Navigating the Culture of Me

culture of meWeighing in on "You’re Not That Special (and Neither is She)", 340Breeze made a great and perceptive comment on the emotional inhibition and sexual repression rampant in Western English-speaking countries, particularly in America. His comment was a long one, but it's a good one, and I'll repost it in its entirety here:

There needs to be a solution to dealing with the culture and its influence on women's mentalities...and a discussion on how those influences make seduction more difficult than it should otherwise be. Here in America we men have to deal with, among other things: the slut-shaming phenomenon, and other inhibitions that emanate from commodity status. I am glad that you guys have pointed out some of these detrimental mindsets. Would be nice to see an article or at least a page that summarizes these inhibition inducing mindsets, and a solution or two that a man can use to empower the women he fancies.

One issue (among many) with commodity status is how the observers/players treat commodities. If a woman thinks a man is a commodity, and thus expendable, why would she spend much time forgiving slights and looking for value in him as a person? The path of least resistance is to get bored and easily replace the commodity with something else. But you can quickly see why a man would (a commodity) be hesitant to treat any particular woman that he meets as special as she thinks she is, especially if he fears that he would open up himself to potential hurt/pain given that she would replace him in an instant. But that's inhibition.

I think this commodity concept stems from capitalism in part. Commercials, movies, etc make things/products appear effortless like there is little hard-work involved in creating a superior product/service, which of course is an illusion. Another issue with capitalism's influence on people's mentalities is the ease of acquiring the goods that you most value. If you have the money/credit then you simply buy it/get a loan for it. Simple. But getting the people you most value to remain incentivized to come back for more isn't always easy or effortless at all (until you become more attractive than most). Some girls I've met who think they're superior just don't understand how they stack up against other 'outlier' women that I've met before. Some are unaware or don't care all that much about what qualities an 'outlier woman' possesses vs an average woman who thinks she is superior but lacks most of the outlier qualities. Yet these average women feel entitled to be treated as special as a woman who possesses (in my view) superior qualities and abilities. Qualities such as feminine charm, grace, ambition, uninhibited (and thus not lukewarm) when it comes to her sexuality, smarts, good body weight, independence, good looks, humility, living a passionate life she truly enjoys, can tease/take jokes adequately, knows how to touch me to excite me, can dress the part well (casual vs sophisticated), high emotional intelligence about people's needs/wants other than her own, and so on.

The problem with dating is how some people respond to the dreaded commodity status. Some become somewhat inhibited (if they feel they may replaced at a moment's notice by inadvertently triggering autorejection in someone they like). Others might overcompensate and become an asshole (who negs other people to pop the bubble of superiority and bring others down to earth). I've met girls who refuse to compliment, who refuse to charm, who refuse to do anything to make a new, unproven man, feel all. And at first I couldn't understand this mentality (like how could you like somebody but refuse to make them feel good??) But I've asked some women why, and they've later told me they fear being charming at all to a new guy because they don't want to inflate any egos of any man who might drop them on a dime...Hmmm.

But the point of seduction is to treat another human being special. Unfortunately, inhibition is a killer to seduction. Much of what you guys teach bears this guys teach how to respond to inhibited women who worry about slut-shaming, which causes inhibition. You guys also teach how to avoid auto-rejection and the inhibited/cold behavior that results from it. Again, inhibition. And plus women are attracted to confidence like moths to a flame and by definition the confident aggressive seducer doesn't present himself in an inhibited way.

So I've been thinking about it recently, trying to put words to my actions, and I conclude that what has resulted is my response to women's behavior that follows from 'commodity status.' I have to spend much of my time in the beginning around certain women having to empower them and subtly encourage them (excite them even??) to become less inhibited around me and to open up and to trust me...on a deeper, non-superficial basis. I have to instill confidence in them first that it is okay to be sexual, or to tell deep secrets that they hold inside. But if I am successful, then the floodgates of emotion flow out from within. Other girls are relatively uninhibited from the start and need little, if any encouraging on my part to spice things up really nicely. Have you ever noticed a similar phenomenon?



I agree with Breeze, that this is one worth addressing - so here's my shot at explaining what this is and how to deal with it.

inhibited women

Self policing is the act of controlling or restraining yourself from saying or doing certain things that may have negative social repercussions for you if you do them - anything from being shamed (society rejecting you) to being jailed (society imprisoning you as a threat).

We self-police to preserve our reputations, relationships, and liberty. It is a response to social control and sexual restriction.

In every society, you will encounter a broad range of people covering the expanse from highly reserved and inhibited, to highly unreserved and uninhibited. This is the difference between the stolid, rigid, repressed people you will meet, and the loose, open, free-spirited ones.

If you haven't traveled much outside of the Anglosphere, or you haven't mixed with many internationals within it, your only reference point for "how things are" or "how things should be" is going to be the way things are within it right now.

But the fact is, the way things are with self policing in Western Anglophone countries right now is not the way they are most other places in the world.

Why's Everybody on High Alert?

What's surreal to realize once you start interacting with more and more different cultures is that we have some of the safest, wealthiest countries in the world in the West - and also some of the most jittery, fearful, and paranoid people.

The chance of you being murdered or robbed in North America is vanishingly small compared to what it is in South America or Africa. The chance of you being scammed for all you're worth in Western Europe compared to what it is in China or India is next to nothing.

Yet, we're all so very paranoid that everyone is out to get us. Why?

Part of it's constant media bombardment with violent, terrible, horrible images - something that instills in us a paranoia that individuals in far more dangerous places do not have, because we witness these horrors so often that they feel exceedingly common and likely to occur. And not just violent crimes, but social ones, too.

Much of the difference is also what I covered in the article about specialness - we've all been raised with unrealistic beliefs in our own specialness since birth, leaving a great many of us fearful of making it out into the real world, encountering rejection, experiencing dissonance, and having our identities shattered by a cruel world that doesn't recognize the specialness our parents, teachers, and the media all assured us we had.

There's another component that arises in peaceful, safe nations, too. The fact is, human beings are constantly locked in a struggle for more resources... with whatever their greatest immediate threat appears to be.

In some countries, this is the specter of war with an external enemy, or perhaps even an actual current war with an enemy.

In other countries, this is the threat posed by villainous bands of murderers, robbers, and highwaymen looking to relive passersby of their money or their lives.

But in countries without any greater threat to force us to band together in defense, we fall to competing with and fearing nearer threats: the battle of the sexes, class warfare, racial turmoil, and the like. All these are things that get set aside when larger, more realistic threats loom... but get picked back up again once those threats are dealt with, as we all seek to maximize our holdings by outcompeting those we deem part of the out-group.

What that means for the West is that rather than being at war with the outside world, or with some specific group of villains we must band together against, we end up turning on one another. And that makes things get ugly.

If you look at small, homogenous, peaceful countries, like Switzerland, you see places with comparatively less internal strife, and also a humbler national psyche. The feeling I've always gotten from most Swiss is, "Yeah, we do some things well, but we realize we're just a tiny country and anyone else in Europe could clobber us - that's why we're so friendly with everybody!" It's a very good-natured self-effacing sort of vibe that makes them instantly very likeable.

Compare that with the vibe you get from the majority of Americans: "We are THE best, and anyone who messes with us gets wiped off the face of the Earth. Win and destroy!"

This filters down to individual psyches, where the Swiss mentality becomes, "Yeah, I do some things well, but I'm just one person and anyone else could clobber me - that's why I'm so friendly with everyone!" and the American mentality becomes, "I am THE best, and anyone who messes with me gets wiped off the face of the Earth. Win and destroy!"

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Throw 10 Swiss people in a room together with no greater threats, and 10 Americans in a room together with no greater threats, and which group of people do you guess erupts into violence and vitriol first?

No wonder we need to rein ourselves in.

Pros and Cons of "Best" Thinking

It's not all bad.

Anglophone countries have had a breathtakingly impressive past couple of centuries in contributions to humankind:

  • A large number of very significant scientific advances have come out of them

  • A large number of colossal, innovative, impactful businesses have arisen in them

  • A large number of world-class-talented artists, performers, and music / film / sporting contributions have been birthed and developed within them

Much of this is related to the West's culture of rewarding innovation and innovators, and attempting to make available opportunities for advancement to anyone who really wants them. These things are tremendously effective tools for taking talent, wherever in society it is, and nurturing that talent into something that gives back in a big way.

However, I'd also argue that the West's collective mentality of "I am the BEST" contributes to this as well - both by providing the confidence (real or puffed up) to some individuals that they can become prolifically successful, and also by providing a deep need to validate one's existence as "the BEST" in some individuals.

I'll cite some research later in this article that claims self-esteem / self-image isn't nearly as important for success and greatness as we might think, but there seem to be an inordinate amount of highly successful people with big chips on their shoulders who have always been that way - I'm not completely convinced that an inflated self-image doesn't contribute to this.

In fact, I'd see that as a probable major "pro" of this "best" mentality - people needing to prove (to themselves and others) that they really are "the best", and people feeling confident enough that they are "the best" that they persist long enough and hard enough to really achieve breakaway success.

On the other side of things, it makes us somewhat intolerable socially (just look at many internationals' opinions of Americans, Australians, or Brits - we're roundly considered some of the most ignorant, annoying, arrogant assholes out there), and it leads to some unpleasant forms of self policing - including:

  • Refraining from building up others' status (out of fear of reducing our own by comparison) via things like complimenting others or speaking well of them

  • Withholding the showing of interest so as not to risk seeming interested in someone who is not interested in us (thus, again, lowering our social status in relation to him or her), or who shows less interest in us than we show in him/her

  • Acting as if everything is fine when in fact we are experiencing emotional tension or tumult, leading to bitterness, resentment, and explosive emotional outbursts other parties didn't see coming

  • Becoming either aloof and superior or, alternately, codependent, self-sacrificing people pleasers (and sometimes either one or the other, depending on whom we're with at the moment)

  • Sacrificing real connections for short term status boosts because the latter feels easier to achieve and less risky

If you've been on the receiving end of these, you know the feeling of "meanness" and "pettiness" they bear with them; if you've been on the giving end, you know the feeling of "artificiality" you get when you carry them out.

Yet, they feel necessary, because those of us who forego them may still catch the brunt of them anyway; just because you're nice to him, doesn't mean he'll be nice to you back.

It ends up being a prisoner's dilemma writ large in society:

  1. If you're nice and genuine with him, and he is as well with you, you both get moderate status boosts from building one another up

  2. If you're a ladder climber with him and he is not with you, you get a large status boost from climbing over him, and he loses status by inflating yours at his detriment; conversely, if you are nice and genuine with him, but he is a ladder climber with you, you're the one who builds him up, at the cost of your own social status

  3. Or, if you're both aloof, grasping ladder climbers with one another, neither building up the other nor making any overtures toward the other that might conceivably be rejected and used to climb over either of you, you both end up staying in neutral territory seeing roughly no change in social status, and leave with what you entered into the interaction with

The optimal path, of course, would be for both individuals to build one another up, and both receive the moderate status and self-esteem boost - but in a society where ladder-climbing artificiality is the norm rather than the exception, the safest bet is that this new person you're meeting will be a ladder climber herself, and you'd do best to simply not give her status under the assumption that any status you give her will be a one-way transfer, rather than a mutual buildup.

Thus, in order to protect ourselves from watching aloof, superior others drain our ego and status away, we self police against being overly genuine, becoming aloof and superior ourselves - and carving the cycle into stone.

inhibited women

The more I became aware of this trend in American society over the past decade or so, the more I started to feel like it was poisonous, and the more I began to believe I needed to both correct it in myself and learn how to unstop the dam of repression and inhibition in others.

The individuals I looked to as teachers, and the ones I surrounded myself with as friends, were the ones who left of self policing and did everything that the repressed, inhibited majority did not:

  • They built up others' statuses incessantly, basking them in genuine, sincere compliments and approbation

  • They showed interest in everyone they met, sweeping them off their feet with glowing charm and magnetic charisma

  • They wore their emotions on their heart sleeves, immediately communicating any emotional difficulty and dealing with emotions the moment they first appeared, clearly refusing to stuff anything inside that might simmer, fester, and spill over much worse later on

  • They were neither aloof nor self-sacrificing people pleasers; rather, they showed interest without supplication, and were warm people while also clearly decisive, ignoring others' attempts to extract excessive, unbalanced compliance and investment from them

  • They had little interest in short term status boosts, and seemed alive for the chance to forge new connections with new friends and allies

I, for one, was certainly not this way myself starting out, and I knew it was due to fear - fear of the same things that all the other repressed, inhibited people around me feared: being invalidated as "not the best", "not special", or "not one of us."

Fear of having someone leech off what little confidence and status I had to improve their own.

These other individuals - the unrepressed, and the uninhibited - did not seem to have these fears though... and I set out to figure out why.

Culture of Me

culture of meThere's been much ado in the media of late about the rising "culture of narcissism." The New York Times has a great piece on it here, discussing many of the things we talked about in the article on specialness: "Seeing Narcissists Everywhere."

Some choice quotes from the article, a piece detailing the work of Dr. Jean M. Twenge, who's led the charge on identifying a growing segment of the American population as becoming increasingly narcissistic:

“Fifty percent of the women were scoring as masculine,” she said, far higher than the test manual considered normal.


Dr. Twenge’s analysis found that narcissism scores among college students had risen significantly, with 30 percent more scoring above the mean from the 1970s.


“People think I’m saying all millennials are selfish,” she said. “Of course I’m not saying that. I’m saying here’s on average what the data show.”

The NYT also notes other researchers' pushback against Twenge's designation of individuals as "narcissists", claiming that what's being construed as "narcissism" may really just be high self-esteem; regardless of whether the current testing criteria for narcissism does a sufficient job differentiating between narcissism and high self-esteem, the overall point that people in America have becoming increasingly focused on themselves and become increasingly large champions of "me" appears to be one difficult to refute.

But let's forget narcissism for a moment, and say it's all just self-esteem; is high self-esteem even a good thing?

I talked about how to get it in "How to Take Your Self-Esteem to the Stratosphere", but we didn't go into whether you actually ought to want it or not... to be honest, I was just answering guys' requests for a post on how to have high self-esteem, and like them, I assumed it was probably just an all-around good thing to have.

Yet, an article in Scientific American on the topic entitled "Self-Esteem Can Be an Ego Trap" takes issue with this premise:

It turns out that having self-esteem, as a fairly stable personality trait, does have a few modest benefits. High self-esteem also has drawbacks, however, and is mostly irrelevant for success. Further the pursuit of self-esteem is clearly detrimental to well-being. When people chase after a stronger sense of self-worth, it becomes their ultimate goal, leading them to sacrifice other aspirations, such as learning or doing what is good for others.

The hunt for self-esteem through a focus on achievement makes us emotionally vulnerable to life’s inevitable travails and disappointments. It also causes us to engage in behaviors that can actually harm our chances of success, our competence and our personal relationships. A far better way to bolster your sense of self-worth is, ironically, to think about yourself less. Compassion toward others and yourself, along with a less self-centered perspective on your situation, can motivate you to achieve your goals while helping you weather bad news, learn from your mistakes and fortify your friendships.


Back in the 1980s, many academic psychologists, policy makers and others became concerned about low self-esteem among the populace. They argued that solving this problem would create more productive citizens and lead to fewer social ills such as crime and school failure. The self-esteem movement began. Schools and other institutions poured resources into interventions designed to raise self-esteem, particularly in children. These programs typically centered on lots of positive feedback—irrespective of performance—and exercises in which individuals expounded on their positive qualities. In “I Love Me” lessons, for example, students were encouraged to complete the phrase “I am …” with positive words such as “beautiful” or “gifted.” Those performing below grade level were taught to focus on their potential rather than their shortcomings. In 1986, for example, California allocated $245,000 a year to its Task Force to Promote Self-Esteem and Personal and Social Responsibility, under the assumption that the money would be repaid through lower rates of crime, welfare dependency, unwanted pregnancy, drug addiction and school failure.

Yet even as the self-esteem movement gained momentum, scientific research began to undermine some of its major assumptions.


High self-esteem seems to have at least one serious drawback: difficulty in seeing your own shortcomings. A great deal of research conducted for several decades shows that people with high self-esteem tend to have unrealistically positive views of themselves. They think they are more attractive, successful, likable, smart and moral than others do—and are unaware of their deficits or incompetence. When they get negative feedback, they tend to be defensive, blaming the test or the messenger, rather than owning up to a mistake or deficiency.

Those are some ugly downsides.

But, they help us get a clearer grasp on who those rule-bending people are who are able to be so free in a stiflingly inhibited culture that they're able to move unaffected by the reservations and ladder-climbing behavior of most individuals.

They show us the path to becoming like they are.

They're the people who are able to operate freely in society with enough strong positive feedback that they don't have to worry very much about anyone beating them down, sucking their statuses, or raining on their parades.

They are, in other words, those who back up the talk by walking the walk.

High Social Value People in "Me Culture"

It's one thing to think you're the best, but stay aloof and reserved so that no one has the chance to get in there and try to prove otherwise.

It's another thing altogether to be so confident in your specialness that you are out there being liberal with granting social status to others, complimenting them, building them up, and being unafraid of those others trying to leech off your status - because you know they're going to want you around.

And that's really the ultimate question in a status-grasping world:

  • Is this person more useful to me as a stepping stone?

  • Or... is this person more useful to me as a friend and ally?

People who are focused expressly on themselves will use you how they see best to use you - either as a rung on the ladder, or as an ally who can help pull them up higher.

If you are high in social value, you will be viewed not as a rung to be climbed upon, but as an ally to join forces with to succeed more together with.

If you're a petty person, and some ugly person comes up to hit on you, you may shoot him or her down publicly and feel very smug about it, displaying for everyone in eyeshot how people want you but you have standards.

Yet, if you're that same petty person, and some beautiful, incredibly attractive person comes up to hit on you, and does so in a socially savvy way, you're probably not going to reject him or her, even if this could get you a status boost. That's because this other person is more useful to you as a prospective mate, friend, or ally.

Translated, what that means is this:

  • People who are high in social value - people with good fundamentals, who are attractive, who are socially skilled, and have much to offer in the social arena - will tend to be viewed as desired contacts, higher value people, and "higher up on the ladder" and thus not individuals to displease (their ability to both build up and damage status is likely greater than yours), but rather individuals whose favor you want to court

  • Thus, their value offerings are accepted, even by those who are fearful, aloof ladder-climbers, and have their efforts to build status appreciated and rewarded by having their status built up further in return

  • And thus, people high in social value are encouraged by the warm receptions they receive to continue building up others' social statuses and value as if there was universal agreement to build one another up in the prisoners' dilemma of Western social status games, because they face little risk of being used as a rung except by the most clueless or petty individuals, and a lot of risk of receiving moderate status boosts from everyone they talk to, build up, and interact with

Therefore, we end up with an unusual upside down world where a large chunk of the population remains aloof and reserved and inhibited out of fear of having the balloons that are their egos popped by unaccepting others who do not recognize their "specialness", while a small but captivating minority runs around freely building up and giving value, and being built up and given value to by nearly everyone they interact with in return.

inhibited women

Unstopping the dam of inhibition that stifles and stultifies a large number of people from expressing themselves freely and genuinely in English-speaking society has much to do first and foremost with you getting your fundamentals handled.

Everything really does come back to this. Make yourself attractive and desirable as a friend, mate, comrade, and confederate, and no one will want to tear you down.

You become far too valuable an ally, and offer far more in terms of buildup than can be gotten from you in the form of a short-term status jump.

The more attractive and more intrinsically higher value you become (the more you up your passive value), the less resistance you encounter from other people trying to parasitize your value, and the more cooperation and symbiosis and mutual build up you come upon instead.

Who Plays Status Games and Who Does Not

There are people at various levels of having their fundamentals nailed down who are "free" of reservations and inhibitions. Across the board, the people who are most socially free are the ones who have constructed their lives in such a way that almost everyone they interact with provides value back to them in exchange for them building them up.

So, you will sometimes encounter physically unattractive women who are nevertheless socially liberated, warm people, who are used to positive receptions because they have such exceptional personalities, accepting social circles, and rewarding lives, for instance.

Likewise, you will often meet very "hot" women (i.e., women with their hair, makeup, and clothes done up very well, and who keep their bodies in top shape and otherwise have good posture and other nonverbal fundamentals) who are happy to be aloof with EVERYONE... even if they met the strappingly good-looking Hollywood star du jour, they would still act reserved and unimpressed until he gave chase and "warmed them up" enough.

You can't fully rid yourself of status games, ever, if you're interacting with the population at large. No matter how good your fundamentals get, you are always going to encounter some people who will play them with you.

You won't often find this with the classically beautiful woman - the one who stays beautiful when the makeup comes off, the hair gets messy, and she's sitting there hunched over in sweats eating a cup of yogurt. These women tend to be some of the friendliest, most accepting women you'll meet; because they've been attractive all their lives, they're accustomed to warm receptions, and never felt a need to become reserved or inhibited.

Rather, the girls you'll see the most repression, inhibition, and self policing with are the girls who weren't attractive their whole lives, and only grew into it or learned how to become it in their teenage years or twenties, and the ones who haven't had appealing, charismatic personalities their whole lives. Typically, if a girl has one or the other of these (natural good looks, or a naturally appealing personality), she will be of a relatively open, uninhibited disposition.

Releasing Her True Self

Getting someone new you're interacting with to let down her guard and lower the façade of "Who needs you?" she maintains requires just two things:

  • Seeming like someone she'd like to get to know: that is, an attractive, high value, and, ideally, sexual man

  • Taking the lead and building her up socially: with things like compliments, warmth, showing her you're interested, being charming and charismatic, and letting down your own guard

All of these are things we've covered ad nauseum on Girls Chase already, so I won't list out steps here - most of the articles on this site are aimed squarely at training and conditioning you to be the kind of man whom other people simply open up to and want to get to know.

That said, if you're struggling with getting certain people to lower their walls, here's a quick guide for troubleshooting:

  1. Are you showing enough interest? This one's the first question to ask yourself. Very often, you'll find that, especially if you're from the West too, you're going to tend toward not showing enough interest. Playing around with things like the bored look and the skeptical look and the Law of Least Effort all help build up your appearance of attractiveness and exclusivity, but it's also possible to do these so much in excess that people refuse to lower their guards around you because they expect nothing but rejection if they do. Start your troubleshooting with increasing how much interest in others you display (deep diving, cold reading, and qualifying help a lot here)

  2. Is your interest genuine and specific? If you feel like you're showing enough interest, the next question to ask is whether the interest you're showing is coming across sincere or not. Put differently - is the interest you're showing tailored to the individual you're getting to know? If she feels like you're throwing one-size-fits-all platitudes at her, she's not exactly going to end up thinking you really recognize her specialness all that much. Again, deep diving and qualifying her (genuinely) on what she says help a lot here; as do sincere compliments on things you honestly like and find appealing about her.

  3. Are you attractive enough? For most men sufficiently advanced in the social arts, the problem of running into inhibited women is usually an issue of not showing enough interest, or not making the interest shown personalized enough to the woman in question. However, especially if you're just starting out, it certainly can be that your fundamentals need work, too. If you don't seem like the kind of guy she'd like to get to know, that's going to put a hamper on how effective even the most expert genuine interest shown is. If you're showing good interest and you're confident the interest you're showing is very unique to the individual you're showing it to, and you're still running into high-walled inhibition, you probably need to shore up your fundamentals more and work harder to turn yourself into the kind of man other people want to open up around.

The Floodgates, Wide Open

inhibited women

The other side of a stopped dam is a raging torrent of water, just waiting to burst through and inundate everything in its path. That might sound like a fun time, but it can also be a bit much, too.

When you get repressed people to open up to you, they can very quickly become emotionally dependent on you. You are the one person who really "gets" them; the only one they can be truly honest with and still feel good doing so with.

They end up wanting to unload ALL of their emotional baggage on you, to gain your acceptance and approval that they need not doubt about these things they have on the inside that they've carried deep-seated doubts over - because just like what their parents told them growing up, but the world has so cruelly denied recognizing them as being, they are BEAUTIFUL.

Here you run the risk of very easily overproviding good feelings. You can become the invaluable friend whom she'd never want to risk losing by introducing sex into the equation - and, anyway, she doesn't see you that way; you are a healer... a priest... an emotional salve to mend old wounds.

This is why I usually recommend not going fully into deep diving until the time you're with a girl that you intend taking her home. Before that, dive in a little bit - enough to get her qualifying herself to you and feeling like she's working to get you - but not so much she gets that feeling of complete emotional release and freedom - because that will cause an inhibited girl to crest emotionally, and if that includes her wanting you as her lover then and there and you do not act, the escalation window will close, and attraction will expire - most often forever.

You won't have this problem with very confident, outgoing women - they are somewhat resistant to the effects of deep diving, because they're already open about most of the things they have going on in their lives, and don't have many hidden doubts or secrets to share with you that will make them feel more connected to you than they do to most. That's why most of your seductions of very confident women will involve much more banter and chase framing than they will deep diving - they don't need you to set them free, because they already are. Instead, they just want to have fun.

You must be careful about unstopping the dam for emotionally repressed and inhibited people, because they will tend to attach a lot of emotions to you - and these will be very unstable emotions:

  • One minute, you're the most wonderful person in the world - you've saved her from a life of repression and artificiality

  • The next minute, you're a terrible, horrible man - she thought you only cared this deeply about her, but actually you do this connecting / appreciating thing with EVERYone

  • Then, she decides you're a good person again - if still feeling a little suspicious that you might be not completely sincere - after all, if she's so special, how can everyone else be special too?

This is the result of emotional immaturity - when someone has not had the opportunity yet to grow up emotionally, she'll react to having the floodgates opened for her in this way. It's part of the maturation process - now that her emotions are out there, instead of repressed and inhibited, she needs to learn how to deal with them.

This is part of the reason why I myself prefer women who are already very confident - there's no hand-holding needed; you don't have to deal with the polarized emotions of someone whose emotions still need to mature; and she's at a place of acceptance of herself and the world that allows her to hold both the idea of herself as awesome and the idea of everyone else as awesome in her mind at once without experiencing massive rifts of cognitive dissonance.

Uninhibiting the Inhibited

It's my view that the doings of a talented, compassionate seducer - as opposed to, say, a jackal with little care or concern for what happens to those he's uninhibited once he's gotten his - can be a path to liberation from repression for the people he encounters.

The trick here is making sure that whatever the experience you share with someone is, it ends on a good, warm, favorable note, and becomes something she'll look back on positively and treasure.

How things end is going to color her perception of opening up - if they end well, you'll have started her on the road toward becoming uninhibited, unrepressed, and emotionally mature, accepting whom she is and realizing that she is a pretty awesome person, without needing to be the superhero or princess her parents and the media repeatedly told her she was. If things end poorly and she's left feeling bad about it all, however, you'll only push her farther into her shell, communicating that your efforts to make her feel special were little more than a hollow, self-centered manipulation focused on getting you what you wanted by creating the illusion of appreciating her.

So, be mindful how you end things. Leave her with a smile on her face and a bounce in her step.

Leave her with little doubt in her mind that yes, you truly did "get" her and appreciate her - this wasn't some act just to get in her pants.

If you can do that, not only will you share some incredible experiences with women, but you'll put them on the path to leading better, more sincere, and more rewarding lives as well - and that's a pretty fulfilling way to live your own life, if I do say so myself.

Chase Amante

Chase AmanteAbout the Author: Chase Amante

Chase woke up one day in 2004 tired of being alone. So, he set to work and read every book he could find, studied every teacher he could meet, and talked to every girl he could talk to to figure out dating. After four years, scads of lays, and many great girlfriends (plus plenty of failures along the way), he launched this website. He will teach you everything he knows about girls in one single program in his Mastery Package.


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Anonymous's picture

Hi Chase, I've been having an issue for quite some time now. When I look good, i.e. dressing in the right clothes and well groomed, I feel confident. When I'm not, my confidence starts to deplete. It looks like you don't focus as much on the neuroscience aspect of "inner game," but I'm wondering if my insecurity has something to do with an anchor tied to when I wasn't confident and not good-looking (I see the old me and turn into the old me). I don't know what to do, I've been working on this for quite some time now, do you have any suggestions? I can literally feel the physiological changes in me taking place from posture, voice tonality, breathing, etc. when I change back and forth from "new" to "old" me and vice versa.

Moon's picture

Honestly, i have the same experience!!!

Anonymous's picture

Bad boys get tattoos, rich guys suits, goths trench coats. All Make them feel a certain way. I think most people without these things, or if you dressed them up as little girls everyday would act very differently.

Chase Amante's picture


Yes, that's the "clothes make the man" effect. e.g., when you're wearing a nice suit, you'll puff your chest out, act powerful, and feel good. It's largely psychological, but reinforced and refined by the receptions you get. e.g., I once bought a jacket I thought was cool, but women went far beyond cool, and started telling me how sexy I was and how handsome I was and whatnot whenever I had it on. I realized at the time I'd also made a number of other changes as well, but it couldn't be helped; still whenever I slip that jacket on, I feel like I'm exuding double the sex energy. It could also be an "old you" vs. "new you" anchor too, if you always dressed / looked a certain way before, and you still dress that way sometimes. I've made it a personal habit in life of personally dropping whatever my old look was whenever I transition to a new one, and never going back to the old one - it's a separation ritual of sorts.

That said, on the reverse side of things, I've extensively tested going out feeling "great" like this, where you feel like a million bucks, like the sexiest man in the world, etc., and going out feeling terrible, and I haven't found much difference in the actual results I get. The REACTIONS are certainly different - excited, energetic reactions vs. subdued reactions from women, for instance. But in raw terms of dates and sexual encounters, pumped state vs. unpumped state seems so far as I can tell to be almost undifferentiated, provided you go out and approach the same number of women each time. I talked about this in this article: "Going Out to Meet Women Even When You Don’t Want to."

If you still want the mojo bump though, that one's simple enough: just wear the clothes that make you feel like hot stuff, and buy more of them. Make it so that every item of clothing you buy makes you feel damn good. There are fashionable, attractive options for wearing to work, parties, casual wear, even the gym. Even if you don't feel like you need the boost, there's no reason not to just have sharp clothes you wear everywhere - they're usually not that much more expensive than Average Joe clothes if you shop around, and they give you that little extra edge in attractiveness (or BIG extra edge, depending on how wide the gulf is between them and what you used to wear) that just makes your life easier.


Sam2's picture

Chase, this is a very intelligent way of actually touching upon the essence of seduction; calibration and understanding what is what regarding this give-and-take game.

Here is an example. A girl you took for 2-3 dates telling you in the face the following: "You don't do anything to promote things between us... You only call me for drinks and then trying to get me to your place for sex...You only want to fuck me...I want to be seduced and feel that it happened...You don't like the game and you don't have patience, but I do like the phase before sex (chase game) and after sex (potentially relationship)...You are a taker and play aloof...I don't know what you do with other women, but I am not like that etc"

Based on this article there are two interpretations:

A) The girl really likes you. She genuinely feels frustrated by your objectifying her. She knows your value as a man and tries to keep you in her life. She doesn't want you to leave after sex. She wants you to pass her commitment standards and she is proactively helping you to do so. She wants to tame the "beast" and make you see her value.

B) She doesn't like you. She wants to control you. She labels you "player", "taker" etc to obscure her own player/taker attitude. She wants to promote her own unspecified agenda prior to sex and only does minor erotic things with you (e..g. kissing on first date, then giving you the cheek for the next ones). She buys time and she doesn't intend to give you a full erotic experience.

To give or not to give status? To have or not to have inhibitions? Very hard to distinguish, in my opinion.

Chase Amante's picture


A girl like that - who can clearly and unequivocally communicate her preferences for how the seduction process unfolds, and layout a path to sex calmly and rationally - is telling you she's a pro with plenty of experience, and that she views you as someone less experienced than herself whom she is annoyed is not following the path she believes he "should."

When you have girls who pull the "pro card" on you like this, it's generally a sign you've messed up pretty glaringly somewhere and given them the impression that they know the seduction process a lot better than you do, which puts them into the "teacher" role and you the "student" role. When they're talking openly with you about sex, that usually means they're corralling you into a casual partner role; if they wanted you as a boyfriend, they'd play coy and act like they're "not like that."

How you proceed with these situations is dependent on what you want. I used to run into them every so often when I was still just learning, and it was always like getting hit with a bucket of water... the girl just seemed to drop all her femininity when she started talking about sex like she knew it much more than I did and wanted me to follow some logical progression of steps toward it, and I'd just lose interest in pursuing the girls any further and would abort the mission. It's a good sign when you see this that this isn't a girl you're going to be able to affect emotionally with your present level of game; you might be able to stick it out long enough to do whatever it she needs you to do, but usually her message is more a sign that "I need a man to make me feel a certain way, and you've already shown me / convinced me that you cannot do that."

One thing I WILL say is that chasing a woman who asks you to chase her never leads you to anything other than a permanent place in the friend zone. Your best shot if you're going to keep taking shots is to ignore this, but sit down and figure out why you're failing to affect her, and switch up your strategy to try something different and hopefully more effective.


Sam2's picture

Chase, thank you for your input.

I took her to my place after the first date where I made out/touched her. When we arrived to my place she asked me whether I bring all girls home for the first date. I replied "I do not hesitate to do so", she said "I can see that". She resisted sex, I dropped the ball and gave her a lift to her place.

After that, I contacted her for another date. She did not reply for three days, then she contacted me and SHE proposed to meet. I agreed. Instead of kisses on the mouth, she gave the cheek. I got fazed and I showed it. At a point between these 4 dates in total she introduced me to a female cousin of hers. The cousin actively tried to encourrage me; "She likes you, you is up to you to move things forward", I told her "She is harsh and unfeminine with me and I don't like that" to which she replied "Don't stay on the surface, go for it".

My take is that she felt I follow a pattern with all women and that I expect things to happen in a linear-automatic fashion. She put up her walls to try my limits and persistence in her effort to feel herself "special".

Bolt's picture

Hey Chase, I've been following your technician ebook and I am currently at the viewing women as sex objects portion. I've been doing this particular step for quite some time to really get it down but usually when me and the girl are out eating together and I'm viewing her sexually (imagining her in my bedroom) she asks "Why are you looking at me like that"? I usually respond with "like what" but she can never give me a straight answer on how I'm looking at her. This has happened quite a few times with different girls. I don't think it's a creepy look because the girls never say I'm looking at them in a weird way. I don't know if their uncomfortable with the sexual tension or if I'm doing it wrong since I'm still working on it. What do you think?

Chase Amante's picture


It's probably a case of "doesn't match the situation." e.g., if you're a guy who exudes sexuality all the time, you can throw on sexy eye contact, and women will just blush. But if you're normally not very sexual, and the situation itself / the phase of the interaction is not a sexual one, it can seem out of place.

I wouldn't worry too much about this one; instead, I'd keep your eye contact where it is, and just work on bringing the rest of your nonverbal communication up to part with it so the eye contact no longer seems incongruent.


Anonymous's picture

Good article. However, it sounds like it isn't high self esteem that's the problem but it's low self-esteem masquerading as high-self esteem. Or a false sense of high self-esteem which in reality is low self- esteem. These guarded people who seem to be obsessed with themselves and think they are special and perfect really have low self-esteem but have been convinced that they have high self-esteem.

Y's picture

A wealth to reflect on here, Chase. Question about your concluding point on ending things the right way.

Your article on how to break up is incredibly insightful on that front. However, as open as I am to a relationship with 'the right girl', most women I meet although with a lot of beauty about them, and sometimes even the potential to grow into 'the right girl', are not there yet. I'm not going to go into too much detail here about my definition of the right girl, because that's a topic into itself (a topic where your work is also invaluably insightful).

I also share your aversion to extended casual relationships, because those just seem to slowly lead to complacency. So what are your insights on sensitively ending things with a girl after only a few encounters?

Even though I disqualify myself as a boyfriend from the onset, including disqualifying explicitly, even ending a casual thing needs to be handled with care. I've unintentionally hurt some beautiful souls doing this wrong way Chase, and each incident seems to stay on my conscience. So any insights here or articles on this would mean the world, brother.

Now of course this won't be foolproof. But every insight helps. I should also clarify, that my definition of ending things 'the right way' is the same as the one you touched on here; leaving her with no doubt that the beauty you saw in her, and told her you saw in her, is there, and you genuinely see it.

Also potentially important to note, that at my level of experience, although it often only takes one encounter to subtly screen a girl for my relationship criteria (eg: time-orientation, self ownership, etc.) sometimes still takes me a few encounters.


Chase Amante's picture


Personally, I will usually only sleep with a girl I don't want as a girlfriend once, or, if I really enjoyed the first time, twice (usually a week later or so), to get her out of my system. When I used to do casual relationships, the girl would either drift away on her own or get into a relationship, or I'd dial things down and then leave for a trip somewhere and simply not reconnect with her when I got back.

If you're seeing her more than twice, but not enough to make it a full-blown casual relationship, that's a little bit complicated. Generally after three times sleeping together with you, a woman starts seeing you as some kind of relationship - maybe a booty call, maybe a budding boyfriend.

What you might try if you want to do something like this is simply schedule every next meeting out twice as long as the last. e.g., your second roll in the hay is a week after the first; third is two weeks later; fourth is a month. That should give you enough spacing that even the craziest of women will know this thing isn't going anywhere, and prevent you from having to deal with hurting girls or having any bad fallout.


Wolf's picture

How do you get a girl thats obsessed with another dude? This girl is in my social work circle, and I don't talk to her at all. She likes this one cat like crazy I heard and I want to Know if its possible to still pull in this situation and what to do?


Chase Amante's picture


You don't. You wait until the infatuation period wraps up and she goes into auto-rejection over the guy over not pursuing her and giving her what she wants, and then you provide her an easy way of feeling like a woman again (and possibly trying to make him regret what he doesn't now have).

Trying to fight extreme emotions is like fighting a hurricane. Don't fight it; just wait for it to pass, then pick up the pieces.


Troy's picture

Hey Chase, ive got to really deep issue to ask about today. I feel that my life will soon be taken away from me. I live in a community with dangerous teenage school drop outs and big men. They go around and commit crimes on a regular basis. Now with my lack of social skills and friends, I dont have any social protection (persons that many other people like and have connections dont get troubled). I think you might remember that i am in high school and i am 17 years old. Im becoming afraid to walk out my house. I live with my parents and 2 brothers and 1 sister. i feel like i dont belong anywhere even at home with family. Now my life is in danger right now. these dangerous guys pick on people that seem to be loners like myself.

The situation mainly started when i made a friend next door, a young man who is a christian. we would sometimes meet up and take a walk to go to church or walk in my community to find some girls to talk to since we are both inexperienced with getting girls. Now there are other neighbours around me who started rumors of us being gay and telling people they have seen us kissing and holding hands. the persons making these rumors are setting me up for possible getting killed.

What do you think i could do? I try avoiding them but everytime of day everywhere near my house i see them. today i was chased by 1 of them with a knife. I might consider self defence classes but i dont have any money to pay for them and the centres for that are far from where i live. Even still i cant win every battle even the world best fighter will lose if everybody gang up against him. the worst part about me dealing with this is being seen as a easy target all my life since i stand out alone, i am not much of a fighter and need some muscle and these guys have guns, knives and anything possible to cause damage.

Im talking to my parents about getting me to live with someone elsewhere or me just staying inside the house.

How do i present myself with powerful body language to ward off criminals?
How do i talk to criminals to not make them more on the defensive to hurt me?

If i dont move elsewhere, then how can i get around this situation?

Any help from other readers here too is greatly needed and appreciated now! thanks!

I feel like breaking down and i might have to take a while from this seduction thing for a while... i was held up by 3 guys last night when coming home from school and it scares the hell out of me to leave my house now!
The worst thing is that the police never do anything when these situations happen and its only when the victim is killed that you see them come up at the scene with yellow tape and there fancy james bond gadgets. any help is greatly appreciated. thanks in advance!


Chase Amante's picture


If you genuinely, genuinely fear for your life, there is nothing else to do but get out of that area. It might be a pain in the ass to move, or figure out how to move, but a pain in the ass is better than pushing up grass. There's no reason to stay in an area where you're going to get killed for anything. Unless you're living in sub-Saharan Africa or some war-torn part of the world, 95% of the places in your country are not going to be life-threatening places to live - even 95% of the impoverished places.

If you're not scared enough to move no matter what, but you're still scared of being held up, mugged, etc., then just remove everything that might make you a target. Only wear cheap, ugly shoes and clothes that nobody wants or will bother to steal; carry little or no money; don't care credit cards, jewelry, a debit card people can force you to give out the PIN for, etc. Not getting messed with in dangerous situations is about being tough, relaxed, and non-confrontational, OR being angry and insane. It's not just LOOKING those ways; you've actually got to be them when felt out (and all but the most inexperienced guys will feel you out before they try anything with you, because they know it's not smart messing with people who are going to be a danger to themselves when there are plenty of other marks around).

Again though, if you're genuinely scared of getting shot or stabbed - leave. Most countries have schools in every city - move somewhere safer and go to school there instead. Can't get good grades and a degree if you're dead.


Anonymous's picture

Yikes, can't imagine what this is like although what comes to mind is the Clint Eastwood movie "Gran Torino." I wish I could help you but I'm convinced that the precedent has already been set, and therefore wouldn't really suggest you start interacting with them. Most of what you could have done about it is what Chase mentioned: being tough, relaxed, non-confrontational etc. The reasoning is very analogous to the principles behind seduction. You could have interpreted it differently or found some way to change the frame. Perhaps be a different sort of ally without having to join them. I think I heard somewhere how a mother's son was never bothered in a dangerous neighborhood before because she cared for and was loved by everyone. Once you give into the frame though, it's quite difficult to change. It's not just about their perception either, the more unfortunate reality is that at this stage, without truly being "alpha" you will not be able to accomplish this. This is far from something that can change overnight. Even if you could fake it or somehow pull it off, I wouldn't recommend it simply because it's your LIFE at risk. I know nothing about you though, all I know is that you're gambling with your life.

I'm almost hesitant to give you advice, again I really can't gauge the dynamic of the situation, but you first need to figure out how you're going to react from now on. You're either going to run from them because you pose them as a threat, or not even notice them and just walk calmly and comfortably (this is also the best thing to do if the former is out of the question). It's going to be harder to pull of the latter due to having already established the precedent of the former, but the payoff of the latter will be handsome in terms of your own personal development. My personal opinion is that most bullies are normal people. It's the crazy people who have mental issues or are on drugs that you need to watch out for and have no control over. That said, you need to be right about your analysis of the situation and where you are at personally.

Eric D's picture

Chase, don't you think that many women enjoy and are attracted to a man who puts himself on the line and pursues a girl because of how special he thinks she is (I think the movie "The Notebook" actually presented a similar theme) and no one else makes him feel the same way? In a non-needy way of course. I almost feel like I got a girl once because I started off this way (I really was mesmerized by her in every way possible) and then lost her when I started to play more hard to get and cool. Sure enough, the next chump who treated her like his one and only captured her heart.

Anonymous's picture

Isn't that the definition of true leadership (in the movie) when he knows what he wants, goes after it, and believes in what they have, leading her to it. Lets not Forget how women swoon over that movie...

Chase Amante's picture


Yes, absolutely. If you're playing games, you're already admitting that you don't really have her heart, and she probably doesn't have yours... it very frequently backfires. Straight, direct, and sincere is almost always the winning bet, mixed in with just enough intrigue to keep her guessing.

Check out this article - it's all about this: "The Men's Guide to Playing Hard to Get."


Anonymous's picture


From the deepest part of me I want to thank you for this article. I just want you to know that I see what great insight, and I want to say genius, you possess. Your talent, vision, and clarity of expression are beyond words. I don't think you get nearly enough recognition for what you are showing people.

I've been struggling with these issues with people in my life for a long time now. I've always called the climbers, scrappers, because they have so little, or feel like they have so little, they have to fight amongst each other for scraps. And I see it, most people are ready to fight for scraps the moment I begin an interaction with them. But I short-circuit them, and I immediately give to them, and it takes about 5 seconds for them to compute whats going on, but then they give back to me.

Unfortunately, sometimes the scrappers chip away at me enough, without giving me a chance to disarm them, and unknowingly I revert back to their way of behavior. It sounds unpleasant, it's terrible and grating, I can't live that way. All I want is to go back to giving to people.

So, I've devoted countless hours pouring over past interactions and trying to decipher patterns that would let me be the giving person you describe, and I've felt and noticed almost every detail you described in this article. I've been struggling, intensely, to understand this, because I've felt the freedom and I desperately want to keep it. I've come to have a hazy grasp of things, and you, you fucking genius, you ;) you illustrated and defined that which had no definition. You took something extremely complex and made it easy to understand. You just took American culture and all of human social hierarchy, and cut it up like it was your dinner.

I mean you've clarified life for me. You are truly amazing Chase, please keep writing. I'm sure there are others out there like me who have truly appreciate your articles in all of their details. If I weren't struggling to made ends meet right now I would contribute financially, but I hope my words can give to you more.

Anonymous's picture

Chase i keep making progress in terms of mindset shifts but then revert back to normal. Its so frustrating what Am i doing wrong?

Anonymous's picture

Great article

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