Are you a good man everywhere you go?
A single buddy of mine, Scott, was whining the other day that he has had his fill of women who don’t appreciate what a good man he is. He’s been single for a few years now and is convinced that women prefer bad boys to good ones, he being the quintessential nice guy. His latest disaster was a two-month relationship with a woman from China. As he went on and on, with his nice-guys-finish-last story, the details began to paint more of a picture about cultural differences, which left me curious. Perhaps, what makes a good American man isn’t what makes a good Chinese man.
A lot of characteristics make up an individual: personality, temperament, beliefs, and character. Arguably, what differentiates a man of good character from a man of bad character would be his values. And so this got me wondering, do other countries hold their men to the same standards we Americans have placed on our guys? To figure that out, I did a little research, and it confirmed my suspicions. Different countries hold different values as desirable.
Obviously, my research wasn’t based on science but on a cross-section of articles that seems to have similar findings. Although it can be dangerous to make generalizations about groups of people, it is sometimes necessary to make general observations about cultures so we may understand them better. Following is the seeming consensus as to the most highly regarded values a man should possess by country.
A Good Man is…
- UNITED STATES:
Assertive, Confident, Resilient, Industrious, Respectful, Ambitious, Honest, Centered, Generous, and Loyal
Committed, Concerned, Cautious, Intellectually Curious, Linguistically Witty, Endearingly awkward, Quick to laugh, Slow to anger.
Intellectual, Logical, Strong yet sensitive, Critical, Witty sense of humor, Future-oriented, Brave, Romantic, and Philosophical
Modest, Educated, Humble, Sincere, Dutiful, Honest, Practical, Understanding, Tolerant
Happy, Polite, Loyal, Funny, Laid-back, Social, Friendly, Warm, Affectionate, and Vivacious
Attentive, Kind, Wise, Clever, Polite, Hard-working, Generous, and Responsible
Polite, Easy-going, Realistic, Diplomatic, Fair, Open-minded, Flexible, Creative, Intelligent, and Friendly
Let’s look back to my friend. He is a hard-working landscaper who, through self-promotion, created his business with little more than a high school diploma and a fighting spirit. Looking at the list above, I guess his character reflects typical American values. But this girl was Chinese. Scott would score low in modesty, education, and humility. Maybe that was enough of a deficit in the character traits she wants in her man. In fact, she may have been put off by Scott’s assertive nature.
A whole host of reasons could account for this particular girl leaving Scott; maybe he wasn’t enough of a “bad boy”, we’ll never know. One thing is for sure though; it’s been eye-opening to see that what makes a man “good” could vary according to culture as well as individual preference. Food for thought as our globe continues to shrink, and all cultures continue to blend.
Photo Credit: JD Hancock/flickr