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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3 responses to “A Great Analogy on Scarcity Mentality

  1. Jimmy

    Excellent post. I’ve always felt that legitimately getting rid of the scaricity mentality is the single most effective step a guy can take, but it’s also the most difficult.

    As you said, it isn’t a switch that can just be flipped off. There has to be some kind of positive reinforcement supporting it.

  2. Jzb

    In my case, there were a variety of factors that led to my scarcity mentality:

    1.) not having the track record of success with women
    2.) being an overly zealous evangelical Christian (which meant I took the notion of self restraint a bit too overboard to the point of not even approaching girls or flirting).
    3.) Being overly zealous to the point of fringe communities with a lack of female talent.

    Ultimately the lack of success, options, and some messed up spiritual beliefs led to a major scarcity mentality.

    Post red pill I’ve definitely found myself stuck in the emotions of scarcity mentality, but rationally I pushed through and did not stick around when mediocre options showed interest.

    There are two things that are really helping me pubs through the scarcity mindset:

    1.) Going to places where there are lots of beautiful women.

    2.) Approaching said women.

    Now I’m in a unique scenario because I’m overseas for business. As a result it’s easier for me to DHV (I don’t rally have to demonstrate, I think it’s intrinsic because I’m an American foreigner – I.e. Exotic).
    Anyway I was dating a hottie down here for few months. By far the most beautiful woman I’ve ever been with. She flaked out on me and I was really bummed about it. The next weekend I was out at a bar and was making out with another cute girl a half hour after I approached. That same night another hottie made eye contact with me from across the room and pointed me out to verify that it was me she was indeed looking at. I approached but it didn’t lead anywhere as she couldn’t speak English and was a bit shy.

    Nonetheless I think the basic principles are the same. Once you realize there are a lot of beautiful single women out there, and once you start approaching and finding some success, you stop freaking out.

    Anyway I don’t write that stuff to brag about my game because it sucks and I’m learning. But I’m experiencing small victories and slowly breaking out of the beta prison I’ve been sentenced to/built myself for most of my life.

  3. A friend and I were talking the other day about scarcity and outcome independence – it was interesting because he made the comment that “that we if you think there is a limit, then you don’t want to burn your bridges. Once you get over that, then you have to realize that you can’t get discouraged if you get shot down or even get happy if you get with them”.

    So if you can get over one, then it becomes much easier to get over the other. But you can’t care if the interaction is positive or negative – your life remains them. Thought it was an interesting observation.

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