Mystery's show on VH1, The Pickup Artist, has gotten a lot of mainstream attention. As a result there are scores of people in that audience trying to wrap their minds around this whole "pick up thing".
I've read a few message boards where people are discussing the show, and almost universally trying to discredit the pick up. Why are people so against pickup? First instinct might be to assume that girls would be against it, but that guys would all be excited about it. Think about it - it promises to fulfill the #1 goal for nearly every man on the planet.
Here's what I think is happening.
There are two big categories of men who have problems with pickup. I'm going to talk first about the small group, and then about the bigger group.
The small group, which by definition are also an outspoken group, are the natural alpha-male types. They were discussing the show in the Tucker Max Forums, where a lot of these guys are. These are guys who have NEVER had problems with women. They naturally picked up enough attractive habits and qualities that they've never had long periods of time where they couldn't get girls. It's natural, and even correct, for them to hear about this stuff and say, "What kind of loser would need this? Getting girls is EASY. Why would you possible wear a stupid hat?"
While I don't necessary agree with their attitude, I don't have much of a problem with this group. Pickup isn't for them anyway. They already get it. Sure, we take their qualities, amplify it, and do it better than they do. We can appear natural if we want to, although going over the top is more effective. But the bottom line is that they're satisfied and don't need pickup to get girls. Fair enough.
The second group of haters are generally the worst section of society. I'm talking about the people who are so close minded that the solution to a problem can be thrust in front of their face and they'll look the other way. Unless an idea is force fed to them, foie gras style, they won't recognize it.
Pickup works. It's a fact that I've witnessed and lived. Done correctly, there is really no valid criticism against it. It is positive towards women. It is focused on self improvement. You don't become someone else, you become a better version of yourself. Pickup artists have gotten book deals, TV deals, and are collectively paid millions of dollars per year. Despite taking in the least attractive guys, we get very few complaints. Still, these people submit to their knee jerk reaction and believe, "Nope. That can't be real."
Most of the media caters to that very idea. Why? If the media became something that we had to THINK about, we'd be upset. As a society, we enjoy sitting in front of the idiot box and getting our beliefs fed to us. As long as the beliefs they feed aren't far away from what we already believe, we accept them as fact and move on. If they reported that pickup worked, every guy in America would have to think about his life and think about what it could be.
A friend of mine is the founder of one of the major pickup companies. He told me that a reporter came to do a story on him, but that it never got published. Why? The reporter later confessed to him that he was instructed to trash them, but refused to because he discovered that they were legit. His editor WOULDN'T ALLOW HIM to write positively about pickup.
I've found that the more I disregard public opinion and mainstream knowledge, the more success and happiness I've found. Following the mainstream is a great way to have a very average life.
I've got to write about this too, because the neg is the most misunderstood and most often criticized piece of pickup strategy. This is ironic, but still not surprising, since the neg might take up 5 seconds AT MOST of the entire pickup process, which often lasts for hours.
The media, as well as detractors from pickup, like to call the neg an insult. That's not what it is. There was recently a study by scientists, which was covered by the Freakonomics Blog, that discusses people insulting their partners. Steven Levitt, the author, calls this negging. It's not.
Here's what negging is, plain and simple. When you approach a woman, you are implicitly putting her on a pedestal. You're saying, "Because you're so beautiful and I'm just some average guy, I will make the effort to come talk to you." The neg is a quick jab not intended to lower her self esteem, but rather intended to let her know that you are confident enough to be yourself around her.
A classic neg is pretending to pick a piece of lint off her sweater. Does that make her feel bad about herself? No. It just shows that she's NOT on a pedestal, and that you'll treat her like a normal human being. It remedies the awkward imbalance of social power that comes with any interaction where you approach her.
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