August 27, 2017 | Author: Vladimir Stankovic | Category: Conversation, Social Skills, Leadership & Mentoring, Leadership, Alchemy
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Co-authored by Johnny Dzubak and AJ Harbinger


Table of Contents INTRODUCTION: LET THEM EAT CAKE.............................................................................. 3 CHAPTER ONE: YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW................................. 9 CHAPTER TWO: WHAT IS VALUE?.......................................................................................17 CHAPTER THREE: THE PROCESS......................................................................................... 24 CHAPTER FOUR: ATTRACTION AND APPROACH.........................................................28 CHAPTER FIVE: BANTER AND BUILDING ATTRACTION............................................ 37 CHAPTER SIX: SHOWING INTEREST, OR QUALIFYING...............................................46 CHAPTER SEVEN: CREATING THE CONNECTION WITH RAPPORT........................ 53 CHAPTER EIGHT: FINISHING, OR THE CLOSE................................................................60 CHAPTER NINE: THE STORY................................................................................................66 CHAPTER TEN: TAKING CONTROL OF YOUR SOCIAL LIFE....................................... 116 CONCLUSION: FINAL WORDS........................................................................................... 119

INTRODUCTION Let Them Eat Cake Before I begin, I want to welcome you to The Art of Charm Family, and

congratulate you on taking the first step on your journey to an amazing social life! The book you are about to read is divided into three - sections each designed to teach you the art and science of attraction through a different lens: 1. Part I: The Philosopher’s Stone - Understanding the Alchemist’s Mindsets For Attraction 2. Part II: Turning Lead Into Gold - The Alchemist’s Secret Formula for Attracting Anyone 3. Part III: The Elixir of Life - A Modern Tale of Attraction In Part I, I break down how to use Attraction Alchemy to meet high quality women, make friends and live the lifestyle you want. The very first step will be fleshing out the key mindsets necessary for social success. I will also break down the “Value Scale” - a tool that can be used on a daily basis to help you deal with the insecurities you encounter both within yourself and in the people you meet while out. In Part II, I give you the “Interaction Map”, a step-by-step blueprint for going from complete stranger to deep rapport in record time. I wrap up the book with Part III, which tells you a story that illustrates how all the pieces come together to form the alchemy of attraction. As you read this book, you’re going to be introduced to four characters: Ryan, Brad, Doug and Adam. I want you to pay special attention to these characters, as they represent the four classic types of behavior that you will see regularly in life. You will see how these behaviors influence others, and how they help to create (or kill) attraction. You may see bits of each character in yourself or some of the people around you and that’s a good thing - because understanding these behaviors is key to mastering your social skills.


HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF THIS BOOK Although there is a lot of material here, the goal of this book is simple - to help you develop more confidence in your social skills. It’s no secret that confidence is one of the single most attractive qualities a man can possess, and it’s something that you can learn...if you follow the steps. You see, developing social confidence is a process of applied knowledge, a positive attitude and lots and lots of practice. In order to help you visualize this path to success, I’d like to share with you the “CAKE” equation:

C A K E E Q U AT I O N Confidence = Attitude + Knowledge + Experience ATTITUDE Attitude is a particular mindset. As you learn how to be confident, it’s important that you stay positive despite any mistakes, setbacks and failures. Attitude can be a very powerful thing. It’s your modus operandi, or way of seeing the world. Staying positive can open up the world for you. Negativity, on the other hand, will only hold you down. If you truly believe in something, you will act in a certain way no matter what your emotions or insecurities may be. Stay strong and trust the process.

KNOWLEDGE This book will teach you everything you need to succeed in a social setting. For each type of social interaction, I will tell you what to expect and how to handle yourself accordingly. I break down the process of attraction into five phases and give you techniques for navigating each phase. The dynamics of social interaction are complex and sometimes difficult to understand. Stick to the plan I provide and trust the process. Play it responsibly and respectfully, and keep a good attitude. You won’t regret it.

EXPERIENCE Whether you succeed or fail, there is always something you can gain from your experience. At the end of each chapter, I give you a list of exercises. Use them to strengthen your skills. Only through practice will you see progress.


E V E RYO N E M A K E S M I S TA K E S As you put yourself out there, it is only natural that you will stumble. I am no exception. In fact, there is not much you can do to defeat me in the mistake department. I have made them all, and have many scrapes and bruises to prove it. But this is actually one of the most important parts of the process. The difference between successful and unsuccessful people is that successful ones learn and grow from their mistakes. Do you? Indeed, when it comes to practicing your skills, I want you to remember one thing: whether or not you feel your experience was a winning one or a losing one, there is always something you can gain from practicing the material in this book. So the next time you make a mistake, ask yourself, “What two points can I take away from it that will help improve my chances the next time around?”

H AV E F U N Kill the pessimistic attitude. Growing and challenging yourself should be fun. When you have fun, you have a far greater chance of success. Operating from an angry or frustrated place will hurt your progress. Not everything is going to go the way you want. But maintaining a positive, fun vibe will go a long way towards helping you get there. It’s important to remember that being rejected is part of being social. Of course you are not going to succeed with each and every girl. So you didn’t get her number, but you did meet her friends. And you did make them giggle. And guess what? When you go to the same place next weekend, they will remember you. You are building familiarity and attraction simply by going out with your friends and staying positive even when it doesn’t go the way you want. Now the next time she sees you, she knows you, and this puts you way ahead of the other men in the bar. You are not going to win them all. Each person is attracted to something different. It could be looks, confidence, or a sense of humor. Let me put it this way: you may be offering pizza when she is hungry for Chinese. Don’t try talking her into liking something she doesn’t want. Once you realize it may not be happening, go on about your business and create a fun evening for yourself and those around you. And who knows? She may look around, see everyone smiling and having a great time with you, and become intrigued. Accept that you are not everybody’s cup of tea. It is okay. In fact, it’s part of having a good attitude.


YO U A R E A L R E A DY AT T R AC T I V E There is always work to do on yourself. But, if you feel good about yourself, you are going to feel attractive. And when you feel attractive you are going to be attractive to others. • Keep your body active; it’ll have a great effect on you both physically and mentally. Try weightlifting or running. You will feel most attractive when you exercise on a regular basis. • Work on your career; it’s another way to build confidence. When you have success in one area of your life, it will spread to other areas of your life. A hardfought promotion at work can easily give you the swagger and confidence to take a few shots at that cute redhead on the dance floor. It is important that you have a positive view of yourself before you start the learning process. Put together a list of all your strong qualities. If you are having a hard time with this, ask close family and friends to help. This is essential in developing a healthy mindset.

INTERESTED PEOPLE ARE INTERESTING Your hobbies and interests are attractive no matter how nerdy you believe they might be. There is a fan and groupie for everything under the sun. Your passion for this or that is what separates you from everybody else. It defines you. It doesn’t matter if you’re into role-playing games, chess or debate clubs. There are women looking for you. In this age of internet technology, it is very easy to find people who share your interests. Just go to sites like or look up local groups on Facebook where you will find others with similar interests and hobbies. When you show your enthusiasm for the things you have going on in your life, you will attract like-minded people who you can bond with. This will also help later when we discuss the idea of creating a connection. Get into you. Put a list together of all your interests and what things you have the most fun doing or want to do. If your list is full of things you would like to do, make an action plan today for checking some of those items off the list. Perhaps it’s time to get off the couch and start having some fun.

REAL MEN ARE ASSERTIVE Be clear and assertive. It will speak volumes about your character. It shows confidence and decisiveness, two qualities that are very attractive to women.


Attraction is natural. Do not feel bad about your intentions. Instead, act on them. When you see someone you like, introduce yourself. Tell her you’re interested. Most women are looking for a man who is able to lead and who knows what he wants. Think of a successful interaction as a car: you are the accelerator and she is the brake. If she likes you there will be forward movement, if she doesn’t, the car will slow down and eventually stop. If the car stops then she’s probably not that into you and you can move on. Be Assertive: and you will not miss a window to move the interaction forward. This also allows her to play her role as a woman. When she feels like a woman, she feels sexy. And when she feels sexy, she feels good hanging out with you. This will benefit you greatly in your attempts at a successful interaction.

THE VERY GOOD AND THE VERY BAD When it comes to meeting people for the first time, they only remember the very good or the very bad. Everything else becomes blurred together. While you are out having fun, a woman will be approached by numerous men, especially if it’s a busy evening. If you were to go over and introduce yourself and it fizzled out then you would simply blur in with all the other guys - no harm, no foul. This is the norm. And it’s not at all a bad thing. If things do not go well one week, you’ll have another opportunity next week. Not only that -- she sort of remembers talking to you. She identifies you as one of the cool guys. You seem to be part of the scene. If you meet her again, she may even introduce you to her friends. All results -- bad or good, win or lose -- will benefit you greatly. If things go badly, simply focus on what you can do next time to make it better. For example, let’s say you’ve never approached a stranger at a bar. For you, doing that is a huge victory. It might not be for a person who does this regularly, but who cares? This is about you. Stay positive. Learn from your results. Apply the knowledge I provide in this book. Use it to practice again and again so you can gain as much experience as possible. And remember to celebrate the small victories. Don’t judge yourself. Soon, you will see improvements. Things will start happening. It will, no doubt, be challenging, but the success you will gain from fully engaging in this book will change your life. Now let’s get started.





CHAPTER 1 You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know “Whether or not you can never become great at something, you can always become better at it.” - Neil deGrasse Tyson Men often have a long list of things they think are “true” about themselves. They think that they’re no good at sports, or bad at painting, or awkward at socializing. But no matter what you think you can’t do, the real answer is just that you’ve never excelled at it until now. The past is always prologue to where you’re standing right now. What you think you can’t do is just something you haven’t done until now. What you think you’re bad at is just something that you’ve struggled with in the past. The past is out of your control. How you proceed is not. The first way that you begin making positive change in your life is by accepting responsibility for your own future. The best time to give up bad habits is 30 years ago. The second best time is right now. This sounds scary at first, but really it’s liberating. Once you accept that Superman isn’t going to fly down and save you, you realize that no one can change things for you but you. Rather than being frightening, this is empowering. It means that you have control over your life.

You determine your own future.

YOU CAN MASTER SOCIAL SKILLS Learning social skills is a unique area of human skills. Some people don’t believe


that social skills can be learned in the first place. Still others recognize that social skills can be learned, but shy away from professional coaching to bring their game to the next level. It’s not really debatable whether or not social skills can be learned. No one is born with social skills. Anyone who has ever spent time with a baby, toddler or most teenagers can attest to this. Social skills are mostly learned through trial and error. No matter how bad a person’s social skills might be, it’s sort of a miracle that they have any in the first place. Think about evolution for a second. What natural advantages do humans and other primates have? We’re not all that strong compared to predator animals or even to a number of leaf eaters like elephants. We don’t have the claws of a tiger or the jaw of an alligator. The genius of evolution, however, has given us something far more powerful than any of those things: a highly evolved set of social skills. Without them it would’ve been impossible to build the first fire, never mind create some of the marvels of human civilization like the Chrysler Building, the Internet, or the International Space Station. Some guys are just “born with it” -- which really means that they are exceptional learners. And you know what? Some guys are natural born artists. It doesn’t mean that the rest of us can’t or shouldn’t take art classes if it’s something that we enjoy and want to get better at it. Even natural born artists can benefit from the structure of a formal art program. What else is art school for? Other guys know that social skills can be learned, but believe that’s for someone else. And I get that. Social skills are a very sensitive subject. It can be hard to admit that you need a bit of coaching to take your game to the next level. You can master social skills and you don’t have to reinvent the wheel doing it. The men I’ve seen run the gamut from having way worse social skills than you to having way better social skills than you. And I can comfortably say this without knowing anything about you. It’s a broad spectrum, but using the proven techniques in this book, I’ve seen guys with bad social skills become guys with good social skills. I’ve seen guys with good social skills become guys with great social skills. And I’ve seen guys with great social skills become... well, nothing short of dangerous.

MORE THAN JUST WOMEN A lot of guys want to learn social skills so that they can be more proficient at picking up women. I’m not opposed to that. However, I have a “quality over quantity” approach to this question. I do want you going on more dates, but I also want you going


on better dates with better women. But honestly, if all you get out of this is a better way to get phone numbers, this book has not done its job. The social skills taught here have more benefits than that. For example: •

Corporate type guys working hard in the world of business trying to climb their way up the ladder will be able to play the all-important political game much more effectively. Leadership guru and Harvard Ph.D., Daniel Goleman, found emotional intelligence accounted for two-thirds of the effectiveness of business leaders, much more than their IQ or level of work experience. “Neutron” Jack Welch, long-time CEO of GE, said, “A leader’s intelligence has to have a strong emotional component... No doubt emotional intelligence is more rare than book smarts, but my experience says it is actually more important in the making of a leader. You just can’t ignore it.”

If you’re in sales, the importance of social skills is undeniable - they are crucial in the creation, development, and maintenance of client relationships.

Social skills are even critical in math- and science -based jobs, the last place you’d expect to find them in play. For example, when a manager at AT&T Bell Labs ranked his top-performing engineers, social savvy had more to do with his choices than IQ.

Entrepreneurs probably don’t need to be told that social skills are the biggest thing that will make or break their success. If you want to meet the right people, secure funding, manage a team, and make smart hires, you’re going to need highly advanced social skills.

In short, if you want to be a leader - if you want to rise to the top of the pack being good isn’t good enough. You need social intelligence. Beyond work, a lot of adult men complain that they can’t make friends after a certain age and that their old friends just aren’t doing it for them in the same way. Or maybe they just moved to a new city and need to make some buddies for nights out on the town. The social dynamics training that this book and The Art of Charm offers is useful for all social interactions - romantic, personal and professional. It’s all about recognizing different types of people, knowing how to deal with them, projecting and sharing your own confidence and -- of course -- getting what you want out of every interaction while simultaneously making the world a better place than you found it in. And really, isn’t that all any man wants out of life?


S P E C I A L N O T E F O R T H E B L A C K B E LT S Some guys are, no doubt, saying to themselves “Who cares? I’m already good at that stuff.” Here’s what it comes down to: How you do anything is how you do everything. You can’t charm some of the people some of the time. You have to charm all of the people all of the time. The truly attractive men do just this and it’s why I recommend charming everyone you meet as a form of practice.

TWO CASE STUDIES: THE ALPHA MALE VERSUS THE SOCIAL AMBASSADOR To further illustrate this point, I’m going to give you a case study in two different male archetypes: The Alpha Male and the Social Ambassador Pickup Artists often aspire to be the “Alpha Male”. After all, he’s the top dog, the guy that gets all of the girls, the man that everyone wants to be. Right? Well, maybe not… Do me a favor and imagine the stereotypical Alpha Male. You probably know someone like him, and you almost definitely knew someone like him when you were in college. He’s loud, he’s obnoxious, and he’s aggressive. He drinks his own weight in Jaeger bombs every time he goes out. There’s always something wrong with women, especially ones that aren’t falling prey to his rather dubious “charms.” When it comes to men, they’re fine, but whatever they’re doing, he’s already done, and he’s done it more, faster, better, longer, whatever. Why anyone likes being around him is anyone’s guess. How he gets women back to his place is obvious: There’s never any shortage of women in this world with low self-esteem. Now let’s talk about the “Social Ambassador”. In many ways, he’s the exact opposite of the Alpha Male. He’s confident. In fact, he’s so confident that he really doesn’t care what other people think about him. He’s not worried about looking cool, tough or “dominant” (he just wants to have a good time). He’s an affable, easy going, laidback sort of guy - the type of guy you’d chat with at a bar about the game. He’s quick to point out the accomplishments of others. He’s usually pretty darn successful in life, yet he’s humble and treats everyone around him with respect. Most importantly, he doesn’t “pick up” women - he’s a cool, social guy who naturally has romantic interests in his life. Which would you rather be? Who do you think gets more and, more importantly, better women in his life? Who do you think has the best parties, the coolest friends and feels the best about himself when he lies down to fall asleep at the end of a hard day?


It’s the Social Ambassador and it’s why he’s beloved by both women and men. Think about it! How many of your guy friends would love to chill out with a guy like this over a couple of beers? In an age where many people assume that powerful men are entitled, self-centered douche bags, the Social Ambassador is both a man’s man and a ladies’ man. It’s because he is confident, interested in building up those around him and has an ineffable quality we’ll talk about in the next chapter: Value.

I’M AWESOME, YOU’RE AWESOM E, HE’S AWESOM E Whatever you want to get out of your social life, whether it’s meeting women, landing the perfect job or having an entourage of amazing friends, you do it one way: by being so totally awesome in every way that you never have to tell anyone how awesome you are, and by having so much awesome to spare that you can give it away to everyone around you. The good news? You’re already almost there, champ.

T H E S E C R E T O F B E I N G AT T R AC T I V E When I say that someone is attracted to you or that you’re attractive throughout this book, I mean it in a very specific way. What I mean is that there’s something about you that people like that causes them to want to get to know you better. It’s about time you learned a little secret about being attractive: It has very little to do with what you look like, what you wear, how much money you make, what you do for a living, how nice your apartment is or how much you paid for your car. Being attractive has everything to do with how you make other people feel. Who do you want to be around? The awesome guy who makes you feel as awesome as he is or the not-so-awesome guy who wants to drag everyone else down to his level? As human beings we have a natural inclination to want to be around people who make us feel good about ourselves. When you become the guy that makes everyone feel like a million bucks, you’ve got the keys to the kingdom.

BEING A SOCIAL AMBASSADOR But this isn’t about “feel good” talk or any other kind of cheap pseudo-therapy tricks. This is about applying a number of techniques and skills to become the best man that you can be. These skills apply to all areas of your social life, whether it’s talking to


women, acing a job interview, or making friends after you move to a new city. How different is charming a woman back to your place for a night cap from charming your way into a job where you might not be the most qualified candidate? How hard is it to take skills used for chatting up women and use them to chat up a group of guys so that you aren’t spending the night alone at the bar? Perhaps the best part of these skills is that they tend to build on one another. The better you are at talking to women, the better you are at chatting up potential bros. The better you are at talking to dudes, the better you are at charming your way into the best job you can imagine. The better you are at all of these things, the better your social life is and the better your overall life becomes.

THE ART OF CHARM The Art of Charm isn’t just the name of my company. It’s also what I, and everyone I work with, are seeking to teach you. Charm, like conversation, is a lost art. Back in the day, men weren’t just prized for their brawn or how much money they made; they were also celebrated for their charm. Things might have changed since the 20s or the 60s, but one thing hasn’t: Charm is an indispensable part of being a real man. Not only does it open doors for you in friendship, romance, and business, charm also transforms you into a better man. Charm is more than just having manners. In fact, manners and charm can sometimes come into conflict. While it’s never charming to be rude, it is sometimes charming to make an inappropriate joke or to verbally spar with someone. The key point is, you always want people to walk away from an interaction with you feeling good about themself and feeling good about you. That is the art of charm.

A LWAY S B E C H A R M I N G It’s sort of an unofficial motto here at The Art of Charm: Always Be Charming. Charm everyone. The girl who rings you up at the grocery store. The little kid who loses his soccer ball. Your boss. Your girlfriend’s family. Anyone. Because practice makes perfect. Charm isn’t just something that improves your life. It improves the lives of all those around you and makes the world a better place. Indeed, it’s one of the ways that we can be the change we want to see in the world. For example, if some douche starts


making fun of you at a bar, you have two choices: 1. Be a douche back. 2. Be friendly. Being a douche back does little more than lower you to his level. I’m pretty sure that being a douche isn’t on your list of life goals. Further, it makes him more of a douche, because he now has to one up you. On the other hand, if you respond by laughing at his “joke” and extending your hand for a handshake, you throw him off guard. He doesn’t know what to do. And believe me, fewer things will put a douche on his best behavior faster than giving him nothing but sugar and honey in response to his bottle of vinegar. I’ve seen this happen time and again. Some guy who hasn’t grown up much since he left high school makes a snide remark and one of my guys shoots a smile and a handshake back. Soon, the douche is buying shots and trying as hard as he can to be my guy’s best friend. Charm works. Friendliness is far more effective than hostility. Cooperation beats out competition every time. Bringing a little extra light into the world might not save it, but it will make your corner of it an easier and more pleasurable place to live. That’s why at The Art of Charm we all strive to use every interaction we have to make the world a slightly better place. It might sound like a lot of work, but once you get in the habit, it will feel as natural as breathing. Most of what you’re about to learn is stuff that just makes sense. You won’t need me to convince you that it works. Try it out in the field and see what happens. No faith is required. I’m a scientist about this. You’re about to become your own personal social science experiment. Try my techniques, see what happens, then try them again and see what happens. Go into it with an open mind, no expectations and I’m confident that you’re going to be more than pleased with the results.


P R E -T R A I N I N G Q U E S T I O N S AN D E X P E R I M E N T S 1. Pay attention to guys at a bar talking to women. What do they do? Does it work? What are they doing that you’d like to emulate? What are they doing that you would never do? 2. Make a list of things you feel that you’re “just no good at.” Now start thinking in terms of not being good at these until now and things that you can get better at with practice. 3. What characters in fiction, TV, and movies, do you feel that you are most like? Now what characters do you most want to be like? Think about why you think you’re like some characters and why you’d like to be like others. 4. Make a list of the obstacles in your life that you believe are holding you back. Think of reasons that you don’t want to continue these behaviors. Frame your answers in a positive way that makes you want to do better rather than beating yourself up for not being “perfect” right now. 5. Think about why social skills are so important, both in your life and for human beings in general. Now list five ways that your life would be significantly harder if you had no social skills. List another five ways that civilization would be impossible without highly developed social skills in all humans. 6. List five ways that charming total strangers can reap benefits. 7. Remember the last time you were out and some random stranger decided to be a douche. How did you react? How might you have reacted better? 8. Give a genuine compliment to five total strangers throughout the course of a day. How do they react? How do you feel when you do this?


CHAPTER 2 What Is Value? There’s one concept that underpins everything we do at The Art of Charm: Value. Indeed, the concept of value is the cornerstone of attraction: women find highvalue men attractive, and they find low-value men unattractive. In this next section, I’m going show you what value is and how to increase your own value. My clients tell me that this is their favorite part of my curriculum. So pay special attention.

W H AT M A K E S A M A N AT T R AC T I V E ? I define attraction as “curiosity” or “interest” - it’s that initial feeling you have that makes you want to get to know someone better. It is not necessarily sexual, although it can be. So given this definition, what makes a man attractive? What is it that sparks that initial interest that makes people (especially women) want to get to know you better? Six pack abs? A $100K sports car? The sharpest wit in town? Well, I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that looks, money and a strong sense of humor don’t matter (because they definitely help). What I will tell you is that they aren’t the most important thing. After all, a homeless guy can be good looking, but most women wouldn’t find him “attractive”. There are tons of 90-year-old rich guys that no woman would go to bed with. Most stand-up comics are hilarious, but are rarely thought of as “sex symbols”. Indeed, there is something else - an “X’ factor, if you will - that really makes a man attractive. And what is this “X” factor? It’s not money, it’s not fame, it’s not even looks. It’s an


ineffable something that needs its own term.

VALUE The dictionary defines value as “relative worth, merit or importance.” While that’s a good place to start, it doesn’t give the whole picture. Value, as I and The Art of Charm defines it, is essentially made up of two, interrelated components that combine to make a person’s overall value: 1. Inner Value: This is the sense of self-worth that any person has. It’s what you think of yourself, whether or not you think you are a person of value and how you feel you fall into the overall social pecking order. 2. Social Value: This is the value that we give to others during an interaction. When you impart value into someone, you are giving them social value. You have an unlimited supply of this to give away, however giving it away too freely can decrease your perceived inner value. The way that you act, particularly around other people, shows what kind of value you have for yourself. Later in the book, I’m going to show you four different men representing four different types of value. These men act quite differently, in large part because their internal value causes them to try and gain social value in sometimes radically different ways. In watching how they act in a social setting, we get a few “do’s” and a whole lot of “don’ts.” Most importantly, I’m going to show you how in every interaction a person is either adding value to, or taking value away from the interaction. People who have high value tend to add that value to the interaction. People with low value tend to take away from it, causing stress and anxiety in others. This is why confidence and other highvalue attitudes are attractive to everyone - they not only bring something to every interaction we have, they also make us feel at ease by subconsciously telling us that it’s OK to have a good time. While men with high value come to an interaction with value to give away, men with low value try to beg, borrow and steal it any way that they can. This causes them to look for approval and acceptance from others. Indeed, giving social value is largely the act of giving attention, acceptance and approval to another person. Those who look for attention, acceptance and approval from others are generally perceived as awkward and uncomfortable to be around. Conversely, those who give away attention, acceptance and approval to others are seen as fun and exciting. Men who feel that they have low value don’t all behave in the same way, though. Some men try to compensate for the value they feel is lacking by trying to


beg it off others. These types of guys often try to get others to tell them that they like them, or else they just avoid social interaction entirely so as to not lose any more value. Other men think that they get value by bragging about their various and sundry accomplishments. And still others think they obtain value by cutting down others. None of these work, however, because other people intuitively recognize that these are signs of low internal value. Further, they make a person dreadful to be around. Think about it: How much do you like being around a braggart, a guy who always has to one-up your stories, a guy who is always cutting other people down, or a guy who is always begging you to tell him how much you like him? Yet these are the ways that most men go about getting social value, whether they realize it or not. Contrast this with the high-value person. He doesn’t need others to give him value. He knows that he has all the internal value that he needs and is happily willing to give some out to people who don’t think they have any. It’s not so much that he likes pleasing other people as he likes living in a world with lots of interesting, self-assured people. “The more the merrier” is the motto of the high-value man, who understands that he has an unlimited supply of internal value -- and so would everyone else if they just knew how to tap into it. How does the high-value man give social value? The bottom line is that he makes others feel good. He can do this by complimenting them, or by listening to what they’re saying, or in a million other ways that convey interest and acknowledgement. Low-value men also give compliments, listen and show interest. However, in many cases this can be for the purposes of gaining value for themselves, not giving it away to other people. Body language and tonality go a long way toward making the difference between being a value philanthropist and a value beggar. I’m going to show you how to be the former throughout the course of this book.

H OW TO B E CO M E A H I G H VA L U E M A N There are two complementary ways to increase your social value and become a high-value man. 1. Increase your actual social value. You do this by making new friends, dating beautiful women, mingling with high-value people, throwing unforgettable parties and living a life others envy. This is the longer, more difficult path but provides the greatest benefit. 2. Increasing your perceived social value. This is the focus of this book and the best way to kick start your personal value engine. You do this by “acting as if” and


doing it all the time. It’s not sustainable over the long term - eventually you’re going to have to actually increase your social value - but it does get the ball rolling.

T H E VA L U E S C A L E The main way to understand value is through what I call the “Value Scale”. The Value Scale is a model I use to talk about how people with different value levels act in the same situation. At the end of this book you’re going to be following four men on a night out at the bar. These guys are archetypes. They act in deliberately caricatured fashion to help you grasp what behaviors are associated with each type of value. Most people fall along different places on the Value Scale at different points during their life. In fact, in a given day, most people might find themselves in many different places on the Value Scale. Still, you’ll probably find that you identify with one place on the Value Scale more than others. When reading anything about the Value Scale, it’s important not to be judgmental. Remember, the ability to recognize behaviors that you no longer want to engage in is the name of the game, and the place where lasting, meaningful change begins. Your ability to recognize these behaviors in yourself automatically means that you are not, repeat not, “that guy”.

T H E F O U R A RC H E T Y P E S O F VA L U E Supplicative: Ryan The first one we will be dealing with is a supplicative value. It is considered the lowest of the values. A supplicative person generally looks for value because they don’t feel very good about themselves. They look for others to give them attention, approval and acceptance. The body language and tonality of a supplicative person is inward. This means they might look and sound small. The head will be down, the arms crossed, the voice soft. This type of personality generally won’t be taking up much space and will be on the quiet side.

Combative: Brad The second value we will be discussing is a combative value. A combative value is another form of low-value behavior. Except where the supplicative


behavior looks and begs for value the combative behavior is aggressive and looks to take value from others. The body language and tonality of a combative person is generally outward. They might overcompensate by taking up too much space and being overly loud so everyone knows they are in the room. They brag incessantly and look to take value from others by putting others down around them. The more people are walking on eggshells around them or are afraid of them, the better they feel about themselves.

Competitive: Doug The third value is competitive. He is the one-upper kind of guy. At first glance he might seem like an OK kind of guy. Then you start speaking to him and it seems like he always wants to top everybody. He’s not much of a listener; he’s just waiting for his turn to talk. The body language and tonality of a competitive guy is nothing noticeable. He usually has some aspect of his life supplying the value he needs to be a rather laidback person. Perhaps his job or hobby gives him the external confidence. He needs to relax and find an internal source of value.

Cooperative: Adam The last and highest value we will be discussing is the cooperative value. Rather than looking for value from other people, the cooperative person realizes that he has all the value he needs. In fact, he can see his value on a daily basis when he gives, rather than seeks to take, value from others. When he gives attention, approval and acceptance to others, the cooperative person sees how they react, he understands how good it allows others to feel, and he knows how good is allows him to feel. The best part about this is that when he is practicing this cooperative attitude, he sees how others go out of their way to give value back. The body language and tonality of a cooperative guy is one of confidence and in-the-moment flair. Head is up, shoulders are usually down and back with a relaxed feel. There is no need to overcompensate. This guy knows how to go with the flow.


EXPERIMENTS 1. Spend a night out. Take stock of different behaviors you have and where you think they fall on the value scale. Don’t berate or judge. Just objectively note the information. 2. On another night out, try and notice the different value scale archetypes. Pay special attention to Adam. What does he do? Why are people so keen to be around him? At the same time, don’t ignore the other people lower on the value scale. Why do people avoid these types? 3. Try and emulate any of the four archetypes I’ve described for an evening. Pick one that isn’t “you.” How does your behavior follow your thinking? How does your thinking follow your behavior? 4. Now spend a night out being as Adam as possible. Consider yourself the social expert in all areas, whether you actually are or not. How does thinking like Adam make you act more like him? 5. Before you head out for the evening, spend 15 to 20 minutes visualizing the perfect night out. Do this every time that you go out for a month. Note any significant results.





CHAPTER 3 Chapter Three: The Process Every trade has a set of best practices used by professionals. These practices aren’t arbitrary. They’re used for the purpose of getting maximum results using the most efficient techniques. They exist so that each successive generation of tradesmen doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel. I, along with my colleagues at The Art of Charm, teach something we call “The Process of Interaction” or “Process.” It’s basically a set of best practices for social interaction. You can use it when you’re trying to talk to a woman at the bar, or get a guy to be your gym buddy, or make a deal with a business owner. No matter what you’re trying to do, the process provides a map, a way for you to navigate the social interaction by breaking it down into the following phases: • Approach • Banter • Qualification • Rapport • Closing I’ve got a chapter dedicated to each phase, so I won’t get too in depth here. For now, I’ll give you basics so that you can see how the process will take you from meeting a total stranger to getting what you want from the interaction. Approach is when she first sees you, not the other way around. She notices you the moment you enter the bar. It’s why I place such a strong emphasis on “acting as if.” Act as if you are the attractive, confident type of man that she wants to talk to. Banter begins when you first start talking to her. It’s light, playful conversation that is content free. The back and forth interaction of banter will intrigue her and create


that “spark” of attraction that women love. Qualification is when you let her know she has your interest, and that you want to find out more. This makes her feel good about herself, alleviating any anxiety or fear of rejection that she might feel, and making her comfortable enough to move to the next phase. Rapport often begins with small talk. What do you like about your job? Do you like where you grew up? The discussion eventually graduates to more intimate conversation. Tell me about your childhood? Regardless, rapport is more “real” and less “silly” than the banter stage. Closing is when you try and achieve your goal. At this point, you let her know what you’re after and start doing and saying things to get her to give you what you want. In a sense, you are doing this throughout the entire process, but it becomes much more focused here. This is when you seal the deal and get the phone number.

W H Y N OT S TA RT W I T H Q U A L I F I C AT I O N ? There’s a good chance you’ve seen this guy at some point in your life. He approaches a woman at the bar and starts telling her how beautiful she is, how much he likes her hair or what she’s wearing, or whatever. The woman might be flattered, but she probably isn’t all that interested. She’s already seen all his cards, and they don’t look promising. People like praise, but random, unwarranted praise can impact the interaction in a very negative way. More often than not, it comes off as insincere or signals an ulterior motive. To a woman, you will seem like a guy who is just trying to “score.” In the worst-case scenario, you appear menacing and aggressive, or far too eager to please, both of which are signs of low value. Bear in mind, your praise holds little value if given too easily. People do not value that which they have not earned. Remember when you were a kid and you worked really hard to save up and buy something with your own money? How much more did you love that when compared to the stuff your parents got you for Christmas? Freely given praise won’t mean much to the recipient - and neither will you. By the way… if a woman qualifies you right away, feel free to qualify her back, but tread lightly. The types of men who freely give praise and the types of women who freely give praise aren’t all that different - they’re frequently low value.


W H Y N OT S TA RT W I T H R A P PO RT ? Imagine you’re standing at a bar and someone comes up to you asking all manner of personal questions. You don’t know this guy or anything about him. But he wants to know everything about you: what you do, where you live, what your childhood was like, how you got to this bar, and what you plan on doing after the bar closes. How on edge would that make you feel? In short, this is the biggest mistake guys make in a social setting. Even though the questions - generally about work, family or living situation - are relatively innocuous, they’re still very personal. You’re essentially bombarding a person with demands for private information in the first thirty seconds after you meet. Even if she is content to answer your questions (and don’t take that as a given), you’re probably creating immense anxiety with your inquiries. This will make establishing a meaningful connection all the more difficult. If you are looking to chat up women, starting with rapport carries the risk of putting you into the “friend zone,” a place to be avoided at all costs. This is because you are acting as if you’re a friend, asking questions and making conversation that establishes empathy. In fact, the model for rapport is friendship. You’re being the guy who is understanding, sympathetic and who relates to her on an emotional level. You run the risk of making yourself seem like the type of “nice guy” she can call to complain about her boyfriend troubles. Unless that’s what you’re aiming for, don’t start with Rapport.

W H Y N OT S TA RT W I T H C LO S I N G ? Think of a man who skips past the appetizer and the entrée, and moves straight to dessert. That’s the kind of man who starts with closing. It’s not sound nutrition, nor is it sound social dynamics. Let’s stay you start making out with a girl or getting into some hot and heavy dancing. It’s very likely that her girlfriends will start talking, wondering what she’s doing with that strange guy (that’s you). By rapidly escalating and not taking the time to release some tension with banter, she may feel like you are only physically into her and not worth her time beyond one evening. Starting with your close will never get you the quality network of people that you’re looking for. At best, it’s going to get you a network of very shallow, superficial people. At worst, you’ll come across as superficial to everyone you meet. Remember, the important part of any interaction is to add value. When you go right for the touchdown without even lining up the play, not only are you doomed for failure, but you’re also not adding value.


E X E R C I S E S : T H E P R O C E SS 1. Go out to a bar, club, picnic or another social setting you feel comfortable in. Try initiating different interactions using each of the five phases in the process. Note the results. 2. Reflect on the last time you went out to meet women before reading this book. Where did you most often start in the process? What other phases of the process did you use? Did you go in order? What were the results? 3. Take a piece of notebook paper. Write as much as you can about where you normally start in the process, what order you usually go through, and which areas of the process you are stronger at. Write out how you think going through the process in order will help you to achieve more of your social goals. 4. Focus on how the process plays out in a single interaction. Put that interaction under the microscope and break it apart in a manner similar to the third exercise.


CHAPTER 4 Attraction and Approach Madison Avenue didn’t lie: You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Pass muster and you’re sailing much smoother waters. Fumble and you might never earn the other person’s interest, trust or respect. But you knew that already. You’ve seen the guys who have women, buddies and bosses eating out of their palms. How do they do it? How do they make themselves so damn attractive? The answer is simple. These men have figured out how to make a great first impression. And this is what approach is all about. Anytime these men approach another person, they project the following: • Positive Energy • Social Presence • Confidence These are the three key things that will help you make a great impression. Master them, and soon, you too will have women, buddies and bosses eating from the palm of your hand.

T H E S PA R K O F AT T R AC T I O N So what exactly is attraction? In science, attraction is when one thing is drawn to another, like a magnet to steel. Attraction can also describe the way one person is drawn to another person. When someone is attracted to you, it means he or she is interested, intrigued, and curious to find out more. At The Art of Charm, attraction at its base starts with curiosity and interest. When you become interested or curious about someone you are by definition


attracted to them. Think about it, when you meet someone for the first time and you are interested in them, you probably want to get to know more about this person. Attraction, will almost always happen within the first few seconds of meeting. Why do you only have a few seconds? Well, you can blame evolution for that. Tens of thousands of years ago, humans developed the ability to make snap judgments based on very little information. It’s what the “gut instinct” refers to. We carry this type of split second decision-making, or “thin slicing,” with us today. This concept of thin-slicing is featured heavily in Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Blink, and in the television series, Lie to Me, where the main character (Dr. Cal Lightman) reads micro-expressions on people’s faces to determine their guilt or innocence. Bottom line, a woman will decide if she’s going to sleep with you within the first few seconds of meeting you. Whether you call it thin slicing, gut instinct, or women’s intuition, it happens immediately and often on an unconscious, irrational level. That’s why the approach is so important. But you don’t have to be Dr. Cal Lightman to make this work for you. Just make a good first impression; it’s little more than the most rudimentary hack for thin slicing. And I’m going to show you how.

G O O D V I B R AT I O N S : C R E AT I N G PO S I T I V E ENERGY Creating positive energy will immediately jump-start your game. And it’s much easier than you think. It involves two things - your smile and your energy.

Attraction Fundamental #1: A Good Smile That’s right. You have to smile. So congratulations, you already know how to use one of the most important tools for attraction. But even though you’ve been smiling your entire life, I’ve got some pointers for you. First, you want to make sure you’re smiling with your entire face. This means crinkling the corners of your eyes and lifting your cheeks. When you only smile with the bottom part of your face, your smile tends to look “forced” or “fake”. I call this a “cheese” smile. It’s the kind of smile you’ve made 10,000 times in photographs you didn’t really want to be in. Smiling isn’t just about looking good. (Although people will instantly note that you look better for reasons they can’t quite pin down.) Smiling also has verified health


benefits: • A boosted immune system • Lowered blood pressure • Reduced levels of stress • A rush of endorphins and serotonin While you make your way through a bar or networking event, try smiling. It says, “I’m friendly!” It makes you appear non-threatening. It changes the way people receive you. So smile and watch how everyone else in the room is soon smiling with you. Have trouble smiling? You’re not the only one. Here’s a process to find your authentic smile.. 1. Stand in front of the mirror. 2. Remember a time when something really hilarious happened. 3. Think about it until you are genuinely laughing. 4. Look at the smile your face settles into. 5. Try and recreate that smile as best you can. If you’re headed out for the night, it’s not a bad idea to spend ten minutes checking out your smile and even exaggerating it a little. Practicing your smile, like practicing anything, helps you get better. You will get better at maintaining a natural, sincere smile. It also warms up and stretches out your face muscles, making it easier for you to go back to the type of inviting smile you’re going to want to show.

Attraction Fundamental #2: High Energy A smile is great for a lot of reasons, but to fully establish good vibes, you need the right energy level. Your disposition should be one of high energy, but only slightly higher than the person you are talking to. The appropriate level of energy goes a long way towards increasing your attractiveness. High energy means that you have a positive disposition and allow others around you to open up and have fun. This means that not only are you smiling but also you are backing that smile up with warmth and a great attitude. It is important to keep things positive and not judgmental. You want to be adding to the group and not taking away from their fun. Why? Well, a high energy level infects the group you are with, raising their overall energy level. The others will begin to associate you with the rising energy levels.


They will think, “Oh look, the party’s here.” While a slightly higher energy level is nonthreatening, a much higher level can come across as aggressive or obnoxious. So don’t overdo it. What if you are naturally low energy? Or perhaps you want a quick boost right before a big business meeting, a night out with the guys, or approaching a girl. You can do this with coffee or an energy drink, but I recommend more natural solutions. Try performing some light exercise, or listening to music that gets you “pumped.” You will notice that, with the right energy level and a genuine smile, people will begin to look at you differently, as if you are suddenly more attractive. Are you taller? Have you done something with your hair? Did you lose a couple pounds? Of course not. You have simply become that high-energy, dynamic man that others like to be around.

S W A G , M O J O A N D C L A S S : C U LT I V A T I N G A SOCIAL PRESENCE So maybe you’ve tried changing your style to mimic some famous celebrities. But having a social presence has nothing to do what you wear or how you cut your hair. Rather, it’s about having good eye contact and the right posture.

Attraction Fundamental #3: Eye Contact A lot of guys have trouble with this one, and it’s usually that they don’t have enough eye contact. Eye contact is absolutely crucial to cultivating a social presence. Scientific studies have shown that eye contact is linked with the following: • An increased chance that a person will remember you. • An increased chance that you will remember another person. • An increased sense of arousal. • An increased level of attraction between two people. • Heightened activity in areas of the brain associated with socializing. Need help building eye contact? Here’s an exercise I’ve designed to do just that. 1. Go out somewhere very public. 2. While walking down the street, try making eye contact with as many people as you can.


3. Once you have made eye contact, make them break eye contact. Do not be the first person to look away. If you’re worried about getting called a creep, slapped, or punched out, don’t be. If anyone takes offense, just laugh it off, apologize and tell him or her that you’re working on your eye contact. The answer is so bizarre that he or she won’t know what to do, other than keep walking.

Attraction Fundamental #4: Posture and Gait Walk like a man, my son. That’s what it’s all about. Think of some of the baddest, toughest dudes who have ever lived. We’re talking about men like John Wayne, Mike Tyson and Bruce Lee. Look at how they walk. Do they skulk around meekly, head hung low, and shoulders hunched forward? No they don’t! We call it walking with a purpose. All you have to do is walk as if (and act as if) you’re a man who’s in charge of the world. There’s also something feminine about not walking with a tall, strong gait. Women usually try to look small and demure. Men, on the other hand, often try to take up space and appear larger. For a more manly presence, try striding with your shoulders open and your head tilted back. This will improve your posture, giving you that masculine swag that women love. Bonus Tip: If you’re looking for an instant hack for improving your gait, try putting on a pair of cowboy or biker boots. They make you taller, and the additional height forces your body to adopt a more upright posture. You will see a noticeable change in the way you walk. If cowboy boots are not your dress style, don’t worry. Just pull down your jeans and no one will be the wiser. They will only see your decidedly manly swagger. And they’re going to love it.

KILLING THEM WITH CONFIDENCE It’s no secret that confidence is attractive to women. In fact, most women will tell you that it’s the most attractive quality in a man. That said, I’m certainly not going to try and tell you that building confidence is easy. It’s not. For some men, it’s a constant process. But just because you haven’t been confident around women in the past, doesn’t mean you have to always be this way. Statements such as “I lack confidence,” or “My smile looks weird,” or “I’m just a low-energy person,” are all nonsense. Who you were in the past isn’t the same as who you are now, or who you will be. Remember that the choices you make today dictate who you’re going to be tomorrow.


Attraction Fundamental #5: Be Carefree “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” - Rhett Butler, Gone With the Wind The American Film Institute voted this line the number one movie quote of all time - and most women will tell you that it’s also the SEXIEST movie quote of all time. Why is that? Why do women love the “bad boy”? What makes him so attractive? To put it simply - he doesn’t give a damn. He’s EXCITING, he’s playful, even a challenge, and he doesn’t need anything from her. And that’s exactly what you should try and be - not the part about being a “bad boy” but the part about being playful, non-needy and carefree. If you have nothing to fear, or “give a damn” about, then the whole world becomes your playground. Even if this is not the case, “fake it until you make it,” a principle now broadly recognized as having scientific merit. Don’t think about the job or car you wish you had, or the women you want to sleep with, but can’t - nothing external or outside of you. Instead, focus on what’s inside of you. Think about the kind of man you want to be. And then start acting like that’s what you already are. Walk around like you’re on top of the world, like a man who doesn’t need anything, because he already has it. There are two psychological states that help you appear more carefree nonneediness and non-approval-seeking. Once you assume these emotional attitudes, you will seem more confident. And this type of carefree confidence is especially important in the early phases of the process.

NON-NEEDINESS People hate neediness. When a man needs attention and validation, he will suck energy from the group. When you enter a conversation, you should be adding energy, not taking it away. Increasing the energy level of the group will make you more attractive. Needy guys do the opposite. So when you go out, be carefree; remind yourself that you don’t need anything. You’re just along for the ride, going with the flow, seeing where the night takes you. If you are worried about coming off as disinterested, standoffish or rude, don’t be. You’re simply not dependent on anyone else to show you a good time.

N O N - A P P ROVA L - S E E K I N G Forgive the clunky term, but “non-approval-seeking” was the best I could do. You


know the approval-seeking man, the guy who constantly needs validation from others to reassure him that he’s okay, that it’s all right for him to relax and have a good time. An approval-seeking man is an even bigger buzz kill than a needy man. He sets people on edge. Neediness drains energy while approval-seeking behavior causes a nervousness and anxiety than can spread to the entire group. Conversely, the non-approval-seeking man never needs permission to relax and have a good time. He always enjoys himself. He’s the first person to start nodding his head to a song he likes, and the one on the dance floor before anyone else. That’s why he often has a gang of chicks surrounding him, dancing nearby and desperately pretending not to notice him. A non-approval-seeking man’s lust for a good time is unhindered by feelings of social anxiety or shame. This gives everyone else permission to relax and let go. He quickly becomes the center of every party, but it’s rare that anyone knows why. All they know is that they like being around him.

Attraction Fundamental #6: Decisive Action I have something called the “instant approach” rule. It requires that you approach a woman immediately upon seeing and selecting her. And I mean immediately. The easiest way to do this is take the first step towards her when you see her. The trick is that by moving towards her, you do not allow your conscious mind to begin to rationalize why things might not work. That first small step leads to the second and third steps, and before you know it you will be right in front of her smiling and ready to banter. Women find instant approach very attractive. It’s because approaching is a masculine act. Many women complain, “There are no real men left,” and that most men are passive and wait for them to approach. It’s part of the reason why “assholes” get all the girls. If nothing else, they have a decisive approach. Being assertive and going for what you want is part of being a man. Take charge and you will easily set yourself apart from the pack, and define yourself as a confident, high-value man. Now - because this may be a little bit hard to picture - I’ve put together this short video that shows you exactly what this looks like in a live social setting. This video is normally reserved exclusively for members of the Art of Charm Academy - but I’ve made it available to you here whether you’re a member or not because it so perfectly demonstrates what you just read about.


Go watch it here now:

B U T W H AT I F I ’ M TO O S C A R E D TO A P P ROAC H ? A lot of guys get nervous about approaching women. That’s normal and natural, but to be a high-value social operator you must overcome this anxiety. If your subconscious is afraid to approach, your conscious mind will manufacture any and all reasons why you shouldn’t talk to her. This is why I advise men to develop a habit of approaching immediately upon seeing a woman they like. Not only is decisiveness attractive, it also leaves you very little time to overthink things. If you want to do better with women, you must push yourself to approach. I realize that it’s easier said than done. But this is something you’ll have to confront eventually. Remember, it’s up to the man to approach. And the only real way to get more comfortable is by doing it, and doing it often. My methods are based on a psychological concept known as graduated exposure therapy. It’s a technique used by psychologists to help people overcome phobias, anything from heights to snakes to approaching women. It allows you, through systematic desensitization, to conquer your fears by starting small, and then slowly building to bigger fears. So let’s say that you want to get more comfortable approaching women. A simple graduated exposure “ladder” would look like this: • Day 1: Go out and smile at 10 women. Most will probably smile back. • Day 2: Go out and ask 10 women for the time of day. Most will tell you. • Day 3: Go out and ask 10 women for the time, and then ask how their day is going. Most will gladly share a little bit about their day, and keep walking. • Day 4: Ask 10 women for the time, ask how their day is going, and once you have a good conversation going, flirt a little. You’d be surprised how many flirt back. You get the picture. Keep going like this and your confidence will shoot through the roof. Eventually, challenge yourself with tasks like “get 10 phone numbers in a day” or “go on three dates in a day.” You can get there, as long as you break everything down into smaller, more achievable goals.


A P P R O AC H E X E R C I S E S 1. Approach at least one woman immediately the next time you go out to a bar. 2. Spend a night out acting as if you have accomplished all your life goals. 3. Before your next night out, spend ten minutes in the mirror imagining the perfect approach. Make sure to include the six attraction fundamentals: a good smile, high energy, eye contact, posture, and a carefree attitude along with immediate and decisive action.


CHAPTER 5 Banter and Building Attraction Banter is the second phase of the process. It’s the part where the two of you are just hanging out. There’s a good deal of joking back and forth, being silly, and kidding around. What could be more relaxing than that? Banter is frequently the missing piece in a man’s toolbox of attraction. Not only does banter grease the gears of social interaction and create the embryo of connection, it’s also fun. And that’s what socializing is supposed to be.

THE SECRET OF BANTER The banter phase is like the foundation of a house. Take your time with it, and you’ve got something really solid to build on. Rush through it, and you’re going to spend every rainy Sunday for the next twenty years caulking the basement. Which would you rather do? The secret to banter is to keep it light, playful and slightly teasing. • Light: Avoid serious topics. • Playful: Insert a jokey, silly element, but never be sarcastic. • Teasing: Banter is, in effect, playfully teasing and flirting. You can easily add a teasing element by role playing and exaggerating the situation. Banter lightens the atmosphere, relaxes those involved, gives the other person a silly role to play, and allows the interaction to flow in an easy, natural way.

GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR INNER 10 YEAR OLD In this phase, I want you to think of yourself as a precocious 10-year-old boy, one who is endlessly self-amused, and who doesn’t need approval to have fun. Once you get into that playful mindset, you will naturally assume an attitude that is both non-


needy and non-approval-seeking. These two terms should sound familiar. They were useful during approach and they are useful in banter as well. Let’s review: Non-Needy: Needy behavior is poison for social interaction. It makes you appear low-value and puts a great deal of pressure on other people. They can tell you’re looking to them for something, but they don’t know what it is and they’re a little put off that you’re looking for anything from them in the first place. If, however, you interact in a playful banter with the other person, you don’t need anything from him or her. You’re getting everything you need from yourself. Non-Approval-Seeking: Bottom line, you shouldn’t need approval from others. A 10-year-old doesn’t need approval to have fun. And neither should you. You’re giving yourself all the approval that you need. This attitude will create a sense of high value, while also allowing others to relax. You aren’t trying to get their approval, so they don’t have to worry about whether or not they “have” to give it to you. Finally, acting like you’re already a bit chummy helps with the “fake it until you make it” concepts discussed throughout this book. Acting as if you two are already close won’t instantly create closeness. However, it will break down resistance, allowing you the opportunity to create a real connection. When you act like a friend, you’re seen as more like one than not. So why am I telling you to act chummy if you’re trying to avoid the Friend Zone? Well, there are different ways that people are friends with each other. Often times when a man ends up in the Friend Zone, it’s because he started in rapport rather than banter. Rapport is the more serious mode of friendship. It’s the friend you call when you’re having troubles or want to talk about your day. Banter, on the other hand, is what you do when you just want to hang out, be silly, laugh and goof around. The former will land you in the Friend Zone. The latter makes you potential boyfriend material.

S TA RT I N G B A N T E R Banter should begin within the first five seconds after the approach. When first starting out, I recommend that you have a list of banter lines at your disposal. Think of them as “banter training wheels.” You can modify them any way you like (provided that they remain light and playful). Once you really get the hang of it, you can start keeping a list of your own. After a while, you won’t even need a list. The true master of banter knows how to make things up on the fly, adapting his banter to any situation.


Here are some lines I use in my Art of Charm workshop: • “You came over here just to flirt with me, didn’t you?” • “I figured I’d give you another chance to compliment my ass.” • “Can you stop staring at my ripped arms? It’s making me nervous.” • “You should go back to your friends. They’re going to notice that you’re flirting with me.” • “You’re going to have to try harder if you want to take me home tonight.” • “If you kiss me on the cheek, I’ll think about letting you forgive me.” • “I hate to do this in front of your friends, but we need to break up.” • “I promised myself I wouldn’t date bad girls anymore. Get out of here.” • “Let’s see your game. Try and pick me up.” • “It’s don’t have to buy me a drink to get me to talk to you.” • “You would look really hot with a purple mohawk.” • “Stop trying to undress me with your eyes.” • “This was supposed to be a brodeo night but then you showed up looking all cute.” • “When we go on our first date make sure you cut the crusts off my PBJ sandwich.” • “Let me hear one of your pickup lines.” • “You look like you’re about to get into some trouble tonight.” • “I can tell you and your girlfriends are total players.” • “I can’t go home with you tonight. I have to work early tomorrow.” Notice that some of these don’t even make sense in the context of meeting her for the first time. For example, you obviously aren’t going to break up with a woman that you’ve just met. What they do, however, is create a sense of fun and play. The girl knows as well as you do that the two of you aren’t going out. That’s part of what makes it such a good banter line. It is a classic role play that allows her to play along with a breakup without asking her to be vulnerable.

COMMIT TING TO THE INTERACTION When you banter, it’s very important that you commit to the interaction. By this I


mean, once you’ve picked a banter line, you need to go with it. Let’s take “You look like you’re about to get into some trouble tonight.” It’s one of my favorites here at The Art of Charm. You walk up to a girl at the bar and deliver your banter line. She gives you a confused look and says, “What?” Repeat the line with a beaming smile. She still doesn’t get it. “What do you mean by that?” she says. Committing to the situation means that you don’t abandon ship the second you encounter difficulty. It means that you keep pressing on until you get her to smile or laugh. So you answer her question with another line of banter that follows from the first. “Y’know... bank robberies... liquor store holdups... that kind of thing.” At this point, she should be in on the joke if she wasn’t already. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to stop bantering. On the contrary, banter has really only just begun. She might answer you with something like, “No, not tonight,” to which you can respond with, “What about next weekend?” When she says that, no, she does not have any bank robberies planned for next weekend, you can come in with something like, “Great, so you’re free for a date?” Again, you aren’t asking her out on a date. You’re defusing the tension in a potentially awkward social situation by making her laugh. If she says, “Yeah, I have some liquor store holdups planned for Friday,” you say, “Great! Do you need a getaway driver?” or “Cool, because I’m an undercover cop trying to find the culprit behind a rash of hold-ups.” Do you see what’s going on here? Generally the more ridiculous you can get with a banter line the better. They make girls laugh. Women love a guy with a sense of humor. Don’t be afraid to push the envelope and go a little over the top with your banter.

HOW YOU KNOW IT ’S WORKING You may be asking yourself how you know if things are working, and the answer to that is very simple. If she is laughing, seems relaxed, and is reciprocating the banter, then you can be certain that your chances are very good. What will that look like? 1. She’s slightly turned her body towards you 2. She’s smiling or laughing 3. She’s reciprocating and asking you questions 4. She’s touching you in any manner


If she is doing any of these, continue to move forward by showing a little interest through qualification. The ice has been broken and she is now ready for the conversation to get real. If however, you are not seeing any of the above, you can use our tried and true safe exit. It looks something like this: With a big smile, let the group know that it was “Awesome meeting you guys but I have to get back to my friends. Have a great night!” This works because no matter how poorly it went, you can leave on a positive note, and your smile will let the other people in the room know that things are all right. You never want to get reactive and make a negative comment no matter how negative someone may have received your approach. These are the moments that keep the night going and getting negative is a sure sign that the night will not be going your way.

T H E OT H E R H A L F O F T H E E Q U AT I O N : B O DY LANGUAGE Your body is always saying something, whether you’re aware of it or not. Banter is not only verbal, but physical too. It’s not just what you say, but also how you hold your body while saying it. Women are experts at reading body language. It takes place subconsciously, on a very visceral level. Even the most clever banter line will fail if your body language is off. This is why we need to stick to the approach fundamentals from earlier in the book and make sure we always smile when we deliver any banter line.

PO S I T I V E B O DY L A N G U AG E V S . N E G AT I V E B O DY LANGUAGE It’s about more than just your smile and posture. It’s also about the way you position your body compared to hers. What do I mean? Well, in order to banter successfully, you need to shift between what I call positive and negative body language. •

Positive Body Language: The angle in which you are facing towards someone. For example, when you face a woman directly, face to face, you are giving her “fully positive body language.”

Neutral Body Language: When you are standing directly side by side with the person you are interacting with. This position is most comfortable for both of you because you can easily hear each other and stand close enough that you can touch without reaching.


Negative Body Language: The angle in which you are angled away from someone. Turning your back on someone, for example, would be considered “fully negative body language.”

When bantering, I don’t recommend fully positive or fully negative body language. The former should be used sparingly because too much face-to-face, direct interaction at this early stage can make the other person feel awkward and anxious. The latter, turning your back on someone, is just downright rude. You should always try to carry almost all of your interactions from the neutral position with a sprinkling of positive and negative body language to move things forward, and to get her to chase after your attention a bit. Thus, when I say “give positive body language,” I just mean “angle more towards the person,” and when I say, “give negative body language,” try and turn slightly away from the person you are speaking with. Remember to always maintain a light and playful tone regardless of what type of body language you are giving.

U S I N G N E G AT I V E B O DY L A N G U AG E When you approach, you should briefly give her positive body language, but when you get to her, pivot your body so that you are standing side by side. Make sure your hips are angled away from her, but not so much that you can’t have a conversation. You never want to fully face her while speaking but instead, comfortably stand or sit next to her; shoulder-to-shoulder. Talk to her “over your shoulder” to create a bit of negative body language between the two of you. Lean away when she’s talking to you. This creates a healthy, natural distance. It also allows her to chase after you a bit. And lastly, keeping your weight on the foot farthest from her will make the entire process a lot easier. The great part about this is that you can quickly gauge her interest in you based on how much she fights to gain your attention. Negative body language can often be the hardest thing for a guy to get right. Don’t be worried if it takes a bit of practice. Check out this video to see negative body language in action:

USING POSITIVE BODY LANGUAGE Once you move further into the banter process, you can give more and more


positive body language, which is to say, you can slowly turn towards her, until the two of you are almost, but not quite, directly facing one another. But in order to banter successfully, you need to alternate between negative and positive body language. So turn your body away, on occasion, to relieve pressure and avoid awkwardness. Go out and take a look around any bar and watch how others interact. You will notice that good friends don’t speak directly facing each other. Those who are arguing do. So why would you speak to somebody you hardly know that way? Angling your body will ease the tension and pressure off of meeting someone for the first time. Oh, and did I mention that touching is a big part of body language? Once you touch her even once, she’s going to start touching you big time.

BODY LANGUAGE: THE LINE BETWEEN INTIMACY AND AWKWARDNESS An old friend of yours comes up to you, stops when his toes touch yours, and gives you intense eye contact. Then he smiles and begins telling you something funny about his day. Feels pretty uncomfortable, right? It’s probably why people don’t normally talk this way. Yet when people are out at a bar or a club, or networking with new people, they often think it’s both acceptable and advisable to give that kind of intense and fully positive body language. Standing shoulder to shoulder with a person feels a lot more comfortable because it creates the psychological space required for the both of you to maneuver in. Without that, the people you are speaking with feel as if you are performing for them, or worse, that they are expected to perform for you. Controlling your body language and using it effectively allows you to open up just the right amount of space so that everyone feels more comfortable. It also allows you more control over the conversation. For example, you can reward them for saying something you like by turning your body slightly towards them. What’s more, giving negative body language after you deliver a banter line sends a message that you’re not seeking their approval and you aren’t attached to the conversation. In fact, you don’t even care if it continues. Proper use of negative body language can be a very strong hook for attraction. It gets her to start chasing after you, rather than the other way around, which is basically the goal.


TO U C H I N G : H OW TO S T I M U L AT E A S T RO N G CONNECTION Touching is a large part of communication and in many cultures its importance can be overlooked. Think about the most sexualized and romantic cultures in the world today. What did you come up with? France, Italy, maybe even Spain. What do all of these countries have in common? They use touch as an integral part of their communication with one another. In order to communicate naturally and to allow people to feel comfortable with your touch, it must be used as a tool near the start of the interaction. Have you ever been talking with a woman and wanted to get closer to her and realized the next thing would be to touch her and it seemed difficult or a million miles away? If touch was part of your communication, then you would have already been there and it would seem to be no big deal. Now the cool thing about touch is that it carries its own communication. Whatever you are thinking and feeling can be transferred through your touch. For instance, we talk about being playful and fun when first meeting someone and if you use touch to help communicate this up front you will see that for the rest of the interaction you will not have to think much about it. If she likes you and feels good about your first impression, you have just opened up the door for her to touch you back. The barrier of touch is now broken and because you are so comfortable with it she will be too. We mentioned that confidence goes a long way in allowing people to become attracted to you. Well touching also communicates confidence, sometimes even better than posture or verbal communication can. Get it, dig it and rule it! A really great and simple way to incorporate touch early into an interaction is the high five. They are always fun and playful, which is exactly what you are aiming for during the banter stage, and they are almost always naturally reciprocated. I also like to touch her arms and shoulders in a light playful way to “check in” and make sure she is following along with my witty banter. Check out this video to see how to touch her confidently during an interaction:


B AN T E R E X E R C I S E S 1. Set a reasonable goal for a number of women that you want to banter with on any given night at a club. Pay attention to the results and try to determine what you did right and what you did wrong. 2. Incorporate banter into your conversations with people you already know. Note the differences and similarities between previous interactions. 3. Try stepping up your banter game with a girl who has friend-zoned you. How does it change the dynamic of your relationship? 4. Observe other men out at the bar. Do they banter? How does their banter, or lack thereof, have an effect on their interactions? 5. Play with your body language. Notice how it changes the character of your interactions. Do women “chase” you with their body language? 6. Notice other people’s body language when you go out, particularly the people who are talking to you. What does their body language tell you about how they feel about you and the interaction? 7. Spend time working with touch. The more practice, the more comfortable you will be, which in turn will allow others to be comfortable with it. Use the back of your hand to tap people on the shoulder when cracking a joke or showing appreciation. 1-2 seconds is all it takes. Don’t worry if it comes off a little awkward at first, it can take a little time. Before you know it you’ll be a pro! 8. When at the club, if it’s busy, feel free to place your hand on someone’s back to get them to step forward as you glide by. They will, it’s a natural response. 9. Take Salsa lessons, or some other dance class, offered in your community. I like Salsa because it is a dance that is very physical and will allow you to get comfortable with close contact and touching. The great thing about it is that these classes are usually packed with more girls than guys, and they will be very appreciative of you being there.


CHAPTER 6 Showing Interest, or Qualifying Many men believe that it is bad to show interest in a woman they just met because it may come across as needy. In fact, some men have even been taught to avoid showing interest at all in an interaction, and even to show active disinterest. The problem with this mindset is that it makes it very hard for the other person you are dealing with to know if you are being real or simply playing with them. I believe that the best way to begin to connect with someone is to show interest in them after you have built some initial attraction through a solid approach and banter. That is why this step is the transition between attracting and connecting. It allows the other person to know you are actually interested in them, and helps you build rapport on a solid foundation. Think of qualification as a gateway to further interaction. It’s the point at which you tell a woman, new friend, or potential business partner that he or she has made the cut.

T H E I M PO RTA N C E O F S H OW I N G I N T E R E S T In psychology, there is a concept known as reciprocal liking, which means people with healthy self-esteems will like people who think positively of them. Basically by showing approval they feel comfortable in opening up, sharing and reciprocating the attraction. Do you remember back in school when you would ask a friend to ask a girl if she liked you or what she thought of you? If it was favorable you went ahead and asked her out, if it wasn’t you would move on to the next one. Well that’s exactly what you are accomplishing through qualification. Showing interest helps her feel comfortable in opening up and being receptive to


moving forward. The more comfortable she feels with you, the more open to sharing she becomes, which in turn draws her closer to you.

WHY WE QUALIFY THE OTHER PERSON When people want approval or sell themselves to others they will look for opportunities to talk about themselves hoping to show their self-worth. We have been doing this for years. Ask any women about it and I am sure you will get some funny stories of guys taking this over the top to impress them. In fact, the men that do have the confidence to approach will most likely deliver a bunch of indirect lines that state how great they are and why they are such a great catch. High value, self-confident people do not feel the need to qualify themselves, they let their presence and body language do that for them. Here’s the key: always qualify others. Never qualify yourself. It’s the difference between “I’ve picked you” and “Please pick me.” The former is a sign of high value and the latter signals low value and desperation to please. Not qualifying yourself creates intrigue and attraction. Every guy at the bar is bragging about how awesome he is, how great his car is, how much money he makes, and how he has the best apartment at the best address in the city. Here’s the thing: No one actually believes him, and if they do, there’s a good chance that they don’t care. Want to stand out from all the other guys at the bar or club? Don’t qualify yourself. This will leave people asking questions. Who is that guy? What’s his deal? How can I learn more about him? You’ve just ignited their interest and curiosity. And that’s exactly what attraction is.

QUALIFYING YOURSELF A lot of men have the habit of qualifying themselves to others. It can take some work to realize when you are doing it and how to stop yourself. Remember, we want to reverse the frame so that we are no longer chasing after women, and they are chasing after us. Men are used to qualifying themselves to women. It’s a biological thing. Think about it. A ridiculously hot woman walks into the club and your heart starts racing, your palms get sweaty, and your mouth dries up. Your body is trained to look for an attractive mate, one who will carry your DNA down the time stream. While men generally use physical attractiveness to determine who is a suitable mate - does she


look good enough to carry my babies - women are looking for status. First of all, it creates a “ceiling.” You will only ever be as cool as your job, car, or paycheck. And second, when you qualify yourself in such a way, you come across as approval-seeking and needy. And, as I have mentioned before, this type of behavior kills attraction. I can’t it emphasize enough. Qualifying yourself kills attraction. Don’t do it. How do you know when you are qualifying yourself? Basically, it’s anytime you talk about the following: • Your income • You job • Your possessions • Your past achievements Every time you brag or talk about how great you are, you’re qualifying. You’ll be happy to hear that none of it is necessary to create attraction.

QUALIFYING OTHERS Rather than qualify yourself, I want you to qualify others, or at least give them the opportunity to do so themselves. A woman, particularly an attractive one, already knows she’s hot, and knows you think so too. It’s not that she doesn’t appreciate it, but letting her know that she’s pretty just isn’t enough. You have to qualify her in areas other than her physical beauty. She’s looking for a deeper appreciation of who she is as a person. Try telling her that she’s funny, intelligent, or that you admire what she does for a living. Qualifying her in such as way is critical to the success of your interaction.

WHEN SHE QUALIFIES HERSELF Sometimes you don’t even need to qualify her. If you are patient, good at banter, use the appropriate body language, and ask the right leading questions, you can get her to qualify herself. The first time this happens, you may not quite believe it. It must be your lucky day. The woman you are chatting up is trying to prove that’s she’s cool enough to hang out with you. All you have to do is agree with her. Qualifying is the bridge between banter and rapport. The banter stage is all about breaking down the protective barriers that people put up in social situations. And


the rapport stage is all about actually getting to know the person. Qualification connects these two phases of the process, letting you transition from one to the other by telling her you’ve accepted her, that she’s passed your filtering process, and that you want to get to know her a little bit more.

THE BASICS OF QUALIFYING: METHODS, TECHNIQUES & HELPFUL TIPS While qualifying is probably the briefest stop along the process, it’s arguably the most important. It’s when you show her that you aren’t just another guy trying to get into her pants. You also want to show her that she’s not just another chick out at the bar, that’s she’s special and different. It’s absolutely crucial that you handle this step correctly. It’s the difference between being just some guy at a bar, and being the guy she’s been waiting to meet.

T H E A B U N DA N C E M E N TA L I T Y One way to improve your qualifying game is to “act as if” you already have everything that you want and more to spare. I call this the abundance mentality. To get into this mindset, try pretending that you have ten women who are desperately in love with you. Also, get out there and meet as many people as you possibly can. Doing so will help you get into an abundance mentality because you are “acting as if” you already have all the women and all the friends you need. As an added bonus, when you go out a lot and meet lots of people, you’re going to have things to do all the time, or at least whenever you want. Even if you just go out and meet a bunch of guys, you’re still creating a situation where you have social abundance.

CO M M I T TO T H E Q U A L I F I C AT I O N People in general, but women in particular, are trained to spot BS. She knows the difference between a genuine compliment and someone blowing smoke. So does everyone else that you’re talking to. Those who don’t know the difference generally aren’t people that you’re going to want in your life. When you qualify a woman, you have to do so sincerely and with full commitment. A qualification can be as simple as, “You’re pretty cool!” or “I like you! You’re all right!” But you have to actually mean it. And that commitment to what


you’re saying has to come across. Otherwise, you’re going to seem like a needy man qualifying because you think it’s what she wants to hear.

ASK LEADING QUESTIONS The ultimate goal is to get her to qualify, or sell herself to you. This indicates that the typical process - you chasing after her - has been reversed and she’s now chasing after you. A great way to do this is with leading questions, ones that invite her to qualify herself. When done well, she won’t notice. It will just seem like a natural part of the conversation. The key to asking leading questions is to preface them with some kind of vague qualifier. This can be just about anything, provided that it is general and you actually mean it. Here are some examples: • You seem pretty cool! • Hey, you’re all right! • I dig you! • Well, I’m glad I started talking to you! • You know how to party! In general you want to avoid anything that refers to her looks because we’re trying to distinguish you from all the other guys who are only interested in her because she’s hot and they want to take her to bed. Otherwise, just about anything is fair game. Once you’ve prefaced with a vague qualifier, you can deliver your leading question, a line designed to get her to qualify herself: • What’s your deal? • Tell me about yourself. • What are three things that I would never guess about you? These questions are open-ended. She can tell you whatever she wants. Her response to open-ended questions tells you more about her than she realizes. Once you get a feel for qualification, you can start using your own questions. They will be more effective because they come from the heart. But for now, take one of mine, make it your own and use it until you get more comfortable with this part of the process.


ACCEPT HER WHEN SHE QUALIFIES HERSELF When she qualifies herself, accept and appreciate her. If you don’t validate her, she will start to think one of two things: you’re above her level or you’re a snob. Either way, she’s going to lose interest and start looking for someone a little more attainable. Responding to her qualification of herself is a two-part process. First, validate what she says and then ask another question. Take a look at these examples: • Her: I’m an actress at night, but I wait tables during the day. You: That’s great! Are you looking to get into film or television? • Her: I was born in Canada, I have a pet Chihuahua, and I have about ten thousand different kinds of moisturizer. You: I love exotic Canadian women. When did you move to the United States? • Her: I just finished college and I haven’t found a job yet, but I’m looking to work in social services. You: Very cool. I loved college. You must be a really compassionate person to want to work in that field. How did you get interested in it? It’s important to let her know that what she says to impress you is actually cool... provided that you think so. And the follow-up question is vital because it helps you segue into the next phase of the process, rapport. Another way you can reward her is with positive body language. Keep in mind that positive body language should never be given away freely. You should save it for moments like this. When she qualifies herself, turn towards her, open up your body and don’t be afraid to touch her. These are all non-verbal ways of validating her.


QUALIFYING EXERCISES 1. Keep the idea of showing interest in your mind and on the tip of your tongue, so that when banter and teasing work out well you let her know you are interested. Remember once you get some smiles, reciprocating banter, and positive body language, you know the banter is working. When things are moving well let her know you think she’s cool or that she’s rad and you dig it. Anything that shows appreciation for her participation. 2. Do a little review of the last time that you went out. Did you qualify? Did you spend more time qualifying yourself or others? 3. For the next week show interest and appreciation for the things that people are most proud of. Ask open-ended questions to help get a decent answer you can use. For example, if she mentions she is a nurse or works in a law firm, let her know why you think her job would be cool. Always try to keep things positive. 4. Go out to the bar. Pretend that you have so many women interested in you that you don’t even have time to add another one to your phone. How does having an abundance mentality affect your behavior? 5. Think of five high value people in your life. Think about their actions and how they treat others as equals. Think about the way they show their appreciation for the positive traits and attributes of others. 6. Count the number of times that you qualify yourself in a night.


CHAPTER 7 Creating the Connection with Rapport While banter breaks down initial resistance to connection, rapport is the stage where we build connection into something more significant. Rapport transforms what would otherwise be a superficial meeting at a bar into something truly fulfilling for the both of you. It’s what takes an interaction from playful to substantial. Perhaps most importantly, it allows you to make lasting connections with quality people. And isn’t that why you’re going out in the first place?

WHY WE ENGAGE IN RAPPORT Whether you’re flirting with the ladies or BS-ing with the fellas, banter is a lot of fun. What’s more, many times there’s no reason for the interaction to progress beyond it. In fact, rapport serves a very specific function: to bring the interaction to the next level by creating, through self-disclosure, an emotional bond between you and the other person. In short, rapport is when things start to get real. Reserve it for only those you want to connect with. Once you proceed, you’ve moved beyond smiling, joking and you have shown some interest in them. Now is the time to find out who they really are.

T H E K E Y TO C R E AT I N G A CO N N E C T I O N I S VULNERABILITY The most important part about creating a connection is allowing yourself to open up and be vulnerable. This is often the most difficult part of the process for us as men to accomplish. We are taught through our formative years to avoid showing


weakness and letting our guard down because we need to be strong. However, real men know the moments to show vulnerability and the moments to show resilience and when you are trying to create a true connection with someone, vulnerability is one of the keys to success. What is the first thing you think about when you think about the word “vulnerability”? It is easy to think that we mean being weak or open for attack, but it actually means sharing and openness with the person you are talking to. This is where both creativity and connection are born. When you open up and speak from an emotional foundation you are open for connection. Through leading the interaction, you will create a space for the other person to then open up on a deeper level and you begin to develop trust for one another. It is difficult to ask someone else to open up first and feel vulnerable or weak. As a man and a leader you have to get comfortable with opening up first because this allows others to follow your lead. The good news is that we are opening up after we have built mutual attraction for one another through banter and qualification. The more comfortable you are at expressing yourself, the easier it is to connect. It takes practice and can be a bit intimidating because when you allow yourself to be vulnerable you put yourself at risk for ridicule. If you are not comfortable with yourself, it is going to be a hard thing to do. However, the process is setup to first allow you to be playful and break the tension before you completely open up. If you have followed the steps correctly, you will have begun to build mutual attraction and rapport can solidify those feelings for you in the other person. Putting yourself out there means risk, which is scary because it is the unknown but without taking risks, you will often be closed off from genuine connection. At the Art of Charm we take the risks and enjoy life because we have faith in ourselves and the process. In this chapter I am going to lay down a few simple steps known as the Rapport Cycle to help you understand what it takes to be vulnerable and create that solid connection.

THE RAPPORT CYCLE Rapport is sort of a mini-process within the bigger process of social interaction. Ideally, it’s where you want to spend most of your time. Note that rapport doesn’t have to be - and preferably is not - a super heavy


conversation about how your father doesn’t really love you, or all about your dreams and aspirations. Rapport can range from light to serious, from what you like about your job, to deep, existential discussions about the meaning of life - although I don’t recommend getting into any of that with someone you just met at the club. I have developed a sub-process called the rapport cycle. It breaks down rapport into four manageable steps that you can repeat over and over again in order to build connection: 1. Searching: Start the rapport cycle by searching for common interests. 2. Recognizing: Then, actively listen to what the other person has to say, and let them know, with both your words and body language, that you’re listening and like what you hear. 3. Building: Take what you have heard and offer your contribution, building the connection on an emotional level. 4. Moving On: Once the topic of conversation is spent, take note and move on.

SEARCHING Ever been out somewhere and there’s some guy talking to you about something at length, and PS, you couldn’t possibly care less? Annoying, isn’t it? Well, you can avoid being “that guy” by trying to find topics that are of mutual interest to you and the person you are talking to. I call this “searching.” Searching involves asking questions until you arrive at a subject that both of you care about. The following are bad examples of searching questions, but ones that I overhear at bars all the time: • “Do you come here often?” • “What do you do for work?” • “Where do you live?” • “Did you grow up around here?” These questions are bad because they are closed questions. They require, at most, a couple of words for an answer, and then that part of the conversation is over. Compare the above questions to the following questions, which basically ask the same thing, but in a more open-ended way: • “How did you start coming here?”


• “What do you like about your job?” • “What’s your apartment like?” • “What was it like where you grew up?” Open-ended questions allow for further conversation in a way closed questions do not. They provide more opportunities to engage and interact. They also allow you to better gauge if she is actually interested in you. The more the other person begins to add to the conversation, the more interested in you they are becoming. Searching questions do another thing that sets you apart: Most guys will think she’s hot, but not many of them will show interest in her personality, or who she really is. Asking her to talk about herself let’s her know that you are interested in her as a person.

RECOGNIZING Recognizing is when you show appreciation for what she just said. You don’t have to gush over whatever it is that she’s told you. On the contrary, you want her to keep talking! In this step, the key is to take what she has just told you and find what you appreciate about it. This step requires active listening on your part to make sure that you are able to recognize something you can appreciate. Recognizing not only lets others know you’re listening, but that you’re interested in what they have to say. This will motivate them to continue sharing with you. And you’ll be remembered as a guy who cares about what other people have to say. A common complaint that women have about men is that they often do not listen and that is why recognizing is so important. You’ll really stand out from the crowd by being a guy with good listening and recognition skills.

BUILDING So you’ve asked the searching questions, found a shared interest, and listened to what she has to say about it. Now it’s time for you to contribute. If you have no idea what to say, don’t panic. Just try and identify the emotion behind what she’s saying, and then match it with a story of your own. By doing so, you are relating to her on an emotional level. And that’s what builds connection. For instance, if the emotion behind what she’s saying is pride, you might tell a


story about becoming captain of the football team and how it made you feel proud. Call the emotion out. I like to use the intro, “I don’t know how it felt for you, but for me...” Make sure you use “I” statements. Offer your perspective in a way that denotes ownership of your own feelings. For example, if you’re talking about work, you can say something like, “Well, personally one of the things that I find rewarding about my work is...” and then offer something meaningful about what you get out of your job. This is another way to show that you are interested and listening to what she has to say. It also builds upon your connection by putting yourself in the vulnerable position. This gives her the signal that it’s okay to open up a little more. Building is a useful analogy for understanding what rapport is in general. Think of a bridge being built. Bridges are rarely built from one side of a body of water to the other. They are more often built from both sides towards the middle. Every time she offers something to the interaction, she’s building her side of the bridge. When you offer something in return, you’re building your side. Eventually the two of you will meet in the middle.

MOVE ON! Eventually, even the most interesting topic of conversation exhausts itself. You run out of things to say and start repeating yourself, or struggle to find new things to say. Either way, the conversation becomes awkward. If you persist in talking about it, you become the guy who wouldn’t shut up about whatever it is that you were talking about. What you want to do is notice when one or both of you are getting bored and take charge by changing the subject. Do this by returning to the start of the rapport cycle and asking her another open-ended, searching question. This is how you find a new topic of conversation, one that she finds interesting. While changing the subject in the middle of a conversation can be jarring, it’s usually a welcome relief when a topic has run out of steam. If you allow for a brief pause, ask another leading question, and then transition to the next topic, she’ll be glad and grateful that you did.

MOVING BETWEEN BANTER AND RAPPORT Going back and forth between banter and rapport not only keeps things from getting too heavy, but allows for a more natural conversation. Remember, women and men - love a good sense of humor but it is also important to show a deeper side to you as well. That is why you will often find great conversations will have a balance of


both depth and humor. Now when you do insert a couple lines of banter, keep in mind, do it with a big smile. Ever been in a situation where you made a joke and things got really awkward because no one else got that you were joking? Avoid this by giving the proper nonverbal cue and smiling.

C R E AT I N G A S A F E S PAC E I’m not a touchy-feely kind of person. But I do believe in doing what works. One way to get someone to open up during the rapport cycle is to create a place where they feel safe to volunteer information about themselves. Remember what I said earlier: Revealing private information and personal feelings puts a person in a vulnerable position. In many cases, it’s prudent to start rapport by sharing a little about yourself, especially if the other person appears guarded. This will show that you’re interested, and help the other person feel more comfortable sharing with you. This technique is a combination of searching and building. You let her see who you are (building) and then segue into a leading question (searching). If you ask her what she likes about her job and she seems interested in the subject, but isn’t offering a lot of information, you say “Well, personally, what gets me up in the morning other than a paycheck is...” and then say, “What about you?” You’ve just shared something about yourself, made yourself vulnerable, and told her that it’s okay for her to share back.

M A K E E M OT I O N A L A S S O C I AT I O N S If you ask a man what he did yesterday, he’s likely to give you a fairly cold series of events. If you ask a woman, she’s likely to tell you about the events, and then how she felt about them. So while she’s talking, you want to start making emotional associations based on what she’s saying. Take a look at the following examples of a series of events that typically happen throughout the course of a day, and an emotion you can associate with them: • Shower: Happy • Paycheck: Fulfilled • Eating: Satisfied • Ran a Red Light: Nervous


• Late For a Meeting: Panicked • Phone Call From An Old Friend: Nostalgic Don’t forget that women are more emotional creatures than men. When you make emotional associations, you’re making it easier for you to relate to them in the world in which they exist. You’re no longer focusing on the events themselves, but how they make you feel. You show a small degree of vulnerability, making it easier for her to talk to you, and allowing you to connect with her on a more one-to-one level.

MAKING THE RIGHT CONNECTIONS Above all, rapport is important because it helps us sort through women and find the one that’s right for us. Even if you’re just chatting with guys or a potential business partner, rapport allows you to find the people you want to emotionally connect with. I want you to achieve more than picking up women and getting them into bed. I want you to find and create lasting, meaningful relationships with all kinds of people. Rapport is essential in finding the right men and women to have in your life.

RAPPORT EXERCISES 1. Write down five questions you typically ask during rapport. Now modify them so that they are more open-ended. 2. Have a conversation with a friend. Practice making emotional associations. 3. Spend a night out paying attention to one specific stop on the rapport cycle.


CHAPTER 8 Finishing, Or The Close Closing is just my term for getting what you want out of the interaction. It could be her number, a kiss, a first date, or all of the above. But you’ve got to be a man about it.

TA K E D E C I S I V E AC T I O N If you haven’t figured this out yet, I’ll make it very explicit: Women like men of action, men who aren’t afraid to take charge of the social situation. If the two of you are having a good time, she doesn’t want you to play coy - that’s her job. Instead, she wants you to guide the interaction. She’ll let you know if you’re going too far. While you might be anxious about asking for her number, I recommend that you do it whenever things are going well and you dig her. You’ll regret not asking for her number much more than you’ll regret any potential embarrassment. More to the point, it’s just a phone number. You’re not asking for a night of hot sex or her hand in marriage. You just want to see her again so that you can continue building the connection you share with her. A brief word on getting numbers: I tell my clients to go out and get a few numbers when they’re starting out just to get the anxiety out of the way. After you’ve done this, however, you should only get numbers if you intend to call the woman for a date. You don’t want a reputation as a man who asks for numbers he doesn’t actually want. Nor do you want a bunch of women calling you who you aren’t actually interested in. It’s the best way to ensure you have a phone full of flakes. Save it for the ones that you have some kind of connection with.


QUALIFIERS ARE CLOSERS The secret to a successful closing is qualifying. Yes. You heard right. The phase that I discussed earlier is essential for getting what you want at the end of the interaction. Qualifying her and letting her know you are interested will make a huge difference in your game. Why? Because the key to attraction is the ability to make people feel amazing whenever they’re around you. (But no one respects things they get for free. So make them work for it.) If you want to be well liked, you should tell others, in a sincere manner, how much you like them. It’s not about showing off how awesome you are. If you already know that you’re awesome, you wouldn’t feel the need to tell anyone. It will come across naturally. As a high-value man, you give away value by telling others, “Hey, I think you’re awesome.” And, not surprisingly, they often return the favor. When enough people respond in this manner, you will, without a doubt, become the most popular guy in the room. Always perform the close at a high point in the interaction. Whatever it is that you’re going for - a number, a kiss, or a nightcap back at your place - you want her to associate it with a good time. That way, when she looks back on the interaction - and, by proxy, you - she’ll have positive thoughts and feelings about it. Memory is basically a series of associations between events and feelings, and you want all of hers to be shiny and bright. Bonus Tip: If you want to get her number, try pulling out your phone and setting it up for her. And then tell her to put it in. Don’t make it a question. Make it a statement. While she’s entering the number, turn away from her so she won’t feel like you’re staring at her while she does it. Once she hands the phone back to you, send her a text with your name. This way she won’t ignore your call because she didn’t recognize the phone number. It’s simple, effective and allows you to take charge of the situation. Try this technique once and I’m sure it’ll become a real workhorse for you. After you get your number, don’t act like it’s a huge deal. You just got a number. This happens to you all the time, because you’re awesome. Under no circumstances should you high five your bros after you get the number. There is nothing worse that you can do. It makes her feel like just another conquest and it makes you look way too excited over nothing. Stick around for five or ten minutes afterwards. This shows that you have further interest in her and only seals the deal. When you make the phone call, bring up something that was amusing to both of you to help her recall the positive memories of that night. When you are closing, you need to maintain focus. A quality interaction means a quality number. Here are some ways to keep the interaction on the right track:


• Continue enjoying the interaction by connecting and bantering for a little while longer. • Do not run back to your friends and hi-five them. Act like you’ve been there before. • Introduce her and her friends to your friends. • If you’ve spent quality time with her, you may politely let her know that you should get back to your friends. If you want to mingle more, be aware that she will be paying attention to you and your actions for the rest of the evening so don’t go grabbing numbers and hitting on every girl at the venue. • Gentlemen only get phone numbers of women they intend to follow up with. Do not lead them on. If you are not interested, gracefully exit with a smile. In today’s world - after you get her phone number - it’s very likely that you will do some - if not all - of your initial communication with her via text message. It’s a great, low-pressure way for you to move things forward - and done correctly - it can actually be more effective than calling her up. Trust me - I know. At The Art of Charm we’ve tried some c-r-a-z-y ideas out so that we can present radically effective, proven techniques to our clients - and nowhere have we gotten crazier than we did when it comes to sending text messages. We sent out literally thousands of text messages - tested some downright absurd ideas - and were surprised by some of the thing that always work - time and time again. What we discovered is so profound that we created The TXT Book to show our results and teach you how to become a master texter. You can grab your copy here:

AFTER THE CLOSE: GETTING THE MOST OUT OF A DAT E A lot of men these days don’t know how to date. I encounter this problem all the time in my Art of Charm workshops. Dating just isn’t what it used to be, and I’m not quite sure why. I think it’s a great way to get to know a woman on neutral ground while engaging in mutually pleasurable activities. Also, dating is what separates the men from the boys. Boys ask her if she wants to “hang out sometime.” Men take charge, come up with specific ideas, and ask her on dates.


When you call her for a date, start with some small talk and catching up. Then proceed to the actual scheduling. Avoid the “I don’t know... what do you want to do?” game by having a few ideas ready to go. If she doesn’t like your first suggestion, then you’ve got a couple more in your back pocket. End the call by confirming the time and day. Leave as little up in the air as possible. Remember, you are no longer the guy who makes informal, loose plans. You’re the take-charge guy who leaves nothing to chance. Another common problem I encounter is the guy who’s so used to not going on dates that he isn’t quite sure how to act when he finally lands one. How to act on a date isn’t rocket science; you simply apply what I’ve taught you about the process. Start the date by opening up and sharing some things about you. They don’t have to be “deep,” but they should be interesting. This gives her a feeling of safety so that she can open up in return. The goal here is to grow and deepen the connection you had when you first met. Keep the conversation going, but keep it light and positive. Any time you’re talking about things that excite you or that you have a true passion for, she’s more than likely to be interested. Oh, and grandma was right: Avoid politics and religion. You can get into deep water real fast. Whatever you do, don’t act too cool for school. She already knows you like her. You don’t have to play it close to the vest. At the same time, you don’t want to lavish her with compliments or constantly emphasize what an amazing time the two of you are having. Once or twice during the high points of the date, let her know that you’re having a really great time. Leave it at that. Anything more and you might come off as needy or seeking approval. As the date progresses, feel free to delve into more substantial topics, but keep the interactions moving between banter and rapport. You were a man in asking for her number and scheduling the date. Continue to be a man on the date. Take the lead. When it’s time to move on, suggest it, propose another place and then make it happen. Don’t be afraid to bounce around to several places on a date. It will give her more to remember. Hopefully you end up bouncing back to your place or hers.

G O I N G F O R W H AT YO U WA N T Before everyone leaves for the night, they’ve got an objective. Maybe it’s to get a second date. Maybe it’s to get a kiss. Maybe it’s to get her to go to an after-hours event with you, preferably the private kind that happens in your apartment. No matter what your objective is, you need to state it clearly and go after it.


People aren’t mind readers. She has no idea what you want unless you tell her. Remember, men are the ones pushing the gas pedal and women are the ones putting on the brakes. Moreover, being a proactive closer is just another component of being a proactive, take-charge man, one who not only gets more dates, but higher quality ones. Closing is just the act of going for what you want. If everything else has been going well, then why wouldn’t you go for the close?

FOLLOWING THE ROAD MAP Socializing is hard. Some find it downright impossible. That’s why I break it down for you, taking you step by step through what would otherwise be an intimidating process. Think of it as a dynamic road trip. If you’re driving somewhere you’ve never been before, you’re going to need directions. Don’t get overwhelmed. Just follow the map that I’ve provided for you and soon you’ll be the confident, attractive man you’ve always wanted to be.





CHAPTER 9 The Story In the second chapter, I taught you about value, and briefly introduced to you the four types of value: supplicative, combative, competitive and cooperative. In this chapter, I’m going to revisit these concepts. Ryan, Brad, Doug and Adam are all value archetypes. And by archetype, I mean a familiar pattern of behavior. As you observe these four men and their actions and interactions in a social setting, I will use their behaviors to teach you some “do’s,” and a whole lot of “don’ts,” about the process.

RYAN - SUPPLICATIVE The supplicative personality has the least amount of value. Ryan constantly sees himself as lacking in all value. He tries to beg it off others any way that he can. Ryan’s the type of guy who will get treated like trash by one of his “friends” all day and half the night, but will still run like a well-trained dog when the same “friend” needs a favor. Each and every one of his actions screams, “Please like me.” Ryan will do anything to avoid confrontation and rarely, if ever, asserts himself. He is timid, shy and almost never initiates social interactions. Ryan is a sad case and you’re right to feel bad for him. Often times, Ryan has been pushed around by the world. People around him have convinced him that he has no value through their words and actions. Maybe he’s been victimized in past relationships. Maybe he had a bad childhood. Maybe he never had any self-worth to begin with. No matter what the reason, Ryan has reached the point where he thinks his role is to do whatever makes the people around him happy. At this point, he probably doesn’t even know what makes him happy.

BRAD – COMBATIVE Brad has taken a long, hard look at the world and what it’s done to him. He’s tired of getting pushed around, tired of getting hurt and he has decided to armor himself. Unfortunately, rather than going out and using his unlimited supply of value to make the world a better place, he’s decided to become a total asshole.


Everyone knows someone like this. The meek, timid guy who ultimately decided “chicks dig assholes” and thus he became one. And you know what? He’s right. He probably does get more women than before and he probably does have more friends. However, Brad isn’t attracting the right kind of people. And this is the primary problem of the combative personality. What self-respecting person wants to hang out with a total asshole? The types of women he meets are most likely total head cases, not that it matters much. None of them want to see Brad after he orders them to cook him breakfast in the morning. Brad acts this way because he feels like it gives him more control over his life. When he rejects or belittles someone, his interactions aren’t much richer, but at least he’s playing the aggressor rather than the victim.

DOUG – COMPETITIVE No matter what you’ve done, Doug did it before you did, and he did it better. When you first meet Doug, he’s not a bad guy. He smiles and has a light-hearted sense of humor. He wants to share stories, have a chat, buy you a shot, introduce you to his girlfriend’s hot sister and all that jazz. But things will take a dark turn once Doug feels even the slightest bit threatened. A competitive archetype gets his value from external sources. Often times, it’s how much money he makes, what he does for a living, his material possessions, his workout routine, or how hot his girlfriend is. The problem is that someone will always make more money, have a cooler job, lift more at the gym, or have a hotter girlfriend... unless you’re the most awesome guy in the world, in which case you don’t care about any of that stuff anyway. Doug has to knock everyone down to feel bigger. Because he has an external source of value, Doug is deeply threatened any time he is reminded of that. You know the guy out at the bar who won’t stop one-upping your stories? That’s Doug. Doug could have been Brad or even Ryan. But he figured out that he could attract people by having cool stuff or a fancy car. He likely went to a good college, got a good job and started buying all kinds of things that he felt increased his value. Note that I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with having money and using it to buy cool stuff. Having stuff is great. Go out and get your dream car, your dream apartment, and all the gadgets you want. But don’t ever think it defines who you are or is a substitute for value. It’s not, and you can lose it all at any time. In fact, this is where a lot of Doug’s anxiety comes from: Knowing that he can lose it at any moment.


ADAM – COOPERATIVE Adam is who we aspire to be. Through the teachings in this book, I hope to transform you into the highest value archetype. Adam is the guy that girls want to date. He’s the life of every party. He doesn’t just have a lot of friends, but a lot of good friends. Adam never settles for less in his social life and chances are pretty good that he’s admired in the professional sphere as well. Adam has a secret weapon: He makes people feel good. Women love being around him even when they don’t feel “that way” about him. And you’d better believe that other, more available women notice. The boss invites him for rounds of golf and doesn’t even care if Adam wins. He is, in short, the James Bond of the social world. Adam puts people at ease. They feel comfortable and enjoy themselves when they are around him. This is the atmosphere that Adam cultivates, and it works. Another reason why Adam succeeds is that he never seeks permission to have a good time. Always laidback and comfortable in his own skin, Adam is able to get others to relax. Sometimes, humans can be a bit like nervous dogs, yapping and bouncing off the walls. And like a nervous dog, all they need is one calm, strong dog to come into the room and transform the atmosphere. Adam’s sense of ease and self-esteem rubs off on other people. He’s not lording over them - quite the contrary. He’s telling them, “You’re awesome!” If they weren’t, an awesome guy like Adam wouldn’t be hanging around with them. Adam never wastes his time on low-value people. He only spends his time, energy and value on people who are absolutely worth it. He’s non-judgmental, an incredible listener, and knows how to use his body language to maximum effect. No one is born an Adam. We’re all born more or less the same way - crapping our pants, totally reliant upon others for sustenance and protection. Social skills are learned. Adam is no different. He went through a lot of the same stuff you probably have. He’s had successes, but he’s also had failures, moments where he felt like the most awkward man alive, the least interesting guy out at the bar, and the biggest failure in his family. He’s had his spot totally blown up by women at the bar, and even, on occasion been bullied. The story varies from one Adam to another. Often times, the help comes in the form of a pro-active older brother or cousin, someone who saw his promise and gave him a bit of guidance to get where he needed to be. While some guys are able to bootstrap themselves into Adam, they’d do it in half the time with way less mess if they had someone to spot them on their way to social confidence. That’s basically where I come in. As a professional in social dynamics, I’m like a golf coach for your social swing. Sure, you might get there on your own. But with me there to help you, you’ll master the


skills much faster and much more efficiently. Adam has learned that with hard work and perseverance through the bad times, he’s been able to make many of his wildest dreams come true.

R E A D Y, S E T, G O It’s a typical Saturday night. This could be any city in America, from Los Angeles to Toledo to Miami and Austin. Men preen in the mirror, practice dance moves to their favorite jams, rub down their car, call friends, finalize dates and do what they do to get ready for a big night out on the town. This is a story of four men looking for a night to remember. All men might be created equals, but not all men end up as equals. Some men seem to have it all, while others drop the ball in every aspect of life. Most men fall somewhere in between, with limited success and a low rate of total failure. The failures burn more into the memory, with most men incapable of telling you why they failed or succeeded at any given charge. There is, however, an art to success in any endeavor and charm is no exception. As we watch these four men get ready, hear a little bit about their backgrounds, and see them go through the motions of a typical Saturday night, you are going to see a little bit of yourself in each man. These men are, “typical,” and if my time in this business has taught me anything, it’s that “typical” men simply don’t exist. They’re characters and this is a fable, a fable of charm designed to point out to you the little differences that can mean bringing her home for the night, getting those digits, accompanying her to an after party, or spending yet another night alone wondering how it all went wrong. No matter where you are in terms of your social game, it can be improved. You can always be more effective. The fundamentals and skills I teach make bad men good, good men great and great men dangerous. Think of this as a tour through the do’s and don’ts of dating and socializing. Come with me, as we check in on these men...

RYA N ’ S A PA RT M E N T : 9 : 0 0 P. M . Ryan stands in front of the mirror, psyching himself up for a night out at the club. Taking deep breaths, he’s already getting nervous - clammy hands, rapid pulse, and a knot in the pit of his stomach. He splashes cold water on his face and starts talking a


little pep to himself. “All right, buddy. You can do this. Just take a shot, get yourself out and talk to some chicks. Just get a number, something.” He doesn’t believe a word of it. My luck has to turn around at some point, he thinks to himself. Looking in the mirror again, he notices his hair isn’t quite like he wants it and begins to apply more product, getting the part as straight as can be. He wants to look arranged, put together, masculine, secure and powerful, but he doesn’t feel as if he is any of these things. He grimaces, finding it difficult to even look at himself. Not the right clothes, not the right schools, not the right job, not the right car. And then, as if on cue, his roommate walks in without knocking. “What lame club are you going to tonight?” he bellows, storming into the room. “I’m not going to a lame club,” Ryan says, “and can’t you knock?” Ryan envies his roommate, who, by Ryan’s standards, has it all. A high-powered, up-and-coming bank executive, his roommate leases a sports car, wears the latest fashions and has a different lady - sometimes two - every Saturday night. “What, were you pinching a loaf in here or something? Whatever, man. I just need to borrow your deodorant.” “Sick. No way.” “Don’t be such a fairy about it. Just let me get a couple swipes on the pits before my date.” “No way. Gross.” “You think I want to smell like that ‘strong enough for him, PH balanced for her’ crap you use?” He says, before ignoring Ryan’s protests and putting it on anyway. Ryan opens his mouth to complain once again, but thinks better of it. What good is it going to do, anyway? Instead, he heads out to the kitchen to microwave the remnants of a pizza he ordered last night only to find it missing. “Did you eat the rest of my pizza?” Ryan asks, with a meek, subdued anger. “I don’t know if I’d call that garbage pizza, but I ate some kind of cardboard with cheese product. Tu casa es mi casa, homie. I’ll get the next round.” Famous last words, Ryan thinks as he resigns himself to a night out without any dinner. This means that he won’t be able to drink very much and he finds a bit of silver lining there. At least he’ll save money once he hits the club.


The buzzer rings and Ryan jumps six feet in the air like a startled Chihuahua. His roommate presses the button to let in his date for the night, a statuesque bleached blond woman wearing far too much makeup and far too little clothing. She doesn’t have a whole lot going on upstairs, but his roommate isn’t interested in her for conversation, as he is more than willing to say whenever the opportunity presents itself. She stands uncomfortably close to Ryan while waiting for his roommate to “put the final touches on his outfit,” which really means that he’s arbitrarily making her wait for him. Ryan isn’t much impressed by her. She’s not bad looking, but, as his roommate is quick to point out, she doesn’t have a lot going on upstairs. What’s more, she has a terribly unpleasant personality that Ryan has gotten to know over several weeks of her showing up and his roommate making her wait out in the living room. She set Ryan up on a date with one of her friends once and it was a totaldisaster. The girl spent the entire time texting while making subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) putdowns of Ryan all night. His roommate emerges and the two hit the town. As they exit, Ryan’s roommate gropes her, winks at Ryan, and calls out, “Don’t wait up, sucka!” “Byeeeeeee!” she says, waving her long, dagger-like nails at Ryan. An understandably irritated Ryan calls his friends and tries to get out of his plans for the night - which he does a lot after he’s all ready to go. No dice, says the friend. He’s coming out tonight if they have to drug and kidnap him.

W H Y D I D RYA N B E CO M E T H I S WAY ? Ryan often cancels plans because he thinks it’s a lot easier to stay at home with a few torrented episodes of Dexter than it is to go out and get rejected again and again and again. If you were to ask him, he’d tell you that he wished that he were more like his roommate. But he just doesn’t see himself as that kind of guy. First of all, he doesn’t want to date women that want to be treated badly. He is, not to put too fine a point on it, a good guy who thinks that assholes get all the girls and have the best time. But he doesn’t see that as being in line with his true desires and values. He doesn’t want to be “that guy.” The Ryans of the world aren’t born. They’re made. This is true of each of the four men we follow through the night. Socialization is what makes us who we are, and in Ryan’s case, his socialization process has been pretty rough and tragic. It’s hard not to feel bad for him. He was dealt a bad hand in life, and no one taught him how to play it to his advantage.


Ryan’s childhood wasn’t a nightmare by any means, but it was far from ideal. He was the archetypal middle child. His older sister was a bully, albeit an emotional bully rather than a physical one. His younger brother was a problem child, who later turned himself around and became the golden child. Ryan wasn’t without his merits, but getting sandwiched between his siblings didn’t do him a lot of favors. His early socialization was marked by verbal jabs from his sister, and a lack of attention from parents who were too busy dealing with his younger brother. School wasn’t a lot better. Not used to asserting himself, Ryan was often the butt of jokes, many of which were downright cruel. Eventually, he learned to take this kind of joking in stride. What’s more, when college rolled around, he felt like he deserved to be picked on. His brain was filled with a constant torrent of negative self-talk. Ryan was his own worst enemy. While his life is not without success, he rarely remembers the moments of triumph, focusing instead on the failures he believes define him as a person. He’s unhappy with his working life, but what is he going to do? He feels lucky just to have a job. And speaking of his job....

RYA N AT WO R K , E A R L I E R T H AT DAY Ryan sits at his desk, perhaps one of the most miserable things he experiences on a regular basis. To say that Ryan hates his job would be an understatement. He often wonders how he can expect to make it through the day, let alone the next couple of decades going through the motions at a job that does not fulfill him either personally or professionally. Far from being a place where he can leave the burdens of his personal life behind him, his workplace is little more than a continuation of everything that he hated about high school and college. Nowhere is this more evident than in his interactions with his immediate supervisor, who presently knocks on the wall to his cube as if it were a door, something that irritates Ryan more every time that it happens. “Ryan. Gotta have a word with you for a second, man.” His supervisor reeks of a designer cologne knockoff. The scent quickly makes the small area of the cube oppressive and Ryan takes shallow breaths through his mouth to avoid the smell as much as possible. There’s actually a company policy against “strong scents.” Ryan often thinks of filing a complaint with human resources, but never follows through. “What’s up?” says Ryan with more than a little fear in his voice. His supervisor comes by for one of two reasons: Either he’s bored and wants to “joke around” with Ryan (which usually takes the form of some kind of petty bullying), or he wants to give him some decidedly bad news. In this case, it’s the latter.


“Need you to fall on a grenade for me, little buddy. I kind of dropped the ball and the heat is too much for an exec to take. One of you cube drones can, though, and I thought of you immediately. I’ll make it up to you,” he says, with his fake smile and capped teeth. Ryan seethes with rage. He often falls “on the grenade” for his supervisor, something that has demonstrably impacted his professional career in a negative way. Ryan is by no means a star employee. But he is a reliable worker bee. His supervisor’s constant undermining of his performance, however, has Ryan earning significantly less than he would otherwise. Now he’s reticent to reach for the brass ring; why put in the effort if his supervisor will just steal all the glory? Ryan’s eyes remain glued to the ground. He is silent, pretending to be engrossed in his work. He waits for his supervisor to go away so that the process of humiliation will be over with. “So anyway, the boss is heading over to talk to you about it. Just smile and it’ll be over with soon enough.” Ryan grits his teeth, but still does not make eye contact. “Oh, right. I also need you to stay late tonight fixing it. I would, but I have a date tonight and I’m guessing you don’t, unless there was some kind of a miracle.” His supervisor laughs a forced, hoarse, throaty laugh. Ryan looks at him and grimaces more than smiles. “Nope. No plans.” The supervisor leaves, and just then Ryan gets a phone call from a friend. “Ryan, buddy, what are you up to tonight.” “Working.” “All night?” “Pretty much.” “Listen, me and some of the guys were going to hit the town and everyone is asking about you. We haven’t seen you in months. Why don’t you put the Xbox away for the night and come out with us, OK? Everyone thinks you’re dead or something.” “Dude, I really just want to stay in tonight. I’ve had a long week, and I don’t really feel like heading out.” His friend laughs. “Sorry, buddy. No can do. You’re coming out with us tonight no matter what. We decided. So you might as well enjoy it.” His friend doesn’t sound all that different from his boss, Ryan notices.


Ryan isn’t quite sure what it is about going out that makes him so anxious, but he knows he’s not really a huge fan. It’s not that he doesn’t want to connect with other people. On the contrary, Ryan loves the idea of being social, but finds the reality of it to be painful and traumatizing. Perhaps the most stressful feeling is that of total helplessness. Ryan often feels that he has no control over the situation; in fact, halfway through college, he gave up trying. He sighs deeply when he sees the big boss walking towards his cubicle with a decidedly displeased look on his face.

B R A D ’ S H O U S E : 9 : 0 0 P. M . Hair in place, shirt freshly pressed, clean jeans and well-shined shoes. Brad thinks he looks good, and no one is going to tell him otherwise. The air in his apartment fills with the overwhelming scent of his cologne. He’s pumping himself up in the mirror with a little motivational speech. “All right, man, listen. You’re the super man. You’re the super you. You’re going to go out tonight and take it to the next level. You’re the total package, everything that a woman could ever want. You’re gonna kick so much game, get so many numbers and come home with the hottest honey in the bar. I won’t accept anything less.” He grins at himself while combing his hair for the umpteenth time. All told, Brad spends a lot of time looking in the mirror and not just when he’s getting ready to go out to a club. He’s pretty enamored with himself - most of the time, anyway. The rest of the time... well, that’s another part of the story that we’ll arrive at later. For now, Brad occupies his bathroom for almost 90 minutes, and his roommate starts to get agitated, lurking around the open door subtly hinting his need to use the facilities for their intended purpose. Brad finally snaps. “Do you need something?” he says, smirking and pouting at his roommate. “Yeah. I need the bathroom.” “Hold it. I’m almost done.” “Seriously, dude, it’s been like an hour and a half. I need it now. The time for holding it is over.” “Number one or number two?” “Really, dude? You can’t just let the guy who pays half the rent use the bathroom


for ten minutes?” “Ok, that’s a number two. No way am I letting you stink up the can before I’m ready. Sorry, bro. Go find a gas station or something.” The roommate sighs deeply, runs his hands through his hair and tries to back the impending storm up a little bit for a trip to the local convenience store bathroom - not his first this month. “Listen, I’ve been thinking about this a lot. It’s just not working out. I’m moving out at the end of next month. We can talk about this when I get home.” “What? You can’t just walk out on me like that!” Brad follows his roommate as he hotfoots it out the door. “You just moved in like three months ago! No way are you going to find a place as great as this for the price! You can’t afford to move out you flippin’ loser!” The roommate hears all of this, but isn’t terribly interested. He has more “pressing” concerns at hand. Even though he’s a block or more away, Brad continues yelling, ranting and raving. A neighbor finally emerges from a window. “Yo! Shut up!” “Ay! You want a piece of me, tough guy? Come get some!” “Keep it down or I’m calling the cops. Every week it’s some screaming and yelling crap from you. I’m gonna write a letter to the landlord.” Brad starts ascending the stairs to physically confront the man, but thinks better of it when the man slams his door shut. This wouldn’t be the first complaint about Brad that neighbors have given the management company. In a rare moment of enlightened self-interest, he realizes that he can’t afford to have another black mark on his record. He retreats back to the bathroom where he spends another half hour “fixing” his hair.

W H Y D I D B R A D B E CO M E T H I S WAY ? Get ready for a shock: Brad used to be a lot like Ryan. In fact, much of their back-story is similar. Brad came from a big Italian family where he was one of five, meaning he didn’t get a ton of individual attention from his parents. He was, however, engaged in constant war with his male siblings that ran the gamut from bullying to fistfights, to everything in between. In high school, Brad was a sweet, deferential guy. He wasn’t always bullied, but he was never popular, never an “alpha male,” never the guy with a date on a Friday


night. None of this much mattered to Brad. He wanted a girlfriend, sure. But he was also happy just spending Saturday night with the guys and never really saw why that shouldn’t be enough. However, when a girl did show interest, Brad would fall head over heels. Not surprisingly, he never saw a girl for more than a couple dates. Brad’s overly eager attitude turned the girls at his school off. They knew he was good for a dinner on a night when they didn’t have a whole lot else going on, but he wasn’t the type of guy you had a relationship with, had sex with, or even made out with. Brad was the poster child for the friend zone. He was still a virgin by the time he got to college, a fact that he will, to this day, never admit to. Brad’s college experience was different from Ryan’s. His first college girlfriend treated him very badly. In addition to spending most of his money, she repeatedly cheated on him and was prone to violent fits, like throwing glasses around the room. When she dumped him for his “best friend,” Brad was heartbroken. He blamed himself for the way things fell apart, resolving he would never again be treated this way. A new Brad quickly emerged and his old friends weren’t really fans. The old Brad was polite and reserved, but a lot of fun to be around, especially for those who took the time to get to know him. The new Brad was everything that the old Brad wasn’t - rude , dismissive, aggressive and sometimes even violent. He was kicked out of campus housing for too many physical confrontations with other students, something that he, to this day, blames on the college. Still, his new way of life wasn’t without some success in the dating world. He started getting more dates, which wasn’t terribly surprising as he was now talking to more women than ever before. But the quality of women he dated remained the same. Sure, he was getting laid more, but so what? He was still dealing with unhinged women who would throw shot glasses at him, provided that they even wanted a second date. For the rest of college, his dating experiences pretty much went like this: Meet a new girl, take her home for a night of sex, treat her terribly, and never hear from her again. By the end of junior year, he could only score a date with freshmen girls. And even then, he had to move quickly. Once his reputation got around, there weren’t a lot of women who were willing to take a chance on him. Fortunately for Brad, and less fortunately for the women he dated, once college was over, he moved to a large city where there was never a shortage of women who had never heard of him. This allowed him to move from club to club picking up all kinds of different women to bring back to his place. This superficial success bolstered his confidence and in turn made him even more of a jerk. Still, Brad is somewhat aware that there’s something missing from his life. He


doesn’t particularly love going home with women he knows he’ll never see again. He doesn’t like that his life is one constant war over one insignificant matter after another. He wants a woman he can relax with, where he can be himself without having to always be on guard. Being aggro all the time is exhausting. And never making any meaningful connections with women makes for a very lonely life.

BRAD’S DRIVE HOME FROM WORK , EARLIER T H AT DAY It’s been a long week and Brad is anxious to get home and relax a bit before he gets ready to head out for the night. Hopping into his car, he begins his afternoon fight with traffic. No one in the world can drive as well as Brad (at least as far as he’s concerned), and he spends a lot of energy yelling remarks out his window, words that you wouldn’t say in front of your mother. The highlight, if you can call it that, of Brad’s commute home doesn’t happen on the road, however, it happens at the gas station. Brad pulls into the gas station at about 6, honking his horn to get the attention of the attendant who is with another customer. He doesn’t drive into the “Full Service” lane, but he still expects to have his gas pumped for him. If the attendant does a good job, he might even tip him a couple of bucks. The other customer drives away and, after laying on the horn for a good long while, Brad rolls down his window and yells at the attendant. “Hey! Can I get some service over here or what?” “Sir, you need to come to the full service lane.” “I’m not moving my car so that you can be lazy and not walk. Just come over here and pump my gas.” “Sir, I’m afraid you need to pull into the full service lane. The gas costs more there.” “So charge me more over here. What’s the big deal?” “Sir, that’s not how it works.” After unleashing another torrent of vitriol, Brad gets out of the car in a huff and pumps his own gas. It’s the worst indignity that he’s suffered in years, which makes him a pretty lucky guy. But he’s not done when the tank is full. He finishes pumping his gas and storms into the store part of the gas station, unleashing another stream of obscenities and demanding to speak to the manager. Unfortunately for Brad, the regional manager is there that day and isn’t in the mood for any guff.


“I’m going to need you to lower your voice and cut out the swearing, sir, or I’ll have to ask you to leave.” The manager might as well have presented Brad with an engraved invitation asking him to be even ruder. The manager asks Brad to leave. Brad refuses, and the manager threatens to call the police. Even then, Brad waits until the manager has picked up the phone and dialed the number before he stomps out the door. All the way home, Brad is in a huge huff, muttering to himself about what he’d like to go back there and do, rehearsing even ruder things that he could have said, completely missing the point that none of this is going to get him what he wants. By the time he gets home, he has to start getting ready right away.

D O U G ’ S A PA RT M E N T : 9 : 0 0 P. M . Doug’s apartment is immaculate. He lives alone and takes great pride in the state of his apartment. It’s filled with all the latest electronic gadgets, an insanely expensive computer that he never uses, high-end furniture and the whole nine yards. Doug is no trust fund brat. Everything that he has, he worked hard to get. He’s not a banker, a lawyer or anything like that. In fact, Doug is a union carpenter and he makes bank doing it. Always ready to take overtime, he sits pretty close to “the one percent” on the basis of sheer hard work. Doug is understandably proud of himself. His job means a lot to him. His Facebook is filled with pictures of houses that he’s framed and small woodworking projects he does in his free time. In the course of his work, he’s even encountered a few celebrities and loves bragging about how he’s worked on their houses. Another thing he’s proud of? His car. Not a BMW or a Benz, but a ’72 Dodge Challenger he picked up in high school. With his own hands, he transformed the junker into the talk of the town. He frequently enters it in car shows and he’s not a man satisfied with second best, ever. On weekends, when he’s not out partying, he likes to spend time messing around with his car and cruising it down the block, profiling for the locals. Tonight, however, he’s heading out. He’s all ready to go, without a great deal of care to his appearance. He has a certain rugged attractiveness that he’s comfortable with and finds that women respond to. As such, he’s just thrown on a collared shirt and some jeans for the night, run a comb through his hair and is now relaxing on the sofa with a bottle of the finest Scotch money can buy, pre-gaming it when the phone rings. It’s his old college buddy who’s in town tonight. After the predictable surprise of


his call and catching up passes, the two begin to make plans for the evening. “I’ll probably be out at the club like I normally am. You should hit it up with me,” Doug says. “Sounds good, man. I tell you, they’ve got some crazy clubs where I’m living now. They’re pretty much the best I’ve ever seen,” his buddy replies. Doug chuckles a little to himself. “I kind of doubt it, man. The clubs we have here are nuts. They mix the best drinks and have some of the finest honeys you’ve ever laid eyes on. Come on down to my place in like an hour and we’ll head out and I’ll show you what a good club looks like.” “Yeah, the clubs here are pretty nuts, man, but I’d love to check out what you’ve got.” “Man, one time I was out and this rapper showed up. Started buying everyone drinks. That was a night. Anything like that ever happen where you are?” “Well, I did have a guy who works in real estate buying me a bunch of shots last weekend. That wasn’t bad, I can tell you that much. Sounds like this will be a pretty good time.” “Yeah, I mean, this was total top-shelf stuff. No well drinks that night. There were chicks up on top of the bar flashing and we just drank and drank. I doubt things got that crazy with your real estate buddies.” Doug laughs again. There’s an awkward silence. “Well, all right. Looking forward to seeing you, buddy. You’ve been missed.” “Don’t worry, I’ll show you what a real party looks like tonight, I promise.” Doug hangs up the phone, finishes his Scotch and starts looking for the perfect jacket to go with his outfit.

W H Y D I D D O U G B E CO M E T H I S WAY ? Doug came from a blue-collar family in the northeast. The youngest of three boys, things were always very competitive around the house. He never wanted for love, but he always sought out extra attention by doing things the best he could, mostly through sports. He excelled at baseball, football, and track, but it was never enough merely to excel. Doug needed to be the absolute best at everything he did. If he got first place, he needed to set a new school record. If he set a new school record, he needed to set a new league record.


While his household was very supportive, his brothers were also total alphas and Doug always felt the need to stand out. His brothers also competed in sports and nothing gave him a greater thrill than being able to outrun his older brothers, or beat them at a game of one-on-one. Then college came around and his competitive spirit kicked into high gear. Doug was never much of a student. He got decent enough grades, but the brain of his family was always his oldest brother, now a lawyer who specializes in taking pro bono cases for underprivileged children in the inner cities. Doug basically went to college because he liked playing baseball and wanted to party and avoid joining the “real world” for a few years. He got an English degree because he always liked reading a lot, but when college was done, he went to work as a carpenter with his old man who is now retired. While at college, Doug made a lot of friends. He pledged at a frat, but was really disappointed when he didn’t have a chance with his first choice, a fraternity mostly for more affluent students. Baseball, something that he had formerly loved, became a source of frustration for him. The star student of his Little League, Babe Ruth and high school teams, Doug found himself a competent player at best when playing against other college students. It quickly became clear to him that his dream of one day graduating to professional ball was simply not happening. Much to his teammates’ and coaches’ dismay, he declined to play his senior year, spending a lot of time deriding it as “kid stuff,” saying that he was “too grown up” now to mess around with college ball. That final year of college wasn’t pretty. His inactivity combined with his new lust for fine craft beers had him ballooning up by almost 100 pounds. This was hard on Doug who had always taken great pride in being in shape. Another blow to his ego was moving home after college and getting a job at the same company as his old man. Doug had always felt fiercely independent and resolved that he would make himself into what he had always wanted to be. He began jogging obsessively, quickly dropped the weight and went on a lean protein diet, which he keeps to this day. He also completed a union apprenticeship, something his father was never able to do, and now makes more money than most of his friends from college. Still, like Brad, Doug feels that something is missing from his life. There’s a profound sense of insecurity that he feels when he heads back to his pricy condo after a hard day’s work. His neighbors are mostly lawyers, professors, and other professionals - not tradesmen like. He wanted to move into an up-and-coming neighborhood, but now finds that he can’t really talk to his neighbors, who largely inhabit a different world than he does. Whenever around them, he feels like he has to prove himself, even though he doesn’t. For the most part his neighbors like him, respect that he works hard and are curious about his perspective, which is very different from theirs. Still, Doug invariably makes things awkward at parties by trying to one-up


people’s stories and bragging too much about his exaggerated achievements, no matter how interesting they might be.

DOUG’S LUNCH HOUR Doug looks forward to lunch hour every day. It’s not just a chance to eat and break from work. It’s a chance to chit-chat with his coworkers, whom he likes for the most part. They talk about everything from family problems to sports and Doug feels like he knows them better than some of his best friends. He’s taken to the largely outdated union custom of referring to his fellow members as “brothers.” Still, old habits die hard and while everyone likes Doug, they find him to be a bit of a blowhard at times. A lunchtime conversation he had on Friday shows why. “You guys see that Dodgers game this weekend?” says a coworker between bites of his bologna sandwich. “Oh yeah! Real moonshot! I’ve never seen a tape measure job like that in all my life,” another one chimes in. “Yeah, it was all right, but Mickey Mantle is the real king of the moonshot. Just another reason I’m a Yankees fan,” Doug says, puffing out his chest a bit as if he hit the homers himself. Eyes are rolled all around and some guys laugh a bit. It’s just Doug being Doug and few take it seriously. The topic of conversation quickly changes to each of the guys amateur baseball careers. “Boy, I didn’t make it much past Little League, I tell you what,” says one of the guys from the dry-waller’s union. “I was a chubby kid. Hated running.” Another one chimes in, a little more eager to relive his glory days. “I was done after high school. I know I could have done an adult amateur league, but I was kind of over it. I was good, though. If my old man hadn’t passed I probably could have gone to college and maybe made a career out of things, but whatever. Them’s the breaks.” Doug goes to open his mouth, but someone else beats him to it, seeing that he has precious little time to contribute to the conversation before Doug comes in with his tales of baseball heroics. “I made All-American. Pretty proud of it, but don’t talk about it much,” he says shooting a playful look at Doug, “Not that into bragging.” A couple of guys guffaw, hoping that the minor embarrassment will be enough to spare them from wasting the rest of their lunch hour hearing about Doug’s titanic exploits at a Division IA school. It’s not.


“I had something like a 1.90 ERA when I pitched at State. Real good. Probably could have gone pro, but I grew out of it. Just wasn’t my thing anymore, you know? But I was good. I think my three-year batting average was something like 3.85, so again... not bad. I was a pitcher, but I loved batting, so it totally came naturally to me. Coach always told me that I would have been rock solid in the Show, but like I said, it just wasn’t my thing.” One of the older guys in his gang busts out laughing. Doug has a hurt look on his face that quickly turns to anger. “You got something to say, old man?” “Listen, I don’t doubt that you were good. But that good? Give me a break. Why didn’t you keep playing then? Why not try and get on your beloved Stances?” A couple of guys laugh. Others shift their eyes around nervously. “I told you. I was over it. I just wanted to graduate and be done with things. You calling me a liar?” “I think you’ve got a pretty creative recollection of the truth.” “What was your ERA?” “I played center field. In middle school.” “Sounds like jealousy to me.” “No doubt I wish I’d gotten to play college ball. And pitching? What ball player doesn’t think about taking the mound? But come on, man. Cut the garbage. Wouldn’t you rather be known for your real accomplishments than a bunch of malarkey that just keeps getting bigger every year? I remember the days when you talked about minor league scouts coming and now you’re talking about being in the Show? Some of us pay attention, Doug.” The whistle blows. Doug grits his teeth, vowing to cut down his union brother at the next possible opportunity, but heads back off to finish the day’s work of framing the house.

A D A M ’ S A PA RT M E N T : 9 : 0 0 P. M . Adam takes his time getting ready, but not because he’s overly concerned with his appearance. Sure, he likes to look fresh and sharp when he heads out - what man doesn’t? But Adam doesn’t need to look good for anyone but himself. It’s not


about crafting the perfect look for a night on the town. He knows that good looks will only get him so far. In fact, the guy in his crew who pulls the most is about 50 pounds overweight and balding. It’s not for the ladies that he’s taking the time. Adam just likes the act of male grooming. He enjoys the ritual of it and does it for its own sake. Far from metro, Adam takes pleasure in making simple acts like shaving into a routine. It’s in the middle of shaving that we catch Adam. “Knock knock.” Adam sees his roommate and smiles big, despite having a face full of shaving cream. “Hey, buddy! What’s the haps?” His roommate looks at his feet, and with some embarrassment, says, “I hate to ask, but can I borrow your car?” A serious look comes over Adam’s face. “Why don’t you just use yours?” “I have a first date. I don’t want to roll up in a 15-year-old Hyundai.” Adam laughs a bit. “So a three-year-old Mazda is better?” His roommate smiles. “Basically.” “Well, she’s going to find out what kind of car you have eventually, man. And honestly, if she’s only into you because she thinks that you have a nice car I think you’re better off avoiding her. But, if you want to borrow my car, by all means... You know where the keys are.” His roommate reflects for a minute on whether or not he should take his own car, finally opting to borrow Adam’s. Sure, he thinks, no one cares what kind of car you drive. The rest of us need every advantage we can get. Adam continues to meticulously shave his face. He’s not even thinking about what he’s going to wear yet. He’s just enjoying the simple pleasure of a classic wet shave, paying special attention to the grain of his hair to avoid ingrown ones. Not only do they hurt, but they’re a sign that he’s done less than his best, something he strives to do in all things, be it shaving or at work. After finishing, Adam splashes cold water on his face and heads out to the living room, still in just a towel. “Going for my ‘classy’ Mazda, huh? I’m telling you, man, you’re better off just taking your car.” “Do you not want me to borrow it? I’m a great driver. No speeding tickets or anything.” “I’m not worried about that. I know you’re always careful with my things. And in


any event, it’s just a car. I’m sure you can afford to buy me a new one if you crash it.” He smiles broadly as he delivers this last line, playfully patting his roommate - who he strongly considers a friend as well - on the shoulder. He retreats to his bedroom, pulling on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. Tonight is no big deal for Adam. It’s just another night out at the bar with buds. Sure there will be girls and dancing, but for Adam it’s more about just getting out of the house, seeing his friends and meeting new people. He dates around a lot and frankly has a pretty full plate when it comes to the ladies, so he’s not really looking to add to it. That said, this is what he tells himself every week, and he always ends up going home with a couple different phone numbers. From the other room, he hears his roommate arguing over the phone. He closes the door to give him some privacy while he picks out a pair of sneakers for the night. Adam isn’t much of a clotheshorse, but he does love his sneakers. Sneakers, a light jacket, and he’s ready to meet his friends at a quiet spot before they head out to one of the more happening night clubs. When he emerges, he finds his roommate sitting on the couch, flipping through the channels. “What’s wrong, buddy?” “She canceled. She said she made plans with another guy and forgot until now. I tried to get her to choose me instead, but she wasn’t having it.” “Pfft,” Adam scoffs, “Not worth your time, bro. Sounds like a total flake to me. You wanna come out with me and my crew tonight? They’re good guys, you’ll dig them. Besides, we’re always talking about how we need to hang out more. It’ll be fun. Scout’s honor.” Adam smiles broadly and his roommate laughs a little in spite of himself. “Yeah, sure. But I’m not a cheap date.” “We’re going Dutch on this one, sweetheart. Get your coat. Me and the guys were just about to meet up at Sullivan’s Tavern for a couple rounds of beer before we head off to The Turtle Room.” “You can get in there?” “Anyone can get in there, but slipping the door guy a twenty doesn’t hurt.” “Don’t I need to change?” “You look fine, and now you’re slowing me down. Come on, bro, let’s hit it. There are beers to drink and women to meet!” The head out the door, his roommate’s spirits already lifted.


W H Y D I D A DA M B E CO M E T H I S WAY ? Adam wasn’t born as the cool, casual, suave cat that you just witnessed. In previous incarnations he acted a lot more like Ryan, Brad and Doug. He was Ryan in high school, and Brad in college. He majored in business and spent a lot of time putting down other students in majors he considered “frivolous.” By the time he entered the world of Wall Street, he was a lot like Doug. He drew his value from his material possessions and accomplishments in life. Then something happened that changed everything. The economy collapsed. Adam was one of the first guys in, and didn’t have any family connections. His dad was a factory worker and his mother was a schoolteacher, so barring seniority, there was no way he was keeping his job. After being on unemployment for twenty months, he was finally able to find gainful employment... as a clerk at a video game store. This utterly destroyed Adam, who at this point in his life had an extravagant lifestyle and prided himself on his reputation as a Wall Street financial analyst. Some good came out of it, however, other than the humbling experience of losing everything. When he couldn’t make rent, Adam was forced to find somewhere else to live. He sold his city condo, and moved to a sleepy suburb to stay with his older brother. His older brother was single, in his early 30s, a previously “confirmed bachelor, and now definitely on the hunt for a wife. On one of the first nights after Adam moved in, his brother explained that he wasn’t a huge fan of dating around, but that he wasn’t going to settle for just anyone, either. His brother, a manager of a woman’s shoe store at the local mall, never wanted for women, as Adam quickly learned. He also had a circle of friends that was as diverse as they were challenging and motivating. None of them looked down on his brother for what he did, nor did anyone in the group ever fight over women. There was even a married guy who often joined them on their nights out, with the full approval of his wife. Adam’s first night out with the guys was a learning experience to be sure. With nothing to boast about, he was reduced to playing his old game of insulting people and being aggressive. But somehow it just didn’t feel right anymore. His brother and his friends clearly disapproved, and it was another couple of months before he was invited to another such outing. He would never have been invited out again had he and his brother not had a heart to heart beforehand. “Hey Jack,” Adam says, “What did I do wrong last time we went out? Your friends were clearly not pleased.” It is hard for Adam to do this. But deep down, he


knows that he had done something wrong and wants to correct it, both for his own sake and not to embarrass his brother in the future. His brother laughs and smiles, saying, “Well, you were kind of an asshole.” Adam looks like someone had just slapped him in the face. “No! Really?” He laughs. “Seriously, though, what’s the big deal. Chicks love that stuff.” Jack shoots him a smile, but there’s gravity behind it that Adam immediately senses. “Listen, bro. Ask yourself this: What type of woman is going to be impressed by you insulting her? Is that the type of woman you want to be dating?” Adam, who at this point in his life is pretty used to having quick, smart answers for just about everything, is left speechless. His face turns red as he realizes the truth. Still, he resists. “So what? I’m supposed to kiss their ass and buy them flowers and what not?” Jack shakes his head, smile still intact. “No, that wouldn’t work either. The point is that you need to be your best self all the time. That’s what makes people feel good about being around you and it works whether you’re trying to talk to men or women. I’ll let you in on a little secret: When I head out to the bar, I’d rather talk to a guy than a girl. We can chat about sports or work or whatever. But you’ve seen it. They just won’t stop coming.” “So what? Talk to dudes and they’ll come running?” He shakes his head again. “Adam, the point is that you want to be confident and project a feeling a self-worth. Do you think that when I go out I’m the least bit worried about what I look like, or if I ‘score’ that night? Because I’m not. I’m there to have a good time. That might entail getting a phone number or getting laid, but for the most part, I’m just along for the ride. But because I have fun, other people around me have fun, and I turn out looking like a swell guy. Do you get it?” Adam shrugs. “Kind of. Not really.” Jack smiles again. “Tell you what, little brother. You stick close to me, and I’ll teach you a few things that will make you downright dangerous in every aspect of your life.” Adam was skeptical, but the conversation began a process that completely changed his life.

IN TRANSIT So now you’ve had a glimpse of each guy, his background, his work dynamic and


how he prepares for a night out. You probably recognize them in people you know as well as yourself. You could be like one of the guys in some ways, like another guy in other ways, and totally nothing like yet another guy. But I consider these four guys to be pretty emblematic of the four mindsets of men you might meet at a bar. Put simply, a mindset is your view of the world. This isn’t about politics, philosophy, or religion. Rather, it’s a view of the world that is deeply rooted in how you view yourself.. Your mindset informs how you treat other people. How youtreat others is largely a projection of how you view the world, and how youview yourself. To that end, I’m going to give you a little peek at these four guys on their way over to the club. Each rolls in a different crew, and each occupies a very different role in their group of friends. You’ll gain more of an insight into these men after seeing how they interact with their group of friends.

RYA N ’ S C A R : 9 : 3 0 P. M . Ryan pulls up to what counts as his best friend’s apartment. The pair met back in college and for whatever reason, they are still friends today. His name is Jason and he’s a bit hard to handle for most, but Ryan just keeps coming back for more. He pulls up to the curb and opens the door, letting Jason into the car. “Tell me, why I’m driving again?” “Because you’re not a cheap date like me. Besides, I’ll need you to drive me and my new lady friend home, and it’s not like you’re going to pull tonight.” Jason laughs loudly at his own joke, causing Ryan to blush bright red. “I might,” Ryan says defensively, pulling out of the driveway. “You haven’t been laid in a year. I know this because you talk about it constantly. You talked about it on a first date once, dude.” Ryan grits his teeth and grips the wheel harder. “I’m picky.” “You’re a pussy.” The pair sits in uncomfortable silence for a few minutes before Jason turns on the radio, selecting a station that he likes, but knows that Ryan hates. “Hey!” “What? It was off!”


“That doesn’t mean I want to listen to this crap.” “This is good music as opposed to the crap you listen to. I mean, look at how you’re dressed. Do you really think I’m going to take music tips from a guy wearing those shoes?” “What’s wrong with my shoes?” “What not wrong with your shoes, dude?” Jason begins laughing like a hyena again. Ryan’s head revolves around and around with things he wants to say to Jason, things he wishes he could say to Jason, but just can’t. He doesn’t have a whole lot of friends, and Jason is one of the only people he has to go out with. He’s thought about telling him off a thousand times before, but then he stops himself. Jason is a good guy underneath it all, and besides, he’s probably right about his shoes and his music. The car pulls up at the club and Ryan hails a valet. “Give me five bucks,” he says to Jason. “What? Why?” Jason replies incredulously. “For the valet parking.” “You pay for it.” Ryan’s jaw drops. “Why should I pay for it? I drove here and you didn’t even give me gas money.” “I live something like a mile away. If you want gas money I’ll give you fifty cents later.” “I don’t even have any cash on me. Come on, man. It’s only five bucks.” Jason grumbles, pulls a crumpled up five-dollar bill out of his pocket, and throws it at Ryan. “You owe me for this. Two rounds of drinks.” Ryan hands the note to the valet as he gets out of his car. “What? That’s ridiculous! Drinks are at least five bucks here, and the stuff you drink is usually more like seven or eight. What kind of math is that?” “Interest, buddy. Interest.” Jason laughs again at his own joke and slaps Ryan hard on the back as they walk into the club. Ryan grits his teeth again, eyes down on the ground, wishing that he had just stayed at home and caught up on television shows. Jason heads to the bar with Ryan, gets his two drinks, and bounces for most of the rest of the night, leaving Ryan on his own.


B R A D ’ S C A R : 9 : 3 0 P. M . Brad drives fast with little regard for the safety of himself or others, careening down the road, gunning the engine to get through yellow lights, and revving it when stopped next to another powerful car. He wants everyone to see him, and, most of all, to know that he’s a top dog. When he arrives at his buddy’s house, he doesn’t call to let him know he’s there. He doesn’t park the car and get out and go to the door himself. No, Brad decides to do what has irritated dads for generations. He lays hard on the horn until his friend comes out, hair wrapped in a towel, and an irritated look on his face. “What the heck are you doing, man? I’m not ready yet. Come inside and have a drink or something before we go out.” “What the heck are you doing, fool? I told you I was going to be here at 9:30 on the dot. It’s 9:30 on the dot. Why aren’t you ready? Can’t you read a clock?” None of Brad’s friends expect him to be a swell guy. Sometimes he toes the line, and other times he goes completely over it. Right now he’s toeing it, and his friend doesn’t appreciate it one bit. “You know how it is, man. I’ll be ready in like 15 minutes. Just come in, have a drink, watch Sports Center and chill out before we head out.” Brad starts getting angry and yelling at his friend. “Hey man! My time is important! You wanna jerk me around, find your own damn ride to the club! You snooze, you lose.” He peels his car out, leaving his friend standing outside wondering what the heck Brad’s problem is. Brad continues to speed all the way to the club, half thinking that he was totally within his rights, half feeling bad about leaving his friend behind. Now he won’t have a wingman at the club, so he’ll be flying solo tonight, a position that he doesn’t relish much at all. He rolls up at the club, pays the valet five bucks and skulks off to go inside. Confronted by a door man for identification, he angrily pulls out his ID and barks, “I’m 29 years old, I think I’m old enough to drink.” The bouncer puts on his best fake happy face, inspects the ID, and says, “Sorry, sir, but we’re required by law to card everyone who comes in here. We can lose our liquor license if we let any underage people drink.” “Whatever,” he says, ripping his ID out of the bouncer’s hand, and heads into the club.


D O U G ’ S C A R : 9 : 3 0 P. M . Doug pulls the car up to his friend’s place. He’s meeting the gang there and it’s nice to be the driver. He doesn’t mind. It doesn’t take a lot of arm twisting to get Doug to show off his hot wheels to his friends and the public at large. He checks himself quickly in the mirror before he heads down the path and up the stairs to one of his buddy’s apartment. He rings the doorbell, greeting his friend with a hearty bro hug when he opens the door. There are three friends there. Two are college buddies, old pals from his baseball team, and the other is his first roommate from after college who he met through one of his college friends. The four sit around having a pre-game round, with Doug laying off because he knows he’s going to have to drive sooner rather than later. The liquor leads to storytelling, which leads inevitably to a discussion of college baseball. The gang all played in college, though Doug’s old roommate played in a different conference. “You know who could pitch? Feldman. Every time that guy took the mound I got a knot in my stomach. He couldn’t just throw like crazy, he knows pitching psychology like none other. He scared me. He literally scared me!” says Louis, the shortstop from Doug’s old college team. “Pfft. I knew how to psych out a player better than that guy.” “Oh, bull!” says Louis with a hearty laugh. “You had one hell of a fast ball and your sliders were the stuff of nightmares, but you never scared anyone from the mound. No way, no day.” “How do you figure? My ERA was something like a 1.85. You don’t get that without knowing how to strike terror into the heart of a batter.” The college buddies burst out laughing and pour another round. Kirk, the team captain and catcher pipes up first. “Listen, Doug, you were good. No one is saying that you weren’t. But your ERA seriously gets better every year after you leave college. I’ve got an almanac in the closet somewhere. We can fish it out. You threw something like a 2.15, which ain’t bad in the least, but 1.85? Please. You’d be playing AA ball at least, if you were throwing like that.” “I totally could have made it to the Show. I just didn’t want to. I was getting really tired of playing ball, and I wanted to work with my hands anyway. The only reason I never made it was because I didn’t want to.” “Could have fooled me,” chimes in Louis. “All you ever used to talk about was being the starting pitcher of the Yankees like your hero Clemens.” The room groans at the mention of Roger Clemens. Martin, the ballplayer who went to a different college,


shuffles a deck of cards lazily, getting ready to deal everyone in for a hand of gin rummy. “Yeah, but I changed my mind.” “Oh cut the crap, Doug,” says Kirk. “Ain’t a college player alive who doesn’t wish they could do it for a living? I have no idea why you left the team senior year, but it had nothing to do with getting over it. I see the way you wistfully look at kids playing sandlot ball. You loved that game and would have done anything to stay in it. So why didn’t you?” “I told you. I wanted to work with my hands. I’ve got a great job now. Look at Louis, he’s still working the same crappy mall job he’s had since college.” “Hey!” Louis pipes up immediately. “ I’m not exactly a cashier anymore. I’m a district manager. I run three stores. I might not be making the same amount of money as you, but so what? I like what I do and I’m good at it.” “Whatever. It’s a chick job.” Louis shoots him an irritated look and picks up his cards. “Listen, Doug,” says Martin, trying to play peacemaker. “I understand that there’s maybe some disagreement over the facts or whatever. But there’s no reason to cut down Louis. I manage a bank, and you don’t see me knocking you for being a carpenter.” “Yeah, well at least I make something for a living. You just shuffle paper around.” Martin wisely ignores the jab at his job and picks up his cards. An uncomfortable silence settles over the room as they prepare to play a hand before heading out for the night. Everyone is afraid to pipe up for fear of igniting the conversation again. Doug’s always been a bit of a braggart, but it just seems to be getting worse as he gets older and further removed from his glory days on the mound. After a couple of hands, it’s Martin who once again pipes up. “Hey guys, did I tell you that I got a new car?” The guys are all excited. They did know that he was getting a new car, but no one knew what he had decided on. “Yeah, you mentioned something about it,” says Louis. “What did you end up getting?” “Chevy Volt.”


“Hey!” says Kirk. “That’s not bad at all. Bet you won’t mind not having to stop for gas.” “That’s pretty much what sold me. My work is within battery range, so I basically don’t ever have to buy gas unless I’m going on a long trip or something.” “I don’t get why a guy with as much scratch as you would buy a crap car just to save on gas,” says Doug, his ego still bruised from the previous conversation. Undeterred, Martin quickly says, “It’s not a crap car. Have you ever driven one?” “No,” says Doug. “Because I don’t drive crap cars -- only 100 percent pure American muscle for me. Drive the best, forget the rest.” Everyone rolls their eyes at what has now become one of Doug’s favorite clichés when discussing his beloved Challenger. “Come on, Doug. Let’s take my car out tonight. You can give it a spin. I was surprised. It’s actually not that different from driving a regular car.” Doug stands up with an arrogant smirk on his face. “I don’t drive regular cars. Come on guys, it’s getting late. We’re going to have to head out if we want to beat the lines to the club.” Everyone is more than a little annoyed with Doug, but they know that by the time he gets to the club, he’ll have settled down again -- provided that no one talks about baseball. Still, this is a favorite subject of the group, and they’re getting a little tired of having to walk on eggshells every time they want to talk about pitching stats.

A D A M ’ S C A R : 9 : 3 0 P. M . Adam drives with his roommate Kyle in shotgun. He turns to Kyle saying, “Hey, man, it’s too quiet in here. Can you throw on some tuneage?” Kyle hesitates a second. “Sure... what do you want to hear?” “Just whatever, man. I’m not picky. Something with some energy, though, none of that mopey crap you listen to sometimes,” says Adam, a smile emanating from every part of his being as he shoots Kyle a playful wink. Kyle smiles back at him. “It’s not always mopey.” “I know, man, I’m just playing with you. I’m glad I got you to come out tonight. That girl is no good, man. I don’t want to get too into it, but anyone who jerks you around like that isn’t worth your time.”


“Says the guy who has a date every weekend.” “Yeah, but why do you think I do, man? Women can smell that kind of thing. They know I’m only interested in women who have something to offer, who are going to treat me right. I don’t date flakes, and the less of them I date, the more non-flakes I attract. It’s totally not complicated, I swear.” Adam smiles and Kyle stares at his feet. “Aw, man, I didn’t mean to make you feel bad. Point is you’re going to have a way better time tonight anyway. The guys I hang out with are cool. You’ll dig them. I’m actually stoked on you guys meeting. I talk about you all the time.” His face lights up. “Really?” “Yeah, I tell them I live with this guy who’s really cool but always moping around in his room, and it would be awesome if he would come out and party some time.” Kyle laughs a little, in spite of himself. “Yeah, you’re right. I spend too much time shut in. But every time I go out, it’s the same old garbage. I go home miserable, and I wish I hadn’t gone out in the first place.” “Well, that’s all going to change tonight, little buddy. I’ll take you under my wing and show you a few things. I’m not going to babysit you all night, but if you need anything, or you’re feeling out of your element or whatever, just come hit me up and we’ll regroup. And I can’t speak for the other guys, but I’d imagine the same deal applies to them, too.” “Seriously?” “Yeah, dude. I didn’t ask you to come out so that you could be miserable and alone all night. If I wanted that, I would have just left you in the apartment to do your regular thing.” They both laugh and Adam pulls into his friend’s driveway, the traditional place where they all meet up before a big night out. The guys are gathered around a pool table, sipping on craft beers and chatting about sports and work. Adam walks into the room with a big grin on his face and introduces Kyle. “Hey, guys. I finally twisted Kyle’s arm to come out tonight.” The guys come up and introduce themselves in turn. “We’re just finishing up a game of pool,” says Justin, a tall man, “You want to get in on the next round?” “I’m not very good at pool,” Kyle says. “That’s OK,” Justin says with a smile, “neither are we.”


Everyone laughs. The eight ball sinks. Justin hands Kyle a cue and walks over to the bar. “What can I make you to drink?” “Um... Scotch and soda?” Justin holds his smile. “You got it, buddy.”

IN THE CLUB Now that you’ve seen a little of how these guys interact with their friends, let’s move on to how they act in the club. As we follow them through the venue, we’re going to observe how they perform on what I call the five fundamentals of every social interaction: • Smiling is a gesture as old as time. It says, “I’m friendly!” Having a good smile is what makes the difference between “Get out of here!” being a threat and a playful jab. • Eye Contact helps to create a connection with a person, but can also be threatening if done too much. Still, if you’re like 99 percent of the guys I work with, your problem is not too much eye contact, but not enough. • Committing means committing completely to the situation. When you start a conversation, you’re all in, you’re going to see it through until the end, and not drop out when things get discouraging. • Energy is simple: It’s what’s often referred to as “state.” It’s the level of energy. In general, you want to have an energy level that is slightly above that of the people around you. This allows you to bring something to the interaction without making people uncomfortable. • Body Language can mean a lot of things, but in this context, it means one thing: The position of your body in relationship to the person you’re talking to. It’s important to see these things in action, how they play out in real world scenarios. This will do a great deal more to explain what works, what doesn’t, how and why, than any amount of dry explanation.

RYA N AT T H E C L U B : 1 0 P. M . Ryan doesn’t smile much when he goes out. It makes him feel self-conscious, and he thinks that he “looks stupid” when he does it. He does make a quick attempt at a smile whenever he makes eye contact with people, which isn’t very often. Ryan has a bad habit of keeping his eyes on the ground, and only looking at people briefly before giving them a nervous, agitated smile.


This is what he does as he walks through the club. He scurries around nervously, mostly fixing his eyes on the ground or on a wall in the distance. Every time eye contact is made, Ryan breaks into a very nervous smile, before looking away quickly. He never holds eye contact for very long at all. After a lap or three around the club, he sees that his friend is chatting up two women at the same time. Seeing a potential in, Ryan ambles up to the threesome, eyes on the ground the whole time. He nervously inches his way up. “Hi, I’m Ryan.” His eyes are fixed firmly on the ground. His voice is sullen and his face expressionless. His friend ignores him, as does the woman he is currently engaged with. The other, however, responds. “Uh, hi.” There’s an awkward silence between the two. “I didn’t catch your name,” Ryan says, standing right in front of her, facing her dead on, standing less than two feet away. He holds out his hand and she just stares at it. “That’s because I didn’t give it.” She doesn’t smile at all, but Ryan makes a nervous, grimacing imitation of a smile. “Well could I have it?” His hands are on his drink, nervously swirling the cocktail and ice around with his swizzle stick. “You don’t look like a Steph to me,” she says laughing. Ryan doesn’t get the joke, but laughs after she starts. It sounds forced, fake and half-hearted. “Huh?” “Nevermind.” The pair stands there facing each other, looking at one another, then looking away, and repeating the whole awkward cycle over and over again. Finally, Ryan takes the hint and excuses himself to head off to the bar and grab another cocktail. “Ugh, I’m so stupid.”

B R A D I N T H E C L U B : 1 0 P. M . Brad shares little of Ryan’s worries about social interactions - at least outwardly. He struts right into the club, head held high, making strong eye contact with every person that he walks by. He has a tendency to linger his gaze on women’s cleavage,


and if he happens to lock eyes with another guy as aggressive as he is, bad things might happen. But they don’t tonight. He strides up to the bar with a confident smirk on his face, using his large size to cut through the line. He notices a woman standing next to him who is just his type. He stands a little too close to her, and begins staring until she looks up and sees him. She is immediately a little spooked by a larger man standing basically on top of her, and staring right at her. His smirk widens. “Whattup?” She smiles nervously. “Hi.” He stares at her face, then at her chest, then back up at her face, making a leering grin as he returns his gaze to hers. “Hey, barkeep! I got an order for two drinks over here.” The bartender composes a pleasant face that only barely masks his irritation with Brad’s poor bar manners. “What can I get you, sir?” he asks, wiping his hands on his apron and sighing in exasperation. “I’ll have a vodka martini and whatever the little lady is having,” he says, putting his arm around her and flashing his pearly whites in a menacing manner. His eyes don’t smile at all, it’s just his teeth. She instinctively senses that something is “off.” She backs away a little and he relents, pulling his hand off her shoulder and putting it around her lower back close to her waist. Unsurprisingly, this makes her less comfortable, and not more. “Uh... I guess I’ll have a Cosmo.” “Vodka martini and a Cosmo. Coming up.” She wiggles out of his grasp, and puts an arm between her and him. “So, um... thanks?” “No troubles,” he says, already looking around the room for the next woman he plans to run game on. “You’re not exactly the friendly type, are you?” “What?” “Nevermind,” he says raising his voice to be loud enough so that everyone else at the bar can hear him. “So what’s a pretty lady like you doing in a place like this?” he says, returning his gaze to her chest, then back to her face and holding it there, unblinking, unmoving for what seems like (to her) an eternity. He takes a step closer. “Um... I just came out with some friends of mine. My usual spot is across town.” “That’s cool,” he says, inching his hand back towards her. “This is the spot, though.


I come here every week. You better plan on seeing me here a lot,” he says with a laugh that she does not reciprocate. He turns toward her, becoming increasingly frustrated that she is not returning his interest. “So what’s the deal?” he asks, almost yelling at this point. “What do you mean?” “What’s a guy got to do to get your interest?” She laughs nervously. “Uh, I don’t really know. Depends on the guy.” Her voice becomes quieter with each answer, though Brad doesn’t notice. He’s either staring awkwardly or flitting his eyes around the room, wondering who it is he’s going to talk to next. “Yeah... whatever,” he says, turning completely away from her, scowling. As soon as the drinks arrive, she’s gone and Brad has moved on to another lady.


COACH’S CORNER: BRAD F U N DA M E N TA L S Brad isn’t afraid to make eye contact with people. However, he does so in an aggressive, often sexual way, leering at women, and making them uncomfortable. This, in combination with a smirk, projects to women that he is only interested in sleeping with them, which is a huge turnoff. Women want to be appreciated for more than just their physical attributes. Showing sexual interest is fine, but Brad overdoes it, and often ends up creeping the woman out. Instead, Brad needs to focus on a warm friendly smile and eye contact without constantly checking her out physically. A warm friendly smile includes your eyes and not just your teeth. Warm smiles have projected a friendly, nonthreatening demeanor since our pre-human ancestors climbed down from the trees - and probably before. Brad commits to the interaction and stays until she makes a firm decision about him. He also has solid energy when he engages with people. All good things. Unfortunately for Brad, his body language projects that he is seeking approval, and often puts women in an uncomfortable position by staying fully positive with his body language. Instead, Brad should pivot to her side when he has her attention. This will allow him to get close to her without infringing on her personal space and putting her on the defensive. Ideally, they would be standing side by side, with Brad giving her positive body language when she becomes more engaged with him conversationally. Finally, rejection is part of the game. The problem with Brad is that he gets clearly reactive when she rejects him, scowling to end the interaction. As you know, your body language is projected to the entire room, and his disapproval betrays the warm positive energy he needs to be communicating. Instead of scowling, he should cheers her and let her know it, with a warm smile, that it was nice to meet her. “It was cool meeting you, but I should get back to my friends. Enjoy your night.”


This will disarm her completely, and others in the room will not see a rejection, but rather two acquaintances catching up. After seeing what else the bar has to offer, there’s a good chance she’ll hit up Brad later anyway.

TAC T I C S Now that we have corrected Brad’s body language, we need Brad to not take the interactions so seriously. If your whole night hinges on whether or not you pull, you’re entering a space of seeking approval. This attitude is toxic for meeting new people, be they men or women, personal or professional. Brad doesn’t help his attractiveness by ordering a drink for her and then making small talk. After noticing her at the bar, Brad should banter with her until she warms up and has a smile on her face. “You look like trouble” is a great line to get her attention, one that will set you apart from all the other guys at the bar saying “Whattup?” The great part about banter lines is that they allow you to play a silly game with her that she can easily jump into. Easy follow-ups to “You look like trouble” are to tell her that your mom warned you about girls like her, or that you promised yourself you would avoid trouble tonight. If delivered with a great smile that lets her know you’re teasing, she will play along, allowing the tension of just meeting her to dissolve.

MINDSETS Brad’s two biggest problems are that he is reactive when anything goes wrong, and that he does not show a playful and fun side while out at the bar. He should focus on being silly and making women smile before asking “what’s the deal?” This is when bantering and taking the mindset of a little boy playing will become useful.


D O U G I N T H E C L U B : 1 0 P. M . Doug and his crew roll up into the club and immediately go their separate ways. Doug isn’t a man who ever has a lot of anxiety talking to women. He’s always been outgoing and genuinely enjoys having conversations with other people. He heads up to a woman standing not too far from the bar with a big, genuine smile on his face, the corners of his eyes smiling along with his mouth. Full of the energy of possibility, Doug strides up with confidence. “Hey, there,” he says, looking her right in the eye. He doesn’t break eye contact much, but it comes off as natural and she doesn’t feel unnerved, especially after she says “hello” back and he pivots to her side, taking away some of the pressure that results from having intense, face-to-face interactions. “Hi!” she says, with a bit of energy, but without much else to say. “My name is Doug. I came out with a bunch of my friends. Love this place. You look like a lot of fun.” She laughs, “Why’s that?” “Male intuition. So tell me a bit about yourself.” “Well... I’m sort of into girly stuff like hair and makeup as you can probably tell. I’m a hairdresser.” Doug looks at her and nods. “That’s great. I’m a carpenter. I love meeting women who have a trade and know where they’re going in life.” “Totally. Nothing worse than someone with no plan.” “So what else are you into? Other than stuff related to work?” he says. The eye contact is starting to be a bit much, but Doug has a good energy level - slightly higher than hers - and has maintained a smile, communicating on a subconscious level that he is non-threatening. “I love baseball and cars. I’m really only a girl about work related stuff. I can’t fix a car myself, but I can sit and listen to a man talk about it all day and half of the night.” Doug’s ears perk up, he’s just been handed a gift. He gives her a playful tap on the shoulder. “Get out of here! I used to play ball and I’m a huge gearhead. Basically all I do when I’m not working is mess around with my car.” He steps a little closer to her and she reciprocates by inching a bit toward him. They’re touching, but just barely. “No kidding! I’ve got a ’69 Mustang. Got it from daddy when I went off to college.”


Doug makes a bit of a sour face. “Yeah. Never been much into Fords. I’m a classic Mopar guy. I got a ’72 Challenger.” “Wow!” she says, visibly impressed. “That’s a pretty cool car!” She slaps his arm. “Still, nothing can beat my ’69 Mustang. We should race some time.” She gives him a sly grin and takes a sip out of her drink, clearly making eyes at him. He turns his body away a little bit. “Yeah, well, I kind of doubt it. And whatever, my dad didn’t buy mine. I got my car together using my own two hands. Seriously, built it from the ground up. You wouldn’t really be able to compete with some shop-made American muscle like that. In any event, I’m not sure I’d want to race it against someone who had it handed to them.” Doug makes a face at her that says. “And now what?” He’s satisfied with having one-upped her story, even though it means he’s blown the interaction. She makes a horrified face, the type that often comes before a man gets a drink thrown in his face. “Wow. You’re a jerk,” she says, before calmly walking away and grabbing herself another cocktail.

COACH’S CORNER: DOUG F U N DA M E N TA L S Doug nails the fundamentals with a genuine smile and solid eye contact. He goes after what he wants immediately and commits to the interaction. He also has a great energy and knows how to use his body language to put her at ease immediately.

TAC T I C S Doug’s biggest shortcomings are tactical. He does not do a good job of being playful at the start of the interaction. Instead he jumps into rapport and begins asking her personal questions. By skipping the banter and attraction phase of the interaction process, he is increasing his likelihood of ending up in the friend zone.


Instead, some playful teasing to put a smile on her face and a high five when she begins to play along would serve Doug well.

MINDSETS As the interaction continues, you can see how Doug’s mindset really works against him. Although they clearly have a lot in common, Doug begins to get competitive rather than appreciative of her. This competition is a huge turnoff, and does not allow her to connect with him at all. Instead, Doug should tell her what he loves about Mustangs and tell her she is cool and that he digs her. She gives him a clear sign of interest by slapping his arm and challenging him to a race. Doug fumbles by putting her down instead of making a date with her and her car. She was totally interested in him, but he let her get away by focusing only on himself and his car. When a woman is touching you and making eyes at you, it’s a clear signal for you to move the interaction forward into rapport.

A D A M I N T H E C L U B : 1 0 P. M . Adam and his crew head into the club, with Adam confidently leading the way. He smiles broadly, without a touch of fakery, and takes his roommate Kyle up to the bar with him. Adam makes eye contact with just about everyone he walks by, sharing his smile. When they get to the bar, he orders them both a Scotch and soda, based on Kyle’s drink preference from earlier. When they get there, Adam toasts Kyle. “To your new life.” They clink. “What’s that mean?” “It means that today is the first day of the rest of your life. I’ve been meaning to take you out with the crew more. You stay in too much. It’s good to have you out. You’re a cool guy, Kyle.” Kyle blushes a little in spite of himself. “Thanks.”


“Wait, hold on. There’s a beautiful baby making eyes at me right now.” Kyle goes to leave. “Hey, buddy, where you going? You hang here for a second then come up to us once you see her smile. Besides, she’s got a friend with her. What am I going to do with two ladies?” Adam turns to the woman, all smiles. “Hey there! Sorry to do it like this, but you and I are going to have to break up.” “Really?” she says with a curious look on her face that quickly turns into a smile when she sees Adam’s pearly whites. Kyle approaches on cue, standing so that he’s directly facing the girl. “Yeah. Sorry that it’s come to this and everything, but it’s just the way it has to be.” Adam continues to smile. “Were we dating?” “Oh, you didn’t know?” Adam says. Kyle and the girl both laugh. Adam pivots his body so that he’s standing next to the girl. “Listen, you seem all right,” he says, holding out his hand for her to shake while putting his other hand on her shoulder, “I’m Adam. This is my roommate Kyle. You two don’t know each other, but he hears me talking about you all the time.” Everyone laughs in unison. “All right,” Adam says. “What’s everyone drinking? This round is on me.”

WATC H I N G T H E P RO C E S S U N F O L D We’ve already seen a little of the process in the narratives above. Not surprisingly, because the fundamentals are intimately connected with the process. But, they do require and warrant some separate attention. Without understanding both the process and the fundamentals, you won’t step up your game at all. The process helps get you through the initial attraction to the point when you ask her for her phone number, or to come back to your place for a drink. Let’s review. • Approach is basically what happens before you even talk to the woman. You keep your head held high, smile, make the right eye contact, and most importantly, approach right away. You project the image of a confident man that every woman is going to want to know. The best part? This can easily be faked. • Banter is playful, content-free chatter that you have with a person before getting into more serious discussions.


• Qualification, or Showing Interest - This part explains itself. It’s the part of the process where you tell the woman in so many words “You’re cool! I dig you!” • Rapport is where you establish emotional connections by talking about subjects of mutual interest. This is where the conversation moves from light and playful to serious and adult. Note that I didn’t say “heavy.” Rapport can, and often should, be light as well. It just has more actual content than banter. • The Close is where you start moving towards asking for what you want... then directly asking for it. She’s not a mind reader and there’s no way for you to know if you’re on the same page without ultimately getting very direct with her. You know the drill: It’s time to look at these guys as they make their way through the world of a nightclub.

RYA N I N T H E C L U B : 1 1 P. M . Ryan’s got a touch of liquid courage in him now, but it’s not helping very much. He’s a little more confident about things like eye contact and his energy level is up a bit. Still, he fumbles his way through the process. Spying a woman from across the room, the two hold eye contact for a second. Rather than going for it, however, Ryan skulks his way over slowly, taking any opportunity that he can to put off interacting with a woman who is clearly interested in him. By the time he finally gets up to her, she’s talking to another guy. Rather than just getting into the conversation or finding something else to do, Ryan lurks at the edges of the conversation, until the guy finally turns and says, “Can I help you?” Understandably, Ryan is a little embarrassed by this. She was clearly involved in the conversation, and he was waiting his turn to talk to her. Having it pointed out to him in such a way makes him blush, which only makes him feel more insecure. Not knowing what else to say, he mumbles, “I saw her from across the room, and she looked pretty cool. I was hoping to buy her a drink.” In one fell swoop, Ryan has played his entire hand. Besides -- why is he talking to the guy when he came over to talk to the girl? “Well how about buying us both a drink,” the guy says, smirking a little bit. “Um, sure.” Ryan pulls out a twenty-dollar bill and gets a round of drinks, getting into the conversation. “So what do you two both do?” he asks, including the other guy in the conversation as if he’s just chatting up one of his gal pals. “We’re actually both librarians,” the man says. “That’s what we were talking about. It’s rare that you get to talk shop with someone else in the field when you work


at a library. We actually went to the same school but never met one another until just now.” The woman puts her hand on the man’s arm and laughs a little. “I know, how weird is that?” “So weird, right!” The pair turns toward one another again, drinking Ryan’s drinks, but leaving little question as to whether or not he is actually involved in the conversation. Ryan doesn’t take a hint very well, or at least is a proponent of wishful thinking. He makes a couple attempts to reinsert himself into the conversation, but is basically ignored. He’s lost the momentum that he had when he first made eye contact, and he blew it when he laid everything on the line basically right away. Ryan’s mindset is his biggest obstacle. It defeats him before he even gets started. Ryan isn’t focused on fun; he’s in pain with the whole idea of being out and social.

COACH’S CORNER: RYAN He’s uncomfortable with himself, and therefore he is uncomfortable with the environment. He would rather be at home with his roommate playing video games, where he is safe from rejection. He is already expecting the worst. He looks nervous and his head is facing down most of the time. From a fundamentals standpoint, Ryan is not doing himself any favors. He’s looking at the ground. He is focused on what is going on inside of him. He is focused on the pain of being out. He isn’t giving himself a chance to soak up the music, the lighting, the décor and the people who have all come out to enjoy themselves. When others see Ryan, his body language is sending out signals of low energy, defeat and pain. Others can read this, as if it were painted on Ryan’s forehead. We all get a sense of each other by subconsciously reading body language. Though we are not conscious of this process, it has kept us alive, and after evolving for hundreds of thousands of years, it has been programmed into us. This is why you have gut feelings about people within seconds of meeting them. Ryan’s body language makes people as nervous of him as he is of them.


Ryan should smile, enjoy himself and move with the music. This would make him seem in the moment. In turn, this would allow others to feel good when seeing him, and take notice of his good vibe. When people take notice, they become slightly interested, and when people become interested, the seeds of attraction are planted.

HIS INTRO When Ryan goes to talk to others, the energy he is giving off precedes him. People are socially lazy by nature. When Ryan half-heartedly tries to get their attention, they lose interest. This is because it is easier to ignore Ryan and keep the group energy up, than deal with him and risk losing the energy. In turn, they show little to no interest, and go back to their conversation. This reaction fuels Ryan’s belief about his own unattractiveness and the cycle continues to repeat, dragging Ryan further down a path of depression and pain. Instead, with a fun filled and smiling demeanor, Ryan should commit to the interaction. Feeling good about himself will give him the opportunity to walk in and assertively give his name and ask for hers.

APPROACH Ryan puts a lot of pressure and tension on the interaction by being needy. He approaches and faces them with fully positive body language. Once he has a bit of their attention, he continues to wait for them to answer him and add to the conversation. In one instance a woman cracks a joke, which Ryan doesn’t get, which he now assumes is a joke about him, which adds to the confusion and tension in the interaction. This leads to Ryan feeling rejected, and consequently he leaves the conversation. With that warm friendly vibe we’ve been talking about, Ryan can grab her attention quickly. And because she saw Ryan earlier enjoying himself, she was already curious to see what he was all about. Of course, there is still a bit of nervousness because meeting anyone for the first time has a bit of tension to it, but Ryan positions himself slightly to her side rather than facing her directly. This, in turn, reduces the pressure on the interaction, and allows her to be more relaxed and reply to his questions. As for her remark that, “You don’t look like a Steph.” Ryan can laugh about it, understand she is flirting with him, and return with a silly banter line of his own.


INSTRUCTION Science has shown time and time again that our body leads the mind. Ryan needs to practice smiling and keep his head up. This will allow him to soak up the atmosphere that the venue had laid out for him. He needs to let his body move subtly to the music and, in no time at all, he will be enjoying himself. By performing mental body checks, he can keep his head up, shoulders down, back open, and his arms to his sides rather than crossed in front of him or holding his drink against his chest. An open body equals an open mind, so that the atmosphere can shuffle through his body. This will, in turn, help his mindset change from one that’s nervous and tense to one that’s warm and fun. Now that he is focused on enjoying himself, he can be conscious of the little victories that will allow him to feel better about himself, and begin to change his mindset from desperate to attractive. He will also need to focus on preventing his roommate from dragging him into a negative place. Doing this effectively will give others a friendly fun vibe and give him an opportunity to present himself in a positive manner because of the energy and vibe he is giving off.

B R A D I N T H E C L U B : 1 1 P. M . Without anything to drink, Brad has little fear of approaching women. His philosophy is that the more women he talks to, the more numbers he can get, and the more dates he’ll get, the more women he can “score” with. He goes up to a woman standing near the smoking patio who has shown no outward interest in him throughout the night. Walking up to her, he keeps his eyes fixed square on her chest or on the ground, completely oblivious to his own appearance until he’s talking to her. At this point, he puffs his chest out and holds his head up extra high. “So what would a guy have to do to get your number?” he asks, getting straight to the point. When your goal is to talk to as many women as possible, you don’t have a lot of time to munch on the finer points of interpersonal communication.


“Excuse me?” “You’re hot. I’d love to get together some time and see where it goes. Or you can just be the lucky lady whose turn it is to come home with me tonight. What do you say? Are you interested?” She laughs a hoarse, un-amused laugh. “Definitely not interested.” Brad doesn’t take kindly to rejection, and mutters something obscene before he tries out some game on a woman standing not too far down the bar who has, by the way, heard what he calls “flirting.” “So do you come here a lot?” he asks, putting his arm on her shoulder. She looks at him, then looks away, then looks back at him. “You must not. I’m the bar manager. It’s my night off.” “Oh snap! I guess I can skip past all the stuff I was going to ask you about your work, and get right to asking what you want to drink when we take off together.” She glares at him and removes his arm from her shoulder. “I don’t know who you are and I don’t care. I’ve gotten two complaints about you from women tonight and now I know why.” She waves at one of the bouncers who unceremoniously escorts a raging Brad outside. Brad skulks back out to his car, wondering why the place was so full of boring women, and calls his friends to hit up a late-night strip club in another part of the city.

D O U G I N T H E C L U B : 1 1 P. M . Doug is palling around with his friends having a great time when one of them mentions that there’s a woman who’s been eyeballing him for half the night, even when she’s talking to other guys. Doug looks over and likes what he sees, the two make eye contact and she gives him a smile. Doug’s had more than a couple rejections tonight and time is running short. Pulling is really important to him. The rejections, combined with his need to bring a woman home with him tonight, have him acting quickly and without a lot of regard for the women involved. “I should head over there in a couple minutes. It’s not good to talk to women right away. Gotta make them wait a bit, you know?” “I hear that!” says his friend, and the two clink glasses together. After about ten minutes he finally heads over. Unlike Ryan, Doug doesn’t have the bad luck of seeing her talking to another man when he gets over there. She’s hanging out with her gal pals, and there’s a clear field of play.


“Hey, what’s up? My name is Doug. I saw you from across the room and you looked pretty cool, so I figured I’d say hello.” “Hi, Doug. I’m Gina. Nice to meet you.” The two shake hands and Doug remains right in front of her, 100 percent facing her as if he’s interviewing her for a job.. “This is a pretty cool spot, right?” “Um, it’s all right, I guess.” “What do you mean ‘all right?’ It’s great.” he says, already starting to get a little flustered. “Yeah, it’s OK.” “Well, what’s wrong with it?” “I tend to like places that are a little quieter.” “I get you. I know places like that. I’d love to take you to one some time. You got a number I can reach you at?” “Sure. I guess. That could be fun.” Doug hears the hesitation in her voice, and he doesn’t like it one bit. “You’re damn right it would be fun. You don’t sound too into it, though. Is there a problem?” “Wow. Um. You’re a little too aggressive for my tastes,” she says, turning to her friends, and ends the conversation abruptly. An angered Doug returns to his friends, wondering precisely what it was that he did wrong.

A D A M I N T H E C L U B : 1 1 P. M . Adam is a man who knows how to talk to people, and he doesn’t enter into conversations with others lightly. He might chit chat with someone for a few minutes, but if he’s not interested, an interaction ends pretty quickly. When he is interested, however, he almost always gets what he’s trying to get out of it, be it a phone number, a job, a new bud or an evening of a woman’s companionship. He doesn’t know any magic words, he just understands how human social interactions work. This night has mostly been about the guys, because, as he’s just told them, he’s taking off to another city on the other side of the country at the end of the month. Everyone is understandably bummed, but they’re glad to hear that Adam is moving up in his career. Adam, for his part, is going to miss his friends, but is on a huge high right now. Through hard work and no small amount of golfing done with the boss, he’s


secured a position at his company that he’s been after since they hired him four years ago. It’s a big move for him and he’s feeling like a real hot shot tonight. He struts up to a woman who has just walked in, who is his type to a “T.” He thinks to himself that she’s the most beautiful woman he’s seen in a long time. This doesn’t scare Adam though, because he knows that there are tons of beautiful women in the world, and besides, he’s going to be moving anyway. “Hey there. I think you’re wearing my shirt. Can I get it back?” The woman laughs. “Nah. I think I’ll keep it. It looks better on me.” “Are you sure? You haven’t even seen it on me yet.” She moves a little closer to him as he pivots to her side. “Pretty sure.” “How did you get my shirt anyway?” “I guess I must have picked it up that night that we slept together.” Adam gets a serious look on his face. “Listen, you’re being a little forward for my tastes. I’m not a piece of meat. Do you think we could slow it down a touch?” She laughs a bit and Adam puts his hand on her shoulder, turning towards her. “You’re a pretty cool lady. My name is Adam by the way.” “Alicia.” “Alicia! That’s my favorite name! I wish I were named Alicia!” She laughs again and he softens his smile, making it less of a laughing smile and more natural. “So Alicia, what’s your deal?” “My deal? What’s that mean?” “Whatever you want it to mean. Tell me three things about you that might surprise me.” “Um, I’m a doctor, but I like to go out and drink. I just moved to this city a week ago. And I bet I can bench press more than you.” Adam holds his smile. “I’ll bet you can, since I’m not much of a gym rat. Let me see your guns.” She smiles, holds up her arms and flexes. “Feel how solid that is.” Adam feels her arm and is legitimately impressed. He turns towards her a bit more, making them faceto-face, but not quite. Holding his arm out and flexing, he says, “Feel that un-toned muscle?” She


laughs again and feels his arm. “I know, I know. I mostly work my glutes. Like to keep my butt in good shape. You can have a feel there too.” She laughs. “Maybe later. Anyway, what are you going to tell me about yourself?” “I think smart girls are great. It’s seriously the biggest turn on ever. I’m moving out of this city at the end of the month, so we’re kind of bookends there. And I can’t bench press as much as you.” She laughs again, moving closer to him and putting her arm around his waist. Adam reciprocates. “So medical school. That must have been hard. What was that like?” “Hard,” she says and laughs again. “Okay, I kind of set myself up for that. Hard, but fulfilling, I’d imagine. What do you like most about your job?” “It sounds corny, but it really is the fact that I can help people. They tell us in medical school that everyone you work on ever is going to die. Everything that we do is temporary. But in the meantime, we get to keep people alive longer and improve their quality of life. I like that I’m able to do that.” “Wow. That’s really cool. Legitimately.” She blushes a little. “Thanks.” “Listen, I’ve been hanging out with my guy friends all night. It’s been way too much of a bro fest for me. I think you should let me take you out for some after-bar breakfast food. Do you like breakfast food?” “I totally do.” “All right, well I’m buying. Let me go tell my friends what’s up and we’ll get out of here.” “Sounds perfect, Adam.”


COACH’S CORNER: ADAM Adam’s mindset is one of positivity: he believes he’s attractive and he loves life. Even though he’s been dealt a few bad hands, he can laugh it off. It’s no big deal for him because he knows everything will be all right. He understands that he’s not every girl’s type, or that not every guy will dig his vibe, and he’s okay with that. He understands that when he is faced with rejection that it’s nothing personal. Some people like Chinese food and some just prefer Italian, and that’s just fine. His head is up and he generally smiles throughout the evening. It takes him no time at all to soak up the atmosphere and is comfortable in the venue instantly. He smiles at every one, and when he realizes someone next to him has looked in his direction, he gives them a cheers, and makes his way through the venue. He is friendly with everyone, and this seems to peak the curiosity of everyone around. He seems to always think on the positive side of everything, and it’s as if everything rolls his way and he’s always appreciative of where he is. His fundamentals are rock solid. He commits to everyone he’s talking to, and because he is enjoying himself and has a smile, he presents a fun vibe, which allows everyone to feel good when he approaches. He uses his body to lessen tension by not facing people directly when he is speaking to them. It appears to everybody that he is old friends with everyone he talks to because of the way he holds himself. In every interaction, there is a giver and a taker. Adam is a giver in the sense that he adds fun to the exchange and he doesn’t look to others for approval to enjoy himself. He just does. Adam understands that when meeting new people, there is always going to be a bit of tension and pressure on the situation. Adam uses some silly banter to defuse the situation and displace the tension. As silly as his conversation might be, it’s the tonality of it that people respond to. They are quick to realize that he is there to have fun and doesn’t have a hidden agenda. This allows people to easily open up and converse with Adam and his silly jokes. When a person is responsive to this and seems a little curious, Adam will then go to find out more about that person and be rather interested in what that person is about. Everyone that Adam talks to seems


to connect with him. Adam understands that showing and stating his interest endears himself to others. During Adam’s second interaction with the doctor, he approaches by pretending that she’s wearing his shirt, and with a big smile on his face. She gets the joke and plays along. As silly as his opening line might be, and whether or not she plays along, it’s a win as long as she interacts with him. In this case, she plays along. And the banter line allows for that awkwardness of first meeting someone to be displaced with laughter, and they can verbally spar for a second to take the edge off. This allows both of them to relax a bit. After Adam introduces himself, they can effectively go to small talk. Then, Adam verbally shows his interest and she opens up about her career. This allows Adam to comment on it, and off they go chit chatting.

INSTRUCTION How is it that Adam gives value? Adam looks for the best in people. He looks for things that are unique in people and this allows him to stay on the positive side of things. Sure he understands that not all people have the best intentions, but he also understands how insecurity drives people to act out in unattractive ways. He doesn’t get upset about this. Instead he looks to make others feel good. When people are feeling good about themselves, they are less likely to act out of insecurity. When Adam sees a shirt he likes, he lets people know they have good taste. When Adam sees traits or actions he admires, he lets people know it whether they care to hear it or not. He’s not doing this to get anything. He’s doing it to build the world around him into a more positive place. People take notice of his positivity, and remember how he made them feel, which in turn allows those around him to give back two fold. Rather than spending your time looking inward to your thoughts and feelings, spend your time focused outward. Take notice of the interesting things others have to offer. Allow people to talk about their favorite topic, themselves. The more people feel comfortable opening up and speaking about the things that matter to them, the more they connect with you. When you see something unique or cool about someone, don’t be afraid to state it. Try a compliment while turning slightly to your side so that you don’t look like you are looking for someone’s time or attention by doing it. Try looking at the positive in all situations. No matter how bad a situation


might be, there is something to learn from it. Adam knows this. He’s not afraid of making mistakes. And when he makes a mistake, he is the first to admit it, and this allows him to grow as a person. To loosen yourself up to being social, and to loosen others to being around you, try cheers-ing a few people as you walk through the venue, or cheers-ing a few people in the area where you are chilling with your friends. This makes the room relax, and with that tension gone, chit chat with people around you, keep your smile going, and notice how people will gravitate to your area. With those people, who also seem to be warm and having fun, continue the conversation a bit and introduce yourself to the rest of their friends and introduce your friends to them. Be careful to not intrude on people huddled close together and having a serious conversation. Everyone is different and requires different elements to calm down in a social environment. Usually a couple drinks loosens people up.

E P I LO G U E : A DA M A N D CO M PA N Y AT T H E D I N E R Adam and his crew sit around the table. They’ve each got a post-club date with them as they nosh on bacon and eggs, sucking down copious amounts of coffee, and palling around in a more intimate way than is ever possible in a dark room with loud music. Even Kyle has pulled a friend of Adam’s girl, and not because Adam did it for him. The pair started chatting and he’s already gotten her phone number. The pair is enmeshed in conversation whenever they aren’t palling around with the rest of the group. Everyone is paired off when Adam stands on his chair, drawing sideways glances from patrons and staff alike. Still, with his infectious smile and upbeat attitude, no one is worried that he’s going to do anything menacing. Even the manager of the restaurant is forced to smile when Adam starts talking. “Everyone, everyone! Pardon me! I’m not usually going on about my feelings and what not, but I just wanted to say that in the years I’ve known these guys, they’re the best friends I’ve ever had. I’m moving across the country at the end of the month, and I’m just going to miss the hell out of these guys. I have no idea how I’m ever going to


make a group of friends like these dudes ever again, and it’s going to be a real big adjustment to be without them. I’d like to ask you all to raise your coffee mugs in toast to the best group of friends a guy could ever have.” A bunch of people around the diner laugh and raise their mugs, with a couple yelling out “Yeah!” and “Here, here!” before downing swigs of hot, black liquid. As Adam sits down, the girl that he pulled basically climbs into his lap and gives him one hell of a kiss. Adam is worried about moving to a new city, but what he hasn’t fully learned yet is that the skills he uses to talk to women will be just as effective at helping him find a new circle of bros to prowl the bars with. Kyle is already on a boost of confidence, grinning from ear to ear, and plans to pay close attention to Adam over the course of the next month. He’s already learned that there’s nothing wrong with him at all. It’s just a question of cultivating confidence and the right set of habits. And besides - there’s a group of dudes he can rely on to help him out when things get rough.


CHAPTER 10 Taking Control Of Your Social Life At the end of the day, how successful you are with these techniques has everything to do with you and the amount of work that you’re willing to put in. I don’t offer magic bullets - tricks, gimmicks or shortcuts. Instead, I offer a series of techniques that work. But “work” is the operative word here. Like I said at the beginning of this book, no one is going to swoop down like Superman and save you. All the responsibility lies with you. So the ultimate question is - how bad do you want it? In order to take full advantage of this book, you have to believe in yourself. I work with all kinds of guys at The Art of Charm - fat, skinny, rich, poor, bald, short, tall, old, young. None of that matters. Anyone can learn this. You have to make it a way of life. Nothing is sexier than confidence, but you don’t actually need it in the beginning. Remember, “Act as if.” The body follows the mind and the mind follows the body. “Fake it until you make it” is a scientific fact. You’ve got to put in the work. Clint Eastwood said once that, “We live in more of a pussy generation now.” What he means is that people expect things handed to them. People don’t want to work for their shit anymore. But the ones who have the best lives are the ones who work the hardest toward them. Make what I’ve taught you a way of life and I guarantee that you will see results. Instant, effortless results? No. But you will see results. A lot of people want that quick fix. It’s a part of the microwave culture we live in today. But social skills are something that you learn and build over time. Measure your results in weeks and months, not days and hours, and above all, don’t be afraid to cheerlead for yourself when things are going right. At the same time, view failure as an opportunity for growth, not a reason to give up. As we say often at The Art of Charm, if you aren’t fucking up, you aren’t doing it right. You don’t learn social skills from DVDs or an e-book. You learn them out in the field, interacting with other human beings. I’ve given you the tools. Now go out there


and see what they can do for you. I know that you’ll make me proud.

WAY S TO P R AC T I C E In addition to the usual suspects (bars and clubs) there are a number of places where you can practice the techniques I’ve taught in this book.

IMPROV CLASSES Improv classes are wonderful places to practice social skills. They teach you how to think quickly and on the fly. You’ll lose some of your anxiety about talking to strangers and talking in public. And you’ll be ready to react in a number of different situations. Did I mention that there are tons of women there?

TOASTMASTERS’ CLUBS Toastmasters’ clubs are generally nonprofits that exist to help you improve communication, leadership and public speaking skills. Toastmasters’ International is perhaps the most famous of these, but there are local and national organizations as well. It’s a great place to pick up skills and to network with other high value individuals who are always looking to step up their game. These are the type of people that you want to know. You’ll have to step up your game just by being around them.

DANCING When you go out, dance. Women love a guy who can dance. If you’re not any good at dancing, think about taking a dance class. You’ll get more comfortable being in your body. Dancing works in both banter and rapport. You can physically banter with women by dancing in a silly manner, then heat things up with a bit of physical rapport. You’ll start feeling a lot less self-conscious and start meeting a lot more women. Trust me. Get over your fears and just do it.

READING TO KIDS You can read to kids at your local library. This gives something back to your community, and it’s also a very safe way to get over your fear of talking to strangers. You’ll be reading from a book, so you don’t have to make anything up, and your


audience will be grateful and happy just to have you there. Plus, not that this is the reason you should do it, when women hear that you read to kids in your spare time, they’re going to love it.

S O C I A L A N D F R AT E R N A L O RG A N I ZAT I O N S It’s always good to get involved in your community. Social and fraternal organizations let you do this while networking with other high-value, like-minded individuals. They also offer opportunities for public speaking and practicing your new social skills in a relatively safe environment. It’s a given at places like this that you’ll be talking to new people, so you won’t feel the least bit out of place when you approach someone you’ve never spoken to before and start bantering.


CONCLUSION Final Words I hope that this book has given you a solid foundation to begin your journey towards a new and improved you. I know that if you follow the exercises in the first section of the book and allow yourself to have fun with the process, not only will you gain social confidence, but also have some pretty amazing experiences while doing it. All of us at The Art of Charm have utilized the skills and mindsets taught in this book to build lifestyles that suit our interests and create social circles that fulfill our lives. Maintaining a positive outlook and actively working to improve your life is an ongoing process that everyone at The Art of Charm engages in on a daily basis. I firmly believe that giving value and promoting positivity are the best ways to get the same in return. We have created a community at The Art of Charm Academy that helps our members improve themselves and the world around them. I invite you to join us and to share your tribulations and your triumphs on your own journey to becoming a social alchemis


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