A recent student of mine wanted to understand “push-pull,” one of the tools in the Charisma Arts toolbox. I’m a guy who likes simple language — witness how with the Big Four, I advise talking about yourself and telling her you like her instead of focusing on “I statements” and the “SOI.”
And whether you call it push-pull, negging, cocky-funny or whatever else lives in the seduction lexicon, I just like to call it teasing the girl. I remember it better that way. Some guys have asked me straight up if teasing women works. I suppose it does, in the same way that conversation or kissing works — it’s all about how you do it.
I subconsciously understood that girls like to be teased when I was in junior high and I noticed that although a girl would hit a guy making fun of her, she did it with a smile. But I didn’t know why, and I didn’t understand myself enough to know whether I should do it. I was too busy watching sports and reading horror books.
Now, I can sum up why teasing works on a lot of women — it adds unpredictability and tension. Have you ever seen a good movie that didn’t have a villain or some challenge? I can’t think of one. If we know what’s coming at every turn and there’s no conflict, we tend to lose interest. Same idea here, except you’re both villain and hero.
While the woman has to hear that you like her, she also has to believe it. I’m reminded of a line from the TV series “John Adams,” where Benjamin Franklin says, “The English love an insult. It is their only test of a man’s sincerity.” Push-pull is thus named because it accomplishes teasing and liking her at the same time. You might do it with your male friends often without realizing it.
All that said, I tease simply because I have fun that way, and it’s a natural part of my personality. I advise you to likewise make it less of a conscious technique and rather an honest expression of yourself. And don’t overdo it. Teasing is like using black pepper — it adds some needed spice, but sprinkle too much and the dish is ruined.
So, let’s talk about some examples of good teasing and bad teasing. Since I know myself best, I’ll provide examples that I’ve done. For you, a different balance might be best, and you might need to learn what that balance is. That’s one way that taking private instruction or phone coaching with me helps (shameless plug).
- The point system: Maybe it’s my sports-loving nature, but I like using points in my flirting (in fact, I’m coming up with a scoring system for guys when they’re socializing. Stay tuned). So I’ll often tell a girl she gets a point for X quality — liking football, wearing sexy glasses, etc. Of course, I can also take away points: “You haven’t heard of The Smiths?” OK, you lose a point for that one. Good thing you already had two points for not liking Marina bars. You still have a positive score.”
- The backhanded compliment: “You went to UCLA? Well, nobody’s perfect.”
- Turning the tables: Women like to accuse us of hitting on them or showing some kind of concern of what we’ll do to them. I like to beat them to the punch. Some recent examples: (I met her after she offered my friend and I their bottle of wine at the bar) “You were totally picking me up right there, weren’t you? (pause) I’m glad you did.” OR (after my friends had left the club and I was sitting alone with her) “I hope my friends are leaving me in good hands … I don’t want you having your way with me in the back alley. At least not until the first date.”
- The verbal push, physical pull (or vice-versa): This could be telling her she’s a pain in the butt or that I hate her, while smiling and pulling her closer to me. You could do this the opposite way, too. Or you could playfully push her away when she says one thing, but then pull her back in a few moments later.
- Nitpicking: This is where being a good listener helps. Women will usually reveal one or two frivolous traits about themselves, such as being bad with directions or having a slight foreign accent. I’ll make an inside joke of such traits and tease her off and on throughout our relationship.
There are other examples, but I can’t reveal my entire bag of tricks here, can I?
- Teasing traits that are important to her: If, for instance, she does charity work for the blind and you mock her for it, or you accuse her of being slutty, this might not go over so well. Stick to lighter, more generic traits to mock.
- Scripted teasing about her looks: If you’ve read “The Game,” you know what I’m talking about, but an example would be, “Nice nails … are they real?” Now, this sort of stuff can work, but from what I’ve seen, it’s like a Jedi mind trick in that it works best on the weak-minded — your strippers, insecure club girls, etc. Good luck getting a confident, professional woman to fall for that stuff. Also, it’s ineffective if you haven’t built any rapport with her yet.
- All push, no pull: Remember, she should know you’re attracted to her in spite of your teasing. If all you’re doing is mocking her, she’s likely to leave whether she likes you or not. Years ago, I went overboard with that stuff, such as when I told a girl wearing a blouse with pink and black stripes that she looked like a gay referee. She turned red and ran away.
And remember, women love to tease too, so be sure you can take it as well as dish it out. I’m sure you’ll put all this to good use — just don’t get a big head about it!