Before I get around to my club survival guide, I wanted to tackle one crucial aspect of conquering clubs — and for socializing anywhere else: good energy.
I’m not talking about any mystical force that surrounds us and binds us — let Yoda have that. I’m talking about good ol’ tangible energy — the kind Winnie the Pooh has lots of and Eeyore lacks. One big common denominator that separates my good interactions with women from my bad ones — even more than the conversation topic — is how much fun I’m having in that moment. It’s the reason I often don’t need to hear a student’s conversation with a girl — if he looks like he’s enjoying himself, it’s probably going well.
I think it’s important to project a fun vibe whenever socializing — unless you’re picking up women at funerals — but at clubs the importance is magnified. Have you ever tried quietly shaking hands with a foursome of bachelorette-party girls shaking their tails to “Get Low”? If so, you may get my drift.
One skill I’ve honed in recent years is how to flip the switch — going from my usual low-key self to a whirling dervish when I’m in a higher-energy environment. And here’s a stunner: it’s not with Red Bull and vodka (OK, maybe when I’m in Vegas). I’m really just allowing my fun side to show.
Here are some tips you might try to flip your switch:
Get your energy up before you head out: I’m an extreme case when it comes to this. My fellow CA instructors got a good idea of my pre-partying routine when we were sharing a hotel room in Austin last year. I was singing in the shower to Cristina Aguilera, then pacing the room as I listened to Iron Maiden’s “The Trooper” on my iPod. But considering I never made it back to the hotel until after breakfast, let’s just say my quirky routine worked well that night.
When I was apprenticing with CA, my friend and I would do the robot dance to Daft Punk at his place before a night out. For you, a simpler routine might help: perhaps good sleep and diet, and some exercise. Maybe a funny movie or playing the guitar. But think about a time when you have had good energy, and figure out how you got there.
Hang out with energetic people: I can resemble a sponge in that I absorb what is around me. If the people I’m with are having fun and putting out good energy, that’s likely to rub off on me. If you’re going out alone, look for some fun people — a store employee, a bartender, the DJ — and talk to them.
Talk to people quickly: Inertia is a killer. If I’ve been standing around in a bar quietly, it’s going to increase my anxieties and sap whatever energy I had entering the place. On the other hand, if I build some social momentum right away, I find I’m much more eager to approach people as the night goes on. Call it Snowball Theory — I’ve repeatedly seen other low-energy guys get in a social mood simply by being social.
I usually don’t go out alone, but when I do, I might start by going up to a couple — they’re often bored and love the attention — and make friends with them before excusing myself to flirt with some girls. It gives me an instant cheering section that I can always return to. And it doesn’t hurt that other people are seeing me being social before I approach them.
Have a drink: Seriously! I think drinking at night gets undeservingly frowned upon by people who are into this game. I know my limits, and I think it’s dangerous to look to alcohol as liquid courage, but one or two drinks do help me to relax.
Go where you like the scene: This sounds simple enough, but I think some guys look for “pickup” places that don’t necessarily fit their personalities. If I’m going to a high-energy place, it’s imperative that I like the venue, the crowd and the music. I’m no professional dancer, but when I start hearing 80s music or certain other dance music, I can’t help but shake my hips and find someone to dance with.
I’ve got a private instruction tonight, so if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to start head-banging. Here’s a fun song that might help you flip the switch at night: