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					                                                                    How I Learned to Captivate like a Jerk
                                                                                       by Tom McKnight

How I Learned to Captivate
Like a Jerk
   – Without Turning Into One!
By Tom McKnight

It first happened when I was in High School. I learned that I was
a “nice guy”…and that being nice in it, was not enough to win
the girl of my dreams.

My junior year in high school I had begun fantasizing about a
particular girl who attended my church who was also in my class
at school. Ideally, I was everything she could ever want. I held
the same values, I was respected among our peers, and (I add
modestly) I had plenty of girls I knew who had crushes on me
from a distance.

But in spite of all this, she wasn’t interested in me, and at the time she
was all that mattered to me. She frankly informed my close friend: “Tom’s
a really nice guy…but he’s not my type!”

Upon hearing this unsolicited news, I was crushed! How could this be? What had I ever done to
deserve such a fate? The true soul mate I had waited my whole 16 years of existence to come
into my life had just summarily up and rejected me!

I had never even asked her out, but it was still a most bitter blow. Somehow I staggered through
it, though. Still, my ego was crushed and my self-confidence took awhile to recover.

The worst part of it, though, was not knowing at the time what it was about me that was so
unacceptable. What’s wrong with being “a nice guy”, for Pete’s Sake?

The Jerks

Meanwhile, I began to notice something. Around school most of the guys who seemed to be
doing quite well, thank you, with all the girls they wanted were…well, to put it bluntly…jerks!

The jerks were not nice guys, for the most part. They were selfish. They were self-centered.
They were quite often rude and sarcastic and mean, and yet…they seemed to have the girls
absolutely mesmerized.

I couldn’t understand it. Here I was, someone who believed in treating people nice, who believed
in the Golden Rule (“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”), who tried to always
be considerate of others, and I was…unappealing to the girl of my dreams!

                               Copyright © 2003 Couples Company                                         1
                                         All Rights Reserved.
                                                                     How I Learned to Captivate like a Jerk
                                                                                        by Tom McKnight

For the next few years, as I finished up High School and started College, I noticed that the same
patterns persisted. It was a riddle to me, and as I encountered a series of rejections from girls I
developed crushes on I began to wonder if it might not be hopeless.

The Learning Curve

Eventually I came to learn, though, that all was not lost after all. There really is a God, and there
really is justice in this universe. But you’ve got to understand the rules and you’ve got to play by

The turning point in my understanding came finally, I think, with Jeri. I had come to like her a
lot, but though she never turned me down for a date, I felt the same old familiar frustration as I
did everything I could to get her to fall in love with me. Nothing seemed to be working.

To be honest, back in those early days a short time seemed like forever. We’d probably only
been out on 4 or 5 dates total over a period of a couple months, but I thought if there was any
hope at all she should have fallen for me by now! And she wasn’t falling! In fact, I knew there
was another guy she was interested in.

So I did the typical idiotic human thing most people do in a relationship when things aren’t going
the way they want them to: I committed romantic suicide and dumped her before she had a
chance to dump me. I took her out one night (knowing full well my plan for the evening), had the
most wonderful time I could muster, then took her home and wished her well in her future with
all the obvious implications that entails!

Then I went home and licked my wounds.

What happened next, though, was a pivotal experience in my learning how relationships really
develop. It changed my thinking completely.

A close friend of mine who knew I’d been dating Jeri ran into her one night when he was out on
the town and started talking with her. Curious to know for himself what had really gone on
between the two of us, he prodded her a little bit.

Later, he confessed to me that she suddenly got this far away look in her eye and said, “Tom is
truly a really nice guy!” Teasingly, he said to her, “Oh, yeah…well if he’s such a nice guy how
come things didn’t work out between you two?”

I was shocked when he told me her response. She looked him right in the eye and with great
solemnity said, “Well, maybe he just doesn’t try hard enough!”

The Light Dawns

“I don’t try hard enough?”
I exclaimed incredulously when he told me the news! How could I have tried any harder, I
wondered. And then I understood. It wasn’t that I didn’t try hard enough, but that I didn’t try
long enough. My whole life I had been giving up prematurely.

My whole philosophy on love had been based on the erroneous belief that people were either in
love with you or they weren’t. I thought it was just a matter of finding out what their feelings for
                                 Copyright © 2003 Couples Company                                        2
                                           All Rights Reserved.
                                                                    How I Learned to Captivate like a Jerk
                                                                                       by Tom McKnight

you were. It hadn’t occurred to me that we have the capacity to win somebody’s love over time.
I had spent the majority of my time sending up trial balloons, instead of just developing my

So, it turned out, the problem wasn’t being nice, after all. It was just being wimpy. It was giving
up at the first sign of adversity and discovery that the One I Wanted wasn’t in love with me yet.
It just so happens that a lot of nice guys suffer from this same syndrome: We tend to give up

As I continued to observe around me in the light of my new understanding, other things became
clear. Such as: Jerks have their own problems, as well. In spite of the short-term benefits, being
a Jerk doesn’t pay in the long run!

One very close friend from my youth had grown increasingly selfish and self-centered as we grew
into our adult years. While I had struggled just to find a date at times, he seemed to live a
charmed life. He had a stunningly beautiful girlfriend for many years that he eventually had
married. When I went to visit him at his home on one occasion I was astounded at the hold he
seemed to have over her.

As we sat and visited he literally, without looking up or breaking the stride of our conversation,
raised his hand and snapped his fingers. Within seconds his wife had a cold drink in his hands.
At the time I witnessed this I could not imagine how he had ever been able to cultivate such
devotion in any person, much less a woman such as he had who would be in great demand on the
open market.

But that was then. Time has a way of exposing the errors of our ways, and I later witnessed this
same devoted wife turn and dump her husband in one unexpected moment, an act from which she
never turned back. My friend was totally destroyed by her leaving him and, though it was now
many years ago, I am sure he has still not recovered from the blow to this very day.

My lessons of experience and observation began to accumulate over time, though, and I
eventually came to see that we truly do “reap as we sow”. All chickens come home to rest,

I was single and dating well into my thirties, and I have been married for over a decade now, and
I can say with conviction: Niceness does win out in the end. Nice guys may finish last, but those
who finish last also finish best!

The Missing Key

Still, there are a few remaining elements that need to be explained. Pure niceness in itself is not
enough to cultivate and win true love. It is only part of the package.

What I ultimately came to know is that true love is founded on the principles of a win/win
relationship. Love works best when both parties understand that it is a process of both give and

Those who were selfish jerks always operated on the premise that a relationship should be
win/lose, or just take.

                                Copyright © 2003 Couples Company                                        3
                                          All Rights Reserved.
                                                                      How I Learned to Captivate like a Jerk
                                                                                         by Tom McKnight

On the other hand, many nice guys make the mistake of thinking that a relationship can succeed
on the basis of being lose/win, or just give. Nothing turns a person off quicker than someone who
has a big sign on his forehead that says, “Go ahead. Use me!”

Neither of these situations will produce the kind of lasting love we all yearn for. As a close friend
of mine was flying somewhere on one occasion, he overheard a conversation between a
stewardess and an obviously single young woman on the same flight.

“Yeah,” the stewardess was agreeing with her fellow single, “after awhile you get tired of the
jerks…but the nice guys are just so boring!”

Putting It All Together

So, having said all this, what’s a nice guy to do? How can he have the benefits of adoration that
come to the jerks and yet remain a caring and considerate person? Remember these points:

    •   Jerks aren’t loved for their meanness. They are desired because
        of the challenge they present, their elusiveness, and their
        apparent independence.

    •   At the same time, nice guys aren’t detested for their
        consideration and compassion. They are “boring” because they
        so often are emotionally weak and needy.

    •   If you can somehow combine the independent boldness of the
        jerks with the caring attitude of the nice guys, you’ll find that
        you’ve stumbled upon a winning combination.

The way to do this is to go on being nice, but show that you can survive very well without having
someone. Show the emotional strength that says, “I may be interested, but I can be very happy in
my life with or without you!”

This combination of qualities will win any heart you want, over time. Yes, it does take a little
while and that is where endurance comes into play. But like the fable of the race between the
tortoise and the hare, it is the slow, sure method that bring you victory in the end.

You can win the One You Want! And you don’t have to be a jerk in doing so. You just have to
make up your mind to be strong enough to go on being nice and showing that you’re really
unfazed by someone’s rejection of you in the interim. In the long run, it is the independent and
strong nice guy who not only wins the one he wants, but keeps her as well!!

                      Thomas McKnight’s Love Tactics System™ is a set of proven principles assembled
                      to break through emotional resistance and melt even the most stubborn of human
                      hearts. Join “Love Connection” host Chuck Woolery for a guided tour through the
                      System for an experience that will change your life and
                      empower you to win the One You Want!!

                                 Copyright © 2003 Couples Company                                         4
                                           All Rights Reserved.

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