(Old fashioned typesetting isn't the most efficient way to print, but...)
As we walked to Mel's Diner, her phone kept ringing. Not the typical I'm-in-LA-and-I'm-popular ringing, but more of a your-house-is-burning-and-I'm-trying-to-notify-you ringing.
"Do you need to get that?"
"Oh no," she replied, without taking the phone out of her purse, "it's just my ex-boyfriend."
Five minutes later, the phone was still ringing.
"How did you meet this guy?"
"I met him at a club. I didn't really like him very much, but he kept talking to me. When I would leave to go to the bathroom, he would find me again."
"And you gave him your number?"
"Well, I didn't want to. But he kept asking me over and over again, so I eventually figured if I gave him my number he might leave me alone."
"But he didn't?"
"No. He kept calling and asking me out. Finally I decided to just go out with him to make the calls stop."
"But they didn't?"
"No. The date wasn't very good, but he kept asking me out again. Eventually I became his girlfriend."
"And now you've broken up with him and he keeps calling you?"
Amazing. I never saw this girl again, and I'm sure she doesn't remember me, but I think about this interaction all the time.
It shows that stubbornness can be more effective than tact. Back when I went out all the time, I prided myself on having a lot of finesse. I could sense the mindset the girl was in and respond appropriately. If she was getting bored I'd suggest going somewhere else. If she didn't feel comfortable I'd back pedal a bit, slow down, and try to connect on a human level, instead of joking around. But if she didn't return my call, I wouldn't call back. Too proud.
A friend was asking my advice about a girl he was trying to see. She flaked a couple times and my advice was not to call her anymore.
"Yeah," he said, "I know that's the right move, but it sure feels like losing."
He's right. Brute force persistence may not work every time, but at least there's some chance of success. Not calling conveys all of the right things: I'm not desperate, I'm not too attached to this, and I'm not needy; but almost certainly won't result in ever seeing the girl again.
Seeing this annoyingly persistent guy succeed gave me the same feeling I get when I see scammy internet marketers making hundreds of thousands of dollars pushing worthless diet pills. It's not quite jealousy, and it's not quite inspiration. The best I can put it is that I realize that I'm not doing things the most effective way, and I begrudgingly accept it. It's the intersection of drive and personal standards, seeing the way to getting what you want, but being unwilling to do it.
This post could have been about the triumph of stubbornness, and its close cousin, persistence. If the guy from the story was retelling it, it would probably come out that way. But to me it's a reminder than winning isn't everything; how you play matters too.
Great post !
It makes me realize that each time I jeopardized my values, it turned bad ..whether I achieved my ends or not ;)
The point is to know when to persist and when to move on without going insane.
@Violin Thanks, I agree with you. I have two big projects I'm working on, so my focus hasn't been the blog. I do have one really good post coming up, but I need to make some video for it.
Usually love your blog, but your posts haven't been very inspiring, or inspired, lately. Just looks like you're restating what you've already said in old posts. Working on a new project that precludes you from having new stuff to write about? :P
Also, I liked it more when you were doing the "one post a day" thingie. These last posts look like they've had more thought behind them, but aren't really that much better because of it.
Hope the feedback helps!
Try combining persistence (when neccessary) and tact. Like if she flakes for a legit reason, wait 2-3 weeks and get back in touch.
everyone is taking her words way too seriously. she probably did like the guy initially, until she didn't, at which point she backward rationalized that she didn't ever really like him and only let him move things forward because he was so persistent.
this post was lame. an excuse not to face reality as it is because of some bullshit principles no one cares about. at the end of the day you either win or lose. if people are stupid enough to voluntarily give you money for shady weight loss pills (or whatever it is) then why wouldn't you take their money? it's not the job of a business to tell people what they should want, it's to give them what they do want as evidenced by what they're willing to spend their money on.
I was waiting for the, "then I had sex with him, just so he'd stop pestering me." part. He could have got there. Good stuff man.
I agree with you that this guy did not reach his personal goal with this girl. Although that "goal" may have changed over the course of their relationship. It may be sexual at first, but then it may have become one of self esteem and self desirability in other's eye. Either way, I appreciate persistence in a noble goal. Based on the story, however, I am afraid that this may not have been the case...
i loved this post, especially the ambivalence. Being overtly persistant is a way to get what you want, but that path can be quite ugly, effective but without tact.
This is a continuation of the story, How I Became a Famous Pickup Artist Part 1. If you haven't read that already, you should do so before reading this article.
Papa was notorious for being in contact with everyone in the pickup scene. I couldn't blame him, either - he was the business side of "Real Social Dynamics", a company that taught seminars and workshops to aspiring players. Not surprisingly, he was the only person at the seminar that I knew.
In order to extract every last precious second out of my experience, I had gotten on the earliest flight to Chicago that I could book. I called Papa when I arrived at the hotel at 10am. I could hardly make out his voice. He'd been out in the clubs until very late and was still sleeping.
Recently I shared the benefits of smiling which include living longer, having happier marriages, and being perceived as more likable. These things all sounded great and I wanted to put them to the test, to smile at people and get a smile in return.
My first challenge was our youngest daughter. We were sitting down to a family dinner and she was pouting about either having to eat something she didn't want or not eat something she did want. That's how most of our food discussions at home go - not being served enough food from the marshmallow/chocolate food group. She sat there pouting and instead of explaining to her the virtues of micronutrients and why she couldn't have all the sugar she wanted, I smiled. I talked to the other members of our family and kept smiling - and it worked. Eventually she smiled back and began eating the peas she was refusing. Plus one for the power of smiling.
The next day I was picking her up from preschool and thought I would try to bring a bit of joy to her teacher. Being around 18 four-year-olds cant' be the most relaxing job one could have so she might need some of the endorphins I was inspiring. I waited in the line of parents to collect my daughter and when it was my turn I stepped to the door wearing a big smile like it was an "I Voted Today" button. It worked again! Though she is a cheery teacher and probably smiles alot, she wasn't smiling before I arrived and she was smiling after she met me. I think scientist call this a natural experiment, I'm calling it further proof that I can bring smiles to people. At this point I feel my power building.
Riding this high of success, a thought occurs to me. Maybe I'm playing in the minor leagues. What if my daughter and her plucky teachers are easy smilers. What if they smile all the time and they're already getting the benefits? I need to find people who need these smiles more. Luckily our little town has just the place.
We pull up to Taco Bell as a family the next day. Here I'll test my chops. Only the happiest people are going to be smiling working at Taco Bell during the lunch shift. I worked at Wendys during the lunch shift and the only time I smiled was when I was eating free food. This would be a blank slate attempt. I could safely assume there were no smiles there before me and I could test how many smiles were there when we left.