Are Social Grace, Savvy, and Empathy Unmanly?
A reader with ruffled feathers writes in response to the article "Tell If a Girl Likes You: Are Her Walls Up Or Down?", saying:
“What a bunch of rubbish!
In all of your articles, you always encourage men to act weak. For example, phrases like this: "one part of being good with women is about not flipping the triggers that activate women's walls." What?? So, you think men should avoid trigging women's "walls"? This is utter rubbish!! A strong individual won't give a shit about a woman's walls! Only a weak, very passive and supplicated individual constantly afraid of offending women will look for walls and avoid them at all costs! Your position is inherently weak.
Only weak men are always cognisant of women's walls because they are afraid that her walls will go up and this comes from weakness, his weakness -- he is scared and doesn't have confidence. Women instinctively sense weakness without any training or experience necessary and you don't need me to tell you that women are not attracted to weaknesses. Nervous men (those afraid of triggering walls, the kind of man you encourage in this and other articles) are best left to nervous, fumbling women who have issues, not well-adjusted, confident and attractive women. All this boils down to confidence: if you are not truly confident of yourself, 100%, then you will always achieve less than you could have and this applies of course to more in life than just attracting the opposite sex.
A confident man is attractive and sexy. He knows exactly what he wants. He doesn't worry about girls' walls...or himself, nor does he care when women exhibit walls, he will always get exactly the kind of girl he wants. Looking in from the outside, this achievement will seem effortless and natural.
Girls put their walls up because of themselves, never because of you; if you think you act in a way that repulses them then you are (thinking in a way that is) repulsive to yourself. Get some confidence.”
I have a strong feeling this reader is one of those individuals who runs around the Internet screaming about the need for men to "be alpha" while simultaneously spending the majority of his time alone or with unusually large women, cursing womankind in general for not recognizing his glorious, manly, alpha attractiveness.
But I digress.
I share this comment with you because it poses an interesting question: is it possible to be SO attractive that you can run through life like a bull in a china shop and still land loads of hot women in your bed regardless - or perhaps even BECAUSE of it?
For the confused Girls Chase reader, who does not quite grasp the thought process behind this commenter's remarks, allow me to introduce you to a distinct subset of Internet culture that will familiarize you with where this way of thinking likely comes from.
There is a group of individuals on the web who go by the term "Men's
Rights Activists," or MRAs. MRAs are the male equivalents of feminists
- they believe that the other sex (women, in this case) is overly
privileged and entitled, and is owed precisely nothing by them -
including respect or, in this case, even social awareness.
Just as feminists criticize women who work to be more beautiful and learn womanly ways and teach themselves how to tend to men properly, MRAs criticize men who work to be more masculine and learn the ways of men and teach themselves how to tend to women properly.
Just as a feminist is unable to recognize the difference between a woman who chases after men desperately and a woman who makes herself the epitome of feminine grace and sensuality to draw men to her, an MRA (what this comment author strongly sounds like) is unable to recognize the difference between a man who chases after women desperately and a man who makes himself the epitome of masculine charm and virility to bring women to him like moths to a flame.
That's because, generally, feminists are - on average - unattractive women with unfortunate histories with men, and MRAs are - on average - unattractive men with unfortunate histories with women.
These individuals tend to be angry, bitter, and inordinately opinionated in comparison to their levels of real world, actual experience with the things they preach about and pass judgment on.
I imagine you already know where this article stands on the merits of these qualities, but let's drive a bit deeper into the jungle of just why social grace, social savvy, and empathy are NOT "weak."
The Clueless Bull
In one breath, our commenter tells men not to bother being aware of or taking pains to not trigger women's walls - that is, when women are open to you, or when they are closed to you - and in another, refers to men who don't bother to do be aware of or avoid triggering these as "well-adjusted, confident, and attractive."
Which means one of two things:
He's actually pretty socially savvy, but has very low levels of self-awareness and is wholly unaware that he does this naturally as an integral, previously learned part of his own socializing
He's not very socially savvy, but will try his best to convince himself and everyone around him that he is - not by getting better at being socially savvy, but just by telling people how socially savvy he is
In light of the tone of the comment, I'm inclined to go with Door #2.
I'll explain what I mean, though.
The article this commenter was replying to was one on recognizing which women are open to you and actively interested, and which women are closed off to you, and avoiding turning opened women into closed women, in order for you to:
Adjust your approach to something more effective, given the situation
Target those women interested in you, and ignore women who are distractions
Avoid turning women who like you and want to date and sleep with you into women who do not like you and do not want to date and sleep with you
Now imagine someone who does/can not do this.
Say, our commenter.
Imagine he walks into a bar. In the bar, there are 100 women.
30 of those women he finds moderately to very attractive.
4 of those women find him attractive, and are open to having something happen with him soon and are not otherwise there with boyfriends or friends who will cockblock them hard.
So what's he do?
He walks up to the nearest of those 30 women to him on entering the venue... and starts running his routines on her right away.
He probably uses routines, because to him, all women are the same, and you use the same approach with every woman. Because he's unable to detect which women are interested in him and which women are not, and because he's unable to tell which women are open to him and which women are not, he says and does the same thing with every single one.
Because he doesn't care about not triggering women's walls, he
triggers this girl's walls several minutes into his first routine, and
she closes off to him being anything other than just someone she'll
talk to until he leaves.
So what happens?
Well... he spends two hours engaged in conversation
with a woman who doesn't even like him.
Predictably, it goes nowhere.
Meanwhile, the 4 girls who thought he was cute and wanted to get to know him have all long since given up on him and left the bar... either alone or with someone else.
He never picked up on the fact that this girl he's invested so much time into simply wasn't interested.
Because, after all, if he took the time to pay attention to her responses to him and read them for context, or if he took the time to not offend her... well, that would mean he was weak, wouldn't it?
A REAL man... an ALPHA man... he just goes up and says and does WHATEVER he wants, to WHOMEVER he wants, because THAT'S what being a man is all about.
That stuff's for pansies.
The Problem with Socially Awkward
... is that you waste scads and scads of time on go-nowhere interactions - either ones that you walk into (that were go-nowhere from the get-go), or ones that you create (that might've been go-somewhere, but you acted like a doofus and turned it go-nowhere).
Now, a socially savvy person doesn't have to think about these things, this is true - but that's because he already KNOWS and has INTERNALIZED them.
A man with social grace who meets a beautiful woman does not consciously think about not offending her.
He just doesn't offend her.
But that's because he knows how to not offend her - it's already programmed into his subconscious patterns. He's actively running "watch what you say, because this girl's a medical student, and she seems like the sensitive type, so don't make too many 'doctors are assholes' jokes in case she auto-rejects" as a subroutine in his mind... without even thinking about it.
He's still running it though. And for some amount of time, at some point in his life - whenever it was that he learned how to have social grace - it used to be conscious.
The socially awkward guy, by comparison - what our commenter appears to advocate - just bumbles around like a hurricane, saying whatever he likes to whomever he likes, assuming that everyone must think he's super cool simply because he has no fear of approaching, and no fear about speaking his mind to anybody.
But here's the thing - people don't consider people who are socially unaware to be cool, savvy, or attractive. Like, at all.
Okay, occasionally - there are some girls who go for the broken guys
who don't seem to "get" social convention in even the foggiest sense.
They can, every once in a blue moon, have a kind of Byronic appeal through their
sheer endearing social brokenness. I've seen it happen a few times. Usually this only happens when the guy is
really good looking and/or really successful in one way or another.
The socially oblivious head of the football team, for instance - he can
afford to be utterly clueless socially and still get women in bed with
because he has status, and women go nuts for status. He can walk up to
a girl and tell her she looks like a mongrel dog who hasn't showered
this millennium and smells like a trash heap and the girl will still
think he's adorable and bed him because he's so much higher status than
(which is not to imply that because a guy's on the football team he's socially oblivious - actually, in my experience, sports players are often a lot more socially attuned a lot earlier in life than most men are - I use this here merely for the sake of argument)
If you're lacking a crutch to lean on like sports star status, however, you're going to need a dose of social grace to not be an outcast, though.
Where's the right line to draw?
Obviously, you don't want to be a kowtowing pushover, too busy
trying not to offend to go for what he wants, or too busy monitoring
others' reactions for negative signs to pay attention to the positive
But you need to not be crossing others' lines unnecessarily, and if you don't know where they are and don't know how to read them you cannot do that, you must be tuned into this stuff.
The best seducers I know are the most talented at this - they are magicians at saying just the right thing and being usually right up on the edge of offensive without going over, and at knowing exactly how into them a girl is and exactly how open (or not) she is to them, too (and thus, what to do with her next).
Until it's fully automatic (and still sometimes even then), you need to keep your mind's eye on where this line is.
Up to the Line, Not Over It
The guy I learned chase frames from was a big, burly nightclub bouncer in Boston. He'd repeatedly sleep with beautiful, feisty women he met in the club or the mall or the gym, and would write some of the most detailed, amazing reports of these encounters you'd ever seen. His dialogues were masterpieces.
And one of the things he was very, very good at was taking women right up to the line of auto-rejection... but not crossing it.
Occasionally he would cross it once or twice with a girl by accident, but he was very attuned to when he'd done so and was good at quickly turning these around. You'll find that some of the most profound attraction you will get from women are from those women you briefly take into auto-rejection territory, then pull back out from it, and the women he did this with were no exception.
However, when I talked to him, he told me he never intentionally crossed that line... he usually preferred not to go over it, and if he did go over it, it was merely by being careless.
What made him so good with girls was in large degree his extraordinary sensitivity to where women's walls were. He was able to take the edginess of the conversation right up to the point where a woman might be offended... then stop, and come back.
Why would you want to do this?
Because it is exciting and attractive as HELL for women.
Let's go back to that early example we painted, where a guy's talking to a med school student who's sensitive about her profession and doesn't like it being maligned. Here's what that'd look like in that case:
Him: You know what they say about doctors, right?
Her: Is this going to be insulting? Because I've had a really long day.
Him: It's that once you go stat, you never go back.
Her: [laughs] Ohhh my God, that is so lame.
Him: So why'd you pick being a doctor?
The first remark ("You know what they say about doctors, right?") sounds like the typical start of some insulting / demeaning snide remark at doctors' expense, making this sensitive med student bristle and putting her just about to auto-reject him.
Instead, our hero comes back from the line by making a silly, sexual joke - all the funnier because it was completely unexpected in light of the tone of the lead-in and her expectation of what would likely come next.
And just like that, she goes from tired and probably not very interested, to all of a sudden paying attention and wondering just who this guy is.
None of this is possible without
knowing where her walls are, and respecting the hell out of them.
When to Bull Your Way Past Social Grace
There are certain times when you have to just disregard women's walls and push for things to happen regardless (within reason).
Those occasions include:
When you're doing mass approaching in venues with lots and lots of women but where walls are very high; e.g., a giant dance club with very loud music where many women are resistant to being approach. Here, it's often better to just barrel in and be persistent, and if it isn't working just leave and move on - unless you want to get your dance floor seducing on, that is
When it seems like an interaction is stalling out and not going anywhere. That is, even if it seems like she's too resistant to go anywhere with you or do anything with you, if the interaction is running out of gas, it makes sense to take a stab at getting her to move with you or leave with you. Sometimes this works out, even when you were certain it wouldn't
When you've already started escalating with her physically - you've kissed her, or started touching her sexually. You now need to get her alone with you somewhere, if you aren't already alone, and you need to persist toward sex, even if she's giving you resistance to sex. If you begin the mating dance but do not mate, the chances that the two of you ever end up together are pretty darn low - some persistence is desirable here
When you're very new, or you're trying something very new, and you really have no idea of what you can get away with women or what you can't yet (especially if you think you CAN'T get away with a lot of things with women) - it's worth ignoring where you believe her walls are and trying crazy things just to get new reference points on what's possible and what isn't
In these kinds of situations, it can make sense to say, "Screw where her walls are, I'm going to push on regardless."
Yet, even then, you still need SOME social awareness.
If you're endlessly hitting on a girl who just isn't interested in the dance club, one of the doormen may escort you out - or maybe her guy friends will do it.
If you're escalating with a woman physically and she's clearly not interested at all and wants to go, it's obviously not so good if you can't recognize the difference here.
And if you're trying something new and being REALLY crazy, there are all kinds of possible bad ways that can go depending on what you're doing and who's around. Don't go so far that you're a nutjob.
The guy bumbling his way around a bunch of women yelling, "I'M ALPHA!!" and unable to read the looks of disgust and rejection he gets from the women he talks to because he's oblivious to their signals is not strong.
And the charming, dashing rogue who's able to excite and arouse women by taking them right up to their walls, but not over, and who whisks them off out of the venue and into his bed is not weak for being socially aware.
True strength comes in results, not actions.
Who's stronger - the man who tries to run a marathon and fails, or the man who just goes and runs a marathon? Sure, maybe the guy who tries and fails is an underdog, or a sob story - maybe he was really sick, and he's making his come back.
But come on - the guy who wins is stronger.
Stronger of body.
Stronger of mind.
Likewise with women. Being socially aware does not make you "weak" in the social arena.
What makes you weak, socially, is being unable to achieve outsize social returns.
That's things like beautiful, desirable women in your bed, and cool, accomplished men as your friends. That's things like an awesome, rewarding social life, filled with people who build you up and don't tear you down... because they know where your walls are, and do not cross them.
Having the social grace and aptitude to be able to recognize when people are open to you or closed to you, knowing what to do in both situations, and being able to avoid turning an open person into a closed person is real social strength.
That's because the man who has these abilities has the ability to achieve his own ends with so many of the people he meets.
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