“Prickly” is a word my mother used to describe both herself and any other woman she found to be rather off-putting emotionally. It’s an analogy to plants with small thorns. I strongly believe that it’s a southern word. A prickly woman is too quick to judge, too defensive, and renders negative opinions too often.
There’s a somewhat analogous personality type for men that is equally off-putting. This is a man who is “sour”. Just like a sour flavor in a food, a sour man is an unpleasant and unhappy sort. Like his prickly female counterpart, he’s too quick to judge and render a negative opinion on something. He generally finds unhappiness in every situation.
When it comes to attracting the opposite sex, neither prickly nor sour will yield success. Those personality characteristics are simply not attractive. We all know people like this. Such people have not gone through enough honest introspection to shift their world views to a more positive frame. Those folks are also likely to shun constructive advice. These are the people we need to maintain a healthy distance from.
Given the ol’ timey nature of these two adjectives, they can actually be used with fewer risk of incurring nasty return defensiveness. “Dude, you’re just sour” is better than “Dude, you’re just too negative”. “Girl, you’re too prickly” sounds infinitely better than “girl, you’re just a bitch”. There are times when some degree of diplomacy is required when dealing with sour men and prickly women.
If you think you’re either prickly or sour, know that you’re shooting yourself in the foot when it comes to attraction and dating. Your attitude towards other people – and life in general – needs a serious adjustment. For women looking to attract and meet men, I continue to tout this exercise. For men, my advice is much the same except that it should be applied to a broader view. Any social interaction must be analyzed to find something good about it. For both sexes, verbal restraint must be exercised to mute prickly and sour personalities.