I'm taking a week off from writing a Tactics Tuesdays post to write another post that is, I suspect, long overdue: a post on social proof. It isn't something we talk much about on here, nor one that I think you want to devote an inordinate amount of your time or attention to.
Yet, it is one that, used properly, can be an absolutely incredibly powerful tool for picking up girls and for changing the minds of the ones you already know.
I'll go into some example below of just what social proof is, how you can use it, and why you don't want to miss using this potent and effective tool, both for lifestyle design and for using in your own pick ups on the fly - whether you've got friends around or not.
What is Social Proof?
Imagine you wake up in a foreign town in some exotic locale with no idea where you are or how you got there. Your stomach is rumbling and you feel hungry... but it's dirty and impoverished here, and you're not even sure what there is to eat. You walk outside the dingy hotel room you woke up in, and look around. Across the street are two equally-run down-looking restaurants, except that one is full of people, and the other one doesn't have a soul inside.
Which one do you go try to get a meal at?
This is an extreme example, but it's an example chosen to highlight one concept: social proof.
Wikipedia defines social proof thus:
“Social proof... is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others reflect correct behavior for a given situation.”
It goes on to note that this effect is most pronounced in uncertain situations where the correct course is not easy to determine, and therefore is determined by looking at what other people do.
Thus, our restaurant example above. You're in an unfamiliar situation, with an unfamiliar place, with unknown safety of the food, but you're hungry and you want to eat. Which place do you eat at? The place with all the people. After all, there's got to be a good reason they're all there and nobody's at the other place, right?
Social proof comes into play in a surprising number of places in our life, including:
- What products we choose to buy
- What companies we do business with
- Where we decide to go to school
- Where we want to work
- Whom we want to date
- How we decide to spend our free time
- What we think is "cool" and "not cool"
If you're just out of high school and you surround yourself with a lot of people who think college is for losers, you're less likely to go (this happens in many poor parts of the U.S. and inner cities, where people going to college are often called "soft" or "sell outs"). Surround yourself with a bunch of people who think college is THE way to a successful and happy life, and you're more likely to go. Not rocket science, right?
When we have decisions to make that include managing a large amount of uncertainty, particularly with decisions that possibly lead to great investment and have a lot of importance down the road, we often fall back on relying on others to help us feel we're making the correct and "safe" choice.
How do you know how college will impact your life before you go? How hard will it be? What kind of job will you get? How long will it take to pay off your student loans? What will your friends think of you? Your family? Will you be freer because of it, or less free? There's a lot of uncertainty, so most of us are influenced by those around us.
If everyone around you tells you college is a waste of time, you know it's better not to go. If everyone around you tells you college is the path to success, you know it's better to go.
And just like with going to college, or buying a car, or choosing which toothpaste you want to brush your teeth with, or which guy you want to be friends with, social proof can affect you a great deal when it comes to mate selection - and this is especially true for women.
Remember, women are the choosers when it comes to sex (really... how frequently have you turned random women down for sex?). Even for men who are celebrities - who are, essentially, walking, talking testaments to social proof - it's not that they are carefully "choosing" women (remember, they're amounting thousands of women slept with - they're not choosing anywhere nearly as careful as most women are), it's that they're just far advantaged over the average man of getting chosen.
A woman looks at a guy with celebrity and her brain begins saying:
“Oh! I know him... he's on TV! Which means he's wealthy and successful. It also means a lot of women want him all over our society. If I could have him, I'd have Grade A genetic material to mix with my own and create powerful, successful offspring, and sons who would spread my genes more effectively with other women.”
And men get upset and look down on women for responding this way to celebrities, or men comfort themselves by saying, "Well, that might be true for OTHER women, but it definitely isn't true for MY woman!" and women get upset and say, "Sure, OTHER women go crazy for celebrities because they're SLUTS, but *I* would never do that!"
Yet, celebrities never seem to run into trouble finding women. It must be all those OTHER women... you know, the ones that nobody actually knows.
Fact is, social proof is one of the most powerful determinants - if not THE most powerful determinant - of a woman's attraction for a man.
Early on, later on, and after decades of marriage.
If you're like a lot of people this is upsetting to read. Why would women be so subject to the fortunes of social status - to the whims of those around them?
For that, we need to take a look at just how uncertain things are in the mating game for women.
Talk is Cheap
One of the principals I found to be true as I bettered myself at getting girls over the years was that the more I taught myself to rely on nonverbal communication and the less I talked, the more attracted to me women became and the more sexually exciting they found me.
And actually, this makes a lot of sense.
Think about words, for instance. Think of a commercial for a new kind of soda with an announcer who launches into a whole spiel about the qualities of the new soda.
"It's tasty!" he tells you. "It's bubbly! It's better than anything else on the market! Try it today, don't delay!"
Now imagine another commercial, showing the new soda. A really cool party is going on, with lots of cool-looking guys and beautiful girls dancing up and down having the times of their lives, with that soda in their hands.
At the end of the commercial, you just see the message: "A new kind of cola."
Which soda do you think people watching those commercials are more likely to pick up a bottle of the next time they see it in the supermarket?
Right - it's the cool, intriguing newcomer, not the verbose one that sings its own praises.
But why's this so?
Well, it's because of social proof. Even for something as simple as a new soda - your brain is thinking, "Man, I really like Coke / Pepsi / A&D. Do I really want to try some new soda instead of going for the one I already love?"
And your emotions are a lot more likely to kick in and say, "Okay, you know what? Let's try that new soda. It seems cool," for the one that your brain's already had some reinforcement that the new soda is the "cool" soda.
This is advertising. It's why advertising is so powerful.
It's why now on this site you'll see a Facebook fans box and a client testimonials slider. It's why the new home page is focused on building trust. It's all social proof - so that when somebody hits this site for the first time, it isn't, "Oh, who are these guys?" but rather, "Okay, it looks like they've been around for a while and people like them."
You can say whatever you want, but people don't listen.
And that's because you can't trust what someone says.
I've got the Mastery Pick Up Package for sale on the site now with the book, video, and audio - what I think is a complete set to really get your game in gear and get you results with women. But are you going to be more likely to make that purchase if I tell you how great the program I'm selling is... or if three of your friends come up to and tell you, "Whoa, this stuff is taking my game to another level!"
Right. It's the latter.
Social proof. IT WORKS. And it's HUGELY significant. Way more important than anything you can say.
And that's because mate selection is an inherently uncertain process - how does she know if you're better or lower quality than that other guy over there? By relying on how other people are reacting to you and treating you, she's effectively expanding the decision-making beyond herself and tapping into other people's perceptions and ideas about you to make her choice. If all of them like you, she assumes, you can't be all bad... and in fact might even be quite good.
But if social proof is so effective, why don't I talk about it more on here?
A Question of Focus
What would you say if I told you, "Want a guaranteed way to be up to your eyeballs in beautiful, lustful women? Become a celebrity?"
You'd probably roll your eyes and ask me for something more realistic.
But there ARE people who become celebrities... it's NOT unrealistic advice. If you put the time in, you can probably figure out SOMETHING you can make yourself a celebrity with.
The reason I don't give that advice on here though, and by extension the reason I don't give social proof advice, is because I have a personal philosophy of teaching guys mostly things that are adaptable on the fly and can be used anywhere.
And social proof is one of those things you can't just conjure up out of thin air.
I mean... there are ways to do it. But often it's more effective to simply target a girl you like who likes you too, meet her, and get out of there with her.
Faster. Simpler. Less risk and random variation.
Yet, if you're willing to make a concerted effort on social proof, you can make it pay a great deal of dividends.
Ricardus, at one point, built himself a social circle where he was constantly involved in the goings ons of some very popular and well-known people who were constantly in nightclubs, in the VIP section, with constant turnover of new and beautiful women. This wasn't an easy thing for him to put together, but once he had it, he had a steady, nearly bottomless supply of beautiful, fashionable women who were turning their noses up at most of the male clientele of the club but were very routinely falling into his arms due largely to the social proof he'd constructed for himself.
Not easy to build. But once it's built, then it's easy. Sort of like building a business that generates a lot of revenues... often very challenging and time-consuming to put together, and filled with a lot of trial and error, but once it's built, you can run on autopilot and get far better returns than people slaving away pulling their hair out who haven't put the time into building something like that.
That's one of the most powerful ways of building social proof. That's sculpting a lifestyle for yourself that brings you the things you want (whether that's money, women, or something else).
But what about for the average guy who doesn't have that the time, energy, or desire to build a killer social circle like the one Ricardus had? How can he use social proof?
Social Proof: The Magic Bullet?
In everything remotely challenging in life, people search constantly for magic bullets.
"How can I get rich quick?" people will ask.
"How can I get that girl I want right now?" other people will say.
"How can I get my promotion this week instead of this year?"
Social proof might well be one of those magic bullets.
I had a realization early into my second year of actively working on learning how to pick up a girl: I realized that there'd been a weird trend I'd seen with a number of the girls I'd picked up the most easily.
- There was the time I went into a club that had just opened, talked to a beautiful blonde girl who got really excited talking to me, then left saying she hoped she'd see me later, and then I immediately had a tall, stunning Caribbean girl saunter up and park herself next to me on the empty bar - I took her home an hour later or so
- There was the time I was out teaching a boot camp and met up with three students near the end of the night, and stood there animatedly teaching them and answering questions from them, only to notice a slender tan-skinned beauty standing there looking straight at me. I asked the students to step aside, walked up to her, and 5 minutes later we were sitting on a couch, 20 minutes later we were making out (she asked me if she could kiss me), and a few minutes after that we went back to my friend's apartment nearby
- There was the time I wandered in off the dance floor, fresh from dancing (this was back in the days when I still did dance floor game) with some people, a big smile on my face, and ran smack into a girl who seemed like she'd been watching me from afar. I took her home a few hours later
- There was the time I'd been out at the club with a guy who was a DJ there and was getting us surrounded with club staff and beautiful girls, and I met a beautiful and energetic girl who was very happy to meet me and whom I was in the process of picking up when her male friend interrupted us. I still ended up with her later on and turned her into my girlfriend
... and countless more. And this was only drawing on experience from my first year of picking up. Since then, I've had many more examples like this.
You don't have to have social proof. I've picked up girls where they were the first person I talked to in the entire venue.
It just helps, is all.
How to Use Social Proof (to Get Girls)
Okay, okay, you're sold on social proof... it seems like an idea that might have some merit. How in tarnation do you employ it in your own outings, though?
- Let girls see you with other girls / friends
- Work the room (be a social butterfly)
- Build somewhere you're "known"
Let's look at each:
Let Girls See You with People
There are, in my estimation, a number of "tiers" of people women can see you with. Here they are, in order of most alluring to least:
- A group of attractive / young women following or watching you
- You with multiple attractive / young women doting on you
- A group of attractive / young mixed or men following or watching you
- You with a single attractive / young woman doting on you
- You with a very cool-looking buddy hanging out and having a good time
- You with friends, having a good time
That last one includes if you're just another guy hanging out in a rock star's VIP party. You get some spillover effect from him, but he gets most of the attention.
If you look over that list, you'll notice a few important distinctions:
- How people are acting towards you is paramount. Women naturally notice the guy getting all the attention. I've seen this again and again when out with female friends; they invariably notice the guy that everyone else in the group next to us is treating like the leader, and who is acting like he has "rights" to the hottest girl in the group. "Who's that guy? He looks interesting," my female friends will say.
The funny thing is, this guy is just as likely to be a car mechanic as he is an investment banker or a Hollywood celebrity. In the club, people don't care what your job is. They just care about who's clearly on top of his or her social hierarchy. For attraction purposes, in social circles, and when it comes to social proof, it really is better to be the alpha male.
- You are rated by the people around you. Think women will be as intrigued by you if you're hanging out with a pair of 40 year old cougars than they will if you're hanging out with a pair of 20 year old foxes? Guess again. The same goes for your friends - if you're spending time with your old frat buddy in his stained t-shirt and beer belly you're going to get a different vote than if you're hanging out with a guy in a Gucci suit with a stylish haircut.
- Fans are better than friends. This is related to point #1 - if you have fans, you're clearly at a high level of the social hierarchy, and thus get a lot more points in the mating game. There was a club promoter in London a few years back who made a name for himself in the pick up community by making it his signature method that he'd go out, find 10 or 20 beautiful girls during the day to invite to come with him to the club, and then he'd take them there that night as an entourage and use this to attract other women.
This also creates a boon to pick up instructors - women see you with men gathered around you, hanging on your every word, and you instantly become a minor celebrity to them. It's strange - I've picked up many of the times I've taught guys boot camps, and the girls are often pretty aggressive, but they never ask why I had other men gathered around me - I don't think it even registers consciously, it seems like an entirely subconscious assessment of mating value, similar to how you don't realize Coca-Cola's advertising has worked to make you think Coca-Cola is cool, you just do (in blind taste tests, people clearly prefer Pepsi to Coke; but when you tell people what they're drinking, they clearly prefer Coke to Pepsi. How's that for the power of advertising?).
That last point of that last point is a significant one - girls don't care and usually don't ask who the other people are you had around you. I don't think I've ever had a girl ask me, "Who was she?" after I'd approached (or been approached by, in the instances where I'd get approached) a girl immediately after I know she'd seen me talking to another girl.
They never ask.
Yet, it greatly influences their perception of you.
How can you engineer this?
Well, in lieu of becoming an outright celebrity (or building an entourage like that club promoter), you can talk to girls near other girls you want to meet.
It's better to be a sexy man than it is to be an exciting, entertaining one. But you can get other girls really excited about you and have them put on a brief show... then roll in, smooth and sexy, with the girl you wanted to meet nearby.
In fact, I've used this one a good number of times.
If you see a girl you'd really like to get to know, but she looks closed off or she's with a lot of friends, try this: find another girl, nearby, and get into a very excited and animated discussion with her... ideally, she should be a lot more excited than you are. Then, once a few minutes have passed and you're certain that girl you want to meet has seen, make a graceful exit and go meet that girl you'd like to meet.
Sound complicated? It's not. All it is is:
- See a girl you like but will be hard to meet or closed off
- Find another girl closer to her you can say "hi" to and get excited
- Roll off that girl after a few minutes and then meet that girl you wanted to meet
It's not 100%, but the open rates and initial attraction rates you'll get on this one are a lot higher than you'd get normally without it.
Work the Room (Be a Social Butterfly)
The next path on our list is the path of the social butterfly.
The social butterfly's path is one that is fraught with peril... namely because it's too easy to fall into high energy, entertainer mode.
However... if you can walk the balance between being high energy as you work the room, and switching into low energy seducer mode before (not after) you meet girls, you'll be okay.
Here's how it works:
- You start meeting people right away and building social momentum
- The more people you meet, the more people want to meet you because everyone else is
- Women start to see you as a really high status guy - "Does he manage this club?"
- Women start to want to meet you and get intrigued
- Meet women, and things go quickly and easily
Here's what you need to keep in mind:
- You must KEEP MOVING until you find a girl you really like. It's easy for momentum to die if you get stuck talking to someone too long... this is one of the hazards of social butterflying (losing momentum).
- You must STOP MOVING when you find a girl you really like. It's also easy to build so much momentum that you can't stop moving, even when you meet a really charming girl who clearly digs you. This is the other hazard of social butterflying - you've got to be able to put on the brakes and get into a real conversation when you find a gal you like. Don't lose focus.
And that's it.
If you keep moving, socializing with anyone and everyone, until you meet a girl you like who likes you back and you THROW ON THE BRAKES, you'll have utilized social proof in the social butterfly path and pulled it off.
And she will, most likely, be thrilled you chose her.
Build Somewhere You're "Known"
This is, essentially, building equity into your nightlife. To do this, you need to get familiar with both staff and regulars in a place you like.
Be careful selecting your venues - you don't want to sink a lot of time into a bar or club that's going to be difficult to get returns out of. What you're looking for is:
- A place with high turnover (lots of new women)
- A place women go to meet new people (as opposed to dance, or hang with friends)
- A place that has ample places to take women to go sit and connect at
- Ideally, somewhere with multiple floors so you can change venues in venue
Once you've found it, the process is simple:
- Go there a lot and meet people
- Go on off days and go early so you can make conversation with non-busy staff
- Get comfortable with the place and explore every aspect of it
With a little time, you'll come to know the people there, and you'll come to know the patterns. You'll know that the doors open at 9, the first people show up at 10, the place doesn't start getting busy until 11, everyone starts shifting into hard party mode around 12, and all the women have gone home to escape from the drunks by 1:30.
Once girls are seeing you lounging around and talking with staff and other patrons like a fixture of the place, they'll come to view you as "connected," and thus (in that environment, at least... and social proof is all environmental, rather than absolute) higher status and more desirable.
Then all you've got to do is go say "hi."
When Should You Use It?
I rarely make social proof a concerted part of my efforts to meet women, simply because it's time consuming and sometimes difficult to control. I'll capitalize on it when it brings me opportunities, but I won't actively seek it out.
However, I am a big believer in building equity into your social life. Most of the men I've known who've done the best with women have constructed opportunities for themselves to meet a lot of women, constantly, just like what Ricardus did with that circle he integrated with. This was the gist of the post "How to Use Your Job to Meet Women" - build it into your lifestyle and you'll be amazed how something like meeting beautiful women goes from challenging to easy nearly overnight.
I'll also use it in a pinch - as mentioned above where I talk about using social proof to "warm up" a girl who otherwise would be difficult to open before I go up to her. I'll also use it in high target, low receptivity instances - e.g., a massive club or party with lots of women to meet but who are mostly closed off to meeting new people for one reason or another. Then it's time to go be a butterfly and meet lots of people until you meet a girl you like who likes you back.
Really, this comes down to preference. How do you want to use social proof? How can you build it into your life that it helps you and / or provides repeated dividends?
Social proof can be a powerful friend and ally in meeting new women - even ones you'd ordinarily have a tough time getting to know. Because it helps women make a decision in your favor in a very uncertain decision-making process, it clears a lot of the "haze" away from figuring out whether you're of the caliber they want... or not.
It doesn't need to be a necessary part of your repertoire. But it should be one you know you have available, there to be used when needed.
See you next time.