Clueless But Pretty | Office Diplomacy | Gun Talk


Clueless But Pretty

Dear Micah

I’m a pretty good looking guy, I’ve been told. I work out, I’m into sports, I think I’m pretty built, I’m funny, I’m smart, basically I think I got it all going on. My problem is I am alone and I don’t know why. I have the worst luck with women. I will date them for a few dates and then bam it’s over. They don’t want to go out anymore. I’m a polite dude. I treat ladies with respect. I hold doors open, I pull out chairs, I pay compliments. Again I think I’m doing everything right. Total package. But still I’m all by myself when everybody else has long term relationships. Friends have said it’s the town, that it’s not a good dating town. Maybe I should move. My job is moveable. Maybe that’s what I should do. Give me some ideas from a non-connected person.

JT

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Dear JT,

You are doing something wrong. We just have to determine what that is. If you really are good looking and your body is “built,” then at some point in time you should have had a reasonably long term relationship. Pretty people do not stay single long unless they have something wrong with their personality or have a lot of personal baggage.

Pretty people usually are never alone for long, and that doesn’t change with a bad dating scene. Even in a poor dating pool, pretty people snap each other up first, so something is wrong with you, and we need to fix it. The first thing we have to ascertain is that you are actually as good looking as you think you are. Ask a friend who is really honest to tell you, or better yet, send me a picture and I will tell you. Right now we’ll operate under the assumption that you are hot. That must mean that whatever is wrong with you is pretty substantial, because people can overlook a lot of stuff if someone is hot enough.

Are you perhaps too consumed with your looks? You did go there first when describing yourself to me. You may give off a narcissistic vibe. Are you reasonably intelligent? Of course, I’d expect you to answer “yes” because everyone always thinks they are very smart. Some of the stupidest people I have ever known were convinced they were smart.

For a true answer to this. you are going to have to ask a friend that will be straightforward with you. Even then, they aren’t going to be comfortable coming out and saying “No, man, you are as dumb as a box of rocks.” You will have to look for the signals that really give the answer. Here are the signs that you aren’t actually a smart man: If the friend pauses and has a blank look on his face for a few seconds, then answer; or if the beginning part of his answer is “Aaahhh,” or “Uummm” and he seems to be stammering a bit; or if his voice goes up an octave higher as he answers the question; or if he deflects with a laugh and a head shake and then asks you a question like, “What are you talking about?” If any of those things occur after you have asked him the question, then you are probably an idiot and everyone but you knows it.

To correct that, you will just have to learn on dates to speak less, listen more, and let the woman lead the conversations while you sit and absorb what she is saying. Then, just agree with her and tell her that she made a brilliant observation. That scores points every time. Soon, she’ll believe you to be the most intelligent man in the universe because you recognize how intelligent she is.

As for this whole gentleman thing of pulling out chairs, opening doors, and making compliments, let’s discuss that a second. Opening doors for women is a must. Every southern man should do that; it’s just courtesy. I do it for women, men, kids, I don’t care. If you are approaching the same door I am, I will let you go first. Partly that is because I was taught manners, and partly that is because if there is anything wrong in the building, the other person’s screams will warn me not to go in.

As for pulling out the chair, I don’t know. In restaurants, the host and hostess usually already do that, and so the only other time to do it would be in private, and that’s just bordering on a little odd these days. Some people may disagree, but I believe that too much chivalry comes off as sort of douchey, as if you’re trying too hard to impress.

As for the compliment thing, compliments are great in moderation, but too much of that just becomes creepy and off-putting. If you are constantly assailing your companion with compliments, you come off as either insincere or desperate. We all love to get a compliment, but a barrage of them just makes everything awkward. So ask yourself if you are over-complimenting. I know that men are given the impression that women want a nice polite gentlemen, but they also want a man who might just rake everything off a table and have their way with her on it–consensually, of course. But, the fantasy for many women is to have a strong and manly man.

A man that wants to give you daisies at the door every date, and rush to pull your chair out, and who is constantly telling you how wonderful you are just isn’t that sexy. Remember, the goal is to form chemistry that leads to a long term bond, not to wow her with manners and boost her ego while making yourself look ridiculous. Reevaluate what you are doing on these dates. You are doing something that is sending a weird vibe out to these women. Your friends probably know what you are doing wrong, and they just don’t want to tell you. Ask them to please be honest and then do not get hurt or angry when they are. That whole “it’s not a good dating town” is a crap-answer they are giving you so that they can avoid really telling you how much you are creeping these women out. Make them be truthful with you. Or better yet, call up and ask one of the women. Remember to let her speak, do not interrupt, and do not argue with what she says. Keep in mind the whole time that you are calling her for help to fix what you’re doing that’s off-putting, so do not challenge anything she tells you. Just say thank you and tell her she has helped you immensely.

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Office Diplomacy

Dear Micah,

What do you do when you have a boss who will not stop micromanaging everyone? My boss looks over our shoulder all the time checking what we’re doing and questioning how and why we did it the way we did. You never get a good word from him but he can always find a criticism. He makes the workday go by a lot longer, and a lot of us are getting sick of it. How would you suggest bringing this up to him?

Leon

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Dear Leon,

I don’t know if you should bring anything up to him. I know for sure that you do not need to be allowing others in the office to manipulate you into being the office spokesman. If things truly are bothering them, then they should handle their own individual issue with their boss. Having you relay the group message just looks like mutiny and makes you the singular enemy in your boss’ eyes.

People in work environments love to get together in groups and bitch about “wrongs” committed against them or perceived inequities in the office, but rarely are problems so bad that they would be willing to have a conversation with the boss. Yet, they are always willing to let someone else stand up front and take the risk. If you were to ever go to your boss over any behavior that doesn’t sit well with you, it should be behavior that has only pertained to you and your job. You are not the office savior, and you shouldn’t allow yourself to be put in that perilous situation.

If the other people’s problems are not severe enough to approach their boss themselves, then the problems must not be all that bad to them. They just want to complain and whip everyone up into a mass frenzy hoping an idiot will step forward to bravely confront the boss. Please, Leon, do not be that idiot.

With that said, I am not even really sure if you should approach the boss with your own personal beefs with him. There are some variables to consider and I don’t have enough info from you to know them. How long have you worked there? If you’re relatively new (a couple of years of less), you don’t have a voice yet and need to keep your mouth shut. However, if you’re a long term employee who has been with the company for a decade or more, that gives your opinion a little credibility.

Also, how long has this man been the boss? Is it a reasonably new position for him? If so, he will naturally lighten up a bit as time passes and he doesn’t feel so pressured to prove that his promotion was justified. Has he been manger a while and just recently started this micromanaging routine? It could be that his job is under fire from his bosses, and he’s trying to get better results out of the staff before he finds himself replaced.

Also, have you or the rest of the staff slacked off lately and ultimately been responsible for his need to micromanage? There are many things to consider here that form a larger picture of the company, and you need to think about the whole picture before you try to discuss a tiny corner of it with anyone. This man may be just an ass, but he may also be a man who has extreme pressures on him pushing him to get more results out of his team. You can’t really know what’s going on in his world that might be making him act like this.

Whenever, if ever, you decide to approach him about his leadership style, try to keep all of that in mind. Go into the talk paying as much respect as you can to his position and its responsibilities. Make the conversation less about what he is doing that is driving you all crazy and more about what is happening that’s making him seem tense and worried. If he feels like you are also concerned for him and desiring to find out how better you can do your job so that his tenuous situation eases up, he might be more comfortable opening up and talking to you. If there is something going on behind the scenes stressing him out, he may confide in you. If there isn’t and he’s just an ass, well it’s harder to be an ass to a man who just came to you with concern for you.

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Gun Talk

Dear Micah,

I am anti-gun all the way. I do not believe in owning them or shooting them. Oddly enough, I am dating a man now (it’s pretty serious) who isn’t anti-gun. He owns a few and I know that’s his right. I have made my peace with it. The problem is that my fourteen year old son wants to go with him to the shooting range and learn how to shoot. I am AGAINST this totally. I have said no over and over and each time my son gets mad at me and my boyfriend gets frustrated with me. Am I right to say no? These are beliefs I feel strongly about. Shouldn’t they respect my point of view as my son’s mother. When he’s on his own he can decide for himself how he feels about guns, but while in my charge I have the right to decide for him. Am I right?

Mom

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Dear Mom,

You are right, but in that way where “right” doesn’t mean anything. It’s better to be “smarter” than “right.” You have a young man who wants to learn about guns. Clearly, your son has already decided for himself how he feels about owning guns, and his opinion differs from you. That is NOT going to change in the time left before he is an adult. So your son is a gun guy. Accept that now. This is his choice and he’s made it. Now, you could try to force him to keep away from guns until he’s older, but in all likelihood, he isn’t going to. He’ll just handle guns of friends’ at their houses.

I think that you are missing a golden opportunity here with your boyfriend. Your teenage son obviously likes and respects this man you are seeing if he wants to spend time with him. It sounds like your son is asking for some time to bond with him at the shooting range. If this guy could be your future husband, you may want to give them as much time to bond as possible. Also, clearly this man is someone you must respect, so I would assume he would only teach your son the proper ways of gun safety and handling. In this world of gun crazy kids shooting up schools with oblivious parents at home, I would much rather have him learn about guns from a responsible man than one of his teenage friends with a hunting rifle. I am not coming down on the side of kids having guns, believe me, but I think you should seize this opportunity to have your son learn about guns from a man who knows how to handle one and how to respect life and safety.

I think it’s hard for you to see this side of things because you are still considering this to be an issue of pro-gun versus anti-gun, but it’s not. Your son made his pro-gun choice and now the issue is actually about learning gun safety from the proper gun source. Would you rather him learn it from a person you respect or from a bunch of hormonal, testosterone-driven kids?

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