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How to Deal with Opinionated People

Chase Amante's picture
opinionated peoplePeople have all kinds of aggressive, often ignorant opinions. About everything! To deal with this without losing your head, you must first put things into perspective.

Decidedly on the rise is the profusion of aggressively opinionated people.

You know, those people who will get in your face, flaunt their opinions at you and, with little manners or decorum, do their very best to bait you into either agreeing with them or outing yourself as one of 'the bad ones' who believes not as they do.

Regardless of your set of beliefs (on any of a range of items), you can probably agree that there are many of both the people who agree for the most part with you and those who really don't agree with you who hold rigid, inflexible opinions about a great many things.

If you're a critical thinker, you can probably also admit that most people -- even most of those who agree with you -- hold only shallow understandings of the positions they purport to hold, and are far more emotionally attached to their positions than they are logically secure in them.

This is a human tendency, to form emotional attachments to views, often with only a superficial eye cast toward any kind of objective underpinning of said views. Opinionated, impassioned, yet superficial arguments are annoying to everyone, but they're especially annoying if you're a critical thinker.

There's little worse for critical thinkers than to find oneself in a debate with someone demanding he unquestioningly accept the veracity of a flimsily-supported position or else be forever damned as evil incarnate (or perhaps just stupid, brainwashed, or uninformed).

This article won't be about any particular current events or hot button issues, and if you comment I'd urge you to keep to the spirit of that here too.

Instead, its focus is on dealing with opinionated people: both avoiding pointless entanglements with them as well as preserving your own sanity despite maddening insistence you agree to the unreasonable or be damned.

Friends Who Value You Less Than You Do Them

Chase Amante's picture
friend value imbalancesYou may have friends you feel you need more than they need you. Why does this happen with friends, and what can you do to make it a realer, more equal friendship?

A week ago on the forum one of our members asked me about friends who seemingly value you less than you do them / friends who seem to need you less than you need them.

I'll share part of his post here:

I consider myself a high value guy who’s good with girls , has good conversational skill and a good business he’s built - which does not mean I can’t improve, quite the opposite. Just that I have trouble thinking my problem is value.

but I do struggle with friendships and have a doubt I am not being respected.

How selective should you be with your friends ? How do you build abundance ?

I have about 8-9 people i consider pretty cool that I can go out with 1-2 a month ( some I can see 1-2 a week some I can see once every 2 months).

This feeling that I am more invested in the friendship than they are…

…and that I would like to see them more than they would like to see me bothers the fuck out of me.

I hate this feeling of neediness almost as much as I hated not having abundance with girls.

At the time i discovered that if I hit the streets and bars i only needed 10-20 approaches to bang a cute girl … and that feeling disappeared.

So my question isn’t only how to make new friends but rather, why aren’t all these guys as invested as I am in our ‘ friendship ‘ ?

Is that a respect and value problem ? Or did I target people who don’t go out as much.

First off, let me say I can relate, as I think most people can; unless all your friends are very close, old friendships, you probably have people you're friends with whom you aren't certain value you as highly as you do them.

This feeling is worse when ALL your friends are relatively recent friends.

I didn't stay close friends with anyone I knew before graduating university, and every time I've changed cities I've generally found myself with a bunch of totally new people, going through this same, "Are we valuing this friendship the same amount?" dance.

As our forum member notes, it is due to some degree of neediness, and as with girls it disappears as abundance does. However, like with girls, there are also levels of abundance with friendships too.

So, it can be a little complicated -- but let's talk about the causes and the remedies.

Some Friends Are Bad for Your Dating Health

Chase Amante's picture
friends bad for datingDon’t let friends’ unproductive beliefs about women seep into your skull. Be careful how the friends around you affect the way you think about dating, sex, and romance.

Friends are great assets to your life. They give you companionship, encouragement, and can introduce new ideas and activities to your sphere you might never have encountered on your own.

Friends can push you into great new things... however, the wrong friend can also hold you back.

On our forum, a member named Shawn discusses how a friend of his warped his mindset toward women, making him far less effective with women as a result:

... since I was going through dry-spell, I just believed whatever he used to say so that at least I'll try something different.There are many things but just off the top of my head: not to tease girls cos it'll come across as try hard, should be friends with girls and take it slow, game is all red-pill and that's bad etc etc There are many things [he told me] but just off the top of my head: not to tease girls cos it'll come across as try hard, should be friends with girls and take it slow, game is all red-pill and that's bad etc etc. I can go on for hours about his advices.

He is the first person I saw so closely putting pussy on a pedestal. He is so sure of himself that whenever I tried to tell him that's not the right way to treat chics, he'd get so defensive that it'd make me wonder if what I'm preaching is even right. He had read pickup material for 4 years. So, I thought he at least has enough knowledge theoritically.

Anyway, like I said earlier, it was just my mistake to get into his frame thinking he's "better" and I do much better solo.

You might think Shawn must be a clueless newbie, but he isn't. About his game before this friend twisted his approach all out of shape, he says:

I was always considered a natural since I discovered game only 3 years ago while I was getting laid through cold-approach long before I knew something like game or cold-approach existed.

I don't know how skilled Shawn is, but cold approach itself is a fairly rare skill set that most men will never attempt on their own. The fact that he was doing it himself (and getting laid with it) implies he's far from a total novice.

But the wrong friend still managed to derail him anyway.

If you're not careful, and you're in a vulnerable state (like the dry spell Shawn found himself in), the wrong friend can have that kind of effect on you, too.

People Who Take Social & Sexual Risks Look Cool

Chase Amante's picture
social and sexual risksCan you preserve your value by not taking risks with women or people? The truth is you can’t; social and romantic value is predicated on risks.

There's a recent post on our forum where a forum member claims seduction is dangerous for men because at some point in the seduction a man must make a big, risky move and "give up his power."

The member cites a few instances he says are examples of this:

The sexual inuendos, the sexual misinterpretations and sexual overload techniques, etc They all show intent and give the power away. For example

"You turn me on so much when you do that [whatever] or wear that [whatever]". You then inmidiately give her the chance to reject your intention and make you drop your social value if she responds something like: "Yes but Don't get any idea. It wont happen [and she walks away].

If there are friends or people around, they will think "You are such a Loser".

I mean, every time you escalate you are giving your power away.

Thus, men are confronted with a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation, he says:

Hold your value and not get laids Or Risk Your value but You increase the chance to get a laid.

Pretty tough choice he's lain out for men, isn't it?

Either you're a valuable dude forced to go woman-less, or you're a potentially-devalued dude who gets women.

Yet, nevertheless, this thinking on how value works, and how other people assess yours, is deeply flawed.

It is, in fact, not how "other human evaluations of your value" work at all.

Zero-Sum Power Dynamics & Empowering Others

Chase Amante's picture
zero-sum powerWhen people want power from you, they may pretend it’s in your interest, too. But is it? Power grabs may be cooperative, competitive, or competitive masquerading as cooperative.

I'm going to give you a way to think about power that will make many things in life clearer to you.

It is the perspective that contests of power are always zero-sum games, where anytime one person gains power, another loses it. There is no 'free creation of power' from nothing into a kind of power void. Power is always either seized or yielded by one person or group from/to others.

However, it is possible for individuals or entities to work together against external competitors to increase power jointly, at the expense of some external opponent.

You have probably been taught to not think about power this way.

You have been taught that power is 'inclusive'; that you can have power, and someone else can have power, and everyone can have power!

But the actual fact of the matter is power is exclusive; the more power one person or entity accrues, the more someone or something else loses it.

This is necessary to understand for interpersonal dynamics, and understanding societal power dynamics as well.

Tactics Tuesdays: Be Friendly

Chase Amante's picture
be friendlyA simple tactic that makes gobs of difference: just be friendly. Opening’s easier, hooking’s easier, and social proof becomes well-nigh automatic.

Here's a deceptively simple tactic:

Be friendly to every person you encounter.

Just yesterday we talked about conflict escalation and the dog-eat-dog world inside the prison system.

The good news is, you're a free man, and you're not in that kind of world. In this world, unless you venture into a bad part of town, you can and should be friendly to everybody.

Any time I've felt some rust or a renewed sense of approach anxiety, "be friendly to people" is the primary tactic I use to shake that off. Alek followed this same advice recently when he sought to warm up his social momentum after over a year of almost uninterrupted citywide lockdowns. It's simple, basic advice but it really works.

"Be friendly" has a ton of upsides for getting yourself approaching more easily with a lot less fear.

If you've only been doing targeted approaching -- where the only people you approach are sufficiently good-looking girls -- you may well find this alternate tactic a breath of fresh air.

The Group Approach Spill-Over Effect

Alek Rolstad's picture
spillover effectWhen you talk to one group, others take note of you. This is the “spill over effect”: a way to meet more people by meeting other people first.

Hey guys, and welcome back!

Last time I shared insights on building social micro momentum or “warming up” socially before going for the girl you really want.

Why is it a good idea to warm up?

  • To eliminate approach anxiety

  • To feel warmed-up socially so you approach girls confidently and smoothly, increasing your chances of success

  • To acquire benefits like social proof and familiarity with girls so that you can re-engage later if needed

How do you build social momentum?

  • Start early

  • Select a warm venue if you feel like you are at risk of getting rejected

  • Approach in the most indirect and risk-averse way possible. The goal is to keep a few conversations going here and there

  • Interactions shouldn’t last less than five minutes or more than 20 minutes. Ideally, strive for 10 – 15 minutes

  • Don’t approach the girl you want yet, since you do not want to waste the opportunity when warming up

Once you feel ready to play seriously, you will be warmed up. Now you can approach those hot girls. You don’t need warm-ups because hotter girls are harder to approach (but not necessarily). You are probably feeling more anxious about approaching them because you find them attractive.

After all, isn’t it better to approach a girl you like when you are warmed up and have higher chances of succeeding with your approach, rather than doing so when your social muscle is still cold, and your approach may be unsmooth?

Social Skills 101: Calibrating Yourself to Other People

Chase Amante's picture
calibrating yourself to other peopleCalibration allows you to fluidly conduct social interactions with others. How do you develop it, though? There are several ways, but they all involve talking with other people.

Other people are similar to you in many ways. Yet they also have their differences.

People tend to veer too far in one way or the other, either assuming excess similarity or assuming excess differences between people. Depending on which way you veer, your baseline approach to calibration will differ.

For example, if you tend to assume everyone is just like you, your main calibration task becomes to identify ways people are different, and adjust your behavior to compensate for the differences between you and them.

On the other hand, if you are someone who assumes most people are nothing like you, you need to train yourself to be much more aware of the similarities between yourself and others, to bridge the gaps between you.

Achieving a balanced sense of how alike someone is to you, as well as in what particular ways he is different, and what he is most responsive to, and using that sense to adapt your interaction with him, leads you to calibration.

All calibration is is the treatment of someone in a way effective for that individual; a way that gels with his likes, preferences, and motivators.

The better you calibrate, the more easily people will like and respond to you, plus do what you ask them to do.

People will view a calibrated individual as more alike them, more understanding of them, and less mysterious and unfathomable to them, too.

Social Skills 101: Engaging People with Small Talk

Chase Amante's picture
TEXTSmall talk serves important social functions in the early conversation. Being good at it enables you to have better, more fluid conversations with those you talk to.

In our next installment in the Social Skills 101 series (see Part 1 on why basic social skills are so key here, and Part 2 on approaching unfamiliar people here), we'll talk about everyone's least favorite part of conversation, small talk.

Small talk is the bane of many an objective-oriented conversationalist, and not always for the same reasons:

  • Some loathe small talk and try to move past it or skip it entirely wherever possible

  • Others view small talk as necessary, yet become trapped in it, unable to free themselves from it

Let's discuss what small talk is, the function it serves in conversation, and how to use it without bogging down in inane conversation you can't break free of.

Social Skills 101: Approaching Unfamiliar People

Chase Amante's picture
approach unfamiliar peopleApproaching strangers demands a variety of social skills many people never fully develop. You need a reason to approach, to make sure you’re seen, and to be friendly, to start.

This is Part 2 of my reboot of our old 'Social Skills 101' series.

You can see Part 1, with a video breakdown of various socially unsavvy approaches, here.

In Part 2, we're going to talk about approaching strangers.

If all you want is solid social skills, stranger approach isn't completely necessary (though it is helpful). There are plenty of highly socially skilled people who aren't able to approach strangers.

However, I think it's good to begin with, since a.) a big part of this site is devoted to cold approach, and b.) in the event you're starting off at zero socially, as I did, to even talk to people at all you'll need to start approaching strangers.

So let's dive into approaching and opening people you don't know -- a painfully awkward, uncalibrated social situation for most (even many otherwise veteran socializers who yet never learned to approach strangers).