Did you know that most people would say they like a strong dark roast coffee because it is bold and has lots of flavors? Did you also know that those same people actually drink coffee with lots of milk and sugar to lighten the flavor of that strong, bold coffee?
People have a tendency to say things that sound good, but in actual life, they practice something completely different. Take men for example. Men often say they want to be with a strong and independent woman, but then they don’t seek out that kind of woman.
This happens so often, in fact, that a new study showed just how often men leaned away from a strong woman, in favor of a more meek and mild woman. This study revealed how men feel around smart women, and it was truly disturbing.
How men really feel about strong and smart woman
Most men would say that they want a strong and independent woman, but as they get closer to that kind of woman, they find themselves feeling more self-conscious about their own strength and independence, and that makes men uncomfortable.
The study found that people perceive strength differently at a distance. For example, men who were attracted to “strong” women at work, liked that they were in a position of power and held their own.
However, as the two become closer, even from a high-level business perspective, men became increasingly less attracted to strong women that caused men to question their own self-worth or contribution to the company. In other words, men liked strong women who didn’t impact their work or lives directly.
Men who said they were interested in women who were intelligent, changed their tune when those women were in proximity to them.
In other words, at a distance, such as online or over the phone, men liked intelligent women, but when they were in the same room as them, they didn’t like that some women were perceived as being smarter than them.
What men say aren’t what they really mean
What this study shows is that men say things that society might find acceptable, such as “I like a smart woman,” but then, in reality, they don’t want a woman to be smarter than them.
One has to wonder where the threat lies in this scenario. Women have been trying since the dawn of time to become equals to their male counterpart.
Men have finally started to admit – out loud – that they like this about women, but behind closed doors, the opposite is true.
So while men pretend to be okay with women’s strength, intelligence, power, and dominance in all walks of life, the truth is that some men are really struggling to keep up with the flip in social expectations and norms.
It’s a slippery slope and one that men will not like to be called out on; after all, they don’t want anyone pointing out their own identity issues. Men are supposed to be strong and intelligent. And many of them are; it’s just too bad that they can’t be in the same room as a strong and intelligent woman too.
Strong women know they have a lot to bring to the table in the business world, and they are well aware of what they can bring to a relationship. They understand themselves, their needs, and their own desires in a way that makes the even more powerful. And that can be intimidating for a lot of men. But what’s interesting about the study is that so many men say they like these things about a woman, but really cower from that kind of women in practice.
It’s not a competition, guys
Rather than looking at strong women as competition or as putting them out of the race, men need to start looking at women as their partners in crime. Imagine the things humanity could achieve if they stopped trying to climb over one another in the boardroom, and started recognizing one another for the strengths we each have.
I’m sure men would say they are on board with that line of thinking, but then just hold their own meetings where women weren’t invited because they are intimidated by their power.
Of course, this would be downplayed by saying women aren’t smart enough to attend those meetings, but they know the truth: they can’t let the women in because they’ll find the solution to the problem, they’ll fix the leaky water faucet, and they’ll get dinner on the table by 6 p.m. sharp.
So the next time a man says that he likes a smart, strong, and independent woman, consider how he applies those thoughts in real life. You might be as surprised as we were to find that men like to say one thing, and do another when it comes to interacting with women.