BECOME THE MAN WOMEN WANT
7th of November 2014

Rachael Grazioplene Interview

Introduction:

This week, we talk to Rachael Grazioplene, a PhD student at the University of Minnesota who’s research focuses on individual differences, primarily openness traits related to creativity and intelligence, and the effects of environmental and genetic factors on this. In this episode we discuss what guys do wrong in dating, what guys do right, what traits women find attractive, and how you can develop those traits.

Podcast:


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Video:

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Key takeaways:

  • There are individual differences in what traits people value, not everyone likes the same thing in a partner.
  • It’s important to know and understand who you are, and work from there. Don’t fake being someone that you’re not.
  • The three things that women in America usually rate as most attractive in men is intelligence, kindness, and humor.
  • Don’t take yourself and your romantic situation too seriously, stressing out about it. That doesn’t look good on anybody.
  • Some other traits that are really attractive are being playful and having high openness.
  • Staring at a woman and looking away when she notices you looking at her codes as predator behavior. You don’t want to just look away when a girl looks back at you, smile or do something that acknowledges that you know you’re looking at her.
  • Some ways to stand out while messaging girls on online dating include being funny, using proper spelling, being interested in the woman and showing that you read her profile.
  • Show genuine interest in whatever woman you’re talking to. Talk about what she does, ask why she does it, ask her to tell you more about it. Everyone likes being asked questions about themselves.

Links from this episode

Rachael Grazioplene’s Bio:

Further reading on Rachael Grazioplene:

Podcast Audio Transcription:

Tucker:
Alright so, pronounce your name for me so I get it right?

Rachael:
Grazioplene

Tucker:
Grazioplene

Rachael:
Yes, there are some different and even within my family people pronounce it differently Grazioplene some people spell it GRAZIOPLANER.

Tucker:
What type of Italian is that?

Rachael:
I don’t know my family is from the Adriatic Coast so Pescara Italy and it means ‘full of grace,’ or ‘full of thanks’ and I think it was originally Grazioplaner, but the Ellis Island thing you know-

Tucker:
Yeah, right of course.

Rachael:
And some spelling changes.

Tucker:
So, are you a doctor yet? Do I call you doctor?

Rachael:
No, I’m not a doctor yet no, in theory I have less than a year to go actually before the doctor title.

Tucker:
Do you have to defend our dissertation or is that done? How does that work?

Rachael:
Yes, I actually have to write the damn thing too.

Tucker:
I guess yeah, before you defend it you need to write it.

Rachael:
But, I just finished my forth of five years so hopefully-

Tucker:
So, what is your doctorate on?

Rachael:
I’m in the psychology department at the University of Minnesota and my program is called ‘Personality Individual Differences & Behavioral Genetics’ which is kind of a mouthful, but my specific area of study is the neuro-biology in genetics of individual differences. Primarily openness traits related to creativity and intelligence so, that’s the focus of my dissertation is looking at brain structure, and brain function and how it relates to those traits.

Tucker:
What are some of the cool things you’re finding?

Rachael:
Actually a lot of really cool things I just-

Tucker:
Then let’s talk about it that’s the point.

Rachael:
Yes.

Tucker:
So, tell me some of the cool stuff?

Rachael:
One of the things that got me interested in looking at personality is I was always interested in understanding you know from sort of using sort of an evolutionary backdrop actually, you know how does the brain produce traits that are adaptive and how might those traits somehow become disruptive or maladaptive. I think luckily for me the perspective in both clinical psychology and personality psychology is sort of shifting away from this model where when you have a mental illness it’s considered this sort of categorical difference as opposed to – in fact the underlying traits that might cause mental illness are distributed throughout the population. So, liability is more of a continuous spectrum of traits that at some very high level becomes disruptive or disorganizing.

So, I was interested in how this might relate to creativity right there is this whole classic you know debate about, “Oh is creativity linked to mental illness somehow or isn’t it” and I think one of the ways that we can sort of start to resolve that debate and show, “Yes it’s linked in certain ways, but not others” is to understand sort of the biology of the mechanisms that are behind that trait continuum. So, essentially what we would expect is that somehow people who have a genetic liability, but not maybe a full blown presentation of schizophrenia for example they might share certain underlying neural, and genetic characteristics with someone with a full blown disorder, but not others and that would be a really important support of that whole dimensional model is just sort of show how that might be happening in the brain.

Tucker:
So, what is that? I’m following you right, but a lot of people obviously are not you’re obviously very smart, and a great researcher and a lot of guys will be like, “What the fuck did she just say?”

Rachael:
Sure.

Tucker:
What does that mean to a normal person?

Rachael:
It means that there are probably trade-offs in terms of…the trait that I’m interested in particular is openness and schizotypy as you know these sort of sub-clinical traits that might relate to schizophrenia, and or bi-polar disorder kind of a more divergent and loose thinking style maybe a tendency to seek novelty, and new ideas or experience more information and want to consume more information. But, there might be some trade-offs involved in how high your level of those kinds of traits are, so in a way you know this can be very sexy it can lead to increased problem solving ability, it can lead to creative solutions to problems or displays of creativity, and that seems to be pretty good for reproductive success.

But, there might be some level at which you know if you have too much sort of divergent thoughts and lot’s of ideas and too many ideas, and you don’t have maybe sufficient intelligence to direct them or choose between you know, “Is this a good idea versus this other idea” that may end up leading to psychosis and disruption, so that there is sort of you know a continuum even at a biological perspective or set from like from a biological perspective, and that there are these trade-offs that might happen. So, it’s a great trait up to a certain level, but after which can become really bad for fitness and we do know that’s true with schizophrenia and less so with bi-polar, but definitely with schizophrenia.

Tucker:
Right so, this is more, I think your basic point is and correct me if I’m wrong that various traits that might seem maladaptive in the extreme are actually very adaptive when they’re dialed back a little bit, and so the idea is understanding – like we are calling a lot of things different names which all might be the same thing just different degrees right?

Rachael:
Yes, I think that’s a nice way to put it having creativity so if we focus on creativity for example, you know you might be a really creative person maybe a really creative artist, but if your ideas are so out there that they are not fitting into whatever the relevant context that they are been evaluated in that’s going to be a problem for you as somehow is trying to be successful as a creative person or just be successful in life in general.

I think it’s maybe the classic idea of the mad inventor you know like hiding in his hole and like creating all of these strange things that nobody can actually use even if they’re very novel. That’s an important thing to say I think creativity can be kind of hard to pin down especially in the lab you can’t just bring somebody in and say, “Be creative so we can study you” so instead we have to look at real life creativity and we look at sort of traits related to creativity like divergent thinking, but our basic definition is that creativity is something that’s not just novel, but useful or appropriate for a given context.

Tucker:
This is a little bit off the topic sort of, of what the Podcast is, but this is very interesting because what I wanted to ask about – you’re talking about something I wanted to bring up with you is it seems like you’re doing a lot of research into maybe you are maybe you aren’t into the sort of areas where those like, not just what just varies and how does it vary, but how do those causes arise, you know. So, a genetic factor can be combined with an abusive environment and you get one expression of it; whereas, that same genetic factor can be combined with a supportive environment and you get a different expression of it.

Rachael:
Yes, I mean that’s definitely true it does seem like it’s pretty hard to build a successful organism to me anyway.

Tucker:
Right!

Rachael:
There is a lot of things that can go wrong it’s actually kind of amazing that it works as often as it does when you really get down to it especially given that you don’t have a great understanding about how exactly development plays out like a fine tuned mechanistic level to produce a brain that works well for example. So yes, I think you know you can start with the same genes, but in different environments there is just going to be, you know maybe there is a bunch of stress in one environment or a disease happens or you just aren’t exposed to ideas or something like that, that really radically divergent outcomes can happen from that. I think although genetics are really important for traits like creativity it’s definitely not the be-all-end-all and there is potential for change and development even I think later in life.

Tucker:
This is a topic that is something I’ve thought a lot about because I have been in psychoanalysis for 3 years and I know you’ve done a lot of writing and maybe some research on dreams, and then some other stuff on yoga which is like kind of a different, if you’re thinking about mediation. So, how much of this research that your doing is because you want to figure out, why people are the way they are. I get that generally, but I mean specifically like figuring out okay, like not is just what’s genetic versus what’s environment, but because everything is both right so, how do the two things interact? Psychoanalysis was really popular and then kind of fell off in academic popularity and now then it became like, I think psychology became very biological and deterministic and now it’s this pendulum that’s kind of coming back not all the way, but people are realizing, okay everything matters it’s just how it interacts.

Rachael:
Yes, that’s a great point and I’m excited about that and you know it’s amazing actually when I teach students about that idea of how married they also are to like, “But which one is really the most important” I’m like, “Well you really can’t have one without the other in the end or you can’t consider either one in isolation”.

Tucker:
I’ll give you a good sort of metaphor that I use.

Rachael:
Sure.

Tucker:
Because obviously anytime you talk about anything with psychology people are like, “Oh, you know which one is it?” what I always tell people is I will say, “Do you know what a rectangle is?” and they’d be like, “Yeah, of course” and I’m like, “How do you find the area of a rectangle” and they’re like, “Well it’s the length times the width” and I’m like, “Okay which is more important to the area the length or width” and they think for a second and go, “Wait a minute”.

Rachael:
Yeah.

Tucker:
Blah, blah, blah, and I’m like, “All right there you go nature versus nurture” and they’re like-

Rachael:
Yes, that’s actually really nice and simple. What makes me really excited about the research I’m doing is not so much you know relative contributions to traits like ‘creativity’ or ‘divergent thinking’ but why would that kind of diversity have evolved in the first place. I think that’s actually a surprisingly unclear question well it’s unclear exactly what you’re asking when you say it. I think there is not a general consensus about the answer to that like, why is there, there seems to be quite a bit of variation, human personality where it seems as if for a lot of animals there is sort of one side of a trait that’s the adaptive side, and the other side not so much kind of thing. Where in humans it seems like there is this spectrum of traits and really the maladaptive stuff it’s at the extremes.

Tucker:
To me it seems like, probably I’m wrong, but it seems obvious the answer is because humans have evolved to be super adaptive because we’ve evolved in so many different environments, especially social environments so, it seems like if high-stress natal environments, and pre-natal and sort of young environments create a set of traits that are adaptive low-stress create a different set of traits that are adaptive given a continuity of those environments from young to old.

Rachael:
Sure, yes, that kind of what life history is about right like using early cues to make decisions later.

Tucker:
That’s the same thing as psychoanalysis they’re all the same like they say the same thing from different areas. I want to actually talk to you about yoga for a little bit right, because you written about yoga and since you’re a scientist you’re not going to be some goof ball talking nonsense about yoga. Let me ask you because I’ve tried yoga for a while and I didn’t really get it, right, I didn’t hate it, I didn’t think it was stupid, but I didn’t understand why people really, really like it. At least from your perspective why do you like it?

Rachael:
I do the crazy like ‘hot as the room can get’ cardio-

Tucker:
Like Bikram yoga?

Rachael:
It’s called ‘Power Vinyasa’ so it’s very focused on like lots of core strengthening and it’s really fast. Actually I was thinking I really wish I had a heart monitor on in class a couple of weeks ago because at the end of class while I was laying down my heart rate was like 180, and must of have been up there the whole class it was rocking. It gives the same benefits as any intense exercise does although it does seem to have some benefits over like, running, walking, in terms of releasing GABA in the brain which is like a calming neurochemical. For me it’s a good way to get out of my head for a little while and when you’re trying not to pass out it turns out you can’t really ruminate about your life as much as usual.

Tucker:
Why do that instead of meditation?

Rachael:
Oh, because it’s a great workout.

Tucker:
So, you want to combine like a workout and meditation in one?

Rachael:
Yes, the life of a grad student is fairly busy, so it’s nice to consolidate things like that. I also joke that it’s like my chiropractor and my therapist.

Tucker:
Well what is therapeutic about it?

Rachael:
I really think for me what’s therapeutic – I think it’s different for everyone actually or it can be anyway I think there are individual differences, but for me it’s really just having a break from deciding what to do next for an hour somehow that is good for me just like having a routine to go through and someone else saying, “Go into this position. Go to this pose” it’s just like, a complete break from all the things in the rest of my life, so I like it because of that.

Tucker:
This may seem like a weird question, but I have always wondered about this because I always think like meeting girls at the gym is sort of weird right, like if you go to like a regular gym, you know if you do cross-fit it makes sense. I went to yoga and there are tons of woman it’s like 80% woman and most of them are pretty attractive and like I felt just as weird hitting on girls in yoga as I would at the gym so I didn’t do it at all, but do you meet people through yoga, is that common or not?

Rachael:
I don’t think so. I guess I know a couple of people who met there instructors.

Tucker:
Right!

Rachael:
Like would date there instructors through yoga, but that’s because they are sort of – it’s like acceptable to talk to the instructor after yoga right, so you might establish rapport that way, but yeah I think everyone is kind of in the same zone of like, I’m kind of like tunnel vision I’m here to do my thing I don’t want to have to worry about like dating or anything like that or been hit on when I’m drenched in sweat.

Tucker:
That’s what I thought I figured yoga basically fell in the same category as the gym like leave girls alone right?

Rachael:
I think so.

Tucker:
Right, but I’ve heard like guys talk like, “Oh, yeah yoga” and I’m like, “I don’t know” or maybe they are just full of shit or they are doing something different maybe.

Rachael:
Maybe if you’re just going to look at the nice fit people if that’s an activity you enjoy, but I would be surprised if there were very many stories of yeah, and I’ve talked to my female and male friends about this because I have several friends who also do yoga, and yeah I think it’s a consensus it’s not a great place.

Tucker:
No, it doesn’t make sense that’s what I thought I feel like the people talking about it are full of shit.

Rachael:
Yes, well they are probably exaggerating who knows I mean it happens anywhere right?

Tucker:
Yeah.

Rachael:
Probably not at yoga probably not compared to other better places to meet people like kickball or something.

Tucker:
Let me ask you, obviously you know quite a bit about evolutionary psychology and all the sort of related fields right? Do you actually use it in your personal life when you’re on dates or when a guy is talking to you and your thinking in those terms or are you one of the people whose research is here and your social life is here and never shall the two meet?

Rachael:
That’s a good question I thought about this a lot I really think it might for me anyway I think it’s one of those things and I’m sure you feel the same way it’s kind of like one of those Pandora’s Box things like once you know it you just see it everywhere, right? I was really excited about watching all of my friends you know be on OkCupid and stuff when that was especially popular I think back a few years ago. It’s still kind of popular.

Tucker:
It’s still very popular. ‘Tinder’ and ‘Hinge’ are a little bit – mobile dating is bigger now.

Rachael:
Oh, yeah right, that I have not tried. OkCupid I have tried, and yeah, you almost cannot see it on something like OkCupid, it’s just the deluge of messages you get as a woman compared to as a man especially when you’re new on the site it’s just like, “Shiny” I mean-

Tucker:
Hold on here is the thing most of the audience listening to this will be guys and they don’t know what you mean. I know what you mean so tell us when you got on OkCupid what was that like for you? Like what happened literally what happened and what did you feel?

Rachael:
Well I mean I think they have algorithms set up such that you are new you show up in more people search results or something, but I signed up because I was in San Diego for a little bit, and I just kind of wanted to meet some people my age and grab a beer or something. So, I put on the profile like, “Not looking for romantic relationships” kind of tried to be tame about it didn’t put that many details which I actually realized now might have been contributing to the messages. I should have put almost too many details that would have been better. But, yeah there is just sort of this very cool thing that you see with OkCupid where men just think, “Why not?” they message anybody, right, they look at your picture and they send you a message I think and then woman are I think just much more reticent to initiate.

Tucker:
Much more selective obviously.

Rachael:
Well, I mean they don’t even give us a chance it’s like you a create profile and it’s just like, “Ahhh!” like your-

Tucker:
So, tell me you create a profile and then you went out to the gym and you came back in something like 2-hours later well what happened?

Rachael:
There were like 35 messages.

Tucker:
In like how long?

Rachael:
Like an hour and a half or 2-hours it was wild I mean it was really just – actually I did end up hanging out with people that I initiated things with, because I just felt more comfortable about that.

Tucker:
So, what were the messages like? I assume most of them were awful?

Rachael:
Oh, huge range, no it’s really interesting, but I will tell you this, this is very off the science path I guess, but I was shocked at how many people just said like, “Hey”.

Tucker:
Or DTF or something – were they’re a lot of crude guys?

Rachael:
Just a couple actually most of them were fairly nice just like really bad spelling. That’s a huge one, using like the wrong ‘your’ it’s just like instant delete, but most people were really nice actually, and some were like interested, “Oh I see you do research like I’d love to hear more about that” kind of thing I mean it’s really diverse I think.

Tucker:
Okay, so you responded to none of the guys who emailed you, but you went and picked guys?

Rachael:
I did respond to a couple of the guys who emailed me, yeah I did.

Tucker:
What did they do differently?

Rachael:
They were funny I remember that they were funny.

Tucker:
Do you remember what they said or you just remember laughing?

Rachael:
I don’t remember what they said I don’t remember I just remember being like, “Ah, that’s kind of clever”.

Tucker:
Right, so they obviously didn’t like have a big long joke with the setup it was just something like a little clever and that’s it?

Rachael:
Yes, or like referenced something that they had actually read my profile that was nice. What else? Yeah, that’s pretty much it I mean would say I responded to maybe 20% of them or something.

Tucker:
Right.

Rachael:
Like, “You seem nice, thanks for messaging me”

Tucker:
Did you meet up with any guy who initiated with you?

Rachael:
Yes, one of them.

Tucker:
Tell me about it like what did he do that made you feel comfortable meeting him?

Rachael:
He was one of the ones that said something funny I think I had something in my profile about like one of my skills is starting projects and then not finishing them, and he made a joke about that and it was like, “I’m just the same” and said something like, “Yeah, you know it would be great to have a beer there is this great place nearby if you’re around. You said your right in this area” and so we went and just chatted for a couple of hours and he was very smart and interesting and assertive I would say.

Tucker:
What do you mean assertive? Hold on the reason I’m asking these probing questions I’m not trying to pry into your personal life. Let me explain the position I know exactly what you mean, but most guys especially young guys don’t have any sort of…they weren’t raised by fathers who explained this to them or they don’t have people around that show them behavior that works and that makes sense. So, you say assertive, I have experience with woman I know what you mean I’m 38, an 18-year old or 22-year old looks at you and they’re like, “Okay there is this beautiful you know soon to be doctor and she like” like they think, “My goodness she’s out of my league” or they just don’t even know what you’re talking about. They will nod their head and say, “Yeah, assertive” and then they will be like, “Well I screamed curses at this girl and she didn’t like me I don’t know why not” and I’m like why would you do that, “Well, that’s assertive” no that’s not assertive so, what do you mean by ‘assertive’?

Rachael:
Well, actually that kind of brings up something that I’ve been thinking about preparing for you know thinking about how my research might relate to ideas about getting to know woman or getting the men to notice you or something like that. I really think there are definitely individual differences in what people value. So, the way in which this guy was assertive might be different than what some other woman might like. I like that he was, you know I’m pretty assertive myself so I definitely like when someone can kind of like keep up and not, not be intimated I don’t know not intimidated, but I think I might come of a little strong sometimes like off color jokes maybe or something so it’s nice when somebody can kind of roll with me.

Tucker:
Right.

Rachael:
That’s what I mean in terms of what he was doing so I actually think that’s really important, and he clearly sensed from my personality you know how kind of like we could have banter back and forth, and like how assertive he could be. I think that’s really important to acknowledge it’s really an interaction effect, and men like confidence to, right? I mean confidence and assertiveness and like speaking your mind with you know conviction of any kind I think that shows consistency and that you care about things and your self confidence seems like it’s probably good for both sexes.

Tucker:
Did you know he was assertive from the email or you picked that up in person?

Rachael:
I picked that up more in person actually. This is maybe not even a good example because I really wasn’t…I mean who knows maybe subliminally or implicitly I was evaluating these guys from a mating context, but at the time-

Tucker:
Come on now Rachael, do you think you weren’t at all even if you’re like, “Look I’m not going to hook up with these guys this is just not where I am” even if your not do you think that you aren’t thinking about those things at all? You know too much about ev psych to think that.

Rachael:
I know, but I really was looking to have like what I wanted was to have a good conversation that’s what I was looking for.

Tucker:
Right.

Rachael:
That was more apparent from the message he sent and that he had taken the time to look at what I had written what little I had written and that he seemed kind of genuine like he didn’t really seem – I don’t know it’s hard to say why that was set apart from the other ones it really, there is sort je ne sais quoi about it I could just tell that he was smart and that he was probably going to be interesting to talk to. Also based on his profile I guess his profile was funny.

Tucker:
Holds on now what kind of research scientist are you, ‘je ne sais quoi’? You know that there is a reason why. You may not know it yourself which is totally fine.

Rachael:
Well that’s what I’m saying.

Tucker:
Most of us don’t know why we do what we do.

Rachael:
Yes.

Tucker:
So, you just haven’t thought enough to actually figure…which is fine.

Rachael:
Well I wasn’t really expecting to be asked about OkCupid to be honest, but I don’t remember the exact specifics. All I’m saying is I remember there were several things that must have been-

Tucker:
That signaled intelligence and you wanted intelligent conversation.

Rachael:
Yes.

Tucker:
What about the guys that you picked out because you said you emailed some guys and initiated and those are the ones you met with?

Rachael:
Oh, yeah well this is where we are going to start getting into like these are just things that maybe are signaling shared interests. So, I looked for guys who were interested in science and I don’t know read the same books I had read or something like that.

Tucker:
Right. What you’re looking for is far less important information for guys than understanding how woman think about this so, the fact that you actually looked at what they listed with the books right?

Rachael:
Yeah.

Tucker:
And you looked at their interests and you’re like, “Oh” like they weren’t a random assemblage of words that you have to get on so OkCupid will let you put your profile up, they are actually things that you read and you took seriously and said, “Oh, this dude read whatever Brief History of Time and Selfish Gene and he likes these things and so, we are going to have these things in common right”?

Rachael:
Right, and there are certain things like that I mean I don’t know it was probably – I remember a big signal for me being like Calvin and Hobbes for example just like, “Oh, we’ll get along” if they actually like Calvin and Hobbes enough to put it on their profile I feel like I’m going to get along with this person. I think you know this is again back to this point of – I think a lot of what it comes down to in terms of you know showing somebody that you’re interested and romantically that you’re going to be a good partner and fun to be around is to be like you would want someone to be towards you. Be a friend first right like establish a rapport, have things in common, like enjoy one another’s company without this sort of like goal in mind necessarily beyond sort of just getting to – and again I mean this is sort of my stuff coming up this is like maybe not very scientific.

Tucker:
It’s not scientific, but it’s super common like your basically describing almost the way the vast majority of woman talk about stuff this sort of stuff.

Rachael:
Yeah.

Tucker:
It’s definitely the way they respond to it actually.

Rachael:
Sure, but do you think men don’t think about it that way?

Tucker:
No, it depends on the age and it depends what they are looking for, but younger guys who are very focused on short-term mating don’t think about any of this stuff with woman they just basically want to find women to say, “Yes” to them right?

Rachael:
I think that’s really over generalizing I think that there are individual differences in that trait, yeah there are individual differences in testosterone and agreeableness and-

Tucker:
They’re looking for the hottest one who will say “Yes” you’re right there is an individual difference that’s the difference.

Rachael:
It’s not even the ‘hottest’ one, but I think, you probably do know better than me, but in my experience I’ve certainly meet plenty of men in college for example and maybe they were all just posturing, but they certainly seemed as if sex was not the only thing that was important to them.

Tucker:
Hold on Rachael,, I didn’t say that’s the only thing that matters to guys.

Rachael:
Right.

Tucker:
I said, “Guys who are only looking for short-term mating” that’s what they respond to which by the way most studies indicate are the minority even in college it’s 60-65% of guys want a girlfriend and don’t just want to hook up.

Rachael:
Okay, sure just short-term mating yeah fine.

Tucker:
So, for medium to longer term mating so, either sort of like casual dating or serious and of course a bunch of other stuff comes up, personality, you know whatever, go down the list of sort of things, but I think even guys who want girlfriends don’t actually think about how they appear to woman. Guys are real good at subjectively accessing female appearance they’re very bad at understanding what they look like to woman appearance wise. Then guys are okay at understanding sort of like, “Uh, well I care about these traits” college guys right. The older guys get the better they get at understanding sort of what they are looking for non-physically in a woman, but I think they are also really bad the younger they get at understanding how they come off to women. They know what they think they’re doing like, “Oh, yeah I think I’m being nice” and they don’t realize they are totally creeping a girl out.

Rachael:
Yeah, maybe I don’t know if I’m the right person to ask about those kinds of things.

Tucker:
Why not?

Rachael:
I mean I certainly appreciate you know on average this phenomena of male sexual over perception those kinds of things like men tend to misread signals in a way that suggests like, “Oh, yeah she totally wants it right” I guess I just don’t know much about that whole like mismatch of self perception. I guess I don’t know if the study is showing there is a big mismatch between what men think they are doing and how they are actually coming across, so maybe you want to tell me something about that?

Tucker:
I mean if that’s not like your subject or you don’t want to talk about it we don’t have to it’s just-

Rachael:
Yeah, I just don’t know much about it to be honest.

Tucker:
So, the way it generally breaks down is that guys don’t understand how they come across to women is the problem right? So, for instance I’ll give you a really good example a guy will be standing at a bar right even though a bar is not really a great place to sort of meet new woman or pick up woman guys think it is, so a lot of guys go there with that goal. Like they will be standing there and looking at a woman right and she will look over and sort of catch him looking at her and he will look away really quick right. Well on an unconscious level to a mammalian brain that sort of furtive behavior codes as predator, right, and it doesn’t code as sort of like someone that you want to meet or talk to; whereas, if you look at her in the eye preferably and not at her chest, and maybe like smile or something and then look away even that brief acknowledgement that you know you’re looking at her then like what that does is it unconsciously you don’t code as predator anymore. Consciously the woman is realizing that, well unconsciously and consciously she’s realizing you’re not objectifying her and that you’re actually engaging with her as a person right?

Rachael:
Okay.

Tucker:
Those are really small subtle things that so many guys do that they don’t realize they do and it creates a – there is a whole list of traits when a woman looks at a guy that she is evaluating for attraction and vice versa, but that’s sort of like one super small thing like, what kind of shape a guy is in? What clothes he is wearing? How well the clothes fit? Ornaments, like guys understand very, very little about any of this stuff and how it impacts attraction, and mating and that kind of stuff.

Rachael:
Sure, yes, guys on average I guess I would have to agree with you again I think it’s just there are just lots of different ways to make it all work kind of from an interactionist stand point, but yeah I mean how could I not agree with you as soon as you see someone that snap judgment it happens, so automatically and you have very little control over what your first impression is of someone. First impressions are definitely important, yeah I mean sometimes later a violation of your initial expectations can be kind of cool, but yeah-

Tucker:
Right, but that always follows in a very specific pattern or there is like, and it can’t be too extreme. What are some of things that you see in your life where you’re like, “Ugh’, guys do things where you’re immediate snap judgment is negative especially things they don’t realize, but just anything? Or guys you might otherwise be like, “Oh, that guy might be attractive if he’d stopped X” or something. How about what is the least attractive thing you can think of seeing on guys?

Rachael:
Oh, low openness. God yeah, I mean I’ve-

Tucker:
You mean it’s like a behavior trait so a guy who is just like-?

Rachael:
Not curious, not like interested in new different kinds of ideas, doesn’t read, not interested in new experiences and novelty or art or things like that I mean that’s for me. That’s a values thing for me though right, because there are studies that show traits that we process high ourselves we tend to value more highly in friends and partners.

Tucker:
Right.

Rachael:
So, no surprise there right, but in terms of like – I don’t know I’m pretty forgiving with people I tend to not automatically make like, “Oh, God that guy is superficial” judgments. I mean obviously cat-call stuff is sort of annoying.

Tucker:
So, if a guy sexually harasses you then you think he’s unattractive?

Rachael:
Well, yes assuming I guess right, but what can I say, I’m a weirdo I like guys who are smart and curious and funny.

Tucker:
That’s not a weirdo that’s-

Rachael:
No, I’m kidding I’m kidding yeah.

Tucker:
No, it’s funny you know that’s another thing a lot of guys don’t understand is they don’t understand is they don’t realize that the three things that in America that woman usually rate as attractive in men, intelligence, kindness, humor, you just said, “Smart, attractive, funny…smart, funny” two of those three.

Rachael:
So, I can’t say maybe it’s as much about things like guys in my social circles do that are not good necessarily, but one thing that I have noticed that I think I respond to well and again, you know all this with a grain of salt I hang-out with grad students, so it’s maybe kind of a strange sample in that way. We are a little isolated I think socially sometimes for better or worse I suppose, but I think that not only observing how not just men, but anyone you’re evaluating for inclusion in your life in some way seeing not just that you appreciate their traits that you are picking up on something that you value, and you think that they’re funny, and you think they’re interesting that you think they have status, but also the whole like social group does also. So, seeing sort of displays of like close friendships and caring behavior towards others not just towards the object of interest of theirs. Towards animals you know sort of seeing this more general like; whatever you are observing as been done for your sake, but is like an authentic signal it’s a real underlying trait, and not something that’s done to pull them in or to appear a certain way.

Tucker:
Yeah, I know exactly what you mean. Let me ask you something because you speak in the language of ev psych which is totally fine it makes sense it’s what you do, but like do you feel like you were like this before you read this stuff and now you just have a vocabulary for it? Or is it like a lot of your preferences and things changed as you learned this? What do you think?

Rachael:
It’s so hard to disentangle probably I mean our preferences change as we mature no matter what I just happen to mature, well if you can call it that in a field where I got this whole repertoire of ways to think about this from a technical standpoint and this whole extra vocabulary. You know I think there is some truth to that having words for things does sort of change the way we think about them so, it’s very kind of a classic and contentious idea in psychology that language shapes cognition, right? So, I would actually say it’s so, probably multi-deterministic like there are so many ways in which things are maybe more likely to influence my preferences over the years that it’s hard to say. You know what though you’re right I mean I look for all of the things that I know to look for that show you know developmental stress from testorone and things like that.

Tucker:
Well like what like give us some good examples?

Rachael:
Oh, no I can’t.

Tucker:
Why not?

Rachael:
Well okay.

Tucker:
What’s wrong with that that’s actually super cool information.

Rachael:
Okay, so I do totally look for this not in a way where it would be a deal breaker or something like that, but you know like having a deep voice, healthy hair…I really like facial hair, I know there are individual differences in that, but I tend to like that the sort of secondary characteristics in the face that come in from testosterone like just those kinds of things.

Tucker:
Like what?

Rachael:
I’m a weirdo like I know those things so it’s hard to say.

Tucker:
No, you’re a woman you’re not a weirdo you’re a woman.

Rachael:
But, I’m a scientist too and I’ve thought about these issues a lot as a scientist so I’m not sure so, I just I guess I worry that maybe my experience is not representative of most women.

Tucker:
It absolutely is if what your were saying was just nonsense then believe me I would of taken the conversation in a totally different direction.

Rachael:
Sure, fine.

Tucker:
So, instead of censoring yourself the best thing you can do for the guys listening is tell them what you think even if – listen everything every woman says is ultimately about herself just like everything every man says is about himself that’s the way we work we’re human beings right?

Rachael:
Yeah.

Tucker:
You are not that different you’re just a lot smarter and you know a lot more things.

Rachael:
I don’t know about that, but I might know some things it’s kind of you know you see that image of like what you learn and like the whole knowledge of the world and like what you learned in a PhD, and it’s like this teeny tiny fraction you’re pushing out. I do know a couple of things, but I think I just have to say that I don’t really know the extent to which that has really changed what I would look for I think you know my personality is what it is I like what I like to some extent even if I know more about which traits I should be looking for.

Tucker:
Are there any traits you should be looking for that you just don’t care about that don’t matter to you or that you just don’t value very highly or something or do you think, “Uh, this is supposed to be a big deal or it is a big deal to a lot of woman it’s just not a big deal to me”?

Rachael:
Oh, there is probably some, I don’t care that much about resources I don’t think probably compared to the average or like resource displays.

Tucker:
So, you don’t care how rich a guy is?

Rachael:
Yeah, and I don’t care about resource displays and things like that I’m much more interested I think in like, seeing men who like complexity and seem like they have ingenuity and things like that, no surprise right I’ve kind of self selected to. Like I like people who are like that, right, I don’t like people interested in those kinds of displays it’s not really just about men I don’t think, I know that’s not necessarily what you’re trying to hear.

Tucker:
No, actually like you keep censoring you have great answers. I’m not going to talk about this because I don’t think you care, but let me decide what we want to hear.

Rachael:
Okay, all right!

Tucker:
Just answer the questions, and that’s actually fantastic by the way so just to give you an example we just finished Dr. Miller and I doing the Podcast on how to develop traits related around resources, money, power, and one of the things that is clear as day across all cultures is that resources are very important up to a minimum, and above that they go way down to the bottom of the list.

Rachael:
That makes total sense to me right, because resources can come and go, but your capacity to gain them again like your ability to problem solve and figure things out is there forever.

Tucker:
Notice how the three things that I’ve said, intelligence, kindness, humor, where was money, power or status on that list?

Rachael:
Yep, nope they’re not there.

Tucker:
They’re actually not at the top especially for like we are talking about the world and this is not like some weird group of women in east Austin or something.

Rachael:
Wait isn’t it the same for men also who put kindness as highest also don’t they?

Tucker:
For woman no physical attraction is always number one.

Rachael:
Really!? I thought it was both?

Tucker:
Well it depends if you’re asking them for a girlfriend long-term for guys it does vary a lot for depending on what the relationship is.

Rachael:
Yeah, right.

Tucker:
Short-term is like physical, one, two and three basically for long-term then physical doesn’t go far down the list, but things like kindness, and things like that become much, much more important.

Rachael:
Right, yeah that was my impression with it at least for someone you’d want to spend a lot of time with physical attraction starts to drop down for both sexes. Yeah, so I think that maybe one of the things that is a take-home from that and one of the things I think about a lot with creativity is displays of creativity or ingenuity or curiosity they kind of, even in the presence of a lack of resources I think it’s a signal that you have this capacity to come up with new ideas when necessary and select between them.

Tucker:
Especially when you’re young that’s far more important I mean that’s actually what the data says to like younger woman especially actually value the traits that lead to resources more than the actual resources themselves.

Rachael:
Yes, although that does change with age, right?

Tucker:
Yeah.

Rachael:
The OkCupid blog about what people lie about on profiles and it made me laugh I think I remember it’s like up to 23 if you don’t have any resources you’re fine, but after 23 if you have no resources go and die in a fire, but right it’s a minimum like it’s not a linear relationship it’s, yeah, I love those blogs I was sad when OkCupid got sold to Match or whatever.

Tucker:
Yeah, to IAC, they own Tinder and Match. So why don’t you use mobile dating? Like ‘Tinder’ or ‘Hinge’ or something?

Rachael:
Why don’t I use mobile dating?

Tucker:
Like because you said you use OkCupid and then those are sort of like the next steps, are they too much of a meat market or what?

Rachael:
I’ve thought about it and I certainly have and it seems like it would be kind of fun. Honestly this got really popular in my area in the last 6 months and I think I would of tried it, but it’s been kind of a crazy last 6 months for me so, it’s kind of like, when I feel like I’m having gaps in my social calendar or my work calendar I will totally check out Tinder kind of thing, but I think it seems really fun, but I don’t know if it’s necessarily for me, myself personally although there is no value judgment attached to this. I’ve never really been that into quick hookups so, and I think there is a sex difference for you right like men and woman have some pretty large differences in how willing they are or not although I think that’s actually changing. I think culturally that’s shifting a little bit and becoming much more acceptable and woman are coming out of the wood work a little bit more on that.

Tucker:
You know what’s funny though is the data indicates women used to be far more into that than people thought and now they are not into it as people thought actually woman haven’t changed that much.

Rachael:
Wait, how long ago are we talking?

Tucker:
Like 20-years I mean I’m not talking about grandparents shit I’m talking about like the ‘80s.

Rachael:
The ‘70s and ‘80s, yeah

Tucker:
Seventies and eighties woman were doing it far more than people thought and now they are doing it far less than people think. All that’s really changed is the perception and the acceptance of it, because there is this idea that college is dionystic orgy of you know like sex, and the data indicates that kids in college are barely having more sex than they did in the ‘70s and ‘80s like a little bit more, but like almost within the margin of error or right outside the margin of error, so like 5% or something.

Rachael:
So, how much do you think all of that is reporting bias I mean there is some?

Tucker:
I don’t know I’m not the research scientist I’m not qualified to speak on reporting methods and things like that.

Rachael:
Okay.

Tucker:
I really don’t know.

Rachael:
I’m not up on my ev psych in term of what sort of very contemporary-

Tucker:
I mean I will tell you in my experience, I do know media though and know a lot of what is reported in media is not what usually goes on it’s about the biases of who owns the paper and who is writing the piece and who the bosses are of the people writing the piece.

Rachael:
Yeah.

Tucker:
So, if you look at that it kind of makes a lot of sense, right, if you think about the ‘70s and ‘80s you have essentially people who grew up in the ‘50s writing stuff, and owning it and they’re never going to over report it because that’s against their world view. And then now you have people who essentially grew up in the ‘60s, and ‘70s who are now like they’ve become their parents and they’re like, “All these kids now they’re are a bunch of whores and this and that etc” and they have very different agendas seriously like to me nothing explains everything, but that explains a lot about the change in reporting as being different than the change in the activity you know.

Rachael:
Right, know that makes sense media is notoriously biased about these things even if you have data its still-

Tucker:
Right, they don’t care about facts, facts get in the way of their story and they’re biased, right, and then it could be left or right it doesn’t really matter it kind of goes both ways. Like both sides are actually super prudish about sex and the way that they actually report it. Do you know who Dr. Nicole Prause is? She’s at UCLA she’s done a bunch of stuff we talked to her a lot about – she was saying it’s the biggest pain in the ass to get funding for any sort of sex research, but especially ‘sex positive’ research she’s like, “It’s basically impossible”.

Rachael:
That’s like the story I remember hearing – I think I’m allowed to say this. I’ll just say a researcher did a great study you know the ‘laptop study’ where they had guys like say, what they were willing to do and it was kind of morally ambiguous stuff when they were and were not masturbating?

Tucker:
Right!

Rachael:
So, they had these elaborate setups with these one handed laptops and when they tried to get funding to do it with women.

Tucker:
They couldn’t get funding.

Rachael:
They couldn’t get funding yeah.

Tucker:
No, it’s funny that’s — Dr. Prause was talking about that to the whole research system setup is like extremely, sexist isn’t the right word it’s just very shame laden especially about sex especially, especially about women sex like, woman are the ones who get screwed more than guys in this situation.

Rachael:
Yeah, I mean this is sort of maybe I don’t know how off topic this is, but I was thinking about that especially I think you know sometimes in academia you do get, I mean there are lots of talks going on right now about woman in academia woman in science, and all this and I really just have to sometimes just throw up my hands and conclude it hasn’t been that long since it was totally like just the status quo to just assume that woman couldn’t do the same kinds of things that men could like it’s been 50-years or something.

Tucker:
Less than that I think.

Rachael:
Less than that even I mean I think it’s just a lag.

Tucker:
I mean you look at the ethics boards at a lot of these Universities you know Prause was saying this to like they are all old men or old woman who came up within you know, 60s, 70s, sometimes 80-year olds and I’m like, really like come on.

Rachael:
Yeah, so I think there is a, not to be morbid, but you know science and society advances with the death of every scientist and politician.

Tucker:
Well that’s some famous scientist quote, “Science advances actuarially not scientifically” but-

Rachael:
Oh, that’s nice yeah, I just didn’t know the exact quote, but that makes sense.

Tucker:
What are some other things because it’s always interesting to talk to woman who understand this stuff, and are also like younger and single and like, “Oh, yeah I haven’t been married for 40-years” like you know like you were married for 40-years things are very different right?

Rachael:
Yeah.

Tucker:
But, for you you’re younger than I am actually you’re the age of a lot of guys listening to this podcast, granted woman mature much faster and, so a guy your age is not going to usually be at your emotional level and probably not at your intellectual level. What are some things you see that guys do where you’re just like, “Dude stop doing that, like it’s, so easy not to do this and it’s, so unattractive when you do that”? Like what are some things you think either bars or just out anywhere guys you know or things you’re just like, “Why do guys do this? Why don’t they understand how unattractive this is”?

Rachael:
I find that a difficult question because like I said barring sort of these overt kind of harassment sort of things I guess taking themselves too seriously that’s a pretty big one I mean that plays right into sense of humor, but you know I think some guys my age maybe are feeling maybe the pressure of been single, and like just taking themselves and their romantic situation too seriously, stressing out about it too much. I mean that doesn’t look good on anybody not that it’s not something I think it’s important I think that you know understanding what your goals are in life for like partnering, and whether you want to get married or be with someone or have children I think they are all really important things to think about. But, I think it’s also easy to get yourself really worked up about it especially because – I think people sometimes think that men don’t feel the sort of biological clock ticking, but I think they do, and so, maybe not as strongly.

Tucker:
Let’s turn the question the other way around then.

Rachael:
Sure.

Tucker:
Think of maybe like the most attractive guy you know in person right or maybe – don’t name him I’m not saying; whatever, right just whoever that is.

Rachael:
Right?

Tucker:
Him or maybe one, or like the two or the two or three like if there like if there is two or three you could name me like these guys just have it together.

Rachael:
Great, yeah I like this better.

Tucker:
What are they doing that other guys aren’t doing?

Rachael:
I’m just going to sound maybe like a broken record here I think it’s just that they’re confident, they’re interested in lots of different things, and they’re playful I think that’s important to me, humor, playful, not taking yourself too seriously thing.

Tucker:
I know what those attributes are and a lot of guys do, but you said-

Rachael:
What are they doing, doing?

Tucker:
Right, just sort of tell me actually, here is an even easier way to answer the question? What is something one of those guys has done where you thought, “Man he’s so confident and it’s so sexy” or maybe you know you can go with playful but let’s start with confident actually because confidence is one of those things that a lot of guys don’t understand. They don’t understand what it actually looks like in practice.

Rachael:
Yes, okay, no I can think of something this kind of goes back to this whole, you can’t be just displaying your confidence to women you have to be confident and comfortable in your own skin within the larger social context. And I think there is a fine line between this and showboating, but I think I tend to like it when a guy is displaying a sense of humor, so like he’ll tell a joke in front of a bunch of people, and like it actually goes over well or like maybe you know runs around wearing fairy wings at a party or something sort of ridiculous, but everyone actually thinks it’s funny and not that he’s just kind of weird. I don’t know how you actually achieve that.

Tucker:
That’s why I’m asking you for specific things that specific attractive guys have done that have made you think he’s confident.

Rachael:
Here is a specific thing, this is a confidence thing sort of, but it’s also a nice investment thing like showing investment and real interest. I really do like it when a guy seems genuinely interested in the research that I do that’s kind of cool, so to actually ask you if you’re like, “Oh you do this? Oh why do you like that? Oh that’s real interesting tell me more about that” I mean everyone likes been asked questions about themselves, but it’s cool to see that they can sort of; that they actually have a genuine interest is always nice. I always struggle with this sort of figuring out ways to be more interesting I really think one of the sexiest things that a guy can do is really own what he has got in the first place. So, maybe you’re not the most confident person in the world sort of that’s your personality, but you know maybe you have other strengths, and if you could somehow play to those strengths, and find a way to talk to people about it and go volunteer in the community or something like that if you’re more sensitive than you are assertive then you know go out, and play to that strength kind of thing like that. I think that in a way is more important because I have definitely seen – here is a turnoff I’ve definitely seen men my age who seem like they know that they’re supposed to be sort of throwing themselves around a little bit, but it’s just kind of not like in contrast to like with what they’re comfortable with, and I think that’s obvious to woman. It’s obvious to everyone actually, but you can just tell when it’s not really a faking it thing, but you can just tell when you’re trying a little too hard to signal to like, “Look at the signal I’m signaling like I’m supposed to be doing this like woman like this or something” so yeah, as much as it’s good to, I mean I think personality can change with training and to some extent. I was listening to one of your earlier Podcasts and you and Dr. Miller were talking about, willpower, goals, and planning that kind of thing if you’re in like the fifth percentile in that trait if you’re just lower than most people you’re never going to be the most conscientious person in the world, but you can train yourself or get training to bump it up somewhat. Those kinds of things I think can be changed a little bit, but overall I think a lot of you know – psychoanalysis I think is you said you were interested in that kind of teaches us that being who we are is kind of important, and you can only hold up a façade for so long anyway. So, as much as I think there are definitely certain things you can do like, what you can Dr. Miller talk about to boost your mating potential. I think what individual differences research tells us and like sort of ‘know thy self’ kind of stuff I think it’s really important to understand who you are, and you know work from there.

Tucker:
Can you give an example of a guy you know who is attractive who is doing that he’s working with what he is, so like don’t take, if you’re like, “Oh, yeah I know this guy he’s 6’ 4” he was a quarter back in the football team” and I’m like, “Okay, great we all know those guys can do well right” so who is a guy you can think of, and you don’t have to name him of course just describe and maybe talk about him a little bit who is doing exactly like you say. Like he was dealt a certain hand and he’s playing his hand maybe not the best hand, but he’s playing it really well he’s playing to his strengths like what is he doing?

Rachael:
Okay, yeah so, I guess he was actually sort of whom I had in mind when I was thinking about this, not terribly assertive and somewhat neurotic, but pretty high in openness and pretty good sense of humor actually, and very self deprecating actually that was something that I really liked. Maybe not the most assertive guy, but could pick on himself about it a little bit that’s great like that sort of shows self knowledge, self confidence in a different kind of way, comfort in one’s owns skin, despite maybe not having the classic male pop male typical trait or something like that.

Tucker:
So, he’s lacking certain things that you would normally like, like assertiveness right, but instead of trying to posture to sort of pretend he has them he’s self deprecating about not having them.

Rachael:
Kind of yeah.

Tucker:
Which actually in a way makes him… it turns the weakness into a strength right?

Rachael:
Yes, in a way it really does and like I said before in fact I value openness, and intelligence more than I value assertiveness typically in people in general, so you know that, I’m sure there’s an interaction effect of that or a moderating effect of that, but yeah I remember thinking that’s cool that he seems comfortable with who he is, and doesn’t feel the need to be someone he’s not, yeah so, I think that’s important.

Rachael:
That’s like a fantastic description that applies to a lot of guys who think that they have to be kind of the cool; whatever, assertive, confident alpha male, and if they are not they don’t know what to do they pretend, and your saying don’t, lean into that and be funny about it and be self deprecating, that’s fantastic advise. Can you think of a couple of specific things or interactions where like he maybe that…something that’s instructive where a guy can be like, oh, yeah he could of done this other thing or it could of easily gone a bad way, but it went well, and you’re like, “Man that was one of those things where he just pulled it off”.

Tucker:
Yes, actually I can and if he ever listens to this he’ll know who he is which is fine. So, if he was in a situation where it was clear that you know somebody else is throwing their weight around and he would rather just be like, “I’m not going to get into this with you man” kind of thing, and then he would like jokingly refer to himself like, “You know I try to just get outside of the situation I’m not the alpha male I’m not the beta male I’m the omega male” and you know kind of reflect on what had happened, and yeah so, like that. I remember thinking that was really funny. What else? That’s the only thing about that specific trait sort of trade-off that I can think of off the top of my head.

Tucker:
When you talk about him you smile you get this like, so what other things can you – because you were thinking of other things he did if they don’t fit that exactly whatever we’ll figure out what they fit later on.

Rachael:
Sure.

Tucker:
What are some things he’s done where you’re like, “This guy is really attractive” this thing he did made me very attracted?

Rachael:
Seemed really interested in getting to know me.

Tucker:
Right.

Rachael:
Yep.

Tucker:
But, that’s not the same thing as been obsequious right? He actually cared about your research I think is what you said before?

Rachael:
Yes, and actually that was a different guy, but the guy that I’m thinking of right now definitely cared about research, but it didn’t seem like his immediate goal was to hookup with me ever actually, and maybe I’m weird that way, but that I think is pretty common for woman they want to see that a guy is interested in more than just something short-term, and is going to be genuinely fun to hang-out with no matter what happens. I myself definitely have a chronic pattern of being friends with guys for a while before anything ever comes of it, and like pretty close friends to.

Tucker:
So, before there was ever any sexual interaction or chemistry or anything he actually cared about things that mattered to you?

Rachael:
Well, yes and seemed to care not only about things that mattered to me, but about my well being, and was really open talking about like, in both ways he was interested in me and interested in like, we just had lots of great conversations we had lots of overlapping interests so no surprise we got along really well. I guess if your goal is short-term mating which I know there is kind of a couple of different contingents that you guys are speaking to or speaking for rather, but I think for most people even if you’re in a short-term mating context you still…yeah you want physical attractiveness. That’s probably maybe a little higher up or something, but you still want to not be with some kind of jerk that you don’t get along with, right, I mean that’s just kind of-

Tucker:
We tell guys this all the time 80% of the traits overlap and there’s only a little bit of the margins that change if it’s short of long. So, can you think of anything else that he’s – not only does his interests overlap like actually cares about you as a person, actually is interested in what you’re doing as a person, is funny, self-deprecating, doesn’t try to be anything he’s not.

Rachael:
Yeah, actually, like being kind of I guess assertive so, not as assertive like socially maybe not so much like I think that was really important that he was kind of rejected like the social expectation that he had to be a certain way, and he would talk about it basically that was good.

Tucker:
He’s comfortable with who he is?

Rachael:
Yes, like, “To hell with everyone” kind of like, “I’m going to be who I am” whatever like yeah.

Tucker:
Rachael do you realize you just described like a position that most guys find themselves in, but they don’t know what to do with like guys who are friends with woman who are actually nice guys, who aren’t really assertive who aren’t that sort of dominant type or don’t fake it and they don’t know what to do. You literally just described that guy except this guy is very attractive to you, and my guess is probably attracted to other women because he uses his strategy differently which is he doesn’t try to be something else, uses what he has, he’s smart and kind, and funny, which by the way are the three top things that most woman…not all woman, but most woman look for and this guy is extremely attractive to you.

Rachael:
Yes, and so maybe a take-home advice is so, he happened to also know a good bit about psychology and personality, and so maybe I don’t know if you guys give advice like take a decent personality test or something like that like understand where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Take a test and be honest about it like figure yourself out where you are going to succeed, where are you’re just constantly just trying to be something that you’re not.

Tucker:
We harp on guys to understand themselves that’s almost like everything at the beginning before we even get to, “How to deal with women” we try to explain women to guys, “Here is what they are thinking. Here is what their experience is like and here is like the things that you need to do to be attractive” it’s not be assertive or don’t be assertive, it’s understand who, and what you are and play to your strengths, minimize your weaknesses, and those are different for every guy.

Rachael:
Yes, and you know in that same sort of arena kind of figure out you know woman are constantly thinking about this themselves too, like woman think about this too like, “I’m supposed to be a certain way. I’m supposed to be interested in the right kind of things, and display myself like a certain way to be attractive” and it just goes both ways, and some people like getting kind of deep into those kinds of conversations right off the bat some people don’t. But, I think having an understanding of not only of yourself and your own individual differences, and your own strengths and weaknesses, but understanding that you’re not going to be a match with every person you meet, like that’s crazy right? Some woman are just going to be better matches for you than others and maybe that will force you to adjust your expectations in certain ways, but it’s better to be realistic than be disappointed all the time probably.

Tucker:
There are women who think George Clooney isn’t hot you know like everyone-

Rachael:
Introduce me to this woman.

Tucker:
Everyone has something that someone likes and doesn’t like right? I totally, totally, totally agree. The reason I kept trying to get in on this with you is because these sorts of granular details are the ones that so many guys have a really hard time connecting with and hearing it from you I think this especially is going to be really impactful for a lot of guys, because you’re the type of girl, or woman that a lot of guys would look at and be like, “She’s not going to like me you know she’s really pretty she’s smart she’s all these things that I couldn’t do or get” and now here you are when I ask you to think of the most attractive guy that you know you described a guy that actually fits a lot of the description of the guys that we are trying to help. The only difference is this guy is using what he has and is taking those steps and these other guys aren’t. If they can get to that space you know they can meet that version of that girl in their life and they can act that way that this guy is acting and do really well.

Rachael:
Yes, I think-

Tucker:
Be more attractive like that’s the point you know.

Rachael:
And actually I mean it turns out that part of what makes you more attractive when you figure that stuff out about yourself I mean I think personally and I don’t know if I could cite any specific studies, but when you know more about yourself and your preferences you actually are a happier person I think like it gives you a better sense of well being, that you’re not trying to force these things, hey it turns out not being depressed and anxious and worried about how you’re coming across makes you more fun to be around.

Tucker:
And you can do a better job of picking the people that are right for you when you know who you are and what you want.

Rachael:
Yes, absolutely yeah I think that’s you know I teach Intro to Personality at the University of Minnesota and you know they will keep up with me for only so long with like the bio aspects of it, but I really try to drive home the point that this is like a unique class, and you can actually improve your life from what you learn in this class.

Tucker:
What are your impressions of college? How long have you been teaching this class?

Rachael:
I’ll be teaching it for the second time this fall, but I also have guest lectured a few times in other semesters.

Tucker:
How do those guys in those classes come off to you?

Rachael:
Oh, my God I actually have a great, great story about this it’s the funniest teaching moment yet that I’ve had. I was talking about change in personality over the life span to a lecture hall of like, I think the capacity is like 250, but probably more like 150 were there. So, we were showing these developmental curves where it shows men and woman they do mature and the men catch up to the women, but they’re like a couple of years behind on average on things like agreeableness and conscientious. And so, we are talking about that and people are kind of asking questions and this one kid in the middle of the classroom raises his hand and asks, “Well isn’t it just that old saying sperm is like wine it gets better with age” and the whole class was just like, “What’s happening” so I’m just…and I lost my mind like I actually could not keep my professional décor I just completely collapsed. It was great actually a girl raised her hand like once everyone really sort of collected themselves and it was like, “That’s actually not true if you look at paternal age effect and things like that” which I thought was pretty great. There is just a big range so these kids are what 19, and 20, 21 maybe it’s like their brains haven’t finished developing yet even at that age right? Executive areas don’t finish growing until like early 20s or something so, I think some of them were like that, but then I meet you know a first year student or like a freshman in college who is on top of his stuff, and isn’t afraid to talk to me and knows what he’s interested in, so I think there is quite the range. They seem like good people though actually overall they seem like pretty good people to me they are not jerks at least the ones I interact with for the most part.

Tucker:
How much in your experience do guys change from 18-22, 22 to say 26? Like worlds right?

Rachael:
Yes, and I think grad school for example sort of picked upon this at least they used to do this where they would if you could give them an explanation of why your grades were low for the first two years of college, but they were high for the second two years like, you could kind of say something about that and they wouldn’t evaluate you so harshly on your GPA, because I really think there are gender differences in those last 2-5 years of brain development, and what kinds of personality changes comes along with that on average. Some people are just like from the get go they are like you know when they’re 12 they’re 40, but I’d say on average most men I’ve definitely known, tend to – not everyone, but I see this pattern they kind of like don’t know what the heck they are doing, and then suddenly it’s like, “Wait a minute I have goals now suddenly, but I haven’t really been behaving in a way that reflects that I have goals I should probably do something about that” you get it. I’ve talked to a number of students who have like come to offices hours and said, “I really messed up my first couple of years what can I do to kind of not fix that, but make up for it, and show that I’m serious now”? And I think people understand that intuitively I think women and people in general appreciate that. Some things just take time and people to change at different trajectories over their lives.

Tucker:
I think the only problem is a lot of guys when they’re in that stage don’t realize they kind of project forward right, “Oh this is like what I’m going to be the rest of my life” I’m like, “No, dude you’re a retard now and you’re going to get much better”.

Rachael:
Yes, absolutely it gets better it really does as long as you experience that like, “Wait a minute maybe I should care” yeah, I think it does change with age.

Tucker:
Awesome, I’ve taken 90-minutes of your time which is way too much. Thank you so much Rachael, you’re a fantastic guest thank you for being patient with us especially with the Skype stuff.

Rachael:
Yes, I know that was on my end so I apologize. It was really nice chatting with you and looking forward to hearing the final version.

Tucker:
Yep.

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