Someone I know recently said something about PUA stuff that makes me think of this. Yeah there are lots of men (and women) who view relationships as an adversarial game and think they need to ‘trick’ people into sleeping with them. I see it done by both men and women without them knowing they’re doing it (or maybe they did know they were doing it…).
It’s still quite clearly the case that the men of our world are the ones who are made to feel like it’s down to them to take the initiative and be more forward in speaking to women. Well at the very least I can confirm that I don’t get girls coming up and speaking to me out of nowhere because they like the look of me. This simply does not happen.
But this PUA thing isn’t always like that, at a basic level it’s trying to make sense of evolutionarily created psychology.
I’ve read a few books and watched a few videos and found that some things made sense but also that some things were a little naff/cheesy and can only apply to a certain sort of person (both the men who choose to use the ‘techniques’ and the women who respond well to them). The biggest thing I learned though was that confidence is attractive.
‘Negging’, for example, isn’t about undermining someone’s self confidence. Both men and women with confidence do it naturally when flirting. It’s supposed to be quite playful. Being socially awkward means I’m too scared to act naturally around people I find attractive whereas I might joke and tease with those I am. By understanding the purpose of this kind of interaction it makes things a little easier. Someone I know has flirted with me by making fun of the fact I tend to wear a lot of black and calling me a ‘goth’. I don’t care if the fact this kind of thing has been given a PUA term, it’s still the same kind of thing. I don’t think that’s an undermining of confidence. If someone were to make fun of someone for something they were genuinely insecure about in an attempt to lower their self esteem that’d be horrible and wouldn’t really be much use.
I wish I could talk to people ‘like a fucking human being’ but here’s the thing: I get anxious so easily that I can’t do that. Being silent and awkward and eager to escape situations where I’m around people I’d like to get to know is not really a good idea. Some of the best PUA stuff I found was a podcast where the balance was just right and it was more about being in a positive frame of mind and being comfortable with demonstrating positive aspects of your personality.
The major problem with the PUA thing is that it’s a business and as a business they need to market themselves well. They advertise by boasting about how much sex you’ll get and making it sound like you’ll be a totally different person at the end of it.
Actually, I still just avoid speaking to girls who I find attractive, either purely from appearance or having got to know them, or a mixture of both. I’m still afraid of being dismissed because of how I look and how awkward I am. But I’m less upset with myself about it. A girl I was interested in stopped speaking to me when she found out what car I drove. Seriously. So I might not be willing to go out and get rejected socially/sexually/romantically, but at least now I can go out and not let my mind be occupied with how much I dislike things about me. In fact, I feel quite good being me and am not so bothered about what women and men think of me. That’s a pretty good epiphany isn’t it? (although it still upset me last night when a female friend of a girl that I’d been seeing briefly look nonplussed and even scowled when she saw that it was me her friend had been into, like a “You serious? You liked this guy? Ergh!” kind of look.)