How to burst the bubble of the “little ego.”
Pickup explores the human relationship between men and women.
In learning to become a better man and more successful with women a man must look at himself and face his strengths and weaknesses.
Practicing pickup forces you to take an honest look at yourself. Much like how Socrates encouraged us to “know thyself.”
In the process he learns about himself and how to get along better with fellow humans.
Isn’t that what the field of ethics is about?
Pickup is not only about self-examination, but how to get along with our fellow human beings better. Isn’t that what ethics is about?
Yes, pickup can also be compared to studying Machiavelli’s “Prince.”
Some may say “no” pickup isn’t like ethics. It’s more like Machiavelli’s “The Prince.”
That is, pickup observes humans as they are not as they “should be.” But where the analogy ends is pickup doesn’t encourage manipulation. There’s an ethical component at the heart of pickup. That is, to “leave a woman (or any person) better off than when you find them.”
It’s true pickup observes how relationships in the sexual realm ACTUALLY work. Machiavelli, too, observed how relationships in the political realm actually work. But there’s still an ethical maxim pickup artists must follow. That’s to treat every person we come across with respect. To leave them better than we find them.
But what does it mean to “leave a woman better off than you found her”?
- Look for the best in her.
- Give incredible great sex.
- Make memories.
- Give her feeling good with your positive energy.
- Learn who each other is below the surface.
- Perhaps learn about each other’s passion in life, and inspire each other to pursue it.
- Most important, to build her up.
Hold on there a sec. Doesn’t pickup lure men in by appealing to their ego though?
Doesn’t that say pickup is inherently about the ego?
This was the first book that got me into pickup. The marketing definitely appealed to my ego. I wanted to be more successful with women. I had no idea how my life would change for the better though…
True, pickup does lure men in by appealing to their egos. That lure got me into pickup. The promise of becoming a more attractive man, of having choice with women, of taking control of my dating life.
Yes, this was my dream. Yes, this is what got me into pickup. Yes, this totally appealed to my ego.
That appealed to my ego. But it also spoke to my broken heart.
Pickup gave me the ability to be proactive and do something about my broken heart rather than resign myself to saying “I’ll never succeed with women, I give up,” or pity myself and do nothing about it. I thank the skill of pickup for giving me a fighting chance.
The way I look at this lure: as sugar that helps the medicine (medicine that heals) to go down. Yes, the sugar lures guys into taking “medicine.” He may not even notice the medicine without the sugar. And so the sugar helps him to take the medicine that’s good for him in the long run.
When I was a kid I hated spinach. But then I watched Popeye cartoons. I started eating spinach to be more like Popeye. Yes, being like Popeye appealed to my ego. But I started eating spinach.
But so did Popeye cartoons appeal to my ego yet got me to eat spinach. Is it bad that those cartoons appealed to my ego if it got me to eat spinach?
It’s ironic. Pickup appealed to my ego, but in the end pickup helped me put my ego aside.
Yeah right! How?
In the beginning I sucked at pickup. Because I was trying too hard to get approval. Guess what helped me get better at pickup? When I began to let go of “getting” approval. Things got a lot easier then.
To become an effective pickup artist, this was the big lesson I had to learn. Not intellectually, but for real.
Also, I had to learn this. You get rejected a lot while practicing pickup. I learned to let go of the approval of others. Not to care what others thought of me. Just to give “feeling good,” and to take any “failures” as lessons to learn.
But I had to learn this for real. If I pretended not to want approval, I failed. Women could smell the bullshit.
In fact, I’d say women actively look for bullshit. If you approach a women, you’re a bullshitter until proven innocent.
So, I had to NOT want the approval for real. I had to learn to give “feeling good” to women with no strings attached for real.
Learning to give without needing anything in return IS the secret to success in pickup. As well as empathy.
Learning pickup is a battle of the ego. It’s about putting ego aside. Putting ego aside means becoming a giver rather than a taker.
In any event, practicing putting my ego aside changed me from the inside out.
The pain of rejection is the death of the ego. The death of the ego liberates the soul.
Continues to change me.
Now I practice not giving a shit about “getting” approval or worrying about what people think of me in general. More important is spreading some love. I got that “aha” moment from practicing pickup.
Pickup IS an art. The most effective artists are the ones who get out of their own way.
In every art, including pickup, it’s a battle of ego. Learning any art can be life-changing. Because you have to learn not to rely on an external force of validation.
So, the arc of a pickup student is this. Guy gets into the game for ego reasons, but in the end finds something more valuable: himself. Confidence. Healing of the soul. That’s why I consider pickup to be part of the self-development niche.
But what about those bad apples, you say? If pickup is so life-changing, why are there still those bad apples?
They’re still learning.
The “bad apples” in pickup haven’t made it to the other side yet. They’re filling a void in their soul by getting women to like them. They’re still relying on that external force of validation.
They haven’t made it to the other side yet. They’re stuck at a phase in their growth. Maybe they’ve had some success, but they haven’t let go of the desire to “get.” They may use women to fill a void in their souls that neither women nor anything else external can fill. Their outer-game has changed, but their inner-game hasn’t.
But that’s the man, the case, not the skill. He still has work to do.
Then there are the PUAs who are still beginners. They’re like the karate student who knows just enough to get his ass kicked.
There’s the other kind of pickup artist that many like to criticize: the beginner. He’s like the karate student who knows just enough to get his ass kicked. But his beginner status isn’t permanent. He’s still on the journey, he’s learning.
A woman may see him bumble a approach. She then jumps to the conclusion that all PUAs must be like this.
If you met a person on a college campus who was an atheist, would you conclude everyone on that campus is an atheist? Of course not. So why make that same lazy generalization of all PUAs?
To conclude then that all pickup artists are “bad” is a weak inductive argument. It’s making a sweeping generalization based on a just a few cases.
As I hinted at earlier, on the whole the guys who are learning this skill are great guys.
Many just want a girlfriend. Many are sensitive guys who wouldn’t dare hurt a woman. Many are intelligent, have personality, are talented. Many want to learn how to succeed with women better. That’s it.
Most of the guys who get into pickup are good guys. I like this definition of what a good guy is.
Only problem is they might not be the “cool” guys. They’re often the “nice guys” who got sidelined. Guys who want to learn pickup want to do something about this. Instead of playing the victim, they’re taking charge of their fate.
Does that make them manipulators or bullshitters or liars? No way. We just want to become more attractive to women. In the process, we become more excellent men.
It’s funny because women spend LOADS of time and money making themselves more attractive.
Women spend a lot of time making themselves more attractive. It’s laughable that they then turn around and criticize a man for making himself more attractive by learning pickup.
Makeup, perfume, clothes, Cosmo magazine. Women want to be attractive too. So why do they condemn men when men want to do the same? And the cool thing is to become more attractive to women a man can’t just makeover his appearance alone. That’s part of it. But more important, he must focus on the person within.
Because women seem to be more attracted to a guy’s personality and whether he’s got his life together and whether he’s got empathy and whether he’s strong, cool, relaxed. More than his looks.
So to become more attractive we have work on ourselves. Get our lives together for real. Become more assertive, outgoing, relaxed for real. Learn to become more confident, think of ourselves as the prize for real. Dress better, not to wear so much cologne, snip the nose hairs, start working out for real. We have to learn how to strengthen ourselves from within and become more empathetic for real.
Yes, empathy. Empathy is a key component to becoming a great PUA.
It’s true. Without empathy a PUA is mediocre. To feel with and to understand another is what elevates a PUA from mediocrity to excellence. If a guy can’t develop empathy, he’s not gonna succeed with a woman.
You can’t bullshit, lie, or manipulate with empathy. With empathy you treat a person as an “end,” a human being, and not as a “means,” or an “object” to be used.
This is the ultimate ethical maxim all pickup artists must abide by. To treat every person we come across as an “end,” as a human being. When we do this, we practice empathy. Empathy is the difference between a great pickup artist, and one who’s still learning.
In the end, it’s women that inspire us to get into pickup.
It’s funny because it’s those beautiful women who seem so out of reach that inspire us guys to get into pickup.
Nothing new there. Historically women have inspired men to write love songs, poems, take a shower in the morning. With pickup we’re doing a similar thing, but channeling that creative energy into working on ourselves.
But the great thing about learning pickup is it teaches a guy to harness that sexual desire for women into something higher. Into becoming a better man who’s more confident with beautiful women and other people.
By wanting to be more attractive to women, we develop ourselves for real.
To me, I’d say that’s not just a win for us, but it’s a win for women.
The best PUAs–the ones who’ve made it to the other side–have no need to lie or manipulate or put down or play on insecurities. They’re more confident. More playful. More empathetic. More their best selves… with beautiful women.
The best pickup artists are like the character of Hitch. They started out as not having a clue with women, but they end up becoming their best selves. That’s the goal at least.
I see that only as a beautiful thing.
Let me run with this theme just a little longer. Let’s talk about what the best PUAs look like… in the next part.