Inner Game 101

detinennui32 left this absolutely on-the-money comment on Sunday’s post.

Hey Badger:

Good post. Let me add a few things to your already dead-on analysis.

1. This is absolutely crucial — do your thing. Devise your life plan. Find out your mission, your life purpose, and work towards it. This will cause your life to intersect with women – some worthy, some unworthy. When I was 18 and starting college I had decided on my career and was working toward it with singular purpose. A man with purpose and experiencing success in working towards it brings women into his orbit. Those women see a man who knows who he is, knows what he wants, and knows what to do to get it. Worthy women find that irresistible.

2. Do interesting things. Try something new. Go someplace you wouldn’t otherwise go. Try rappelling, scuba diving, or hitting balls at the batting cages. Take lessons in flying, tennis or piano. Join a group and participate in its functions. Find something you like to do. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it’s not video gaming. If you can afford it, go on a vacation alone and sight-see. Drive somewhere with a few other people for the hell of it. All these things help make you interesting and well rounded, and give you stories to tell. Don’t be afraid of failure- there’s a first time for everything. My college summer roommate bitched and moaned because he had no golf partner so I went with him once to shut him up. I didn’t hate it- and found a new sport I kind of liked. I’m not good at it, but it’s fun. I drove a date once 85 miles (one way) for great pizza. Loosen up. Live a little. For God’s sake, whatever you do, don’t sit at home reading, watching TV or renting movies alone. Get out there. Do something.

3. Go to public places where different people gather. Go to any downtown bar or night spot in any city with a population over 75,000. Go alone or with one or two other guys. Don’t approach any women at first. Enjoy your drinks but don’t get drunk. Don’t sit there and watch the TV. Watch the action. Watch what other men do. Chat up the bartender – especially the women bartenders. See who the newbies are, and identify the regulars. Watch what the women do. Note the center of the action, and the periphery. Take it all in. A well rounded man does not just watch or see. He observes. He assesses. He evaluates. He hears and notices not only what is said, but what is not said. He sees not only what is done, but what is not done. You’ll learn so much and get much more comfortable handling yourself and others when you get out where others congregate, and observe what’s done and not done. It will do wonders for your confidence.

4. Don’t take dating advice from your mother, unless she is June Cleaver. Your mother is not June Cleaver.

5. Discard the following advice, because all of it is false and probably came from your overbearing feminist mother:
a. Be a nice guy.
b. Never approach a woman who you find attractive. You should just let it happen naturally, or let her come to you.
c. Women want to be friends with a man first, then get romantic with him because they already know him.
d. You should show a woman your emotions right away.
e. Every woman deserves to be treated like a queen.
f. Women are looks-oriented, and they only like “hot” guys like male models, or the hot actor, or some other flavor-of-the-month.
g. Do lots of talking and show what a great conversationalist you are.
h. Never touch a woman you’ve just met and are getting to know, until she expressly gives you permission or she touches you first.
i. Never try to kiss a woman unless you have asked and she gives permission, or she kisses you first.
j. Tell a woman how you want marriage and how many kids you have.
k. You MUST call a woman the very next day after a date to thank her and set up another date.
l. You must do everything a woman asks you.
m. You must never try to put a woman in her place.

6. Here’s the truth:

a. Be a confident man. Be kind and courteous, but be direct. Don’t mince words. Don’t be deferential, apologetic or obsequious merely for pursuing what you want.

b. Women want to be approached. Even if you get shot down 19 times, there’ll be one out of the 20 who will be interested. Women time and again give props to the man who knows what he wants and goes after it. The risk is great but the reward for the successful, persistent man is immeasurable. If you let it happen, you’ll be waiting forever – and you might miss out. Besides, what have you got to lose? What’s the worst that can happen? She says no? She’s not interested? She laughs at you? So what? I’ve been shot down, laughed at, made a laughingstock, been thrown out of parties and bars, had drinks thrown in my face, even been puked on. It will not kill you. You’ll live to talk about it another day.

c. A woman getting romantic with her best boy-buddy only happens in TV movies on Disney and Lifetime. Chemistry, people. It’s either there or it’s not. Odds are you’re never going to mix it up with one of your girl-buddies from class or in your major. She’s most likely already LJBF’d (Let’s Just Be Friends) you. Every romantic interest I ever had started out hot, with immediate and palpable sexual attraction. You know when it’s there and when it’s note.

d. When she’s just met you and on the first few dates, a woman definitely does not want to see you emote. She’s surrounded by girlfriends and BFFs who do nothing but emote all damn day long. She does not care how you feel. She wants to see how you do on her tests. Jeez, if you start talking about all your deep feelings, you’ll creep her out.

e. This is called putting her on a pedestal. Don’t do it. Don’t compliment her. Don’t tell her how beautiful, attractive or talented she is. You’re with her. You think she’s attractive. She knows you think that or you wouldn’t be there with her, genius. Don’t treat her like a queen. Treat her like a woman you’d like to get to know. If you pedestalize her, she’ll lose interest because you’ve just failed a basic test — you did not stand up to her.

f. This is absolutely crucial. If you don’t get anything else from this comment, get this: Women do not see physical appearance first. What gets their engines going are a man’s confidence, his comfort level, and his bearing (his presence, personality, and charisma). They also smell fear a mile away. If you’re afraid or fear rejection, they’ll know it – and crush you. That’s why confidence and comfort are vital.

g. Big mistake. Shut yer trap. Don’t talk so much. It’s not 20 Questions. Don’t interview her. Talk with her. Let her do most of the talking. And don’t submit to 20 Questions either- that’s a test. You’re there to meet interesting people and have a little fun. Reframe it. Shut down the interrogation on both ends. And don’t lean in and invade her space because you can’t hear her. It creeps her out. Remember – you don’t know her well and she’s getting to know you. Use it as an excuse to move her to another place in the house, party or bar.

h. Women respond to light touching on the forearm or back (but nowhere else). Touch when conversing to make a point. It establishes a connection and tests attraction. If she pulls away, that’s fine. Ignore it and move on to something else. Touch when directing her to face you or to move to another place. It shows you’re leading and giving direction. If she pulls away, fine. Ignore it and don’t touch again. You might need to move on and pull back entirely.

i. Don’t discuss kissing or ask about it. If it’s been a good date, and you think she’s receptive, make a move. What have you got to lose? If she turns away, you’ve got your answer. It will happen a lot. That’s OK.

j. NO. This creeps young women out. Don’t talk about marriage and kids unless that’s part of your game with this woman or you’re really serious about it (and you should not be serious about it on the second or third date).

k. NO. Don’t call her the next day. This beta move smacks of desperation, lack of confidence, and overeagerness. She knows you just want to get in her pants, but could you be a little more patient and subtle? Let her mull over it, commiserate with her BFFs, and stew in the juices. Give her a couple of days to consider you. Then call, but only if you’re interested. Even then, don’t show too much interest. And for God’s sake don’t give her a gift or flowers. It was a first date. She hasn’t earned this, and it will creep her out.

l. No, you must not do everything a woman asks you. This is a test. If you succumb to this, she’ll know she can walk all over you and will lose respect for you so fast it’ll make your head spin. You need to tell her no sometimes. Maybe you don’t want to do what she wants. Maybe her course of action is downright stupid. Maybe she’s a spoiled princess and no one’s ever said no to her. She needs to be told no. She needs you to help prevent her emotions, her hamster or her entitlement monkey from taking over.

m. Sometimes women do need to be restrained. They are a bundle of unbridled emotion and enzymes, which many times they don’t understand. This wouldn’t be so bad if they did not often let those feelings and hormones control their decisionmaking processes and higher functions. But they do, and so restraint is sometimes in order. Sometimes they must be told in no uncertain terms to STFU and STFD.


Filed under beta guide

25 responses to “Inner Game 101

  1. MrLettuce

    I really like all of these suggestions, but I do have a question:

    For Part G: what if she doesn’t talk much? What are some topics a guy should bring up to start conversation that won’t be “20 Questions”?

    (I’ve got a blind date this Friday, and am still figuring part G out. Thanks)

  2. For Part G: what if she doesn’t talk much? What are some topics a guy should bring up to start conversation that won’t be “20 Questions”?

    First of all, what woman doesn’t talk much?

    I covered some of this already:

    In a nutshell, it’s this –

    1. Ask her about events or people in her life. Listen closely.
    2. Then ask how she FEELS about those events and people in her life. Don’t listen so closely.

    Repeat as necessary.

    You’re welcome.

  3. MrLettuce


    Wow, that makes a lot of sense.

    It’s funny, I’m so new to this stuff, which in my retrospect of dating/hooking up, I should have already knew. I mean, this all makes sense, but I never grew up with it.

  4. detinennui32

    When you’re out and about, you don’t have to be as courteous as you would be in the workplace. You should eliminate “I’m sorry” and “excuse me” from your vocabulary when chatting up people. I was saying these entirely too much. To a woman you’re trying to get to know, these are words of deference and submission. They betray unease, nervousness and a lack of confidence.

  5. OffTheCuff

    Actually, don’t ask questions, unless it’s a basic nuts-and-bolts thing. Every time a question pops in your head, turn it into an observation — even if it’s intentionally incorrect. This gives her a chance to react affirmatively or negatively, and the reaction is what is important. Your goal is to get her to talk. Instead of “What/Why/How”, say “I bet/You probably/I’m sure that/I think/It looks like”.

    Practice talking like this all the time to women you are NOT dating.

  6. @MrLettuce: If you notice that a girl isn’t saying much and that you seem to be doing all the talking, just STFU and give her a cocky smirk. Give her a look that says “I’m not doing all the work here, OK?”

    Although I haven’t experienced that in person, when I was single, I did have some online conversations with lazy, monosyllabic women who wanted me to entertain them.

    Same principle. Silence is OK. You are only obliged to respond to polite and respectful questions. You don’t have to carry the conversation. Its a two-way street.

  7. @OffTheCuff: Exactly!

    Statements are more provocative than questions. It makes it more likely that she will react emotionally and feel compelled to speak.

  8. VI

    …go on a vacation alone…

    This is a big one. Being comfortable with yourself is in many ways the essence of inner game. After I traveled the world alone, I felt stronger and more sure of myself than I ever had in my life. Traveling alone also forces you to meet new people and have fun adventures. I could die today and have more adventure stories than most old men. A euro trip with your college buddies doesn’t really count. Grow a pair and go some place exotic by yourself.

    Experience with a lot of women also helps build your inner game. When you’ve sampled short, tall, brunette, blonde, ultra-feminine, tomboy, etc. you really get to know what you want and it’s harder for any one girl to really take you out of your frame. Yeah, she’s hot, so what? You’ve had a threesome with two girls who are hotter. Yeah, she’s feminine, so what? You’ve had more feminine girls ask you to impregnate them. With all that experience, you stop following your dick’s impulses and start to focus on what you really want in a woman.

  9. JLW

    Mostly good, but I have to tell you: looks matter alot. People pair off through assortive mating based on sexual market value. Despite what you may want to believe and what millions of people have been spewing for centuries (generally fake “nice” people who give BS advice like “be a nice guy” and people who are trying to sell you something), there are some absolute standards of physical attractiveness. Several recent studies have shown that, for example, asymmetrical features are consistently less attractive than symmetrical ones. There are even computer models now that are able to determine with a reasonably good degree of certainty how a given face will be rated by the majority of people.

    [Whether this trait varies by society is irrelevant, as least as a
    practical matter. We are in the society we are in and we need to learn
    to live and work with it.]

    I think it’s obvious there are absolute standards, although some people will insist it only works for “extreme” cases. We’ve all seen some guy or gal who is incredibly homely. Maybe there is someone out there who finds this person attractive, but 99.9% of us aren’t going to think so. There’s a reason, more likely several reasons; the phenomenon is real and should not be ignored or denied. We can’t change these things (assuming we want to) by pretending it’s not there.

    It’s not the media either. It’s built-in, hardwired from birth. Clearly we have expectations for what is “extremely beautiful”, and much of that is influenced by the media, but the transition point from plain to “ugly” seems to be fairly consistent among the majority of people.

    For whatever reasons the subject of ugliness is often avoided. People just don’t want to talk about it in a serious way. (A friend points out that many things are not discussed in a serious way, but that’s rather obvious. I find this subject particularly interesting because it has a significant but frequently non-obvious effect on so many aspects of our lives.)

    People sometimes feel guilty because they find someone unattractive. Example: I was seeing a very nice girl a while ago who found me quite
    unattractive, and it took her a long time to admit this and even longer to accept that it was an unresolvable issue for her. I ended up being far more hurt than if she’d just been honest up front. Ditto with the numerous silent rejections and other techniques women have used with me over the years. My experience has been that saying nothing really sucks–as do the obvious lies like “looks don’t matter”. Looks matter. Alot.

    People are heavily conditioned never to acknowledge ugliness in others. It’s “not nice” to recognize that a person is unattractive, even when it is indisputably true. Of course, actually rejecting someone because he is ugly is considered just fine–as long as you don’t admit that’s why you rejected him.

    Also, people don’t like recognizing weaknesses that are beyond the person’s control. It messes up their whole “I’m the master of my own fate” narrative that they use to comfort themselves. They prefer a version of a world where one gets by purely on internal factors — motivation, drive, etc. — that supposedly are completely under one’s control.

    (Incidentally, the flip side of the internal-determination theory is that it helps them assign blame. If someone’s unsuccessful, they’re not trying hard enough).

    Also, there are a number of common platitudes about the subjectivity of beauty (e.g., eye of the beholder). People take those quite seriously, even though, like I said above, studies show that there’s actually quite widespread agreement on what’s attractive and what’s not.

    Looks matter.


    [I’m not sure where in my earlier post or this one anyone claimed looks didn’t matter. I advised a balding man that he was not a sexual leper. Most of us have some non-attractive physical trait or another and we should mitigate them rather than resign ourselves to failure and loneliness; that’s a lot different than saying “looks don’t matter.”]

  10. JLW

    “This is absolutely crucial. If you don’t get anything else from this comment, get this: Women do not see physical appearance first.”

    That’s what my aside was directed at. At any rate, yall keep downplaying and explaining and pontificating about how women feel about looks/height/age/baldness. I just observe. And what I see is assortive mating based on sexual market value. So, with regards to this point, I can either believe the heated arm-waving and verbose explanations or I can believe my own eyes. With all due respect to you as host and the other posters, I’ll take the latter.

    [You’re attacking a straw man, knocking down an argument nobody is making. I haven’t argued that women find bald guys on magazine covers hot or dream about riding cowgirl atop short guys. What I have argued is that a bald/short/whatever guy can be successful in the SMP – not downplaying it, in fact I specifically said some women will straight-up reject you for it. Who’s waving their arms?]

  11. detinennui32

    Agreed that science and experience have identified certain physical traits and attributes in men and women that the other find attractive and that these hold constant across cultures, races and demographics. Agreed that looks do matter. A lot.

    But looks matter more to men than to women.

    A woman has to be physically appealing to the man in order to get and keep him. A man does not necessarily have to be comparably physically appealing to get and keep a woman. Also, a woman’s most valuable attributes are physical appearance and youth. Think about it – what’s the first thing you notice about a woman? Be honest – you’re sizing up her body. Face, hair, breasts, legs, waist-hip ratio. You’re looking her up and down, top to bottom, to make sure she’s physically attractive to you. And you can do this in seconds or less. You know almost immediately if she measures up. If she doesn’t pass your attractiveness test, you’re saying “NEXT!” And we do it without even thinking about it. We’re hardwired that way.

    When I first saw every woman I ever had an attachment to, I could not have cared less about her job, her accomplishments, her GPA, her IQ, her family situation, her backstory or her income. My sole concern was whether she looked good in a miniskirt, how much effort it would take to get that miniskirt off her, and what we would do to and for each other once said skirt was off.

    A man’s most valuable attributes, on the other hand, are his confidence, charisma and power. What’s the first thing a woman notices about a man? Not his physical appearance. She notices first the way he carries himself, the way he speaks, how well he dresses, if he appears to be comfortable with himself. He can be Bruce Beefcake and all muscles and beautiful hair. But if he acts like a dork who can’t get it together, or can’t carry on a conversation, or doesn’t neg a little, or he’s 40 years old and works the graveyard shift at the Piggly Wiggly for minimum wage, or doesn’t know anything about anything other than World of Warcraft, she’s saying “NEXT!” When she meets you, she wants to be physically pleased, sure. But that’s not as important as whether you look and act like you can (1) stand up to her, (2) stand up for yourself, (3) defend her against threats, (4) earn a decent living so you can provide for her, and (5) gather and devote resources to her and her children. Cary Grant and Brad Pitt can do that, but so can Steve Buscemi and Jack Black.

  12. MrLettuce


    Wow, this stuff really works! I’ve been asking less questions, and using more observations with the people I talk to, dates included. It really changes the power/control of the conversation.

    [The Badger Hut’s first success story, although I can’t take entire credit for it by any means. It warms the cockles of my heart.]

  13. OffTheCuff

    Mr. Lettuce: Thanks for the update. Bravo for giving it a try and judging for yourself, rather than dismissing it as “parlor tricks” as most people do. (I wonder if we’re witnessing a Red Pill moment here.)

  14. MrLettuce


    I can’t say I agree with all parts of Game, but I’m willing to learn and try before judging it.

    I’d definitely say it’s a Red Pill moment. I’ve started getting into Game about two-three months ago.

  15. JLW

    at detinennui32 and our gracious host:

    I more or less agree with everything detinennui32 says up to the beginning of his/her last paragraph. I have no comment about that outside of the fact that flakiness in a woman will curse her to meaningless relationships (to her) as astute, worthwhile men will move on. Therefore, I agree with you that while looks resonate most importantly immediately, her character will certainly come into play eventually.

    WRT to the last, I generally agree as well. However, and this is big, it’s all a matter of degree. The most attractive women have many suitors. They can choose from attractive men who have it together and unattractive men who have it together. Every scrape of empirical evidence I’ve ever seen plainly tells me they choose the former.

    From what I see, both sexes reject physically unattractive members of the opposite sex in about the same ratios, it simply happens that women have a slightly broader definition of “attractive”. Women are also more likely to be accepting of ugly men in tests because we as a society place more value on acceptance (and often hold women to a higher standard), but I think in real life the rejection rates are very similar. Age also has an effect as well; older men and women are more accepting.

    Success in life doesn’t always make up for it either. I’ve had a very successful life by many standards, but back before I redirected my efforts to more fruitful directions, I had terrific struggles getting dates with women I found attractive. (Looks aren’t the only issue for me, but it’s one more hurdle I have to overcome.)

    Everybody gets somebody if they are willing to accept anybody. But the bottom line is that looks-wise unattractiveness in men matters, less so than in women due to their broader definition, but it still matters. In certain unfortunate cases, it forever precludes a man from being able to attract a mate that, in turn, he finds attractive.

    What should such a man do? Nowhere on the interwebs is this question answered.

    Here’s my own answer to that question: acceptance, responsibility, action. Those are the keywords of living. Accepting ourselves for what we are is the first step. Whether we are insanely pretty or horribly deformed (but most probably somewhere in between), within certain margins, we are what we are and no amount of wishing will change this. This step will require self-honesty and insight, and may take years and the help of a trained professional.

    Blaming all our troubles on looks is equally wrong. We need to take responsibility for our actions, and admit that no single thing is completely responsible for who we are and where we are in life. Being physically unattractive is (fortunately) one of the more minor problems in one’s life, at least in most situations, and certainly less important as time goes on, as age gradually eclipses prettiness and ugliness in equal measure.

    Change what we can change; accept what we cannot. The only ways we can
    improve our lives is through acceptance and through action.

  16. MrLettuce


    Actually, I had a question: what would be a good idea for a second date? My idea was to take this gal either salsa dancing or for drinks at a night-time museum event. Your thoughts?

  17. MrL,

    Quick reaction: I highly recommend against the salsa dancing. There’s a lot of touching involved which requires/creates emotional investment she may not be ready for, and unless you’ve REALLY pumped her up with your alphaness, she may be bashful about the dynamic moves required esp in public. This goes double if you are a gifted dancer – it’s possible to DHV yourself out of her league if she feels she’s just a spectator while you show off.

    What kind of museum is this? Sounds like a good opportunity whatever it is. Museum events tend to have some interesting swanky people which will give you some secular (non-sexual) preselection vibe. Great opportunity to location-jump, “let’s blow this joint and find a place to afterparty.”

  18. MrLettuce


    That makes sense about the Salsa dancing. I’m not a great dancer, but rather a confident one. I’m comfortable with dancing even if I’m not great at it. (Though, Salsa dancing doesn’t give much one-on-one time, or a chance to change venues).

    The museum is a natural history museum in the ATL area, and is an adults only event. I’ve been there before, and it’s basically mixed drinks, live music, and a few walking exhibits you can check out. There’s a few nice restaurants/pubs near by, which would allow for a change of venue. So, I’ll probably stick with the museum event.

  19. OffTheCuff

    Agree with Badger… salsa dancing could be a nuclear DHV if she has no out. Deploy it carefully. However, you can still leverage it in a safer way, by talking about it, or briefly visiting a dance club for a drink.

  20. From what you’ve told me, the museum is totally the right choice. A great thing about a date like this is you can socialize with other people without her feeling ignored, you can move between social groups and show her you’re a guy who work a room. Plus you’ll probably be wearing classy clothes which is a nice touch.

    “However, you can still leverage it in a safer way, by talking about it, or briefly visiting a dance club for a drink.”

    Sounds like the date-planning equivalent of “just the tip.”

  21. MrLettuce

    I gave her about three days after our date – she picked up on the fourth ring (surprising for me, since I usually got the answering machine pre-Game). Told her about the place, and the time and date, and she said it sounded good. We chatted for about half hour after that, and then I had to excuse myself (always leave them wanting more).

    All and all, so far so good.

  22. Pingback: Radical Inner Game | barbi games

  23. Jennifer

    Thank you Badger and detin, this is a much better list of advice than some give. It’s non-manipulative, reasonable, assertive without being jerky, and easily shows that not all women are the same (you acknowledge that they react differently).

    “I’ve been shot down, laughed at, made a laughingstock, been thrown out of parties and bars, had drinks thrown in my face, even been puked on”

    LOL Wow.

  24. Pingback: Deti on “The Cliff” | The Badger Hut

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