- On ‘Game’ and ‘Pick-up’
- The Foundations
- Stop Thinking and Start Being (Enjoy The Process)
- Be Willing to Let Go
- Lower Your Ego
- Be Confident – in who you are
- Be More Accepting, Non-Judging
- Be More Compassionate
- Be Playful, Positive and Don’t Take The Interaction Too Seriously
- Lead The Interaction and Set The Frame (if this is you)
- Common Psychological Phenomena
- Trust The Process
- Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick
This post details the lessons I’ve learned thus far regarding male-female relationships. I don’t proclaim to be a master or anything like that.
This post simply attempts to fit dating into a Zen and Buddhist lifestyle paradigm and give over some lessons I’ve learned over time. This post is more for me than it is for you. I wrote it so that I don’t forget the lessons I’ve learned.
My ideas may or may not resonate with you. You should always only apply what does resonate with you. These ideas are made to fit my own life and might not fit with yours.
My main goal isn’t actually to get a girl, but to be the happiest and live the most effortless life possible. I’m not even sure these tips will help you attract a girl. But from my perspective, it will help me attract the right girl.
Being in a bad relationship can take its toll on your health and being in a good relationship is associated with many health benefits.
Since I have a guy’s perspective, I can only speak from my angle.
Almost all of these concepts are helpful to better your relations with people in general. They’re all simple, but some are not easy.
My goal isn’t to change for the sake of being more attractive to women. My goal is to be happier, live a better life and be the most of me that I can be. If I am like this, then I have a certain kind of faith that I will meet someone right for me. And if I don’t then there’s no other path that I would’ve wanted to take anyway. It’s a win-win.
Although I think people should learn to be happy being alone, it’s not something that’s generally suited for human nature.
I think a relationship can help you grow as well. There are some things about life that women are more intuitive in than men and I’ve learned quite a bit from this. Being around someone you respect can be the best learning and growth experience ever.
Remember, your environment has a massive impact on you. The girlfriend you choose can be the most significant environmental impact because you are around them often. Whatever they’re like, they will influence you. If they’re constantly depressed, anxious, angry, jealous, unkind, then this will have an impact on you. Be very careful with whom you surround yourself.
Even if it were the case that my ‘strategy’ or blueprint doesn’t have the broadest appeal, I don’t care because it feels right with me and it’s something that I can respect. It’s me. There’s no other way.
On ‘Game’ and ‘Pick-up’
Many of my male readers are probably involved in what’s called ‘Game’. If you haven’t realized that it doesn’t work yet, you soon will.
In short, ‘Game’ is an effort to tweak yourself to make you more appealing to women. You memorize lines, try to have a certain attitude (macho, cool, tough, alpha, serious), etc…
I love the guys who think they need to be aloof, act tough, be cool, wear ridiculous articles of clothing (‘Peacock’), say a good line or whip out some trick to attract women.
‘Game’ is overall damaging to guys because not only will it not work, but it may destroy your chances with girls who genuinely like your type.
Perhaps the worst aspect of ‘Game’ is that it stunts your long-term development, even if you find it helps you in the short term. It emphasizes all the wrong things.
I say you shouldn’t make any changes solely to attract women if it doesn’t make you happier as well. You should only try to become a happier person – and if you are happy and comfortable with yourself, you will also be a better and kinder person to other people and women will appreciate you more. People gravitate to happy and positive people.
I’m not going to say that everything about Game is bad because there’s quite an eclectic mix of advice. Game did help some people that I know for short periods of time, but you’re better off without it. Any important information that it offers is spoken about here.
Most of the benefit that these guys got was just from a communal framework and support system to feel comfortable approaching women. It also has some basic social psychological advice that is contained within this post. Otherwise, some of the concepts are common sense or would flow out of natural behavior if you just rid yourself of the bullshit.
The real problem is that Game is mixed with a lot of shit that will make you even worse with women – and a worse human being.
Everyone who I know that was seriously engaged in this Game pursuit became depressed. This is because it’s not natural and the goal is getting the girl in bed instead of actually trying to become happy.
The following form the foundation of being a better you and attract the best girl for you. They’re are all simple, but not easy.
There is no substitute for experience. Actually, that’s probably the only thing that matters.
Forget about all the books and get out there and speak to women, because there is no close second.
I could tell you until tomorrow to not get overexcited about a girl, but until you get overexcited and burned, it will be irrelevant. Your system will adapt.
Dating Isn’t Like Computer Programming
Human relations and life are more of an art, not a science.
Technical men have a hard time understanding this. We think life and dating are like software that needs debugging or some technical problem that we need to use more of our brains to solve. Typical male brain. Girls are way ahead of the curve here and are much more intuitive.
The whole life-hacking movement is really popular with Silicon Valley-type technical-minded men because it’s the way we think. All we need to do is develop a hack or algorithm and think our way through the problem.
When you try to follow step-by-step manuals on how to live life, you’re just going to kill your flow and increase your OCD. You get ever more stuck in your head and you live a less experiential life. This is one reason why ‘Game’ is so bad.
Living life is simply too complex for it to be learned in a manual fashion. There’s no logic to it like there is in programming. Therefore, by studying manuals on these complex processes is going to have the opposite of its intended effect.
I’m vehemently against the hacking approach with both life and dating, even though I’ve historically gotten sucked into it. These approaches are not the way to a good life. Save it for science and tech.
Attraction Isn’t a Choice
This is a subcategory of a larger concept that I discuss (see the illusion of choice). Game mentions it, but you don’t need to read Game to realize this.
The elevator summary is that just like we don’t choose to like chocolate, the smell of roses, the sensual experience of sex or feeling appreciated, women don’t choose to be attracted to you or not. And you don’t choose to be attracted to her looks or personality.
The forces that make women attracted to you are beyond her, just like the forces that cause you to be attracted to her are beyond you.
If she gives you reasons, you can ignore them because people don’t understand why they do what they do. Do you really know why you like the taste of a juicy strawberry or why something is beautiful?
To a certain extent, your behavior will influence her attraction to you, but Game places way too much emphasis on this.
Instead of trying to use tricks that don’t work, you simply need to find your type (I discuss this later).
There are some basic human psychological concepts that can influence her attraction independent of your type and I discuss them in this post.
Those same behaviors that attract her will make your experience more exciting and fun as well.
But you shouldn’t focus on behaving in a certain way to attract her.
If you find yourself not acting in this way, then you’re too much in your head. Learn how to stop thinking and start feeling (should happen naturally if you follow other parts of this program).
Accordingly, you shouldn’t use logic to convince her to be with you. People, especially women, operate through emotions, not logic.
If you are using logic alone when interested in a girl, then you are not appreciating the experiential side of a relationship.
Understand Who You Are And What You Want From Life
You must understand what you want from life and find those people who will help you get there so that you can be happiest.
For me, I like self-improvement, simplicity, little drama, nature, good-hearted people, being healthy, curious, analytical, friendly, carefree – to name some examples that come to mind readily.
My aim is to find someone who has similar likings and inclinations. Sorority and party girls don’t usually fit into this category. Professionals (doctors, lawyers, accountants) often don’t either – they often care too much about everything and are too square. So for me, I know I likely need more of a creative type who’s a bit nerdy like myself.
I see men chasing after girls that are not their type at all. This will lead you to become miserable.
Before you try finding someone who suits you, it might be a good idea to find the real you – as in what you truly want out of life.
Be Your Best Self
There are three general ways you can be your best self.
The first is by letting go of attachments, the second is to get into the being/experiencing mode and the third is by pursuing your passion/purpose/mission.
To be my best self, I work on simplifying, letting go (of my Ego and life in general), acceptance, living more experientially, being more compassionate, being more self-aware, making a decent income and most importantly pursuing my passion and creating great value in the world (working on the last one).
This is the man that I want to be because I am happiest in this way, no matter if it works with women or not (it works for a certain type).
Your best self is the you that is hanging out with a good friend or family member, not trying to be anything or have any goals. It’s those moments, hours or days when you and your friends are cracking jokes, being playful and not taking yourselves too seriously. You’re not in your head thinking about what the other person is thinking about you. You simply are.
To be your best self, you need to also find your purpose/mission in life and you don’t want to get into a relationship that disturbs this mission. This is especially the case for me.
When I am not engaged my passion, my focus starts to scatter and I start to feel ‘ungrounded’ and empty. This ungrounded vibe then causes me to act in ways that I don’t feel are truly me.
In following your passion, you’re more likely to meet the girl that’s your type because you’re a more congruent whole. If I would’ve gone to law school at 24, I would’ve attracted the girls who are into profession status, which aren’t the girls I’m ultimately interested it.
Accordingly, you should never to try to make it happen. I have this false notion that I need to try to make it work first and then let it flow effortlessly. Never again (hopefully). It should flow from a relatively early period. And be ready to let go if it doesn’t.
When I’ve tried to hard to make it work, it just completely distracted me from my passion and purpose. I became more OCD and my flow was killed. My productivity tanked. I wasn’t able to engage in the serious research that produces cutting-edge information. If someone comes along and it happens naturally, then I’m willing to go with the flow.
Both the emotional highs and lows of a romance are very distracting. Some of it is necessary, but the way to be more balanced is to appreciate a relationship for its present moment value – not for future rewards. If you truly just appreciate someone for that moment and you aren’t trying to get somewhere, then you will seamlessly be emotionally balanced and be able to pursue your mission in life and date at the same time.
Don’t do this to get a girl. Do this to be happier for yourself. I’m happiest when I’m fully engaged in my purpose. If you are distracted from your purpose, you’ll be less happy and ironically less likely to get the girl. Build your value for yourself first and the girls will come.
Stop Thinking and Start Being (Enjoy The Process)
In order to be your best self, you need to learn/practice in going from the thinking mode to the being/experiencing mode.
Guys like me can approach socializing in an intellectual and analytical way. Since I’m mostly engaged in intellectual pursuits and that’s what I enjoy, I tend to infuse that into social situations.
What I’ve learned is, to have enjoyable social encounters, you need to shut the analytical/critical thinking mind down to a large extent – for your own enjoyment as well. If you are going through life with only one orientation, then I think you are missing some of what it means to be human.
Intellectual/analytical conversations can certainly be enriching with people and I love having them, but your general orientation when socializing should be experiential, not intellectual.
If you are very goal oriented this will be hard for you.
In a sense, dating is like an onion. We goal oriented people try to peel it as fast as we can to get to a core or some future point until we realize that an onion is all skins and no center. You must enjoy the skins if you are to enjoy the onion. In the same way, you must enjoy your current experience with her.
And you can’t convince yourself of this. People can easily see if you’re genuinely enjoying the experience.
If you’re doing this as a hack to get a hot girl, then it’s not going to make you happy in the long run. You have to really enjoy someone’s company for the relationship to flow and you should focus on that – not goals.
If someone is meant for you, you will naturally enjoy their experience without any effort and they will enjoy yours (as long as act your true self.)
If you’re going out trying to accumulate numbers or the number of lays you have for the sake of your ego, then you’re just missing the point.
Along the same lines, if you are trying to seek out a girl, you must enjoy the venue that you are thinking of approaching them in. I can enjoy bars, but that’s not where I have the most enjoyable experiences.
This can get knotty informal dating or high-pressure situations. In such a situation, you both know you’re doing it on purpose, which takes much of the experiential side out of it.
This doesn’t mean you should suppress your logical side. That’s part of who you are and if a girl is meant for you, she’ll appreciate this aspect about you. But you need to know how to get in touch with your emotional side.
If you get into the being/experiential mode, you won’t ever get anxiety about conversational silence. If the conversation goes flat, then just experience that for what it is. You should enjoy her experience even when there’s no talking.
Part of the experiential approach is to not try to explain with words too much about what’s going on.
As an expressive thinker without a filter, I often find myself explaining things (to a girl or other people) such as my emotional state, what’s going on in my mind, etc…
I’ve realized that communication should be done with behavior and vibe. If you feel some way, it will come out in your behavior, tone, and expressions. Let that be your main mode of communication, instead of words.
It’s certainly fine/good to express in words….but the point is that however you feel, it will come out without any words.
There are five ways to get more experiential:
First, you need to direct your focus outward rather than be in your head thinking.
Second, you need to ask yourself if you genuinely just enjoy female ‘energy’ – a positive and friendly female vibe. If you do, then even brief interactions with women that go nowhere can be enjoyable. I think it’s natural for men to enjoy female energy. If I enjoy someone’s energy on a more long term basis, then that’s someone I’d want to date long term. When I look at it like this, then I genuinely don’t care about any end goals because the process itself is enjoyable.
Third, you need to start socializing more. When I’m cooped up in my room for a while, I don’t meditate and I’m engaged in intellectual tasks, my logical brain gets out of control.
Fourth, you should realize the fundamental truth that someone’s attraction for you can change from one minute to the next. You have to enjoy it for what it’s worth in that moment.
Fifth, mindfulness-meditation is a practice that can help you live more experientially.
Bottom line: People – especially women- almost always prefer emotional experiences rather than intellectual ones. Engage emotions, not intellect. Save your logical mind for science and tech.
Most people who are giving or paying for dating advice have the end goal of ‘getting’ someone.
This is a terrible way of looking at human relationships or dating. It’ll harm your social interactions.
Any kind of social interaction, including dating, should not have an end goal to it.
Your only goal for dating should be to experience another human being, and it goes without saying that you should only continue it if the experience makes you happier or more fulfilled in some way.
Romantic relationships can enhance our lives if they flow and they’re with the right people.
Regarding happiness, the worst goal that you can have is to lay a girl. I find guys who go out with solely this intention are generally insecure in a way and have a big ego. Laying a girl shouldn’t be viewed as some trophy or prize. If your goal is to maximize the number of girls you have sex with, you will be unhappy. Everyone who I see goes out solely to lay, girls, isn’t happy. They are just empty and try to fill that void with pumping up their ego. I’m not against meaningless sex, but don’t do it out of insecurity or to satisfy your ego. It’s only going to make you more insecure and crave more ‘trophies’.
Your aim should be to experience another human being, flow with them and someone who you can show affection and kindness to – and receive it as well. Sexual play is a way to enhance this experience, but the focus should be on the overall experience – not on specifics.
It shouldn’t be about the future. It should be about the present. You should ask yourself, what if it all crumbled in one second.
The end goal here is for you to be happy/live a better life (isn’t that the point of it all?). It’s not for you to get a specific girl that you have your eye on or get laid.
My personal preference isn’t quantity, but quality. I’d rather one girl with whom I genuinely click than a thousand girls who I somewhat click with.
Be Willing to Let Go
The two key ideas in Zen are letting go and acceptance. It’s that simple, but these are a lifelong mission, not a passing accomplishment.
The nature of people is to form attachments, so we need to keep letting go. There’s no escaping this.
Having OCD is the worst thing in dating.
Relationships require a mix of letting go and attachment. When one is out of balance with yourself or her level of attachment for you, it creates problems.
If she’s less attached to you than you are to her, then you must withdraw. If she doesn’t feel an emotional pull to go back to you, then just be cool. Don’t get upset, but also don’t shower her with affection. Just be your best self and if she still doesn’t develop an attraction for you, then it’s not meant to be.
Never get upset at a girl for not liking you as much as you like her. If she doesn’t like you as much, it’s either because you’re not being your best self, or it just isn’t a match. If you guys aren’t a match you’d be doing a disservice to both of you by trying to make it work. If you’re not being your best self, then it’s your fault, not hers.
You must accept reality and your fate and not try to control your future. Trust that everything will work out if you follow this path – even if it didn’t work out with the girl that you had your eye on.
Letting go can be quite difficult and it’s something you’ll be working on for a lifetime.
The problem is our minds, insecurities, lack of self-awareness and the intrinsic difficulty is what prevents us from letting go and getting in a truly satisfying relationship.
The less you let go, the more turmoil you will bring to the relationship. You will get jealous and be in a state of fear that the girl will leave you, among other bad behavior. Your insecurities will be triggered. This creates baggage and no one wants baggage.
Baggage is the ultimate flow killer. I wouldn’t date a girl who brought much emotional baggage and I don’t expect a girl to date me if my shit isn’t together. It’s not good for you and it’s not good for her.
If you guys are meant to be together – if you have positive experiences, you’re her type and she’s your type and you flow together, then it will work out. If not, it won’t work out and you should be happy that it didn’t.
In a relationship, two people need to be happy for its flow. If I dated a girl and she wasn’t happy, then I’d not only be doing her a disservice by staying with her, but I’d also be doing myself a disservice.
I don’t believe in one party being more interested in the other. Both parties should be somewhat equally attracted to the experience of the other. Life can’t flow when one party is significantly more into the other.
The more interested party is going to expend too much emotional energy in trying to make it work and the person less interested will feel too much of a burden.
One of the best ways to let go is not to get too attached, to begin with. One way to do this is to stop thinking about her (can be very tough).
In Buddhism, you shouldn’t think about the future, because this creates attachments. When you think about a girl, you’ll get more attached. I’d historically let my mind get out control and think of all kinds of future scenarios. You especially don’t want to think about her if you’re the most interested party. It will create more attachment than is healthy for a balanced relationship.
Accordingly, you shouldn’t develop ONE-itis or be infatuated with her. ONE-itis leads you to get overly attached. Getting too attached makes me feel ungrounded and is very disrupting to my flow of life.
Being infatuated is different than forming deep bonds with someone. I have deep bonds with male friends, but I am not infatuated with them. I love my family, but I am not infatuated with them.
You want to be warm, playful, appreciative, affectionate, friendly, respectful and loving, but cool-headed and relaxed at the same time. I am against being madly in love with women.
If you’re crazy about her to the point that it disrupts your productivity, you know it’s too much.
There are four ways to reduce infatuation:
First, you must realize that if not this girl, then there will be others if you are the type of person that people want to be around.
You should also be skeptical if you feel ONE-itis because almost all cases of this malady are just delusional. It’s more likely the case that you don’t know her well enough, you’re not meeting enough people or you’re not getting enough female interest because you’re not the best man you can be. (However, it’s certainly possible to meet someone that is rare and uniquely suited for you).
Second, even if a girl has everything you want, it can end from one second to the next. Most people are very fickle. You don’t want to put your faith in people that it will last.
Third, you must realize that there is no person out there that is so great for you that you should be infatuated with. Life won’t be that much better in the long term with her – if at all.
Fourth, you should realize that being infatuated will take you away from your passion, will kill your life flow and make you feel less grounded. So for your own sake, you shouldn’t do this.
Lower Your Ego
Nobody likes an ego. Having a big ego will block people from being truly happy. You want to reduce this in general.
In Game, there’s a concept called ‘Approach Anxiety’, which is an anxiety to approach a random girl.
An ego is a cause for all kinds of relationship problems and women especially don’t like it.
Approach anxiety should be renamed ego anxiety. The only reason why you’d be anxious is because you’re afraid of being rejected. But if you were truly secure with yourself, you wouldn’t be afraid.
A rejection is not something that should logically hurt you. Nothing actually changed about the universe. You’re the same person.
Patience is a popular Buddhist principle.
One lesson I’ve learned is that you should be patient and allow things to happen in their own time. Don’t rush a romance. You must understand that women need time. I tend to get impatient and try to rush things sometimes.
Part of this is because I’m normally somewhat stoic and wall off my emotions. But when I see someone that seriously piques my interest a lot, my dam starts to crack and a flood of emotion is released – instead of a controlled outflow. This can be overwhelming for me and the other and kill the flow of it as well. It creates a situation in which the energy of the interaction is too high, and then you have to deal with the aftermath when you are cooler.
It’s better for both of you if you are patient. I need be more aware in these periods and practice letting go.
Skepticism can help you be more patient because you should realize there are always things you don’t know about someone.
If you’re gung-ho about her, don’t try to attract her by playing hard to get or any of these games. You will lose.
Patience can be sexual as well. When both of you know you like each other, but it isn’t said or acted upon openly right away, that will allow for sexual tension to build up. Patience is a trait that women find attractive in the bedroom and it can make it more exciting for you as well.
Patience is a trait you should be working on regardless of women, but romance will certainly ‘stress test’ how patient you are.
It requires a bit of experience just to get the hang of how patient you should be, but generally guys are too impatient.
To be patient we must let go of the need for any outcome and trust that if it’s meant to work out, it will.
Patience isn’t the same thing as delaying or being shy or timid. Shyness and timidness stem from fear and patience stem from letting go (opposites).
Sometimes a romantic progression can be quick. Don’t wait 3 months to kiss her if it feels right after 10 minutes. If it feels right for you and her then don’t wait to get sexual. Vibe it.
Be Confident – in who you are
Girls often like confidence, but don’t try to act confident – you will just come off as arrogant.
Instead, if you let go of trying to be anything different than who you are, you will be confident – with yourself. Not every girl will like you, but if you’re confident in your own skin, you’ll get the girls who like your type.
Be More Accepting, Non-Judging
Both acceptance and non-judging are core Buddhist principles and it’s something you should be cultivating in general.
You should only be dating girls who you feel you can accept.
I’m not saying to accept bad behavior. If she’s a bitch you should not accept this. If you see there’s a pattern of behavior that you feel doesn’t suit you, then you should end it.
But you should be accepting that however people act, it’s normal and natural. You shouldn’t judge it as being ‘bad’.
If you live life not accepting other people’s way of life, it demonstrates a certain kind of arrogance and lack of sophistication. Having a more accepting attitude to differences among people will make you happier.
I’m not saying that you need to accept a girl and date her or that you have to hang out with everyone, but just don’t look down on people. If people don’t suit your personality or lifestyle, then you can move on, without judging them as inferior.
When we show people acceptance, they feel more at ease and the experienced is enhanced for both of you. Your relationships will flow much better as well.
Be More Compassionate
If you’re naturally compassionate, it will be effortless for you to show affection, warmth, and kindness. You will naturally want her to feel more appreciated as well. You will be happier this way and so will she.
Be Playful, Positive and Don’t Take The Interaction Too Seriously
Being playful is an important part of having a fun relationship.
In general, you should work on being more positive, even if you’re just concerned about your health. People who had more positive emotions (especially awe, wonder, and amazement) had lower levels of IL-6. (R)
Everyone will agree that they like socializing more when it’s done in a playful way. Playfulness includes teasing, flirting, banter and just not taking yourself or the situation too seriously. Women love this and I naturally do as well when I just shelve my logical brain to the side. If I’m too engaged in logic, it can take some time to grease my emotional/experiential wheels.
Some ‘Game’ material advises to say ‘canned’ material of teasing and banter, but this will disrupt your flow. Even if it does work, it’s not sustainable. I can’t stand canned material. It becomes a planned act, rather than a spontaneous experience.
My advice is to let go, stop taking life so seriously, don’t have goals and you will be playful. It’s a natural instinct to want to be playful when you’re interacting with a girl you like – as long as there isn’t too much pressure on you (usually from goals).
In Game, a ‘Shit Test’ is when a girl says something to see what kind of reaction it elicits. You probably shouldn’t be interested in girls who do this, but if you practice letting go, stay positive and happy and don’t take the interaction too seriously, there’s nothing she can throw at you that should bother you. This orientation will make you a happier person in general. You shouldn’t be disturbed by other people’s emotional baggage (although you don’t want to date them or constantly be around it).
Lead The Interaction and Set The Frame (if this is you)
Most men naturally prefer to lead an interaction than be led by it.
The majority of girls (but not all) like when guys lead the interaction as well. If you don’t enjoy leading the interaction and it’s not natural for you then don’t do it.
You shouldn’t be insecure or fearful when taking charge and moving things forward. You should be very respectful of her, but not timid.
This will happen naturally if you’re just cool-headed, relaxed, have no specific goals and just act out how you feel.
One way to lead the interaction is by setting the ‘Frame’.
For example, I’m naturally empathetic and I alway try to put myself in someone else’s emotional state. This is great and important for empathy, but the downside is that it can influence your own emotional state too much. So if she’s unsure about something and you feel sure, then you can reassess and ask yourself if she’s right, but don’t let her wavering affect your emotional state. If she’s afraid, you’ll become afraid by putting yourself in her shoes.
If you are in a high pressured situation, and you feel like it’s a high pressured situation then that’s the frame you are setting. If you don’t feel pressure, then no matter what the absolutes of the situation, your frame of calmness will transfer to her. Acting calm won’t work. You genuinely have to be calm and this will happen if you just let go and accept (simple, but not easy). Set the frame.
Part of being the real you is to listen to your own inner pilot and act based on that. Do this for you, not her.
I respect and appreciate girls when they listen to their own inner pilot as well (even if it’s telling them not to date me). I wouldn’t like it if I dated someone and they are staying with me just because they feel pressure. I want them to leave if they don’t feel it’s right.
I’m presenting these ideas to make you happy, first and foremost. And it just so happens to turn out that if you’re in your happiest and most relaxed state, she will be most attracted to you.
This approach isn’t specific to women. It should be your approach in life, with men as well. In business and life, your state will transfer to the other.
You shouldn’t try to control your state. By letting go and acceptance, a natural and relaxed you will come forth. And then you can listen to your inner pilot and act based on that. So if everyone thinks a business idea of yours sucks, you should follow it if it feels right to you.
All great things (including businesses) come from listening to your true desires and acting based on that. Perhaps all great companies, including Apple, Tesla/SpaceX, Google, and Amazon were faced with resistance from others who said it would never work out, but the founders disregarded what other people felt and just listened to their inner calling. When Apple released the iPod, most people were skeptical that no one would want it because there were so many of them around. Everyone thought Tesla and SpaceX were the dumbest ideas and they tried to convince Elon Musk out of it. Many people thought Google would fail because there were other search engines out there. And the top venture capitalists thought they were crazy when they didn’t want to sell the company. Amazon has faced skepticism at every point of their existence, but Bezos plowed forward.
The point is that there will always be resistance in life, but you must not let the emotional state of others influence your intuition.
Leading also means that you shouldn’t morph your behavior to fit what you think she likes. If you do, then you’re not you, you’re the person she wants you to be. If you want to be the person she wants you to be, then you obviously should work on changing. But don’t do it simply because she likes it.
This is not a science, but an art. If you just get out there and get experience, let go of your fears and be who you are (with less Ego), your natural self will want to behave this way.
Common Psychological Phenomena
I don’t like using hacks because it gets me in a bad mindset. But there are some well-known psychological principles that happen to work in my experience. My advice is to make sure it flows with you and it feels comfortable. If you find having these concepts kill your flow, then don’t use them. All of them should come somewhat naturally to you.
Proximity is a significant reason why people end up with the wrong person. They fall in love and then once in love, it’s hard to get out because strong bonds have been built.
Proximity is a significant factor in attraction. You shouldn’t be trying to actively attract a girl, but you should try to expose yourself to her, and if she bites then great.
Researchers asked nearly 300 MIT dormitory residents to list their closest friends. The researchers then looked at where the listed friends lived in the dorms. When someone lived one door away, there was a 41% likelihood they were listed as a close friend. As the number of doors increased, that likelihood decreased such that those living four doors away had only a 10% likelihood of being listed as a close friend. This study demonstrates the importance that proximity, or being physically near others, has on relationship formation.
Birds of a Feather Flock Together
This is a well-known social psychological principle. Birds of a feather flock together. Opposites attracting is a myth.
I believe that people should date others that are similar to them. I think it’s a natural instinct to want to emphasize similarities.
So while you can use this as a tool, I feel that if you are truly similar to someone, it will be hard to not emphasize similarities. And if you aren’t similar then you don’t want to fake it and be with the wrong person.
So this one will come naturally.
Gain-Loss Theory of Attraction
In 1965, Aronson proposed that a gain or loss of positive feedback from the other person—has more effect on liking than the absolute level of feedback. (R)
An example is how compliments are more meaningful when they come from someone who is usually critical, rather than from a reliable supporter. (R)
Another example is that a couple may feel more dedicated to their relationship if they initially disliked each other. (R)
The bottom line is when we win over people who initially don’t like us, it’s more rewarding than winning someone over who liked us all along.
Studies show that participants liked an experimenter more when they overheard them first give a negative evaluation which then became positive, compared to when they overheard the experimenter give only a positive description.
One application of this theory that works in real life is to never allow a girl to feel completely secure with your interest.
Some Game material advocates creating artificial resistance – saying something like we’d never work out because we’re too similar. Perhaps a neg can fit into this, but I don’t advise guys to use it.
I feel if you’re a guy that’s genuinely willing to let go (of thinking, goals, etc…), you enjoy her vibe/experience and you suit each other, then this push-pull/artificial resistance will be somewhat natural.
This is because your nonchalance and uncaring attitude about the whole thing will be its own resistance.
This is one of the most basic psychological tools. When you reward a good behavior and punish a bad behavior, people will start to conform. I don’t like to use this as a tool or anything, but there are some ways it can be useful.
For example, if you give affection to a girl when she pulls away from you, then you are rewarding that behavior. And you might do this because you are trying to win her back with your affection.
In Game, some advice to ‘punish’ a girl for not wanting to have sex with you by ignoring her. This isn’t something that sits well with me and I don’t use this as a tactic, but I could see how it may work. It’s something that will perhaps make you win the battle (by laying her) but lose the war (by making her regret it after).
The point is to make sure you are not rewarding certain behaviors. This should come naturally if you follow the other tips. So if you truly let go, you won’t feel the need to win someone back if they pull away.
(Did I mention letting go is only the hardest thing in the world?)
A popular psychological concept is loss aversion and this will play a significant role in your interactions with people. In general, people would rather not lose a given value than gain that same equivalent value.
There’re two ways that I like to make this work for me. One is to allow her to miss you and the second is to allow her to give to you.
Girls need space to become attracted to you – physical, emotional, mental, whatever.
It’s natural to express your interest and tell a girl what you like about her. However, the mistake guys make (including myself) is to not let up. This probably comes from my intensity and Type-A bulldog approach -an attempt to control my future. Ugh.
In most cultures, it’s expected for the guy to make the first move and be the first one to show interest either implicitly or explicitly (although women will often be the first to do this more implicitly). Guys are generally also initiating contact and moving things forward.
However, make sure it’s a two-way street. Don’t always be the one approaching, initiating contact, intention to meet, etc…
If you show your interest – either explicitly or implicitly – and the girl doesn’t make an attempt to reach out back to you, then that means you should move on – she’s not your type.
If she does like you, she will feel a negative emotion or void when you withdraw, and this is enhanced by our natural tendency to really dislike losing something that we value. It’s basic human nature to appreciate something more when it’s missing…
Obviously, a girl has to show some interest, but I am talking about the girls who are responding positively to your messages but don’t take the initiative to message/call you without you having to message her (you can initiate most of the time, but there has to be some initiation on their part).
I can’t say you won’t get her by chasing because this can work – persistence does pay off sometimes. It’s more often with insecure or power hungry girls. You have to ask yourself if this suits you. I don’t mind if a girl is a little insecure (aren’t we all?), but too much is a deal breaker.
If you only chase and don’t get initiation on her part, then you will create an imbalanced relationship and this will suck the life force out of you. Your life will never flow well if you are always trying to move things forward and she isn’t. If this is the life you want to live, go for it, but it will distract you from your passion.
And you have to keep something in mind that I haven’t fully appreciated enough. Every time you send someone a message, there is a burden placed on them to answer back. People need space. Just like you wouldn’t like it if someone was constantly texting you or in your face, you should give her space. This is also basic decency in a way.
One way to enhance loss aversion is by allowing her to give to you.
The Hebrew word for love is ‘Ahava’, which also means giving. My mother always tells me sisters that to attract men, get them to give to you. This is excellent advice.
Giving could mean giving time, money, affection, thought, sex or anything else.
I know the more I give to someone, the more I feel attached to them. This heightens loss aversion.
My mistake is that I am too giving and I don’t let girls give back enough. When I like a girl, I get into the mode where I would do anything for her and I don’t pay attention to what I get back. This is nice, but I also need to realize that allowing the other to give will enhance the relationship from both your angle and her angle.
If I give less, I’ll be less attached and that’s good for her also (women don’t like overly attached men). By allowing her to give, I’m also giving her the opportunity for that positive experience.
If a girl likes you, she will want to give to you and if you like her, you will want to give back.
I should emphasize that you want to give and receive when you recognize someone suits you and you guys vibe well. You don’t want to give or receive and build a stronger connection with someone who isn’t meant for you. That’s why I don’t like to have sex with girls that I know it can’t work out with- if they have an emotional connection to me. I don’t want them to become more attached.
The scarcity principle is a basic psychological principle that says people want what’s more rare or harder to get.
If a girl thinks you’re in demand (Game term is ‘Preselected) she will likely be more attracted to you. If you want to fake this and use it as a tool, then it might or might not work.
I feel a better approach is to actually be the best person you can be and people will flock. You will be a scarce resource if you are this type of person. I’ve found that as I work on myself and be more of the person I want to be, my demand goes up with women.
If you’re not the type of guy who is in demand by people, then trying to fake it will be apparent.
Related to the scarcity principle, people often try to seem ‘busy’ or unavailable and this could work by making you seem more scarce (even though most people waste so much time in the day).
If you’re following your passion, then you don’t need to pretend to be busy or unavailable. It should actually be the case, to a degree.
Game also talks about qualifying a girl to come off as more selective/unavailable. This is irrelevant if you actually are selective, which you should be for the sake of your own happiness.
Find Your Type
You can’t win em all – nor should you try. You have to realize that you only want the girls who want you. If you dated a girl who didn’t want you, it wouldn’t flow.
If you just be yourself, you certainly won’t attract every girl, but you will attract the girls who like your type and are suited for you.
I never fully appreciated this until very recently. I thought if you wanted to get the ‘best quality girl’ you needed to make a certain amount of money, have a certain profession or whatever. I notice that as time goes on, I’m attracting girls that are more suited for me – simply by being more of myself.
A big mistake guys make is to chase something that society idealizes, but that isn’t suited for you.
I’m not interested in the tall, check-list, model-type of women who lack depth and are overly into materialism. I like the open-minded, happy, positive, nerdy, self-aware, earthy and sweet girl who just doesn’t take life so seriously.
I’m pretty picky with looks, and I have my ‘type’ of look that I like, but I don’t care what the objective value of a girl’s looks are – I just want to be attracted.
In the ‘Pick-Up’ community, it’s cool to score with porn stars, models, prostitutes and other such women. I have no moral qualms with any of these occupations and I don’t want to cast everyone in a profession in one group, but I’m least attracted to these types. I find they’re often lacking a type of soft, sweet, innocent and refined beauty.
If that’s the type you’re looking for, then go for it. But don’t go for a specific type of girl just because it’s cool or to satisfy your ego.
In order to find your type, you want to be open, honest and genuine. If you try to hide things, you’re only shooting yourself in the leg later on. If she doesn’t accept you for who you are, your life is better without her.
Being open, honest and genuine can mean different things to different people. You have to be what feels right for you.
A lot of people have a social style that strikes me as fake, but it’s real for them. This is who they are – nothing wrong with that. So whatever your style is, then do that.
I take openness and honesty to the extreme and it can be off-putting to some, while attractive to others. But I do what feels right for me.
The bottom line is to find someone who matches you, someone to flow with and someone to share experiences with – not something idealized by society.
Choose The Right Venue
Whatever venue you choose to meet women, make sure you’d go if there weren’t any women there.
So if you like to go to bars for its own sake, then this will be a venue where you can meet women.
For me, I might go to yoga, a quantified-self or Reddit meet-up, a dancing class, a farmer’s market, health food store, health conference or travel. Or school if you’re enrolled.
I don’t actually do any of these, but if you want to meet girls you’ll have to get out. When I do go to these events, I’ll approach a girl who seems to be my type.
Just Say Hello
If I’m interested in meeting women, I’ll lock eyes with a girl and just say hey. Saying hello gets my socialization wheels turning.
Hello/Hi/Hey is the perfect ‘line’. It’s simple, has no investment in it, it’s not needy or creepy and it has the potential to go anywhere from there. It’s better to do this if you notice that she’s interested in you.
Most of the time saying hello won’t get you anywhere (there’s nowhere to go!). But perhaps for every 5 times you say hello, you will engage in an enjoyable interaction with another being. And if you connect, then you could be in touch and perhaps meet up again. If a girl isn’t in a mood to socialize, you’ll know it – and that’s fine. Just go on with your day.
If you have nothing to say hello, then move on. But the point is that it will get you in a social mood.
I tend to strike up conversations with all types of random people when I’m in a social mood.
This method is so simple and natural. You don’t need to memorize long lines or wrack your brain for the perfect line. That will just kill your flow.
Sometimes, I’ll say something else spontaneously, but hello/hey is my standard.
Be Ready to Go Sexual
If both of you are in a sexual vibe, then go sexually. Don’t be sexually timid or overaggressive either. It’s really an art and requires experience.
If you like her and you’re sexually attracted then it should feel natural to want to go over, take her hand, look her in the eye and kiss her.
You shouldn’t do this out of a sense to get more make outs or lays. You should do it because it feels right and good. If you do this in fast motion, it means you are insecure about it or in your head. It should be done softly, gently and with poise.
Sometimes the fear of rejection can hold us back, but part of this approach is letting go of your fears and acting as you feel natural -without fear.
If she rebuffs you then you can try again, but obviously respect her wishes (know the difference between token resistance vs you’re a creep, get away from me). She’s just not ready or doesn’t feel it at that moment, but there’s no harm done. Don’t shrink back and be insulted or upset at her – she’s just behaving in a way that feels right for her.
How quickly you go sexual depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re going to a bar and looking for a one night stand without an emotional connection, then go sexual very quickly – like within 2 minutes. The name of the game is to find those girls who are ‘down to fuck’ and who like your physical type.
If you’re looking for a long term connection, go sexual if you feel you’re connecting with her on an emotional level and it feels right.
Guys are often afraid to get sexual. If you don’t go sexual, you will end up in the ‘Friend Zone’.
If I feel something for a girl, I communicate my intent both physically and verbally and I probably give off a sexually receptive vibe as well.
Trust The Process
You have to trust that if you are the best you, the dots will connect in the future, whether with the girl you think is for you or someone else. (Listen to Jobs)
I think people should really get their shit together and not rely on supplements, but these supplements/devices will make you feel more relaxed, without being tired. I’ve never really tried using supplements to become better at socializing because I feel there’s much lower hanging fruits by fixing some underlying shit.
Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick
At SelfHacked, it’s our goal to offer our readers all the tools possible to get optimally healthy. When I was struggling with chronic health issues I felt stuck because I didn’t have any tools to help me get better. I had to spend literally thousands of hours trying to read through studies on pubmed to figure out how the body worked and how to fix it.
That’s why I decided to create tools that will help others cut down the guesswork:
- Lab Test Analyzer – a software tool that will analyze your labs and tell you what the optimal values are for each marker — as well as provide you with actionable tips and personalized health and lifestyle recommendations to help you get there.
- SelfDecode – a software tool that will help you analyze your genetic data from companies such as 23andme and ancestry. You will learn how your health is being impacted by your genes, and how to use this knowledge to your advantage.
- SelfHacked Secrets – an ebook where we examine and explain the biggest overlooked environmental factors that cause disease. This ebook is a great place to start your journey if you want to learn the essential steps to optimizing your health.
- SelfHacked Elimination Diet course – a video course that will help you figure out which diet works best for you
- Selfhacked Inflammation course – a video course on inflammation and how to bring it down
- Biohacking insomnia – an ebook on how to get great sleep
- Lectin Avoidance Cookbook – an e-cookbook for people with food sensitivities
- BrainGauge – a device that detects subtle brain changes and allows you to test what’s working for you
- SelfHacked VIP – an area where you can ask me (Joe) questions about health topics
The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.
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