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On Practicing Gambits

08 Jul

“Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.” — Confucius

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation.” ― Robert H. Schuller

To have a successful approach, be prepared.

All of us get approach anxiety. It’s fucking scary. Be-lieeeeeeve me, I know. Those of us guys who actually grit our teeth and approach–awesome! But a lot of us still don’t know where to take the interaction, and we’ll run out of things to say. Ever happened to you? Sure as hell happened to me. Then we run away with our tail between our legs, and hope to never approach again.

Blagh (that’s a throw-up sound).

Solution?

Be prepared BEFORE you approach. Know where you wanna take an interaction. By the way, your goal is qualification. Qualification is the turning point of an interaction from the attraction phase to comfort. In addition to knowing where you’re gonna take things, you also gotta know what you’re going to say.

In other words, BE PREPARED. Your chances of a successful approach will go up in proportion to how prepared you are.

Knowing each thing you’re going to say is called a “gambit.”

What’s a gambit?

The word comes from the game of chess. Remember, pickup is like chess. It’s an intellectual game that takes strategy. That’s why it’s NEVER recommended to drink alcohol when you’re out picking up (unless you’re Tucker Max). You need your mind to be as clear and sober as possible.

Anyway, the word comes from the Italian gambetto, literally, the act of tripping someone, from gamba leg (source: http://www.merriam-webster.com). The word was originally used in 1561 by a Spanish priest Rúy López de Segura, from an Italian expression dare il gambetto (to put a leg forward in order to trip someone). The Italian word gained the Spanish form gambito that led to French gambit, which has influenced the English spelling of the word. (source: wikipedia)

In chess, a gambit is when a player offers his opponent one or more pawns to gain an advantage in position at the beginning. It can be either ‘accepted’ or ‘declined.’

The Benko Gambit, a well-respected gambit. Credit: chesscorner.com

Conversation soon borrowed the word. In conversation, it can be a remark to open up a conversation. It’s a stratagem. It can be a word or phrase which helps one express what he or she is trying to say. In pickup, it can be as simple as a roll-off.
                                                                                                                                                                 There are 3 categories of gambits for the attract phase:
Category 1: Sexual tension (negs, banter lines, role play). Short term attraction.
Category 2: DHVs (stories). Substantive, long-term attraction.  What kind of person you are…
Category 3: Qualifier (questions). What kind of person is she?
                                                                                                                                                                  I can hear the eye-rolling. Memorizing gambits? That’s silly. Things should be spontaneous. That’s what I thought too. But consider these three arguments why it’s not silly.
                                                                                                                                                            First of all, hoping good conversation magically just happens? Are you serious? That’s a passive way of looking at things. Man, take leadership, and make a good conversation happen.
                                                                                                                                                                Second of all, check out this beautiful passage from the novel “Immortality” by Milan Kundera:

“If our planet has seen some eighty billion people, it is difficult to suppose that every individual has had his or her own repertory of gestures. Arithmetically, it is simply impossible. Without a doubt, there are far fewer gestures in the world than there are individuals… We could put it in the form of an aphorism: many people, few gestures.”

We all use gambits without our being aware of it. The language we use, the jokes, the sayings, the facial expressions, the gestures… how many of them are truly original, and how many are borrowed and learned?

Third of all, learning gambits is like learning to play a musical instrument, like piano. You learn a piece and practice it until it flows out of you naturally. You don’t just play it, but you play it. In the process, you become familiar with the language of music. Soon, the piece becomes yours. It becomes spontaneous. It becomes art. And when you learn gambits, you’ll pick up the language of attraction.

So, learning gambits is like learning to play a piece of music. It’s like training to become a musician or artist.  Even Michelangelo or Donatello copied the great masters in order create their own masterpieces.

So, here’s how to practice gambits.

First, pick ONLY ONE gambit from each category. Pick more than that and you’ll confuse yourself. You’ll suffer from analysis paralysis.

Second, practice the 3 gambits. Practice each 5 times by yourself to memorize them. Practice the delivery 5 times in front of the mirror to get the body language and facial expressions right. Now you’re ready to try em in the field. Practice each 5 times in the field.

When memorizing, try to understand what the gambit is trying to say. You don’t have to memorize word for word, but understand the theme. That way you can create your own, and it can flow out of you naturally. The fun of learning gambits is handling them so your own voice shines through.

Third, choose 3 new gambits. After you’ve practiced each gambit a total of 15 times, or it feels like it’s yours, you may pick a new gambit from each category. Step-by-step you’ll have a full repertoire to work with.  Mystery once said he has about 300 gambits in his head ready at any time. But it took time to get to that point.

Practice your gambits each day like a musician practices his scales or a basketball player practices his foul shots, until this attraction language becomes a second language.

Approach anxiety? Gone. You’ll find you can’t wait to try out new gambits on the girl who works in a coffee shop, a cashier, the bartender, a group of girls in the lounge, whoever. It won’t be about “getting” her, but just sharing a little joy. And that’s the key to a successful approach.

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2012 in Home, Practicing

 

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