Monday, September 2, 2013

Unguyly guys

I know quite a few guys who worry that they don't fit their gender stereotype. If you are one of them, here's a post for you.

Three observations about (apparently) unguyly guys.

1. Most of you are Myers-Briggs E*F* types. You do conversation well. You make decisions based on your personal values and feelings. You don't much like conflict.

2. You may doubt your guyliness, but seriously, no woman doubts it. (I've asked around. You can be sure women see you as 100% male (whatever that might mean!)) You might think that you express yourself more like a woman than a man, but... (how do I say this?) You don't. At all. You sound like a guy.

3. I suspect that appearing unguyly to women is not really your concern. You worry about appearing unguyly to other guys. You want to fit in to your pack. You feel you need to be more ... Driscoll... if you're to step on others and climb the ladder and become the alpha. Maybe you don't want to actually be the alpha, but you want to not be stepped on.

Three suggestions for (apparently) unguyly guys.

1. Why beat yourself up about being who you are? Your E*F*ness is a gift to the world. You are good at many things. And you are fun to talk to. What would I do without E*F* types?

2. If you want to feel more Alpha, read a leadership book. Or two. Or three. Testosterone oozes from the pages and is absorbed through your skin as you hold the book. Seriously, you will feel like a Leader when you are done. Even a Leader of Leaders. Or watch this TED talk and do the body language exercises it suggests.

3. Stop thinking about elements of your personality in gendered terms. It's really unhelpful. Being an E*T* type or an E*F* type or whatever has got nothing to do with gender. You are clearly a guy. Be convinced of that.


  1. Yep.

    And now I'm off to bake a cake.

  2. hmmm. I'm happy with my ENFPness as a man. in fact increasingly so with each passing year. what gets to me sometimes not having had a dad's meaningful input into my life during developmental years is i feel like I missed out on something. Something that blokes get when relating to blokes. There's a way that older men (if adequately secure in themselves) can confer humour and a knowing endorsement/encouragement of masculinity that's helpful for younger boys/men. Perhaps most central to that is helping them not take it all so seriously. This conferment can often happen in contexts that are less verbal, more situational (sport, doing stuff, etc). A bit more of that when you are a young man uncertain of who you are and what you can do would've been helpful for me. I'm grateful and learnt a lot about consensus, vulnerability, reading emotions and people, and a different kind of strength from my mum (and she's probably off the scale with some of those abilities) but for me not having a present dad cut me out of the loop not just from that one individual but from any circle of his male friends as well. So it's like learning a slightly foreign language and playing catchup. I listen to a lot of boomer men share stories of their builder dads at funerals. The best eulogies capture something of what i'm talking about.

    1. I don't think we should use the morphograph *ness with MB personality types anymore. Just saying.

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  4. I know an I*T* man quite well who doesn't feel very manly when it comes to the Driscoll-type description of manliness. He is quiet and gentle and listens well, and is much appreciated by those he works with and teaches. His strength and masculinity comes through in different ways, but he is definitely not unguyly.