Why do you get girls more easily when you’re not trying?

August 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Articles

Zan has an excellent article on his Natural Game forum about why guys get girls easier when they aren’t really trying.

Fellow Pirates,

Have you ever noticed how when you’re not trying to pick up girls, they seem to be more interested in you? And when you deliberately try, it’s like they scatter away. There’s been many ways to explain this, (inner game issues, outcome attachment, a sixth sense that girls have, etc) I have been thinking about this for a few days, letting it brew since I got the original idea. I think there’s a scientific basis for it. Let me try and set this up for you so it makes sense.

I just finished reading a book by Daniel Pink called Drive, which is essentially a book on motivation. I don’t intend to summarize the whole book in one paragraph but I will give you a brief introduction. Pink introduces the idea of Motivation 2.0 which is the rewards/punishment model of behavioral psychology (he calls it carrots and sticks) and he makes the case that it is an outdated model that no longer works in our current business climate.

He then talks about a new kind of motivation, dubbed 3.0, which centers on the research of Edward Deci and Self-Determination Theory (SDT) Essentially this new model of motivation is based on 3 core needs all humans have in order to enjoy what they do. They are: Autonomy (to have the freedom to set your own schedule and choose your own projects), Mastery (to get better at something) and Purpose (to have your work mean something)

What researchers have found through experiments is that Motivation 2.0 works really well for tasks that are algorithmic in nature. So if a job is comprised of a series of steps that are clearly laid out, then carrots and sticks work really well, that is the larger the reward, the better the performance. However, this model falls really short when tasks are creative in nature, require conceptual thinking and are not clearly laid out. In fact it falls really flat. Time and time again, researchers found that the large reward cripples people’s ability to do even simpler tasks like solving a puzzle.

In fact there are several well-documented averse effects that rewards/punishments introduce when dealing with creative tasks: (I’m only listing the ones that are relevant to the discussion here as we’ll see in a bit)
1) First rewards/punishments really crush creativity and ingenuity.
2) Second, they can extinguish intrinsic motivation, so the activity becomes more work and less fun.
3) It narrows down thinking and encourages cheating, shortcuts and unethical behavior (like a salesperson lying to you so he can make his quota)
4) It fosters short-term thinking

So how is this relevant to our discussion?

When we look at the idea of attracting women, do you think that it’s an algorithmic (i.e. step by step) type of task or a more creative type of task? Regardless of what PUA’s tell you, I would argue that it’s more of a creative task requiring ingenuity, wit, creativity, etc. There is no system that is clearly laid out, step by step that will guarantee results.

Now, assuming this, when you go out with the sole purpose of approaching women or picking up women, what type of motivation do you have in mind? Again, I would argue that you’re operating more out of a reward/punishment mindset where the reward is sex (or maybe a relationship) and the punishment is loneliness.

Given this, it’s no wonder that your tongue gets tied and you’re stuck trying to think of what to say next. Your brain has a clear destination in sight and is asking for the algorithm (the formula) of how to get there!! All your creativity is gone and if you try to do this all the time, as many PUA’s say you should practice relentlessly, then it slowly starts to feel like work and it’s no longer fun. And the most dangerous part is that you’re now thinking short-term and you tend to disregard longer term consequences. You want to get laid and you’ll do it at any cost, thus behavior such as trying to get the girl drunk or trying to force her (unethical behavior) definitely comes to mind!! If you’re a good guy, you’ll just leave frustrated.

This is also known as being attached to the outcome, but given the rewards/punishment model and 30+ years of scientific research to back it up, it’s a lot simpler to understand if seen in this light.

On the other hand, when you’re out having fun and not even thinking about pick-up, you’re being yourself, your entire creative mind is available to you so you’re naturally witty, charming and creative, and if the reward doesn’t even enter your mind (or you somehow DON’T think of sex as a reward) then you’re free to act as you please and things end up in intimacy it’s no big deal.

It’s the equivalent of the painter who’s painting for fun rather than for a commissioned piece. He doesn’t know where the painting is going to end up, he has no fixed end in sight and is simply enjoying the process but is tweaking as he goes. Research in fact found the pieces produced through this process were seen as much better work (and thus of higher value) by art appraisers than pieces that were paid for in advance.

In conclusion, we’re faced with the question of “How do you implement this in a way that reverses the negative effects of reward/punishment thinking and act more naturally?”

I only have two ideas, but am leaving this open for discussion:

1) Don’t focus on sex or relationship as a reward and loneliness as punishment. Go out there with the focus on having fun and enjoying yourself, not to run game.

2) Change the meaning of sex/relationship from a reward you get to something that happens. It’s not the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Sure it’s hard to ignore horniness when you see lots of scantily clad young women throwing their sexuality around like a status symbol. When sex is no longer a reward or loneliness no longer a punishment you’re finally free.

This is just a hypothesis of mine and clearly not a scientific theory so take it with a grain of salt. It’s just a different way of thinking that maybe will help you answer the question of what to do or understand what people mean by “just be yourself” or “do whatever you feel like doing”

As always, excellent advice from Zan.  :-)

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