It's a simple question, but one that requires a thoughtful response, and the people of Reddit delivered. Dozens of women across the globe answered the question thoroughly, and in a mere 24 hours, the post has already amassed 6,800 upvotes.
While answers ranged, there are a few themes that emerged in the responses. The main one has to do with not having a fragile ego.
"If they have no problem when other people correct them about something," wrote ShimmeringNothing. "E.g. if they're stating a wrong fact, and someone corrects them, and then their reaction is polite, interested, and attentive because they're happy to improve their knowledge. Insecure people will be more likely to bluster because their ego is threatened."
In a similar vein, another woman replied, "There is nothing more sexy than a man being the bigger man... I'd like to be defended because I'm smaller - but a man is a MAN who can walk away if it's BS."
The key here is noting that there are legitimate times when to "defend" a woman, however you interpret that, but most of the time, there's no defending needed. A confident man will know when to walk away from a situation because it's not worth his time.
Another user supported the walk-away sentiment, writing, "Totally. Nothing more off-putting than a man who provokes or escalates or has strong reactions to minor conflicts. Nothing more respectable than a man who practices kindness and simply walks away, agrees to disagree (but sincerely respects this), or otherwise doesn’t let the little things control him. It’s so gross when grown men behave like children who have to be right, or get their way, or teach someone a lesson..."
And yet another post echoed those same idea, but then expanded on it by speaking to a confident man's voice and demeanour.
s_team7 writes: "I think it’s part of their personality. The confident people I’ve experienced are very calm and collected and always do things in a deliberate manner. Everything is relaxed and natural. When you speak to someone else it’s always appropriate and level headed. It’s about being comfortable with how you say things and not necessarily how much you say. When you’re confident you have no problem not speaking on a subject but have complete awareness and understanding in what they say. Eye contact is usually moderate and you have no issue looking someone directly in their eyes. Not so much so that you never break eye contact but rather you know the right moment to look away. This especially goes for criticism. If you can look directly at someone for the entirety of what they are saying to you, whether it be negative or positive, that will express confidence and openness. No matter what kind of criticism someone throws at you, it’s always the confident ones who handle it well, internally and externally. Smiling at people is natural and forthcoming and you’re perfectly fine with someone smiling back or completely ignoring you. Going with the flow and laughing at your mistakes is always good in the totality of things. Confident people somehow find a way to be heard, even if they are not speaking. Their entire demeanour is understood by those around them."
The second bit of advice is short and sweet: smile. However, there are certain times and ways to smile so that you don't come off creepy.
"Smile in a full generous way," jojo571 writes. The comment has 3,800 points. "With their eyes" another user commented. Smiling, it seems, is not only simple and effective, it's something all men can do starting right now.
The third and final interesting take actually came from a man, who learned this bit about confidence from his mentor.
"[Confident men] don’t change their plans to follow what other people are doing," he wrote. "This took me so long to learn to do. My mentor and I were planning on going to this smaller quite cocktail bar and we asked these girls, one of whom I really liked if they wanted to come... they basically said 'oh we’re going to this club so we can dance, you should come.'”
The reddit user was ready to go follow them, but his mentor went on to say, “Oh that’s a shame. Maybe we’ll see you later.”
He continued, "As we were at the bar I remember regretting not going with the girls, and he just said... 'relax, this is were all the cool people will show up.' About an hour later those girls ended up at the bar anyway."
So there you have it, guys. Don't let your ego get in the way of learning, smize, and don't blindly follow the heard. If you do those three things, women will likely take note of your confidence.
This article originally appeared on Men's Health