Brain Hacks: How to Learn Empathy


how to have empathyEmpathy is a twisty topic, and one that's often hung with mounds of cultural baggage. The politically correct party line at the moment is, "All empathy is good; all lack of empathy is bad, bad, BAD."

The truth of the matter is a bit more complicated than this (decidedly unempathetic) black-and-white thinking on empathy: strong empathy is a bit like a superpower and a crippling weakness, all rolled up into one.

In this article, we'll be looking at the full range of empathy profiles - from sociopaths, supposedly unable to feel empathy at all, to empaths, those souls so bursting with empathy that stepping on a bug makes them feel awful.

And what I most want to talk about in today's article is striking the right balance - enough empathy that you are able to perceptively know what other people are thinking, what they are feeling, and what they want, but not so much that you render yourself unable to take any action, out of fear of hurting, offending, or invoking the displeasure of someone else.


how to have empathy

As a child, I can remember some curiously contrasting behaviors: pulling legs of ants to see what they'd do, without worrying much about what they felt (it seemed to me that they did not feel pain; normally, I euthanized them after these experiments regardless); but coming to the rescue of countless hapless earthworms I'd discover frying on the sidewalk after crawling out of the dirt following a rain shower and being stranded up on pavement they could not burrow back down into.

According to psychologists, we don't really fully develop cognitive empathy - the ability to put ourselves in someone else's shoes and imagine the world through his eyes - until our teenage years. Affective empathy (feeling others' pain) for boys takes a hit in early adolescence, before rebounding; for girls, it just goes up and up.

Yet, we live in an increasingly self-centered world; as I mentioned in "Navigating the Culture of Me", more and more individuals are being less and less empathetic; it's happening much faster in women, but affecting both sexes, and issues with empathy are becoming a bigger problem for everyone: either you aren't that empathetic yourself, or you have to deal with people who aren't.

The first question we must ask ourselves, when dealing with our own empathy shortfalls, is whether empathy can be learned - and if so, do we even want to learn it?


The Truth About Empathy

Here's an interesting video on the subject from RSA Animate:

I think one of the most interesting subjects discussed in this video is the concept of meeting individuals from outside of one's usual circles or experiences and getting to know them well in order to increase one's own empathy.

That's a recommendation I've made a number of times on this site before - in the article on being a great conversationalist; in the one on reference points and changing worldviews. By exposing yourself to various different kinds of people, you challenge your own preset notions, make it increasingly difficult for yourself to remain removed and judgmental, and humanize people who previously were only stereotypes to you. But more on that a little later in this article.

The video also talks about labels, something I talked about in these three articles:

The problem with labels is that labels are a way of dehumanizing another person - they take a complex, multidimensional individual, and reduce him to a one-dimensional caricature. You can use this to your advantage sometimes - in the case of sexy, attractive caricatures, where you become some fantasy figure a woman finds exciting and sexual, or if, say, you're applying for a job and can paint yourself as the "dream candidate" - but any unfavorable labels must be fought with fire and vehemence. They're ways of taking away your humanity and reducing you to a cartoon character, and almost everybody uses them.

One of the things you may have picked up on this site is that there is a very strong focus on empathy in the content here. Almost every article on this site:

  • Explains why things are in a way that's digestible even to people who'd disagree
  • Extolls the virtues of understanding and empathizing over writing off and judging
  • Reminds you to be responsible and considerate in your use of what you learn here

There are a number of reasons why that is - including the fact that I'm trying to reach a wide audience with the content on here, and not merely the 500 people in the world who already believe X concept and just felt like reading another article on it telling them things they already knew - but the one of biggest interest to the average reader is probably this: being able to empathize with other people - REALLY empathize; to know their thoughts and feel their pain - makes you BETTER with other people... better able to get what you want, and better able to help them get what they want.

Right up to the point where you've got too much of it.


The Empath's Cross

One of the extremes of empathy is the extreme of being what's becoming popularly known as an "empath." Sort of like the term "psychic vampire", there's some occult-ish stuff on the Internet about how empaths are actually psychically connected to others' emotions and that's why they feel them so strongly... but that's not what we're talking about here, nor is it how we're using the term. The "empath" I'm talking about is simply a person with sky-high empathy whose heart bleeds for other people.

Very high empathy has some really cool advantages, including:

  • The ability to absorb others' bad emotions and make them feel good: this occurs because the other person understands that the high empathy person genuinely "gets" his or her emotions, then provides uplift or inspiration once the negativity is alleviated (see Drexel's article "How to Show Empathy with Women" for more on this)

  • High attunement to others' emotions, and an ability to nip problems in the bud: when you're very attuned to others' emotions, you're able to sense problems a mile away, and can deal with them when they're still small - rather than having to wait until molehills explode into mountains, as tends to happen with lower empathy individuals

  • High creativity: when you instinctively know what is appealing to others, you spend a lot of time as a creative, because your creative works are reward with praise, recognition, and success

  • Expansive knowledge base: one of the more interesting traits of high empathy people is that their brains are always in the "on" position - they don't really zone out; they're always tuned to "full awareness" (we'll talk about this below too). On the plus side, that means they are picking up knowledge and information everywhere, all the time, about all things, and this tends to give them a large base to intuit and problem-solve from

Now, the downsides - and here's where the "cross to bear" comes into play:

  • Getting weighted down with others' bad emotions / become the suffering servant: all that playing therapist to others has a price: you end up feeling all the bad things those others offloaded onto you. You can also end up feeling obligated to help out those in need, and end up sacrificing your own happiness for that of others (frequently, these others you attract who need your help end up being people who are always in need of constant saving, to boot - they end up becoming a perpetual drain on your energies)

  • Can become oversensitive to others' emotions: you can become so oversensitive to others' emotions that it becomes paralyzing; you don't want to hurt people, feel bad about saying "no" to them, can't stomach negative feedback from them, can't deal with rejection, and just end up shutting yourself off away from them and disconnecting to avoid dealing with the influx of emotions

  • Can't handle routine: because high empathy people are used to guiding and directing (i.e., they're the ones telling others how to fix that problem and how to make this thing happen and what to do to get over that emotion), getting stuck into a routine where they are not in control and especially if they have inflexible / un-understanding teachers, bosses, or superiors is absolutely strangling

  • Easily tired out and drained: the flip side of that "always on" awareness the high empathy person's brain is switched into is that they're constantly running at full power, which means the battery burns out faster, too. In the wrong situations - with very demanding people, or high-stress low-control circumstances - the high empathy person can become fatigued more rapidly than individuals of lower empathy, who aren't taxing themselves working to be as constantly aware of others' shifting thoughts and emotions

Basically, think of a highly empathetic person as someone whose emotional association is stuck in the "on" position. That brings some strong benefits, but also some strong drawbacks. Many more creative high empathy people effectively become recluses, cutting themselves off from most other close relationships to stem the tide of emotions these relationships bring.


The Sociopath's Holes

The converse of the empath is the sociopath, or psychopath (some psychologists use the terms interchangeably; some define them differently): someone with little or no empathy.

In some ways, being a sociopath is a pretty nifty deal: you get to be charming, charismatic, and can push for and do whatever you want without caring one iota how the other person thinks or feels about it.

how to have empathy

No more failing to stand up for yourself when the airline company messes up your reservation because you're afraid of making a stir and, besides, it's not like it's the ticket agent's fault anyway... instead, the sociopath will do whatever he needs to do to make sure the damn airline company rectifies the issue and gets him his ticket already.

No more taking on lost causes in need of constant emotional support who latch onto you like barnacles and suck you dry like leeches; the sociopath doesn't need them, doesn't want them, and scrapes them off the moment they start nipping at his boots. No thanks.

But being a sociopath has its own unique set of disadvantages, too. First off, though, let's look at a piece of research on sociopathy; namely, whether sociopaths really are wholly devoid of empathy... or not.

Here's an excerpt from an absolutely fascinating article from Psychology Today, that will change the way you think about empathy (and psychopathic killers):

But then, how can they be so charming at times? I remember chatting with one of the patients, Patient 13, a particularly severe psychopath (he had scored the full 40 points on the psychopathy checklist). Surrounded by the guards, he seemed a most pleasant person. He was smiling, engaging, and seemed to feel exactly what we wanted from him. Many of our ‘normal’ participants seemed rough and unfriendly in comparison. Valeria Gazzola, with whom I lead the lab, suggested that we let the patients watch the movies again, but asking them to try and empathize with the victims in the movies. What we found was that this simple instruction sufficed to boost the empathic activation in their brain to a level that was hard to distinguish from that of the healthy controls. Suddenly, the psychopaths seemed as empathic as the next guy. Their empathy was switched on.

And that's the secret of the sociopath's magnetic charm - he's able to turn his empathy on and off at will. As that Psychology Today article goes on to state, for most people, empathy is the default mode; for sociopaths, it's something voluntary.

In fact, even highly empathetic people can switch empathy off: even if you're a high empath, I'm sure you can think of at least a few times in your life when something or someone made you so angry that you just switched off empathy for that person and were ready to do whatever you needed to do to punish or destroy them.

But, perhaps an even more appropriate analogy than that of a switch is that of a dimmer: we can dial our empathy up, and we can dial our empathy down. That article quoted above noted in brain scans of psychopaths before asking them to empathize, there still was empathetic activity in the brain - just not a whole lot of it. And the difference between a person of "normal" empathy levels and a person of high empathy levels, again, is not an on-off switch; it's a matter of degree.

Before we move on and talk about learning and using empathy in the best way possible though, let's get a more balanced picture of a low empathy person - both the benefits, and the drawbacks.

Benefits of low levels of empathy include:

  • The ability to go after what you want with assertiveness, persistence, and steely-eyed determination

  • Not getting slowed down by emotionally needy or parasitic individuals who want and need your constant help and support

  • Fearlessness, because not only are you not empathizing with others, you're also not empathizing with yourself - "future you" is insignificant, in other words, so you can do whatever you want now and not fear the consequences

  • The ability to see things clearly and objectively, without the emotions of those around you or those who will be affected by a decision muddying up the picture

Disadvantages of low levels of empathy include:

  • Bullishness that can be charming at first, but fatiguing to others around you after a while, as they become constant victims of your runaway winner effect (i.e., you always win, and they always lose)

  • Failing to differentiate between people who are valuable to your life but going through a hard spell, and people who are pure value drains who are always going to need hand-holding forever, leading to a revolving door of people in your life - including those people who would be most valuable to you over the long-term

  • Recklessness and poor long-term decision making, because you're not thinking about the effects of your actions on other people or on future you - you're not considering the full range of variables, and not able to while in an unempathetic state

  • A tendency to make "logically sound" decisions that are nevertheless emotionally bereft or morally bankrupt, based on incomplete logic that only accounts for what you've learned is logically important, and ignoring what your empathetic subconscious deems to also be important (but it's switched off and can't influence your decision making)

So, it isn't all charm and success for sociopaths; rather, it's more short-term charm and short-term success, and long-term failing out of people from their lives, and long-term negative consequences from their brilliant-seeming short-term decisions.

Thus, the extremes of empathy - very high empathy, or very low empathy - carry with each of them some tantalizing boons... but also some very unpleasant banes.

But what if you could learn how to have empathy in just the dose you needed it, at just the time you needed it, and in such a way that you were rarely ever either over empathetic or under empathetic?


how to have empathy

Know what I think the key to perfect empathy is? It's this:

Default to "above average empathy", with the ability to dial up or dial down as needed, depending on circumstance. To my mind, that's the ideal; keep it at healthy but measurable doses. With above average empathy, you:

  • Immediately understand most people

  • Avoid making short-sighted momentarily expedient but eventually destructive judgment calls (the sociopath's folly)

  • Get to be especially attuned to the environment, with an almost precognitive-like awareness of what's coming next

  • Be sensitive to "future you" and avoid putting yourself in situations that might be fun now but very harmful to you later

Being able to dial your empathy up means you can switch into highly creative mode, clear through negotiation logjams to find mutually beneficial solutions (rather than relying on the low empathy individual's bull-your-way-to-success approach that leads to an embittered other side and imploding relationships), and more effectively model and predict how other people are likely to act, even in situations in which you have zero real world experience.

Being able to dial your empathy down means you can switch into bull-mode when empathetic negotiations aren't working or you're dealing with an unempathetic person who won't work with you, assertively chase down things you might otherwise be apprehensive about chasing down, and set aside fear when you need to set it aside.

This "empathy switching" is something almost no one does naturally - but everyone can learn to do.


Cerebral Cruise Control

First, let's talk having empathy, for the readers who lack it.

I've frequently surrounded myself with low- or no-empathy friends. I grew up as a very high empathy person, only to find myself crippled by a social phobia that left me paralyzed by fear of even the smallest consequences of any of my actions: what if someone didn't like me; what if I hurt their feelings; what if I messed up. Eventually, I came to view my high level of empathy as a major weakness, and sought to control it, and to surround myself with people who were the opposite of what I was.

I sought to emulate their positive traits - boldness, fearlessness, shamelessness; this was very difficult for me at first, but to a certain extent I learned to dial my empathy up and down as they could, and eventually I could (usually) be every bit as bold, fearless, or shameless as they could - sometimes much more so... though nearly always 100% conscious of what I was doing, and suppressing fear and shame, rather than not feeling it outright.

At the same time, I learned to value my own empathy, because even as I learned the strong advantages of my sociopathic friends, I also observed their weaknesses: chaotic relationships, self-destructive patterns that prevented them from truly progressing, and a veneer of charm, intellect, and improvement that was really very much veneer: despite being some of the most vocal people you'd ever meet about change and self-improvement, meet them years later and you'll find that, while they may have been promoted in their careers, otherwise they remain exactly the same, even while your more "ordinary" friends have changed and evolved. Sociopathic people tend to be frozen in time, stuck in a kind of permanent unchanging state.

It's my opinion that this unchanging state, the lack of creativity, chaotic relationships, and self-destructive patterns are all symptoms of a single root cause: low empathy is really just the brain placed on cruise control.

This is my personal theory. I haven't seen any research supporting it. But in observing the difference between my own high- and low-empathy states, and in observing the differences between people I interact with who are high in empathy or low in empathy, I've noticed a strikingly common trend: people high on empathy really THINK about what you say, what they see on your face, what you're feeling, what's going on in the environment, and what the causes of everything are. They're turning over everything, and processing hard. This is also why they're so suggestible: because they're open to and considering everything, people on high empathy are able to be guided and suggested.

Compare this to low empathy individuals and sociopaths: when you're in this category, you're on FULL autopilot. You're not running your brain at a million RPMs trying to crack that nut and really figure stuff out and get inside people's heads and understand why what's what and that's that. You're not trying to assemble pieces of knowledge into artful, creative works, or to tie together a mental model that forms a coherent picture out of all the little details you've observed. You may be very intelligent; and you may be well-read. But you don't analyze; you read, retain, and repeat. With people, you charm and seduce - but you don't think. You don't feel what they feel. It's like running an assembly line; each new person is just another one plopped out on the conveyor belt and given the same treatment as every one else.

The biggest question someone in a low empathy state might ask himself is, "What should I do differently next time?" He won't ask himself, "What was going through her head that made her react that way?" or, "How would I feel if I were her and I talked to me that way?"

That's what I think empathy really is: it's thinking hard about all the new stimuli you have coming in right now, and viewing a situation from multiple different angles different from and even totally alien to your own.

Sociopaths take a mental shortcut and turn off most of that hard thinking most of the time, allowing them to run consistent processes for getting what they want and appearing charming and persuasive, always seeming fresh because they are untaxed by the mentally fatiguing work of having to carefully consider, weigh, analyze, and decipher every new piece of information.

Conversely, empaths have this shortcut disabled, or haven't learned to take it, and are unable to shut off their analysis mode, and so are easily affected by anyone and everything that sees fit to put heavy emotions and arguments on them, forcing them to spend mental resources dealing with this new, weighty cognitive load.

It's all about turning your autopilot on or off.


How to Have Empathy

Earlier we touched on the importance of gaining more reference points with all kinds of different people if you want to experience higher degrees of empathy. Why's that?

Well, because it forces you to see other people who were previously only one-dimensional stereotypes as fully fleshed out, real people.

Multiple studies (including this one from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 2009) have that found that people who live abroad outside their home countries develop higher levels of creativity:

Despite abundant anecdotal evidence that creativity is associated with living in foreign countries, there is currently little empirical evidence for this relationship. Five studies employing a multimethod approach systematically explored the link between living abroad and creativity. Using both individual and dyadic creativity tasks, Studies 1 and 2 provided initial demonstrations that time spent living abroad (but not time spent traveling abroad) showed a positive relationship with creativity. Study 3 demonstrated that priming foreign living experiences temporarily enhanced creative tendencies for participants who had previously lived abroad. In Study 4, the degree to which individuals had adapted to different cultures while living abroad mediated the link between foreign living experience and creativity. Study 5 found that priming the experience of adapting to a foreign culture temporarily enhanced creativity for participants who had previously lived abroad. The relationship between living abroad and creativity was consistent across a number of creativity measures (including those measuring insight, association, and generation), as well as with masters of business administration and undergraduate samples, both in the United States and Europe, demonstrating the robustness of this phenomenon.

... and, as we know, creativity and empathy are closely linked.

The reach out programs mentioned in that RSA video are another link in the chain for empathy-building: a Palestinian mother may despise Israelis because she lost a child to an Israeli bombing, while an Israeli father may loathe Palestinians because he lost a child to a Palestinian rocket attack. But put the two together and let them talk, and they will quickly discover their enemies are not quite the monsters they made them out to be beforehand. And it's the same for understanding both those weaker than you, and those more powerful, too.

But what about base-level empathy in the first place? What if you're the type who'd meet a mother crying about losing her child, and just not be affected? Maybe even be a little bored?

I'm not going to vilify you here. The people who will are, paradoxically, not being all that empathetic toward you; they don't understand how you can not feel empathy.

I do.

It again ties back to whether you are doing the mental heavy lifting of forcing yourself into the other person's shoes emotionally or not. You see, empathetic people like to consider themselves selfless, but the reason they cry when they see another in pain is not because they are truly selfless individuals; rather, it is because when you are in an empathetic state of mind, you imagine that other person's pain as your own, and imagine that you are them, or that their pain has happened to you.

how to have empathy

If that sounds a little crazy ("Why would I want to do that?"), I understand. It's a social bonding mechanism that humans use to communicate their closeness to and support of others.

The real advantage of empathy isn't just "making other people feel like you care", though; I've spent enough time around low empathy individuals to know that isn't a major concern ("The LAST thing I want is some needy clingy person hanging around trying to suck emotional support out of me!" - either that, or they're more interested in the appearance of care than actually caring outright).

Rather, the advantage is those advantages we listed above: awareness, better long-term decision making, and genuine, substantial self-improvement (not just the "Oh yeah, I'm totally improvement-oriented!" line you feed people because it makes them think more highly of you).

And the only way to develop those benefits? Yup - you've got to train yourself to switch empathy on in a big way.

Not just some of the time, if you're usually low or no empathy. You've got to have your brain switched into that taxing, focused, analytical mode all the time. That means constantly asking yourself:

  • Why is it this way? If something is a way, there must be a reason for it.

  • What other ways could it be? What are possible alternatives?

  • How does this interact with the other things I know and believe?

  • What is this person feeling right now? What emotions are she experiencing?

  • What do those emotions feel like if I experience them myself?

  • Why does this person act the way he or she does? What's the root cause?

  • Is this person trusting of me? What would I feel like if I was her and I violated that trust?

  • Is this person paranoid? What would I feel like if I was as paranoid as him, and what would I be afraid that I am going to do?

The more you expose yourself to various new people and new situations and the more you keep your analysis hat on FULL BLAST, the more you will cultivate the ability to thoughtfully and empathetically think about the world around you in a way that modulates your self-destructive and stuck-in-place tendencies, and accents the superficial charm you've gotten so good at developing with real substance that others value and that makes your life increasingly better at a far faster rate than promotions in a work environment can net you.


Tamping Down Runaway Empathy

If you're on the other side of the spectrum, and you're crippled by excessive empathy, you need to do as I did and learn to dial it down a notch.

Again, experience wins the day here; if your natural default is "high empathy", this is what you'll switch into in unfamiliar high stress situations. So, you need to get yourself as much experience in as many different kinds of situations that you are familiar with whatever life throws at you, and can respond in a way that's more automated and less "brain going crazy with constant heavy analysis and emotion."

The object here is not to become constantly automated and unempathetic; rather, the objective is to learn to switch into low empathy in situations that benefit from low empathy.

For example, when you are pulling women home, you do a lot better in somewhat low empathy mode. If you go too low empathy, you won't be able to recognize and respond to legitimate objections with anything other than the "plow your way to success!" approach, which sometimes works, and sometimes blows up in your face. Conversely, if you're at average or higher empathy, when she starts raising objections, you're going to give them too much thought: "What if she's serious? What if she really is tired, and I'm making her even more tired by keeping her out right now?" And then you send her home, and she goes into auto-rejection because she expected you to overcome her objections and give her great sex, and instead you took her words at face value.

The secret here is process. When you can build an automated process that you follow for something, you're able to dial down empathy and just run the process. Then, instead of having to think your way through something, you can switch on your magnetic charm... and behave much like the sociopath does in social situations.

And there's no question that the men women find the most sexually enticing - charming, charismatic, risk-taking men who are unafraid of defying social convention and are bursting with sex and sensuality - are dead ringers characteristics-wise for just about every sociopath who's ever lived.

Seduction works best when you emulate low empathy individuals - these simply are the types of men that women are drawn to (perhaps due to the fact that individuals who are low in empathy tend to be more successful on average - they attain a much greater proportion of leadership roles than their share of society at large would imply they should get - or perhaps because being low in empathy allows one to more quickly and efficiently build a persona that generates optimal results with the opposite sex without being stifled by fears of rejection and the like).

And you may have to operate in low empathy during relationship fights, especially if a girlfriend is pushing very hard and your natural inclination on being pushed is to yield.

But there are other times when you will want your empathy close to full blast - e.g., when you are learning something new, or trying something out that you haven't tried with women before. Here, you want to be fully immersed in the reactions and results you're getting, so you can adjust on the fly - and also figure out if this is something you want to keep doing or not.

I'd recommend that once you learn to control it, you usually keep your empathy dialed up, but get good at dialing it down whenever you need to either do something that makes you uncomfortable (like challenging someone you don't want to challenge, or approaching a girl you're nervous to approach) or is otherwise hard to do (you've got to go talk your way into an exclusive members area, with nothing but your charm and your wits - not the time to be empathetic touchy-feely - rather, it's just time to go).


Dialing Up and Dialing Down

You will find that people who are low in empathy tend to consider those high in empathy to be "weak"; meanwhile, those high in empathy tend to consider those low in empathy to be "cold" or "evil." Yet, both high and low empathy have strong advantages; and both sides of the spectrum nicely complement one another's deficits.

In fact, the strongest, and warmest, individual is the one who's able to span both sides, and everything in between. The man who can be high in empathy when learning and understanding and communicating, and low in empathy when acting and doing and persevering, is an immensely powerful man.

This man is a man who understands others fully and intuitively, and nurtures his relationships with them; who keeps energy-draining individuals away from himself, and only individuals who are his equals or better, and who are worth his time and attention; he does things that build up his future, rather than sabotage it, and yet he does so with might and resolve and without an oversupply of fear and self-doubt. He's a cautious man, but not so cautious that he misses out on good times and great experiences; and because he is always aware, he is highly creative and able to summon a solution for nearly any problem, and is then able to knuckle down and execute on said solutions until they are done.

Being able to dial your empathy up and down, like a dimmer, is power of a man who has truly mastered himself. Because empathy, what for all its cultural baggage and moralizing, is at the core of things a tool: one that can paralyze you or destroy you, if you have too much of it or too little, or one that can help you make real your wildest fantasies, if you learn to wield it properly and at the right times.

However, it does take some training; and you will have to force yourself to think and feel a LOT harder (if you're normally switched off) and build up your tolerance for mentally taxing activities, or to override a number of emotions (if you're normally switched into overdrive) and build up your tolerance for emotionally scary things.

Either way, if you really want to realize the full potential of what you've got in your skull and what you can achieve in this short time you've got alive, then get your empathy handled - learn to feel it powerfully and more if you don't, and learn to tamp it down and direct it and steer it if you can't. The world is yours if you do.

Ciao,
Chase

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Comments

leetter's picture

picking up women who are working


Great article. I think im high on empathy but never realized it until this post, it was just something I did. I used to think in a million shades of gray until i came to the realization that you just have to pick something and go, like what you suggested in the black and white thinking article. Is this something empathetic people do?

Anyway my main question is what process do you use to pick someone up that's working. While waitresses and bartenders are the usual source for this question, I've been coming across this with women who work different jobs. two cashiers one manager of a storage place and one that works at a bank(personal banker?). One of those cashiers seemed to be into me but every time I see her I only have probably a minute to interact with her so its hard to do anything but banter. For the manager and banker I got to spend more time with and both of them were enjoying the conversation. Both of them were wearing engagement rings which is what stopped me from trying to go any further, which is neither here nor there. But if i did want to pursue how would you go about it? Just escalate to see if they are just being friendly? Do i have to do something to snap them out of work mode?

Chase Amante's picture

Hired Guns

Author

Leeter-

This is one that's in the article queue for proper treatment in a full article, but for now, you can find a few tips about this here: "Where to Find an Amazing Woman: 20 Surprising Places" (last section at the bottom of the article). If you'll see them regularly, you can treat it like social circle, where you warm them up and steep the vibe over a series of encounters, and then make the ask on the third or fourth meeting.

If you won't see them regularly, you've just got to be bold and pull the trigger then and there - ramp up the vibe quickly, break her out of autopilot, and ask her out - she'll say "yes" and give you contact details, or she'll hem and haw, and you can either press on and insist, or tell her it's fine and let her off the hook and wish her a nice day.

Chase

Bobby's picture

This article hits home


I grew up in a low empathy family while I might have too much at times.Now,I think that are no advantages to being of low empathy aside from short term,because people like this are very likeable but they will eventually show who they are and their behavior is cyclical and predictable.
For me the downside to my high levels of empathy was being taken advantage by family members and other people having those unfortunate traits.
As far as women,I think that when they're given a choice of either a low empathy individual who looks great and a guy who appears boring and regular,they'll go for the former 99.9% of the time.
But from my experiences,they'll go ape shit if the guy is genuine and this emotion can be felt while it won't for a low empathy individual no matter how hard they try.
So I've learned to be even more calm and neutral. I am an high empathy dude but I conceal that aspect of personality until I figure out who I'm dealing with.I can figure out if a woman is cluster B in a few minutes and act accordingly but I stay away from these women because they're not the toxicity...lol
Anyways,I'll end my lengthy essay here-;)

B's picture

Loving the article on brain


Loving the article on brain hacks...

Im curious... Where do emotions like insecurity, emotional overreaching etc. Come from and Whats the best way to rid of them? Does being in an analytical mode make one more vulnerable to judging oneself and bis environment?

Chase Amante's picture

Undesirable Emotions

Author

B-

Many of these stem from childhood experiences - family, social environment, etc. Usually, the stabler and more supportive the home environment, the healthier the individual, psychologically-speaking (personally, when I'm screening for girlfriends, I screen for a stable home environment growing up; starting to do the same with friends these days, too).

An analytical frame of mind can exacerbate problems related to self-judging, but only if the problems are already there under the surface lurking in the self-conscious. No one on Earth is COMPLETELY free of self-consciousness; we all have it in some degree or another. However, some people have a much greater amount of it than others do, and are more prone to having it become a problem during periods of high stress, exhaustion, fatigue, inebriation, etc., when the ego is depleted and the frontal lobes are no longer able to effectively modulate the behavior of the subconscious regions of the brain.

Chase

Bolt's picture

Success as a Young Rapper


Hey Chase, I recall you mentioning how you use to be an aspiring rapper who wore big gold chains and bracelets (I'm not judging I have a nice Citizen watch and a small silver bracelet I always wear ha). Anyways, I'm sure you became pretty good if you worked half as hard as you did with the social arts. I have been writing raps since I was 12 and even performed in front of more than 1,000 people, albeit it was a mega church in my hometown, I did Christian rap while in high school. Well , since I've been in college i haven't really spent much time writing music because I've been focusing on my studies, getting better with women, making new friends, and bodybuilding. However, I decided I'm going to get back into it. I have a unique image in mind (just like great legends like Wu Tang did). My question to you is what would your advice be on building notoriety and fame as a rapper or musician and also on the best (hopefully free or cheapest) way to create beats? Also, what made you stop rapping anyway?

Chase Amante's picture

Re: Success as a Young Rapper

Author

Bolt-

Props on getting back into music. The landscape for rap has changed over the past decade or so; when I was active, it was the dying years of activist rap / rap with a message, and the real beginning of the merger of Hip-Hop with pop, which more or less is in full swing today. Which is not to say that you can't go against the tide and have meaningful music - many of the most memorable artists in history are the ones who emerge with both artistically beautiful works AND works that are profoundly meaningful, in times that are bereft of much meaning and rather lost, spiritually. The key to success is any art (and especially music), is extremely appealing art; the key to legendary status is appealing and meaningful art.

Your first aim always has to be having the best-sounding music out there: the best, most innovative, and catchiest beats; the most original, crispiest, tightest flow; and the most hypnotic, trance-inducing hooks that make people want to stand up and sing them over and over again and get hype and get excited. For beats, if you have a good musical ear and have experience, get a good software program and start following tutorials to get good with it; I used to use FL Studio back in the day, but not sure if it's still any good - I used Garage Band a little while back for the first time, and the ability to use loops makes putting together beats so much easier it's insane (you used to have to paint every note).

If you're not good at beats, but your lyrics and flow are tight, start seeking out good beat-makers; there are a lot more talented beat-makers than there are lyricists, in my opinion. The only thing is you've got to be able to tell them what you need; study how Puff Daddy composed B.I.G.'s albums - some songs are all about building the mood, but there are the club hits ("Big Poppa", "Hypnotized") and the radio hits ("Juicy", "Mo' Money, Mo' Problems"). B.I.G. actually wanted "Things Done Changed" to be the first single from Ready to Die, but Puffy said "no", because he knew they needed a club hit to be the first single, not gangsta rap that wouldn't get much air play. Have your credibility pieces that are deep with meaning, but have your club hits and your radio hits too, and make sure their beats are AWESOME. And don't do an album of disjointed, unrelated tracks - tie them all in together, and tell a story with the album. Check out The Low End Theory by Tribe; it's one of the best composed rap albums of all time (the way all the music ties in together).

For buzz building, mix tapes were big back in the day, and while I think it makes sense to try to get some tracks going around in the underground to build a more "real" buzz for yourself there, I wouldn't ignore the Internet either - all kinds of people are coming out of that these days (Justin Bieber, for one - regardless what you think of the guy or his music, he got his start from YouTube videos, of all things). There might also be other channels online I'm not aware of; I'm not so plugged into the scene these days. But I'd mostly pick one avenue (ideally, the one with the most reach), and just pimp the hell out of it: find out what people want, figure out some unique angles that are going to draw them to your stuff like magnets, and keep doing it even when your first attempts fall flat, until you figure it out. Just keep switching things up, trying different angles, and being creative and getting ever-better. You'll get it if you keep at it.

As for why I got out of it... my reasons for getting into it were mainly 1.) to get girls, and 2.) to prove to everyone who said I couldn't do it that I could. By early 2006, when I recorded my last couple of songs, I was cold approaching women like crazy and getting women from THIS skill set seemed a far more viable path than trying to claw my way to the top of the music industry (which was still probably another 4 to 5 years away at that point, at least), and everyone was getting so excited about my music that most of the challenge was gone - I didn't have to prove myself anymore; I was already proven. All the guys who were the "gatekeepers" in town were hounding me to come perform at their shows, and giving me doe eyes like they were looking at the golden child - it sucked the wind right out of my sails.

At the same time, I didn't really have close friends, so I didn't have a support network of people to prop me up and encourage me to go for it, and my family couldn't have been happier for me to quit rapping and get serious about finding a job and stop dressing and acting like I was not a rich white kid from the suburbs. So, just a mix of all my real motivation going away, and no extrinsic forces pushing me to persevere, and rather instead gently but continually nudging me to move on and leave that path behind. When you read about people who go on to become great in something, one of the largest influences that's almost always there but frequently gets overlooked is the support network that continually shores them up, encourages them, and helps propel them to success.

I learned from my music days though, and only surround myself now with people who fully support my present goals. If you're serious about rap, I'd encourage you to do the same - find people who believe in you, believe you can succeed in music, and WANT you to succeed in music, and make those people key people in your life you interact with all the time. They will buoy you up in times of doubt, and egg you on in times of apathy - which is what you need to make it past certain hurdles in the climb toward success.

Chase

B's picture

Loving the article on brain


Loving the article on brain hacks...

Im curious... Where do emotions like insecurity, emotional overreaching and worry etc. Come from and Whats the best way to rid of them? Does being in an analytical mode make one more vulnerable to judging oneself and bis environment?

Franco's picture

Great Summary and Analysis


As someone with an extremely high ceiling for empathy, I can attest that this summary/analysis is spot on. I've always had an exceedingly high level of understanding of people, and it's part of the reason that everything on this website first "clicked" for me when I came here: I intuitively believed that women behaved certain ways for reasons different than the ones mainstream society claimed they were behaving those ways for. This website was basically the key that unlocked the doors that were closed in my mind -- doors that I was afraid to unlock myself because I wasn't aware dialing DOWN empathy would help me -- and allowed me to put two and two together to show me what it is that people really want. Especially women.

Dialing down empathy is something that can definitely be done for someone who already has a high level of it -- it's easy to say, "fuck it!" and just see what happens. So I'm curious as to whether or not low empathy individuals have the ability to dial it up. Maybe this article is all they need to read to be able to do so! ;)

Good stuff!

- Franco

Bobby's picture

from my personal experience...


The majority of low empathy individuals that I had to deal with,can"dial it up" from time to time but not for long!It becomes cyclical and draining.The best thing is to establish strong boundaries with these people.That said,I met some really sociopathic individuals and the best thing is to ignore them altogether.

Amucat's picture

Great Post from a Highly Empathetic Guy


Hey Chase, this is an AMAZING article and I can truly relate and understand everything that you wrote in this post. Growing up as an highly empathetic person, I understand that runaway empathy, if not dealt with, can really open you up to not only being used, but also to readily internalize labels, judgements, and indictments against you. It took me years to finally understand and embrace my sensitivity.

Anyway cutting to the chase (no pun intended), being highly empathetic has honestly been one of the greatest BOONS of my life. It has allowed me to be able calibrate myself socially to a lot of situations where I had no experience in at home, (in my original culture, I'm from the Caribbean) and abroad. It's responsible for my insatiable thirst about people and the world. I think it is the greatest asset to my Charisma. People, don't sleep on this. I think mastery of it is the single most useful personality trait when dealing with people, women, everything.

Personally, the way I chose to deal with certain drawbacks, such as the inclination to put other people's feelings ahead of my own ('or being pulled out of myself', as I call it) was when the situation required it, to train myself to turn all that empathetic energy from an external to an internal focus. I would shut down looking at the external situation, and focus completely on myself and my own feelings. This usually keeps me rock solid.

Once you get past that, and also knowing when to come to conclusions and making effective decisions about people and situations (something I struggled for years with dealing with - because if left unchecked, one is apt to ruminate on things forever), it really works wonders.

Chase, keep up the amazing work. You are a godsend to guys who want to improve themselves, and to do it in a way that is just and respectful of others. Long time reader and lurker, I just wanted to add my two cents because this article (and the "Last post you need to get girls" ) really struck a chord with me. Good stuff. Thank you.

TORNADO's picture

Higher Empathy = Higher Chance Of Being Friendzoned


Great article as always.

I finally seem to have found my problem. I am on extremely high empathy, atleast was on.

My close friends criticize that I think TOO MUCH.

1) Whenever I have a fight, it spoils my entire day

2) When I get up in the morning early and do some weight lifting exercise (My mom hates me lifting weights :P), even a small frown from my Mom makes me stop.

3) Overdoing things for a girl, getting friendzoned and eventually blocked by her inspite of me doing so much for her.

4) When I am talking to someone and some other person cuts in, I change my attention to that person instead of finishing my current conversation like others do.

5) When I am busy doing my stuff and someone interrupts I get interrupted easily unlike others who hardly get perturbed.

6) When I am about to hire a cab or park in a spot and I see someone further away from me doing the same, I kind of get demotivated and surrender instead of simply ignoring and prioritizing my own need.

I have tried my best to reduce empathy and have succeeded to some extent. Now a days when I have a fight or am suddenly blacklisted by a close friend, I give a rat's ass which takes care of point no.1. Also the incident with the girl who I recently learn is suffering from schizophrenia has definitely made me more stronger hopefully taking care of point 2. As far as point 6 goes, recently have been what is popularly defined as "Pushy". I guess you need low levels of empathy to be a pushy person. Correct me if I am wrong. I try my best to prioritize my needs but I have still not reached a stage where I am able to do it without avoiding any verbal conflict.

However I am yet unable to solve Points 2, 4 and 5.

I still get easily interrupted, get easily flinched when someone disapproves something.

Chase Amante's picture

High Empathy Problems

Author

Tornado,

I can relate. Much of the solution comes from taking a more competitive approach to things - turn everything into a competition.

#2 you get over by attacking every fight or disapproving glance, etc. - you challenge and escalate until you can bring it to a head and achieve emotional resolution. The only ones that still end up spoiling your day or knocking you off are the ones where the person refuses to listen and you have no recourse to address him / her... then it kind of sucks. The best thing you can do here is have a bunch of small / mindless tasks you can fill a dead day like this with that don't require as much effort or concentration, so you can still eke out a productive day despite depleted motivation.

With working out, yeah, there's not much around that one - the best I can say is challenge it: You: "What?" Mom: "Nothing." You: "No, what? You're frowning - that's totally demotivating to me wanting to work out. Do you want me to stay skinny, weak, and helpless forever?" Mom: "No, it's fine; do what you want." You: "No, seriously - this is a problem, Mom. I care about you and what you think is important to me and really affects me. If you're not on board with me working out, I need to know what you think is the alternative - what should I do to better protect myself when people want to hurt me? How should I make my body look more appealing to the girls I find attractive? How should I appear more powerful and impressive to other people, to get a better job and make more money and lead a better life? I'm not attached to lifting weights - if you can offer a better solution, I'd be happy to take it." Those kinds of pitched battles can be hard the first few times you have them, but once you know what you're doing, it's a HUGE relief to be able to drive the other person like this. The thing to keep in mind (that will help assuage any empathetic guilt you might feel about pressing someone like this) is that the point of this is NOT to force the other person into compliance; rather, it's to force the two of you to communicate TOTALLY HONESTLY about WHY each of you thinks the way you do (why you think working out is important, and why she thinks you working out is a bad thing). Once the reasons are out there, you can address them; but until then, they just sit under the surface and fester. They need to be forced out, forcefully - they usually won't come out on their own.

#4 - read this article: "Breaking Circle." Start viewing this behavior as rude and nasty - either the person is socially clueless and doesn't realize he's an interloper (in which case, you'll always feel bad shutting him out, but you've just got to suck it up and do it), or he knows EXACTLY what he's doing, and is deliberately trying to make you look bad socially to open up pathways for himself or his buddy (in which case, you should derive a lot of satisfaction from ignoring him and shutting him down).

#5 - there's no way around this - all you can do is create environments that are as quiet and blockaded-off as possible, and work hard on training the people around you who still interrupt anyway not to do this. e.g., when I have to work with a girlfriend in the apartment, she will interrupt (they always do) early on into the relationship, but I will start training her right away, and explain that when I'm interrupted, it breaks my chain of thought and productivity, and sometimes I don't get it back for an hour or more; occasionally, the entire day is a bust. So please, please, PLEASE don't interrupt unless it is absolutely VITAL. If the house is burning down or she's cut her fingertip off and needs to be rushed to the hospital before she faints, okay, interrupt me; if she's just read an article about how men are oppressing women and needs to come cause some drama, it's just going to have to wait until I'm finished what I need to finish.

Chase

Troy's picture

High School Guidelines,Not Game to Learn How to Sleep with Girls


Hey Chase,

This is a lot to absorb and im basically in the high empathy (maybe thats why i am always so tired), ill think about this more and see where i fall. anyways i digress!

Ive been seeing several guys on here lately asking about an article on high school game. When you reply to these requests, your main message is " Im not sure about the moral laws about giving seduction advice to minors, and such since you would have to have a high partner sex number, then im not giving out advice that will paint my image as a bad person"

Chase, i can agree with you that giving advice to minors about sleeping girls would put you, the high school guys and the entire world in great problem if minors began sexual activities. Ok i agree!

There are however always two sides to the story most times ( and its a thing you refer a lot here as the 2 extremes and finding balance a between them ).

Im hoping you could clear up this little problem with a short spicy article! Let me explain: i think that a lot of the advice here already gives out general advice about sleeping with girls and such! Most of this can be applied to a high school student. There are however a few articles on here that deal with general advice like working on your fundamentals, getting rid of anxiety and becoming a good conversationalist. the requests for an article for high school game will only keep coming up on this site as time goes by.

Chase, you stated that when you were in high school, you were too much of a loner, even though you have some ideas that may or may not put the person in a better position socially.

However, i still think that you could write a short article on GUIDELINES for high school instead of A GUIDE TO SEDUCING HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS AND TAKING THEM TO BED. Most of what i think would be OK to write about for high schoolers would be under the topics listed below:
1) Focus on your school work mainly
2) Put more focus towards learning your fundamentals, good conversation skills and making friends with both girls and guys so that when you leave high school you'll be on a easier street and able to move forward with your other life goals.
3) Abstain from sex until you are a legal adult (18 years old) and just focus on forming friendships without sex.
4) Try to join actitities in school that build confidence or something you like to have more life experience to help succeed socially eg. toastmasters, sports team, music club/choir.
5) Dont be a nuisance to learning to socialize but try going to parties, social events e.t.c...

Basically those are the main guidelines i would say that high schoolers should follow and is basic advice that is not conflicting with the law anywhere. I feel that high schoolers reading this site may decide to have early sex, ignore laws and ignore there school studies to take up full seduction.

I just had to get this out and im looking to see an article on simple tips for high schoolers if you dont completely oppose to this idea chase or any of the other writers here.... just a simple guide to taking on a early start to push forward for the end of high school so we will be on easy sesame street for more advanced things!
Thanks!

-Troy

Chase Amante's picture

Re: High School Guidelines,Not Game to Learn How to Sleep with G

Author

Troy-

Yeah, those seem like great guidelines - I agree.

My own problem is that I still wouldn't be the person to write something like that - my social skills were pretty abysmal in high school (outside of telling stories and telling jokes and creating the emotions in people that I wanted them to feel); I did not abstain from sex by choice (far from it!); and I had zero after school activities aside from a part-time job in the children's clothing section in a department store, and didn't go to a single party aside from the first few days of Senior Week following graduation (and zero dances!).

My time in high school basically was a long stretch of maddening, crazy-making nothingness, where days dragged on one after another, seemingly stretching off into infinity, with nothing to look forward to and no end in sight for on and on. I could certainly SAY all those things, and recommend for people to do them, but they'd be naught but empty platitudes from me, telling you to do as I say, not as I did.

Chase

Anonymous's picture

Hiya Chase, Just wanted to


Hiya Chase,

Just wanted to say. I've been reading (across the blog and forum) how harsh your highschool, and early college years were, and then seeing how you've managed to progress to such impressive heights; well, I wanted to thank you for sharing. I also fell into some pretty rough patches during my teens and early twenties, and Being unable to see a way out, I spent a long time resigned to mediocrity and rumination. Seeing how someone in relatable circumstances managed to make such progress is an inspiring example.

GC blog and its articles has done more for my mental progress than I can record here (without spiralling into a wall of text, anyway). So, cheers.

-E

Sam2's picture

In defence of the "sociopath"


Chase,

This is a thought-provoking piece of writing which beautifully rephrases the need for a man to have healthy boundaries, i.e. to have the ability to hear "no" and say "no; another way to express your idea about becoming a "genuine man".

Based on a conversation I had yesterday with 3 friends, I would like to add an assumption which might help us understand one more aspect of the "high empathy-low empathy" topic.

My 3 friends, whose practical experience with women is rather low, kept insisting that "for a man to keep an extremely beautiful woman in a relationship with him he would need a lot of money". I was of the opinion that the looks of a woman say nothing about her character and attitude towards money. Now, irrespectively of whether I was right or wrong about that, the point is: they tried to empathise with how an extremely beautiful woman feels and needs, while I couldn't bother talking about a higher-skill issue (i.e. how to keep a hot, high-mentenance woman in your life) when I knew that I had lower-skill problems (e.g. last-minute resistance).

So, while my 3 high-empathy friends cannot not say "hello" to a woman they didn't already know, they could easily theorise for hours about an issue of much higher skill than their own. On the other hand, me, the "sociopath" of the company, being fully aware of my current skill with women I thought of the entire discussion a total waste of my time and mental energy.

So, could we say that:

High-empathy men = low self-awareness men and
Low-empathy men = high self-awareness men?

If so, I think the charm of the "sociopath" consists in his self-awareness; he has a strong sense of self, he knows where he stands, he knows his shortcomings, and women, who by nature seek a rock, find him attractive, despite his low-empathy and because of his strict self-awareness.

Chase Amante's picture

Re: In defence of the "sociopath"

Author

Sam-

The self-awareness comparison is a fascinating point, yeah. Low-empathy people do generally seem to have much higher levels of self-awareness than high-empathy people do, probably from allowing themselves to be bombarded all day long from every direction by all manner of people's thoughts about who they are and what they are and what they ought to do and what not to, and from their own commiseration with others and trying to adjust themselves to suit what they think others feel, want, and need.

I think you trend toward lower levels of empathy as you get progressively more experienced (and thus, become more self-aware) at certain things as well. Part of the reason I continue responding to comments here is that it gets too easy for me to get frustrated with newer guys if I'm not active in comments, where some guy is acting befuddled about how to get a girl, and all I can do is go, "Geez, she's just a GIRL - just go TALK to her!" Staying active in the comments forces you to constantly think through other people's problems and see things from their perspectives, thus keeping you grounded empathetically - which is sort of necessary for being able to crank out material that resonates with the reading audience (otherwise you just become some increasingly detached individual whose experience deviate so far from the masses that he cannot relate to them and they cannot relate to him, and pretty soon you're speaking to an audience of one). Then again, you try something totally different, and you're back in your head again as an empathetic person; sociopathic people do not seem to have this problem.

(the other problem your high empathy friends have is that they're trying to empathize with women they have zero real world experience with, which means they're empathizing more with artificial constructs of how they believe she OUGHT to act based on what they've seen on TV or read on the Internet or watched on online video - and you can debate all day about theory... this, by the way, is not limited to high empathy individuals - have you ever sat in the middle of an abstract debate between two sociopaths? I had a pair of sociopath business partners trying to determine the cause of a business collapse - one took the position that we needed to hire people to make the business work; the other took the position that we needed to 'pay our dues' and work in the business [read: the other guy work in the business] before hiring people; because neither was able to empathize with the other one iota, the debate went on for literally MONTHS, and managed to derail the other business interest we all had going on at the time too. The debate didn't truly end until the second business collapsed, and the partnership dissolved. Empathy or not, abstract philosophical environments are just empty wastes of time - go out and test it, then get back to me, that's my response to these)

Chase

Al's picture

Getting Friends Complex Situation


Hi Chase,

My names Al and first off like every other guy I'd like to thank you for sharing your personal insight for the benefit of others. Now this is my tidbit, I must say it is quite a pleasure to read your articles, put them into practice, and watch some of the results successfully come about in real life situations.

I am dealing with a seemingly complex situation at the moment, which to you probably just needs to be broken down to understand and move forward. I am an 18 year old guy and there is this girl who is 20 that I've been wanting to go out with for about a year. I realize now after a few months of reading your articles that a year is way too long and that trying to "win" her over by keeping on her periphery will not work. So from last November to around September I've probably been breaking a lot of "rules" as it were in regards to chasing, attraction, and conversation. BUT she was in a healthy relationship with a boyfriend whom she loved up until late this October, so there wasn't a whole lot that I could do to get her to be my girlfriend. I'd say that her and I are friends but we're not really really close friends, like we texted ALOT from May through to September but only hung out outside of school stuff a dozen times or so most of which with other people. I don't think I'm a "fixture" in her life but she did just recently play the "right now, I just want to be friends" card after I persistently but not sounding needy casually asked her out to lunch/dinner. I actually first asked her back in late October early November but she legitimately couldn't make it and offered to reschedule at the end of November (she goes to university an hour and a half from home so can only come home every once and a while). At the end of November first year exam stress and post boyfriend stuff cracked her a bit it was really strange and she said she didn't want to make it seem like I was the issue so she said she'd be home 2 weeks from then. She didn't come down last week because she isn't doing the best on her exams lol and stayed to study. But I decided I'd had enough and finally asked her to give me a reliable date over the christmas break when we could go grab a bite. She kind of avoided the question a little bit because I carefully worded it to that she couldn't really weasel out. She didn't end up replying to me and flaked. A few days ago she texted me up sending some old videos at like 4 in the morning lol. Later on that day I talked to her (through texting) and got to the root of it. Where she said she just wanted to be friends, I was determined to change her mind (but it's nearly impossible to do through texting, side note I haven't seen her in person since the last week of August when I spent 40 hours with her during the week.). I broke the chasing rule and least effort too and sent a big long text telling her that I will be an amazing part of her life bringing value that she will miss out on a regret not giving a chance. Most of the text was in me telling her a story about this other girl who was a good friend of mine but I heroically turned a regular awards night for friends into her and I having a passionate evening. I related the story by saying that the awards night girl was also a little hesitant to let me out of the friend zone but glad she did because she said it was like what girls dream of ;). Anyways she hasn't responded to that and at the end I said "I cannot promise to be just friends but I can promise you a great time unlike anything else" then I asked her to think about everything I'd said in hopes of a "seed" being planted. The effectiveness of that probably isn't a good as I'd hoped for.

I am going to see her this sunday at a student council party. So it'll be small only 12 people or so but everyone is really close so I don't know how I can approach her to show her that I'm different than back in the summer. I don't know how I'll be able to show her a sexy smooth me with everyone else there watching like hawks, because I cannot really "move her". Is there a way to reduce the precedent of me being just a friend to her? Because if she could start thinking about me as a potential partner/lover I think I could get her. I'd just like your help Chase with how to proceed, tips and what not. I know that what I should do is forget this girl and go after some of the other ones I like but I really do want this girl, she is pretty damn incredible the real one, the one in my head's perfect haha. I may be a bit more attached than I ought to be which I am keeping in mind especially for the future but I don't want to get rid of this girl because I was ignorant and slipped up, I'm young! So is she! Since we're so young relationships are a tad different from the ones you write your articles about seeing as we're all less experienced but I try my best to adapt them to my situations.

I myself am very fashionable, have good posture and poise, quieter voice but it is EXTREMELY malleable (I'm an actor), I've really been working on my smiles and eye contact which have greatly improved thanks to you (love that James Bond pursed lips). I have nice well kept hair and slight facial hair, not much. I'm average height, bit of a build but I have acne it's moderate and it FUCKING SUCKS, nothing like it to destroy confidence. Just a personal question, how much do you think acne gets taken into account by girls? Personality, I'm funny if I do say so myself, kind, unique, different, interesting, quirky more on the nice side as opposed to the asshole. I am quite mature about 2 years older than my age so no problems getting respect from her and older people.

Now this girl's personality is the most complex and vortex like that I've ever seen. She's very interesting because of her quirks and oddities. She's also brave and courageous, as independent as a person can get, sincere, vulnerable tho like a hard shell soft interior kind of girl. She has some insecurities but who the hell doesn't. She's talented and definitely one of a kind. She isn't shallow or superficial at all. She's a nature lover, has some hippie tendencies too actually. She is a flirt and very playful ESPECIALLY when she's drunk like holy fuck it brilliant. She's more on the conservative side when it comes to sexuality but I think she just needs someone to make her feel comfortable and she'll be wild. Overall she is a real winner, terrific to be around and makes me happy.

Sorry about my egregious run on sentences, I'm infamous for that. If you have any questions or need more details give me a holler alwond@hotmail.com

But any opinions advice or tips for my situation will greatly be appreciated. Thanks man really hope to hear from you soon!

Kindest Regards,

Al

Chase Amante's picture

Friend Zone

Author

Al-

First, most IMPORTANT recommendation is to see this article:

At this point, you're overthinking a girl who's been dating other people and has you as a good friend / texting buddy - she seems amazing, and no doubt is a great person, but, again, see that article above. For more on those the items just mentioned, see these:

Now, as far as actually resetting her expectations of you when she clearly sees you as a nice guy / friend, that's one of the toughest things to do once you've already set that bad precedent in her mind - 10x as tough as it will be to find a girl who's just like her in every way except she doesn't have that same bad precedent with you, and just doing things right next time. That said, if you're dead-set on this girl, the best advice I can give you is to follow the strategies laid out in these two articles:

There's no easy path or quick solution, especially when she's telling you you're just a friend (unless you want to wait until she turns 30, tires of sleeping with bad boys, and starts casting about for a nice guy to settle down with - but I'm betting you don't!), because you're now fighting entrenched beliefs that are deeply carved in her mind about you. Still possible if you're willing to do the work - but it's going to take time, and you're going to need to be meeting other women in the meantime if you ever want to reset this one's expectations of you.

Chase

Yink's picture

Don't Know What's Wrong!!!


Hi Chase,great article,however my question is un-related to this article;I have been an avid reader of articles on girls chase since early last year,I have followed every advise given on this site thoroughly,I have improved my fundamentals,conversational abilities and so on yet I'm not getting the results I need.I get a lot of reactions from girls but not results.I move fast and I don't chase girls.I am in my final year in college,most times,I make progress with a girl then I hit a rock and just cut contact with her.for example I started hitting on a girl some weeks ago,I kissed her on the 2nd date and tried to invite her to my place for the 3rd date but she kept on postponing me till I cut contact with her.It seems like girls want me to commit to them first but you advise us be lovers instead of boyfriends.I've gotten laid ONLY twice this year and I don't understand that because I practice everything on this site.I don't know what is wrong and sometimes I just feel like giving up on women.I'm tired of seducing a girl to an extent then failing.Please tell me what to do because I NEED results.I need to start getting laid REGULARLY!!!

Chase Amante's picture

Re: Don't Know What's Wrong!!!

Author

Yink-

Sorry to hear about the frustrations. Tough to say in general what's going wrong, but at least with the dating scenario, unless you know exactly what you're doing (see: "How to Kiss Girls in Public and Have It Go Great"), do NOT kiss girls until you are alone with them in a seduction location. Unless you're a pro at leaving them wanting more, 90% of women will get everything they need from you when you start kissing them outside, and future dates / accompanying you home is no longer in the cards.

If you're running the three-date+ system, instead of trying to pull on dates #s 1 or 2, you're essentially running a "boyfriend" dating process, NOT the lover's process - lovers don't take 3 dates to sleep with women. And, there's nothing wrong with that - you can still be a sexually attractive boyfriend candidate. But if you're going this route, you want to make sure you run it properly, and don't muck it up by messing up too much over-the-top lover stuff with the boyfriend expectations you're setting by taking things slower like this - make sure you're following this guide here: "Having Lots of Dates in Short Amounts of Time."

If I had to put a bead on it, it sounds like you think you're doing everything correctly, but you're mixing up some important steps (e.g., kissing before you're ready to have sex with her then and there; taking the role of the lover but trying to run that over a boyfriend-candidate length number of dates; etc.) that are throwing some obstacles in your way. If you're trying to figure out other things that might be happening like that, sit down and list out everywhere you're losing women - where are the consistent trends? Look for trends in behavior (e.g., women's attraction suddenly drops around a certain mark every time - you're either doing something off-putting, OR you're missing a key escalation window) or trends in key moments not working out (e.g., every time you go for the pull, it falls flat - are you asking wrong, or not building up enough value, attainability, or compliance before you go for it?).

Sit down, spot the trends, and start troubleshooting them by trying new things you think might solve the problem. If they don't work, try something else - this is how you eliminate the solutions that do not work, and leave yourself with nothing but solutions that do.

Chase

Anonymous's picture

I was watching a documentary


I was watching a documentary just a couple days ago based on the Sociopath/Psychopath, and I would like to bring up one of the very interesting point regarding to your article. In the movie it stated that the jobs that are highly associated with Sociopath/Psychopath are surprisingly, bankers, surgeons, lawyers, CEO and salesman. These are jobs that requires intellectual skills and dedication. It seems like these non-empathetic creatures actually do make better future plans for themselves than others, and not "destructive judgmental calls" like you stated in the article.

Chase Amante's picture

Judgment Calls

Author

Anon-

Absolutely - you'll find a disproportionate number of low empathy individuals in high rank / high prestige positions. They don't gravitate toward these positions because they're building strategic long-term plans that provide a comfortable nest egg into retirement, though; they pursue them because these are high prestige positions that give them access to power over other individuals, which is what low empathy individuals seek. Ask a sociopath if he wants to be a McDonald's franchise owner making $125K a year, or a trial lawyer making $100K a year, and he may well choose the trial lawyer path most often, even though he can probably scale up to a larger income much faster as a successful franchise owner than he can as a successful trial lawyer. The franchise owner only has power over his own employees, and that power is limited, though; the trial lawyer gets to put people behind bars, holds sway with the city's judges and cops, and gets to tell beautiful women that he's a lawyer, and not a McDonald's franchisee.

Sociopaths' most self-destructive tendencies tend to come out in their personal relationships, rather than at work, though; at work, they rein themselves in, cognizant of the power structure in place and aware that they aren't the biggest fish in the sea. In relationships, however, they quickly assume the dominant position, and usually end up abusing it and causing their relationships to blow up, because they like to push and push and push to see what they can get away with (assuming those who yield are fine with this, or they just don't care whether they are or not), resulting in their (normally higher empathy) friends and partners yielding and yielding and yielding until they can't take it anymore and blow up at the sociopath and leave. I've had several sociopath friends - otherwise successful in their careers - complain to me about how people always do this to them, and others I've seen have this pattern with people, but shrug it off and act like the problem was just "those people" (when in fact it's a recurring problem the individual himself has again and again).

Basically, in artificial social systems where someone holds position power over a sociopath, he will tend to "behave" himself, and restrict his need for grabbing power and, thus, ending up in explosive situations where the other party(ies) are stretched and stretched to the point where they snap painfully back like a broken rubber band. Unconstrained, he'll quickly seize the dominant position, but is never satisfied that he's gotten enough out of people, and will bleed them dry until they up and leave - killing the golden goose, so to speak, in his personal relationships (you'll also see this happen in startup businesses where a low empathy individual doesn't have to answer to, say, investors or upper management - basically, anywhere there are no constraints on his tendency to power grab, or where he can get away from those constraints).

Chase

Wes's picture

Limitless


Chase,
Have you seen the movie Limitless?
If not here's a link to a seduction scene in it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xP-ZwmCPBAs
This whole article reminded me of that and this "state" that I've been in a few times in my life.
Everytime I'm in this "state", I become really good with people and I feel "clear". Just like that Limitless scene. (it's even how I seduced that girl in the hot tub that I told you about, but later felt no attraction for her. )
I never could quite understand or explain just what it was. When I discovered RSD and watched their videos talking about getting in "state", I just assumed that was the closest thing to what it was.
Now, you come along with this article fully showing me exactly what it is.
When I was younger, I had always been high in emphathy, like you. Around my preteens, I became VERY low in emphathy and continue to this day....only occasionally slipping into high empathy states where I got lucky with girls and made friends really easily.
Most of the time, I'm on this autopilot niceness. I'm a little more emphatic now but not where I'm in that "state"
And I would love to speed up the process of mastering this.
It would be awesome if we could explore this spectrum of emphathy often as it would help a lot of guys, including me, master themselves.

Wes

Chase Amante's picture

Re: Limitless

Author

Wes-

I've seen that movie, yeah. Good flick. You achieve moments like that more and more as you get increasingly experienced with women, and especially as you practice cold reading:

Most guys don't do this because you've got to fail a lot in the beginning (you guess stuff; you're wrong; you guess stuff; you're wrong), but once you've built up enough experience about this, you can guess all kinds of things about people and be scary accurate.

Another part of that was the "break the pattern" technique, where you get asked a question you'd rather not answer, and so instead delve into a story or a conversation about what's really the issue at hand with the person you're talking with ("How did you know that?" --> "If you're trying to write a paper, that isn't the book I'd use"), which further convinces them you know them incredibly well (because you do - you're reading them at a level most people can't, because they're not paying that close attention to the subtext).

Essentially, what you're doing is relying on educated guesses (cold reads) plus a high degree of attunement to what others are feeling, which you then use to steer the conversation into asking them highly targeted questions or speaking to what they're really feeling, totally ignoring the conversational / social defenses they have up to confuse and obfuscate.

What ends up happening is that the other person feels an explosive connection with you, unlike anything she's felt with almost anyone ever, and you escalate the vibe extremely quickly with her.

The downside is, if you can't keep it up (or handle logistics very quickly), the window to take action closes almost as fast.

However... just doing this again and again trains you to be able to marathon it, and do it repeatedly throughout a conversation, delivering epiphanies of feeling connected, feeling understood, feeling like the other person sees right through you and knows exactly what you want and need, and by the time you manage to get her back to your place, an interaction as well run as this leads pretty naturally toward one specific end (your bed).

Chase

Wes's picture

Thanks for the reply. I


Thanks for the reply.

I always viewed this kind of game as "the best" game I've ever done because I feel just as connected with the girl as she does with me. That's always a plus.

So you're saying that I should practice getting good at cold reading and being attuned to her thoughts and feelings then I should be able to do this more often?
I really want to make this my "style" in game. I want to know the ends and outs of this.
What places (day game-wise) would it be bad to implement this?
I've done it on a college campus (no dorms) and I couldn't take it anywhere.
I've done it in a Walmart (a girl I knew but had not seen in months)
And in the Jacuzzi (which led to a make out)
But I think those were all just a problem of not pulling to a seduction location.

You're definitely right about moving fast though. the "connection" wears off. When I see the girl again, it's as if nothing ever happened and I have to start from scratch.

And I still have no idea how I get so attuned to the girl's feelings..I don't pay much attention to what I'm saying in this "state" (just enjoying the moment)
Do you just point out how she obviously feels at the moment?
Like: "you seem thrown off by what I just said"
"and you're disapointed because you believe people should keep their promises and she didn't keep hers?"
"you're stressed out because of the mountains of work being expected of you"

Marty's picture

Tamping down excess empathy


Chase:

A fascinating article here... and one which gives me concrete steps to take now to get into better habits in terms of mastering that empathy dial!

It raises (you guessed it!) a couple questions though:

1. "And then you send her home, and she goes into auto-rejection because she expected you to overcome her objections and give her great sex, and instead you took her words at face value"—it's like I'm reading about myself!

(a) Can women not adapt their behavior to the circumstances? I mean, she's surely socially aware enough to see that I've been behaving empathetically so far, so why then suddenly put up huge obstacles as if she were dealing with an unempathetic man who will bulldoze through them? Isn't it a bit inflexible?

(b) Can the above situation be remedied with yet more empathy? In other words, if she knows she's in auto-rejection can I fix it with "I know I disappointed you, we can talk about that right now, how about another chance?" or words to that effect—indicating an ability to understand what she's feeling?

2. Dealing with other men: Outside the seduction context, often unempathetic men (e.g. in the workplace) will treat everyone equally, rather than as individuals, causing me to bristle. Not in my current job thankfully, but in the past I've actually heard men say things like: "Everyone else is coping with it, why can't you?" and suchlike—the ultimate in dogmatic egalitarianism, showing a complete lack of feeling and caring. Can you suggest any way to combat this and give them a little taste of their own medicine? =)

-Marty

Chase Amante's picture

Auto-Rejection and Blanket Generalizations

Author

Marty-
Good questions. On the first, the human psyche is unfortunately not
a very forgiving thing when it comes to urgent needs not being met - if
you're starving for chocolate donuts, and your friend has a box of
chocolate donuts in his hand and he's eating one himself right now, and
you tell him you'd really go wild for a chocolate donut right now, and
he tells you, "Wouldn't we all!" and then wishes you goodnight and
walks away, even if empathetically you understand that he's just kind
of clueless and probably didn't get your (blatant, you thought) hint
that you'd really appreciate a chocolate donut, you're still going to
think he's a clueless, brainless oaf for not giving you what you were
desperate for right there in that moment (and really thought he'd give
you).
That's not even a good example (best I could think of on the fly,
though), because it misses a LOT more of the nuance: it isn't chocolate
donuts she wants, it's your gene package - and the fact that you walked
away from a mating opportunity devalues your genes right away; it
communicates to her that you're liable to give her sons who are going
to struggle to pass on her genes further, and might even miss a number
of free opportunities to help her genetically proliferate. So when you
come back and offer it again, it's like you're offering her the same
thing you offered before, only in the interval between then and now the
goods have since expired - doesn't seem like such a good deal anymore.
Remedying poorly executed actions is done with properly executed
actions, not with words. If I drive over your cat and kill it because
I'm rushing off to work, then tell you I'm really sorry and wish I
could take it back, then rush off to work anyway, we're not going to
have a beer after work later and laugh about it because it's all water
under the bridge at this point, since my actions clearly speak louder
than my words. This is why auto-rejection is so difficult to recover
from; you can speak all you want, but you're usually not going to
change her mind this way; and because she's in auto-rejection, unless
you catch it FAST and do something then and there, you probably aren't getting another
chance to show her your actions are now from this point forward correct.
Also, the "I disappointed you" line paints her as chasing after sex,
and you denying it - very, very insulting to any woman out there (even
if it's true). She will deny this, tell you she never had any interest
in you and only liked you as a friend, and plunge deeper into
auto-rejection. On the occasion that you do warm girls back up with
words that you've missed escalation windows with, they typically end up
treating you as a nice guy friend, since you've lost that sexy man
appeal - nice guys conversate, sexy guys inseminate, so to speak, and
your stripes have already been revealed (conversate).
"Everyone else is coping with it, why can't you?" When you get
these, the only way to get them to knock it off is to drive into
specifics: "Well, let's figure it out. Can you give me an example of
one of the people who's coping with it just fine, and we'll figure out
what's different between his situation and mine? We'll go grab him and
get him in here to figure out where the differences are if we need to."
Blanket generalizations wilt under the spotlight of specificity; just
keep the heat turned up on refusing to accept a blanket generalization
until a magnifying glass is put on the situation, and these go away
pretty quickly / people doing this start avoiding you as that annoying
guy who won't let them get away with non-thinking around him.
Chase

Marty's picture

Auto-Rejection and Blanket Generalizations


Oh, Chase!

Like all the best teachers, you have succeeded in making me laugh at myself and my own folly! :)

For years, one of greatest desires has been to show kindness and understanding toward young women, with particular regard to their sexual needs. Now I learn that my efforts have likely been perceived as "very, very insulting"!

Eventually, given enough persistence, practice and intelligent work, I may come close to solving this riddle that eons of sexual selection has set for us... In the meantime, perhaps these girls will "forgive me, for I know not what I do" ;)

-Marty

Wolf's picture

Being the ultimate sexy Black man


I want to be the most sexy man in the world. Im black so I know people have their stereotypes and such, but I want to move past all that. I want to be at the point where how I think of women( Doesn't matter your race, if you're sexy you're sexy), is how they think of me.

I'd like to know every little detail that you see black men do that are sexy and attractive do, I want to know everything that can give me an edge on every race, every culture.

What do your sexy black friends do to get girls?

Expressions we can use, body language, fashion, voice, aggressiveness, all of it.
I know I can do this and it excites me.

Thanks

Chase Amante's picture

Re: Being the ultimate sexy Black man

Author

Wolf-

There are some nuance differences between gaming as a black guy than gaming as a white guy or an Asian guy or what have you, but not many - it's mostly down to taking a somewhat lighter, more approachable approach to women than a lighter-skinned guy would... a black guy can be a little siller than a white guy would, because there's more of a stereotype of "sexiness" there if he dresses well and cleans up and has a sexy, appealing voice, and it essentially just takes some of the edge off the "That's a black guy - is he dangerous??" question some women have, and makes him "safe & sexy" instead, whereas if I tried to be quite as silly as my black friends can be with women and still get them, I'd just look like a harmless goof.

Think of the main difference between black guy game and white guy game is "Dial down the edge a bit" for black guys, vs. "Dial UP the edge a bit" for white guys (just don't go too far either way - effete, flamboyant black men and super-tough, biker-like white men both are off-putting to women, just as overly-tough black guys and overly effeminate white guys are).

Other than that, it's pretty much all the same - see:

... there are notes in the fashion and facial hair articles specific to dark-skinned men, and for voice I'd also say slang / speaking voice, make sure you adapt it to the race in question (e.g., don't speak the same with suburban white girls as you would with a girl from the hood), but other than that it's no different.

I'd also recommend Colt's article on dating white girls if you haven't seen it yet: "How Black Guys Can Have Sex with White Girls"; while it's written to be specific to getting white women, the style of game is more or less translatable to whatever women you want.

Chase

Anonymous's picture

Lack of empathy led to flawed mental model


What's a good way (step by step) of switching off fear and trepidation on-the-fly and just going after what I want, doggedly?

I don't think I ever had a high empathy problem. But I was extremely timid and hesitant, and didn't know until later in my life that such a lifestyle is wrong and that there are alternatives. My hesitancy and timid behavior derived from subconscious anticipation of doom and gloom (getting beat up, ostracized, physically punished, shamed, withheld love) if I asserted myself. I lived in a oppressive household that didn't foster assertiveness and disagreeing (respectfully) with the parents. They were physically abusive and vehement whenever I'd stand up for myself.

So unknown to me, I was classically conditioned into anticipating an extremely vehement and negative response if I took any risk -- in or outside the household. Risks such as standing up for myself, or taking social risks like disagreeing with 'superiors' or telling a woman I like her or whatever. I had no control over the trepidation. My neural circuits would simply get flooded by strong negative emotion and doubt sometimes...all I would feel was a pounding in my chest. My default automatic response to this feeling used to be to hesitate until the 'scary' situations dissipated and once that heart-pounding abated then I could proceed. But obviously hesitating is the opposite of risk taking.

I did not have emotional intelligence as a boy and I didn't know how to deal with my emotions at all. So during the heat of the moment, there used to be no logical thoughts in my head (like the answers to the questions you listed in this article that the empathetic person would ask), instead my mind literally would go blank and I'd just freeze up like a deer in headlights. Sometimes when the spotlight was on me, I'd stammer and stutter. I was a victim of an environment of extremely strict parents, and unfortunately and unknown to me at the time, I emotionally internalized expecting this negative behavior from everyone. Negative anticipation!! And not logical!

So I had to do something about this fear. My first solution (this was automatic and not logically selected from alternatives) was to protect myself. I (pre-teenage me) developed a vehemently aggressive and mean and loud and proud demeanor. The result was Extreme and illogical anger in defense from this feeling of inferiority. It wasn't clear to my conscious mind then, but my subconscious intuition knew that I felt as if I didn't matter to my own parents, they didn't care about my feelings (just theirs) so the only way I knew how to act to get my point across was to be a mean motherfucker. Why? Because whenever I'd respectfully disagree with the parents they would scream and ostracize, my feelings had no weight to them at all.

So I fortified myself with vigorous vehemence that would guarantee that my point was taken seriously. and that nasty aggression did protect me, but I learned later that acting this way with everyone that made me feel weak and cornered was wrong. I was usually calm when I wasn't ostracized, but whenever anyone would really annoy me, uncontrollable rage would sometimes ensue. I felt like the world was out to get me. Not logical, but this was my auto-pilot. This was the flawed mental model I had developed during my formative years. I didn't have any instruction available to me back then to teach me otherwise.

But i realized (late teenage me) that being purely emotional was going to lead to a host of problems, So unfortunately I changed my behavior again...I swung the pendulum in the other direction and became overly passive as a result. I'd still feel strong emotions in reactions to people's behavior, but I'd just keep it bottled up inside. No one would know. Because the only way I knew how to respond to ostracization as a kid was with extreme vehemence, bordering on violence. I never had an outlet to ever talk constructively about my feelings, my parents wouldn't listen to me, and friends couldn't help me with logical and adult solutions. So I couldn't allow myself to operate on auto-pilot because honestly the extreme anger I'd feel when insulted, or attacked or, ostracized -- would likely have led me to murder somebody or come close.

So I controlled myself for years from allowing myself to be on autopilot. Assertiveness and risk taking was black or white for me. Either I was vehement or I was passive. There was no nuance, no middle ground. I needed to learn superior frame control to remain assertive, without feeling like I had to control myself from feeling dangerous vehemence. Unfortunately I stopped thinking about emotion and about the pain I felt inside sometimes, especially from the parents. Emotion was trouble for me. But this would affect my relationships with women and with people in general. Obviously part of being a good conversationalist and captivating people is to speak about your emotional reactions to things, people, situations. It gives the conversation a more personal feel. It allows for bonds to be formed and so on. But since I refused to feel (or to think about what I felt) I couldn't convey any emotion at all during conversation. I was aloof, like a robot. Superficial conversation with me...but this was all I knew at that age. This controlling of myself from feeling -- because thinking about emotions could sometimes lead to vehemence and violence had some serious serious downsides. It sucks that the negative treatment I received as a kid developed into such a inhibition inducing demeanor for me. But it did.

So in the end, my question is, is there a step-by-step mental process/series of questions to ask when emotion dominates me? so that I can use logic to frame-control myself into realizing that the emotion (fear, shame, etc) is stupid and not real? My goal is to become extremely comfortable all the time, especially during heightened emotional states. I want to minimize ever feeling intensive extreme magnanimous emotion (albeit this is decreasing since I've developed and practiced emotional iq). Sometimes I have no clue how to control emotion without resorting to hesitation and doubt and being timid. I want to no longer ever suffer from hesitation, doubt, fearing being judged negatively or ostracized, etc.

How do I retrain my brain to free up the firm grasp that inhibition has on me that results in hesitancy and negative anticipation (of the punishing and neutering acts that my parents imposed on me when I was young)? Inhibition that sometimes keeps me from operating in autopilot and (automatically and without thinking) asserting myself (as respectfully as possible) whenever, wherever, and with whoever? When I am calm, I am good, I can tell women what I want, I can lead them, I can speak up at work, etc. but when I am nervous, I struggle with calming myself down.

I need A new logical response to a panoply of emotions (fear, shame, anger, etc). If I have the power to choose my response to these emotions,I might as well learn the best and most effective and efficient and logical responses available.

Any thoughts on what I said?

Chase Amante's picture

Conveying and Dealing with Emotions, Stemming Hesitation

Author

Anon-

These are all things you can overcome, but take time and conditioning, and a focus on mentally rerouting your brain down the pathways of pursuing opportunities and becoming frustrated with apathy and indecision. I'd very much suggest reading these articles:

You'll be pushing yourself a lot for at least a couple of months to recondition how you deal with emotions and decisions, but it's very doable. Just make sure you do it.

Chase

Anonymous's picture

Oh my...


Wow. I've spent the past four months absorbing the material here but of all the pieces I've read this one has hit me the hardest. I've never thought of it much before but I can see now that I've been a high empathy guy and how that has been an incredible gift and debilitating curse all at once...

It's so empowering to know the underlying processes at work in your thoughts and actions. I am forever grateful for you and your team, Chase. :)

340Breeze's picture

Empathy is important. I have a few observations


Empathy is eminently important once you have it, but it seems like a lot of people don't. What's your take on snobbish behavior and empathy? How do you best deal with people, especially women, who display snobby behavior, especially if you cannot avoid them? Almost seems like one big side effect of seduction of being the most dominant and sexy and charming guy around is that the snobbishtreatment dissipates. Women view you differently. Period. Not all women are snobby of course but some are... So you better be dominant and sexy to minimize your exposure.

But for dealing with family or coworkers, Is there an effective way to show people how they would feel if other people treated them in the same ridiculous ways? For example, effective frame control to induce empathy in others on the fly, especially when they don't want to see how their actions impact other people's feelings?

And another reason why empathy is paramount is because if you truly and viscerally understand how another man or woman might feel when you treat him badly for no reason other than pre-conceived but irrational bias/hate, etc, then maybe, just maybe, we can lessen the grip that ethnocentrism, bigotry, and racism have in our society. Because as someone on the receiving end of irrational bad treatment, now that I better understand the emotions behind certain people's behavior toward me in the past, I have shifted from feeling rage to feeling sorrow. Kinda interesting that this happened because it wasn't planned. But I realized this the other day.

Cheers,

340Breeze.

Chase Amante's picture

Avoiding Snobbishness and Making Others Empathize

Author

Breeze-

My default approach toward snobbish people is "position yourself at the top of the hierarchy." You can't change the way they view the world, but you can change the position they place you in within their view of the world - if they see things in terms of hierarchies, make sure they place you at or near the top of theirs. You do this with great fundamentals, and providing tons of value through other channels.

There's also a degree of appearance in it; how you present yourself (man of mysterious means; intriguing; hard to decipher and get a read on) helps elevate you to a position of "He might be very high ranking - I'd better not act snobby toward him until I know for sure", especially if you aren't equipped to actually make it to the top of their mental hierarchies. So, much the same as your "being the most dominant and sexy and charming guy around" approach, really.

For inducing empathy, the best way I've found is turning the spotlight onto them, usually starting out with a bit of NLP to get their thoughts following the way you want them to. e.g.,

Girlfriend / family member: People who drive taxis are SUCH unambitious people! They have NO goals in life! And they're all so stupid!

You: You think so?

Girlfriend / family member: Of course!

You: Well, imagine for a second that you've just moved to a new country from the third world. You left school mid-way through high school, because your family was struggling to make ends meet and the only way your little brother and sisters didn't starve to death were if you went and got a job making money. You never had a chance to get more schooling after that, because once you were working, that's pretty much what you needed to keep doing from then on out. Your brother went off to college because of you - you're actually a pretty amazing person for that. But you never did. You ended up falling in love, getting married, and having children - beautiful children! You love them so much. But, they've got to eat too. So, you continue to work - just some factory job, just enough money to put food on the table. One day, though, you get it - a miracle! A chance to move to America. You never thought a chance like this would come to you in a million years. So, knowing a good thing when you see it, you take that chance - and off you go. Now you're in America, with your whole family. But everything's so expensive here, and again, you need to eat. You look around for what you can do - what can you do? You can't go sit in a cubicle and type - you don't have the skills or the education those people are looking for; you can't even speak English very well. And you wouldn't even know where to start looking. You can't go be an investment banker - you probaby don't even know such things exist, even if you might be naturally talented with numbers. But, you DO know how to drive - so, you go and find a cab company, and you get a job.

Now, to make sure your family has a place to stay and food to eat, you drive 6 days a week, 10 hours a day. It's exhausting learning all the new routes and finding customers - but you've got income. At this point, you're no longer thinking about yourself - it's your children that matter. Your children have to go to a good school, and make it into a good college - and maybe, someday, they might have a nice job in a cubicle somewhere, and maybe they can chase down their dreams and their ambitions.

So, yeah - maybe that taxi driver isn't all that educated. And maybe he isn't in a position to chase down his ambitions, and maybe he doesn't even have the luxury to have them. But that isn't necessarily because he lacks the mental faculties or the raw ambition. He may; he may genuinely be stupid and unmotivated. Or, he might actually be quite clever, and quite driven - he got here to America and gave his kids the chance he did, after all. And perhaps he simply never had the chance to elevate himself - and never will. But that's okay, because someday his children might - and maybe, someday, if fortunes change, your children could even be driving a taxi cab for his, as they silently judge your children, thinking how stupid and unambitious they are, never realizing they simply fell on hard times because sometimes, them's the shakes.

When you can paint a picture like this for people (and I LOVE doing this with unempathetic friends bandying about dismissive statements like this), you basically force them to stop and imagine themselves as the other person, experiencing life the way the other person may have experienced it, and feeling the crushing constraints that've boxed that person into a life that may well be less than ideal (or whatever the issue is you're trying to elucidate the other person about). If you end with a caveat ("He MAY be stupid; or he may just have done the best with the lot he was handed in life"), your argument is stronger, especially to an unemotional low empathy individual; and if you paint the reverse picture, of the individual and the one he's judging switching places (or, his children and the other individual's children switching places), this drives the point home further.

Empathy really is about imagining yourself in the other person's shoes; if someone is refusing to do this, you can use the NLP "imagine" command words coupled with rich, vivid, realistic description (make sure it's realistic, and not overly dramatic or unbelievable, or the listener's mind will reject it - the goal is painting a totally believable scenario, so that the listener can achieve immersion and really experience what it feels like to be this other person, to know the constraints, and feel the justifications for why things are as they are for the other person) to effectively give them no choice but to empathize.

I've noticed much more empathetic behavior from even my sociopathic friends toward individuals they formerly judged very harshly after running routines like this. It's a normal part of my communication - you'll see me use it in articles a lot, when trying to get guys to understand things about women they think are un-understandable, confusing, or bizarre.

Chase

Wolf's picture

Destroying all friendliness characteristics


You knew this was coming chase,

I want to stop trigger the "friend switch" and being put in the "friend bucket".

With all girls I do not act as a friend, I don't text, I don't Hang out as friends, I pretty much make it known I don't want to be friends.

What do I have to do to stop this friend switch thing?

Maybe im acting too friendly, how can I stop acting friendly but still be warm and approachable? Should I stop smiling?

What are friend triggers and characteristics?
And what should I do to destroy all of my friendliness?

Thanks Chase

Anonymous's picture

How to reinitiate with a girl you lost interest in?


Dear Chase,

I have a bit of problem on my hands right now but haven't really seen advice from PUA/your website regarding how to handle this and was wondering if you would be kind enough to share your input.

How would I reinitiate with a girl that I had lost interest in but am interested in again?

Case in point:

About 3 months ago, I met a conserative/virgin/christian korean girl at my college who I asked out to a date about 3 weeks after meeting her. After our lunch date, I texted her saying that I enjoyed lunch with her and hoped to see her around. She texted that she also enjoyed our lunch and for us to hangout after midterms.

After that, about 3 weeks later I invited her to some clubbing event which she subtly declined as I believe she was one of the more conservative korean girls who didnt like to go clubbing.

After this, I lost interest in her since she seemed a little bit timid around me, which I took to be disinterest, and I was also going after other girls.

Then, right before the semester ended, I saw her again and she seemed much more upbeat this time and we just talked for a bit then I left.

I haven't seen her in a bit and basically have about 4 months of time where the only thing that happened was one lunch date. Now, I have started to have interest in her again but don't know how she would take it. How would you personally reinitiate this girl without making it seem like I just want her as a friend?

Also, as far as girls placing you in a friendzone, would it take more for christian/virgin/conservative girls to place you in the friendzone?

Thank you Chase!

Chase Amante's picture

Reinitiating

Author

Anon-

See this post on the boards: "Check-In Text If You Haven't Texted in a While" for picking up where you left off.

As for conservative girls taking more to put you in the friend zone... you can move a little slower / less sexual with them, but women are women, and they very quickly figure out who and what you are to them regardless of their experience levels. Sexiness and moving fast is still as necessary with inexperienced women as it is with every other girl, but you'll often need to tone these down a little bit (thought first-date sex is still very doable even with many very inexperienced girls, including virgins, provided your fundamentals and process are tight enough... or sometimes if you just happen on the right girl at the right time, who's just ready to make something happen and is tired of being a virgin).

Also, re: inviting girls to nightclubs - see this: "The Party Date: Don't Do It."

Chase

Gem's picture

Hey Chase Is there an age


Hey Chase

Is there an age limit to women you can get (in that after a certain age you are too young for them)? There are some women in my gym that are in like their 30s or even nearing their 40s/ in their 40s that I would love to bang.

It’s kind of amusing/odd because I flirt with them and banter and maybe work in a set or two like I would with any other girl and they flirt back and are distinguishably quite attracted like any other girl when I am with them.

But I’m not sure how I could move things forward with older 30+ women like this (partly because even after actively working on looking older and getting thicker at the gym, I still can’t pass for older than maybe 22 or so).

Something that also comes to mind here is that the older women might see me as I see some younger girls: they might be amusing to flirt with but are very young and I just see them or talk with them and think wow I bet they’ll be very attractive when older. Maybe in a different setting I could catch a date and move things forward with a much older woman, but as regulars in the gym it’s an odd sort of scenario and I’m not sure how a good way to go about it would be.

-Gem

Chase Amante's picture

Older Women in the Gym

Author

Gem-

Everyone has her own tastes, but most women are at least intrigued by the charms of a younger man, and if your fundamentals are sufficiently tight and you're a sufficiently sexually appealing option, even the most prudish older women are going to feel a certain amount of yearning around you.

I don't have experience pursuing older women specifically in a gym environment, so I can't give you any specific advice, unfortunately, other than to say just follow the general pattern for gym pickup, and brush up on dealing with any younger man older woman issues you might run into.

One suspicioun I would have would be that you'd need to move faster here than you would with a younger gym goer, as I'd imagine older women would be quicker to box you as "that cute young guy I flirt with" to protect their egos, rather than holding out hope that you're going to ask them out later - and once you're boxed up, it's hard to get out. But, that's just a guess - you'd need to test it. If you do though (test out moving faster in the gym with older women than you would with younger women - e.g., chatting them up and asking them out later the same day), do let me know how it goes!

Chase

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