Archive for the ‘inner game’ Category

I’ve been a fan of therawness for awhile.  He just wrote what started out as relatively simple advice to a reader and then delved into the pathologies of the pickup artist.

http://therawness.com/reader-letters-1-part-1/

http://therawness.com/reader-letters-1-part-2/

http://therawness.com/reader-letters-1-part-3/

http://therawness.com/reader-letters-1-part-4/

That post is easily one of the most influential ones for me since http://postmasculine.com/pickup-artist.

The quote from Mark Manson that really got me thinking beyond rather simplistic notions (“how to get laid”, “how to escalate”, etc) was this one:

You don’t end up in the Pick Up Artist community unless you are incredibly unhappy or unsatisfied about something. It may be conscious, it may be unconscious. It may be short-term, or it may be deep-seated and long-term. But the fact is, the community acts for a lot of men as a diversion or scapegoat from dealing with their real issues — their emotional issues.

For about a year or maybe a bit more, I’ve viewed getting really deep into pickup as a sign of something else gone awry.  And through countless interactions with so many people involved in the same seduction community as I, that something else always relates to something psychological (addicted to validation, abandonment of some sort, fucked up trauma that leads to overcompensating in some way, etc).  So for me, I think I’m very self-aware and knew intuitively that delving into pickup and meeting guys off forums was just a symptom of something else operating in the background subconsciously.  A small minority of guys into pickup just need some quick tips, but I think most may have some huge psychological blind spots that they might not be dealing with.  Over time, people repress certain incidents and mentally minimize what may be significant so old memories become faint.  So while people may consciously be doing something on the surface to fix some sort of external problem (either no sex life at all or relationship problems),  things may still be lurking in their subconscious which if they don’t get solved, the external issue won’t go away either.

I always knew that most of my problems with women were related to something deeper than just the technical aspect of it so when I finally landed a job where going to therapy was an option, I found a therapist.  I can pretty much say for sure that talking openly about various childhood traumas I’ve gone through has helped my confidence tremendously.   And for 30 years, I never thought about how my relationship with my mother truly affected my interactions with females until I was able to talk about the nature of our relationship.  Here’s just an example jewel in “Reader Letters Part 4”

In this case the pneumonia represents low self-esteem and people-pleasing and insecurity and unresolved childhood isses that people develop while growing up. The symptoms include the inability to hook up with girls and get laid, the inability to assert oneself, the inability to have happy relationships, shyness, hypersensitivity, social anxiety, bad nerves, and other bad behaviors. PUA stuff gets you obsessed with fixing the symptoms (superficial behavioral tics) and not attacking the real sickness (low self-esteem, unresolved core issues from childhood traumas, faulty thinking patterns inherited from authority figures, etc.). The pickup artist prescription feels good at first, but it doesn’t attack the real self-esteem and insecurity issues and allows them to keep growing underneath the surface, so the moment you get some form of ego bruising or a setback, all the old feelings of low self-esteem and ego-bruising come rushing back to the forefront of your awareness.

I remember being at a rooftop bar in 2010 at some lair event.  I remember this weird sinking feeling I got when this Dutch girl I talked to earlier in the night was making out with some other guy extremely passionately in a corner around 3am.  I had something like a panic attack, like the situation itself was an attack on me, my self-worth, my core.  But a truly healthy man possesses a core strong enough to get over things like that fast.  The self-talk of a healthy guy is “I’m not her cup of tea, it’s not the end of the world” but for me at the time, somehow it was earth-shattering that this one random girl in the bar didn’t go home with me.   This absurd feeling was made worse because of the over-promised “magic pill” of various pickup products I was reading at the time.   One thing a lot of the gurus did that I give credit for is actually teaching what’s actually possible (i.e. you can go out and get laid the same night, you can have multiple relationships, etc).  What the mainstream gurus missed is the art of managing expectations.  People aren’t just instantly going to transform into a super playboy after reading a book.  The methods or techniques cause most people to put too much pressure on themselves and I was no exception to that.  Moreover, it’s dangerous territory when not being able to get a desired result with a random girl becomes a direct internal attack on your worth as a man.

More from therawness:

The right thing for these guys to do would be to deal with these core issues of low self-worth feelings and their inferiority feelings so that they can fix them once and for all. What pickup teaches them to do however is not to fix feelings but instead to switch from their current faulty coping strategy, which is surrender, to another faulty coping strategy of overcompensation. Using overcompensation, they repress these unwanted feelings with defense mechanisms so that they end up blocking themselves from consciously accessing this self-hatred. They learn to rationalize away and deny their feelings of low self-worth. They learn to  project away their feelings of inferiority and self-hatred onto others. (Ever wonder why pickup artists develop this fanatical hatred of beta males? It’s their hatred of the beta traits they fear still exist within themselves, so they try to destroy these unwanted traits by first projecting them onto other male targets and then destroying those other targets.)  They also learn to use another defense mechanism ofintellectualization to cope with these low self-worth feelings, which is where all the mental masturbation and books on evolutionary psychology, animal behavior, persuasion, sales, New Age thinking and success literature like Tony Robbins comes in (not that there’s anything inherently wrong with any of this literature but rather in the way they are being used in this speak instance as a way to avoid fixing core issues).

He makes other points about the inner game literature of the seduction community and how it’s basically all predicated around women instead of gaining confidence simply because it makes your life better, period. Another strong point is the fact that he brings up women’s shitty behavior.  There’s plenty of guys out there like me who decided to take the good from seduction advice and throw out the navel gazing stuff that in the long run harms self-confidence.  How can you be totally confident when you always think you did something wrong in some way?

Another problem with pickup that makes it sophisticated codependency  is the damaging belief that the outcome is always in your control when you’re a true alpha. It takes the codependent’s natural urge to blame himself and masks it as positive traits, like accountability, persistence, and social intelligence. See, everything that goes wrong with a woman is the man’s fault. He wasn’t alpha enough. He was too reactive. He didn’t give the right response. He didn’t stand at a 45 degree angle. He didn’t peacock enough. He didn’t “neg” her at the right level. He held his drink at his waist. He showed too much enthusiasm. He passed her first two shit tests, but caved at her third one. He didn’t properly build comfort before going for sex. He didn’t do the right things to create attraction. And so on and so on.

Meanwhile thanks to evolutionary psychology rationalizing, less things than ever are the woman’s fault.

Another blogger from Toronto (I think his name is Jake) puts it another way:

http://lifestylejourney.blogspot.com/2009/10/its-not-always-your-fault.html

 Game essentially says that you are okay with whatever behaviour women display, because you will always find a way to overcome it. In other words, “game” is a coping strategy for women’s behaviour. If she only likes asshole jerks, then it’s your fault for not acting like an asshole jerk.

So in a nutshell, I’m right in the middle of the game versus anti-game crowd.  And the reason is that “Game” has no solid definition to begin with.  Some guys define game as tactics and techniques while others think game is simply working on your lifestyle and approaching more women.  If we’re going with the all-encompassing definition, things I’ve done for myself like get a higher paying job, get better clothes, move to NYC, exercise, and approach more women are all things that have improved my results with women.  If game means simply a series of routine stacks and mental masturbation on “state”, that’s where I get skeptical because certain sob stories on the internet about a guy approaching 5000 women and getting one lay out of it probably was working the hell out of a routine stack and neglecting other things that would make life much easier.

So with the redhead I mentioned, I cut it off with her after date 3.   She had canceled on me twice: one on December 22nd and then she counteroffered to hang out the next day.  I accepted stupidly and she turns around and gives me a call and cancels.

I freeze out for about three weeks.  After the new year around the 15th, I hit her up.  On date three, I tried to get her to my house.  No go.  I had free tickets for a game, she turned me down and said she had to run “errands”.
Usually, the ones I like run away because they probably feel as if I like them more than they like me.  I was checking out “The Way of the Superior Man” by David Deida and he was talking about masculine and feminine polarity.  If a man likes a man more than a woman likes a man, he’s overtaken her feminine polarity and she runs away.
It’s almost as if I’m repeating the same pattern I did here  .
The funny thing about the bulgarian girl from last year is that I met her at a christmas party meetup a few months ago.  And it dawned on me that I didn’t even have much in common with her.
Furthermore, I didn’t have much in common with the redhead either.  A brunette girl (a girl I met around November) who I thought was “not like the rest”  I let affect me emotionally after she said she wasn’t interested in a second date.    The fact is, these were physical attractions that I let turn into emotional ones when no emotional connection was present at all.  And it’s always with the most attractive ones.  Mentally, I pedastalize them to something they’re not and I don’t act as confident as I am with less attractive girls.  It’s fucked up.  Maybe my new year’s resolution ought to be something like “I’ll never fantasize about a girl I just met. “

Feeling Good

Posted: July 21, 2011 in inner game, lifestyle, relationships

Reflecting on my 30th birthday BBQ last Friday does kind of make me warm and fuzzy inside.

The reason is that I think about how far I’ve come in the last two years since I discovered the whole seduction scene.   I think after I came back from Austria in late ’06, a certain part of me just shut off socially.   My interests and hobbies were different.  I thought about my ex-girlfriend that I left over there a lot.  My old friends moved away.  I just wasn’t into hanging out with any of them, which I now regret.  I stayed in an apartment with this weirdo in VA until I moved to NJ and lived with my parents.  I got fired from two jobs and laid off from one of them.  I was a mess.

I just didn’t really want anything but to get on track in terms of my career.   And by the time that I found a steady job that I liked, I just told myself that it’s time to get social and get some new people to hang out with.   And time to actually stick my dick in some vagina again.  Sometime between the layoff and actually starting a career, I saw this video  (an edited version of the original, which I know runs over 10 minutes) which lit a fire in my butt.  I had been sitting around, gaining weight, not doing shit but being depressed and here’s a guy who approached a stranger on the street and made out with her.  I downloaded everything I could find and found myself in Brad P’s 30/30 club.  Met a few local guys in the scene at I was out trying to get  again after maybe three years of not doing anything.

Now I’ve worked hard enough to live in a cool neighborhood, have two job offers pending to make more money, and life couldn’t get any better.  I’ve got a fuckbuddy but no strong emotional bond with her but that’s OK.  At least she’s funny.  I’ve got friends calling me up to do stuff, and I’m out gaming all the time on the weekends and sometimes during my day-to-day activities.   I still want to get in better shape and explore my hobbies, but that’s all a work in progress.   Everybody at my party, I’ve met in 2010-11.  So that’s not a long time and tells me that there’s more where that came from if I keep doing what I’m doing.  Of course, most of my invitees were men and my buddy M provided a lot of the ladies there, but who cares?  I liked my role of being sort of a ‘connector’ to people, and that’s only going to continue.  Me and M have plans to keep doing rooftop parties, keep connecting people, keep bringing value to others instead of always trying to operate in that nightgame/daygame paradigm where the odds are always stacked against you anyway.

My neediness still seeps through in my interactions, but I think part of the cure is just building that solid foundation of building a lifestyle that I can say I’m proud of.