The Parting Shot
Tuesday, 4 February 2014
Something I see guys doing that always makes me want to hold up my hands and go, “Wait! Too extreme!” is getting miffed and walking away from women without giving them a properly put-together parting shot.
I was guilty of it for a long time, and when you’re still being emotionally affected by the women you’re meeting (i.e., before it’s become more or less pure process with little emotional involvement), it’s pretty easy to fall into this trap.
That is, the trap of realizing that things aren’t going your way with a given girl, getting upset, and storming off out of the interaction with a spiteful “Huh. She’ll realize what she’s lost when I’m gone!” attitude.
Ever do this? I bet you have, and if you’re like most men I bet you sometimes still do.
Thing is, how often do those girls you abruptly cut contact with like this ever get back in touch with you and turn things around? Never, right? Occasionally they may reconnect with you, but ever notice how they treat you rather patronizingly in those cases? They know they’ve gotten to you.
At best, all you ever get out of ending things with girls this way is a psychic victory... you get to think to yourself that you “won” because you walked off and left her hanging.
But you didn’t win, not really. You didn’t get the girl.
There is a way you can though – not all the time, but a whole lot more often than you will with the “get irked and storm off” approach, in any event.
I call it “the parting shot.”
As you know already if you’ve been reading this site for some time, I’m a man who advocates sticking to the middle in terms of how you do things, more or less. That might be because I’m naturally a man of extremes, and I’ve only learned to take the more balanced route gradually over time by failing hard repeatedly on the far ends of one spectrum or another.
If you look at how most men treat failing interactions – that is, those interactions you have with women where the girl is resisting complying with you, resisting moving forward in the interaction with you, resisting your attempts at escalation... basically, resisting anything other than that which makes you a good, loyal prospective friend or orbiter – their reactions tend to fall into one of two extremes:
The “grin and bear it” extreme: in this case, the guy decides he’s already so invested that even if this girl won’t do what he wants, he’s got to stick it out and keep taking cracks at it and hope that maybe he can “wear her down.”
The “walk off defiantly” extreme: in this case, the guy (generally a more experienced or aware guy than our first “grin and bear it” guy) realizes it’s not going anywhere, realizes he doesn’t have any ability to change that, and announces that he’s leaving, or maybe even doesn’t do that, and walks off head held high, defiantly, as if to say, “Ha, see! Who needs you?!”
Both are bad, for different reasons. The first is bad because you’re chasing women when you do it, obviously. When she isn’t responding and you hang around and continue investing and trying to get her responding, you’re heavily in pursuit.
And chasing rarely works.
Almost never. You’re better off walking around and asking random
strangers if they’d like to go home with you as the first thing you say
But what about the “walk off defiantly” extreme... what’s so wrong with that?
Defiance ≠ Power
The thing to understand about defiance is that defiance is NOT a sign of power.
Sure, it’s a more powerful emotion than supplication. And it will very occasionally get people to chase after you who were merely bluffing with their resistance before, and your defiantly marching off into the sunset shocks them and frightens them and triggers chasing behavior so as not to lose you.
But for those people who aren’t bluffing – and that’s most of them – what defiance looks like is the middle ground between power and weakness. Defiance says, “I’m no pushover,” but it also says, “I’m not in charge.”
Defiance acknowledges the other person’s dominance, and simply states that the defiant party will not play ball.
It’s impossible for me to defy you if you do not hold some power over me; do not have something that I very much want. Defiance is a form of objection; if I defy you, I announce, “I will not do what you require of me to get what I want.”
It is a defensive move, not an offensive move. And you don’t win on defense.
To get a clearer picture of what this does to the power dynamic between you and a girl, imagine, if you will, that the situations are reversed.
You’re talking to a girl, and she’s bugging you to come and sit with her and meet her friends, but you keep brushing off her attempts to escalate things with you and telling her, “A little later, I’m enjoying standing up here by the bar... in a little bit; I’m still waiting for my friends to come back.”
Eventually, she says, “Fine. Well, it was nice meeting you,” and turns around and walks off... not without some hint of annoyance. What do you feel?
Chances are, you smile to yourself: “Wow, she really liked me! She was pretty upset I didn’t go with her,” and if you see her again, you’re going to treat her like your kid sister: how cute; how defiant; how young.
And that’s how women view you, and how they treat you, when you have even a whiff of defiance around your exiting of an interaction with them.
It doesn’t make them “miss you” or “realize what they’ve just missed out on.” It just makes them understand you’re going into auto-rejection, and they see you as “cute” and “harmless” after that... because you’ve confirmed that they are the ones in power.
The parting shot is all about not exiting defiantly, as well as not standing around pressing for more and more once you’ve run into a wall and aren’t getting anywhere. Instead, it’s about reading when you’ve reached the limit of what you can pull off with a girl, and exiting stage left, while (frequently) giving her a last opportunity, in a calm way, to continue the interaction with you.
- You make no bones about the fact that you want to progress things with her
- Yet, you leave calmly and neutrally despite not getting what you wanted
- Finally, you leave things open to potentially pick back up again later
The end result is, some of the time she’ll go with you, and much of the time she’ll be a lot
more receptive to reopening by you later on... or
will reopen you herself.
Structuring Your Parting Shot
When you part ways with a woman, you want to make absolutely certain of three (3) things:
- That she knows why you’re leaving
- That she respects why you’re leaving
- That she views your parting as a loss
Each of these three elements fit into a successful parting shot – one that ups your odds of her reversing her resistance and instead complying, or that alters her feelings about you after you leave, widening the opening of the door you’ve left ajar for your return to conversation with her later on.
Here’s how each of those above three things factors in:
#1: She Knows Why You’re Leaving
Something you’ll see men do wrong with women is repeatedly run into resistance for a while, then suddenly peel off with a, “Well, I’ve got to get going,” or a, “Hey, let me catch up with you later,” that seems to come abruptly out of the blue. In this case, the girl kind of knows why you’re leaving – it wasn’t really going anywhere – but she doesn’t have anything specific to target that she could change if she wanted to change it, and she ends up feeling somewhat confused (which often leads to her then just shrugging and writing you off – not the way you want her feeling on your exit).
Instead, you must do this: exit immediately after a bit of failed compliance. Then, you’re employing sound operant conditioning and using negative punishment (taking something good – in this case, yourself / your attention – away) immediately following the behavior you’re working to discourage, allowing her to fix it if she wishes, since now she knows exactly the cause (her lack of compliance).
That’d look like this:
You: [chit chat]
Her: That’s so amazing. What did you like best about that city?
You: Well, I – here, let’s go grab a seat and sit down to be more comfortable.
Her: I can’t – I’ve got to stay here and wait for my friends.
You: We’ll be right there – you’ll be able to see them perfectly fine from those seats. Let’s sit.
Her: I just want to wait near the bar.
You: If we’re going to have any remotely interesting conversation, I’d like to do it sitting down. Let’s go have a seat.
Her: I’ll just stay up here.
You: Ha, all right. Well, I’m going to go sit down over there regardless – once you’ve caught up with your friends, come on over and join me.
You: [wink and leave]
Here’s, it’s extremely clear why you’re leaving – you want to sit, and she won’t go along with it. You’ve also given her clear instructions on what to do when she’s ready to reengage you, though that isn’t always necessary – you can instruct her on reengaging or not, depending on the scenario (e.g., if you’re talking to a girl at work or in class, you may not want to instruct her to reengage you if there’s a chance you may have to reengage her first for work/school reasons).
Of course, even if she understands why you’re leaving, that doesn’t work unless it’s coupled with the fact that...
#2: She Respects Why You’re Leaving
Imagine that same example scenario above, except that in this case rather than ask the girl to sit down, you asked her for a sip of her drink, and she declined. Would this be a good reason for him to exit the conversation?
No, not at all. It’s not a reason to quit talking to someone and leave; and no matter how cool you look doing it, it’s a pretty tough thing to justify.
Conversely, in the original example, it’s pretty clear: you want to
have an interesting conversation, and you can’t do that standing up. You read her declining to sit down as her
declining to have a meaningful conversation with you, and if she’s not
going to have a meaningful conversation with you, what’s the point of
you continuing to hang around?
Your exiting the conversation there communicates strongly that you’re not leaving because your feelings or hurt, or that you feel like you’re being out-dominated by her, or that you don’t know what to do. Instead, all she reads it as is “he wants to have a real conversation with me, and I’m telling him I want to meet my friends.”
If she likes you, she’s going to like you even more after this – wow, he’s SERIOUS about wanting to get to know me. And you’ll be surprised at how often women will seek you back out again, on exactly the terms you specify, when you deliver a parting shot with a clear, respectable reason like this (and, occasionally, they’ll even say, “Wait, okay, but just for a few minutes,” and go along with you after all before you can actually leave).
There are a variety of respectable reasons you can leave, including:
You want to sit because it’s more comfortable, and you’re not a fan of being jostled by the crowd (communicates you want a more private conversation with her)
You want to get walking because standing in place is lifeless and uninvigorating, and being moving livens things up (communicates you want to inject more energy into the conversation with her and escalate things forward, and also that you want to bring her along with you, if the two of you are walking together)
You want to start circulating because there’s a lot more of the venue/show/event to see, and you’re never going to see it stuck in place (communicates that you want to explore, and you want to bring her along and include her on your explorations)
Those are just a few to get you started. The gist of it is, you’re attempting to move a girl, and making her feel welcomed and included with you if she joins you... and as though she missed a chance to pair up with an attractive guy who was working to bring her deeper into his world if she declines.
She frequently will not decline again the next time you talk to her, and may well follow you later on her own, or even follow you immediately and not allow you to actually leave.
That requires our third element to make it all stick together though, first...
#3: She Views Your Parting as a Loss
Just as you want to get a phone number from a girl on a high point in your conversation with her, you also want to attempt moving her – and deliver your parting shot if she won’t comply – on a high point, too. That’s because if you do it like this:
Her: ... and that’s how my dad died.
You: That’s so terrible. Nothing worse than losing a loved one. [pause] Hey, let’s go and grab a seat and continue this conversation sitting down.
... and she declines to go with you, even if you deliver the best parting shot in the world, she’s going to end up feeling better once you’re gone than when you were last there (and taking her through either sad, or rage-inducing, or boring conversation, as the case may have been).
The emotion you want her feeling as you leave is, “Man, it was really good talking to him!” and then, not long after, “You know, I’d be enjoying myself a lot more if I was still talking to that cute guy who asked me to go sit with him earlier.”
Part ways with her on a high point, and you’re all but assured of her both:
Wanting to continue the conversation with you later, and
Being open to you reengaging her later, or not even letting you go in the first place
This is how you really leave a girl sad to see you go... not by leaving defiantly, but by leaving welcomingly – and on a high point.
To Invite or Not to Invite
You don’t have to push as hard for her to come join you as we did in that example before. In fact, you don’t even have to invite a girl to accompany you on your parting shot – you can simply take off after she makes it clear she won’t progress forward through the interaction with you, with a, “Well, I’m going to go scout out the rest of the venue – I’ll check back in with you later.”
However, if you’re not planning on pursuing her again later yourself, ALWAYS give her instructions on how to reengage you. There’s no reason not to, assuming you’re doing cold approach (if you’re running social circle game, you’ll usually run into her later on incidentally, so this isn’t necessarily mandatory, though can still be very good form) – you lose nothing by giving her some quick brief instructions, and you very much up your odds that she will track you down later and throw herself right back into an interaction with you – this time as pursuer instead of as pursued.
This one’s so simple, so easy to do, but I see lots of guys not doing it for what I can only presume are ego reasons: they think, “I’m not going to invite her and look weak and needy, because she’s not going to come anyway.”
But let’s think about it for a moment – if you’re never going to see her again, does it matter if you “look weak and needy”?
And if 1 out of every 6 or 7 girls you deliver a parting shot to tracks you down and reinitiates with you later per your instruction for her to, isn’t that a far better outcome than had you just broken off and left without much good reason, and end up having 0 out of every 6 or 7 girls track you down to reengage you later?
Scale that up to 600 or 700 women with parting shots delivered to,
and that's a pretty big disparity in success rates between the two.
If you’re just leaving defiantly instead of leaving on a high point with a welcoming attitude and an invitation to seek you back out later with instructions on how to do so, stop shooting yourself in the foot. It doesn’t make you seem any more valuable... it makes you look less in control, and thus less attractive.
Instead, give her a parting shot – if she doesn’t follow up later, you’ll still command far more respect from her than had you exited any other way; and if she does, well, you’ve just given yourself a big “in” with her you wouldn’t have gotten had you left without giving her the chance to approach you again later on.
Read next: “When to Throw the Ball into Her Court (and When Not To).”
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