At the Art of Attraction workshop in New York this weekend, Comcast was filming segments for cable TV. They’d filmed us teaching the guys in workshop. That night they were going out with us to catch the guys in action.
I was taking a student out into the field to be filmed on camera. He was going to try to work the magic he’d learned in the workshop.
But the night before had been a rough ride for him. He’s a muscular black guy who was intimidating as hell for a lot of the girls. He was just too much. On top of that, he easily got down on himself when approaches didn’t go well. And that was without cameras.
As we exited the subway, the camera crew gathered around him. Three guys crowded around him wiring him up with a camera and microphone.
From the look on his face, they may as well have been strapping a bomb to him. He was scared as hell.
I start to think through every thing I know about anxiety. What could I possibly tell him that would help him here?
The best thing I could say to him turned out to be nothing. Instead of talking to him, I got him talking to me.
I asked him about where he went to school. He started to open up.
“You go to Wharton?” I said. “That’s the best business school in the country. I’m impressed.” And I was impressed, genuinely impressed.
After just 90 seconds of conversation, the look on his face changed. He was able to relax. He looked like a real person. He was a cool, relaxed guy instead of a prisoner of war.
From that point on, we weren’t soldiers in a pickup army about to get decimated by the enemy. We were both real people with a life, a history, and feelings connecting in a genuine way.
And he did great that night. He was talking with people in a real, genuine way not as if they were a threat to his well-being.
It reminded me of one of the first things I ever learned about pickup.
It’s not how you make her feel about you, it’s how you make her feel about herself.
I lose sight of that sometimes. Sometimes in trying to attract the girl, I throw all this stuff at her, verbal pyrotechnics. I go overboard thinking up things to say to her when all I really need to do is get her talking.
If you can get her talking, get her sharing things with you, your work is done. You’re in.