What’s more important, inner game or outer game? Both serve a purpose, but how and when you focus on each has a big impact on your understanding and success in pickup.
Today I will share a reflection on the subject of “inner game.” I will be frank; I was not a big fan of the trend back in the late 2000s when the pickup industry moved away from technical seduction into a more “self-help” oriented approach, looking at how you think and feel, rather than what you should do.
In my opinion, the discussions on forums were better when there was a technical approach because people could more easily analyze what worked and what went wrong in particular situations, and individuals could fine-tune their approach and increase calibration.
With the focus on inner game, things got blurry. It became more difficult to discuss what worked and what didn’t. The concepts were vague and abstract, making them hard to prove and falsify. Theories became philosophical rather than scientific.
As a result, newbies grew more confused, and it was harder to help them because what these guys needed was specific advice on what to say and what to do when dealing with women – not telling them how they should think or feel about it.
The quality of posts went down, and it's amusing that many newbies were swearing to this new paradigm then. Yet most of them didn't really get results.
There is a reason for why technical game is making a comeback – because it works, and it tells you what to do. It allows people to share their tricks and to have others discuss and fine-tune them. It allows for innovation and new thinking.
I suspect that this inner game paradigm was, in a way, a response to the overly robotic aspect of the community’s early days. But just because these concepts became a bit too robotic doesn’t mean that going to another extreme is a good call. But that is what happened.
Nevertheless, the discussion today will be the good old debate of inner game (mindsets, realities, and understanding) versus outer game (hard pickup tech).
It’s a debate that is almost as old and tiresome as the “direct” versus “indirect” game argument. I have taken the liberty to write this piece because most people doing the debating have little experience (such discussions are keyboard jockey magnets), and I feel that many are still confused on the subject.
The points I will make are thoroughly subjective but built upon experience. Hopefully, you will find my arguments convincing, and I believe them to be strong – but they are just opinions at the end of the day.