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The Red-Black Game, Pt.3: Real-Life Example of How I Got the Shaft

Varoon Rajah's picture

Red-Black Game: How I Got the Shaft
The Red-Black Game can get hairy in competitive situations. Let’s take a look at an example from my own life where I get the shaft for not protecting myself.

Welcome back to The Red-Black Game – covering the brutality of life!

In Part 2, it was important to understand the utility of playing red in the game. Perhaps even more crucial, however, we discussed how important it is to defend yourself against red players and neutralize threats before they have the chance to execute.

Now let’s look at how stability – or the appearance of stability – affects the perception and presence of trust and fear, and how the outcomes of the red-black game can be self-fulfilling prophecies.

Ultimately, we’ll see how your beliefs about the world create that exact reality.

Life is full of self-fulfilling prophecies. Our thoughts define our actions.

As we saw in Parts 1 and 2, once fear enters a person’s psyche, they question motives and make decisions that shift the dynamics from red to black. However, it’s ultimately black – i.e., collaborative approaches – that create wins for great ventures.

On the other hand, while red players are capable of winning, we’ll also see that playing red too often – sometimes to an addictive degree – can cause total failure and self-annihilation.

The Red-Black Game, Pt.2: Playing for Self-Preservation

Varoon Rajah's picture

red-black game playing for self-preservation
“Speak softly, and carry a big stick” was Theodore Roosevelt’s suggestion for how to play the Red-Black Game. Let’s talk about why it’s such a great strategy.

In my first article about the red-black game, we covered the mechanics of the game and how the choices involved reflect those we make in life.

We spent a great deal of time analyzing the implications of choosing black, which we use to build support, generate enthusiasm, and win together.

Now let’s look more closely at red and how self-preservation fits into the picture.

We concluded that when it comes to internal issues, where you want stakeholders to win with you, it’s best to play black. Trust, collaborate, cooperate, and play nice but firm. Alternatively, when you have an external issue, where you see a threat that you cannot move to your side, it’s best to play red. Compete, defeat, and do whatever it takes to win.

It’s important to keep in mind that not all people are out for the same thing or have the same values at the same times. Sometimes, circumstances beyond the control of one or both parties make it impossible or impractical to partake in mutually beneficial models.

Unexpected changes in the wind, the market, or personal circumstances can lead to legitimate fear and mistrust in everyone. Mutual benefit is not always a matter of trusting other people in a relationship.

You could trust someone implicitly, but can you always trust the security of the underlying situation, and can you trust that circumstances won’t change? The one constant in life is change, so you should expect and prepare for changes throughout your life.

The Red-Black Game, Pt.1: An Analogy for Life and Relationships

Varoon Rajah's picture

By: Varoon Rajah

red-black game analogy for life and relationships
How you play the game of life will determine whether you win or lose. It’s nice if everyone could win all the time, but real life situations often make that impractical.

To close out my writing for the year, I’m going to take a hard look at human behavior in this series. I started writing this article back in January 2018 and, at first, it was one of my most positive – and unrealistic – articles to date.

It put it on the back burner for the rest of the year. Meanwhile, my life unfolded into the greatest whirlwind I’ve ever experienced, a result of the forces of trust and fear, as well as people striving to get what they want from me – and me from them.

When you interact with another human being, there are many elements at play. Two of the biggest are trust and intention. The combination of these two elements – how much you trust someone and how you perceive their intentions – has huge ramifications for how your relationships develop and endure.

This article is a little abstract, but I think it’s a nice model for pondering over how you interact with different people and entities. I’m going to show you a model for approaching your relationships with others for your long-term benefit, whether it be with men or women, in either business or social situations. I’m also going to teach you how to identify when to protect yourself from people who want to hurt, dominate, or take advantage of you.

I believe everyone can grow from this model, and it boils down to one simple thing – when you play a game, everyone wants to win. For you to achieve the strongest level of power in a game, you must ensure that everyone wins their game and are in control of that process.

If you cannot achieve this (i.e., if you cannot win together), then you must ensure that you read the threatening intentions of the other side correctly, successfully dominate the other side, and win against any aggressive threats.

This includes the dating game. Always structure your encounters with women so that both you and her win in the battle. Either dominate your competition or provide winning mechanisms for them, too. We’re going to analyze this by exploring the red-black game.

Getting Seriously Good at Socializing Takes a Lot of Very Hard Work

Chase Amante's picture

good social skills
To reach the top level of the most socially successful men, you have to hustle harder than almost anybody else.

Guys arrive at Girls Chase with all sorts of different ambitions.

Many guys just want a girlfriend. Some want to lose their virginities, or break a long dry spell. Others are fresh out of a marriage, bouncing back from divorce.

I don't talk about going for really outsize results a lot... because most guys don't really want to be one of the 10 coolest guys in town, or pile up 120 lays. Even if a guy starts out with "That's what I want!" usually past a certain point he realizes actually, he's happy where he ended up: some cool friends, a decent number of notches, a hot & caring girlfriend.

Usually I assume that, beyond that, if a guy is serious about stupidly, ridiculously outsize results -- like, being in the top of the top of men out there -- he'll realize, naturally, that he has to hustle his ass off for a protracted time to get there.

But it occurs to me now that perhaps not everybody does realize that.

One of the confusing things for me over the years has been guys who comment on Girls Chase regularly and talk about the outsize results they want but don't show outsize hustle in pursuit of those results.

While it's true the material on GC will speed and ease your journey, it's a bit like having an expert guide on a mountain climb. The guide will help (a lot!)... but you still have to climb the mountain.

There are no helicopter rides to the top of Mount Everest. Helicopters mostly can't even go that high (they can't usually generate enough lift). If you want to get there, you must train on lesser mountains, you must train rigorously; you must get a good guide, and then you must do lots and lots and lots and lots of very hard work. Most people who set out to make that climb never make it to the top; they content themselves with smaller achievements, when they realize they're happy with those smaller achievements... or that the cost for greater ones is too great for them.

The 'Pay Your Dues' Approach to Incredible Social Skills

Chase Amante's picture

social skills
If you wait for life to give you chances to improve your social skills, you'll wait a long time. Create your own chances by becoming a socially attractive individual.

Toby was a guy life never really gave a chance.

Often he imagined his bright future: a beautiful girlfriend; the leader of a cool social group; the most popular guy in town.

But the sad reality was, life never gave him the chance to get there.

When Toby was in school, sometimes girls got crushes on him. But they were never the 'right' girls -- not beautiful enough, not popular enough. There was one time a pretty, popular girl took a shine to him. But the thing was, there was never a good time to talk to her, a good way to meet her. So he never met her and never got to talk to her or ask her out. Life just never gave him a chance.

Sometimes people would be friendly with him and try to include him in their groups. Except it was never the right people. Sometimes it was the nerds (he didn't want anything to do with them). Sometimes it was the outsider kids who were in the middle of the social hierarchy. He was friendly with them, but he didn't encourage them -- they were okay, but they weren't cool. When he talked to the cool kids, they'd be friendly back, but he couldn't seem to break through with them. Life just didn't give him a chance.

After school, the pattern continued. Sometimes girls would like him, or people would want to hang out with him. But they were never the right girls; never the right people.

He didn't understand why it was so hard for him to meet the most beautiful girl; to have the coolest friends. Why must life be so stingy with chances?

When You Concede, Don't Pander or Break

Chase Amante's picture

don't pander or break
You can't win every fight. But how you handle the situations where you must back down a bit determines how those you're in the fight with treat you.

Jimbo commented in my article on meeting girls while staying safe in a paranoid dating society, asking me to review a recent, controversial article on the Washington Post. The article was titled "Thanks for not raping us, all you 'good men.' But it's not enough."

The article itself is a screed against the male sex, both the 'bad men' who aren't conciliatory and inclusive enough toward women, and the 'good men' who are, but who lack the spine to put the bad men in their place and don't in any event ever really change things to make the world a sufficiently female-inclusive one.

I don't want to comment much on the argument itself... I don't think I need to, given our audience. The positions and arguments are nonsensical; the beliefs hyperbolic. The vast majority of commentators in the comment section of the article take the author to task for her abusiveness toward her cowed, yoked husband.

And I'll comment only briefly on the dynamic. It looks like the dynamic you get in a long-term relationship with a strong-willed, opinionated woman, and a quiet, acquiescent man. The woman becomes increasingly emboldened, abusive, and sometimes vampiric over time. The man, with his quiet acceptance of her behavior, serves as her enabler and as a source of narcissistic supply. You can have this dynamic with the sexes reversed too: domineering husband, codependent/enabling wife, or domineering wife, codependent/enabling husband. It's an unhealthy dynamic for both parties, and it's created by both parties. A domineering partner cannot domineer without the retreat and acquiescence of the codependent one. You're only seeing one blowup fight in this article... but in my experience looking at the woman's writing style, how she frames the fight, and her pride in putting it out there and expecting to be patted on the back for her righteousness (rather than ashamed at this uncharacteristic explosion, which is how most women are when they do something nasty that is truly out of character), all that fits the pattern of a domineering partner enabled to the point of delusions of grandeur ("Fighting the good fight -- for all womankind!") by her codependent.

That out of the way, what I'd actually like to focus on in this article is the husband's reaction. Because there's a telling passage in the article about how this fight went:

"My husband of 50 years did not have to stifle a laugh. He took it dead seriously. He did not defend his remark, he did not defend men. He sat, hunched and hurt, and he listened. For a moment, it occurred to me to be grateful that I’m married to a man who will listen to a woman. The winds calmed ever so slightly in that moment. And then the storm surge welled up in me as I realized the pathetic impotence of nice men’s plan to rebuild the wreckage by listening to women. As my rage rushed through the streets of my mind, toppling every memory of every good thing my husband has ever done (and there are scores of memories), I said the meanest thing I’ve ever said to him: Don’t you dare sit there and sympathetically promise to change. Don’t say you will stop yourself before you blurt out some impatient, annoyed, controlling remark. No, I said, you can’t change. You are unable to change. You don’t have the skills and you won’t do it. You, I said, are one of the good men. You respect women, you believe in women, you like women, you don’t hit women or rape women or in any way abuse women. You have applauded and funded feminism for a half-century. You are one of the good men. And you cannot change. You can listen all you want, but that will not create one iota of change."

This fight could've been over in three minutes instead of 30, the screed avoided, and this clusterbomb of an article the author wrote never written, had the husband done the one thing his wife and I both agree he failed to do:

Grow a pair of balls, straighten his spine out, and stand up for something for once.

The only thing his wife and I disagree with is what he must stand up on -- but as we'll see in just a minute, even then, we don't really disagree.

People as Their Alignments: Evil, Neutral, and Good

Chase Amante's picture

moral alignnment
We each fall somewhere on the 9-sided moral alignment die. Lawful Good, Chaotic Neutral, Neutral Evil… where do you fall, and how does it impact things?

This should be a fun article. Or even an insightful one... depends how much you like personality tests.

... but most of us like personality tests, don't we?

And this one's a fairly useful one, as far as personality tests go.

A recent study discovered six 'dark' traits (egoism, narcissism, Machiavellianism, sadism, psychopathy, and spitefulness) all stem from the same underlying 'dark core'... something the researchers dubbed 'the Dark Factor of Personality'. The result is that if you have one dark trait, you are likely to have others -- because they all come from that same dark center.

Over the last few years I've thought a lot about dark and light. I discussed the phenomenon of younger 'dark' guys who reform when older in "The Civilized Man." I talked about the choice between goodness and wickedness in "The Good King." And I went in-depth on some of the research into the 'light side' of personality in "Be the Lightbringer: Dating and the Sublime Benefits of Positivity." And of course, aside from these, we've always urged you to do right by women and other people, and avoid bitterness yourself... as much for your own sake as for others'.

The seduction space can serve as a magnet for dark characters... even if most of the men in it are neutral- or light-oriented. The dark characters rarely reach levels of prominence within the community -- whether it's more because their methods repel the non-dark men too much, or they just don't care to help/teach other men enough to carve out a niche, I couldn't say. But there are guys like this who become instructors, or rise to this or that level of prominence within seduction communities... sometimes concealing their dark side, sometimes wearing it on their sleeves.

One of the reasons I won't teach 'dark side tech' -- things like reverse supplication, sexual power reversal, one-sided monogamy, taming/dependency, or the infamous October Man sequence --is the existence of 'dark-side' guys within the community (all the non-dark guys who'd cause damage purely by accident are the other part of the reason). If everyone was light-side, we could perhaps talk about this stuff and trust most guys to use it responsibly... but not everyone is, so this stuff stays tucked away under lock and key.

Why do people have these different dispositions? How different are the dispositions anyway -- are people just a little different from one another, or are the differences BIG? And how do these differences come about in the first place?

By pure chance, one day I came across a Dungeons & Dragons 'alignment test'. The test allowed you to sniff out where on the 'alignment scale' you fall... good or evil? Lawful, neutral, or chaotic?

I thought it would be a fun thing to play with. But in fact, it's turned out to be accurate for real people I've used it with, to quite a surprising degree.

Get Laid Like a Rock Star by Throwing House Parties

Tony Depp's picture

By: Tony Depp

get laid with house parties
Want to know a perfect way to get social proof, pre-selection, and women fighting over you… all in the comfort of your own home? Throw a house party!

My late twenties were some of my most glorious times. I lived with a bunch of hipsters in a huge apartment in downtown Vancouver. I was going out night after night, practicing my game, and though I was collecting loads of phone numbers, I was finding it hard to bring these girls home at the end of the night.

Being a girl is scary. Men are big, hairy, and horny. For a woman, the idea of going home with a guy she just met at a bar or on the street might bring forth visions of an American Psycho-esque chainsaw massacre. They literally risk their lives every time they isolate themselves with a guy. I can’t count the number of times I’ve brought a girl home, only to have her stop on the doorstep and say, “You’re not going to kill me, right?”

That’s why I always flip the script with a preemptive, tension-easing joke like, “You’re not a serial killer, are you? You’re not going to chop me up and feast on my sweet flesh?” Also, whenever I have a date, I try to get her to meet near my apartment and then suddenly remember, “I forgot something at my place.” I bring her inside for just a moment so she can see I don’t live in a BDSM torture dungeon (I wish!). This makes it way easier to pull later, as she’s already been inside my chateau. I call this “priming”.

After one particularly frustrating night, a thought came to me like a lightning strike from Odin. I had this glorious epiphany: “What if I brought them all home at once? What if I primed a whole bunch of girls at the same time?

Tactics Tuesdays: Talk Simply and Clearly

Chase Amante's picture

talk clear and simple
Do you talk in clear, simple ways? The most effective communicators all do. Use these tips and make your language a breeze to understand.

Early in my teenage years, I began to learn humor. Mostly I watched late night talk shows and crafted one-liners. I tried longer funny jokes too, but they usually fell flat. The lesson I learned - without realizing at the time - was simple one-line quips usually worked best.

Another early humor realization: obscure humor leaves most people confused. For maximum laughs, choose easy-to-understand humor almost anyone can relate to.

After high school I became a tire salesman. At the start, I'd give lengthy sales pitches with all the features a tire had. I'd ask customers questions like "What are you looking for in a tire?" (since most people don't know much about tires, that question usually got blank stares). My boss noticed this and told me to forget about features and focus on the benefits. The customer doesn't care the tire was laser-etched. He does want to know it grips the road when the streets are wet, or provides a smoother, more comfortable ride. So I switched to my boss's clear, concrete examples, and I sold more.

Next my boss told me to ask how the customer's current tires did for him. And he told me to ask if there was anything the customer wished his tires did better. So I did that, and instead of blank stares I'd get direct answers: "It'd be nice if they'd lasted a little longer." Or "I have trouble with them when it rains." Now that I knew what each customer wanted, it became easier to sell, and I sold more still.

When I began to write sales copy, a friend told me to throw my copy into Hemingway Editor. The editor rates a piece's reading grade level: does it read at a first grade level? A fifth grade level? A tenth grade level?

I'd seen Hemingway before and run my writing through it. Sometimes it came back as "Post-Grad." How intellectual of me! I thought at the time. My friend pointed out this actually meant the writing was hard to read. The higher the grade level, the more challenging the read. Even for the well-read, lower reading level writing is easier to process. My friend mentioned he'd whittled sales copy of his for a finance product down from Grade 8 to Grade 4, and his sales doubled. "If I can explain a complicated finance product in fourth grade language, you can do it for anything," he told me. I became a devotee of the app. I didn't just use it for sales copy; I ran all sorts of writing through it, and used it to make all my writing simpler.

Next I reread Stephen King's On Writing. Suddenly all King's talk of removing adverbs, gerunds, and the word 'that', plus using simple words instead of complex ones stood out. I made all those changes to how I wrote and spoke.

Each step of the way, in every new language-based endeavor I took on, I learned the same lessons. Language works best when it is simple and clear.

How to Be the Coolest Guy in the Room

Chase Amante's picture

coolest guy in the room
The coolest guy in the room… every guy wants to be him. Yet you can't "try hard" to get there. The secret to his cool is what he does do – and what he doesn't.

When you go out to socialize, you quickly discover image is a big part of things. People make quick evaluations of you drawn from your clothes, how you carry yourself, your company and how those around you interact with you, and other signals. Those evaluations - often, snap judgments - affect how people treat you unless and until you give them reason to change their minds.

If they think you look cool, they may stare at you, try to get close to you, bump into you, or talk to you. Women may hover near you and send you approach invitations (or, sometimes, approach you themselves). Men may strike up a conversation or try to include you in what they are doing.

If they think you look lame, they may laugh at you with their friends or try to distance themselves from you. Women who think you look lame may roll their eyes at you or close their body language up to discourage you making an approach. Men who think you look lame may try to tool you to improve their position and ladder climb up over you.

And in any large group, most of the people there won't even be of much interest to most of the other people. These people - those neither at the top of the coolness hierarchy or at the bottom of it - are in the 'fuzzy middle'. They mostly just end up ignored, mentally classed as 'background noise' by other people making their evaluations.

Your mission is often going to be to not be the lame guy at the bottom, or one of the invisible guys in the middle.

Rather (often), you are going to want to make yourself the coolest guy in the room.