On Being Yourself

by GK on May 24, 2011 · 5 comments

My buddy Tre Tre pointed me to this blog post about the PUA world today: http://drhelen.blogspot.com/2011/05/pick-up-artist.html

It interested me because it’s written not by some Community junkie, but by a female psychologist who recently ordered “The Game” and Mystery’s book. Her post reads as follows:

I recently recommended (the books) to a friend of mine for her son who she said was depressed over his lack of ability to get a date. At first, I started to give the same old tired advice. “Just tell him to be himself and a woman will find that attractive.” “Bullshit,” I thought to myself. “Give him a copy of ‘The Pick Up Artist’ by Mystery or ‘The Game’ by Neil Strauss and let me know how it goes.” Two months later? My friend tells me her son is no longer depressed and is dating and learning how to interact with women.

Score one for Mystery and Strauss. Zero for dumb advice on how to “be yourself.”

Though I may not agree with some of the methods in those two books, I find it encouraging that “normal” folks out there are offering them praise. I still want to vomit whenever some judgmental fool who knows little about attraction mocks guys in the Community and tells them they’re better off just “being yourself.”

Of course, being yourself is the right answer — if you know who you are and like yourself, and you’re able to present the best of yourself to a new woman. But inexperienced guys can’t do that, just as I once couldn’t. Back then, telling me to be myself — as some people did — would have been like telling me not to prepare for a job interview, or telling me I could learn the guitar without taking lessons. In other words, it was the worst advice I could get.

In the first months after I discovered the PUA material out there and I realized I’d been doing the wrong things with girls for so many years — in part because girls and the media told me to act that way — I became pissed off, and I can see it in some of the comments in that blog post. I’m sure I’m not the only guy to have felt scammed by our culture, and it took me a while to get fully over that.

But as I commented, once a guy gains confidence and a better sense of himself, “be yourself” is the best advice ever. It means he will attract women who are similar to him and he’ll have a better chance of happy relationships. I don’t need to wonder anymore whether I have a better chance with a ditzy Marina sorority girl or a Potrero Hill movie nerd.

And what can a guy do when he’s not there yet? Perhaps the better advice for him is, “Be Yourselves.” Explore every facet of who you are and what you enjoy in life. Try some new hobbies and travel to new places. Say some things to women that you’re normally too scared to say. Ultimately, you’ll be able to pick a guy you like. And so will she.

 

{ 5 comments }

1 scn May 25, 2011 at 5:53 am

So true that “just be yourself” is as horrible advice for meeting women as for a job interview. Meeting a hot woman is an on-the-spot interview for the much-coveted job of a sexual relationship with her.

No product sells itself, it needs marketing and sales. A few rare Casanovas are natural born salesman who early on learned how to present themselves irresistibly to women. The rest of us who refuse to just accept the scraps of fate, have our work cut out. Sales is complex craft requiring years of study and practice to master.

I think “be yourself” is only true if taken to mean don’t misrepresent who you really are and showcase the most girl-appealing parts of yourself. But to get the girl I must always have my game face on, employing all my understanding of female psychology such as using emotionally vivid language and projecting a sexy vibe.

Other more natural parts of my self like launching into factual discussions about ideas, politics, money, and work, I must save for the guys.

2 DantheMan June 2, 2011 at 2:10 pm

I don’t know dude. I didn’t figure myself out till I was 25, but I was still a fat kid getting laid in high school. Sometimes I think the guys who have trouble with this stuff think about it too much. Too smart for their own good. They analyze and worry about how things are supposed to go and what she’s supposed to do and all these other supposes. I remember the first time I hit on a buddy’s mom. I was nervous and stuttering and sweating like a pig. I also insulted her and not in a teasing way. My only saving grace was a hard on that tented my basketball shorts. How much more direct can a guy get? Nothing happened but the way she handled it told me I was on the right path. I guess I’m lucky my Dad pushed me into sports and being a man. Both my parents wanted me to get good grades, but I’m grateful for having a good male role model in my life. I don’t think getting girls was an issue when the divorce rate was lower and men were expected to act like men.

3 GK June 2, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Excellent thoughts, Dan. And believe me, I’ve had many students who I needed to “dumb down” because they had devoured so much information online that they suffered paralysis from analysis.

As with eating chocolate and drinking bourbon, moderation is the key. As you said, you had a good male role model, which many of us did not. So we need some kind of template on being a man to get us going.

Perhaps it’s time you marketed the “erection method” to men! :)

4 Joakim June 2, 2011 at 2:53 pm

I think the average guy’s pursuit of a “hot” woman is based on his lack of confidence and self worth. The woman becomes a crucial part and symbol of the happy life he wants to live, that he isn’t yet living. In other words: a beautiful woman will automatically make his life better. This is, in my opinion at least, not true and it puts a finger on what’s bad about this community. It presents material only on how to get girls when most guys are really looking for a way to be happy about themselves. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some good advice spread around out there (especially on this blog), but a hot girl is no shortcut to self acceptance.
One of my best friends is what you’d call a “natural” and beautiful women seems to be drawn to him without him making any effort. God knows I have envied him, and still envy him, but he still has low self asteem and doesn’t seem to like his life a whole lot.
The point I’m trying to make is that I think guys should ask themselves why “being good with women” is so important to them. Being able to label yourself a “Casanova” is really of no value, what counts is to accept yourself for who you are. And if you do, it’s only to get out there, say “Hi” and be yourself.

5 scn June 2, 2011 at 11:08 pm

Joakim, I don’t see it that way at all. I think otherwise self-confident guys often have buku trouble with women. And it’s totally biologically natural for men to covet being with attractive women – that is not a sign of any deficiency of self-worth.

When it comes to romance, women speak a fickle, irrational, emotional language that is foreign to many men who otherwise hone themselves to master the hard facts of objective reality. As Dantheman observes, men have to dumb down in order to connect with women. Embracing the vagaries of the reptilian brain takes a lot of hard work for men who would otherwise be rational and businesslike in their affairs.

Yes, self-esteem is a Good Thing that many community guys need to work on. But I think being good with women doesn’t necessarily follow from self-esteem. And being good with women is indeed core to a man’s happiness – no less than productive work. My favorite quote on the matter:

Reed Richards: Some higher calling? Like getting girls and making money?
Johnny Storm: Is there any higher?

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