AMOGing and Apples

The situation of a guy coming into your space and puffing himself up trying to insert himself as is a classic field problem in the pickup world, and in life in general. The PUAs dubbed the problem and its solutions “AMOGing,” for Alpha Male Of the Group, codifying it as a fight for dominance between anonymous rivals.

One of the prototype AMOG solutions is to play low status in a caricatured way – get overtly deferential and treat the guy as Mr. Big Dog Smarty Pants. A lot of guys can’t handle having the frame completely handed to them like that. It’s like opening a door towards you when someone is leaning on it on the other side. (Who knew the Three Stooges were social dynamics experts?) You could see it as a form of agree-and-amplify, making the guy wonder if he’s overplayed his hand.

Another solution is to play moderator: let him talk a bit, then turn to the rest of the group and ask what they think of what he said, which re-sets you as the leader of the group without having to say much at all.

Yet another solution is to just let the guy run his mouth and make a bloody fool of himself. Then you can easily knock him over, and the group will like you for getting rid of that pretentious blowhard. The kind of guy who feels the need to invade another social group and take it over carte blanche is bound to say something stupid or bore people in the process. A guy with preliminary value might be able to hack it, as ESPN broadcaster Chris Berman did with his famous “you’re with me, leather” come-on, but in general a skilled socializer is not going to come into a new group of people and act like he’s the boss without any introduction or rapport.

Check out the double-AMOG sequence in this scene from “Good Will Hunting” (the first modern bromance.)

Chuckie (Ben Affleck, pre-JLo) bullshits Skylar (Minnie Driver) and friend with an opener about having a class together. They see through it but seem mildly charmed by his efforts. Arrogant dude with a ponytail* decides to call him on it with a “you’re not our kind” routine, and persists even when Skylar gets annoyed and tells him to bug off. Rule #2 of pickup: don’t go where you’re not welcome. (Rule #1 is “approach.”)

As Ponytail is trying to flex against Chuckie by showing off his book smarts, Will inserts himself and reveals that a thug from Southie can talk smart too – the thing about book smarts is that anyone can read the books. He completely deflates Ponytail’s appeal to educational status and then blows out of the set.

It’s a showdown of Boston’s two defining groups – the Brahmin intellectual class and the blue-collar townies. The townie cares less, and wins.

Ladies, note also that Skylar re-approaches him, qualifies him and gives him her number without him asking…a good show of female agency.

Once on the street, Will doesn’t waste the opportunity to tell Ponytail “I win.”

*The walking grad student stereotype compels me to drop this:


Filed under beta guide, dating and field game, media

14 responses to “AMOGing and Apples

  1. Hare Krsna

    Srila Prabhupada’s teachings on women and anti-feminism

    The purpose of this essay is to address the issue of feminism and misandry (hatred of men, the opposite of misogyny) and how it has destroyed modern society. We will be analyzing many of the statements made by Srila Prabhupada about women, their role in society, and the anti-feminism stance of his teachings.

  2. Johnny Milfquest

    I think that there are three kinds of situation here.

    1. You’re talking to a woman that you don’t know very well and the AMOG/BMOG inserts himself into the conversation.

    In the that situation, either execute a simple back-turn (hat tip: collegeslacker) or excuse yourself to go somewhere else (drink, call of nature, phone call, cigarette, etc).

    Random women that you don’t know are *definitely* not worth fighting over.

    2. Man addresses himself directly to you in a challenging or aggressive way without referencing any particular girl.

    Example: Young kid (possibly under 18?) comes up to me in a booth at a club and asks “who do you know around the table?”

    I ignored the challenge, asked his name and offered my hand. He ignores my hand and asks me again. I pointed to one of the girls and said “I KNOW [TALL CHICK]”.

    He backed off. Smart move. If he hadn’t, then there would have been a physical confrontation. He would have got badly hurt. That has nothing to do with meeting women. That’s just self-respect.

    3. Man tries to puts the moves on the woman you came out with. That happened to me twice on Saturday night within 30 minutes. It had never happened to me before. I couldn’t stop smiling. Its a huge compliment!

    Hang back and let the man spit his Game. He’s no threat to you. Allow your girl to turn him down. Its not your job. Buy him a drink after he gets blown out!

  3. Alpha

    Another solution is to play moderator: let him talk a bit, then turn to the rest of the group and ask what they think of what he said, which re-sets you as the leader of the group without having to say much at all.

    That is solid gold!

    Last night I re-entered a set I had previously opened and had minor social proof in (I had met 2 of the 4 people earlier, set was now 2 guys 2 girls). The girl I hadn’t met before immediately became infatuated with me, qualifying herself and so on – but the second guy (the one I hadn’t met before) – tried to anti-AMOG me and push me out of the set.

    He moved his chair in front of me and literally cut me out of the group by sitting in front of me.

    Anti-anti-AMOG tactic: Hug it out!

    I threw my arms up in mock disbelief and shouted, “This guy!” which got hte group laughing. I then walked around, stood in front of him (putting me literally in the center of the group) and said, “Hey bro, I’m feeling some hostility. You just cut me out of your group. I don’t know what I did but I didn’t mean to offend you. C’mon, lets hug it out.”

    At which point I threw my arms around him in a big, flamboyant hug. He laughed and pushed me and said, “i’m sorry bro, I just .. i didn’t mean to do that to you. I liked the spot where you were standing and wanted to sit there. My bad bro.”
    “Its all good man.”

    Notice I never apologized for crashing his set, but in the end HE apologized for ruining my set-crashing lol The power of a solid frame.

  4. Alpha

    I don’t mean to double comment like this, but I have to add:

    Buy him a drink after he gets blown out!

    Ha! I laughed so hard when I read that. I’m putting that on my list of things to do

  5. Opus

    Some years ago whilst chatting-up a young woman who I had not previously met, an older if not old man burst in on our conversation and attempted to take over. I let him do so, as I had no intention of fighting an old man (just as Don Giovanni refused to fight The Comendatore). It would be demeaning to do so. The woman seeing my reluctance attempted to shame me into verbally fighting for her, but I did not change my stance. Such a woman was not worth wasting my time over.

  6. mgwk

    Razib Khan linked the same scene from “Good Will Hunting” today at GNXP. For him, it illustrates an entirely different subject (shortcomings of the typical Liberal Arts collegiate experience). Good points on that topic at >a href=””>Think right, not deep.

  7. I wonder if simply ignoring the AMOG when he started spewing all that book smarts diatribe, then look him in the eye pat him on the shoulder and tell him ‘hey seems like you got a good thing going there with that booksmarts, good for you’, and then turn to the girl and go ‘can you believe how smart this guy is?!..anyway where were we…’ thoughts?

  8. JXlin

    @PUA Vault

    The second statement makes it seem like you’re just validating his position that he’s smarter than you, even if by smart you actually mean a smart ass. If he leaves you might be okay, but it leaves you on somewhat shaky ground.

    It’d be better to re-frame the situation as him being socially awkward. “Can you believe how awkward/weird that guy is?”

    Or call him out on his crap like in the video.

    “Are you seriously trying to impress me with a bunch of facts you memorized out of a textbook? Surely you can do better than that.”

  9. Johnny, you bring up one other response – don’t frame it as an AMOG at all, simply treat the guy as another person in the circle. In competitive social environments it can be hard to remember that lots of people still just want to have a good time and meet some people, and if you make it easy to do that you diffuse their flexing and show high value at the same time.


    “The woman seeing my reluctance attempted to shame me into verbally fighting for her, but I did not change my stance. Such a woman was not worth wasting my time over.”

    Smart move. Never fall for the “let’s you and him fight.” Women who try to arrange that “fight for me” frame are playing a jealousy game. It takes some focus to not get trapped by it, as she’s preying on your naturally competitive nature.

    PUA Vault/JXlin,

    Not to be pedantic, but the “he’s so smart!” is a form of the assume-the-beta-position response which obviously takes a lot less time than Will letting Ponytail dig himself a hole. He’s yakking to try to impress people, so quickly saying, “yeah, we’re impressed already, nice job,” gives him what he wants…but not really, since his value didn’t get him into the group.

    This stuff is wild to think about. And don’t call me Shirley.

  10. Pingback: AMOGing « The Alpha Persona

  11. Pingback: Happy Birthday to the Badger Hut, Part 2: Best Posts | The Badger Hut

  12. don

    There are no set rules to being an AMOG, but you just cant let people mess with your turf. Great reference to good will hunting, we would all love to be in that position.

  13. Kim

    Hello Alpha Persona,

    I have another AMOG line to suggest. What do you think about this line:

    PUA to AMOG: “Hey, dude, you are a real pick up artist, either, aren’t you?
    I imagine you how you get into every girl’s pants”.

    Now the AMOG can either negate this with: “No, I’m not so good” – which makes him lower his value by DLVing himself or he says something like: “Yeah, dude, that’s right, I get every girl” – which makes him look like a low value fool, too, because he comes off bragging. In both ways he lowers his value.

    What do ya think about this line? Would you recommend it or not?

  14. Kim,

    Thanks for commenting. That sort of “you must really be good with the ladies” thing has been done. Accusing him of being a PUA is kind of a nice touch, will really put a guy on the defensive. However, this isn’t hard to squeak out of, if you have a good frame of nonchalance. “I’m just here enjoying a drink, man.”

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