How to be more arrogant
April 2, 2012 10:59 PM   Subscribe

How to be more arrogant

I know the first thought crossing your mind is "Why would you want to be more arrogant, that's a negative trait"

However If you'll allow me to make my point, I believe that for a young man especially when it comes to attracting women being confident is just not good enough.

I have noticed in many places (social circle, work, clubs etc.) that it was the guys who were slightly more than confident, and borderline arrogant who seemed to hold women's attention.

I am 25 years old and I've noticed times when I've falsely portrayed an image of arrogance and noticed women like me more.

Here are two articles that drive home my point:


Now that I've made my point my question really boils down to changing how I feel now to being arrogant.

Confidence is belief in yourself, arrogance is belief in your superiority to others

Right now I feel like I am normal, I am not the best at anything in a realistic sense, there are many things that I am good at. However I know there are people who are smarter, sexier, richer, funnier etc. than me.

I don't walk around feeling superior to people, smarter than them, better than them etc.

However I have a co-worker and all the ladies love him, they stop by his cubicle and give him attention. However he is also arrogant when he talks to you, you get the sense that he thinks he is better than you and his choice of words and behavior puts out this energy that he is superior.

Naturally based on what I've seen happen in my own life and reading research if you can call it that, women like slightly arrogant men.

But in all reality when it comes to my co-worker, other than being in great physical shape I dont see how he can justify to himself that he is great when he is really average. He makes the same amount of money that I do and I know for a fact I have a better education than he does. He is not stunningly handsome or exceptionally witty.

Yet he always places himself above people in value.

How does a person get to being that way.

I realize that in all reality unfortunately human beings, men and women are drawn to people who shout their accolades at the top of their lungs sort of speak.

My question is when I really just feel average inside how do I go to feeling arrogant?
posted by curious-mind to Human Relations (37 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I believe that for a young man especially when it comes to attracting women being confident is just not good enough.

Nope, sorry. Keep on trucking.

I realize that in all reality unfortunately human beings, men and women are drawn to people who shout their accolades at the top of their lungs sort of speak.


I know it seems tough because you're probably 18-22, but really, just keep being an awesome person. Throw this question in the trash.

But in all reality when it comes to my co-worker, other than being in great physical shape I dont see how he can justify to himself that he is great when he is really average. He makes the same amount of money that I do and I know for a fact I have a better education than he does. He is not stunningly handsome or exceptionally witty.

And stop doing this.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 11:02 PM on April 2, 2012 [15 favorites]

You are falling into the fallacy of louder people crowding out quiet people. Also your anecdotal data and these shitty articles you linked aren't real data. An article on "" is not worth your time.

Your question betrays a (pretty typical) view of women as an "other" when really they are A LOT LIKE YOU SINCE WE ARE ALL HUMANS. Re-read your entire question with that in mind and realize you got some work to do.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 11:06 PM on April 2, 2012 [26 favorites]

My advice would be to focus on being funny and laughing at things more, and bringing humor into your interactions with everyone, perhaps stepping it up a bit when trying to specifically attract someone, but working on it as a general personality trait that you don't dole out just for special occasions.

Women do like confidence but a sense of humor is huge and the word "arrogance" just implies offensiveness/negativity to me: true arrogance is insecurity veiled in affectation.

Conveying your confidence in your sense of humor is a nice one-two punch that won't reek of insincerity.
posted by aydeejones at 11:17 PM on April 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

I think this question took a wrong turn by the use of the wrong word. I hope the intention is how to be "assertive", not "arrogant". If so, the classic popular book on the subject is When I Say No, I Feel Guity by Manuel J. Smith.
posted by caclwmr4 at 11:20 PM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Ignore everyone answering from their frontal lobes, you question seeks information on how to communicate with people's primordial lizard brains; how to be charismatic late at night in a bar, not how to be charismatic on one of the more thoughtful sites on the Internet.

What you are to do is to get really, really good at something competitive. Doesn't matter what. You need to be able to look at someone and have your first thought naturally be "I could knit a full sweater and a matching ski cap before you got a proper cross stitch going, loser. I rule at crochet, anyone who knows their yarns can tell, and you should respect me for it."
Then the confidence (arrogance is just confidence not tempered by concern for people's feelings) will flow naturally. So go practice whatever it is that floats your boat, until you fucking rule when it comes to yarn and know it.
posted by oblio_one at 11:21 PM on April 2, 2012 [12 favorites]

It's about confidence. If you want to meet people, meet them on your own turf doing something you're good at and you'll have that instant boost. Rock climbing? Sailing? Biking? You pick.

That said, you've asked four questions about dating within the past 60 days, and in each one, it feels like you're looking for some sort of formula to make it work with women as some sort of monolithic entity. You're comfortable diving into this awful baller research, but you have never once mentioned the specific type of woman you'd like to meet, the type of person who could delight and charm you. Perhaps determining this will be an important first step.
posted by mochapickle at 11:53 PM on April 2, 2012 [14 favorites]

Conventional wisdom: "Confident, yes. Arrogant, no."

Arrogance isn't just feeling better than someone else. You can feel like you're better and have it manifest as confidence, and yes, that's usually attractive. But you do that by being better.

Arrogance is when you're bullshitting. Maybe attractive to those who can't tell; ugly and sad to the rest.
posted by ead at 11:55 PM on April 2, 2012

Time and time again there seems to be this thing of - over here is a douchebag doing douchey things, I must behave like that in order to be more successful - NO, they're douchebags and non-douchey women don't like them and you're making everything worse by wanting to add to the douchebaggery.

You know what's nice is when a guy doesn't lie to you about who he is and what he wants. He might have to try a little more than his natural state of being, but he doesn't pretend to want things or be a certain way in order to get laid.

Be nice. And kind. And listen to women. And treat them like the individuals they are. And be there for them. And ask questions. And be confident. Just confident. But don't be a tool just because you see someone else behaving like one.
posted by mleigh at 11:56 PM on April 2, 2012 [5 favorites]

[Some comments deleted. Please try to be productive and helpful with your answers beyond just saying you think it's a bad idea, or you don't personally like it, etc. Thanks.]
posted by taz (staff) at 12:02 AM on April 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

You are falling into the (common) fallacy of mistaking confidence and assertiveness for arrogance.

Knowing what your strengths are and being proud of your accomplishments isn't arrogance. Knowing what you want and being willing to go out and get it isn't arrogance.

Now, lots of jerks happen to be confident and assertive as well as arrogant. This is where the "women love jerks/nice guys finish last" fallacy comes from. However, lots of men manage to be confident and assertive as well as humble, kind and caring. Women love these men. Strive to be one of them.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 12:07 AM on April 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh, this question is so funny!

I've def known arrogant assholes, and while they hold sway over people susceptible to being "negged" or whatever, my husband does this with panache. I think you want to go with being confident/arrogant with kindness, not assholery. Even people he puts down or shuts down love him. It's hilarious to watch.

The Rules are:

- Always be a gentleman and be decent in your choices and actions.

It puts more punch behind your confidence, that you are always maintaining your side of the street and dealing fairly with others. The shittiest scammers we know treat my husband like gold. He's careful not to lend them his cachet, and when he shuts one of these folks down, they know why. They respect him because is something they are not - honest and reliable.

- Dress well.

My husband does business casual with a European edge. Even his casual schleppy look is stylish. He never looks unkempt, even PJ's. Gets his hair cut regularly, wears clothes that fit and flatter his frame.

- Expect to be treated well. Let that expectation lead. Don't stick around or cow-tow when you are treated poorly.

Remember you always have options! Adversity never gets my guy down, he just changes course slightly and keeps going. He doesn't stick around to get kicked, he's off to find a better opportunity or situation which is always just around the corner.

- The above might be re-stated as, "Always keep a keen sense of boundaries."

Mr. jbenben has lines that shall not be crossed in business and pleasure.

- Have a positive attitude about yourself and LIFE.

That one needs no exposition. People find it contagious, and making others feel like they share in your confidence will make you a social magnet - be warned - see the point about maintaining healthy boundaries, above.


That's it.

Good luck!
posted by jbenben at 12:19 AM on April 3, 2012 [16 favorites]

Well, most of the women who go for genuinely arrogant men have serious self-esteem issues or want a specific lifestyle (read: money). Or, are immature. Older/ more mature women tend to find it obnoxious when people are obnoxious. Or, in some circumstances, we will date men in SPITE of their arrogance, not because of it.

A few points to note:

1)being willing to flirt or have sex with a man is not the same as falling in love or taking seriously as a partner. Which one are you observing at work? Which one do you want?

2)men are often less pleasant to other men than with women. Is he arrogant with women?

3)are you sure that what you're seeing is arrogance, not joking, flirting, teasing, playfulness? Some guys ACT arrogant ironically, in a way that may seem sincere to you

4) how does this man treat women when he's not being "arrogant"? Is he charming, flattering, fun, helpful, spontaneous, direct, confident, outgoing? Is he good looking, powerful, persuasive, a good dresser? Because those are the qualities that allow him to get away with being arrogant/ make his arrogance spicy

Do you actually put in the effort to be socially desirable and sexually desirable? Are you aware that these qualities have certain perks but will not guarantee you a girlfriend, life partner, friends, or a tussle in the sack...

Do you bother to ask girls out? Often? Lots of men get upset about being perpetually in the friend zone. It's because they don't ask, or don't ask persistently enough, or don't ask enough girls. LOTS of women Do Not, Will Not date men who don't ask them out. I've given lots of jerks a chance because they asked and the nice guys didn't bother.

Oh, and are you confusing "direct"with "arrogant"? One is obnoxious, the other is incredibly refreshing compared to all the passive-aggressive games most people play.
posted by windykites at 1:29 AM on April 3, 2012 [5 favorites]

Oh, I forgot... what is it he does that makes you think he's arrogant? Are you sure you don't have lower self esyeem than you think? Do you think you're awesome? Because it's possible for someone to think they are awesome without looking down on others.
posted by windykites at 1:32 AM on April 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

*esteem. Sorry.
posted by windykites at 1:38 AM on April 3, 2012

The truest characters of ignorance are vanity and pride and arrogance. – Samuel Butler

What you're looking for is cocky/funny:

the basic formula for Cocky & Funny is to take an arrogant comment, then add humor. It's a killer combination. But the key is that it has to be funny. It actually has to make others laugh.

You also must make sure that you are Cocky enough, because if you're only funny, then you will come across as goofy, which isn't what you want.

So, for instance, you might be at a bar, and you're having a drink. Let's say your drink has too much alcohol in it and you're going to comment on it.

An arrogant comment might be:

"This bartender sucks. There's too much booze in my drink."

Add a touch of humor, and it turns into:

"Whoa, this bartender either loves me or is trying to kill me. This drink is pure alcohol. Is there an AA meeting nearby? Cuz I'm gonna need it when I'm done with this one."

The difference between arrogant and cocky/funny is that arrogance comes from a place of insecurity, and cocky/funny comes from a place of good humour. You want to peacock a bit and show off your intelligence and attitude, but at the same time you need to temper that with a bit of humility and humanity.

The reason it works is because women want to know a man can attack when attack is required, and be gentle when being gentle is required. Too much attack (arrogance) and she's not going to trust you not to hurt her. Too much gentle, and she's not going to trust that you can take care of her. The balance is a way of demonstrating both together -- demonstrating both strength and weakness simultaneously.

Be forewarned, your question -- how do I be more arrogant? -- is really 'how do I end up lonely and unfulfilled'. It's a fine line, often to discriminate between arrogance and confidence, you must understand values and intent. Donald Trump is arrogant, for he is on an endless pursuit of dominance and validation. This is evidenced by the glee he takes in the process of attacking people on a personal level. Steve Jobs was confident, for he was on an endless pursuit toward perfection and actualising potential, as evidenced by the glee he took in the outcome of attacking people on a personal level. (Let us not get derailed into a discussion about that. That's my example; haters, go get your own example.)

Point being, the outcome you want is to generate more interactions with women. What you want is confidence, not arrogance. Unless you want women attracted to arrogance, in which case, godspeed into that world of pain my friend.
posted by nickrussell at 1:44 AM on April 3, 2012 [8 favorites]

In my observation, supremely confident people are not resentful of others, like how you are towards your cubicle mate.

You might become more confident/assertive if you stop drinking the bilicious haterade.
posted by spunweb at 1:44 AM on April 3, 2012 [6 favorites]

Another voice chiming in to say that arrogance is not confidence, and confidence is the thing that has the ring of genuine truth to it. Arrogance falls apart because it's based on bullshit - when push comes to shove, there's nothing there. Thought experiment: compare a loud guy with a whole bunch of expensive survivalist equipment who's never been camping versus a quiet forest ranger who knows what he's doing. When the zombie apocalypse comes hunting for you in the forest, who do you want backing you up?

Naturally based on what I've seen happen in my own life and reading research if you can call it that, women like slightly arrogant men.

I'll be dead honest here: the daily mail and that baller website don't count as research, and if anyone - male or female - told me they took these sites seriously: red flag. And again: women are not a single monolithic entity. We do not have a massive hivemind that decides who or what we like. There are billions of us all over the planet which translates to billions of individual minds and personalities - seriously, really, the statistical likelihood of all women liking arrogant men is astronomically and ridiculously low.

I realize that in all reality unfortunately human beings, men and women are drawn to people who shout their accolades at the top of their lungs sort of speak.

Maybe for some, but are you really interested in the type of people who flock around the loud shouty type? It sounds as though you're not very fond of the loud shouty type person - so why would you be interested in the kind of people they attract?

How does a person get to being that way.

By being a dick.

My question is when I really just feel average inside how do I go to feeling arrogant?

To feel confident: find something you're good at or something that really, really interests you. Get passionate about it. Draw your confidence from that. We are all, generally speaking, going to be average in some way - so choose something you love and get into it.
posted by zennish at 1:45 AM on April 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Don't be arrogant. Be fucking magnificent. :)

There are a lot of role-model tropes that attract women, arrogant is one, and it's the one you've twigged to. But if you'd had the luxury of watching TV and movies - and life - for another few years, you'll notice it's only one of many, and not a particularly great one.

You feel like you've got to change something, got to raise your game, and you're looking for ways to do that, but now that you've noticed the success of arrogance, you're noticing it everywhere, and not noticing other things (or maybe your local role models all happen to be arrogant, either way, it's blinkering you). You've seen someone use a hammer effectively, and now you're seeing a world of nails.

With the possible exception of bisexuals, who learn that it's people who are assholes, the dating world has a tendency to make you increasingly suspicious of the other gender. Try not to fall down that path. Try not to rig the game. Aim to be genuinely awesome in every way, never stop trying, and that will gather its own crowd. An awesome crowd. It will take time, but how could anything else be as worthwhile?
posted by -harlequin- at 1:51 AM on April 3, 2012 [9 favorites]

Women don't want arrogant. They want "alphas".
posted by yoyo_nyc at 2:15 AM on April 3, 2012

Women don't want arrogant. They want "alphas"

Except for those of us that love "betas"... like me and most of my happily married girlfriends... Bear in mind that not all women want the same thing.
posted by windykites at 4:56 AM on April 3, 2012 [6 favorites]

My question is when I really just feel average inside how do I go to feeling arrogant?

I see merit in the observations behind your question. So, rather than try to disabuse you of the idea that women like arrogance in men as other commenters are doing, I'm actually going to answer your question.

First, regard it as theater -- because life is, on a lot of levels, theater. The ability to act like you know what you're doing even when you don't, is often a precondition of success. So, arrogance can be seen as playing right into that -- you value yourself do highly that you act as though your greatness is unquestioned. That's theater. Characters in movies who are arrogant are often more compelling than meek, workaday schlubs who are completely honest and correct about their value.

Second, be playful about it. You don't have to be dead serious in your arrogance, it can be tinged with humor. People are attracted to playful people. Being playful signifies that you're at ease in your life. You can be playfully arrogant.

Third, a big part of why this is attractive to others is that it's entertaining. Arrogance sets up expectations and people are interested to see if you will live up to them. It's an aspect of the human drama. The meek, modest man who is honest about his abilities creates no drama, that's not interesting. The arrogant man is a bit of roving, constant theater.
posted by jayder at 5:13 AM on April 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

I have noticed in many places (social circle, work, clubs etc.) that it was the guys who were slightly more than confident, and borderline arrogant who seemed to hold women's attention.

but what you don't know is that the women who were paying attention to the guy fell into one of the following categories:

a) Silly women who were indeed captivated by that kind of braggadocio, and

b) all the other women, who then went to their friends when they got home and said "can you BELIEVE what this asshole was saying about himself? God, men can be such IDIOTS sometimes, right?"

People also pay attention to the things they're mocking. Don't forget that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:44 AM on April 3, 2012 [4 favorites]

I am a woman, and I find decisiveness attractive in men, and passivity kind of annoying. I'm not writing to represent women as a whole, though. "Women" aren't a homogenized lot any more than men.

Arrogance may or may not have anything behind it. Really dumb people can be arrogant, and that's grotesque. Intelligence is attractive, intelligence and confidence and self-knowledge even more so, but that doesn't mean being a big blathering gassy jerk, it just means that being able to share what you think (when you *have* a thought, for the love of God please don't be one of those people who has opinions just to have an opinion).

So when you think something, and it's important, say it. Don't try to hammer anyone over the head with it, or try to apologize for it ('it's just my opinion but....'). Have a take on things. At the same time, don't come off like you're about to lay your dick on the conference room table.

But in all reality when it comes to my co-worker, other than being in great physical shape[...]

You sure it's not just that people think he's hot?
posted by A Terrible Llama at 5:46 AM on April 3, 2012 [3 favorites]

If you want lizard brain appeal, don't worry about arrogance. Pump iron. It's harder to do, which almost automatically means the payoff is bigger, plus it's good for you.
posted by flabdablet at 5:53 AM on April 3, 2012

I think you're wrong about what confidence is, and I think that's where you're having issues. You portray yourself as being "realistic" about yourself -- "I'm okay, I know how I stack up, but I'm not awesome." So, yeah, comparing yourself and saying you don't come out on top speaks to lack of confidence to me.

The solution is to stop comparing yourself. Confidence is liking yourself and not giving a fig how you "stack up" against others.

I think women (and men) are drawn to people who are confident in the way I've described. Even if there is an overlap -- a lot of people are also drawn to arrogant people who think they're better than everyone else -- that's not going to work for you because you're sensitive and introspective, and someone faking arrogance will seem even more insecure.
posted by J. Wilson at 6:28 AM on April 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Okay, first off: yes, you are always going to be able to find examples of some arrogant men that women seem to find attractive. Often they are celebrities and fictional characters. Celebrities and fictional characters are a different matter. First, they typically have something else going for them other than their personalities, whether that something else is looks or talent or fame. Second, they're not generally seen as actual, realistic prospects for relationships (even when they're not playing a fictional character or putting on a stage persona). If you want women to see you as an actual prospect, don't go comparing yourself to celebrities.

Also, consider that you might be miscalculating where 'confidence' stops and 'arrogance' begins. If you're not a confident person, and you try to fake arrogance, you'll be doing a lot of things that look exactly like confidence to people around you, and you won't be able to tell whether it's that or the arrogance that's 'working'. Plus, if you dislike and resent someone (as you seem to dislike and resent this co-worker), you're more likely to perceive their confidence as arrogance. You don't know how his behaviour looks to the women who stop by his cubicle, or if they think he's arrogant but good-looking and charming enough to talk to anyway, or if they'd ever want an actual relationship with him, or any of it. Comparing yourself with him and being annoyed that he has better luck with the ladies than you do is not the way to go.

Confidence, on the other hand, is the way to go. You don't have to be confident to attract women - lots of shy, underconfident men attract women - but it is an attractive quality, not least because it means you don't have to endlessly compare yourself to other people to work out what they're doing better or worse than you are. Arrogance isn't 'confidence, except more!'. Arrogance is more like 'confidence, but less'. It's confidence minus empathy, or confidence minus an ability for self-reflection, or sometimes it's not even confidence at all - it's insecurity trying to present itself as confidence and overshooting the mark.

Also, I second the earlier comments here and in your previous threads: what are you actually looking for in women, other than 'being female and young'? What do you find attractive? What kind of relationship do you want? There's nothing that'll just work generically on women - but if you come across to women as "I'm just looking for a woman, any woman will do," pretty much all women will find it offputting.
posted by Catseye at 6:52 AM on April 3, 2012 [3 favorites]

Arrogance is a lot like stuffing your bra: it gets you immediate attention, and lots of it. But when people get close enough to you to recognize it, it's no longer appealing, and just makes you look insecure.

I suspect there's more to your coworker than arrogance, if people are stopping by his desk to chat with him. Study him - not so you can mimic him, but so you really understand what makes him work. Hang out with him, if you can. What do women say when they approach him? What does he say back to them? Does he talk to men in the same way (i.e. is he flirting with these women, or is he just a generally outgoing confident person)? How exactly does he "put out this energy that he is superior" - and does he do that with everybody, or is he just condescending to people he's not interested in? Or... could his superior attitude just be your interpretation of him? Sometimes we disguise jealousy by reframing the people we're jealous of as "arrogant" or "pretentious" or whatever.

If you're tempted to get any of those how-to-pick-up-women books, I recommend starting with How To Win Friends and Influence People. It's not specifically about picking up women, but I think you'll find its overall perspective valuable: the processes for building friendships, business relationships, and romantic relationships are more similar than they are different. And in all types of relationships, what works is not making yourself look better than others, but placing value on yourself, on the other person, and on the connection between the two of you.
posted by Metroid Baby at 6:56 AM on April 3, 2012

However I have a co-worker and all the ladies love him, they stop by his cubicle and give him attention. However he is also arrogant when he talks to you, you get the sense that he thinks he is better than you and his choice of words and behavior puts out this energy that he is superior.

Naturally based on what I've seen happen in my own life and reading research if you can call it that, women like slightly arrogant men.

But in all reality when it comes to my co-worker, other than being in great physical shape

*record scratch* Mystery solved.

Most women like men who are in great physical shape, and I'm sure a lot of your co-workers who pay attention to this guy are like "man this guy would be even better if he wasn't such a fucking arrogant douche." You'll be much better served, relationship-potential-wise, if you get yourself to a similar level of fitness and also avoid becoming an arrogant asshole.
posted by a_girl_irl at 7:08 AM on April 3, 2012 [3 favorites]

So many presumptions here. I can't possibly denounce them all. What I will say is the most massive of clichés:
Be yourself
I think in your co-worker you perceive arrogance, and he might be the nicest or most awful person on Earth, it's irrelevant. the reason he has a lot of women talk and smile in his presence is more likely to be because he exerts a sense that says:
"I know myself. I am happy with that. What you see is what you get."
Now that IS attractive. Try it out, forget the arrogance or assertiveness. Just be confident in yourself, show the world that you believe in yourself. This creates the most amazing of all feedback loops, because as people start to believe what you project, they project it back at you, and that in turn makes you feel like what you believe and project must be true because it's coming right back at you. (Sounds easy, but I know from experience that it isn't).

Stop thinking about how much you'd like to be "like him", stay focussed on your own positives, and sharing them with the world in a non-arrogant way, and the rest will come naturally.
posted by 0bvious at 7:16 AM on April 3, 2012 [3 favorites]

I don't think it's exactly arrogance that people like - if I am talking to someone and I get the sense that they think they are "better" than me, that gets old fast and I probably will not want to talk to that person in the future. Certainly would not be stopping by his desk, fawning over him, etc.

If you want to be arrogant, at least don't take yourself too seriously. Be humorous. Stop comparing yourself ("better education," job title, etc) to this guy.

What you might be confusing with arrogance is someone who doesn't try to mold himself to what he thinks the other person wants...I get bored with someone who I feel like will just do whatever I want and agree with whatever I say. There's nothing intriguing about that.

Pay attention to other people and try to become satisfied with who you are. People will eventually see through you if you try to pretend to be something you're not.
posted by fromageball at 8:06 AM on April 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

I agree with you and the need to be arrogant. However you are using the wrong word, most likely. It is not arrogant but you do need an edge-something where you dont really care about other people's opinion. That would imply that you get secure within yourself. Once you get there, you will have more people attracted to you and you really wouldnt care what others think of you.
posted by pakora1 at 9:49 AM on April 3, 2012

I'm a woman, but I've been thinking about this lately because I am probably one of the World's Most Oblivious People when it comes to flirting.

I mean, I just realized last week after a bit of intense internet research (and two years of reading AskMe human relationship questions) that for most of my life, I haven't just been sending out massively confusing mixed-signals: I've been sending out, "I'm actively disinterested in you" signals. Not on purpose, mind you. It's just that I get very anxious about imposing on other people physically because I am picky about who I let into my physical bubble. So I somehow never processed that all of those lovely attractive people who kept touching me while we were talking, and who kept sitting or standing really close, and who gave me backrubs and let me sit on their laps or sleep on their shoulders (good lord, I told you I was oblivious), weren't doing all of that by accident. And therefore I was allowed to let them keep touching me and not move away because I was somehow imposing on them. And, furthermore, when someone regularly touches you in a flirty way, then you're allowed to take that as a sign of interest and, well, do something that indicates you're interested too without it being a huge horrible risk.

When I look at my own history with these thoughts in mind, it's pretty clear to me that there have been a number of people in my life who were trying to give me clear "I like you and would be interested in sleeping with you" signals that I was too scared or anxious to interpret correctly. And since I, in my anxiousness, kept giving out negative signals, i.e. moving away from someone after they'd moved closer, not increasing the physical contact or, hell, even really touching those people in the same way they were touching me, I'm pretty sure that all of those people decided I wasn't actually all that interested in them.

All of this is relevant because I think you could be focusing on the wrong thing. Maybe all of those arrogant guys at bars are really good at the physical part of flirting--at sending the right "I'm interested in you and think you're sexy" signals with their bodies--and that the women are responding to that rather than to the arrogance. Maybe the arrogance is just sort of incidental. Correlation is not causation and all of that. So before you start trying to turn into an asshole in order to get chicks, I think you should first think pretty hard about how you present yourself when you flirt with someone. It seems to me that sensitive guys have trouble with this, because they try so hard not to paw at any girl like a randy caveman. But I--in my very recent and oh-so-great wisdom on the subject--have concluded that in order to effectively flirt with people, you really do have to start touching them at some point and you also have to lean into it when they touch you and not back away.
posted by colfax at 10:30 AM on April 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

You already are arrogant.

I know the first thing crossing your mind is, "I am not! I AM A NICE GUY and WOMEN just don't see it or want nice guys!"

However, if you'll allow me to make my point, you'll see that you are in fact quite arrogant and need to work on some different tactics. (do you see just how arrogantly that comes off?)

Your real issue seems to be that you believe you're way better than others (Thoughts like "I know for a fact I have a better education than he does" is most certainly "placing [yourself] above people in value.")

Rather than trying to amplify and show off your arrogance, you need to transform it into confidence. Stop caring about who has the better education -- have the confidence to talk to him about his without getting all judgey. Trust that if you like yourself, other people will follow.

And: STOP THINKING OF WOMEN AS UNIFORM. Someone has told you this at least once in every Ask you've posted and you just refuse to get it (you're so arrogant that you believe your opinion is right and we're just stupid?). Some straight women like guys who are cocky and funny -- guys like your coworker. Some straight women like guys who are quiet and polite. Some women like other women. There is no formula for attracting all women, and if somehow you do attract someone using sites like Baller Alert I can guarantee you'll attract someone who does not want to be with you but will settle for anyone with the means to give them an easy (however unfulfilled) life. If that's what you want, may I recommend a mail-order bride?

You need to stop focusing on finding a lady (any lady) and focus on yourself. Once you've figured out who you are and become confident, someone who is wonderful for you will fall in love with you.
posted by AmandaA at 10:35 AM on April 3, 2012 [24 favorites]

I guess I'll just say this in any confidence-related thread. Arrogance/confidence can't be practiced. You'll be seen right through as fraudulent. Do things well to be confident in those areas. So find something you do well, and do it, often
posted by MangyCarface at 1:20 PM on April 3, 2012

Just wanted to say AmandaA wins the thread and I'd favorite her 50 times if I could. Re-read her comment, and it again.
posted by masquesoporfavor at 2:48 PM on April 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

Start saying things like this:

"I glad you got to see me again." (I actually heard a client say this).

"You're lucky I could meet with you today."

Things like this let the people you meet with feel happy that you are stooping from your high pedestal to spend your precious time with them. Or extremely offended that you think you're all that. Probably the first.
posted by Barry B. Palindromer at 4:32 PM on April 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

I don't think this will necessarily help you with women (who have individual tastes--I love humble and unassuming men) but when I need to get my arrogant on I listen to Ego and Upgrade You by Beyonce. There's plenty of music out there with swagger.
posted by the young rope-rider at 1:51 PM on April 5, 2012

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