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Thread: A "Man's Man" - My Idle Thoughts

  1. #1
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    Default A "Man's Man" - My Idle Thoughts

    Nope, nothing to do with homosexuality, despite the term. A "man's man" is someone you want to hang out with in a blokey way, someone who doesn't shirk from getting the first round in at the pub, or can talk about cars or sport, for example. My question is, do we all (us men, anyway) try to be a man's man, or are many people happy being the complete opposite? I, myself, do, and often without thinking about it, because that's what my dad taught me in my younger days (he passed away years ago). Take for example, a social gathering - it could be down the pub, a reception/party at a friend's house or a BBQ where a lot of people have been invited. You walk into the room, you spot the gathering of blokes (the blokes and women are never totally integrated at these events, are they? The women don't want to listen to the cars/football chat and the blokes don't want to listen to fashion/cost-of-childcare chat), you walk over to the group of guys, you work out which one's the "alpha male" (the one holding everyone's attention with some dramatic/funny story), you shake hands with him or slap his shoulder, as if to say "you might be the alpha male, but so am I so I'm not going to lurk at the fringes of the group in silence until someone notices me". The alpha male might be the guy whose house the gathering is at, and if so, his dad might be there as well, so out of respect for elders you make sure you greet him as well. With every greeting, you make sure you make good eye contact, have a firm handshake, and don't ignore anyone else's greeting by being too busy typing on your smartphone. You join in the banter, make a few witty remarks, and if anyone comes up with a slightly barbed "joke" (like "why would you choose to drive a Vauxhall instead of a BMW??) you come up with a slightly sharp reply (e.g. "Your X5 was made in a pi$$-poor part of the southern US, my car was made in Germany, that's why I drive it). If there's "man's work" to be done, such as moving furniture around to make room for more tables and seats, you join in, you grab the heavy end of whatever you're lifting, you might take your jacket off so the women can secretly admire your physique as you do the work. If your partner is there, she'll be pleased that other women are admiring your machismo.

    The reason I make these observations - and they are just that, not laws or rules - is that I met someone totally different to that last week and wondered to myself how he got to 30-ish and didn't learn any of this. A friend is getting married soon and she wanted to borrow a wedding gazebo I can get hold of, so she sent her cousin to collect it from me. He lives some distance away so I offered to meet halfway, at a motorway service station, which would save him two hours driving (that's a man's man thing to do, BTW). My friend/his cousin told me what time he left home to meet up with me, so I left at the appropriate time and got to the meeting point 5 minutes early. No sign of him, so I phoned him and he said he was still an hour and a half away because there was traffic. There was no traffic visible on the net before I left home, and I phoned a mate and asked him to look up the traffic cams for the motorway and he confirmed there was still no traffic. Matey boy turned up two and a half hours late. So much for trying to make someone's life easier by sharing the travelling. He'd obviously gone somewhere else whilst pretending to be helping his cousin with her wedding stuff, leaving me getting more and more bored at the services. That's not a man's-man sort of thing to do.

    Anyway, he takes the gazebo, delivers it to his cousin's house (having taken all day to do a 3 hour task), the gazebo gets put up and the next day my partner and I attend the pre-wedding party. Lots of people there, in the house and the garden/gazebo, lots of introductions, hand shakes, kissing girls' cheeks, etc etc. The lazy guy, the bride's cousin, is missing though, even though I know he's at this house. When he does finally turn up, he enters the room not by surveying whose there and which group to go over to first and make intro's. No, he "slithers" into the room, like a snake slides along the ground, almost like he's trying to go unnoticed. Someone spots him and shakes hands with him, and matey-boy does so without making any eye contact, instead looking from side to side, like a con-man looking for his next "mark" or hustle. When he finally makes it over to our group and gets invited in to the conversation, he mumbles without looking anyone in the eye, so you can't hear what he's saying or work out which person he's saying it to. It's a free bar, but he never gets the drinks in, instead I kept seeing him with two drinks in his hand and couldn't work out who the second one was for. He might just be shy, or unassertive, you might say. But he's not - I've heard the shenanigans he gets up to in his spare time, some legal, some not, so he's got plenty of brass ones when it suits him. It's simpler than that - no one ever taught him the importance of being a man's man, or the alpha male, or even just the guy you can rely on to get the job done.

  2. #2
    spoons
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    My idle reply.

    My step dad was a Mans man, site manager on a building firm, very well respected and worked as a consultant to get jobs in on time, on budget. Hands the size of shovels and would stand his ground in an argument with no fear of using them. He claimed high morals, had an open mind and would be very polite to people he met. Would help anyone in distress and was a regular blood donor (got regular trophies for the amount of blood given)

    However behind the scenes and the cherade, he was a drunk. Quite happy to be found in the gutter, self loathing and useless to anyone. Spent more time judging other people and hating them for their shortfalls (and their achievements!). As time went on the hating turned into isolation as nobody would talk to him. Too vocal with his opinions which were not socially acceptable. I've seen plenty of Mens men treat women and their kids terribly, so no pride in that.

    Would I want to be a Mans man... its bollox in my opinion. Who cares!

    I've met a number of alpha males in my time and some of them are very capable people. Some of them are complete idiots who are a danger to themselves and everyone around them. Some alpha males are bullies, simple as that. Strong opinions, dictators, and can be violent with it.

    The key is not to judge people for what they say they can do. Judge them for what they actually do and how they treat other people.

    I've met a lot of people in my time. One guy was a self made multi-millionaire. Doug is his name and he is president and CEO of the 13th largest software company in the world & professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He wears ankle clips to keep his socks/trousers off his bike chain as he cycles to work. He has a flimsy handshake almost woman like and is happy to walk behind you quietly. We were on a london tube train once chatting with some other guests and I couldnt beleave how this guy shrinks into the background. Nobody knew who he was. There is a photo on his office wall behind his chair with him shaking hands in the oval room of the whitehouse with the President of the USA.

    He's based in Seattle and all of his key management personel have climed a local mountain in the Cascade mountain range with him, as he's a keen mountaineer and he uses the mountains as team building. He values how they bring out the real person before he hires them.

    I know who I would rather base my life on. Live for today and do something extraordinary.
    Last edited by spoons; 23rd May 2012 at 09:19.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spoons View Post
    However behind the scenes and the cherade, he was a drunk. Quite happy to be found in the gutter, self loathing and useless to anyone. Spent more time judging other people and hating them for their shortfalls (and their achievements!). As time went on the hating turned into isolation as nobody would talk to him. Too vocal with his opinions which were not socially acceptable. I've seen plenty of Mens men treat women and their kids terribly, so no pride in that.

    Would I want to be a Mans man... its bollox in my opinion. Who cares!
    Fair enough, but from what you've described and the paragraph I've quoted above, this person wasn't a man's man; it was - as you've stated yourself - a charade. Lots of people have charades, there are those whose charade is that they're never racist, but listen to them in private blaming people who look different for their own problems; or people who behave in a friendly manner to your face but inside they're as mean as hell and wouldn't give you the sleeves off their vest. That's just two examples. The charade played out by some shouldn't detract from the real values that others actually do have - the people who, for example, really are kind inside or really aren't racist - or, really are a man's man and behave the way they do because they think it's right, not for how it looks as a facade.

  4. #4
    spoons
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    What rules do you work to that makes you a 'mans man'

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    I go to a social gatherings I end up hanging out with the kids or the women!

    I don't enjoy listening to "Alpha Males" talking about rubbish. Its normally football (I hate it) boastful tosh about cars capable of jaw dropping speeds whilst running standard engines or the bird they would love to bonk at work. It bores me. The women normally have realisitc conversations and it ain't always about kids and shopping.

    I'm a strong character, I stand my ground and I'm not worried about saying what I think. I am polite and sociable when it suits me (My gf complains at this lol) and when at work I'm normally the alpha male giving direction and making decisions in tough circumstances. If I do not like someone I will not go out of my way to speak to them as I believe its twofaced and normally treat everyone fairly until they pi55 me off.

    Am I a mans man? Am I hell I agree with Spenny its a load of rubbish. I think what you are describing is just common courtesy and respect for people all of which seems to have fallen by the wayside.

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    Quote Originally Posted by the_wave_rider View Post
    Am I a mans man? Am I hell I agree with Spenny its a load of rubbish.
    or Spoons even!!... gotta say I'm happy to integrate with anyone whoever they are, whatever they do. An I DO shy away from discussions on football, doesn't interest me, increases in 0.5bhp etc. I've worked in contracting which is good for social skills. Having to adapt to different working environments and more work colleagues than normal is good for the personality I think.

    It's good that we are all different, otherwise we'd all be doing the same things and talking about the same issues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chewy71 View Post
    or Spoons even!!... .
    Oh Yeah lol its been a long morning after a few too many beers last night

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    Regular Member rockafella8587's Avatar
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    I agree that this "Alpha male" thing is a load of old *"^&"£*. If someone constantly feels the need to be the centre of attention when in a social situation where there is a number of people then clearly they are just attention seekers. I've known a few people like this in my time, they have always been to eleveneriffe, their opinion is always right, they try to break your hand when they shake it because they think it somehow means it makes them better than you, they laugh at their own jokes etc etc etc. I think they must lack inner confidence in themselves as they try really hard to assert themselves as an "Alpha Male" to others and they need reassurance that others think highly of them. I dont think highly of people like that, i just think they are pathetic. I dont need to go around beating my chest to let others know what im capable of. I already know. Proffesionally, i am extremely confident in my abilites so i dont need to go around trying prove myself all the time. Sure, manners cost nothing and i agree about being polite etc and making an effort with people. But i dont agree you have to be in competition with other males all the time.

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