In Which I Had To AMOG One Of Our Own Guys

Was with Ken, a new guy, and this other guy we sometimes wing with. The other guy mentions his friend his coming. We’re chatting, and there is this seated two-set nearby at the bar. One is taking a picture of the other, and I do bunny ears, and the camera moves onto me (turns out it’s a Snap). Ken engages the set, I chat with the dudes, then hop in set.

I’m talking to one girl, Ken is talking to the other. Good rapport, maybe a little attraction. Anyways, out of the corner of my eye, I see the friend has arrived. A little while later, he’s in our set. This is not a big deal in and of itself. There was maybe one other set in the venue at that moment, and I don’t blame a guy for trying to warm up. Not concerned with those girls too much. However, he entered the set by quite deliberately pushing Ken out. The girl Ken was talking to was the hotter one, and this newcomer guy, one of our own buddy’s guys, came in the way you would on a stranger’s set.

Ken was pushed out, and was unsure what to do. I tried to include him from across the set in the convo with my girl, and it did start a group convo for 2-3 sentences, but the other guy, who was clearly quite confident and used to getting his way, brought the attention back on himself. After a bit more chatter with the girl I was talking to, I decided to be more proactive about the situation.

I basically moved towards him and started to ask him questions in a not-so-friendly tone. He tried to ignore me initially, but I persisted, and it would have been odd for him to not respond. He gave me a couple flippant answers. I gave him strong stern eye contact and made sure I was relatively close to him, to physically box him off from the set. At some point he said “you’re giving me the thousand yard stare here…” and jokingly said it was making him uncomfortable. I kept looking at him.  This allowed enough time for Ken to close the space and get the attention of both girls.

He dropped off shortly thereafter, and the 3 of them went to another venue while Ken and I were in set (with whom nothing happened worth transcribing).

Sucked that had to happen with an apparent friend of a friend and fellow game guy. The guy was a stereotypical douchebag though. Clearly viewed himself as an alpha, seemed like he was like that his whole life, was used to getting his way, and expected us to follow along with that. The anger that I projected towards him, which I believe he perceived, was not merely anger that he had nearly blown my friend out of set, or anger at the fact that he did that while being from among our own number. It was righteous anger. I have disgust and contempt for a guy like this; if this is how he acts even with those who are supposedly his comrades, then what kind of person is he? He embodied a sort of “dog eat dog” mentality, a lack of moral and civic consciousness, that is just a damn menace to society. I know he probably won’t even remember the incident, but I am glad I was able to combat a fucker like that. I’ll be sending guys like that to federal prison one day, so might as well start now.

It was a breakthrough for me personally, since a) I don’t normally encounter AMOGs and never know how to handle them when I do and b) a big part of my problems with women, I had to admit to myself several years ago, have stemmed from my feeling inferior to other men, especially square jawed confident fratty guys like that. I have been coming into my own as a person in ways I haven’t yet found a place to discuss in this blog, however, and that definitely played a role in enabling me to stand up to him and get him out of our set.

Other things I did well here: stole the hotter girl’s seat when she went to the bathroom and gave here a friendly pinch on the cheek later in the interaction.

Next set was at another venue. It was a standing two set I saw as Ken and I walked in. I went up to them and said something along the lines of “you guys are the first people I saw here, so hi”. I like an opener like that, that puts them on the defensive. I don’t like direct. I withhold my interest and approval. It also hits the R and the E of Todd’s FRED hooking model (Relevance and Emotion).

I did however, after the initial couple sentences, say “not that I necessarily wouldn’t have said hi otherwise, but you know” or something like that. Not in a supplicating or apologetic way. In a neutral way. But still I shouldn’t have taken the opener back, so to speak.

I felt that the set started off interested–not attracted per se, but willing to be at hook point 2, let’s say. I remember talking to the girl I was talking to and distinctly thinking “I know I’m attractive and above your league, and you should be attracted to me–I just need a way to make you see that”. Didn’t know what to do, it fizzled out.

One thing we did poorly here was that Ken came in with me. It is better for one guy to go in and hook the set and for the wing to come in after. This is probably the one thing I’ve learned like almost totally on my own in game. I believe it’s because women respect a lone guy going up to them more than two dudes rolling around. That is how the first set, which hooked more deeply, panned out. I did my goof bunny ears thing, Ken opened, and I hung back talking to our guys for a while before going in. I believe this communicates a certain degree of non-neediness off the bat.


Things I Learned From Reading Peak

I recently completed reading Peak by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool. Anders Ericsson is a professor of Psychology whose research is among that body drawn upon by, for example, Malcolm Gladwell when he wrote about the “10, 000 hour rule” (it is in fact the primary source for that rule), and which is also the origin of the concept of “Deliberate Practice”. Robert Pool is a science journalist who in his own right holds a PhD in mathematics from Rice University.

Most people familiar with Pickup and Game are probably quite familiar with the general thesis that expertise in many endeavors which has historically been attributed to innate talent is in fact borne of practice, and is therefore replicable and achievable by most people. Along with the idea that the ability to attract women is one such field or endeavor, that idea is a fundamental assumption of game.

Now, I kind of thought that if I knew that most skills are learnable via Deliberate Practice, then that was all I needed to know, and that a book like this would have little to add to that basic understanding. However, this was still a helpful book to read. For one thing, the concept of “Deliberate Practice” is kind of vague when it’s just thrown around. This book helps clarify what separates any form of practice from Deliberate Practice. It also introduces several other concepts to one’s mental representation of what building a skill consists of, including that of mental representations (whoa).

Here’s a quick run-down of a few of the more interesting concepts I gleaned from the book and think I can apply to learning Pickup.

The first thing I’d note is that Peak repeatedly makes it clear that engaging in the kind of practice that yields great gains in performance isn’t fun. Across the endeavors studied by Ericsson, he notes that the most skillful practiced the most, but generally didn’t do that because they found the practice more fun than the ones who didn’t practice as much. Rather, they engaged in that practice because they had some fundamental motivation that overrode any unpleasantness and tedium attendant to the practice.

This I think should give relief to beginners (maybe even intermediates) in Game, such as myself, who are uncomfortable when they hear Pickup coaches and personalities talk about how one needs to go out and have fun while they learn game. I think learning Pickup can be fun and have at times found it so, particularly in the beginning, when one is just happy to go out and it’s a win just to do more than one approach, or have a pleasant 5-minute conversation with a girl. But most of the time, learning Pickup can be pretty unfun. For me, the part that sucks is when I keep making the same mistake over and over. For others, it’s getting rejected. Whatever one’s particular pain-point, one should take solace in the warning in Peak that DP “…demands near-maximal effort, which is generally not enjoyable” (p.99). We’ll get into what exactly DP is and what it might look like in the Pickup context at the end.

Now as a corollary to that, at some point the book the authors indicate that beginners may be able to only engage in Deliberate Practice for an hour or two, whereas the more skilled one is, the longer they can engage in the activity. It’s less exhausting when you’ve integrated the fundamentals and those are going on auto-pilot. This is another fact from which beginners can derive solace; we’re often exhorted to “burn the place to the ground” and “stick it out until the bitter end” and to try to pull until the last minute and even after the last minute on the street when the venue empties out. But practicing Pickup can be exhausting when you’re a beginner. You’re on your feet for 3+ hours engaging in a mentally and, for beginners, emotionally demanding activity. Beginners, in my view, should plan on gradually increasing the amount of time they spend out starting with just one or two hours. They should not feel pressured to match the amount of time intermediate and advanced guys can put in on a night out. I would argue that for many beginners, particularly early ones, their time is better spent doing two things that will cement whatever progress they made while out or whatever lessons they learned from their mistakes on a given night: debriefing with wings/writing FRs, and getting sleep.

The book also contains advice on how to break through plateaus. To put in practical and succinct terms the book’s advice on this matter: to break through a plateau, go try to do something really hard that you know you will fail at and pay attention to where exactly you fuck up and why. In order to produce good answers to those questions, however, one will probably need a solid mental representation of what things are supposed to look like.

This concept of mental representations/models is one of the most useful ones I learned from this book. It sounds kind of obvious, but you need to know what a good interaction is supposed to look like in order to judge whether you did well or not. For example, when me and my main wing first started going out, we would have interactions (once we got over AA) that would end in “nice to meet you” and we started to think “oh we need to start engaging in kino or something, that’s the next step for us”. I believe this was stupid conjecture. There was some reasonable intuition behind it; the sets weren’t going anywhere because we weren’t showing intent and escalating. We had consumed enough helter-skelter Pickup material to know we needed to show intent or escalate in some fashion. However, we weren’t looking at the full picture. For example, were we getting any IOIs beyond the mere fact that the girls stuck around? The vast majority of the time during those early days the answer was no. We weren’t getting attraction, and we thought starting to touch the girl’s arm or something was going to change that.

Perhaps more importantly, one needs a good mental representation when in set. Without a map in your head of where you are at in the interaction and what the next step is, you will flounder around. I believe this has been one of my primary problems lately. I go out with the focus on opening in a certain way and hooking, and then when I actually seem to get attraction I’m adrift, because I didn’t really go in with any real intention or expectation to be able to do anything beyond that. My idea of what to do after the set is hooked is hazy; I could move the girl, or try to go for a number, I suppose. But those things are like only semi-charted territories on my map, so to speak. I need to get a better picture of what those things look like, and then when/how they fit into the rest of the interaction; I need, in other words, a more sophisticated mental model of interactions with women.

For example, I need to have specific ways to gauge where I am at with girls who aren’t giving me obvious indications one way or the other. Sometimes, it’s ambiguous. Things I plan on training myself to think about in the set: what the frame is, what the conversational ratio is, and whether the girl is asking me questions. I also need a map of where to go in the set. Once I notice the girl is attracted, do I try to number close to get that out of the way, and then escalate my intent? Do I establish my intent first? Do I try to move her before either of those things? I will be thinking about my mental models in a subsequent post.

Right now, my main game problem is a little more quotidian. I can’t move the interaction forward even though I know I should, and I sometimes think of a good way of doing so in the moment. I think I am just not habituated enough to taking certain actions, like asking for the number, or moving the girl in the venue. These are of course actions that could get a “no” from the girl, so there is likely an internal block on my part in addition to the fact that doing those things are still novel for me. Hopefully by drilling such actions just for the sake of making them habitual I can also learn that making those asks and getting a “no” is no bigger a deal than approaching and getting blown out, which I stopped caring about a while ago. To me, this type of plan is a way of applying the book’s main idea, that of Deliberate Practice.

What exactly is Deliberate Practice and what might it look like when applied to Pickup? Let’s handle those questions one at a time.

There are a number of criteria for Deliberate Practice presented in the book. First off, Peak stakes out two prerequisites a given endeavor must meet in order for Deliberate Practice to even be possible. The first is that the given field contains an increasingly sophisticated body of knowledge of how to teach/learn the skills involved in the endeavor, and the second is that there exist teachers who have reached expert-level proficiency in the skill-set to teach the skills using specific practice methods.

Assuming the endeavor meets those requirements, one can engage in Deliberate Practice, and in order for practice to count as “deliberate”, it must meet several other criteria. The most relevant to Pickup in my view are that the practice is overseen by a teacher or coach; the practice takes place outside of one’s comfort zone; the practice “…involves well-defined, specific goals…it is not aimed at some vague overall improvement [emphasis mine]”; and the practice involves building skills on top of one another.

I do not think the body of knowledge that is Pickup is living up to its full potential with respect to these criteria. There is a large body of techniques and theories in the Pickup universe, but very little thought has been given to providing a template or curriculum about how to digest and learn all of this material. Everyone seems to agree that you start by just going out and facing down Approach Anxiety. But there seems to me to be very little agreement about what to tackle next, in what order, and how. The type of thing I am trying to describe is something like: handle AA; work on tonality, volume, eye contact; work on making sure sets hook; learn how to deliberately get attraction; learn physical escalation; learn good number close methods…learn about logistics, pulling, etc. You get the idea.

I suppose what killed the momentum in terms of developing a common understanding of the order one should learn Pickup skills is the large shift to “natural game”, and the fact that the most prolific producer of Pickup content, RSD, loves the “natural game” paradigm and also generally seems to eschew codification, organization, and rigorous thinking. Hard to tell whether RSD’s dominance shifted the field or whether the paradigmatic shift made competitors that hewed more closely to Pickup’s structured roots less attractive, and thus left RSD to dominate the field and much of its thought for the past few years.  Either way, the primary way a lot of guys learning this stuff go about it is to combine a general (and quite often shallow understanding of game theory) + a few tactics and engage in what Peak calls “purposeful practice”, which basically means “A for effort, but you’re going about this in an unorganized and potentially dumb way”. Another way of putting it is that most guys just try to improve by brute force. Their method is analogous to trying to get better at boxing solely by getting in the ring to spar and getting their ass kicked repeatedly. Yes, one will probably improve by doing this. But one would probably isn’t going to get as fast as one should, certain tiers of skill may be completely closed off using this method, and one may even develop and ingrain certain bad and counter-productive habits doing this as well. Mitt-work, time with the various punching bags, strength training, cardio, drills to improve foot-work–those are just some of the many exercises of a more focused nature one must undertake in order to improve specific skills or characteristics that compose part of the whole that is one’s boxing skill. I’m not a lone crazy guy here; Todd is aware that this is the proper way to acquire skills, that’s one reason why I think he’s the best coach out there.

One weakness of the gospel of “micro-drilling” I preach is one brought up to me by Lloyd of The Single Guy. This weakness lies in the facts that the practice of pickup a) relies on another human being’s reactions and b) is inherently chaotic, messy, and unorganized. Going out to practice pickup is not like hitting the range at a golf course; there is no equivalent to just taking out a driver and practicing a few long drives before taking out a 9 iron and drilling…the high archy parabolic thing you’re supposed to do with that for whatever purpose you’re supposed to do it (been a while since my golf lessons).

I am going to have to adjust my way of practicing to accommodate Lloyd’s advice. I see myself doing this in one of two ways (or both). The first would be to bracket at least one night where I go out and don’t try to drill specific things, but rather just adapt as best as I can to what the set throws at me. The second would be to make my goals themselves contingent upon the girl’s behavior. An example of how I would tailor my goals like that would be: “if the girl is receptive off the open, do x; if not, try y; once in convo for ~ 5 minutes, try z”. Like I said I could try adopting both. I’ll probably start just going with number 1, though. The other nights will be practice, but I can designate one night as “the game”, wherein I actually try to get results instead of focusing merely on improvement.

Hence, it might be that a better way of learning game is to get a solid mental model of what a good set should look like in certain situations; go out and approach; see if you can engage the set in the way you know you “should”; figure out where you fucked up in relation to your mental model and/or see if you need to expand or refine your mental model in any way.




FR 8 March 2018

Rolled solo to the main venue around here (at least on this side of town). My goals were two-fold: Tonality, eye contact, volume, proximity; use of my verbal stack and bearing FRED in mind. I am not sure I needed to set goals this basic. My idea was to get used to being back on the bike, so to speak, after my trip. I went out Sunday and did fine hooking, and my little verbal stack is practically all I know how to say at this point. I foresaw that I would go out, hook a bunch of sets, get some attraction, and then be unable to capitalize on it, at which point I’d kind of kick myself and have to like refactor my goals. That’s basically what happened.

Not going to narrarite the night here from top-to-bottom; suffice to say, more happened than just the sets I’ll mention and there is a lot for which to give credit to myself, so I will start with that. One thing is that I’m generally just less socially anxious–and I mean, hey, I rolled solo and persisted in sobriety tonight, so that’s good. Another good thing is that I trusted my process and I trusted the work I have put in up until this point and the changes they have wrought. I didn’t get all antsy about not approaching within the first 3 minutes; I know nowadays I will eventually. Put me anywhere for long enough and I’ll approach. For another thing, I’ve generally been moving toward a stronger version of myself throughout life, not just game, and it shows. I assume people’s attention more. My tonality is good and I talk slower and more smoothly. There are surface level things like that, but more importantly my perspective is different. The way I think about this endeavor is longer-term and more strategically. I am less invested in the interactions. I need that to translate into riskier behavior though.

Anyways, one highly predictable thing I messed up bothered me and continues to bother me and will probably bother me for a little bit tomorrow as well too, despite my aforementioned better perspective on things. And that is that I had attraction; thought of a good move; and failed to take that good move. What happened was: 3 set, I opened 2 of them while the third went to get a drink. The 2 I opened were unattractive. One was this like unreal parodically tanned Miami girl. At one point I thought of asking “So, did you used to be white?”

Anyways, it was the friend buying the drink that hooked better. She was actually the only doable one as well. I chatted with her a bit in the beginning, but then didn’t want to be giving too much attention to the “hot” friend (she wasn’t really “hot” per se, but cute enough). So I did a lame emotional spike line: “yeah, you seem like you’re from [where she was from]” before turning attention to the other 2. The least attractive friend made the move to take them into the other bar, and the cute one lingered behind for a bit to talk to me. Asked my name, if I came there often, where I lived (2 sidenotes here. First, so many sets I get to hook make “where do you live” one of their first questions, usually the first one itself. I do not know why–it’s probably not worth thinking about, but it’s weird how consistent that is. Second, when girls hook they ask the boringest Qs sometimes and get away with it. Maybe I should start teasing them about it if I know they’re attracted). At this point, I knew the friends had gone and that her momentum was to go with them. I thought of leading her in their direction and walking with. That would have been the move. But instead I conversed a bit, and I guess sort of hoped for her to stay. Very analogous to the set that pissed me off a couple FRs ago. She departed by saying she’d probably be by the ping-pong tables and I made a joke about her hustling people and said I’d find her there. Didn’t find her later. Didn’t really expect to.

There was a slight opening for the number during our parting convo, but I didn’t go for it because I didn’t think it’d be solid. The primary basis for my coming to this conclusion was the number I got Sunday, which was off a fleeting interaction and in which the # close was the last thing that happened. So I engaged in some strategizing at least. But again, I knew the best course of action but was kind of physically incapable of taking it. I went with my autopilot instead. This is partly just “mechanical” in that if one is habituated to a certain pattern, it’s tough to break. But of course there are deeper reasons at play. Not knowing what to do next, not really believing anything could happen and therefore not fundamentally seeing a reason to go for it and try. The deep-seated core belief of just not being on the level of the girls (and everyone else) I talk to. My logical, rational, daily-life mind is starting to believe the opposite now (I had the realization yesterday that for the first time in a long while my self-image is positive again, and I was like “wow this is kind of weird”). But it’s going to be hard to override the deeply rooted subconscious shit when it comes to my interactions with women. It’s good that I am starting to develop that stronger inner-game, but fundamentally the only way to break through is to take action before one feels they are ready. Can’t wait until you truly feel ready. You can’t truly feel ready without having done it.

One thing I at least could have done here was moved closer once we were isolated and engaged in a man-to-woman handshake. In general, I haven’t been man-to-woman enough lately. I was on a streak of being decent at that, but I’ve lost it since I have started cutting and stopped practicing it. So I am going to have to start pushing myself to practice that. I want some sets to reject me for showing intent; I’ve been getting too many “nice to meet you”s and focusing on hooking seems to be keeping me in my comfort zone more than I intended or anticipated. I think it’s safe to say that I can hook sets at a satisfactory rate now, and it’s time to move on to the next steps: emotional spikes and man-to-woman behavior/moves, starting with the latter.

I also need to work on being less verbose when writing these FRs, because writing this shit takes forever and I need to get my beauty sleep.

Sunday Funday #1

Met up with a couple guys to daygame, but it was 16:30 by the time I rolled up and we decided to just hit a bar in the area that is popular all the time, including weekend days. Great day spot. It’s full of hot women day drinking.

First set was a 3 set. Made small-talk, then correctly cold-read they were in college. I  then asked them if they knew what they were going to do after or if they were just winging it. Then I asked the one I thought was cutest what her major was, and when she said “Environmental Science” I was like “oh, I was gonna say it’s probably something useless” which they interpreted as me calling Environmental Science useless. Which isn’t exactly what I meant–what I was really trying to say was that “I was going to guess something useless, but that’s not totally useless” (lol). Anyways, they were like “omg so rude” –though the one who wasn’t hooked more than the others. My target mostly just laughed. I didn’t correct their understanding because I didn’t want to like, you know, pull back offense after it was given. After all, one way to get emotional spikes and attraction early on is to simply offer a negative opinion on some not-so-personal fact about them (I think that’s better applied to things they didn’t choose though–complement them on their choices, give them shit about the stuff they didn’t choose, one might conjecture). So I kind of stumbled into doing that here, stood my ground and smiled, and the set ended.

Next was also a 3 set of college seniors (a lot of college girls here today). I here too correctly cold-read and took the same conversational tack as I did with the previous set, except I made sure to tone it down a little with the “useless” talk on the majors. Reached hook-point 1, but not 2. None of them were hot anyways. One of them could have been, but she was a bit too furry (a problem for girls of South Asian descent).

The next set I remember was a 3 set of black girls. I opened with “how are you and who are you”, and one of them said “fine…and people”. I correctly guessed they were visiting (was on a roll with the cold-reads today). Looked at them a bit. The one who talked said “Ohio, Ohio, Colorado”. Looked at them some more. “OSU, OSU, University of Denver”. I said “thanks for reading my mind”, which got some laughs. At this point a series of interruptions occurred. First was some super drunk ass motherfucker. Next was some guy who came in and asked if they were Habasha (Ethiopian), which they were.

Anyways, opened a two set from a distance by commenting on the gaze one of them had. Opened decently well. Also college seniors. Turns out they are here for birthday party. Several friends come over. I start talking a bit with two, one of whom engages me more than any girl in the set. She asks me some questions, I give answers and say stuff like “I don’t even have the energy to pretend otherwise”–which sounds dumb out of context, but the vibe I was giving off was one of low investment in the interaction. I start talking to her exclusively, but the group starts walking off. I had mentioned looking for friends in an FTC sort of way, and she says “are you coming with us?” which I take to be enough of an IOI that I tag along, saying “sure, I can look for my friends in there”. We talk. Get interrupted by the need to take a picture of them. Talk a bit more, and they are going to move once again. She says to come with, I say “no, I’m going go find my friends, but give me your number”, and she is very compliant about it. Her attraction was palpable. Texted my name there, and texted a little while ago with a standard follow-up, but no response. Not super surprising if it flakes–it was good attraction, but little comfort/investment. Wasn’t time. I don’t know if I would have done anything significantly differently. I certainly wouldn’t have followed further; it was a very large group, like 9+ with lots of sub-groups and moving parts (which I remarked to her lol). Too much to deal with. What I did well was that I was willing to switch targets. I didn’t get locked into some BS idea of “I was talking to these two and the friends are just obstacles”.

Some other set that didn’t really hook.

Two set by a fire thing that hooked decently. They were friendly and into their day drinking. This was a set that I built a lot of rapport with mainly. They laughed at some stuff I said, but no real attraction. My two wings came in briefly, succeeded quickly by this other guy I brought in whom I knew from the venue previously and who I had run into earlier. Ended up being mostly just him and me talking to them. I think they both had attraction for him, but more his target than the one I spoke to. They went to the bathroom, we chatted a bit and scattered. Did some solid kino in that set.

Last set was a two-set. I went with an opener in which I called one a bad-ass based on her dress. Not sure if that counts as going direct, but to the extent it was, it wasn’t good, since one shouldn’t go direct on one member of a two-set. That girl hooked well though. Juggled convo between both. She was in reaction. She said “sorry that was awkward” after saying something (which wasn’t even really awkward), for example. When my two wings came in, I had to reposition myself next to her, and when they asked me the whereabouts of two girls they had spoken to earlier, the friend yanked my target away. Wings apologized, I said whatever. As long as things aren’t my fault, I’m stoic about them.






FR 23-Feb-2018

The only set that hooked tonight was a two-set. I started off by exhibiting some high-value behavior, and ended by engaging in some low-value behavior.

I opened with “you guys seem interestingish”. Held frame when they were like “what?! of course, we’re amazing” etc. So the set started with a bit of qualification from them and my holding my frame and maintaining a certain degree of skepticism. They asked me about my shirt, bantered a bit about it. One of them had to go to the bathroom, I talked past it, made some quips. I spoke mostly to the friend, not the target. Looped the target in and dropped some lines like “you need more hobbies” on her.

The first mistake I made was not looping one of my wings in when he was hovering nearby. Sure, he should have just come in, but he was behind us at some point, and I thought of going “this is my friend x” while moving closer to my target so he moved next to the friend. He went away after a while.

Anyways, things go on, and neither of my wings jump in. Then they really do have to go the bathroom, and I tell them to go, I’d see them later. But they doddle, and ask more about my shirt and touch it and whatnot. As they are leaving, I do a sloppy number close on the target. I was just executing on my goal, that’s fine. I knew it wasn’t solid. Unfortunate.

Then shortly thereafter, I bring my remaining friend/wing up to talk to them. Re-engagement was a mistake. I thought it might be worth trying because they seemed fairly interested when they left. But two mistakes here:

  1. I brought my wing up with a joke about how I pay him to be my friend and stuff, but let it go on for a bit too long when they didn’t even think it’s that funny. But why do that? I mean, it’s ok as an intro line for lulz, but trotting this thing out was also…it was try-hard, and kind of like “oh let’s have a pretense for this”. But really, if I’m a cool dude and I had a cool conversation with those girls, why then feel the need to employ some gimmick in order to restart the convo? I’ll expand on this below.
  2. We were both more situated towards the friend, and I should have went “across” to engage the target. I saw her getting bored, but didn’t make this move. I mean, she probably didn’t even want to talk to me anyways–they were both less happy to talk to me the second time around. But I had the thought and should have done it. That’s the second time that happened with this set! And that’s exactly what felled me at the W the other night! Sad!

Anyways, with respect to the primary problem, the inner game issue that brought what was initially a decent set down:

If we were really high-value, I would have just been like “hey this is my friend Ken” and said some substantive things about him. A lot of what I do is implicitly coming from the frame of “I am not good enough–I need to try to get on their level”. It’s the way my social life has conditioned me, I suppose. I have the rare moment when I break free from that habitual thought pattern, and I have been realizing my own value lately, but…well, old habits die hard, I guess. But this is a huge problem. This like miasma of unworthiness permeates all my interactions. I feel so pathetic and stupid for acting out of this frame. It’s not like I don’t know what it’s like to feel worthy; there have been girls I have met cold approaching that I have felt entitled to.  I friend-zoned one, I made friends with a couple others, I’ve number closed several, I’ve had sex with one. I’ve noticed that my behavior is different with them. It’s quite nonchalant. I can’t fake that feeling, though, if I am talking to girls I don’t feel entitled to. And it certainly doesn’t take much for me to feel a girl is out of my league. To put it crudely, a 7 or above often feels as equally out my reach as a hotter girl.

I will continue focusing on outer game. My belief is that in the beginning it’s just going to feel fake, but I have to learn the steps and execute them with as much conviction as I can. It’s just obviously frustrating to have so many cringey experiences with women.

I think I have been getting even more frustrated lately because I have started to more clearly see my own value and have a vision of a stronger version of myself in which I believe. The disparity between my growing self-conception and the reality of my social skills hurts. Of course, the growing self-conception is basically my ego, and I have been warned from many a pickup source that the frailty of the ego is something that prevents guys from making progress.  I have heard and I understand that the guys who are able to get good are the ones who are most consistently able to check their ego; who can laugh at their mistakes, shrug, and say “I am just learning”. Who can learn the lesson and throw away the rest. There was a period in my pickup journey when I was more like that. Now I’m at this weird stage of the process where I feel like I should be getting more results because of both my altered perception of who I am/should be/want to be, as well as simply the amount of time and effort I have put in. I want to be different and I want to be markedly better at game, and I want those things NOW, and I fault myself viciously for not having them.

I suppose the only thing I can do right now if I want to get to the next strongest version of myself is respond to this problem the way I think that version of myself would respond. I think the next strongest version of myself would understand this is part of the process/journey, and have the faith, perspective, and patience to not only ride it out, but to increase the time and effort expended even as the return on these expenditures seems to be diminishing. I think the next strongest version of myself would understand that success is engendered by taking right action the vast majority of the time, and that trying to do everything optimally 100% of the time is kind of a form of hubris and a fool’s errand. I think the next strongest version of myself would feel it beneath his character to do anything other than take as much right action as possible and improve just 1% or less everyday without complaining or getting too emotional about it. I think the next strongest version of myself would think that now might be a good time to take Seneca and Marcus Aurelius off his bookshelf and refamiliarize himself with them. I think the next strongest version of myself would be wise enough to find perfectly rational the “paradox” of having to submit to the reality of the current, shitty version of oneself in order to reach the next highest level.




FR 22-Feb-2018

Goal tonight was simple: ask for 3 numbers. This was my goal because of my problems last weekend where I led a couple good opportunities slip by because asking for numbers isn’t enough of an ingrained habit for me.

First set I opened were two Brazilians, one of whom was visiting the other and didn’t speak much English. Boring set. FB Messenger closed the visiting one. 1 number asked (if she had a working American phone and spoke English, I wouldn’t count this as a number, but it suffices).

Met up with my wing, K. He goes in on a big group, I go do a two set that doesn’t quite hook. Come back to his set, and it implodes shortly thereafter.

I think the next thing is this two set I open. One mistake I potentially made here was only hitting the “FR” of Todd’s FRED model. My opener was basically a comment about how I liked how one of the girl was wearing her jacket on her shoulders classy-like even though it was a leather jacket. This was followed by some banter about how they match a lot, and then further banter about their similar names. Then Ken came in and engaged the less attractive one, and I kind of went into rapport with the other. Shouldn’t have gone into rapport. I didn’t have emotional relevance yet.

Just bounced mid “conversation” from this set without saying anything. I try to do that more and more. Look, when girls converse and they aren’t attracted to me, that’s cool–not everyone has to want to fuck everyone. But nowadays, because 90% of the time I get positive reactions and because of my maturing perspective on life, I am starting to realize my own value more, and if they don’t even give me the time of day I think they’re idiots. Also rude.

Anyways, next set I open by saying “You guys look conspiratorial”. Main positives from this one:

  • Spontaneous opener.
  • Deployed qualifying lines like “I’m glad we found something interesting about you”.
  • Maintained good eye contact.

Bad things:

  • There were a couple things that came up that may have been shit tests that I didn’t handle great. Insofar as it’s possible to neither fail nor pass a shit test, I did neutral. For example, when it came up where I was going to law school, she made a big deal about congratulating me, even shaking my hand all formally. She wasn’t totally making fun of me or something, and I wasn’t like “O THANKS DURR” (I even said “yeah don’t do that”), but at the same time I was at the effect and not the cause of this part of the interaction.
  • Technically it’s bad that I didn’t try to go for my goal of asking for the number since this interaction lasted longer than 4-5 minutes, but when I asked her for her name she didn’t even give that, so…

Last set was moar Brazilians. Asked for and received number even though I wasn’t interested. So I only got 2/3 of the way to my goal. Goal for tomorrow will be to ask for 3 more numbers. I’m just asking for numbers until I have asked for 5.

Not too concerned about not hitting this goal, but have been kicking myself all day for my not pushing the daygame set I opened earlier today.


Mini FR, A Baby Step

I have been trying to do two things lately: day game, and integrating game into my daily life so that it’s an intrinsic part of who I am. I made meager progress on both these fronts with an approach at Sweetgreen today.

Approaching in a contained day venue was kind of scary, but there was this cute girl sitting across from me and I just kept thinking I had to do it. Plus, it seemed she kind of glanced over at me a couple times. I sat there for a bit after I finished, thinking “was I really going to do this”?

Luckily, I did. I just went with “what did you get” and she was pretty receptive and told me. Unfortunately, it was just a 4 sentence interaction about that.

So I am pissed that I didn’t push it further, but at the same time happy that I did an approach that was scary for me. I am fine approaching at night, but I really had the fear in the back of my mind in this venue, an eatery during the day, that “everyone would be watching”. Luckily, my desire to practice game won, and I was able to do an approach of a type I hadn’t before.

My approach was good too; it was innocuous, and it gave her a chance to indicate receptiveness. Because she seemed receptive enough, I should have followed up with something alone the lines of “look, I need to go in a couple minutes, but I’d like to at least find out if you’re as interesting as you are cute” or something.

I just foolishly ejected prematurely. I also thought I saw a ring, and fleetingly thought maybe she was married, although she seemed quite young. I don’t know if that was a major reason why I ejected, but it’s the kind of thing I would like my brain to stop looking for. I should only be looking for IOIs, not reasons to eject.

This has been a big sticking point for me, actually; I don’t have a real game plan when the girl is receptive/interested because I’m mentally stuck in the reality where I assume she’s not going to be, even though I keep going out and getting some degree of interest/reciprocation.

I’ve stopped watching much material lately; I should probably stop altogether for a bit and let my skills catch up to my knowledge. It’s not like I don’t know what to do most of the time, it’s that I have strongly ingrained habits to not do those things, to be passive with girls, to assume they don’t like me even though all this going out is giving me plenty of hard evidence that a lot of girls do like and react positively to me. My knowledge is far enough ahead of where I am that it almost feels detrimental; I beat myself up for not doing things as best as I know I theoretically should, and sometimes these expectations I hold of myself are unreasonable. I wish I could feel more proud of myself than frustrated right now.


  • Did my first ever approach in this type of situation.


  • Ejected prematurely even though the girl seemed receptive. Should have followed up with the aforementioned way of stating intent.