“Just be yourself” (JBY) is one of the great clueless lies of modern dating consciousness, right up there with “girls want nice guys.”
The fact is that there’s a very small kernel of truth in it, once you get past the literal interpretation of the phrase. When a woman tells you to JBY, she’s not saying “the right girl will love you for who you are,” she’s saying “be secure and let everybody know it.” Women value and find attractive guys who give the air of congruence (“being themselves”) and security in their skin (confident inner game). In other words, men who don’t look like they’re trying. Just as men appreciate women who, even when they’re made up, don’t look like a synthetic different person.
DO THE BEST WITH WHAT YA GOT
You need to be who you are, but you have to do that the right way. Rather than implementing “game” by changing your whole personality around to a way you’re not built to act, it’s a lot simpler to make your traits positive elements in your game arsenal. This is the mistake guys make when they think they need to look like Men’s Health cover models and wear four-figure watches to land women (and girls make when they think they have to dress like slutty princesses and put on clown whore makeup).
On Friday (the day after Thursday) I advised a commenter who was deeply concerned about his baldness, telling him to shave it and forget about it. Here’s the key lesson for today: the same applies to almost any trait you believe holds you back in the sexual marketplace. You need to own those traits, minimizing or leveraging them to give off the congruence and confidence factors that underlie JBY.
If you are a tall guy who takes up a lot of space, you’ll probably have to carefully control your movements and reign yourself in or you won’t be able to build comfort, you’ll be socially threatening. If you’re a short guy, a portion of women will pre-eliminate you; big whoop, you don’t need that kind of attention. To get the rest of them, you’ll need to build a big personality to give off the presence your physical frame can’t provide. Danny DeVito comes to mind, and it’s not just a case of hiding his height the way they do with Tom Cruise – he played the titular character in “Get Shorty,” and a foil to Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Twins.”
If you are a chatterbox, use that to pull off Mystery’s “stacking threads” mode of conversation, where you carry a listener through multiple ideas and stories, some of which aren’t finished before the next one starts. You’ll be a source of constant entertainment and interest. (Observe bartenders at a real Irish or Italian bar for archetypal examples.)
If you are introverted and laconic, you’re practically born on second base, because many guys ruin their game by over-talking. However, your few words need to be effective – you can’t waste your breath with idle chatter, bad beta jokes and supplication. Make yourself an example of the saying that “still waters run deep” – you’re a quiet guy with deep thoughts, not a shy guy who’s afraid to speak. At the very least you win some automatic points as a mysterious personality, and you will subtly “qualify” women, who will respond by trying to “chase” more words out of you.
If you’re fat and you can’t fix it, you’ll just have to be Chris Christie.
Mystery has a flair for performance that motivated his early days as an amateur magician. His natural impulse is to play to crowds. He combined that with his logical mind to develop a way to win the hearts of women. Bars, clubs and other high-novelty social scenes made great locations for his gregarious, group-oriented methods. His height, soft vocal cadence and outlandish wardrobe are all exploited positively to his ends – as is his presence in entertainment-oriented cities like Miami and LA.
On the other hand, a guy like Roissy, or at least his online persona, is better suited to the brooding, analytical, vaguely misanthropic loner shtick he has parlayed into a spot as one of the most prominent personalities in post-Strauss game community. (The guy was cited by The Weekly Standard for crying out loud.) Building on his natural game, his youthful looks – you can find the photos online if you want – and quasi-emo clothing help him stand apart from overdressed DC lawyer-and-staffer crowd.
YOU’RE GOOD ENOUGH NOW, SO GET MOVING
Never, ever fall into the arrival fallacy – the idea that you’ll move forward on something important to your life (especially something as important as love) when you lose ten pounds, get buff, get a better job, pay off your credit card or whatever. If something is worth doing, you owe it to yourself to do it now (I would except marriage and children from this advice for the moment).
Sure, some projects need to be shelved because there’s not enough time in the day, but if you make a habit of avoiding long-term goals for short-term duties, you will always find something more proximal or urgent than those long-term items. Don’t bother even rationalizing it, you are really just playing to your natural human dopamine addiction that rewards you in the short term.
Besides, if you’re embarking on a protracted change in life, you can’t wait until it’s “done” to deploy – you need real-world feedback so you know how to adjust before you’ve built the wrong model.
LIFE ALWAYS SUCKS SOMEHOW
Closely related to the previous point, be cautious in believing that other people have it better than you. There’s a reason coveting is in two of the Ten Commandments. It could be argued this is a particularly destructive variant of Impostor Syndrome, and in any case it leads quickly to learned helplessness and acceptance of an unacceptable situation. Like a girl watching runway models on TV saying “if only I was pretty like them, I would be fabulous, guys would like me and I wouldn’t have any worries. But I’ll never be like them so what’s the point in trying.” The person in your head saying “you could never get a girl like he has, he’s got so much more going for him” – fire that person.
Everyone has issues that cause them to envy someone else. Skinny girls wish they had boobs, busty girls wish they were thin. Short guys want to be tall, tall guys want to fit in an airplane or the backseat of Japanese cars. Field service reps wish they were in air-conditioned offices during the workweek, while desk jockeys wish they could drive a truck around town for a living.
In the excellent film What About Bob, the neurotic, multiphobic Bob (Bill Murray) has major man-crush-oneitis for his egotistical psychotherapist, whom he follows to New Hampshire from New York City. In talking to Dr. Marvin’s daughter Anna (her brother is named Sigmund), Bob thinks it must be great to be the child of a famous psychologist. Anna feels otherwise, and we see why in the same afternoon when her father humiliates her by forcing her to communicate with him through hand puppets.
Haters gonna hate, and there’s always going to be somebody to criticize you for something. The sooner you recognize this not as a confirmation of the “Darwinian failure” of whatever fault you have and instead as the normal shit-testing and locker-room talk of the social marketplace, the faster you’ll rise above it.