Meet Kali. She is a beautiful blond hanging out at a local bar in Seattle, Washington.
Meet Jake. Jake is a graduated college baseball player who works as a fitness coach at a normal gym, despite being out of shape. Tonight Jake heads to the same bar. He is wearing a t-shirt that’s a size too large that says, “Fart now loading,” coupled with baggy jeans and running shoes.
He walks up to Kali and awkwardly stands around her for five minutes. She feels him loiter around her, clearly not engaging in conversation with anyone around him. Eventually he smiles under his baseball cap, unconsciously scratches his nuts and says, “I get a feeling that you’re someone I want to get to know.”
How do you think she feels?
What does his appearance tell about his identity?
He is wearing a childish t-shirt and his jeans are too big, signaling to her that he doesn’t care about how he dresses or how he appears to others. He scratches his nuts, which displays that he is either unaware of his behavior or just doesn’t give an F, which signals to her that he probably doesn’t give an F about her.
Additionally, he is out of shape. This signals to her that he is not responsible for his health and he doesn’t take pride in how he looks. He also spent 5 minutes loitering around while occasionally looking at her and not speaking to anyone else, which tells her that he lacks confidence. All of this signals to her that he is “creepy” which makes her feel uncomfortable.
How will she respond?
She will reject him instantly, because his effort in his appearance is a reflection in how he views himself.
Meet Matt, a graduated college baseball player that works as a fitness coach. Matt is in shape and he runs his own gym. Tonight Matt is wearing a button-up shirt and designer jeans that fit and accentuate his body. He is out with a group of his friends of both genders, which shows he has his own social circle.
He makes eye contact with Kali across the bar, smiles at her, excuses himself from his friends and walks directly over to her. He smiles and looks directly into her eyes as he says, “I get a feeling that you’re someone I want to get to know.”
How do you think she feels?
What does his behavior tell about his identity?
He is well-dressed with clothes that fit him well, his hair is gelled, and he smells nice, but it’s not overwhelming. This tells her that he takes care of himself, that he is successful and that he takes pride in his life. This signals to her that he will also take pride in taking care of her and their life together, whether that will last a night, a month or 75 years.
She recognized him earlier, as all women do, that he was with a group of his friends, both girls and guys. This tells her that he is socially well adjusted, he has relationships that he enjoys, and that he is a cool dude that people want to spend time with.
This is why social proofing was such a big thing in the PUA (Pick-Up Artist) world. When you actually have meaningful relationships that do not have any goal or hidden intention in mind, it works. It doesn’t look like Matt is wandering around the bar trying to pick up chicks.
He is out having a good time with his friends. He is telling Kali that he is confident in who he is, and he doesn’t feel a pressure to have a girl attached to him to make him feel worthy. All of this signals to Kali that he is a “catch,” which makes her excited about talking to Matt.
This is where PUA went wrong. They noticed girls prefer guys who looked good and appeared socially well recognized. So they taught themselves how to dress and build social credibility. Granted, this worked initially.
Take a moment and imagine Jake dressing and acting like Matt, but with everything else remaining the same. Kali would initially be attracted to Jake due to his appearance. She might even sleep with him, but over time she would eventually call it off with Jake, because Jake’s identity is unattractive.
Jake spends his free time playing Halo 4, and whenever Kali asks about how work was, Jake would complain about his boss being stupid.
Most guys face the same problem when working on becoming attractive: they focus on trying to achieve a behavior or appearance-based goal without changing their identities.
Flirting, and teasing and doing things (leading, escalating) are only as useful as what they imply about your identity. This is why learning the art of pick-up without a strong identity and an interesting lifestyle is more or less useless.
Trying to flaunt a woman with an image of who you are will ultimately stab you in the back Freddy Cougar Style.
Most the time we try to achieve results by proving to ourselves that we have the identity of the type of person we want to become. It should be the other way around.
If Kali were to date Matt, she would find him attractive because Matt spends his free time working out, going to community events, reading books, and trying new and interesting hobbies that catch his attention.
The reason Kali is attracted to Matt is because he is someone. He’s not just saying interesting things and trying to act confident; he is confident and he is interesting. When he speaks, the words that leave his lips have merit and meaning.
Unfortunately when men hear this, they take it as a challenge to perform. I used to have a friend who I would go out with regularly to “hook up with girls.” He was younger than me, really attractive and came from a wealthy family.
Whenever we would meet girls, the second or third thing out of his mouth was, “don’t worry about the drinks. I got you covered.” He probably saw himself as a successful, attractive man. What I saw and what the girls I spoke to saw was overcompensation – a performance fueled by insecurities – and fake confidence.
A confident man doesn’t have to prove he is confident. He just is.
Men can perform as many pick-up lines and checklist behaviors as they want – for some guys, this lasts for years – and they struggle to get good results because the identity they are painting is unclear and muddled. These men aren’t in tune with the way they’re choosing to live their lives.
Your life, and everything it consists of, is a mere reflection of your investment in yourself. The more invested you are in yourself, the less needy you are, the less you perform and the more you become.