Auntie Dote is HBI's answer to the usual, treacly, self-help advice columnists.

Disclaimer: This isn't an advice website. Yet from time to time we receive email asking for the Heartlessly Bitchy point of view. If you need serious medication, therapy or professional help, seek elsewhere. However, if you still insist on soliciting OUR advice, just remember...

YOU ASKED FOR IT.

All submissions become the property of HBI and by sending email to Auntie Dote you thereby give your permission for letters and responses (sans identifying information) to be published on the website. No emails will be answered individually.

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Ask Auntie Dote
The Auntie Dote for what ails you...


April 10, 2006

From: "Clayton"
Date: Sun Apr 2, 2006
Subject:This site has a lot of insight. I try to follow it as closely as possible!

[Submitted in response to the Nice Guys articles, we felt this one needed the "Auntie Dote" treatment...]

Hey,

"Hey"?  Whatever happened to "Dear Heartless Bitches" or "Hello" or "To Whom it may concern"?

I'm a guy who's struggled with falling into the "nice guy" niche on many occasions in my life.  Considering that we are creatures of habits, it's been very hard for me to leave this way of life behind. That's why I go back to your site quite often, and review the most important article on the internet, the "nice-guy-dilemma" article.

"the most important article on the internet"?  WHY is this blurb not posted in the Nice Guys Bleah! section? :-)

Most of my friends who I direct to the site deny that they've ever had the problems,

Come on. A guy, DENY that he's ever had a problem? *wink, nudge*

when 10 minutes before they were complaining about the same exact shit. Hah, I directed them to the waterhole...

sounds like a rarely observed male bonding ritual!

I probably visit this once every 3 months and just doublecheck that I'm not contradicting myself,

Oh my god...we are mecca for Nice Guys. They pray thrice weekly in the direction of HBI...

especially since every once and awhile a girl runs across, who I usually fall head over heels for.

I don't see how girls could possibly equal trouble. ;) This is just part of life, son. Take your sugar lumps, and move on.

I'm learning to not pursue these girls, at least not in the way that makes me look like a "nice guy",

ok...maybe what we need is a "how to" antidote for the Nice Guys. A how TO ask an HB out...oh but wait, that would preclude independent thought and initiative.

desperate for anyone to hold me and console me, because I don't have a spine to stand up for myself.

Yes. Good.

I also wanted to thank you for writing something so clear that anyone could understand it!

We aim to...uh...penetrate.

I must admit, I quite often mistake women's signals, or do not pick up on them at all,

You will have to make a conscious effort to work on social skills. Some people are socially autistic. It is not an excuse. Use your empathy and communication skills to learn what other people mean, want, and feel.

Then again, maybe you really DO know what they want but you just IGNORE it. We get it all the time. It's a form of manipulation. And the heartless will shut you down every time. If that doesn't learn you...well, I think you can be smarter than you are letting on.

and seeing this from your perspective adds new insight in my own romantic pursuits.

Keep in mind that we aren't here to help you get lovin'!

 I am 19, and relatively new to the "adult" dating field.

Whew. You're still young. God, I would be really worried if this was coming from a 26-year-old.

It's very interesting to me, and taking into account your words of wisdom have done me a lot of good. While I do not have a girlfriend presently, I have many possibilities open.

I want to chuckle at that. Having "many possibilities open" is part of the male self-understanding generally, isn't it? What is amazing is how much the machos and the nice guys have in common, when it comes to basic philosophies about the world.

I don't feel like pursuing them, because I'm at the point where I'd rather be an individual.

That's not a bad plan. But...I get an egocentric whiff here. My shorthand for the nice guy is: egocentrism masked as altruism.

I must say that your site has empowered me to be more of an individual than any site before!

Do sites really do that?

There's one favor I'd like to ask of you:

Oh, a FAVOR. I hate the wording.

Do you know of any way that I wouldn't just melt over these girls?

How about a colorful candy coating?

Any techniques that I could practice?

Personality is not a technique. Do something you are interested in, and good things will come to you. That's really all I can say.

I'm sure you know of some way that I wouldn't sacrifice myself because of cupids "disdainful and ruthless" arrows, so that she can see me, not some facade.

There has to be a "you" there. Most people construct facades because of some perceived problem with the "you" underneath. Well...IS there a problem? Yes, or no? I think you are thinking way too much about YOU. When you meet someone who is as much fun to talk about, you will be over your crisis.

It's something that I've been working on considerably, but sometimes it illudes me completely.

You can't work on being a great guy in isolation. And it's "eludes" (not a flame, just a note to make you more attractive to word-loving females). If you can love being corrected by a female, that's a good start. Now, you might try cooking. Develop SKILLS that make you actually attractive to actually existing females, and stop dreaming of a utopia that will never arrive!

Keep up the great work!

What is with the pep talk? Is this what *you* want to hear? I think so...you want a pat on the back. You want us to tell you that you are...a Nice Guy, perhaps? And when you come back to site and read us saying, "No, No, No!" over and over again, you take this as encouragement? Keep reading just a little further...

Clayton

Clayton, are you sure you are paying attention? Why don't you let yourself be seduced? Let a girl show interest in YOU. That doesn't seem to be a feature whatsoever of the Nice Guy Discourse. There is a lot of long-suffering complaint in the nice guy tone, as in, why don't these girls like me...I'm sure some girl likes you. Maybe you need to open your mind. If you find yourself being a jerk when the tide of attraction is turned, then you are just a jerk. So working on not being a "nice guy" isn't going to help you at all. Think of this as a diagnostic tool.

And taking a cooking class couldn't hurt. Or learning Persian, or capoeira dancing, or classical guitar. Go into any kind of skill that is a completely new area for you. Something that you can't immediately "use" to "impress" a female. Something that will make you confront your shortcomings and develop as a person. That is the sexiest thing you can do for yourself, and you really have everything to gain. It just may help you rearrange your sights on yourself in a healthier way. Look at where you are you going, not where you've been.

p.s. - my favorite line is "[You THINK you are hiding your flaws, but in reality you are so transparent it's a wonder you can see yourself in the mirror when you shave in the morning...]"

I think you need to STOP looking in the mirror. Self-reflection and overanalysis is the Nice Guys' cocaine. Just say no. And don't forget to get 9 hours of sleep a day, at 19 your brain (and social maturity) are still developing.

-A.D.



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