How to tell if your girl is being disrespectful or just joking when she teases you or appears to insult you.
In this video coaching newsletter, I discuss an email from a viewer whose girlfriend likes to hurl abrasive barbs to troll and try to get a rise out of him. He always responds with humor and doesn’t take it personally, which is the correct response, but he still feels that some of her aggressive teasing is actually her trying to insult him.
All women troll when they sense weakness or something irritates them about their men, and humor and playfulness are always the best responses, unless your girl is being openly hostile and unnecessarily mean. My comments are in bold italics like this below in the body of his email.
He’s trying to apply what he’s learned in 3% Man. He says his girlfriend’s constantly needling him and poking him and teasing him – trolling him, in essence. All women troll us guys just to see what we’re made of, and the more a woman senses weakness, the more she’s going to back away, test and troll us to see if they can get under our skin.
One of the things I learned many years ago studying self-help is, once you accept all your flaws, and your faults, and your shortcomings, then nobody can use them against you. And so, this email is a good illustration of that principle. But, obviously, he wrote the email, and some of these things are bothering him. You’ve got to remember, as I talk about 3% Man, you always want to have a better comeback. Because love is playful and fun, it’s not serious.
If women sense there’s a weakness or a chink in your armor, they’re going to try to exploit it. Especially if you get butt hurt over something, they’re going to keep needling you about it. Because the reality is it’s displaying weakness, and women don’t like weakness in their men. They want to be able to tease us and troll us and always have us just laugh it off and not be bothered by it. As a matter of fact, we want to be amused. As Rumi said, “Sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment.” So, it’s a good, good philosophy.
I am trying to apply your material to one issue that bothers me in relationship with my girlfriend.
When anything really bothers you or triggers you, it means you have an emotional charge on it. You have a wound with it still. So, if it bothers you, you want to get to the point where it doesn’t bother you. I mean, the best medicine for that is to do something online, like what I do, and then all day long you’re going to have people insulting you in every creative way they can come up with to try to get under your skin. That’s just the way it is.
Unsuccessful people are always trying to troll people way more successful than they are. It’s just part of life. And if you’re mostly the perfect dude, mostly the perfect boyfriend, then they’re going to look for something to see if it bothers you. And this guy, it seems like from what he shares, at least the way he reacts, he’s totally unperturbed. He’s not bothered by it. And then she even teases him about the fact that he’s not bothered by it, which is a good thing.
She really likes to mess with me. Here are some examples of what she usually tells me, (note that I will try to translate this to English from my mother language, so some expressions may sound weird in English; my comments are in brackets).
“You look like a hat stand.” (This refers to me being skinny, when she thinks that clothes do not fit me.)
You just say, “Whatever. You love it when I’m naked.” Always have a better comeback, something that shows it doesn’t bother you. “Honey, if you’re always talking about my skinny body, it’s because you are incredibly attracted to my sexy body. That’s why you talk about it so much. Because you lust after me, even when I’m not around.”
“Your job sucks. I don’t even understand, why do you have to work from the office? You can do that stupid job from home.” (Note that I’m heading a legal department in one company!)
So, more than likely, just by the tone of that, it sounds like she’s mad that you could be home with her instead of at the office. In other words, that comment there sounds like she wants more of your time and attention. You could say, “Well, it’s the only time I get a break from you, princess. It’s the only time I get some peace and quiet is when I’m at the office. I love it. If I didn’t have that job, I don’t know what I do.”
“Have you ever lived your life before?” (This is what she tells me when I tell her that I never ate or did something in my life before.)
When she says that, you can be like, “Yeah, I was living a great life, and then I met you.”
“You are my junkie” (Again, this is about me being skinny.)
You just say, “Whatever. That’s because I’m your favorite drug. You can’t get enough of me.”
“Where’s your hair?”
It’s like, “What, this beautiful head of hair? I put so much time into my hair, and I’m really glad that you appreciate all the hours and hours that I put into maintaining my amazing hairdo. So, I appreciate it. Thank you for the compliment, babe.”
“Where’s the stomach?” (She tells this while poking me, referring to my thinning hair and how my stomach is too flat and without fat.)
You just say, “Well, you know, if you’re into fat guys, I’ll see what I can do to hook you up.”
“Obviously, your parents have spoilt you. You are too sensitive and weak.” (I will not comment on this.)
Say, “Well, at least my parents are nice to me, unlike you.”
“You are too vanilla.” (This is about me being too basic and “boring.” She even said to me that I am too normal, and that she never managed to piss me off, and that is weird to her.)
I’d say, “Babe, my life’s a drama free zone. If you want a weak beta male, well, maybe we can create a Tinder profile for you and find you some dudes you can beat up on, and I’ll just have to start spending time with one of my other girlfriends.”
So far, I have always assumed that this is her way of being playful or testing me, so I always responded in a way that I accept her joke.
Yeah, don’t let her see that it bothers you, because if it bothers you, she’s just going to do it more.
My impression is that I would appear perturbed and weak if I complained about this.
Yep, that’s exactly what it is. Because if you’re a skinny guy, she’s trolling you, trying to see if you’re insecure about your body. And so, not only are you not insecure about your body, but you use it as self deprecating humor, or you turn it around, like I said. It’s like, “Whatever, you love seeing me naked. You can’t keep your hands off of me. If you were bothered by my skinny body, you wouldn’t even want to touch me. But I can’t get away from you. It’s all I can do to get out of the house, and go to the office, and finally have some peace and quiet.”
My question is, should I tell her that I don’t like her talking to me this way and ask her to take corrective action?
Absolutely not. I wouldn’t say anything.
Or do you believe that this is okay and that I should move on with the same approach?
Well, probably on some level, she knows that you’re bothered by this, especially if she keeps going back to trolling you about being skinny. She’s probably saying, “Hey, it would look better if you put some muscle on and you start working out in a gym.” Which I think you should do anyway, because not only would that make her more attracted to you, you’ll get noticed by more women. But, at the end of the day, if you’re not bothered by it, if you’re not perturbed by her insults, if you’re amused by it, then she won’t be bothered. She’ll love the fact that no matter what she says to you, it just doesn’t bother you.
Deep inside, I don’t like what I hear because it feels like she has no respect for me. Many thanks for your help.
Women try to intimidate you and back you into a corner. The best thing you can do is defuse it and not give her any chance to show that you’re bothered, or butt hurt, or perturbed by it. You should be asking yourself, “Why is this triggering me? Why do I feel a bit of an emotional charge when she says this? Do I have a wound that I haven’t accepted or something about my past that I haven’t accepted?”
Like I was saying earlier, once you accept your flaws and your faults and your shortcomings, nobody can use them against you. People rag on me about my hair. It’s buzzed short. Yeah, it’s thin in the front, it’s thin in the back, but I’m not bothered by it at all. Actually, I remember years ago when I used to grow my hair out, going to a hair salon, that’s a pain in the butt. You’ve got to drive across town, and you sit and you wait, and then you sit in the chair.
And then when you walk out, you’ve got hair in your ears, it’s going down the back of your shirt. Then, I’ve got to go home, take another shower in the middle of the day. I don’t have to do any of that now. Now, I’ve got my little Braun razor. I’ve got it on the one guard, I’ve got a mirror. Once a week I shave my head, and it takes 10 minutes. I like that, it’s a time saver, so I’m not bothered by it all. I don’t miss going to a hair salon, so that’s that’s a net plus for me. That’s the way I look at it.
I’m amused when somebody makes fun of my hair, and I have fun with it back at them. And that’s the best way to respond to anything. When I grew up, I had a lot of freckles. You guys can tell if you see close ups, I’m covered in freckles. They’re all over my forehead, they’re all over my arms, my back, my legs. They’re everywhere. So, I got teased mercilessly when I was a kid, and there’s nothing you can do about it, so you accept it. And so, when you accept things like that, you’re not bothered.
Other things are going to happen as you grow and you get older. You’re going to have flaws, you’re going to have faults, you’re going to have shortcomings. People that are close to you know about things that you screwed up in the past. All you can do is accept it. It doesn’t matter, because we’re all going to turn to dust anyway.
You’re handling things the right way, so good on you with that. But I would just say, for some introspection, looking inward, any time she says something and you kind of feel bothered by it, especially the skinny thing, maybe you should get in the gym. Maybe you should work out and put on a little bit more weight.
But use it to be playful. You know, it’s just like AOC. There was a politician who was talking about her and she’s like, “Oh, it’s because he wants to sleep with me.” So, have that kind of an attitude. If a woman’s commenting on your body, it’s like, “Oh, you’re just saying that because you want to have sex with me.” It’s a good attitude to have, and it’s a great comeback for that.
Like I said, always have a better, more playful comeback that shows that, not only are you unperturbed, you’re actually amused and you’re glad they brought it up. Because now it gives you an opportunity to make light of something, and be fun and playful, and make her smile, even if she’s in a crabby mood. Because if you’re in a better mood, it’s a more efficient physiology to be peaceful, to be relaxed, to be playful. It’s actually an inefficient physiology to be angry and stressed out and pissed off.
If you’re relaxed and chilled out, and she’s angry and pissed off, and she tries to get under your skin, and you just respond with calmness, with playfulness, with humor, with being amused, she will entrain with you once she sees that she can’t get a rise out of you. And then she’ll calm down, she’ll be relaxed, she’ll be playful. She may even apologize for for saying something that was kind of mean or over the line.
Just never be bothered by it. That’s always the best policy. Because as soon as you get upset and you get angry, she’s going to exploit that, because now she’ll be sensing the weakness. And when women sense weakness, they test you more. You’re doing a good job, man.
So, if you’ve got a question or a challenge and you’d like to get my help, go to UnderstandingRelationships.com, click the Products tab at the top of your screen and book a coaching session with yours truly.
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