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Meeting, getting to know, and generally hobnobbing with the people you meet throughout a lifetime of travels and adventures.

Tactics Tuesdays: The Disruptor Destroyer

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disruptor destroyerSo some guy wants to disrupt your conversation with a girl, either to talk to you or to take her for himself. If you can’t ignore him, what can you do? Destroy him!

Quick little tactic that absolutely wrecks anyone trying to butt into your conversation with a girl.

Every guy's been talking to a girl only to have some random dude rudely interrupt his conversation, either trying to talk to him or trying to talk to the girl.

Sometimes it's because the interloper is uncalibrated and just wanted to talk to you or her but did not know how to wait properly for an opening in the conversation to jump in.

Other times it may be because the interloper directly wants to steal your girl, and he's hoping to peel her off you, or to peel you offer her (either so his wingman can talk to her, or so he can back-turn you once he's gotten you to break circle and turn his attention to the girl, with you now out of the conversation).

My normal recommendation (and normal policy) is to just ignore the guy (see: Dealing with Disruptive Men).

Most guys won't be able to break into a conversation if you don't acknowledge them, especially if the girl is into you enough to follow your lead and ignore the guy so long as you're ignoring him too.

But what do you do if the guy is really loud, aggressive, and in your face?

What do you do if he approaches the girl first, and you can see she's about to crack and break circle to engage with him?

There's an alternate tactic you can use -- something of a disruption Plan B -- if you're quick enough on your feet.

I call it the 'Disruptor Destroyer'.

How to Deal with Opinionated People

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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

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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

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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.

Why Autistic People Struggle with Dating: Mind Blindness

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autism and datingMen with Asperger’s struggle with “social confusion.” Others often behave in ways that seem irrational to them. Why is this so, and is there anything they can do?

I write this article for every guy on the autism spectrum, whether he's on it a little or on it a lot.

I'm not an expert in autism or Asperger's, but I will say this: after coaching social skills for a dozen years on a site that attracts many folks on the spectrum, due to

  1. said folks really needing social skills training, and

  2. this site being more drilled-down and nuanced than any other site (something of particular appeal to autistic folk)...

... well, when it comes to the autism spectrum, I know it when I see it.

I'm going to focus on Asperger's in this piece; that is to say, high functioning folks on the autism spectrum with normal language and intelligence who, nevertheless, have a significant social stumbling block.

I want to lay out some of the (very) common stumbling blocks I see Aspies making, again and again, when they start learning dating, and I want to highlight a missing 'sense' these men have, that they may not realize they're missing, that, at least, the knowledge of its lack can help fill in some blanks for them.

People Who Take Social & Sexual Risks Look Cool

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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.

Recovering from Interruptions When Talking to Girls

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recovering from interruptions with girlsIt’s no fun getting interrupted when you’re talking to a girl. How do you recover the right way, without looking try-hard or upset? Simple: use panspers.

Sometimes when you're talking to a woman you've recently (or not so recently) met, people will interrupt you.

This isn't always unavoidable; there are things you can do to reduce how often it happens.

For one, often if you ignore people attempting to butt into your conversation, and your conversation partner does as well, the interrupter will begin to feel awkward, then leave. So, don't break circle.

For another, use some situational awareness: don't approach women someone's likely to interrupt you with during the first three minutes of conversation.

For a third, you can use a little group theory to get a woman's friends (if she's with friends) on your side.

These three things in concert will dramatically reduce the number of interruptions you'll deal with.

Nevertheless, no matter what you do, you are still going to encounter interruptions from time to time.

It is simply a part of socializing. Sometimes the people you're talking to have other people who want to talk to them too (and who won't be content to wait idly by until you've wrapped your conversation!).

How you deal with this, and how you recover, can make all the difference in the future of your interaction with a girl.

Zero-Sum Power Dynamics & Empowering Others

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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

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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.

Respect Maintenance: Conflict Escalation & De-escalation

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escalating a confrontationWhen you find yourself in a conflict, you can back down… or you can escalate. How far should you take it? How do you know what the right thing to do is? A few simple rules can guide you.

I recently binge-read a series of colorful Quora answers from ex-convict Matthew Holmes. Holmes was someone who grew up, more or less, inside the US penitentiary system, and shares advice on how to survive the hostile conditions there. He contrasts the prison world with the outside world; inside the prison system, a prisoner's life is a Hobbesian war of all-against-all, where there is no real law and no one you can trust to have your back but you.

One of the many repeating sentiments in Holmes's prison advice is you must be prepared to defend your reputation at any time, and go to almost any length to do so. Holmes stopped short of killing anyone in prison (as doing so would've added an automatic life sentence to his 10-year term), but came close to it on several occasions, where he severely beat inmates who tried to fight or rob from him.

In terms of general principles, I'd call his approach to conflict "always escalate a confrontation until you win."

For some time, I've followed 'always escalate' as a general (but not absolute) rule. I generally follow it with:

  • Girlfriend drama
  • Some business disputes
  • Some physical confrontations
  • Moral high ground debates
  • Any kind of interpersonal argument

However, the real world isn't a penitentiary. It is not (for the most part) a Hobbesian situation of all-against-all.

Thus, much of the time, you will not want to continue escalating to the extremes in real life situations. In many cases it's counterproductive; the gains you get from continuing to escalate outweigh the costs.

Today I want to talk about the 'always escalate' philosophy -- which is one I've long found helpful -- and where the limits are to it where you decide to hop off that train and not always escalate.