Most of the time, you walk about the world meeting ordinary people living ordinary lives who leave little of an impression on you. That's life.
But, every now and again, you see someone, or run into someone, who
strikes you a certain way. You can't quite put your finger on what
exactly that something is - the individual has a certain degree of
intensity about him, you think; or a piercing gaze. He might not be
charismatic; and he might not be sexy or sensual. But he's definitely
This is a post about that "something;" about how to be edgy. Edge is a particularly difficult thing to learn, and teach, because it entails a specific rawness about oneself that most people simply lack. And that rawness is difficult to emulate when you don't have it... perhaps more difficult than being sexual, more than being charismatic, more difficult than almost anything else.
And while it is necessary for you to transcend into the higher
levels of success with women, it isn't a magic bullet; you'll meet
plenty of men with edges who still struggle with girls, too. It's a
component, and a vital one, but it isn't all that good on its own.
Adrian commented the following recently over on the post about indirect game:
Great to hear from you! Cultivating an "edge" is something you often talk about. That said, my understanding of what exactly constitute this "edge" is still rather spotty. To me, cultivating an "edge" is a movement along the "disarming and friendly" model towards the "bad-boy/don't-give-a-shit" model. Considering being warm and welcoming an integral factor in your process, how does cultivating an "edge" fit into it? Furthermore, during your journey in developing "edge" to your character, what are some specific areas/mindsets you worked on?
All right Adrian, let's talk about it. We've talked about being a sexy man plenty on here, and the vibes and nuances that go along with that.
Now let's talk about being edgy itself, and how that's different from sexy... and just how combining edginess with sexiness turns you into a very compelling character, to everyone you encounter.
In "How to Master Anything," I mentioned that I think you've got to be somewhat - or perhaps very - crazy in order to master well nigh anything. Edge goes along with that.
Have a look at some of these pictures of brilliant, accomplished individuals...
That's Mozart, the pianist. A single look at him tells you he's
likely not the sort who backs down from a fight... doesn't it? He's
clearly an intense, focused man. He has an edge to him.
Here's another one:
Probably not a guy you'd want to run into in a dark alley, right?
That's Pablo Picasso, the famous painter. Edgy, right? You might not
be terribly surprised to know that Picasso was also a world-class
seducer and philanderer (and probably also wouldn't be surprised to
know it didn't always end well emotionally for those he philandered
How about one more:
This one's Nikola Tesla, the man who more or less invented the 20th
century, including alternating current (which made it possible to have
homes wired with electricity... which would've been impractical with
direct current, which Tesla also
worked on). Tesla was a prolific inventor: he invented much of the
technology used in radio. He created the precursors to radar. And x-ray
technology. Transistors. Hydroelectric power plants. Lots more. In
fact, he kept inventing and kept coming up with astonishing new things
until at an advanced age he died penniless and alone in a low-end hotel
Scroll through these pictures, and you can tell that every single one of these men has edge.
It's not all the same edge - Mozart looks like a bulldog who will pull strings and use his connections to screw you if you piss him off; Tesla looks like he's peering into your soul and knows what you're thinking; Picasso just looks like he's going to come at your kneecaps with a baseball bat if you look at him funny.
Edge can take a variety of forms. But the one thing you'll notice in every single one of these pictures is intense, drilling eye contact, with the camera or the painter, and just a hint of a smile playing about the corners of the subject's lips (in all except the bottom right picture of Picasso).
What gives, and why do Mozart, Picasso, and Tesla, three great men in totally different fields who likely never met each other, all have shades of the same expression?
Where Edge Comes From
Edge, I think, is something you must develop naturally, at least in part, from having objectives and concerns important to you and talents within you that you know other people are awed by - or at least can't match.
This can be natural - you can just have worked yourself to the bone
until you got so good at something that you know other people can't
come close to you, and you think you're the best at it and can take
anyone - or it can be insanity: you can just be batshit crazy and think
you're all-important or have access to privileged knowledge. Picture a
wild homeless man ranting at passersby on the street at the top of his
lungs... not talented, but extremely edgy. Same goes for religious
fundamentalists, or dyed-in-the-wool political partisans. Not often
talented, but wild edge poking out nevertheless about the seams.
In other words, you can be edgy because you're actually really good and you're on a mission to build or create something, or because you've adopted a cause that tells you if you follow it you're really good, and you truly believe it.
Learning how to be edgy, then, is really about learning how to believe something so deeply that it manifests itself in a feeling of control and superiority to the normal people you meet on the street.
Why's this helpful with women? Why did Picasso have women all over him, and Tesla too (although Tesla chose to remain celibate for life to not sidetrack him from his work). It's unclear what Mozart's life with women was like, but as he was in charge of casting young women in his own operas, we might be able to guess.
It wasn't just because they were famous. Tesla was always desired by women, both for his charm and for his looks. And if you read up on Picasso, you'll find out he was seducing women from a young age, long before any of them knew who he was, despite his lack of looks.
Edginess boils down to a handful of things:
- Overriding belief in one's own "rightness;" or, extremely strong moral authority
- Confidence in one's own beliefs as superior to or stronger than others'
- Certainty that one will get what one wants, one way or another
- Experience being socially successful
With one or more of those, you've got edge.
With all of them, you've got edge... and, charm.
You're not going to develop edge if you're just an ordinary guy reading an article on how to be edgy for kicks and giggles. That isn't the profile of an edgy individual, and the majority of individuals will never be edgy.
To develop edge, you must believe strongly, and you must believe in yourself, and you must believe in whatever mission you subscribe to, or whatever mission you choose to subscribe to. That could be a religion, a calling, a cause; a political persuasion, a life purpose, or a passion or art you are completely and utterly devoted to. Mozart's cause was his art; Tesla's, his science; and Picasso's his paintings and his women.
Your cause might be:
- Creating incredible art
- Building a burgeoning business
- Advancing scientific research
- Advancing mankind
- Advancing your religion
- Advancing your political party
- Advancing some other affiliation
- Being the first to do something
- Being the best at doing something
But whatever it is you choose to subscribe to, it needs to be bigger than you, and it needs to be bigger than the women you meet.
A lot of men have the problem that they don't subscribe to anything bigger than themselves or the women they meet. So when they meet some girl, it's a really big deal. Because they don't know what they want!
How about Mozart, Picasso, or Tesla... do you get the impression looking into their faces that any of THESE guys thinking meeting some new girl is a "big deal?"
Yeah, not really, right?
It's the women meeting them who think it's a big deal... not the other way around.
But now take Mozart's composition away from him... Picasso's paintbrush... Tesla's inventions. Prevent them from ever doing what they love again. Do they still retain that edge?
Possibly, if they can find something else to plunge themselves
into... but probably not to the same
degree. Instead, it becomes a shadow of the edge it once was... I used to be great, it says. The
edge of an old man who's hung up his spurs and can only recall what he
once was... how he once was great.
Edge stems from belief, in one's purpose and in one's self. The two
are intimately tied together, and inseparable. When you believe very much in yourself, you
will find a purpose or create one; and when you have a purpose you
devote yourself to and begin to see success in it, you will more and
more come to believe in yourself.
Now let's talk about having an edge.
How to Be Edgy: Emulation
Can you emulate edge without having an actual internal edge yet?
Edge as it's perceived by people comes down to two categories: nonverbals, and behavior. The nonverbals are easy to get down. The behavior, without an actual edge, is more challenging.
Let's tackle the nonverbal portion of learning how to be edgy first.
Getting Your Nonverbal Edge
Edge is best described in English phrases as "Devil may care" or "Don't give a fuck." These phrases are crude and can mean different things; it might me a charming, roguish guy with edge when one person says it, or a sloppy, careless man who simply lacks manners and behaves recklessly when someone else does.
For our purposes, think of a man with edge as a man who's "devil may care" and "doesn't give a fuck" in a very cool, enamoring, riveting way.
The nonverbal side of edge stems from a few feature expressions:
Sharp, piercing, intense eye contact. No timidity here. You'll notice all three of the men cited above as example have this. And not only are their stares focused and intense, but their eyes are held open very wide. Not completely bugged out, mind you; but wide enough that you can clearly see them. The only exception is Mozart's first picture, in which his upper eyelids are lowered in a partial squint. And this is how you'll see men with edge: wide-eyed, or squinting.
You won't see them with the blasé, ordinary relaxed eyes that most individuals employ, because they're intense individuals, and they're constantly running through things in their minds.
Just a hint of a smile. It's almost imperceptible... as we've stated before on being charming and roguish and particularly when discussing sprezzatura, understatement takes the day. You'll notice in every one of those pictures above, with the exception of the third Picasso image, each man has a hint of a smile playing about his mouth. This makes him look impish... privy to some unknown detail... and as if he knows something you do not.
The underlook. A little-discussed flirtatious head gesture named by Byron as the "underlook," you'll notice that in every image above (except perhaps Mozart's second image, which is borderline), the "underlook" is employed. The underlook is a tilting downward of one's head and chin while staring, wide-eyed and intensely, into the eyes of another. The underlook communicates intense focus, and is often employed by both sexy and edgy on-screen characters (James Bond, Dean Martin, etc.).
Of course, these three are just the nonverbal portion - and that's the easy stuff.
The real challenge in edginess is in the behavior.
Getting Your Behavioral Edge
Edgy men behave in edgy ways, and you won't be complete learning how to be edgy without learning how to behave edgy first.
The reason this is a lot more difficult to emulate than simple facial gestures and head tilts is that edgy behavior stems from edgy beliefs. In other words, you'll have a hard time getting this behavior down if you don't have the mentality that goes with it.
You probably have had moments of edge with women before, even if you aren't normally an edgy individual - for instance, say you're in a heated dance competition, and your primary objective isn't impressing your attractive female partner, but winning the competition; or, you're making a presentation at school or work at there's a beautiful girl you like present, but the focus you have isn't on her, it's on giving an amazing presentation.
For a man with edge, that's his attitude all the time, even when he turns
his intense stare onto a woman. His major concern is not her, and what
she thinks about him, and how she feels about him... that's child's
play. What he cares about is whether
he can achieve what he wants with her, and if not, what he'll do next
(meet a different girl, get back to work, etc.).
The good news is, simply by acting edgy with your nonverbals and as much behavioral traits as you can pull off, you go a way toward becoming edgy, and people begin to treat you edgy, and you begin to feel edgy... which often feeds back and alters your perception of the world, compelling you to take on more edgy views.
So, just as wearing a smile when you're feeling down can feed back into the mind and make you feel more up, so too can acting edgy and getting treated edgy feed back into the mind and make you more edgy.
In other words, don't start acting edgy unless you actually want to be a man with edge living on the edge. You've been warned...
Acting edgy comes down to the following behaviors:
An air of superiority. Have you ever stood in a nightclub looking at some guy who looked, sounded, and acted like a complete douchebag, thinking to yourself what a total douchebag that guy was... and then watched as some beautiful girl slinked up to him, put her arms around him, and kissed him? What?
It turns out that women, in fact, rate arrogant men as more attractive men. Why? Because arrogance often communicates a history of positive reinforcement from successes - it's very difficult to be arrogant following a history of failures. And a successful man is an adaptively superior one, providing better genes and likely more resources to better take care of children - he makes a better mate than a meek one.
Arrogance around women also includes preselection - while men without much experience with women (or without much success) tend to let hesitancy and nervousness bleed through, a man who's acting confident and superior around her is telling her she's no big deal to him - which likely means other women have already voted "yes" on his candidacy.
Focused intensity. When a man is driven - when he knows what he wants - it comes out through an intensity and strong opinions that women easily pick up on. That doesn't mean an edgy man steamrolls her with his opinions and intensity - though he might, and she may or may not like him more for it - but it does mean she'll see he's a man with deeply held beliefs.
These kinds of beliefs and this kind of intensity is attractive to women because it signals a man who is a leader, not a follower. Most men follow rather than lead, and they can only adopt the beliefs of others and subscribe to them; not stand there at the brink shouting their beliefs into the void with total confidence they are right. And every woman wants to be with the leader, not one of the followers.
Distracted, eccentric behavior. According to psychologist Ernest Becker, with the decline of religion, most individuals have made the seeking of a romantic partner the center point of their existence. Personally, based on the research into how relationship functioned in the past that I've done, I'd say that most individuals did this even when religion was extremely popular everywhere in the world.
The consequence of this, of course, is that a lot of men have a tendency to place their lovers, girlfriends, and wives quickly on pedestals as the most important things in their lives, thus making mistakes around those women, doting on them far too much and making them feel more valuable than the man is, smothering those women with too many expectations and restrictions, and becoming controlling, jealous, and possessive.
But not a truly edgy man.
The edgy man, caught up in his campaigns, is at times swept up in emotion for his woman, but at other times he ignores her entirely, focused on his bigger, loftier ambitions. Most ordinary men recoil at the thought; "How could you ignore such an amazing creature?!" and most women spit venom at the suggestion: "I would never date so callous a man!"
Yet, edgy men continue to date the world's most desired, desirable women, and be in turn incredibly desired by these women. Why? Variable rewards given at random intervals.
Ever wonder why so many people play slot machines, even though they lose far more than they get? Or why people get so addicted to poker or blackjack, despite losing in the long run? Or why they play the lottery, even though the most they've ever won was $50 while they've spent thousands of dollars on it over the years? Randomly-timed variable rewards: the most addictive kinds of rewards there are.
Guess what kind of man naturally provides these kinds of randomly-timed emotional rewards of random magnitude? Yep, you guessed it: distracted men caught up with their projects who intermittently remember their women and turn their attentions to them, before returning to their projects.
Edgy men are addictive to women. This even holds true in pickups... waxing and waning interest and intensity can be very addictive even over a short amount of time. If you've been picking up women a while, you've probably already seen this - many of your faster pickups will be ones where you met a girl, talked to her briefly, got pulled away onto something else (e.g., another girl), then returned to that first girl again and picked her up very quickly after that. That temporary loss ratcheted up her emotions for you and caused her to suddenly feel addicted to you, even though the two of you had only just met.
Not wasting time. A man who's not on a mission has all the time to waste in the world. This is the guy who spends eight months chasing after a girl, texting her, calling her, lol'ing at her status updates on Facebook, busting his chops to talk her into giving him a date, never realizing she's had two one-night stands and a five-month relationship in the meantime with men she met after him. He's not moving fast, and he usually doesn't succeed.
How about an edgy man though... how much time does he have to waste on a woman? Answer: not much. For him, it's happening now - a whirlwind romance, a quick seduction - or it isn't happening at all. Sometimes you'll see an edgy man pursue a woman over time, but it's not the tentative, half-hearted pursuit of a man without purpose; it is the driven, impassioned pursuit of a man who knows what he wants and absolutely will convince her that the man she wants to be with is him. And if he can't get her, he very quickly moves on as soon as he decides it isn't happening.
Intolerance for distraction. Did you know that the most stable marriages are the marriages where the woman is dominant over the husband?
That's not the edgy man's lot, however. Edgy men are demanding, they're obsessed with whatever it is they're working on, and they have little tolerance for distraction, including the ordinary relationship drama that all women cause.
How's a regular man respond to drama? At first, it's, "Oh no, what's wrong?" Next, it's, "Okay, whatever you want!" He responds by capitulating, because he has no higher purpose than satisfying his partner.
How's an edgy man respond to drama? At first, it's, "Hey, look calm down." If that doesn't work, it's, "You know what? There's the door - feel free to leave any time."
He responds by escalating, because he wants the drama to end so he can get back to what's important, and whether it ends by the women calming down or the woman leaving, either is acceptable - the woman is less important than the other things he's got going on.
That's why I say learning how to be edgy is an uphill battle if you don't already have some great talent or strong mission or purpose you're bound to and believe in more than any woman you meet. This might sound like general life advice, but it's not; it's seduction advice.
Wealthy, successful men don't actually do well with women BECAUSE they have big bank accounts. Yes, women like having money to spend on designer purses, but it isn't the main draw of these men. The main draw of an accomplished man is the AIR of accomplishment about him - it's the edge it gives him. The killer instinct. It's the confidence of knowing that he doesn't need anybody else, because the most important things to him are whatever they are, and individual people in his life are great, but they're of secondary importance.
That's the game. That's the other side of the coin we were talking about in "10 Ways to Have a Girl Take You Seriously" - when you've got real edge, based on real underlying beliefs, you will treat women as "silly and cute" automatically... because that's what they will be.
And for this, they will find you completely, irresistibly enchanting... you will be that edgy man they simply have to have. They won't know why; they won't be able to say quite what it is... all they'll know is, you affect them in ways that are exactly the opposite of how most regular men affect them - and they can't get enough of it.