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: