All About Peacocking & 11 Things To Know About Guys Who Do It

A guy winks at you from across the bar or even the coffee shop then walks over to you. He seems cool and confident… until he puts on a ridiculous cowboy hat and starts acting like a weirdo. Ugh, what? Then he struts over and dishes you a witty pick-up line. Pity about the swagger and the hat because he might’ve been interesting. This is a classic example of a guy who’s peacocking — dressing in an outlandish way to stand out from the crowd and try to grab more attention, particularly from women. Gross!

1. He’s way too flashy.

His M.O. is all about making a great first impression on you. The peacock wants to be noticed. He’s not here to play it cool or subtle. He wants you to remember him long after you’ve first met him. Hence his crazy, OTT outfit and outlandish behavior (even when it’s really inappropriate).

2. He peacocks in different ways.

You might not realize it, but there are peacocks all around you! The guy who sends you shirtless gym selfies? Peacock! The guy who posts said selfies on Facebook? Peacock! The guy who rocks up to fetch you in a BMW and can’t stop talking about how great it is? Peacock! When a guy’s trying way too hard to get your attention and interest, he’s peacocking.

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4. The chivalrous or “super nice” guy could also be peacocking.

A study published in the British Journal of Psychology tested out the good deeds people did when members of the opposite sex were around. Men and women were given £3 and told they could put it into a group account where it would be split between six participants and doubled, or they could keep the money in a private account. Men donated the money more when they had women watching them, whereas women’s donations remained constant. The men’s contributions also increased more when the female observers were considered to be attractive. Hmmm. Chivalry is great and makes you feel special, but if the guy’s trying way too hard to be seen as chivalrous or nice, he’s got a hidden agenda. He’s peacocking!

5. He’s after short-term dating.

Research that was published in the American Psychological Association found that flaunting status-linked goods to potential mates isn’t just about showing off financial resources. Rather, it’s about these men sending out signals that they’re looking for short-term dating. And it works, with peacocking increasing a man’s desirability – but when it works, it’s only for the short-term.

6. A well-dressed man does stand out.

When a man peacocks in a more subtle way, such as by wearing a trendy outfit or cleaning up nicely in a suit, it does get your attention. He comes across as a guy who looks after himself, which is sexy. Research has found that 91% of Americans think that when a man dresses well, he’s more physically attractive than he really is, and 64% said that they’d be more likely to marry a man who is well put together.

7. Everyone peacocks on some level, right?

When you wear a specific outfit or do your hair a certain way before going on a date, that’s a type of peacocking. It’s about making a great first impression, but the peacocking trend can sometimes be this regular behavior on steroids! It’s just too much!

8. Peacocking can backfire big time.

If a guy’s trying so hard to be sexy, such as by wearing loads of jewelry or flaunting tattoos but these things just don’t work with his personality, the result is confusing. It makes him look like he cares too much about how people view him, instead of just being real – ironically that’s what will get him more women!

9. It can look ridiculous instead of sexy.

The problem with peacocking is that sometimes guys think that they have to be OTT with their image, or they think that any attention—good or bad – is still better than none. So, they’ll rock up looking ridiculous. Sure, this might get a few laughs out of women but who wants to date a joker?

10. Peacocking can also be about arrogant behavior.

Peacocking isn’t just about wearing pretentious clothing. Sometimes it can lead to some really obnoxiously pretentious behavior too, like guys who go out of their way to make themselves seem more impressive or powerful than they really are just to get attention. They think that by portraying this image of themselves, they’ll be more accepted and loved, but what happens when the masks slips?

11. Can’t guys just be real?

Not all women care about abs and status symbols. Just look at how sexy the nerdy, shy guy has become—proof that men don’t have to go to town with their appearances or attitudes to get attention from women. In fact, the man who doesn’t have to steal the spotlight at every party with his outfit or the car he rode up in is refreshing.

12. The guys who try too hard kill their game.

Peacocking might work on some level, perhaps it’s about how a man carries himself more than how he dresses. And if being well-dressed helps him achieve that level of confidence, great. But if it’s obvious that a guy’s jumping through hoops to be noticed and liked, it’s an immediate turn-off. Clearly, there’s an insecure guy under that getup, or worse, a guy with the hidden agenda of just wanting to score. Cheers, dude!

Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.