Feeling Good After a Bad Interaction

by Eric Disco
Nov 20

rubenslp-15It was a while since I’d gone out at night with some friends just to run game.

After a chomping down a steak barbecue, we head out to the streets to hit the bars of Williamsburg.

The agenda for the evening? The apocalypse opener.

You say “Hi. How are you?” She responds. She asks how you are.

In as casual a tone as possible, you say “Good. Do you want to go home with me?”

After a few drinks when you’re running around with your buddies, this opener ends up being more funny than anything.

On our way to the bars, we do the opener a number of times to women walking by on the street. Almost all positive responses.

Most women think it’s funny.

After having a lot of fun interactions in different bars, we end up at a crowded bar with loud music.

I open two cute women who are in conversation with each other.

Start to banter with them and have fun. Actually get them up and dancing for a minute.

Then I look at one of the women and say “I get the feeling you’re¡Ä a fashion designer.”

Immediately, she gets this look on her face like I just backed over her puppy with my car.

“Why¡Ä? What¡Ä why would you even¡Ä???? Why would you talk about our jobs? We were having so much fun! Why would you¡Ä?????”

I can tell I’ve hit a sore spot with her. A very sore spot. In fact, I can tell from the look on her face, there’s no turning this interaction around.

rubenslp-9So I back turn them. Walk off.

For some reason, even after all the outrageous openers we used, this gets to me. I can feel my body start to react. I start to feel rejected.

The interaction starts to replay in my mind as I think and think and think of what I could have done differently.

Logically I don’t care. I talked to so many people that night and had great successful interactions. But for some reason this bothers me.

This is a critical moment. I know this.

This is the moment that makes or breaks you.

You can have ten successful interactions, and if you end up feeling bad about one interaction, it can steal your confidence and give you even MORE approach anxiety than you had before.

That’s because what you do after the interaction is as important as what you do before the interaction.

If I allow myself to keep thinking about this, it retriggers those feels of rejection, anxiety, embarrassment and ultimately shame.

But if I handle it now, I’ll be feeling better soon.

How do I handle it?

Firstly, affirmations. Every time that thought–or feeling–is retriggered, I say an affirmation. That affirmation doesn’t necessarily need to make me feel better at the time. I just need to say it in my mind.

bailarinaThat affirmation might be:

I was fucking awesome because I took a risk.

-or-

I’m a rock star.

Secondly, I do some deep breathing. This helps me to relax.

Thirdly, I’ll joke around with some friends. I’ll tell them what happened and laugh about it.

If I don’t do anything to catch myself, the next day I will feel it.

Instead, I “recover” from this. I do think about it a number of times, but continue to say my affirmations.

The next day, I see an absolutely gorgeous girl on the subway platform. Because I’m in a good state, I approach without hesitation.

I open her and end up getting a date with her.

If I had let the previous evenings rejection get me down, I would not have been in a good state to do this.

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posted in Embarrassment and Rejection

COMMENTS
11 responses

It’s like, when one door closes another opens. Ever bad experience has its positive effect too :) Nice one.

Dan says:

Hey Eric, your description of events and use of affirmations reminded me of this article I read on Tiger Woods.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2009/jul/26/sports-psychology-choking

Woods keeps his composure where others “choke”. One of the tactics he uses is to focus not on the specifics of his game, but on banal phrases like “never give up. never give in to anything. mental toughness”, which describe the general nature of the game he wishes to play. Sports psychologists did some research on this practice – which they called “holistic cue words” – and it came up trumps.

Many people find affirmations to be rather cheesy and non-specific, but it seems this could actually be a good thing.

Eric Disco says:

Great article. Thanks for posting, Dan. This part is quite interesting:

Anxiety only interfered with performance when it was coupled with self-consciousness. Nervous golfers who thought about the details of their swing, such as how to position their hips, hit consistently worse shots.

It’s one of the pardoxes of getting good at pickup. You want to improve your skills but you also want to reduce your inhibition. Two sides of the same coin in becoming successful with women.

If you had zero inhibition, you’d probably be pretty great at pickup because you could try everything endlessly without fear of rejection, embarrassment, negative emotion. You would also learn at a geometrical rate because you have less tension and nervousness.

If you had brilliant skill, you would probably also have less anxiety, because you knew that everything you were doing was exactly right.

But nobody has zero inhibition or perfect skill. If you have a deficiency in skills, it will affect your inhibition. And if you have inhhbition (approach anxiety), it will affect your skill.

The key here is understanding where your major growth lies. If you are so paralyzed by approach anxiety that you can’t do anything, then trying to improve your skills will only make things worse. At that point you need to focus on reducing your inhibition and anxiety in meeting women–although that’s never completely separate from the skills involved.

Eric

relentless d says:

I forgot all about affirmations, very useful indeed when it comes to damage control situations. I wish I remembered about it earlier, but thanks for reminding me eric!

Joe says:

Eric,
I’m sorry to ask you this but I don’t understand why you felt rejected. Now of course, if the girl is gonna put a sour face on and freak out over a statement like that, I guess it’s better to just walk away from it than deal with it, right?

It was just a guess, wasn’t it? I still don’t understand why the girl would go nuts. Please get back to me. I don’t mean to sound like an idiot but my interaction with women doesn’t measure up to yours yet.

Eric Disco says:

I’m sorry to ask you this but I don’t understand why you felt rejected.

Feeling rejected isn’t a logical decision that you make. It’s your body reacting. I was having a great interaction with these women. We were having fun. And all of a sudden she turns super negative based on something I said.

Now, it could have been that I hit a sore spot. Maybe she hates her job. Maybe she just got fired. Maybe she just decided that she can’t make it as a fashion designer even though that’s what she loves most in the world.

I don’t know. But it almost doesn’t matter. I didn’t necessarily do anything wrong, or even anything I could learn from in particular. I just *felt* rejected. You can’t help that.

if the girl is gonna put a sour face on and freak out over a statement like that, I guess it’s better to just walk away from it than deal with it, right?

It depends. Sometimes you can recover from something negative. In fact, that’s part of the whole process. Not everything you say and do will hit it’s mark. You need to keep making adjustments. Kind of like steering a boat. It’s not all right or wrong answers.

With this girl I could have tried to recover it. I could have gone with something like “That’s so cute! All she wants to do is have fun!” I could have tried to turn it around. But based on my experience and judging her reaction, I assessed that there was no way to turn this particular interaction back to positive. It was lost.

Eric

Joe says:

I see where you’re getting at. This big puddle of rejection splashed on your face and it turned you upside down.

Eric – here’s my bit of advice. The girl went from happy/sociable to crazy-angry. First you were having fun with her, then after she flipped her lid she made you walk away. Her negative outburst played off onto you and sent you DOWN WITH HER to that pessimistic ‘failure’ frame of mind.

This same sort of case happened with me once: I went out with a group of friends from work. One of the girls, Rachael, didn’t show up. She went to another bar with a few others. I texted her stating where we were, but no reply back.

SO I TEXTED HER THE NEXT NIGHT
Me: “Hey Rachael, are you ok?”
Her: “Yeah I’m fine, Why?? Why the hell are you asking me that?”
Me (staying calm and collected): “I didn’t see you last night so I started to get worried. Now I’m texting you because it just bothered me again.”
Her: “Oh yeah I’m ok. Thanx for asking”
Me: “You gotta understand – it’s of my nature to stay protective of the girls I know. I never want some bad shit happening to you or the other girls”
Her: “Aww thank u. Yeah everything was kosher”
Me: “Haha ok I’ll catch ya at work whenever – have a good night”
Her: “u2″

This is how I handle this sort of thing – I diffuse the bomb. Granted, these types of girls that go from happy to angry, or sad to playful are deemed to be a ‘shade of bi-polar’ in my view. It’s a potentially harmful flaw of theirs that I can actually MANAGE to deal with, only to some extent. In other words, if I diffuse their bomb successfully and easily, I can still view them positively and disregard this flaw. But if the bomb goes off and they lose absolute control of their emotions to which I can’t help settle, then FUCK IT. They’re too emo-crazy for me to deal with.

If this girl flipped out on me, I would have said “Woah, wait a minute, settle down!” I’m not gonna apologize to her because … why the f*ck should I? I had no idea she would just freak out over a simple guess that many other girls would smile about and say “No, try again. I’ll give you a hint ^^”. Seriously, when I’m in a good mood, I refuse to let ANYONE bring me down. Any girl or guy cannot break my confidence when I’m out and about. I can accept some negative criticism such as a flaw of mine that needs to be fixed. But I’ll just stay positive and not let the shit affect me and ruin my night. I don’t get depressed because I’m not scoring dates with a girl I want. I also don’t think negatively on the friends I have. Sure, they have flaws but I can still accept them because of their positive traits. PROS outweigh the CONS to me. And when I have that mindset, I believe that my social interaction goes up. And if a girl ever wants me to buy her a drink, which usually happens a lot of times, I’ll nicely object if I want to be serious.
Or else I’ll joke with it
“I don’t want to give you a head start on me. Buy me one first!”
“I can smell the alcohol stemming from your breath, and yet you want more? I’m an undercover cop – you know what that means right? THAT MEANS … YOUR ASS IS WALKING FAST TO THAT DOOR AND I’M GONNA CHASE YOU DOWN AND BOOK YA FOR PUBLIC ENDANGERMENT OF INTOXICATION! GO NOW LOL”
“You really a cop?”
“Fuck nah but it’s so fun to get a rise out of people for it”

OK I’ve gone overboard with this but I hope you understand my though process of dealing with rejection, Eric. We all have been rejected at least once in our lives – from dates, sex, golf, watching a good movie alone because the girlfriend wants to talk, blah blah. It happens and the best thing to do is not let it get to ya. Think about why it happened and work on your game.

Eric Disco says:

Joe said

If this girl flipped out on me, I would have said…

There are all kinds of ways to socially respond to bad reaction. There are any number of things I could have said to her. But this article was addressing the emotional aspects of rejection, which everyone feels, regardless of their ability to “diffuse” situations.

In other words, if I diffuse their bomb successfully and easily, I can still view them positively and disregard this flaw. But if the bomb goes off and they lose absolute control of their emotions to which I can’t help settle, then FUCK IT. They’re too emo-crazy for me to deal with.

Agreed. If you can diffuse a situation and change it back from negative to positive, then it’s all good. But if you can’t then you walk away. This is exactly why I walked away from her.

Seriously, when I’m in a good mood, I refuse to let ANYONE bring me down. Any girl or guy cannot break my confidence when I’m out and about. I can accept some negative criticism such as a flaw of mine that needs to be fixed. But I’ll just stay positive and not let the shit affect me and ruin my night. I don’t get depressed because I’m not scoring dates with a girl I want. I also don’t think negatively on the friends I have.

This is a good philosophy to have, but it’s just that, a philosophy. You mentally deciding that you aren’t going to let anyone get you down is a good thing. And that’s part of the process.

But I guarantee people still sometimes bring you down. I guarantee people break your confidence. I guarantee you don’t always stay positive. I guarantee you sometimes feel down about not getting dates–even though you logically don’t care.

How do I know? Because you’re a human being, not a robot.

We all have been rejected at least once in our lives – from dates, sex, golf, watching a good movie alone because the girlfriend wants to talk, blah blah. It happens and the best thing to do is not let it get to ya. Think about why it happened and work on your game.

Telling someone to “Not let it get to them” is similar to the natural who tells guys to “just be confident.” This isn’t any help to the guy who isn’t confident. You don’t just “not let it get to you.” It’s not a logical decision that you make. Not letting things get to you is a skill that’s learned through repeated interactions and repeated practice.

Eric

Dave says:

Eric, you are my hero. I completely forgot about affirmations, and anymore, I find using them more crucial in life than with the women I meet. I constantly am hard on myself for taking risks, or thinking about something a certain way when it was PERFECTLY fine left alone thinking about it in a way that made me feel good. I’m the kind of guy that keeps flipping over stones that were flipped dozens of times before, making sure I didn’t miss anything, and when i *do* find something I missed…I trip! My point is, I am glad I have your site to come back to when it comes to affirmations. I wish we were all perfect and didn’t make mistakes…but I always remember that without mistakes, we wouldn’t be perfect anyway. So thank you!

Eric Disco says:

Thanks for the feedback, Dave. Encouraging words.

Eric

Karma says:

Man Eric, I thank you for baring your heart and helping us learn.

While other pickup gurus only post their successes and closes (while their rejections and blowouts are conspicuously missing) your trademark style has been to bare your soul and allow us generous peeks inside.

I know that’s a huuuugely ballsy thing to do. And I know that you’re doing it to help us learn. Please don’t ever stop doing it, even if some your readers misinterpret the spirit of your post.

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