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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Social Standing, & Equal Ground

Up to know I've kinda told you what to do, with explaining only a little bit about why to do it. Here, I'm going to go in to some theory; a bit of the "why". But don't skip this, because this is important stuff to know if you want to be successful, especially during in-person meetings.

This post is going to deal with something I call Social Standing. It's something I've noticed when going on dates: both good ones, and bad ones. I also have noticed it in emails with girls. And then more I noticed it, the more I saw it everywhere, and the more I realized it was a crucial key to success with women.

So what the hell is Social Standing? It's the social dynamic between you and the girl. Actually, it's the dynamic between everyone in your immediate surroundings, but for now let's just focus on you and the girl. I put Social Standing into 3 simple types: High Ground, Low Ground, and Equal Ground.

  • Low Ground is when the girl's got the power, and is in control. You're on Low ground, she's on high.
  • High Ground is when you've got the power and are in control and she's on low ground.
  • Equal Ground is when there's no significant difference in Standing. You're on equal ground with most of your friends and peers.

Pretty simple so far. The idea behind Social Standing is to always be aware of it, and avoid low ground. So, let's take a look at how social standing manifests itself in real-life.

You see a cute girl in a bar. You approach her, and offer to buy her a drink. Instantly, you just put yourself on Low ground. You put her in control. It happened because firstly, buying a girl a drink is a classic "I'm interested" move, and that, right there, lowers your standing a bit. Secondly, buying her a gift is saying you're willing to spend money on her, you're willing to invest in her, and that's a serious sign that you think you need win her over. Finally, you actually put her in control of whether she takes the drink or refuses. She's on High Ground.

So what's wrong with that? Well, the girl *feels* it. She senses it. She might not be consciously aware of what's going on, but she will definitely feel in control, and she'll sense you're on lower ground. And it's bad because (A) she's in control of the situation and (B) girls won't feel attracted to guys on lower ground. You can feel it too when it's happening, or afterward.

We've all seen examples of this. Ever known (or been) a guy who follows a girl around like a puppy dog? Low ground. Ever try to be chivalrous to a girl, be a white knight to her, and get walked on? You were on low ground.

In general, when you hit on a girl immediately, you're putting yourself on very low ground, no matter what. But not all initiations of contact are equal. Just talking is different than hitting on a girl.

Here's a small list of things to avoid that give a girl high ground early on:
  • Paying big complements
  • Asking her out or for her number
  • Writing too much in a single message
  • Agreeing with everything she says, or even worse, changing a previously stated opinion to match hers
  • Being indecisive or giving her too many options instead of just picking one yourself
  • Apologizing for the tiniest things; especially continued apologizing
  • Demonstrating a lack of confidence ("I wish I looked better in that photo" or "you're too hot for me")
  • Replying too quickly to her emails (Lame, I know, but it's true)
Note, that all these things are to be avoided at first contact and early on because they'll start you off on Low Ground, but a lot of them can be used later on, when the time is right, after you've established higher ground.

So, how do you get to High Ground?
So, clearly, we don't want to be on Low Ground. We want to be in the position of power. The problem is, if you try to aim for High Ground, more often then not you'll come off as a douchebag. It can easily backfire and push the girl away. No, the trick to getting to High Ground is to aim for Equal Ground.Treat the girl like a good friend, someone you're not interested in. If you do that successfully, you'll gain High Ground because the girl will lower her standing.

Let me repeat that: Treat the girl like an equal, and you'll gain the power and control because the girl will lower her ground. And by "equal" I don't mean "be polite and nice". Think about how you joke around with your best friends. How you riff with them, how easy it is to converse with these guys. You're not nervous, and you're being yourself. You're not being a dick, but you're not being extra nice or timid. This is how you gotta act when first contacting girls. It's much easier to do in email than is in person.

And you might be thinking "but I thought if you treat a girl like a friend, we'll just end up in friendship land". I hate to break it to you, but this is actually mostly a myth. The fact is, more often than not, when a girl you were after told you she just wanted to be friends with you, you were actually on lower ground with her the whole time. You were never on equal ground. A lot of smart guys were raised to treat female friends differently than male friends, and part and parcel of that was giving them some high ground (being extra nice, chivalrous, and more). You have to avoid that. And on top of this, you won't be on equal ground very long if you flirt and escalate things as you guys connect.

When you've got High Ground
You can sense when you're on equal ground with a girl. She'll be more attenttive to you, give you longer answers in email, be curious about aspects in your life, and be actively friendly with you. When you start to gain High Ground you might see her making all the moves you carefully avoided, like apologizing a lot, and the other stuff I mentioned above.

As you start to understand and recognize Social Standing in action, you'll see it everywhere. You'll notice it between friends, coworkers at your job; waitstaff you meet in public, and in every girl you meet. And once you can recognize it, you can study it to see how you lost and gained it, and help you figure out what works. Once you learn you how to get high ground, you'll be able to sense when girls are into you, when to make a move, and have a whole lot more confidence in escalating things with a girl. There's no nervousness at all when you go in for the first kiss when you have sensed the girl is into you.

There's a whole lot more to Social Standing than I can write here. Aiming for equal ground is not the only trick to Social Standing, and treating a girl JUST like a friends isn't enough to win them over. But this gives you a primer for it; the basics of how to defend against low ground, how to get higher ground, and what to look for. I have a lot more to say about this, and I'll be writing more here.

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