Tag Archives: personality

My Online Profile

Dating sites, except for Nerve.com, which is undergoing major changes, are not designed for edgy people. PerfectMatch, Match, eHarmony, and Chemistry are all about aspects of personality and character that only come out through romance. They don’t address the fundamentals of what it’s like to live together, except on a superficial level, such as how well a room is kept.

On one site, I got a lot of messages. I was proud of my profile. It was written in male-speak with no more than two lines per topic, titles, and concision. (I’m female.) And it painted a pretty accurate picture of myself down to my MBTI type. Met two guys from that site, both of whom are great guys. But I wasn’t attracted. (I like serious, logical guys who come across as arrogant but really aren’t.)

But tonight…

I accidentally texted the wrong person. Was trying to message my neighbor but the text went to a guy with the same name who was from this dating site. The guy got upset. Irrationally.

I knew from this guy’s profile that he used Evan Marc Katz’s method for online dating from the way his profile was written and the style of pictures. I also know this because of the timing this guy had in responding to my messages. It was textbook. But of course, I didn’t mention anything. It looks great and reads well, but I know this method. So, of course I was guarded.

Needless to say, I was totally turned off. Not only from this guy, but from online dating – again.

Anyway, I’ve been seeing someone I met at a birthday party, and things are going well, so checking out is no big loss. But as a writer and one having quite a few men hoping I will reciprocate interest, I decided to share exactly what was on my mind on my profile.

The following is what I wrote on it:

Not hanging out here much longer.

When you text someone, “Hope the [job] went well. Have a great week.” How should a person respond? Should she (he)? How would you respond? Well, someone who I never met face to face got upset because when that text arrived on my phone, the job was still going on. Didn’t know how to respond. By the time the job was over at 3:30 in the morning, do you think the first thing I wanted to do was respond? Nor did I remember to respond when I had to wake up to go to work in the morning.

Who hurt you?

In spite of whatever reason you can’t approach an attractive woman and start up a conversation, learn to do it. Just say, “Hi.” Because a virtual dating life is a joke.

Heal yourself.

Stop getting upset about trivial things and realize that people are guarded. There is too much hurt in the world, too much abuse. Men and women hurt each other because they are emotionally immature. And people are immature because they don’t heal themselves.

Nurture yourself.

Figure out how to break the patterns of your own resentment. Love exists. But the more you blame others for your own misery, the less likely you will find it. You have to love yourself before you are capable of loving someone else.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

Can you put your name in place of the “love”?

Good luck.

So, maybe I should have texted back “Thanks”. But the guy seemed off, like he had some insecurities that were sure to come out at unforeseen moments, so I was unsure about responding. Then I just forgot about him.

People mistakenly text the wrong person all the time. As one who had done so, albeit to someone with more issues than Occupy Wall Street, the reaction is undeserved.

Until someone comes up with a better online dating forum, I’m offline and getting outside. Or maybe the thing with the birthday party guy will work out.

How Much Is Too Much?

 

I met Sheila a couple of weeks ago, and I have to admit, I am rather taken by her. She’s funny, fun to be around, smart, and attractive. What’s more, she’s new to town, ready and willing to try new things and go to places she’s not been before.

At this point, I can’t tell whether she sees me as just a friendly tour guide, or something more. I’m pretty cool about things, and either way, I’m happy, but I really want to know at some point. I figure pretty soon I might make some subtle advances and see if they’re returned, and that’s where the debate comes in. . .

My best female, friend, Brenda advises against this. Her philosophy seems to be to play the aloof card. In fact, with Sheila’s out of town on business and her birthday mere days away, I thought it might be nice to call and sing happy birthday on her answering machine. Is it a little goofy? Yes, but that’s me; that’s who I am. She seems to like me so far . . . right?

Brenda’s response, “NOOOOOOOOOOOO, you can’t do that!!! You’ll immediately place yourself in the friend category . . . Bad idea!!!”

“Well maybe I should just call, then?”, dejected by the strong admonition.

“No don’t call her, “ she nodded, convinced that this, too, was a bad idea.

“What? Am I just supposed to ignore her birthday?”, I replied, shocked at the advice I was hearing.  Brenda didn’t really have an answer for that . . .

I mean, I like this woman. Are we in 4th grade again? What am I supposed to do? Pull her hair? Call her names? I thought we were past all of this stuff as adults, and while I understand that panting like a loyal dog is not a way to win her heart, ignoring her doesn’t seem like a good thing either.

I’m a “do what I say I’m gonna do” kind of guy. If I tell you I will call. I will call. I don’t wait until the last second. If I want to take you out, I won’t wait past Wednesday to set something up. I just don’t see any point in pretending like I don’t care, if I do.

I realize, this philosophy can be taken too far, and may make some women uncomfortable. I know where that point is. I’m not gushing over her. I make eye contact, and get good eye contact in return. I keep plans light, and flexible, but I’m consistently available when I say I will be. If she wants to make plans, and I’m busy, I offer up another time or an alternate plan that works better with my schedule.

At the end of the day however, my heart is on my sleeve, and I believe I’m being told, that’s not a good thing. I think need to get some more clarity on where the line is.

Which brings me to my dilemma, ladies – especially the single ladies: How much aloof, is too much aloof? Do you ever get to a point where you cut him off because he’s too aloof? On the other hand, how much is too much? What are the rules, or are there any rules?

Your input is valuable . . .

 

Incidentally, I texted Sheila on her birthday . . . at the risk of losing my anonymity, it read like this . . .

“May your day be filled with fun.

May your belly be filled with laughs.

And may your mouth be filled with cake.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!

I hope you’re doing something fun!!!”

 

Was it too much?

Get responses online

Meeting people online has its issues, but they are not impossible to deal with. You need tactics, as if you were an online pickup artist.

I met my boyfriend, Jason, on plentyoffish.com. I swore to myself it would be the last dating site I would ever join. Since I was still working on my book, and writing about personality types based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), I decided to test myself. I wanted to see if I could find my perfect personality match through a person’s online profile.

Of course, I had to know about personality matching. I had read Dr. Alex Avila’s LoveTypes book. I learned my type, ENTP, aka “The Innovator,” is romantically compatible with ENTJ, aka “The General.”

It’s difficult to order a book, read it, and put it into practice in a matter of a few days. So, I’ll try to give a bared down tip…

  • Think about 3 things about your mind/life that are distinct to you compared to other people you know. For example, for me: 1. I dislike set schedules; 2. I love to be silly; 3. I’m very analytical and have to think to know my feelings.
  • Next, go to the dating site, and as you peruse people’s profiles, look for things that jump out at you that you think or know would work with you. For example, I know for myself it has always helped me to have someone in my life who was better at living by a schedule than me; so, in that sense I look for my opposite. Plus, since I’m analytical, smart people interest me. Funny, ’cause the initial impression of Jason’s photo was, “This guy is arrogant!” Sure enough, he’s arrogant because he’s smart–and I like him that way.
  • When you find something distinct about the person you can relate to, write a message that caters to that distinction without getting too personal. For me, I realized that Jason likes to debate. So, in my first message, I challenged him on his profile’s headline.

    Note: The more attention you pay to details, the more a person senses genuineness. For example, if a girl writes something like, “I love to go out for good food…” Don’t just write, “What kind of food?” Dig deeper. Assume “good food” is the difference between dining on the Baja peninsula and Taco Bell. Instead you could say something like, “Have you been to the Bistro on Main Street?” or whatever; you get the point, I hope.

In the meantime, check out Avila’s LoveTypes book. For a generalization on what that’s about, you can also read Parts IV and V in my AlphaDog book, also available on Kindle.

Good luck!

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This post was inspired by @YouWishYouWere on Twitter.

Where to find a good wingwoman

Finding a wingwoman who will help you meet attractive women is like finding a model with enough intelligence to, say, host a T.V. show. Well, Anna Nicole Smith (R.I.P.) hosted her own show, sort of. It’s difficult and easy depending on a lot of factors. The good thing is that you can find someone to be your wing just about anywhere. No matter where you seek, here are some criteria of a good wingwoman:

1. She must be extroverted. If you’ve read my book, you know there’s a difference between having an Extroverted personality type and being outgoing. A good wingwoman might not have an Extroverted personality type, which means she naturally prefers being around people to doing things at home. But if she’s an outgoing Introverted type, she might lose steam as midnight approaches. In that case, some incentives, say, a few Jacksons, might motivate her enough to hang tight with you for that girl you want to meet.

Natural Extroverted personality types get energy from being around people. An incentive like some free food is enough to convince her to hang out with you.

2. She must have social grace. To find this out quickly, talk about a sensitive topic with her, like how women deal with PMS. A seriously defensive girl might be difficult to work with, but a girl who makes light of a “sensitive” subject will be fun. (I don’t think PMS is that sensitive myself, but a lot of women feel strongly about it. Abortion is another topic to test sensitivity.) A girl who makes light of things shouldn’t take winging too seriously, and will be able to make the male-female connection possible with her sense of humor.

3. She must have the ability to charm AND understand guys. A woman who charms a man doesn’t necessarily get along with other women. But a woman who understands what makes a man tick will know how to get on women’s good side. Women want to know about men as much as men want to know about women. So, a wingwoman who can talk frankly about men to other women will win a woman’s approval.

The danger in getting a woman who doesn’t understand why sports are so engaging, for example, will get caught up in girl talk. But a woman who can reason with another woman why a man should be given a chance–she’s platinum.

A good wingwoman doesn’t have to be as attractive as the woman you want to meet. In fact, it might be easier to meet her, since the target woman won’t feel as threatened by her as with a beautiful wing. Though, if your wing is really good with charm, she can do anything, even if she’s drop-dead gorgeous. Likewise, if a woman is plain-looking, she might have the charm that can tame lions.

If you want someone really good, paying a wingwoman with experience something like, say, $30 bucks an hour to start (if you’re in NYC) is reasonable. (I would think San Fran is similar due to rent prices there. LA could probably go to $25.)

Of course, there are other things to consider when seeking a good wingwoman. It really depends on what you’re comfortable with. If you’re a dive bar rat with no charm yourself, and you’re seeking swanky women, even an expert wing can’t help you hook up. A good wingwoman will tell you like it is. If you need to practice speaking naturally around women, there is little a wing can do to help you get where you want to go. She can help you get practice being around women, but don’t expect miracles. But if you’re confident enough, a wingwoman with the above criteria can make your evening a blast.

Thanks to Peter of Gotham Jiujitsu for inspiring this article.

Your Personality, Online

Words. They seem benign when they stand alone, one at a time. But put them together just so and you can move minds, instigate revolutions, challenge, console, influence, cajole, cause heartache or laughter, emote and organize.

The power of words is easy to forget when we feel lonely and worn out, lacking inspiration to present our selves to a vast pond of eligible fish. But with some basic understanding of how we utilize certain thought functions, its possible to show who we are in a few sentences.

According to Carl Jung, we use our thoughts for two basic functions: perceiving information and making decisions. In perceiving information, we can be objective or subjective (Extraverted or Introverted). We can also be detail-oriented or holistic (Sensory or Intuitive). In making decisions we use either logic or emotions (Thinking or Feeling).

Whether we are perceiving information or making decisions, every person has a genetic preference over one way or the other. Though we are all capable of behaving Extraverted or Introverted, we each have a natural inclination to do one or the other. These natural inclinations are what defines us according to personality types. Isabel Briggs-Myers, following the work of her mother, Katharine Briggs, developed the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator), an assessment tool to help people understand their own thinking preferences, or inclinations. The MBTI uses a fourth dichotomy which determines how a person handles his/her outer world (Judging-Perceiving); Judging types tend to be more comfortable after a decision is made and live a more structured lifestyle, while Perceiving types like to keep their options open and be more spontaneous.

Our preferences are just that: what we prefer. I might allow feelings to influence a final decision, but I prefer to be logical and feel more settled when using logic. I might look organized and know where everything is, but every day my schedule changes like the wind.

These tendencies don’t change as our lives change. Again, we can all think each way and become better at using the extremes of each function; but our inclinations to think one way over another are hard-wired into our psyche. These inclinations influence what we want to do with our lives.

When we are aware of our own patterns of behavior and how they connect to our thinking preferences, we are better able to understand why we have our particular strengths and weaknesses. We can also understand why we differ from other people, or why some people are interesting to us and why others are not.

So, to be an “interesting” person to some readers of your online profile, you want it to show who? A bored person with nothing better to do? Of course not. You want to show what makes you different from the next Joe or Jane. You also want to attract the kind of person you would want to be with.

To begin with, know what you prefer. Do you prefer quiet evenings at home? Or do you like being around a lot of people and take in the crowd’s energy? Who you are by yourself is the person you will be when you get seriously involved in a relationship and get comfortable with your partner, so you might as well be upfront and honest from the beginning. So, if you’re extremely Introverted, you wouldn’t want a relationship with an extreme Extravert to get difficult. (But I bet one date could be a blast.)

What do you like to talk about? Do you enjoy going into detail when you tell stories? Or do you think details get trivial and prefer to paint a general picture? Most people like details, so that’s something you can show in your profile. Go ahead and tell a story next to your profile picture. A story could tell your most embarrassing moment, an exciting trip you took, your first day at school, a dramatic event– for example. Or you could just list a bunch of your interests. But if you’re not big on details, find words to reveal your big-picture thinking. (I happen to be a big-picture thinker and wrote on a profile “little patience for small talk”. It’s arrogant, but hey, I’m arrogant and not afraid to admit it.)

Are you sensitive? Warm? A good listener to your friends? Or do you come across relatively cold, caring more about logic and facts? Even if you’re male, there’s a chance you are really a Feeling decision-maker. About 40% of American men have this decision-making preference. And for females, about 40% of American women are logical decision-makers. So, don’t be surprised when stereotypes are busted.

Your occupation provides clues about the way you deal with your outer world. Most people like spontaneity, but a “spontaneous” personality type, or the Perceiving type, would be someone who doesn’t mind living with the unknown, such as an inconsistent paycheck, or an inconsistent schedule. People who wait tables and rely on tips are often Perceiving types. A Judging personality (not the same as judgmental) prefers to know ahead of time when they need to show up at the office every day. There is comfort in its consistency. Though a Judging type might enjoy spontaneity, at the same time, there is a preference for stability, such as a secure career like law, IT, or accounting, for example.

When you write your online profile, consider your own preferences and how your words might reveal a glimpse of your complexity. (Compared to other animals, you are complex.) Remember that some things won’t set you apart from other people. Everyone hopes that you have an occupation, that you present yourself decently in public, and have a good sense of humor. And most people like spontaneity, passion, and confidence. Your words should paint an image people can see. Avoid being generic and boring by using descriptive words. For example, instead of, “I have a 9 to 5 job that I’m not crazy about,” say something like, “I get up in the morning to go to a finance job, but I’d rather bang on my drums all day.” (That would be a Perceiving type in a Judging environment.)

When you read other profiles, pay attention to keywords and phraseology. Do the words describe concrete things or are they more abstract, or intangible? For example, “I like beaches, amusement parks and horses,” versus “Being near the beach is important to me.” How words are used can show if a person is Sensory or Intuitive. Do words express feelings or logic? They reveal the decision-making aspect, but they don’t necessarily mean a person is gushy or icy. A sensitive person might also be pragmatic and a logical thinker could have tons of compassion.

Humor is part of personality, and everyone hopes you have it. So, don’t just say, “I have a good sense of humor.” Tell a joke to show you not only have a sense of humor, but also what kind of humor you have. Or incorporate humor into a fact. Instead of, “I work 9 to 5,” say something like, “My job threatens to give me paper cuts, but I like my cubicle neighbors.” If you get good at reading people’s personalities through what they write, even the kind of humor shown can clue you into their types.

Style is icing on our personalities that you can show through your interests. It’s easy to incorporate your style when you want to show a likable trait. For example, instead of, “I like to have fun,” say something like, “I like head-bopping at rock concerts.” If you’re not sure what your style is, sharing the things that get you excited will reveal a bit of your style. There’s nothing like music to reveal your style. Even if you like all kinds of music, try to narrow down to specifics. Maybe you close your eyes and sway to classical. Or try to remember how a specific song moved you.

In the ocean of single people and their profiles, there is a way to search for those who are probably more compatible with you. And you can set yourself apart among different schools. I suggest starting off with knowing your hard-wired thinking preferences.

There is an online dating site, which is an excellent resource for knowing and understanding your MBTI personality type (your hard-wired thought preferences). It’s Dr. Alex Avila’s LoveTypes.com. Dr. Avila, a clinical psychologist, has developed the LoveTypes® system to enable you to make your search for a compatible partner easier. On the site, you can order a copy of his book, which I read and recommend. I personally used his system to find my boyfriend who, I should add, I believe is my soul mate. (More on that in another blog.)

Once you have a working knowledge of your personality type (particularly the MBTI type), you might find that describing yourself will be easier. What you want in a romantic relationship will also become more clear, and perusing online profiles might become more fun and adventurous. Add personal style to your personality description and you can have a stunning portrait in words.

Your Online Persona

With online dating becoming more and more popular, a personal profile is ever-more important in making a first impression. We already know that a good picture makes a difference, but what about what you write about yourself?

The last thing you want to say is, “I don’t like talking about myself.” Everyone hopes you’re not egocentric, but to say something like this is a lazy attempt at false humility. I mean false because, although it’s a well-meaning statement, deep down you know it has nothing to do with talking about yourself and everything to do with putting your best foot forward.

It takes time and effort to decide how you want to present yourself, since there are many different ways to express yourself in writing. If you’re a talented or skilled writer, you could eloquently describe yourself Kerouac-style. But most people don’t want to read memoirs online. Some people make lists of adjectives to describe themselves, but they don’t always reveal personality. For example, I could say, “I’m confident.” But then when you meet me you think I’m obnoxious. Ultimately, however you decide to describe yourself, make it your goal to be transparent and show who you really are. Nobody wants to go face-to-face and be thrown off by an insincere description.

If you use a list, try to paint a picture for the reader that makes you unique. Adding something you like (or don’t like)– for example, an activity– will make the picture more clear. “Down-to-earth, quiet, warm, easygoing, who reads the paper at the corner café every Sunday morning.” The clearer an image you can provide, the more likely you will attract someone like-minded.

Don’t be afraid to mention something about you that you think people won’t like. What one person doesn’t like, another person does. “I don’t like small talk,” gives the reader a certain impression about your intelligence, or arrogance. Why attract people who won’t get along with you?

You can use statements about what you like to do to say a lot about yourself. For example: “My favorite thing to do at bars is walk up to complete strangers and ask them what they think about the price of milk.” I’m totally making this up, but if it were a real profile statement, it says a number of things. It indicates that I go to bars, and I probably drink. I can walk up to strangers and talk to them; I have confidence. Asking them about the price of milk, as silly as it is, shows that I like to have fun. Since it’s my favorite thing to do at bars, it tells you that I like using pickup lines and that I might not be very creative. It’s a dorky statement, but I think you get my point.

Probably the most popular and easiest thing to do in profiles is to say what you like or what interests you. But mention at least several things or be more specific. If “travel” is listed as your only interest, you’re not saying much, since a lot of people like travel. What kind of travel? Backpacking? Cruises? 747s? Hitchhiking? Luxury hotels? The more things you say you like, the more interesting you will be to the reader.

You don’t want to say things like, “I will make you laugh.” There’s a chance you won’t. But if you’re funny and can show your personality in your profile, you might make the reader laugh. “People say I’m funny,” will make the reader wonder, “What kind of people think you’re funny?” Rather, make fun of yourself. “I put my foot in my mouth at the worst times.”

Here are some questions to help you come up with ways to make your profile show who you are:

  • What gets you excited?
  • What is fun to you?
  • What do you enjoy most for leisure (besides sex, guys)?
  • What are your 3 best and 3 worst qualities?
  • How would you describe your personal style?
  • How do your friends see you?
  • What song, type of music, or band moves you most?
  • What makes you laugh, or cry?

The more specific you get in your profile, the clearer a picture you give about who you are, and the more approachable you will be. But be aware that saying too much might turn people away. I try to keep my descriptors down to no more than 12 qualities and sentences. That way, I provide a brief introduction while giving enough information for the reader to see me. I always write the most important things I want people to know about me, and I give a peek of my worst.

If you still have trouble coming up with an attractive profile, Evan Marc Katz has a service at e-cyrano.com where you can get your online profile a professional makeover. It’s a good way to get more people to respond to your profile if you’re willing to pay a fee.

In another blog, I’ll talk a bit about what you can tell about someone’s personality based on how they write their profiles and how you can make your personality shine.