Success Is Within Your Grasp

Around these parts we talk a lot about becoming a “higher male” – getting in good shape, getting your finances and career in order, living an interesting life and otherwise becoming the man you were meant to be.

That’s all well and good, but it’s important for men to understand that they don’t need to reach some exalted plane of excellence before they can start enjoying a better life, and in particular doing better with women.

If you’re a guy who wants to do better with girls, you definitely need to examine your life and see which structural factors might be holding you back and limiting your potential. At the same time, though, you need to realize that there are guys who are shorter, uglier, fatter, poorer and less interesting than you who are getting laid, and guys who are taller, thinner, richer and cooler who aren’t.

Why this phenomenon is the case has been the subject of much Manosphere writing – there are functional factors, the guy with poorer “measurables” has better game with women face-to-face, and there are logistical factors, the paper alpha isn’t meeting enough girls or is fishing in the wrong pond or just sucks at closing.

(This SMP inversion layer exists on the female side of the ledger too, and is often the subject of hilarious catty infighting – “I can’t believe he dumped me for her, I’m way prettier!” – or epic sour grapes – “he’s only dating her ’cause she’s a total slut.”)

Some men use the “sexy ugly” guys as demotivation: “chicks always dig jerks and pick the wrong guys so why should I even try to give them what they want if they can’t see that I’m the guy they should be with?” Instead they should see the commonality and overlap and think “if they can do this so can I, regular guys can do this without needing superlative esoteric skill.” Why not you? Why not now?

Just as it’s never too late to take steps to improve something about your life, it’s never too early to start drawing benefit from your efforts. If you are sharpening your health, getting your career on the upswing, saving your money, sharpening your mind and spending time with quality people, you should feel great about yourself. You should walk with a swagger and act like you are master of the realm. Don’t cop to a false humility – you are on your way up, so act like it.

One example from my personal life is whenever I get back on a workout program I have an instant lift in my persona. Just a couple of days straight in the gym and I can see myself in the mirror getting slimmer and more toned. The chemical and psychological boosts combine to give me an infectious outward confidence, I tell people excitedly that I’m back in the weight room and feel fantastic. I don’t have to reach my goals before my workout plan yields life improvements. I don’t need to be ripped and on the back end of a two-month volume binge before I’ll allow myself to feel good about my condition.

In short, as soon as you start taking control of your life, start approaching. See if anybody wants to be part of your positive momentum (many will).

BELIEVING IN YOUR NEW REALITY IS REAL INNER GAME

If you read people who are peddling rhetoric about “inner game” (especially in contrast to the rudiments of meeting and dating women that comprise behavioral game) it’s hard not to hear the message that you need to “arrive” somehow before you can expect to succeed socially, like there’s some magical spiritual plane of peace where all the answers are revealed to your a priori.

Much inner-game discussion I’ve read actually sounds like an indirect form of “just be yourself” – don’t try to get better, don’t consider actionable behavioral changes, just try to “be confident” and do whatever comes into your head, minimize emotional disruption (which would indicate that you weren’t “authentic”) and don’t challenge yourself with situations that could push your personal growth. The thinking seems to be that strong “inner game” would make you supremely unbothered and, say, take away approach anxiety or Jedi-mind-trick the AMOGs into GTFO’ing.

One wonders what they would say if they were personal trainers – they’d probably tell you that exhaustion and soreness were the result of offending your “true physique” rather than a regular occurrence in the gym that portended improved condition and muscle growth.

I haven’t written much about “self improvement” in the abstract, and there’s a reason for it – the handful of men I’ve known personally who became addicted to self-improvement. These guys got on a trend that’s the opposite of what this post is about: they became perpetually insecure, constantly searching for a new “self-improvement” kick that would serve as a temporary pacifier to paper over whatever they didn’t like about themselves and would show other people they were fixing. Their exposure to these trends – whether they were paleo eating, crossfit, gluten-free, lifehacking – induced a carousel of unenjoyed and unremitted activity that accelerated them finding something else wrong with themselves and patching it the way that a fastidious maid finds every speck of dust across a house.

While most of my personal life is various projects of personal growth, I believe it’s got to come from a position of making yourself a more integrated man and not a sense of shameful inadequacy or thrill-seeking habit.

RIDE THE WAVE

De Tocqueville said “the most dangerous time for a society is that when it begins to reform” – uncertainty can easily give way to anarchy, and the factions that have suffered under the old regime can’t be trusted to be magnanimous (something the French found out with equal parts joy and horron in the twilight of the 18th century).

By the same token, the most thrilling time in your life is when you begin the steps of becoming the man you can be. You are flush with initial success and the anticipation of further success. You’re a guy who’s going somewhere. You shouldn’t be bashful about it, let that energy infuse people around you. (There’s some science behind this too – as you move forward in your plans, dopamine burnout will set in and the things that made you feel good about yourself will no longer do so. So ride that positive vibe while you can before you have to switch things up to refresh.)

Those who won’t resonate with you have chosen the lot of pot-crabbing haters who idolize mediocrity.

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Tales From The Wall

Coming back from visiting my parents for Christmas, I got talking to a woman at the bag claim carousel. (Since I started reading Roissy, I can’t see the word “carousel” without laughing out loud.) We exchanged some pleasantries and I got to thinking that she seemed very familiar somehow.

Then it hit me – two years ago, I had sat next to her on a flight to my hometown and we had chatted extensively. She opened the conversation when she saw me reading “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” (between that and the Married Man Sex Life Primer, I believe I have pioneered a subset of day game that involves reading titillating books in public). I recall finding her reasonably pretty and interesting and also getting her business card but not following up; she had no mobile number and the idea of phone-game at her business desk was not appealing.

You’re probably guessing the punchline at this point…it was difficult to recognize her as the same girl. In two years she had gone from – I use these word descriptively and not pejoratively – “curvy” to “husky,” her hair didn’t have its previous sheen, and her skin tone was considerably less healthy.

Another late-young-adult professional had started to hit The Wall.

There’s more than age to The Wall. I’m someone who thinks that an unhealthy look reflects not only unhealthy choices regarding diet and exercise, but an unhealthy overall lifestyle – stress, unrealistic aims, unfulfilling habits, poor sleep, bad personal relationships, an aggravating job situation, and more. Aging is going to happen, but it doesn’t have to run you ragged and make you unrecognizable to casual acquaintances.

I’ve seen an improved job situation dramatically boost an individual’s appearance of health and wellness.

I’ve seen even marginal increases in doing something he loves take a man’s life from mediocre to very happy, even with considerable shit in the rest of his life.

In my own life, a bit more sleep has extensive benefits for my libido, grit and mental clarity.

Relationship stress and the hunt for couplehood can be a big factor in an unhealthy psyche, particularly for women. If the constant stream of articles coming out of the Huffington Post and the Atlantic are any guide, late 20s/early 30s single women are prone to be very unhappy or at least very anxious about their nonmarried or non-relationshipped status and the dwindling number of candidates. This was wonderfully played up in a music video I discussed here. I know a number of women who definitely are not besieged by anxiety and disappointment, so it’s not an absolute, but I also know a number of women who have grown up insisting they “didn’t need a man” but now find themselves feeling lost without the stability offered by marriage and family; in reality, I don’t think this was a flip-flop of their desires as much as a subconscious expectation that marriage would always be there for the taking.

But I digress. I have no indication that this single-serving friend from baggage claim is unhappily single or otherwise concerned with her social status. But she doesn’t look good, and that tells me something’s not right in her life.

My aim here isn’t to taunt or criticize, but just to note that the changes of age can come up fast like a curving exit offramp. You let a few healthy habits slip here and there and before you know it, you’ve downshifted a point or two in SMV and with your body (and possibly your mind) settling into a middle-aged concept you’re probably not going to get it back. It changes the way you feel about yourself and changes the way people react to you. Honestly this goes for men and women.

That’s why part of your medium-term life plan should always be how to hedge against The Wall and “protect” your SMV.

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Roosh Pulls an Agree and Amplify

The Agree and Amplify (A&A, not to be confused with AA for Approach Anxiety) is an exceptionally powerful tool of verbal banter and should be on the short list of any gamer’s travel toolbox.

A technique that has long been in vogue among sarcastics and comedians, A&A is well-described in this classic Roissy post where he subtitles it the “anti-shit test counterinsurgency.”

The idea is that when you get a shit test or other form of accusatory query, instead of pivoting away from the questioner’s frame as most guys would do, respond by “leaning in” to the punch and agreeing with the premise in an overplayed manner.

GIRL: “Why didn’t you call last night? Are you dating someone else?”
YOU: “Yep, I’ve got a harem to service. Be happy you’re in the top tier.”

***

GIRL: “Are you just going to sit around all day playing video games?”

YOU: “Damn straight. With enough hard work I should be able to push this to a full month.”

Also:

GIRL: “Did you miss me when I was gone?”

YOU: “Oh yeah, I wanted to kill myself.”

***

GIRL: “Does my butt look big?”

YOU: “Yeah, it’s huge. Just more cushion for the pushin’.”

I’ve been told by people in LTRs that A&A is as useful in a relationship as it is the first night you meet a girl. You never want to get pinned into a frame where you are defending yourself; as long as the spectre of your unworth is on her mind, the slippery slope will cut you down.

Keoni Galt (Dave from Hawai’i in this iconic Roissy post just one day after the A&A post) riffed on A&A in a post of his own and traced it to the now-defunct blog “The Reality Method” – check the Wayback Machine if you want to see the originals of some very good content.

I’ve found personally that A&A is equally effective with feminine nice girls as it is with hardened feminist girls, providing a Schroedinger-like superposition of rhetorical authority and irreverent silliness that imbues a robust imprimatur of social savvy. Master this tactic and you’ll get a lot of those textbook arm slaps that show she is tingling.

A&A is even present in one of the classic AMOG destroyer routines, ceding the group’s attention to the AMOG interrupter – “oh that’s totally cool man, why don’t you tell us all about it?” – and allowing him to “talk himself out.”

Radio host Rush Limbaugh, the most impactful broadcaster of our generation (whatever you think of his views is irrelevant to this post), has long made “illustrating absurdity by being absurd” a principle of his program. One example of this was “the Environmental Wacko method of picking NFL games” where pro football winners were predicted by subjecting the franchises to value judgments in fashion with the era’s environment consciousness movement. (In one instance the Seahawks were chosen over the Bears because the Seahawk was indisputably brilliant to force its way into the NFL despite not existing as a species.)

“Illustrating absurdity by being absurd” is a reasonable way to describe the A&A, in that it disarms another’s false contentions by taking them to their illogical conclusion.

One could probably make an argument that due to its sarcastic nature the A&A is a subset or overlap of the Cocky-Funny game style, but I’ll leave it to someone of greater philosophical interest to compare/contrast/subsume/separate them.

I noticed recently that Roosh had pulled an A&A on his site Return Of Kings by styling his post signatures as follows:

“About Roosh

Roosh is an ugly misogynist with massive mommy issues. He created ROK in October 2012 because he has no friends. Currently he is traveling the world to have bad sex with poor girls who want to use him for an American greencard. His little penis is so ineffective at satisfying women that he has had to master the art of cunnilingus. It is absolutely certain that he will die alone in a basement alongside his massive porn collection. Sadly, his right hand is irreversibly deforming into a claw shape from excessive masturbation, causing him sharp pains when he types up one of his offensive rants. You can visit his sexist blog at RooshV.com or follow him on Twitter and Facebook.”

In case you hadn’t picked up, he’s agreeing and amplifying against a dozen boilerplate feminist critiques of game sites and male social discussion in general.

I found it all the more humorous given that Roosh had never really preached or practiced a style of verbal gamesmanship in his game writings, rather pushing the “vibe” of polished intellectual and cultural values and bold, direct writing. To see him get cheeky was thus all the funnier.

Agree and Amplify – learn it, know it, live it.

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A VK Classic on Being the Bad Boy

A game practitioner around the DC area since before Roissy was blogging, Virgle Kent or VK used to write prolifically and creatively at vksempireofdirt.com. He started up NexxtLevelUp (at http://nexxtlevelup.com/) with some other male bloggers and has since shuttered the old VK blog.

I had a clip in the drafts of an old post of his on “being the alpha bad boy.” I’ll present it here without much commentary. This is simple and should be old hat to longtime readers of game material, but it’s a concise summary and the fundamentals always deserve repetition, so I’ll let him take it away.

But can anyone simply step up and play the bad boy role? Contrary to popular belief it takes more than throwing a bunch of “negs” to play the part of a bad boy. The funny guy all you have to do is know how to make women laugh. The jerk/ asshole you’ve got to have no feelings and not give a shit about what comes out of our mouth. The nice guy role is all about having manners. But being the A.B.B is a little harder to describe, it’s a complex role with more components than the others. What you were doesn’t matter, extra medium T or you suit it up. What you say doesn’t matter that much either. So here are some characteristics that I’ve noticed from myself and watching other A.B.B’s.

The swagger

The way you walk into and through any place will let a girl know if you’re an A.B.B more than anything else you’ll do or say. They’re always the guys leading the group through a crowded bar or night club parting the seas. You walk with a sense of purpose, like you’re looking for the guy who took a dump in your corn flakes. The most important thing is that they don’t avoid eye contact or look away when girls check them out. In fact you stare back tell they look away. Keep your head up and act like you’ve done this before.

Hold the attention of many

A.B.B’s know how to get and hold the attention of a group of girls. They don’t have a problem opening up a set of two or three and being interesting enough to talk to all of them without one of them getting bored. They command attention even in mixed groups. I think one of the the things I’ve had to do while teaching The Rookie the ropes is learn how to turn this aspect of my game down. If you dominate the conversation too much it’s intimidating or hard for other guys to come in and look good especially if their friends.

Doesn’t really ask

I’ve said this before but when talking with women while gaming them asking them to do something gives them time to think about saying no. Telling them to do something gives you a better chance of them going along (at the moment). Be as direct with your statements as possible

“Give me your number so we can hangout again”
“Let’s take a shot”
“Let’s get out of here”

Sense of entitlement

Some people call it being cocky. I don’t think it’s so much that. but more of a sense of entitlement. Too many guys talk to women and feel so lucky that a cute/ hot girl is talking with them, as if they can’t breath the same air or be in the same room as a beautiful girl. A.B.B’s feel they more than deserve it, that they’ve earned it. That the girl is the lucky one to be talking to him. This is the attitude he’ll need that will let him get away with saying the smart ass remarks or negs that he’ll need to say.

Hidden Sensitivity

This is the secret weapon/ key if you will to being an A.B.B. If you’re talking to a group of girls go hard and be a bad boy. But once you get a girl by herself you’ve got to show a little sensitivity. Don’t go over board and cry about your mom or your ex or anything. But have a little story that shows you’re human.

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James Taranto Really Reads The Manosphere

taranto-badger

(Live link)

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Merry Christmas

I wanted to wish the readership a merry Christmas.

Truth be told, 2013 has been a trying year for the Badger and I’m anxious to see it out. However, writing on the blog, and interacting with the online community connected to it (including the communities at blogs like Just Four Guys, Alpha Game and MMSL) have been sources of great relief and happiness for the past twelve months. I get a small but regular stream of emails from readers who tell me that one thing or another they read here has helped change their lives; these are extremely gratifying and I would like to think that for every email there are a handful of lurkers who have had a similar experience.

Life is too short to suck, I’m humbled that I’m part of the solution for many people.

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A Great Analogy on Scarcity Mentality

Yesterday’s post concerned “No More Mr. Nice Guy” and its focus on approval-seeking as a limiting behavior for men (especially seeking approval from women).

Another thought process that is recognized as a major obstacle to good game and a successful social life is the scarcity mentality. This means that a man approaches interactions with women as if each one is his last opportunity; he approaches dates as must-win encounters and tries to lock each woman down; he approaches a relationship as if he can never get another one and tolerates a lot of crap he shouldn’t. Reversing the scarcity mentality is what’s behind Roissy’s 16th commandment, “never be afraid to lose her.”

Now, reversing the scarcity mentality is easier said than done – in some cases it is forged by a few poor experiences at a time when a man has low SMV (and thus his desperation is at least logically justified), other times it reflects a pedestalization of women or other irrational factors. Normally it’s not something you can just “turn off” because you woke up one day and decided to be “more confident.”

At a recent Just Four Guys thread, commenter Esau delivered a great story that explains the scarcity mentality in another, non-sexual context.

Story time! In academic STEM circles there was a brief era in the late 1980′s early 1990′s where we saw the phenomena of (ex-)Soviet scientists visiting the West in large numbers, many for their first time unchaperoned; and some pretty remarkable behaviors were revealed. One thing the Soviets always wanted to do was to go shopping, particularly for consumer electronics, to bring back home. In one famous story, a small group of these guys went to a Circuit City (young people, look it up) to see what they could find. Right inside the door was a stack of VCR’s (young people, look it up) and the group immediately stationed two of their guys to stand guard over the VCR’s to make sure that no one else bought them up while the rest of the group hunted further. The American hosts labored to re-assure them, that no one was likely to buy up these VCR’s within the next ten minutes, and there were certainly more in the back anyway. But the Soviets were used to a scarcity regime in shopping, that not much was ever available and if you saw something you wanted you had to pounce on it immediately, full-force, or miss out completely. And ultimately there was no way to talk them out of the need to zealously guard this stack of relatively ordinary stuff, even for nominally logically-minded men. It was just that hard to break the habits of a scarcity mentality that had been built up by experience.

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