlling: “How about I go tell my friends everything bad I feel about you?” “You’re crazy, I don’t want you talking to them again!”
Leading: “Those issues are personal and I don’t feel comfortable with everyone knowing our business. If you feel we have a problem, I would prefer you come to me so we can figure it out together.”
You want to try something new and she is hesitant. That could be to go to a social event or try something like kayaking.
Controlling: “Stop being such a chicken.” “I won’t put up with a girlfriend who’s scared of every little thing.” “Kristine (my ex) was never afraid of putting herself out there.”
Leading: “I know it’s scary but I know you’re strong enough to handle it.” “It’s normal to be nervous your first time but I’m going to be right there with you.”
You disagree on an opinion or idea and want her to understand your side.
Controlling: “You’re wrong.” “That’s stupid.” “So you think I’m an idiot then?”
Leading: “I can respect your opinion but I think…” “I don’t agree with that because…”
You’re trying to have sex with her for the first time. She’s nervous.
Controlling: Pouting or acting cold to guilt her into sleeping with you. “If we weren’t going to do anything, why’d you invite me in?” You keep pushing her even though she’s told you she’s not ready, “C’mon, let’s just try it. Trust me you’ll have fun. You know you want to.”
Leading: “I just want you to feel incredible and I promise to only go as far as you’re comfortable with.” “You look amazing and have nothing to worry about.” “Just relax and enjoy yourself. You let me know if you want to stop at any point.”
You want her to get more healthy and in shape.
Controlling: “You clearly don’t care about our relationship if you’re willing to let yourself go.” “If you don’t get in shape, I’m going to find a girl who is.”
Leading: “Let’s try that Yoga video you liked — I’m excited.” “We should go for a hike together later.” “I’m going to put on some music and we’re gonna dance our asses off!”
If you need absolute control of someone, you aren’t a leader. A true leader incites people to follow them of their own free will.