Always Know Your BATNA
BATNA stands for “best alternative to negotiated agreement.” It’s a concept that has been extremely useful to me in many different areas of my life. Basically, it’s about forming an unshakable sense of certainty when negotiating for what you want.
I wish it wasn’t the case, but the unfortunate truth is men often need to be told how to behave in relationships. It’s like we men are kind of wild. We’re not tame beasts. We can love passionately, but sometimes we need a woman to compassionately explain what is and what is not okay, and to do so with the kind of certainty and steady gaze that lets us know she’s telling us how it is rather than “discussing emotions.”
Imagine you go to your landlord to complain about the broken stairway railing. Knowing your BATNA before you start the conversation gives you a tremendous advantage (and boosts your confidence). Let’s say you have nowhere else to live and know you can’t afford the other rental options in town. In that case, your best alternative to getting him to agree to fix that railing might be to ignore it for a while.
On the other hand, you may have plenty of options for other rental situations. In that case, your BATNA is clear. If, after negotiating for a few minutes, he does not agree to have it fixed on his dime by next Friday, you tell him you are moving out at the end of the month. Suddenly you have the upper hand in the negotiation. You can afford to push the issue, because if he doesn’t eventually agree, you can pull out your BATNA. In this case, your BATNA is to threaten moving out, because you know it really is a better option to you than living with the broken banister.
In relationships, you should negotiate for what you want. Do so in a way that gives full respect to the other person’s right to walk away from a relationship rather than agree to your terms. When you know what you want in a relationship, you can talk about it openly. When you have a BATNA about certain issues (like intimacy, moving in, commitment, or spending time together), you don’t have to agonize about, “What if he gets mad and leaves me.” Your confidence is high when you already worked out in your mind that you would be better off looking for someone more compatible if he doesn’t agree on certain key issues that matter a lot to you.
Rely more on Attraction than Chasing
Most women have at least some degree of innate understanding of the factors that attract men. But this article is about SUPER confidence, not mediocre confidence. Let’s say you’ve realized that your choice of mate is THE MOST IMPORTANT life decision you can make. Doesn’t that mean you should try to understand your man as deeply as possible?
The problem is that men are mysterious, even to themselves. They often don’t understand their own emotions and desires. This makes it rather difficult to know how to maximally attract them while sidestepping the landmines that can obliterate a relationship just when it was getting good.
If you’ll allow me to be so bold, I would like to invite you to try something interesting. As a dating coach and a man with a mission to understand men’s reactions to women, I have discovered something very, very valuable. It’s an organizing principle that seems to change the dating game for those who learn about it. I call it the Respect Principle, and if you’d like to learn more about it, I’ve shared a free presentation on the topic below.
Confidence comes naturally to those who have a strong sense of certainty. I want to support you as you develop confidence and the skills to attract quality men into your life. In this article I’ve given you what I believe to be some of the most universally helpful tips for building confidence for dating. But if you really want to take your confidence with men to the next level, spend a few more minutes to learn why the Respect Principle is something your man is deeply affected by, yet unable to put into words.
Wishing you happiness in love and life!