Women put men to the test all the time. Consciously and unconsciously, women are always sussing out what you're made of and whether you have what it takes to protect her in the big wild world. This is important to her because when you really man-up, she gets to relax and play more; which is what she really wants.

Many women throw tests at men without even realizing that they're doing it. I've had a lot of conversations with women lately about this and often they're fascinated by the whole concept. They don't even know that they've been doing it all their lives, and sometimes strongly deny throwing tests at men entirely... unaware that they're throwing me a test in the process.

I remember when I first started spotting this dynamic between men and women, I often saw it in acting class when other students were improvising. A woman would walk on stage and say something derogatory to a man, and the man would usually act like a wounded child; thus failing the test. I'd be watching thinking “It's just a test! Don't collapse!” The guy didn't realize that it was a test, and the scene would go downhill as she lost any attraction towards him. Other guys would roll with the punches and end up seducing the woman; all because they knew how to pass the test.

Women's tests have been called compliance tests, bitch shields, and shit tests. They're all the same thing. They don't mean that she's a bitch; they just mean that she's checking you out and screening you to see what you're made of. The more attractive the woman, the more attention she gets and the more she's likely to test you especially when you first meet.

Once you know how to pass these tests you'll find your conversations and interactions with women flow more smoothly and become much more fun. So here's how:

Recognize That It's Just A Test

The first and most important point for handling a woman's tests is to recognize them in the first place. Once you realize that women are constantly throwing you subconscious tests, you'll start to spot them all over the place. Any time she says something a little out of left field that seems to question your character, integrity, strength, intentions or motives... it's just a test.

There's no point resenting women for doing this; it's just how they work. Remember that she's not necessarily aware that she's testing you, and that the purpose of the test isn't what she's really asking or saying; it's about something deeper. All these years women have been trying to flirt with you, and you've been fobbing them off because you just didn't realize.

Don't Get Defensive

We often take things that women say about us way too seriously. Once you spot a test, the most important thing is to avoid getting defensive. You don't want to end up in an argument with her over something trivial, and you don't want to end up in a position where you are justifying yourself. That doesn't make for a fun conversation.

The point of the test is to see how you respond emotionally: if you're affected and get angry, defensive or upset then you've failed the test. Fortunately once you learn to recognize these tests in the first place, you'll be much less affected by them and you'll begin to pass them with ease.

Play Along

Apply the golden rule of Theatrical Improvisation: always accept what other people say about you as being true. If she says something that seems a little derogatory, you can still accept that in a playful joking manner. Obviously you're not going to do this on a witness stand in a courtroom, but I'm talking about regular social interactions here. Even if you strongly disagree with their implied assessment of you, you can still accept that it is true for them. Other people's opinions don't matter to you anyway. If you have true inner confidence, you don't care about what they think of you and this makes it much easier to remain unaffected in the face of what feels like criticism.

Tease Her

One of the best come-backs for a test is to tease her. A classic response to any test where she's made an ambiguous or negative statement about you is to simply say “That's why you like me.” with a playful smirk. If she plays along, you know you've passed the test. If she gets all serious then maybe she's not much fun to hang around with in the first place. You don't want to give up straight away if she's someone you've just met since she may just be particularly defensive today, but there's no point persisting too long trying to play with someone with no sense of fun either.

Develop Your Sense Of Fun And Humor

Having a playful sense of fun and humor is a natural way of passing women's tests, because you aren't taking everything so damn seriously all the time. Learn how to kick back, laugh, and engage with people on a playful level. Allow yourself to get things wrong and to laugh at yourself. Just because you're a lawyer or a scientist doesn't mean you have to be right all the time in your social interactions; that will just make you appear stilted and hard to get along with.

Reassure Her

Some tests will be more serious than others, and indicate that she needs reassurance and attention from you. Women never stop testing you, so don't be surprised in a relationship that the tests never go away. If she's feeling insecure she will throw you more tests. This could come across as anything from asking you for the tenth time whether you've put the trash out, to interrogating you about why you were late home from work. Reassure her that you love her and give her the attention that she's crying out for, and she'll feel less need to keep testing you.

Learn When To Stand Your Ground

Obviously there will be times when you want to stand your ground with a woman. You don't want to put up with bad behavior, let her put you down or treat you poorly. After all, you wouldn't do that to her would you? The problem is that when we lack confidence we tend to come across as defensive rather than assertive when we start standing up for ourselves. And we tend to get defensive much more often than necessary. Learn to let go of what other people think of you so that you can roll with the punches. Stand your ground when it's really important but focus of having fun with other people instead of taking them overly seriously all the time.

Graham Stoney

Graham Stoney

I struggled for years with low self-esteem, anxiety and a lack of self-confidence before finding a solution that really worked. I created The Confident Man Program to help other men live the life of their dreams. I also offer 1-on-1 coaching via Skype so if you related to this article contact me about coaching.


Graham Stoney

Graham Stoney · March 22, 2012 at 11:11 am

Yes, it does pretty much come down to this. Cheers, Graham

Matt · March 12, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Ahhhh the good ol' s%$ test as it's often crudly referred to as! 😛

I've always just tried to start out on the front foot and throw her the first test before she can sling one out to me.

You're right though, if you have fun with the entire back and forth, tease her and whatnot, the 'test' can quickly becoming a very fun 'game,' between the two of you as you're both kept on your toes!

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