Although language is a quasi-rational capability (it gives us much of our ability to process ideas internally), facility with language is a critical vector for the lower-level social dominance system of our brains. Three ways a man can adjust his use of language to up his game:
1. RULE OF THREE
In text message or IM communication, one out of three of your responses should be laced with sarcasm, hyperbole, cocky funny, an inside joke, puns or other be not in earnest. This not only forces her to chase your constant reframing, it shows dominance in directing the conversation. With women of even moderate intelligence, wordplay is endlessly intriguing.
I once had to go into the office on a weekend. A colleague working from home was on the company IM network. (B = your favorite intrepid blogger)
B: “what’s up”
C: “working today?”
B: “yeah, hoping to get some things done before the Monday project starts.”
C: “Is anyone else there?”
B: “Actually the CEO and I just had an impromptu coffee.”
C: “omg really?”
B: “Sike, there’s no one here but me.”
B: “…and my dignity.”
Be careful with the push-pull balance – too much and you come off as avoidant or unserious, not enough and you come across as stiff and inscrutable.
This doesn’t just apply to conversations with girls. Some of your best practice can come outside the aegis of anxiety that women can induce. I got a text from a buddy saying he was going to mail me something, what’s your address. I replied, “Your Mom’s House, [City, State].”
Roissy has written widely on text game, just google “roissy text game.” Athol Kay has as well.
2. ALWAYS HAVE QUIPS AT THE READY
Good conversational humor is not about having a few practiced really funny things to say; it’s about injecting your frame of humor into whatever situation presents itself. Thus your brain should be constantly sifting through quips to drop. You won’t use all of them, but they’ll be ready when needed.
You’ve had that situation where you come up with the perfect comeback ten minutes after it’s needed? If you work at it, you’ll start forming the comeback before the dig is even delivered. (#1 will help you build this skill because you have more time to think outside of face-to-face conversation.)
Quipping helps your game not just because people like to laugh, but because it sets you up to consistently change frame, which makes you interesting and presents an outcome-disinterested attitude (translation: you don’t really give a shit).
To paraphrase Mystery, if you say a funny thing, people will say “that’s funny.” If you say ten funny things, people will say “HE’S funny.” And they’ll want you around, because they feel better about themselves (and/or get turned on) when you are around.
If you ever engaged in locker room talk, this should be an easy transition. Here’s a good list of virtual non-sequiturs that can be deployed tactically at some point in almost any conversation:
“That’s what she said.”
“Hey if you like dudes, you know that’s none of my business.”
“I bet she enjoys it when you do that.”
“Do you want me to hold your purse next time you do that?” (after a display of unforgivable betatude)
“Aw, you’re just bullshitting, do you think I’m that dumb?”
A play on any word ending in -er: “Poker? But I just met her!”
Quips for conversations with women are on a case-by-case basis (carefully calibrated as to the level of sexual intensity), but reframing and light sarcasm are the rule of the day. Don’t make yourself too easy to talk to.
3. SHORT IS SWEET
“Never us a long word where a short one will do.” – George Orwell
One of the major failure modes of gameless young men is using too many goddamn words. Language is wonderful, and English is an unusually rich and expressive one. That doesn’t mean you need to voluminate and soliloquize your way through the night. (Plus the more you talk the less brainpower you have to observe body language, group patterns and IOIs).
Over-talking can reflect any one of low projected value, insecurity about being wrong, a need to flatter yourself, going try-hard to impress people, and extending the opportunity to reveal something a woman’s hamster will use to reject you.
When you write texts and emails, bring back the draft – type it up and let it sit for a bit before you send it. Do you really need that extra clause? Does that sentence sound like it’s one too many? Are you going crazy with silly adjectives? Do you have too many “I thinks”, “perhapses” and “maybes”, wishy washy words that betray a lack of confidence in your message? (Pursuant to #1, personal email should normally contain a quip somewhere.)
The caveat: when using few words, make those few words count by delivering with emphasis and confidence. As I’ve said before the words you say are secondary to the frame in which they are delivered. You will cultivate mystery and strength at the same time.