Women (and Men) Just Don't Like Modest Guys

It’s an old, old story: cocky guys impress the ladies while modest guys impress their mothers.  How much I’d like to tell you that I just came across a study suggesting that this assessment is all wrong; just a tired cliche that cocky guys repeat for self-serving reasons.

Regrettably, I have to tell you exactly the opposite.  A new study out of Rutgers University adds support to this celebration of arrogance by concluding that women really don’t like modesty in a man. Less surprising, the study also found that other men don’t appreciate male modesty, either, classifying it as “weak.”

Researchers showed more than 200 people videotapes of a man and a woman applying for a job as a computer lab manager. The people in the videos were really actors following the same script in the fake interview.  All of the actors were instructed to act humbly about their achievements.

Study participants were asked to rate them for modesty, likeability and other factors. Although the applicants were portrayed as equally qualified, both women and men viewing the video rated the male applicant significantly less likable than the female one.

“Modest men were not liked as much as modest women because they were viewed as ‘too weak’ for a man and because they were viewed as insufficiently confident and ambitious,” the researchers wrote in the journal Psychology of Men & Masculinity.

If correct, these findings suggest that men more prone to modesty try to act less so for fear of being seen as weak and unambitious. Forcing that sort of personality twist rarely turns out well, and often produces a higher level of jerkiness than actual jerks are capable of.

Funny thing is that in a previous study, the same researchers found that when women act assertively, they are judged as lacking social skills.

HT: Daily Mail Online


3 thoughts on “Women (and Men) Just Don't Like Modest Guys

  1. Pingback: What leads up to an abusive relationship? Why do victims stay in the situation? Where can victims get help? | Buy Leads vs. Generating Leads

  2. Funny you should post this. I’m struggling a bit with my 15-year-old son’s out sized opinion of himself and what, if anything, to do about it. I find arrogance an abhorrent quality in both men and women, but if what you’re saying is indeed true, I should leave him be as he’s likely to be more successful in life as he is. Thankfully, he’s at least managed to soften his self-congratulation with some humor which I think is probably his saving grace. But I can’t help but think someone’s going to haul off and punch him in the nose one day for being too cocky.

    We’ve become a culture of shameless self-promotion, and while I understand the need for this in corporate life, it really rubs me the wrong way. A little humility goes a long way, in my book.

  3. Well I do not think that the conclusions you are drawing are right…..

    Firstly there is no analogy between evaluating an applicant for a job and evaluating a person as a potential sexual mate.

    Secondly the statements “women like modest guys” and “women will sleep with modest guys” are completely different because attraction is a much more complex emotion than simply liking someone.

    Actually I will go further and say that I think that a certain degree of cockiness especially with reference to how attractive you think you are can go miles to get you a potential mate.

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