Category Archives: beta guide

Remember That Women Get Approachee Anxiety

Vox Day had a post at Alpha Game last week in which a self-styled omega male reader asked for advice on basic conversational skills. I empathized, as a recovering shy person myself there was a long time where I was paralyzed by my embarrassment at not being able to carry on conversations.

However, the whole topic combined with my earlier post about the personality demands of “beautiful high-quality women” got me thinking about a couple of bad mental frames guys can get into when it comes to approaching women.

SOME GIRLS ARE BAD COMMUNICATORS

When you’re a young dude and especially if you’re not into small talk, it’s easy to blame yourself and think that it’s “your problem” if conversations with girls don’t go very well. Likewise, it’s a point of Girl Canon to assume that by virtue of their sex, girls have great communication skills and are socially top-notch and so any botched conversations must be because the guy is socially awkward or something.

That’s simply not true. Plenty of girls are crappy conversationalists, dealing poorly with topic changes, reading tone, managing cadence, interrupting, listening, or talking about something the other person would be interested in. It has helped me, on the whole, to consistently remind myself that women do not have it all figured out in the game…lots of women have “approachee anxiety,” get nervous around guys, don’t know what to say and so say whatever insipid thought might come into their minds, and otherwise fail at properly shepherding the conversation forward. When you consider the plethora of girls who socialize mostly with other women and in addition aren’t getting approached frequently and thus don’t have much practice chatting with guys, it’s not hard to understand why many of them aren’t that great at the conversation thing.

This goes double for those occasions when a girl is interested in you.  Standard PUA teaching is that a woman will drop stereotyped indicators of interest (IOIs) when she’s into you, such as touching herself, touching you, laughing at what you say, or asking your name. But it doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes a girl will respond to the interest of an interesting man with a total unnerved shutdown that looks like non-interest, or a free-wheeling lack of conversational tact. I’ve heard literally dozens of women say how embarrassed and flustered they feel when an attractive guy is talking to them.

It really knocks the pedestal away to remember that it’s only half your fault if the conversation sucks. The past few years I’ve been able to internalize that I’m an interesting, dynamic guy, and if she can’t keep up an interesting conversation with me, it’s HER problem, and I don’t stand for a woman making men feel like they are the ones with the problem because they can’t keep the girl entertained when she can’t be bothered to carry her weight in the discussion.

GIRLS CAN’T READ YOUR MIND

In turn, this discussion brought to mind how easy it is to psych yourself out when approaching by thinking that women have some kind of mind-reading ability and can tell exactly how nervous you are and what your insecurities are and all the rest of it. Don’t go down that path – she may have a bad read or squarely no idea what’s going through your head. This came up in LaidNYC’s interview with Manosphere Radio:

“For most guys, your nervousness is honestly pretty subtle, and girls aren’t experts on male body language. This mythical woman’s intuition, it’s all bullshit – girls don’t have like a magic window into your soul. I feel like guys have this idea that when you approach and you’re nervous, a girl’s gonna know that you’re a nervous low-value virgin or whatever. But in reality, you’re giving her way too much credit.”

Host Peter then quotes Krauser who posits that a bit of nerves can make you a bit more “real” and head off the “player vibe.”

Anxiety in general tends to heighten one’s self-consciousness, and approaching is no exception – that’s one of the outcomes of approach anxiety, you begin to doubt your own value and project your doubts onto other people. For all you know, she spotted you walking in and has already projected onto you her conviction that you are the sexiest guy she’s seen all night. Just walk up to her, say the opener and cast out any thoughts that she’s got you figured out. Some approach anxiety is almost always going to be there, don’t make it worse by making irrational assertions to yourself because of it.

While it’s true that women are going to pick up body language and kinetic cues that you might be unaware of, don’t mistake that for someone having a full informed picture of your own emotional state. People misread cues all the time, and if women had this magical intuition in spades, they’d be dominating all the poker tournaments and arms negotiations.

KEEP IT REAL

I find that recalling these two truths gives me a couple of things. One is a sense of ease that the other person might have as many butterflies as I do. Another is a sense of empathy for her, which helps stave off the adversarial frame of the typical night-game approach and build the human connection I am going for to begin with.

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The Basic Skills Test For Game

Amid an explosive discussion at Dalrock about the knowledge of game in wider society*, commenter Jack penned a brilliant treatise on the basic outline of a good game toolbox. It’s as simple as three steps.

1.) Active Disinterest and how it utterly drives women crazy. (ignoring calls, proper frame control, taming your desire to overtly advertise your interest to her. eliminating your desire to emote)

The first detailed writings I saw on this exact topic (save for Leykis 101′s crude tips like don’t answer the phone on the weekend) were from Mystery. The problem is this: you can show a lack in a woman by not talking to her and not being around her; however, she won’t have any reason to get interested in you because you are not in her space. To get around this, Mystery developed a series of gambits to to stay socially engaged with a woman but to exude an aura that you were not actually interested in her. For this he deployed the body rock, isolating a woman in a group setting, and the neg. No game blog has arrived until it’s had a long and pointless debate about negs, and almost every discussion gets it wrong at some point. A neg is not about “lowering a woman’s self-esteem.” It was designed as a display of non-interest, a comment that a man who was into the woman would never make (the word he used in an oft-quoted post on the matter was “snub” – to deny someone attention).

Among many other men, I can vouch for seeing a woman’s interest in me take a dramatic tick upwards when I withdraw signals of my own attention and interest, watching her eyes scramble as she tries to find a way to get it back. It’s a bit disheartening to really internalize this lesson – you realize how shallow many women really are in this arena, and you recognize that in all those years of seeing women go nuts for guys who couldn’t give two licks about them, at least some of those cases were little more than the denial of attention itself (combined with even a modest kernel of attraction) – the girl wanting something shiny she couldn’t have.

I can also vouch for the converse – myself and many others have seen first-hand in our own love lives how even a smidgen of too much interest too early can and will punch us a one-way ticket to Celibacy Point. The need for today’s men to show a distinct LACK of outward interest in a woman he’s actually pursuing has been observed, noted and even encouraged by today’s young women. Men who are paying attention learn that a true emotional disclosure and logistical investment is dangerous to his sex and relationship prospects. And then today’s women complain they can’t get a guy to open up and stick around. You got what you ordered, girl.

As Roosh tweeted pithily: “The game is so fucked up in USA that if you push the wrong button on your phone and accidentally call her, she may write you off completely.”

The extreme version of showing lack of interest is instilling dread. Even accounting for Roissy’s trademark hyperbole and overstatement, a true dread campaign is a last-resort measure whose efforts would be better spent capturing the affections of a new, more cooperative woman.

2.) Women shit testing you and how you must pass these shit tests to be seen as higher value. (her bringing up other guys, her testing your frame, her stirring the pot, her testing the boundaries)

Much has been written on fitness testing and I don’t want to rehash too much of it. I really liked the idea of fitness testing as a girl “rubbing up against your manhood” – sometimes it’s not a test but rather an induction for you to display traits she knows you have but enjoys seeing/experiencing again.

Like the active disinterest of point #1, fitness tests are the pitching of a power struggle in which the winning move is not to play. The fitness test is all around us; once you know to look for it, you see all sorts of these tiny synthetic power struggles all around you. Fitness tests are set up as a double-win situation – if the guy passes, the woman feels secure in her man’s strength and social wiles; if he fails, she usually gets a freshly-revealed chump to do something she could have done for herself.

The trouble is that guys have been taught from their youth that the way to “earn” a woman’s love is to serve women’s most petty requests in holding their purses and doing for them anything they ask for in either a squeaky tone of voice or an enraged yell. Plugged-in guys don’t understand that in a lot of cases, women secretly want you to say no – the way to her heart is to deny that which she is asking. Sometimes they don’t even know that’s what they want, until you do say no and they feel this comforting wave of security come over them – the test was itself subconscious, but she feels the satisfaction of the man passing it.

Fitness testing and frame were key discussions in one of Roissy’s most important posts, “Relationship Game Week: A Reader’s Journey.” In this tome, Roissy quoted at length the comments of Keoni Galt (under the pseudonym Dave From Hawai’i) in which he described employing some game techniques to transform his marriage from a typically henpecked, naggy enterprise into a once again happy and productive partnership with a fully-functional sex life. I’ve called this “the most important post in Manosphere history,” as it took the techniques and mindset of PUA game directly into the marital sphere – abjectly lapping the milquetoast work of dozens upon dozens of relationship-psychology and self-help authors across a generation. It really is worth a full read.

Athol Kay has a few good nuggets on fitness testing. One is that not everything is a fitness test. Another related one is that you can do some favors from your mate without worrying about losing her attraction, but no request should be serviced if it’s an unreasonable request, or is delivered in an unreasonable tone of voice. Some would say this is treating your woman like a child; I rather see it as demanding an adult woman to exhibit the same manners that we try to inculcate into children we’re raising to be responsible adults.

3.) Approaching and asking for the number. (you cannot hit if you don’t swing, women want you to approach, the vast majority of men NEVER do it.)

It’s not that complicated. If you’re going to pursue women, you need to meet them first. You need to get over the anxiety. You need to ask for the money, so to speak. You see a woman you like, you start talking to her, and make sure to give her an opportunity to see you again. Think about it: your typical blue-pill man probably makes less than 50 real approaches IN HIS LIFE! Go to any singles bar any night of the week and see how many guys are standing around holding their dicks peering over at the girls they lust after but wouldn’t dare actually make a move on. If you are a regular, habitual approacher, you are in the top 5% of men in the sexual-marketplace inventory simply by that fact alone. You are making your future happen – be in charge of your own life.

Jack wraps it up:

Once I understood those three core concepts, I’ve been able to pull far hotter chicks on a much more consistent basis, which eventually leads you to a place that every man must be in order to feel comfortable in his skin around his hot girlfriend and thus be able to keep her…..A mentality of abundance.

Which is the ability to internalize the thought that if this chick i’m with dumps me, screws me over or withholds sex, I can replace her. It might take me a month or two to find someone else of equal sexual attractiveness, but I can replace her and she knows it. It is not a belief that can be faked, because a woman can smell a fraud.

And that my friends is game. And that is where you must be mentally in order to have a healthy and sexually active relationship.

The man is spot on. I made the point in the Dalrock thread that most guys do NOT want to be long-term players, picking up new chicks on the regular and filling a black book with booty calls. Sure, it sounds like a nice fantasy, but most guys don’t have what it takes to really enjoy that kind of lifestyle per se. Most guys who get into game are doing it for exactly what Jack describes – not the abundance, but the abundance mentality. The confidence that they don’t have to be solely at the mercy of their woman’s choice; if they wind up single, they can find another woman of equal value without much trouble. Paradoxically, that kind of confidence is what can keep his one woman satisfied with him. Nothing turns a woman off like the idea that she is her man’s only option.

What these men are looking for is the tragically unfulfilled promise of the blue pill philosophy – that he can have a healthy relationship with a decent woman if he’s willing to put in a little bit of effort. Once you’ve climbed the hill of getting your mind and your game right, it IS a “little bit of effort,” a non-consuming aspect of your well-lived life.

Active disinterest, fitness testing, and the need to approach. Learn it. Know it. Live it.

*My opinion, which is mirrored by a significant sample of commenters on the thread, is that the knowledge of game is becoming mainstream in the culture, yet its practice and adoption continues to be among a distinct minority. Myself and others independently likened it to the obesity situation in America – despite the fact there has never been MORE freely-available information and plans and strategies to eat well and work out, there’s clearly a small (ha) group of people getting more fit while the general public balloons.

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The Close Line

One of the typical struggles in the novice gamester’s experiences is getting the number smoothly.

Now, some guys insist that in night game, a number is next to worthless. To be honest, I’ve found that in a bar/club environment when you’re dealing with a woman who is inebriated and acting out of what she perceives to be her character, she may get your call or text the next week and decide she wants to forget that night entirely. Part of the fun of going out for girls is the dressing up in costume and “playing” someone else for a bit. That means she’s going to see whatever bond she may have forged with you as incongruent and not redeemable for further contact.

But if you can’t move the encounter further along (either through a location bounce or a trip home to attempt the seduction), your only option is to get some contact info so you can try to pick up the pickup later. And in day game, escalation is almost always off the table, so getting a number is THE end goal of the day-game encounter.

DON’T ASSUME A FRAME OF MEEK RELUCTANCE

I think guys have frame problems with number closing because in night game, you only go for the number if you’ve been stymied and thus rejected in some way. It takes some effort to keep bad game from leaking out in a dripping, underwhelming “well what if I got your phone number and maybe we can you know meet up later and like have a coffee or something?”

As with other factors of game, it’s important to not take the premature end of the night personally; she could have promised to drive her friend home, she could be ragingly hot for you but had a bad experience with her last SNL, perhaps her friend cockblocked you and she’s going to make it up to you next time she sees you, or maybe she’s just really tired and knows she can’t make it happen that night. A lot of these are bullshit that guys tell themselves to salve the pain of rejection, but no matter what, you won’t get anywhere getting butthurt or angry that you’re not getting laid that night.

It’s important to understand that it doesn’t make you beta to have closing anxiety; lots of guys who are very successful with women do, and in fact the game writer Dagonet (The Quest For 50) said he broke out of a game rut when he started going after hotter women who gave him that heart-pounding-in-his-chest feeling. My track coach had a saying that if you didn’t have some butterflies, you probably weren’t ready to race as you hadn’t properly addressed the magnitude of the competitive event. You get a little nervous? It’s OK. (What DOES make you a beta is if you can’t execute the number close with a woman who is signalling that she is interested in you.)

SOFT BUT BOLD

So, how about that number?

I’ve cribbed a line from Roissy and dannyfrom504 that has brought me much success, and fits well with my “still waters run deep” style of presentation.

After announcing your intention to leave (or receiving hers), say “would you like to continue this conversation later?” This has to be said with outcome-indepedent nonchalance, or she’ll get that trying-to-save-face-from-a-rejection vibe we just talked about. Her body-language reaction will tell you if she’s about to give you a pity number or actually wants to see you again. Then you hand her your phone and have her punch in her number and name (bonus opportunity for some cheap kino at the same time).

This line is great because:

It makes clear what you want without being domineering: There’s no permission-seeking wishy-washyness like “maybe we can hang out sometime?”

It’s overtly non-sexual: Unless you’re talking with a bona fide slut or the sexual boundaries of the conversation have already been breached, you have little to gain and a lot to lose by going sexual in your close like “why don’t we get together again and finish what we started.” And if it’s a daygame approach, a sexual close is a non-starter.

It’s subtle: At the same time, it feeds the hamster – by giving you her number, she’s not committing to a “date” or anything serious and heavy like that, just to “continue the conversation,” which itself leaves her wondering what your intentions are. You both know in your gut that it’s more than just more chatting, but she doesn’t have to rationally acknowledge it, which maintains uncertainty and thus helps keep her anticipation level up. You are already setting up the quasi-spontaneous “it just happened!” frame for your next encounter.

It’s tempting: Rather than begging her to give you a chance to seduce her, you are offering her another chance to roam emotionally with you.

Think of a good saleman’s frame when closing a customer. He isn’t asking for what he wants, he’s giving the customers what they want, which causes them to give him what he wants ($$$) in return. And what they want is not just whatever product is at hand; it’s the sense of comfort and security that life is going to be better, that they have something new in their life to feel good about. That’s where you’re going with “let’s continue this conversation later,” a little piece of hope that she has something exciting and original to look forward to amid all the herbs and betas trying to supplicate their way into her pants.

One final thing for night game: once you’ve locked up the number, excuse yourself politely and tell her “it was nice talking to you.” Then turn your body, face the door, and as you begin to walk away, give her a smack on the tail on the way out. That will get her tingling, introduce rapid-fire contrast game, and most importantly, she can’t shit test you about the escalation because you’re already gone.

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Bad Game Is Really Difficult To Watch

For most guys, it’s tough to watch another guy get rejected. It’s another matter, however, to come to an advanced understanding of game and thus be able to predict epic disasters on sight, and have to live through powerlessly watching the trainwreck.

It’s a bit like when I saw “Apollo 13,” and despite knowing no real details of the mission, I knew there was going to be a disaster somewhere. Thus the opening of the film was forty-five hellish minutes in which I tried to ignore the general tone of glee and waited for the other shoe to drop. Once the oxygen tanks blew off the side of the spacecraft, I relaxed, able to finally enjoy the sci-fact thriller I knew I had lined up to see.

I got that same feeling of nauseous anticipation when I saw “Alpha Male vs Beta Male,” a short clip commissioned by Roosh illustrating the contrast of chumpism and game. In each clip I knew the beta male was going to humiliate himself. It was all I could do to keep from covering my eyes.

The same feeling happens to me at a bar when an inveterate beta is at the next stool in vicinity of a lady, or when I see a pair on an obviously awkward “date” at the next table in a restaurant. Bad game is really difficult to watch for a number of reasons, one being that it reminds me of a bygone era of my own abject failures and not the least of which being that bad game is largely avoidable and preventable.

It is fun and interesting to hear Roosh’s exact lines from his book “Bang” said out loud by a guy on camera.

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Learn To Take A Compliment With Pride

One of the self-destructive patterns that beta males are socialized into is polite modesty. Men are taught to be gracious and self-effacing, to back away from it to avoid appearing arrogant or overconfident.

I’ve noticed an overall trend of knee-jerk deference among the educated communities in which I run – more than once I have complimented someone on their cooking, only to have them sheepishly accept it before immediately noting something that they think is substandard (“I overdid it a little,” “I didn’t have enough curry powder” or whatever). It’s like the onus is on them to show they aren’t full of themselves, so they’re not allowed to take praise in stride. Frankly, it’s a very feminized way of communicating, maintaining through loaded communication the illusion of social equality. These people need to learn the first rule of public interaction: never interrupt someone who is complimenting you.

There’s a degree to which this game is actually insulting to the complimenter – by contradicting my compliment, you’re telling me I lack good taste and judgment. Someone is trying to put you in a frame of power and prestige, and you refuse it? A beta move for sure. If you do this to, say, your boss, you undermine your boss’ image of you as confident and capable. If you do it to your boss in front of other people, you make the both of you look bad (you as unable to assume the authority you’ve been given, the boss as a poor judge of talent).

For guys, this false moedsty ties into the cultural conditioning of “because you’re male, you have all this privilege and power so you need to bend over backwards to not abuse it.” Which is bogus if you’re a beta male. Still other guys, I think, are deeply appreciative of being praised rather than criticized and take it as a license to go vulnerable, spewing out their perceived faults in what they think is a judgment-free environment.

Anyway, it’s really easy to take a compliment:

  • Don’t deny it – a lack of confidence in qualities others are recognizing in you is a mark of bad frame or pathological low self-esteem. This is not just a tingle-killer, it’s a bad way to go about life.
  • Don’t get overexcited – being hooked on the praise and approval of others is first-order neediness and irritating to everyone

When you receive a compliment (especially from a woman) your response should be really simple: be cool. You want to act as if whatever people are praising is self-evident. You can do this in a number of ways.

Sincere: “Thank you, I really appreciate that.”

Non-plussed: “All in a day’s work.”

Teasing: “Oh listen to you buttering me up!”

PHYSICAL COMPLIMENTS ARE EVIDENCE OF TINGLE

When a woman gives a man a direct compliment about his physical appearance or sensual presentation, that’s her body agenda talking straight out of her mouth. Of late, I’ve received several well-placed compliments on my natural scent. Being the game-aware gentleman that I am, I recognized it as a strong indicator of interest with an option clause for escalation, and played accordingly.

Flyfreshandyoung had a recent post that covered this topic (emphasis mine):

Another potential problem I’ve been asked about from time to time is-

“What do I do if a girl tells me I’m hot/cute/sexy/etc…”

Yeah, yeah, cry me fucking river, right? But seriously, this can be a pitfall for dudes who don’t experience this regularly, because while this isn’t a shit test or anything like that you can still lose points with a dumb response. Downplaying it, getting excited, or being self effacing will get you nowhere.

Whenever a girl tells me I’m hot, I do one of two things-

If she is looking standard-issue interested (90% of the time), I look her in the eye, smile, and say thank you. And then I go back to whatever I was talking about with her, or if that was her opener, I ask her her name.

If she looks really nervous like it took her a lot of courage to say that, I shrug and smirk, telling her she doesn’t look too bad herself. I’ve found it helps put her at ease and stops her from clamming up or thinking I’m too far out of her league.

She’s giving you an open lane – are you going to take it? Are you man enough to take it? A lot of guys aren’t. A winner doesn’t apologize for his quality.

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Body Language: The Beer Shield

Last year my blogging compatriot Gmac had a brilliant post on a body-language quirk he had noticed which is known as “the Beer Shield.”

The Beer Shield is a college-born social tactic that young men pick up in dive bars and house parties. It is a fallback technique akin to a security blanket that should be shamed out of men.

Keeping a beer close to your chest is a sign of insecurity. It’s no different from playing with your phone in a bar. It tells the other people around you, “Hey everyone! I’m awkward and have no idea what I’m supposed to be doing with myself right now!” It signals desperation and confusion to the opposite sex. More importantly, it’s counterproductive to an approach mentality.

Don’t believe me? The next time you’re out at a bar take a look around. The guys with their beer shields up won’t be talking to women, or if they are, it won’t be very long. Beer Shields make you less sociable while working against you. All they do is add yet another barrier between you and the rest of the women in the room (that’s not even including bitch shields).

Relax, set the drink down. Hold it to the side or below your waist if you like. Dangle your bottle or use it as a prop as you speak. Be nonchalant and carefree. There’s nothing interesting or cool about a guy who raises and lowers a beer in front of his face like a monkey.

I commented on Gmac’s post about my own field experience:

Was out with another game-aware dude last week and noticed a guy using the beer shield. He drank the entire glass and still used the empty as a shield, then when posing for a picture with some chicks he came in with, he held the glass in his hand when he put his arm around a girl. It was like using a prop to effect hover hands. I wanted to impersonate a waiter and take it away from him.

It’s simple open body language. This video makes the additional point that holding the drink in front of your chest requires muscular tension that puts you in a less relaxed mode.

In addition to eliminating any beer-shield behavior in my own person (and experiencing a detectable boost in my own social comfort), since reading this post I’ve come to notice beer-shielding among young people in my cohort, and found that Gmac is right – guys holding their drinks at their sides, or placing them on the bar so as to talk with both hands, are more sociable, more open and more alpha.

I also noticed a collateral sequela of holding the drink down. Holding the drink at your side requires that you hold it by the lip of the glass instead of the base. This means that when you bring it up to your mouth, you are forced to sip it rather than gulp it. It also hides part of your face for some cheap mystery points. When you are holding your drink from the bottom, your instinct is to turn it over and flood the contents into your mouth. You don’t want to do this; it looks gluttonous and out of control.

It’s all part of doing things slowly and deliberately – you’re not there to pound the drink, it’s just an incidental part of your evening.

YOU DON’T NEED BOOZE

While we’re on the topic, you should consider whether you want to drink at all. I’m no teetotaler and I’m not trying to talk anybody out of it, but alcohol affects your health, raises your reaction times, and can get you into trouble when driving or dealing with authority. (The peripatetic blogger Assanova claimed drinking gave him bouts of unpredictable and itinerant depression.)

I personally know two very successful game-aware men who don’t drink at all.

If you want to drink alcohol, drink because you enjoy it, not because it’s there or because you want to fit in with the rest of the circle. I love having interesting cocktails and craft beers, but if someone offers me a Natty Light I say no (I do sometimes offer to piss in a glass and sell it to them for three dollars). Sure it takes some self-identity to pass up a beverage everyone else is having, but isn’t that what game is really all about?

It’s not hard to do. When someone asks to get you a drink, say, “nah, I’m fine, thanks.” Don’t explain. Once you say that a few times, word gets around that drinking isn’t your thing.

IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS

A while back on a thread in the Roosh V Forum, some guy was poo-poohing the beer-shield advice. His “point” was along the lines of:

“So some woman is going to want to do me because I hold my drink a certain way? That’s so ridiculous, gamers are such loosers lolz!”

The answer is, yes and no. No particular subtle point of body language is going to turn you from a chumparrific fap king into a budding Casanova. But it’s a piece of the puzzle, and if you spend a lot of time drinking with others, how you hold your drink is going to go a long way towards how their hindbrains see your social value.

It’s also a question of optimization. If your body language and mental composure are generally free and open, there’s no need to occupy your mind with small details. But if your game sucks, you need to understand that seemingly-small problems can have a big impact on reinforcing how people already see you, because you don’t have an overall positive, attractive frame in which to operate. This is especially true with women, who are subconsciously and consciously judging you on subtle factors that escape most guys’ concern.

It’s this small-details-to-big-picture development model that so many game haters miss – the way you learn any kind of skill or attitude is to start with specific intentional behaviors, and as those become rote and unconscious you develop a holistic mindset that makes the specific behaviors flow from that mindset.

People who say “just be confident/be calm/have inner game/etc and everything will flow from there” have it backwards. That’s really a self-affirmation based in wishful fiction rather than in reproducible fact. It’s just not an effective way to make changes in your psyche.

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When You Work Your Passive Game, Detecting Female Interest Becomes A Sensitive and Intuitive Skill

Following up my previous post on passive game, as I became more aware of the signs of female attraction, I eventually grew to intuitively sense the aura and spirit of a woman’s interest, without needing to codify the signals in an analytical manner. Now that I am both highly aware and frequently approaching in the wild, I am constantly on the subconscious lookout for approachable women to talk to – and so I have developed a heightened radar sense for when an interested woman is in the vicinity.

In effect, I had trained myself into the perceptive ability that naturals have, well, naturally. What I could previously only sense through blindingly obvious signals like a woman’s big smile or tossing her hair back in my presence, I can now pick up in the subtlest of cues – so fleeting that it’s sometimes nothing more than our little secret. It’s in the momentary glances of interest, undressing me with her eyes, straight-up eye fu**ing, and longing, desperate gazes that verily scream “please come talk to me, so I can bathe in your masculine energy.” Gone were the days of regular “I had no idea she was interested in me!” facepalms, replaced with calculated, well-managed risks of the Yohami-esque “she seems interested in me, maybe I should find out if she’s cool” persuasion.

This manifested just recently as I was exiting the train. As I looked back to fiddle with my bag I made the briefest of eye contact with a young woman behind me. She smiled at me and chuckled, with that vaguely embarrassed look of someone who’s just been caught peeping. On the way off the platform I walk slowly in case she wants to catch up; she pulls up alongside me and I deliver my opener. Just as I knew, she was perfectly willing to talk to me.

In another case, I was out with some friends for drinks and as I moved to and from the bar, I passed by a pretty young lady who was deploying several ways to get my attention. Stealing glances at me disguised as aimless stares while listening to her friends talk, allowing the back of her hand to brush against me as I squeezed past her, and as I was waiting for my order to be garnished, carressing my shoulder with the point of her middle finger.

In an earlier time I might have recoiled, assuming she had touched me by mistake and even apologizing for being in her way. No more; I filed it in the “open her” category. (I was actually working another prospect at the time, and by the time I was free to open her, she had begun talking with a male member of her group who acted as a non-competitive inhibitor: not an object of her interest, but occupying her attention just the same.)

Pre-verbal interest requires something to be attracted to, and as I stand up straight and move with deliberateness, I display value as a “dominant” man simply in the way that I move, without having to actually dominate anybody. This invites the nonverbal admiration of those who like that in a man and thus they invite me to invite them into my world.

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Passive Game

When Neil Strauss’ iconic book “The Game” was released in 2005, it made big waves among communities of young men, and my social circle was no exception.

I had a friend at the time who was a real natural. He was very insecure about his 5’8″ stature, but other than that, a real charmer – physically fit, basically nice and magnanimous with good cooking and entertainment skills, and a smart guy with a good work ethic that tripped the educated girls’ switches. He was not socially dominant as much as he was always doing interesting things that made people want to be around him. All the women in our group were crushing on him bigtime.

We were all having a beer one afternoon when he remarked on this book he had read about in the paper, about a bunch of guys who had developed and drilled systematic methods of attracting women.

At the time I had a very dim awareness of the book’s release. We discussed some of the rudimentary basics, especially the more sensational ones – complicated openers, negs (neutral-value statements), ignoring the woman you are interested in in favor of courting the approval of her friends, fighting off competitors (AMOGs).

Surprisingly, the girls were mum on the whole thing – a calm before the apoplectic storm that would wash over the so-called seduction community and the mainstream world of young single men. Maybe it was the fact that our group was all STEM girls with a bent toward the analytical, or maybe it was the fact that they were all relatively poor performers in the SMP, and so they secretly wished someone would run some game on them.

I found the whole idea interesting, but although I refrained from any moralistic judgments I didn’t really think it was for me. This was a combination of:

  • Beta insecurity (going into the game would be admitting my own failure with women to date)
  • Interest in other things than getting girls (I hadn’t the urgency of the situation I developed later. I didn’t yet recognize the apparent paradox that even though I was very relationship-oriented I still stood to benefit from generalized pickup and game skills)
  • A complete lack of desire to run club/bar game – even if I could kill in those environments with some practice, I didn’t want to because I found them and the women I had already met in them excruciating boring.

It wasn’t until years later, after one of the women in that group had broken my heart (as a matter of fact I let her break my heart twice) that I actually read “The Game” and started my red-pill journey that has brought us all here together on these pages.

PASSIVE GAME

There was one part of the whole setup that immediately appealed to me, and that is the skill to acutely read a woman’s signals, the subtext of her communication, and her willingness to entertain your further advances, and to make go/no-go decisions on the fly based on that information.

I’ve come to call it “passive game” because it doesn’t require that a guy change his own core behavior in any way, and it’s the first thing I demonstrate to any guy new to the scene:

  • Read indicators of interest
  • Don’t blow your opportunity cost
  • Read fake closes

You don’t have to buy new clothes, learn any routines, or alter your body language. You can be more successful with women, significantly, by doing these things.

READ INDICATORS OF INTEREST

All the advice I had received to that point was along the Cosmo-esque lines of trying to divine a woman’s interest in me by reading a score of obscure “does she seem to like you” tea leaves paired with a healthy dose of undeveloped intuition, and the foolish courage to “take a chance” which was really a blind shot in the dark.

I was floored by the elucidation of subconscious, subrational Indicators of Interest (IOIs) that provided subtle but reliable cues to her attraction and were far less fakeable and confusable than what women themselves told me they did when interested in a man (this was before I’d decide to ignore that advice).

For review, some of the basic IOIs are: fiddling with her hair, clothes, skin, or accessories, touching you, asking you personal questions, asking your name, opening her body language, allowing you into her personal space or invading yours, laughing at things that aren’t all that funny, slapping your arm in response to a tease, staying with you when her entourage leaves the area and finally what Strauss and Mystery called “the doggy-dinner-bowl look” – a visage of captivation, hanging on your next move and desperately wanting to be included in your frame.

This passive-game growth process starts with checking off each item in your head, and as you do more approaches (and observe those of other men) the knowledge subsumes into your intuition and you can just get a feel for if a woman is interested without having to count how many times she touched her wrist or asked you a question.

(One critical caveat: calibrate your expectations for venue and personality. Expect fewer IOIs in a daygame environment, more IOIs at night or in well-oiled environs, and unwittingly fake IOIs from certain people who are just demonstrative and physical in their personal style. Italian and Irish women have been known to touch everybody all the time without meaning anything by it. On the other hand, a relatively quiet or non-outgoing woman who is really into you will probably throw a 4th of July display of IOIs for you compared to her response to an average suitor.)

I immediately realized that good, sound, reliable knowledge of IOIs was a huge step forward – allowing me to dial my own investment in the conversation up or down as needed to mirror her vibe, and ultimately allowing me to make an informed, low-risk decision as to whether to go for the close or just give up the set. Which brings me to…

DON’T BLOW OPPORTUNITY COST

Opportunity cost is the observation that when you do (or purchase) one thing, you’ve consumed time and resources that could have been used on something else. In this context, opportunity cost means time and social energy you wasted on a poor prospect that you could have spent talking to a woman who was interested in you, OR time and energy spent beyond the point a woman signalled that she was not interested in you (after which it’s better to do nothing by yourself than to keep talking to her).

In addition to time and effort, you’ve induced some heartache in yourself by investing emotionally in someone who’s not likely to invest in you back. It’s one of the harder things in the game to execute, as we beta types have been raised all our lives with rom-com chick-flick archetypes filling our heads that it’s the man’s job to prove himself to the woman and to keep pursuing until she comes to her sense and realizes what a perfect match he is for her.

But it’s something you have to do, just cut it loose and forget about her. There’s an important preselection consequence here: women can tell when another woman is not interested, and so every minute you spend talking to someone who’s not interested costs you points with everyone watching. You look more and more like a guy with poor social skills who can’t take a hint, and it will poison your rep for the rest of the night.

By the same token, if a woman is really responding to you, you want to increase the intensity of the conversation and go for the insta-date or get her number before you leave. One of the benefits of correctly reading a woman’s positive interest is that your game doesn’t have to be all that tight, you just have to move things along and leave her wanting more. It’s a good investment to maintain an approach if the woman is clearly interested, and to push for another meeting.

Speaking of next meetings…

READ FAKE CLOSES

Women are famous for indirectness and subterfuge in their communication; it has been a source of endless frustration for men over the thousands of years of human history. One aspect of this is “letting him down easy,” a phenomenon I call the “fake close.” Put simply, she gives her number but doesn’t really plan on responding when you call or text (perhaps she just wants to get rid of you). Or she touches/gropes/kisses you, but was really just looking for some quick validation or a good time that night. It’s another red-pill lesson to swallow that not all women are desperately waiting for Prince Charming to walk in the door and sweep her off her feet. Sometimes she’ll take a nice bout of conversation, or a good kiss, and leave it at that.

If she wants to see you again, numbers will come spilling out of her mouth, or she’ll enthusiastically take your phone and punch in her number and her name (and make sure to spell it right). Or even ask you what you’re doing later and try to isolate you herself. If she doesn’t want to see you again, she might pause before accepting your request with an “uh…sure.” Or not make eye contact when she’s spelling out her number in a droll tone. It seems women are loath to be direct unless they’re motivated enough to deliver a pyrotechnic rejection that aims to humiliate the guy.

(My advice to women on this point: be direct, but unemotional. Men generally want to take criticism without a chaser so there’s nothing to be gained sugarcoating it except a false sense of esteem that you’re a nice person for kissing his butt while rejecting him. A bunch of fake smiles and tones of perfunctory flattery, “you seem like a really nice guy, but…” are just going to make it harder to swallow.)

Keep your expectations reasonable – you won’t see a good number of your number closes ever again – and learn to pick up signs that she’s BSing you on the way out the door. Try not to take it personally; give her an ounce of credit for a misplaced aim to spare your feelings and move on with the night. In fact, every time you close a woman, you should aim to open a new one, if only to get your mind off the first one for a little while.

USING PASSIVE GAME AS A DISPLAY OF HIGHER VALUE

As a coda, reading women can be used as a parlor trick of its own when talking to a woman. Most women I meet love people-watching, and an semi-accurate cold read of a nearby set can peg you as a goddamn psychic in her eyes.

This is core game stuff, and it’s not that hard to learn if a guy is persistent and observant. It’s easy to implement because it’s fundamentally indirect (hence the name passive game) and it really does pay off when you can tell within 30 seconds whether a woman is going to be worth your time.

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Self-Affirmations That Actually Work

When I was in high school, one of our teachers (who doubled as a guidance couselor) was insistent on drilling us into habits of self-affirmation. The problem was, her idea of self-affirmation was to repeat something that wasn’t actually true, in the hope that it would become true by force of will. A typical example constructed for me (a shy and quiet type of dude at the time, I know that’s difficult to believe) was “I am an outgoing and likeable person.”

This might have fooled some of my less self-aware classmates, but as a humble and compulsively honest guy, I couldn’t get around the fact I was bullshitting myself. I wasn’t outgoing, and I had been drilled into all manner of betariffic traits that ensured a hard cap on my attractiveness and likeability. In this absurd schema, Stuart Smalley wasn’t a parody but an almost-literal stranger-than-fiction panoply.

Years later, I revisited the self-affirmation game, by accident. I was miserable in grad school bored one day and thinking about going to the gym for a workout. In an argument with myself, I remarked to no one in particular “you should go lift because you always feel great after you do it.”

Boom. I had found the secret to self-affirmations that actually work:

  • Finding an assertion that is already true (instead of one I wish were true)
  • Constructing an affirmation that uses that assertion to motivate my behavior

So now I can use this knowledge to self-modify my behavior, using past rewards as motivation:

“I’m going to work out now because I feel great after I do so.”

“I’m going to finish that post because it’s going to be awesome when I publish it and get comments from all of my adoring readers.”

“You should go to bed now instead of at 2am because it feels good to get an early start on the day.”

This strategy has been especially helpful when it comes to finishing that last 10% of any of the many projects I’ve undertaken.

A few weeks back, Fly Fresh and Young riffed on self-affirmations in his post “Pre-game tips for introverts and left-brained people.” It was surprising to me to learn that a guy of his skill in the party and pickup scenes is in fact a single-minded analytical personality with a tendency against socializing. His tips on warming up for a social gathering are manifold and strong, from avoiding mindless TV to skipping the Red Bull to watching an episode of Seinfeld (an old Roosh gem). It turns out he uses the same style of reward-motivation affirmations that I do.

8. Psyching myself up

“Hey, I’m going to go out and talk to people and it’s going to be awesome”

“You love talking to people and having a great time, so do it”

“Remember that one time you met all those people and how fun that was”

Stuff like that. Simple motivational shit that looks dumb on paper but makes me feel in a better mood when I think it. Conjures up positive, social thoughts.

Figure out a way to tie what you want to do with a reward you’ve already experienced; this binds your long-term, risky goals with short-term guaranteed good feelings, instead of “motivating” yourself with pretty lies and wish-I-woulds.

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Things You Can Do To Up Your Game+Lifestyle Value Right Now

There’s a good number of seemingly small things a guy can do almost at the snap of a finger, or at least in a one-shot outlay of a few minutes’ or hours’ time, to up his value in the sexual marketplace. I’ve put the ideas of game and lifestyle together because they really do go together – you need to have a good product (an interesting dynamic lifestyle), and an effective way to market it (vibe and tactics).

These are not specific moves for tactical attraction or logistics, nor are they large personal projects that require a gameplan and long-term dedication, but simple items to build your strategic value, to lay a better groundwork for the core product that you will market with your game skills.

Some of these things will make you more attractive, others will make you feel better about yourself and others will clear your mind so you can be more focused and deliberate in your life’s work. For some of them, doing them won’t make you attractive as not doing them will make you unattractive. Sure, there are schlubby, unkempt guys doing well with women. Are you one of them? If not, don’t stand in your own way by ignoring easy speedbumps.

In no particular order:

Practice and adopt the chin-up move (the Iguana): Private Man posted on a move he called The Iguana as a non-verbal opener, which involves a man flitting his head upward when making eye contact rather than downward as is normally seen as polite. Eric Barker also posted on research showing that men with chin-up behaviors were seen as more dominant, a study linked to by Roissy in a post I can’t hope to find right now.

Get clothes that fit: When it comes to clothes and fashion, you can go with any number of looks, but whichever one you choose will look 100% better if it fits properly. The grunge days are over, so forget the baggy look. Really shop around for jeans and slacks that fit right; get higher-end clothes tailored if you have to. Unless you work or socialize in a circle where top dress is sine qua non, you’ll do better getting a modest wardrobe that fits than blowing a wad on pricey stuff that looks like you’re a supernumerary in a Hammer video.

Get all the soft drinks and shitty snack food out of your house: Added sugars and boxed, processed foods are not just bad for you, they are pernicious in finding their way into your mouth if they are in your vicinity. Avoid the temptation by not having to resist it at all.

Start taking Omega-3 fish oil: Originally on the advice of Athol Kay, I’ve been taking between 2000 and 3000 mg per day for about the last 18 months. I don’t know how or why it works, but it’s made a tremendous difference not just in my physical condition but in my mental composure. I feel more decisive/”executive,” I worry less about things I can’t control, I’m less perturbed by irrelevant emotions and by criticism, I enjoy myself more when I’m doing the things I want to do, I’m more risk-tolerant and calmer when I do take risks – I’m more alpha, if you will.

Tidy your dwelling: Hat tip to Haley for this one. Having a clean apartment/house might not get you laid, but having a messy one sure can keep you from getting laid. Messiness will give most women the creeps. Put everything in its place and toss out shit you don’t need.

Put grooming in your daily schedule: I’m guessing most readers are brushing and/or flossing on the daily, but you should make shaving, skin care and cologne a regular habit as well. Clip your nails regularly too.

Start working out with weights: Lifting weights raises your testosterone, that’s the long and the short of it. Get over that cardio fetish, and don’t be one of those people who humps it on the elliptical for an hour and then undoes the whole thing by drinking a Gatorade. Inspired by Frost’s 15-minute workout plans, I went to a focused, fast, weights-heavy workout plan that served to build general muscle tone and get me exhausted. The result has been good feelings, quick fitness, and the best health I’ve had since I was playing football.

Stand up straight: The first of three distinct body-language items, standing up straight took me a long time to learn. As a tall man, I’m used to towering over most people and so felt I needed to slouch so as to meet people at their level. At some points in my schooling I was even taught to be ashamed of my size, as several teachers took the time to warn me, the gentlest kid in the class, to be extra careful not to hurt anybody. (Such are the ways that school teach young men to be positively non-attractive.)

It wasn’t until my first wisps of game that I came to grok that my height was a strong and un-fakeable attraction marker. And as I developed a better frame, I stood up straighter and got the full advantage of my height. Dating a tall woman helped, as she made sure that I knew it was important I was taller than her, and she was sure to respond when I showed good posture to boot.

Take up more space: Whatever your height is, you can exert positive body language by widening your feet, opening your knees, not putting your hands in your pockets, and putting your thumbs in your belt loops. When I’m at a bar or a cafe, I tend to throw one arm over the back of the adjacent chair, whether someone is sitting there or not. (Interestingly my father, a strong but introverted and non-dominant man, has always done this, whether it’s in the car, at a restaurant or a sporting event. It’s like one of his arms must always be in the extended position.)

Last year I was on a train with my right arm draped across the empty seat next to me. Coming off the platform, a young female French tourist sat down in the seat without a blink and was immediately friendly when I opened her. It was as if my inviting posture had made her more comfortable. Taking up space says a lot of things – it says dominance and power, but it also says comfort and calmness, stable and non-threatening.

Do everything slower: My own post on this is here, but suffice it to say that slowing your physical movements and speech patterns will result in a more competent, confident vibe. You’ll notice that if you’re standing straight up and taking up a lot of space, it’s pretty difficult to be manic in your movements, which further enhances the bold power of your body language.

Stop watching live TV: Putting aside the lack of quality programming on the American tube today, the dreck aired in commercial slots today is appalling. There’s no end to the unalloyed misandry and anti-male snark used to hock products to homemakers and strongindependentwomen, and the themes of marketeering appeal to our basest senses of novelty-seeking, spendthrift and perpetual dissatisfaction.

A couple years ago I stopped watching TV almost entirely. On occasion I would turn it on to see a show or a special I had been tipped off to, and I was quite surprised to realize that watching ads makes me want to buy the products and eat the foods. When in waiting rooms today, I marvel at how quickly I find myself hypnotized by the bright flashes on the screen.

DVR your shows, and get rerun programming on demand or on DVD. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say you’ll be a richer, more focused and less consumptive person if you quit watching live TV.

Start reading a good book: Despite the above, I’m not one who says TV is an evil instrument of cultural hegemony. Nonetheless, one does well to have a good book or two going at any time. Preferably a classic work that has earned a reputation and will expand your mind rather than simply fill it.

Buy some classics to familiarize yourself with the primary sources of our cultural tapestry, be it the Aeneid (an audacious piece of premodern imperial propaganda), Cyrano de Bergerac, Band of Brothers, Rip Van Winkle, the Bonfire of the Vanities – pick up something you want to read and sink into its world.

Sign up for an activity of interest that involves people (yoga, running club, pistol shooting, a sports league): If part of your game problems is not meeting enough new people and not seeing them enough, you can solve this on the Internet in under 30 minutes through meetup.com, craigslist or your local adult education catalog. Pick something you want to do and go do it. And then socialize with those people – don’t try to game anybody, just spend time with a new social circle as a springboard to higher value.

Go to bed early tonight: There have been ruts and dry spells for me that were cured by nothing more than an extra hour of sleep for a few days straight. It’s my contention that Generation Y is constantly underslept. I don’t think I know anyone who was/is doing interesting things with his life who doesn’t have at least itinerant sleep patterns. But it really hurts your body, brain and personality. Shoot for those seven/eight hours a night, and try to get up at the same time every day as consistency in sleep counts for a lot.

Spend less time on the Internet today: Funny for a blogger to say, I know, but often that extra late-night hour reading forums or commenting is just not worth it. Make sure you’re getting out in the fresh air with real people and doing other things you want to do. Also consider leaving your smartphone at home, or activating airplane mode to keep the signals away. I find it quite liberating to unplug for a while, and when I come back there’s always a stack of things to check on so I get an extra surge of novelty anyway.

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