The field in this case was a restaurant. A party of 20 or so people. I ended up with people that were having a conversation quite frankly about nothing, Moreover the guy leading the conversation came off to me as an alpha-narcissitic prick. He probably wasn't but the fact that the conversation was really shallow irritated me. Now I don't expect people to talk about philosophy or something, but I at least expect something real. This guy was like "Wow my neck is itchy! I've been so itchy recently, it must be the weather"...to which everyone enthuasistically agreed. It seemed that no matter what mundane completely inane thing he said...everyone enjoyed it...it irritated me to no end as this guy was not in the least interesting. Moreoever he had no real charisma to speak of. If he did then I could understand why people would enjoy listening to him spout nonsense.
The worst part of it was that I LET this negative mood bother me. Even when other people came around to talk to me, or the staff asked me if I was OK, I basically snapped or ignored them. Thus ended my 3 month feeling of being on a high. I realised my self-esteem was more fragile than I thought and still needs bolstering. 10 minutes of sitting around in a dead-end conversation and it all went woosh down the toilet. lol.
I was also dismayed to find that my vocal training seemed wasted as I got plenty of "What?" that night. I guess this means I have to go two levels louder and practice some more. I suppose it isn't wasted though, cos if I hadn't done it I would have to now work 4 levels higher rather than 2,
I suppose next time I feel state slipping, I should ask myself, "what do I want in this situation?" "I want for the conversation to be interesting", then when the chance does come to speak I won't be in my head and ruining potential chances at salvaging an evening.
I also ran into someone else that had people laughing all the time. He would laugh and say "look at this terrible picture I took on the camera". All the people around him laughed (even though half of them could not have seen what he was showing on his camera because of the way they were seated...). Moreover this guy had a very quiet voice (I could barely make out what he was saying). And yet he was making people laugh from the other side of the table...I really couldn't make heads or tails over how he was doing it. There is some kind of state transferrence happening here, but I don't really see how it is being achieved.
RSD intstructor Tim touches upon the concept of internal cheerleaders. A team that is always there to back you up. Today realised I have the real version of that. As much as I want to quit and give up on so many things they keep me going, and as much as sometimes I want to slap them and tell them to fuck-off (it's my self-esteem feeling I don't deserve the attention and support that is acting up there!) I can never quite do it. I get exasperated at them and at the end of it all, I can't help but smile and think to myself "You guys...". They keep pushing me onward in spite of the fact that I'm often a whiny bitch. And for the life of me I can't fathom why...but there is clearly something about me that they find value in.
You know a lot of approaches go wrong. And at the time you simply don't know why. I am finding that recently am working out within minutes if not seconds what went wrong. For instance the other day I made an approach at a girl working in the mall and gave her the usual "Hey! What am I looking at?" (pointing at the wares on display). This didn't go well. She gave me an exasperated "I dunno" and walked off round the side of the her cart―and that was it...kinda silly when you think about it. I just let her walk off and allowed it to fizzle out.
There was in retrospect much I could have done better there. I could have simply walked around the other side of the cart and met her at the other side. If she moved again I could just chase her around it (all in self-amused fun of course). Of course these bits of not-quite-spontaneous-enough sparks of self-proclaimed genius come in after it has all gone pear-shaped.
I've decided that if things are gonna go pear-shaped (and they inevitably will from time to time) then I might as well learn from it: I'm carrying around a pocketbook with me. I can record within it all of my flashes of genius (and the important thing is the responses I am thinking up to all the things women can throw at me come from me and my sense of humour). This 'recovery' diary is my idea of the day.
Other things I have been doing recently is waking up early (8AM not midday), and I've started to move my workout into the morning rather than the evening (in hopes that I can benefit from the endorphic effects of the exercise all day, rather than just before I go to sleep). This means that unlike before where I would finish breakfast at 3PM, I now have more free-time than I know what to do with.
I've taken to reading all the random books I have on my shelf to kill some time. Some of which I am finding interesting (heck, I brought a book on Marxism a while back hoping it would aid me on a course I was doing, but never even opened it).
One of the books is about Confident Public Speaking. I've been doing this recently. Little things like asking store clerks where things are instead of trying to use my caveman instincts to hunt down the cereal aisle. I've also done this paying a lot of attention to vocal tonality and volume. My volume has certainly gone up (I did some voice exercises 5 months ago and compared them to how I speak today. The difference is pretty shocking. No wonder people found talking to me back then kinda creepy!!).
I need to work a bit more on getting more of the voice from deep in the chest; at the moment it alternates from throat/chest. It's loud in both instances but the differences is that when done from the chest the voices cuts through sound. If a bus or car passes by I don't have to change my voice at all to be heard when it is done right (I actually did this the other day and surprised myself). I am in awe at people who work at outdoor markets. You know the ones that shout out things like 'Big bag of tomatoes! A Pound!'. These guys have incredible vocal projection. The awesome thing is that even when you stand next to them you don't feel uncomfortable or like covering your ears; their voice is at once really loud (it has to be for them to attract customers from the other side of the square) and at the same time so effortless that you never really feel that you are being 'shouted at'. I heard this and had an epiphany: THIS is what ultimate voice projection sounds like! I now have a goal to work towards.
I've been watching the Real Natural stuff recently. Two concepts are explained within it. The concept of Wooo! and that of Intent. Wooo!(tm) a just being a plain high energy fun guy and Intent being the masculine intent to pull a woman in.
Over the last few weeks I've basically forgotten to close almost everyone I talk to. However on the plus side that funny side of me has had some real development.
I went to a prom a few days ago in the nicest tux and shiniest shoes I could afford. I was surprised that after 4 years of university that I knew most of the people there. It was a big slap in the face that told me "You don't suck! You've made good with this many people!". Anyway, that whole day I was in an incredibly good mood.
For starters I was walking to town and walked past people who were handing out flyers for this and that. I took some flyers off some guys without really thinking about it. I then noticed some girls handing out flyers to something else just a few metres ahead. I walked straight into the centre of them and took some flyers off them, but then thrust the flyers I had just picked up into their hands. They call squealed in a way that I took to mean "Oh! What cheek!" and then they giggled; this is good. The is precisely the nutty i-don't-give-a-shit-how-awkward-this-is type of humour that is unique to myself. It's not an act; it's me.
That night at the prom I continued to impress myself. I met a girl I hadn't seen in a while and shook her hand, then her wrist, then in quick succession I grabbed her just below the elbow, at the elbow and so on; basically reeling her in. She gave me the same reaction as the flyer girls.
I also roped in another girl that I knew, she spun on her heel and feel on her arse. She got up all dishevelled (her hair afterwards was hilarious) and then punched me in the arm in good humour. It seems that I can get away with anything when I so damn present.
There were series of events big and large that happened all night that basically re-affirmed how awesome I am capable of being at times.
One thing in the PU community that I have heard time and time again is the distinction between the high and low risk approach. The low risk approach being approaching meekly or taking a long time to approach which essentially conveys a lack of purpose and confidence.
The other day I ran into a cute girl in the library. I say 'ran into', it was more like I perved over from a distance for 20 minutes *cue heavy breathing*. I left the library without even talking to her. Then something inside me told me to go back and open. So I did. I went in with a "Did you see a pair of headphones around here?" thing. We look around a bit for some imaginary headphones and then I see she is watching something on her computer. We talk a bit about how bizzarre the dances people are doing. At that point though I keep getting the "I need to study" schtick. Fair enough. I leave. Generally speaking I was happy that I actually did it, even if it was a terrible approach.
The important thing I learnt here is that hovering over people or not going in direct makes them uncomfortable. Now I'm aware of it I can feel it, even see it in other people's eyes. It's that uncomfortable look where they feel "what does this guy want?". You can even see the other person's feelings change in real-time.
Now today I tried things differently. I tried talking from deeper in my chest (something I am getting better at with a bit of singing in the shower practice). I walk in direct with strong 'hey's. This works great. I don't get ignored or swept aside. However I find I run into other problems. They are
1. I may speak too fast for some non-native speakers of English (this is most likely because I feel I have to keep things going without a gap or they will fall apart)
2. Asking people questions in a resume style manner is a bad idea. Especially if they are people from countries where they like to keep personal information to themselves (very much the case with Chinese people).
The first issue is easy to resolve. Speak slowly. This even buys me more time to be selective in what I say and convey calmness. Calmess as opposed to a 'GAAAAAH! Like me, like me like me like me!!'-tirade of never-ending word-tricks and bits. If anything, I might simply be too verbal.
Now this ties into the second bit. Instead of asking these questions, how about not asking questions at all and giving a funny bit of info about myself. For instance "Hey! What's up. You eating the cookies they left out? Yeah? My favourite three foods are x, y and z" for reasons "x, y and z". Of course the reasons would all be absurd or at least interesting. Feasibly you could do the same with movies, or what have you. Heck, even one example would be fine in lieu of three.
At the moment, rather than approaching like the sex-worthy guy I might be coming across instead as the 'self-entitled tax-man'. I come over all confident, kick their door down and then ask them all about their personal details. We need to edge closer to the point where it's like a loud knock on their door from the cool friend that lives next door.
I've also noticed that when there are many other people to talk to around, people (not just women) are extremely fickle with their conversation partners. There only needs to be a 5 second window of awkwardness between the participants for them to wander off, often with little or no explanation. This, happens even during the day outside of clubs and bars (For instance, at 'coffee and tea' sessions organised for international students). The flipside of the coin is that I can do the same. I can't count the number of times I engage someone and they turn out to be so unintellegibly drunk (or insane. I can't tell) that I end up just becoming more and more unconfortable and yet feeling unable to get away from the conversation. In theory, I can walk away from those dead-end conversations now with relative ease.
Oh and guys? A prom in a few days time. Never been to one, I'm part terrified and part excited. But hey, part excited is better than just plain terrified, right?
So I walk up to a group of people in a bar on a Friday night. I have no real aim in particular, just make conversation and see what happens. I find that the guy I engage in the group has trouble hearing me (typical. This seems to be the usual self-protective behaviour guys put on).
The guy doesn't seem to have a very good handle on English or has trouble hearing me, or both. So I so "OK, ok, let's start easy...how many fingers am I holding up'. The conversation develops for a minute and then I find out he is from Mongolia and then shake his hand.
He than says 'Hey, if you wanna talk we should go over there, it's quieter over there'. I follow him and the two of us sit isolated on a window facing strip along the edge of the bar.
We talk for 2 more minutes and then he announces 'my girlfriend is calling me over'. He walks off.
And then it hit me. I'd just been tooled. He isolated me for the sole person of purging me from the group. Now far from feeling bad about it I found that I couldn't help but crack a wry smile. He had tooled me, and it had all been so clever.
OK. Let's rewind and look at this again.
The first problem was at the beginning when I was talking him in a patronising way by asking him how many fingers I was holding up. Although I intended for this to be playful I have to admit that from his perspective I was just a jerk who seemed to be tooling him. The lesson learnt here is that ball-busting only works when rapport has already been established. Of course I already knew this...logically. But being able to experience and feel it first-hand makes the lesson learnt that much deeper. This will be in the fore-front of my conversation from now on.
The second problem was I allowed the tooling to happen by following him. I should have stayed put. Of course if I had never made him feel like wanting to isolate and leave me ostracised from the group in the first place then this would never have been a problem.
All in all, I am happy with tonight. I really didn't want to go (it was already 2AM, I was tired and quite frankly just wanted to sleep), but I feel happy that I dragged myself to go out there. I learned some lessons and I've come up with some potential solutions.
OK. So I am fairly new to all this PUA stuff. Been going for about 2 weeks. At first I was quite surprised that I could hold conversation well (this was a breakthrough when I realised that my conversation needed little rational thread to hold it together and that I could jump from topic to topic on a whim).
But then things...changed...at first I was probably being babied a bit (aww, he's trying to have a conversation!) and would then turn out to be the funny guy who could get a funny convesation going and (when he remembered to) number close.
Recently though I feel that when I talk to people that I am getting resistance. Guys are reacting to my presence; afraid that I will take their girl...even when said girl isn't theirs (yet). The same is true of people when I am not even interested in them and just trying to have a 'normal' conversation. Suddenly a majority of people seem paranoid. Can't two strangers just enjoy a conversation?
For instance, I'm in a bar, I see a girl with 2 guys. I walk over and talk for a bit but then the guys
pull the "oh our friend is coming" (oddly enough this 3rd friend tends to never materilise, suggesting a connection between desperation and friend count). It was clear (unless I'm deluded) that these guys were trying hard to keep the conversation with this girl going, they seemed to be worried that if they lost this one then they would have to start from scratch.
Now these two guys are of what I assume is Eastern European origin judging from their accents. It doesn't really matter, the point is they aren't native Englsh speakers. As they found my presence more threatening they went and pulled the 'oh, I forgot English' card, where they say little and suddenly can't understand you. I've had this happen in other places with other Eastern European-y types. It could be simple insecurity on their part, or maybe a cultural thing about how to project masculinity, I honestly don't know.
This girl was enjoying our conversation but in the end she switched tables and went with those guys. Perhaps because she seemed to already know them a little from her course (she probably didn't dig the idea of returning home).
During the whole conversation these guys would say "Oh my friend is coming", so I was like "sure, I'll stick around till he gets here". Or they would give me "We want to talk alone"...as if two guys hitting on one girl is ever gonna work out (they aren't really thinking about the logistics of the situation I suppose, unless they are so good at Game that their strategy extents to the odd two-guy one-girl thing). In the end these guys got up to leave, I kept talking and telling them about an event I had coming (pivoting in my seat to talk, not standing up).
I met more odd resistance as well as when the guys left; the one guy who was hedged in because I was sitting at the open end of the table would not simply walk past me, he wanted me to get up and let him out (he had plenty of room to wiggle by). In the end he did wiggle by.
I guess in retrospect I am happy in that guys at least perceive me as a threat now and not as some random guy. On the other hand I feel I've gone down the mountain and re-gressed, but I suppose that is a necessary step in climbing up to the next peak. Motivation, don't leave me now!