Mark Manson – Models

Overcoming neediness is not about learning what to say or new things to do. Overcoming your neediness comes through a change in your mindset, your self-perception, and your self-respect. It’s as simple as just changing your mind about women.

…That before meeting a woman, instead of worrying whether or not she will like you, you could wonder if you will like her.

Women are attracted to a man they can respect, to a man they can trust. If you’re constantly looking for approval for what to say and how to feel, how could anyone respect or trust you?

In this way, vulnerability represents a form of power, a deep and subtle form of power. It’s courageous, even. A man who’s able to make himself vulnerable is saying to the world, “Screw the repercussions; this is who I am, and I refuse to be anyone else.” He’s saying he is non-needy and high status.

Chances are, if you’re reading this and are bad with women, then you’re bad with women because you don’t express your true feelings and intentions very well.

I’ll say this again because this often gets lost: vulnerability is not a technique or tactic. It is a way of being. It’s not something you learn, it’s a mindset you practice.

So the catch is that everything you say must be as authentic as possible. There’s no shortcut. There are no tricks. You say it because you mean it and mean it because you say it. The more nervous it makes you, the better, because it means you’re being authentic and making yourself vulnerable.

But what I learned is that regardless of what you say to a woman, the intention and implications of why you are saying it are far more powerful than the words themselves.

The truth is only the truth when it is given as a gift — when nothing is expected in return. When I tell a girl that she is beautiful, I say it not expecting anything in return. Whether she rejects me or falls in love with me isn’t important in that moment. What’s important is that I’m expressing my feelings to her in that moment.

“Let me know when you’d like to get together again. If you’re not interested, that’s fine too.”

Ultimately, your values determine your behavior. And that’s kind of the point of all of this: YOUR values determine your behavior, not what you think she wants, not what you think others want, but what is best for you

Our job is not to attract every woman, but to screen for women with a high potential of being attracted to who we really are.

Many men waste a lot of time convincing themselves that Unreceptive women may actually like them. A good rule of thumb here is, “if you have to ask, then that’s your answer.”

And remember, if you leave her to her neutrality, she will usually become Unreceptive and not see you as dating material.

A woman who is Neutral will simply not respond at all. For instance, if you touch a Neutral woman on her back while you speak to her, she’ll just act like you’re not touching her.

A woman who is reciprocating will do something to respond positively to your advance.

The goal with Unreceptive women is to identify them and move on as quickly as possible. They’re time sinks.

The goal with Neutral Women is to get them to stop being Neutral as soon as possible. As we mentioned earlier, women who are Neutral and who stay Neutral tend to eventually end up Unreceptive. You do this by expressing your vulnerability and your identity to them freely.

Having good game means you can take a woman who is Neutral and incite her to become Receptive to you quickly. You do this by making yourself vulnerable, sharing yourself unabashedly, and polarizing her one way or the other and being comfortable with either result.

one of my favorites for Neutral situations: “What’s your favorite thing in the world?”

Women who are not passionate or self-aware I drop very quickly and go meet someone else. Women who share interests with me give me an opportunity to polarize them quickly to being Receptive.

When you meet a Receptive woman, the goal is simple. You escalate. You make a move. You move things forward — assuming you want to, of course.

The percentage of women who are Receptive to you will increase proportionally to the quality of your lifestyle, your social status, and your looks. The percentage of women that you’re able to move from Neutral to Receptive will be proportional to how good your “game” is, or how well you’re able to communicate and express yourself with women.

“to be liked by all, hated by none.” But when it comes to being intimate and attracting women, this is a horrible strategy. Being hated by nobody usually means you’re not loved by anybody either.

You’d be surprised how many women will respond with attraction to nothing other than a man who is bold and willing to stick his neck out.

And as a highly emotional response, I’ll always take being slapped over indifference or boredom any day. It’s polarizing. And polarizing women is more important than being pleasant to them.

Instead of thinking, “I wonder if she’ll like me,” think, “I wonder what she’s like?” Instead of thinking, “I hope she doesn’t reject me,” think, “I hope I’ll find out if she’s right for me.”

Success = Maximizing happiness with whichever woman/women we prefer

Instead of waiting and hoping for a woman to select us, instead of racking up numbers, instead of winning bragging rights, instead of avoiding rejections — our success is defined by screening through as many women as possible until we find the ones we enjoy and the ones who enjoy us.

The Three Fundamentals are: 1. Creating an attractive and enriching lifestyle. 2. Overcoming your fears and anxiety around socializing, intimacy and sexuality. 3. Mastering the expression of your emotions and communicating fluidly.

When demographics don’t match up, then it causes friction. And as we learned in Chapter 3, friction prevents attraction from turning into intimacy and/or sex.

The theory of demographics has advantages as well: if you play to your strengths — i.e., if you focus your time and energy on meeting women in situations where they are likely to share your values, interests, and needs — then you’re going to not only experience a much higher degree of success, but you’re going to meet women you enjoy a lot more.

What do you value in a woman? Honesty? Beauty? Affection? Intelligence? Curiosity? Similar interests? Education?

Here are examples of some great hobbies/events that you can use to meet women: – Dance classes (salsa, swing, ballroom, etc.) – Political organizations or events – Concerts and concert promotions – Amateur sports leagues (ultimate frisbee and co-ed volleyball tend to have a lot of women — women in good shape too) – Volunteering, charities, charities events (usually overloaded with great women) – Training courses (leadership, public speaking) – Cooking classes – Yoga classes (a goldmine) – Meditation courses and retreats – Self-help seminars and educational events – Travel groups (i.e., couch surfing) – For the religious: a church or whatever your faith’s equivalent is – Educational classes (foreign language, CPA, etc.) – Dog parks – Wine or beer tastings – Art galleries, exhibits or showings – Business networking events

The main reason is that studies have also found that women judge a man’s status far less on actual physical dimensions and far more on style, grooming, and how men present themselves.

The key is to 1) recognize your personal interests and strengths, and 2) build upon those personal interests and strengths to quickly attract women in your preferred demographic.

Part of living the honest lifestyle is to pursue what you’re passionate about to the fullest extent.

Bar none, fitness and fashion will do more to attract women in a shorter amount of time than anything else you can do.

Move your shoulders back until that ridge or seam is straight — going straight from your neck to your shoulder. That’s the optimal position for your shoulders.

Make the back of your neck as straight as possible with your back.

As you walk, you want to swing your shoulders.

Finally, swing your arms slightly.

Always make other people break eye contact with you before you break it with them.

Now, hold your nose and read it again. How different is your tonality? If it’s not very different, you already speak largely from your chest and probably have good tonality. If you suddenly sound very nasal when you hold your nose and say it, you need to work on speaking with a deeper voice. Keep practicing it until you can say it while holding your nose and it doesn’t sound any different.

In fact, just about everyone does not speak loud enough. Speak louder. Do it now, do it everywhere.

Put another way, an attractive man with depth and character is a man who has opinions and openly expresses those opinions.

But one thing that will always make you stand out, particularly to women, is if you’ve not only expanded your horizons, but you’ve also made your own decisions about your personal tastes, your experiences, and what you think about various topics.

What is there about you that would stop her dead in her tracks and make her say, “Wow, this man is unique?” What do you have that they don’t? What can you offer that most other men can’t?

What are your rough edges that people can’t find anywhere else? What have you done that will make you stand out in her mind?

What stories do you tell yourself? Because until you’re aware of your stories, you’re not going to be able to change your behavior.

What’s important is that you move things forward without hesitation, without that resistance that you’re obeying right now by doing nothing, by remaining in the status quo — the same resistance I listened to today at the gym.

The first step to overcoming your fears is to figure out what your pattern is.

Sure, this stuff all helps, but in the end, your best teacher is your experience. There comes a certain point where learning more about a subject is no longer beneficial and on the contrary, is just going to get you more mixed up and confused, since you have no experience to

Challenge yourself to find the good and beautiful thing inside of everyone. It’s there. It’s your job to find it. Not their job to show you.

Orgasms, or more accurately, ejaculation in men, actually causes a depletion of various hormones and endorphins which often lead to useful behaviors as well as motivation.

End all pornography immediately.

Limit your masturbation to once a week.

When you masturbate, you’re only allowed to fantasize about women you’ve met and have not had sex with.

When you masturbate, use lotion or lube. Do it slower than usual. Drag it out longer than 10 minutes if you can.

She wants you to be that man. She’s secretly rooting for you. She doesn’t want to reject you.

That’s what she goes out looking for: the man who can make her feel more alive.

The proper way to handle your fear and your anxiety is to accept it, recognize that it’s normal and a part of who you are, and to not even try to hide it from the woman you’re meeting.

So for instance, you could take an afternoon or your lunch break each day and make a point to approach a few women just asking for the time. Nothing more is required, just ask what time it is. Find something easy, but repeat it regularly for a while, until it doesn’t feel difficult anymore. Then the next week, you go out and ask women what time it is followed by, “How is your day going?” And each day, you slowly make it harder and more intensive. Slowly work up until you’re able to approach women by telling them you think they’re attractive and asking them out on a date.

But the important part is to stair-step your approach rather than expecting yourself to immediately be banging girls by the dozen after a week.

Again, some self-awareness is critical. Take things one at a time, stair-step them slowly until you get not only comfortable with it, but excited about it, and then move on to the next thing.

This is why if you’re ever going to do something that is unusual — approach a woman in a strange location, try to kiss her in a strange location, invite her out with you after just meeting her, etc. — it’s important that you communicate that you realize what you’re doing is abnormal. “You know, I’ve never done this before, and I know we just met, but why don’t you come to the restaurant with me?” “Excuse me, this is kind of random, but I thought you were cute and wanted to meet you.”

But the overarching point is that what you actually talk about has far less influence on your results than your intentions.

Scientific research shows that sexual tension builds when the uncertainty of potential sexual possibilities is presented in an interaction.

“I think you’re beautiful, I’d like to take you on a date.”

This is more or less the blueprint of seduction: a strong, high status, attractive exterior (lifestyle and looks), fearless, and able to open up and share your vulnerable side with her. Women get weak in the knees for this shit. And it’s not even conscious most of the time.

Becoming aware of your own emotions, motivations, and life story. – Taking the lead by sharing those emotions, motivations, and life story first. – Sharing first creates trust and encourages her to open up and share herself in return. – Ideally, the more this goes on, the more personal the stories become and the deeper the emotions are by which you connect.

Whatever it is, open up about it. Challenge yourself to go one level deeper. And the most important rule of emotional connection is to relate to feelings, not facts.

I simply say, “Hi, I’m Mark.” I then follow it up with, “I wanted to meet you.” And if I’m feeling particularly bold, I’ll say, “I thought you were cute and wanted to meet you.”

not startle or scare her when you approach her. This is possibly the only death knell for approaching women.

the day, I often preface the introduction by saying something like, “Excuse me, this is kind of random…” Also during the day, I usually tell them that I think they’re cute.

best approaches I ever do are when I don’t think about it and I spontaneously just walk up and say hello.

comfortable smile. Lean back. Stand up tall. Speak loudly yet clearly. Make strong eye contact. Introduce yourself and stick out your hand. Give a firm handshake. This is called being a confident human being.

When you see a beautiful woman, you should be motivated by nothing but your desire to get to know her.

Using effective language means saying what you mean with the fewest words possible while still maintaining your meaning and intent.

It also means removing “um,” “uh,” “ah,” “like,” “you know,” and other fillers from your everyday speaking.

Instead of incessant questioning, you want to develop a skill called cold reading. Cold reading is a skill where you’re able to intuitively “know” something about someone else without actually knowing it.

Instead of asking her a question about herself, you guess the answer to your question and then state it. Here are some examples: “Where are you from?” translates to: “You look like a California girl.” “What do you do for work?” translates to: “You seem to be a creative person. I bet your job is interesting.” “How do you guys know each other?” translates to: “You guys look like you’ve been friends for a long time.”

You should cold read as much as possible. Any time you’re asking a question that requires a factual answer, take a stab at the answer instead of asking.

Never underestimate the power of non-sequiturs. “I’m thinking about quitting drinking.” “A car almost hit me on the way here tonight.” “My roommate eats peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwiches. It’s disgusting.” “I’ve always wanted to visit Africa.”

If you teach yourself to recognize jump off points and take advantage of them as soon as possible, you’ll be able to sustain a conversation with almost anybody indefinitely.

There are three main points of a story arc: Set Up: The set up is exactly that: you’re setting the scene or the context for what you’re about to say. It’s the foundation of what’s about to be told, and if you don’t set up properly, then your stories, jokes, and ideas will always seem to be random. People will consistently comment that you’re really random, weird, or “off the wall.” Content/Conflict: After setting up what you’re going to talk about, you get into the actual content. This can also be the “conflict” in your story. Whatever it is, it’s something that causes tension and expectancy. The content of your story needs to be intriguing and hook people into wanting to know what will happen next. If you don’t build much tension with the content of your stories, you will find people losing interest or get the feeling like you ramble on a lot. Resolution: The resolution releases the tension from the conflict or content. Resolutions can come in forms of punchlines (for jokes), conclusions (for ideas), or just closure for a generic story. People who don’t resolve their stories and ideas well will often get blank stares when they’re finished speaking, or people asking them, “Yeah, and…?” not realizing that the story is finished.

So you’ll want to develop the ability to formulate entire stories around jump off points, as well as notice jump off points within entire stories.

Everything you speak about should be, in some way, revealing your identity to her or her identity to you.

Making a connection requires three steps: 1) being open about yourself, 2) getting her to be open about herself, and 3) relating to each other’s experiences.

Take out a sheet of paper and write down three things for each of the following: – Your passions and favorite things to do. – Your dreams, ambitions, life goals. – The best/worst things that have happened to you. – Your childhood, family life, and upbringing.   Now, go back to each item you wrote down and talk about it to yourself for one minute. Try to be as detailed and honest as possible.

Be willing to share any part of yourself to anyone at any time and on any level.

Ideally, sharing these aspects of yourself will encourage her to share them in herself. You want to get her to talk about her passions, her ambitions, her best experiences and her most vulnerable experiences.

One of the most common and easiest forms of humor is misdirection. Misdirection occurs when you begin to say something or tell a story that leads the listener to believe you’re making one point, and then out of nowhere you say something completely different.

Exaggeration is another mainstay of humor and something that everyone should be able to use. Exaggeration is when you take a quality about something, and blow it completely out of proportion, often in a creative or interesting way.

In humor, the more specific and odd the details, typically the more funny a joke is.

Teasing is when you make humorous comments that are derogatory about someone. Generally, teasing is done in good humor and with good intentions. Teasing with bad intentions becomes insulting and is not welcome by most people. Teasing is supposed to be fun. The ideal tease will create a mixture of emotions in a girl: defensiveness yet happiness. The ideal reaction is when a girl will say, “Oh my god, I can’t believe you said that,” but will be laughing at the same time and smiling.

Generally women who don’t enjoy being teased really appreciate genuine compliments, so I switch it up.

Seriously, sarcasm isn’t for everybody. Sarcasm is when you make an extreme statement that’s completely opposite of what you actually mean. You often say it with complete seriousness and without smiling. A lot of women won’t get sarcastic humor. They’ll think you’re being serious or they’ll get confused. Others don’t enjoy it very much. But I will say, in my experience, when a woman loves sarcasm, she loves sarcasm.

Wordplay is similar to misdirection in that the listener expects one type of meaning and gets another, but wordplay practices misdirection by using words that have various meanings.

I would say that puns and wordplay are an even rarer form of appreciated humor than sarcasm. Puns and wordplay also tend to be very intellectual. You’ll find few women who appreciate them. And chances are even fewer of you reading this like to say them. But again, when you do find a woman who appreciates them, in my experience she really appreciates them.

If you find yourself having a lot of trouble with humor, I recommend watching a lot of stand-up comedians. Some of my favorites are Louis CK, George Carlin, and Bill Hicks. Pay attention to their delivery, their timing, and their facial expressions.

Trying to figure out which ones are flaking for legitimate reasons and which ones are not is more or less an impossible task. You’re better off just letting it go and moving on. In the end, it comes down to the fact that if she likes you enough, she’ll find a way to make it happen. If she’s not finding a way to make it happen, then she probably doesn’t like you as much as you thought she did.

– I always text within 24 hours of getting her number. I send a simple text: “Hey Sara, it was nice meeting you.”

From there, I usually wait another day or so and start a text conversation.

Joke and tease her if she’s being responsive. If she’s not, stick to trying to get her out ASAP.

Depending how the text conversation goes, I’ll either ask her out right then and there, or I’ll wait another day or two depending on my schedule.

Don’t do lunch dates, and never make an afternoon date the first date if possible. Just don’t do it. For whatever reason, nothing says, “let’s just be friends” more than having lunch together. Save dates for the nighttime.

Absolutely no movie dates for first or second dates.

Avoid dinner dates if at all possible.

Good date locations are locations that are active, participatory, and allow for touching and flirting. Alcohol can be helpful as well if that’s your style. Some good examples include comedy clubs, dance classes, museum exhibits, walks in interesting places (plazas, parks, etc.), concerts, or just grabbing a drink somewhere.

Once you’ve researched and found 4-6 venues and activities near your place that you enjoy doing, that are good date activities and are easily accessible, it’s time to start putting them together and do multiple things on each date.

Our level of intimacy with one another doesn’t just come from how much we talk about as much as it comes from the experiences we share. These dates are designed to create as much mutual experience as possible in the least amount of time possible.

Include dancing if at all possible, as it’s the most sexual date activity you can have. Also, if you two decide to drink, try to drink at the second or last venues/activities.

The underlying concept to have on a date is that you should try to constantly be leading.

As far as what to talk about, your conversations should be getting deeper and more personal. There should be less teasing and playful banter and more conversations about your lives and what’s important to you. Learn about her past, her passions, her dreams, what her favorite things are.

At the same time, you don’t want to turn this into a job interview (which too many dinner dates turn into), but elicit these topics by sharing them yourself.

I’m going to say this point-blank: getting physical with women, and getting physical quickly and comfortably, is ultimately the difference between having a lot of female friends, and having a lot of girlfriends and dates.

There are two reasons for being physically assertive with women. The first is polarization. You want to establish whether she’s sexually interested in you as soon as you possibly can. The second reason is that being physical is bold and, therefore, a highly attractive form of flirting.

As you having a conversation with her, assuming she is Receptive, just lightly touch her on the arm, near the elbow.

Think of touching as the exclamation marks or question marks of the dialogue.

The best way to touch is to integrate physicality into your conversation. For example, using games such as thumb wars, twirling her like a ballerina, or giving high fives are great ways to initiate physical contact.

Your touching should happen in a progression. In general, you want to start on the outside of her body — her arms and legs — and slowly move closer into her body. Put your hand on her back as you move her to sit down with you, put your arm around her lower back as she leans against the bar next to you, etc. Later on, this progression will continue into intimacy: tickling, massages, and cuddling (or spooning). And from there it will continue on into kissing, petting, and becoming sexual.

When it comes to kissing a woman, there’s an old adage amongst dating coaches: if you think you can kiss her, you probably could have ten minutes ago. We men are terrible at gauging a woman’s sexual desire and when she’s ready to move things forward.

So the rule of thumb is, when in doubt, go for it.

If you go in for the kiss and she turns her head or doesn’t reciprocate, pull back and ask her how she’s feeling, if she likes you or if you’re moving too fast.

Women will often object at this point and say they just want to mess around and not have sex itself. The correct answer to any objection is always, “That’s fine. We’ll do whatever you’re comfortable doing.” The point is to have an enjoyable experience, not to get more notches on your bedpost.

The more foreplay there is, the hotter your woman’s going to be, the better sex she’s going to have, which means the better sex you’ll have (this is a team sport, remember?)

Create expectation. Make her yearn for whatever you’re about to do to her.

When it comes to sex, more important than any physical technique — some cool angle or position or whatever — is being dominant.

One of my favorite jokes in the bedroom, when stuff goes awry, is, “They make it look so easy in the movies.”