The Game, Sex, Pickup, Social Skydiving, Self-Preservation, Relationships, Ego, and My Weekend In Hollywood

Do not read this unless you want too much information about me. Far too much information. 4,997 words. No photos. All text.

“As long as there is whiskey in the world we can drink away the heartache, drink away the girls.” – Adam Turla

I don’t often drink whiskey, but I can relate to Mr Turla.

Like a lot of guys, the success I’ve had with women has usually been luck. And I mean this in regards to the full spectrum of relationships, from friends to lovers and in between. The phrase “getting lucky,” was probably coined by a guy like me. Natural? Smooth? Confident? Nope, not me.

Last week I flew to Los Angeles for a paradigm shifting adventure as far as male/female interactions are concerned. If you’re on my e-mail list you heard about it. (If you’re not on my e-mail list sign up above.)

I’m happy to report that the response to that e-mail was very positive from both genders (I received one hate e-mail and a few more unsubscribes than normal). Most people got it, some didn’t. That’s all good. In my attempt to get to zero readers I’m going to open up about more than I have before. I write for myself, but I’m thrilled when others get something out of it and I appreciate your following along.

Let’s get to it.

I hung out with some friends I previously knew while in LA, but the reason I booked the trip was to attend a 3 day bootcamp run by the guys at SimplePickup.com. I discovered their YouTube channel last year when Ramit linked to it and I’ve been a subscriber ever since.

Like many single guys aged 18-40 I’ve read the best-selling book The Game: Penetrating The Secret Society of Pickup Artists by Neil Strauss. A very well written book full of true-life accounts, but I never vibed with it. It was about being indirect with routines and lines; stuff that I could never get into. Did I try some of what was in the book? Yes. But because I wasn’t genuinely into it I didn’t have any success and it just wasn’t an overtly positive experience.

(In the book Neil, aka “Style,” doesn’t get the “girl of his dreams” until he stops with all the games and bullshit. I think most guys who read it forget that part.)

I liken it to using a popup on a website vs not using a popup. Being manipulative and dishonest = popup. Being direct and honest = no popup. You can reach most of your goals either way, but one way feels better than the other.

That said, the older I get the more I realize life is one big game with infinite rules and you get to play it however you want. This holds true for school, work, and relationships.

I’m already getting ahead of myself. Let’s take this back a step to the beginnings of my fears and anxieties with women …

I’ve always been a very nice and respectful guy (still am) and as far back as I can remember I’ve been very bad with women.

A lot of my anxiety and fear of failure with women began when I was younger (late Elementary – Junior High School) and many of the pretty/popular girls (as well as some guys) found it hilarious to call me ugly. Constantly. Daily. Even now when I hear or see that word – whether it’s directed at me or not – my stomach tightens, my throat clenches, and my heart races. I didn’t have self-confidence as it was and being called names took it from zero to sub-zero.

Whoever coined the saying “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” was wrong.

You would maybe think this would make me an asshole who hates women. That never happened, but I did let it ruin my interactions with girls throughout junior high & high school. And when you don’t interact with girls you don’t ever get good at interacting with girls. With no self confidence and very few friends, most days consisted of going to school and coming home to play guitar, read, watch TV, or do school work. Most of the time I hated life.

By Senior year of high school I had made some friends, but things with girls didn’t improve much. I didn’t have my first real kiss until nearly the end of high school – I was 18 by then.

If I think back to high school I remember consistently being “hit on” by girls and completely ignoring their advances for fear of being called names and hurt again. I thought every girl was playing a joke on me.

One example: In 11th grade there was a girl named Mandy who would come up to my locker many mornings and try to talk to me. She was very pretty and very nice. I mostly said nothing. One time me and my friend Joe were walking the empty halls during class (we may have been skipping), Mandy was coming towards us (don’t know why she wasn’t in class), and she tried to say something, but I kept walking. Joe turned to me, “What are you doing? Why didn’t you stop to talk to her?” Me: “What? She’s just fucking around with me.” I felt so small already I didn’t want to take any chances at feeling even worse. Eventually Mandy stopped trying to talk to me. (She was smart like that.) Off the top of my head I can think of five other examples just as pathetic.

By the time University rolled around I grew some balls insofar as I would talk to girls in class and out of class and try to get dates. It was still very rare that I would approach girls I thought looked cute/interesting/whatever, but it was a start. At some point during Sophomore year I met a girl who I would go on to date for over 4 years. I was 20 at the time. How’s that for losing your virginity late in life?

In other words, the only other easy time to practice getting comfortable interacting with girls went out the window. If University is good for nothing else, it is good for building social skills. That is if you don’t date just one girl the whole time you’re there, of course.

The fact that I’ve worked from home since age 19 and don’t like going out to coffee shops/stores/etc didn’t help my cause. So, although I got a little more bold over the years, I never got good. Interacting with people in general was a struggle, but interacting with females was more of a struggle. Girls were always put on a pedestal. The superior gender. Which is fair. But in my head I was not allowed to mess up while speaking to this perfect creature.

At some point in 2005 I took a “pickup bootcamp” from a company called, laughingly, The Approach. They were quite bad and didn’t teach much of anything. They refused to demonstrate approaches so everything was theory-based. (Not a good way to teach anything, ever.)

In Extraordinary Insights Volume 2 I mentioned I probably only approach 2% of the cute girls I come across (#59). That was very true. And because I interact with so few people on a regular basis that meant I would, at most, approach 1-2 girls per week. Often none at all. And most of those approaches would be really weak and indirect.

It is kind of sad that I’ve been able to figure out so much stuff on my own, but have always been fearful of bad interactions with women. It has been the one big weak spot in my life. The one thing I never spent much time improving.

Fast forward to the recent past. I’d been watching the Simple Pickup videos for about a year. They proved that you could literally say anything, and as long as you were having fun with it, it would sometimes work out well. If you watch their videos you see they take suggestions from viewers and then go out doing crazy stuff to get numbers.

But it was rare that I actually did anything with this knowledge. There was always an easy excuse to stop me.

Just a few of the many excuses I would come up with for not approaching:

  • “Oh, she’s shopping right now.”
  • “She’s on her phone.”
  • “She’s listening to music.”
  • “She’s eating.”
  • “She’s too pretty.”
  • “She’s probably got a boyfriend.”

I knew I needed to change, but I didn’t know how.

Whenever I want to learn something I try to find the best I can and pay them whatever they want. I was thrilled when SimplePickup announced that they’d be doing bootcamps. I originally wasn’t even going to set foot in the US in 2012, but I had a short trip to Dallas for a sort of business meeting. I used it as an excuse to stay in the country for SXSW and SimplePickup.

After I signed up I didn’t tell people about it because it would have been very easy to talk me out of attending. I was apprehensive, unsure, and kind of felt embarrassed for signing up. It wasn’t until I booked my non-refundable flights, AirBNB, and rental car, and paid my final bootcamp payment that I think I told one or two people.

I’m glad I didn’t talk myself out of it. The weekend was exhausting (mentally and physically), but it was incredibly fun and enlightening.

I approached at least 150 girls or groups of girls/guys. My frame turned from “Wow, she’s pretty, I’ll never talk to her” to “Wow, she’s pretty, I need to go find out if we connect.” Everything else that happened is unimportant right now and I’m not going to break down the actual SimplePickup bootcamp. (I already reviewed it on their forums if you want to read that although I didn’t go into specific details there either.)

What I will discuss is the reality checks/aha moments/paradigm shifts I went through. I understand I should have learned all of this many moons ago, but, as we’ve learned, I’m a late bloomer.

Reality Check #1: There are no secrets.

There is nothing you can ever say or do to make 100% of your interactions turn out well, whether with men or women. There are no secret words or phrases or techniques. Some people are just not into you. And you are not into some people. All good.

Reality Check #2: You don’t need to run “lines” or “routines.”

That said, you can say any line you can think of and if you say it confidently it can work out well. SimplePickup proves this on their ridiculous YouTube videos where viewers tell them to pickup girls using various lines or characters. (Video game quotes, memes, Fresh Prince quotes, dressed as Emo guys, so on and so forth.)

They don’t do it like that in day-to-day. They simply want to prove to men that it doesn’t matter what you say or what you look like. Saying something, anything, is better than saying nothing.

This is what I loved most about the SimplePickup weekend. They were along for the ride guiding me and challenging me to push myself and my fears, but not telling me “the perfect thing to say.”

Side note: Jesse, Jason, and Kong were some of the nicest, most motivating guys I’ve hung out with. It did not feel like a business transaction. It felt like their one and only goal was to help me reach my goals with women*. They went above and beyond what I expected. I hope their business explodes while positively affecting the lives of tens of thousands of men and women the world over. I cannot praise them enough and no words I write will do them justice.

*My goal: I’m unsure about marriage and I don’t want kids, but I do want a long term relationship. That said, I don’t think we all have a “the one.” I think most of us have multiple “the ones.” Even though there might be more than one, it’s still a challenge finding them. Hello, where are you hiding?

Moving on …

Sometimes they would tell me what to say just to see what would happen. It was all to get out of my own head about things and to learn that I could literally say whatever and if I said it confidently it would be OK.

More than saying the perfect thing they pushed me into seemingly crazy situations like this:

Jesse: “Karol, how ballsy do you want to be tonight?”

Me: “Shit, what do you want me to do?”

Jesse: “Behind you there is a group of 2 girls and 2 guys sitting down at a table. Go tell the girl in the pink shirt she is cute.”

Me: “Fuck, OK!”

I walked over, “You are very cute and I need to say hi. Hi, I’m Karol.” She blushed, giggled, we started chatting and then …

The guy across from her: “Whoa! That is ballsy. What if she was my girlfriend?”

Me: “Then you’d have a cute girlfriend.”

I didn’t chat with her much longer, but as I walked away I heard the guy say to the table, “Fuck, that was so ballsy.”

I heard that multiple times (from girls mostly) throughout the weekend.

Example: After a few minutes of chatting a girl I was talking to said, “Wow, nobody has ever approached me like this. Do you want my number? I have to go. You need to call me.” (This was during the day, outdoors at ~5pm.)

This is what I’m finding. While most girls get approached by guys very regularly, most guys go about it in a very off-putting way. I’ve asked quite a few girls about this and being direct is actually not a common way for a girl to be approached. Although the rejection rate is still high it seems to be much more appreciated than other ways of going about it.

Now before you tell me I’m wrong, I already know everybody has an opinion about this. Some girl friends have told me “do not approach a girl with a compliment.” I already see it works and what I used to do did not. Additionally: If sincerity & honesty do not work then I don’t want that girl anyway.

Reality Check #3: You need to meet a lot of people to find the few you get along with.

This is similar to Reality Check #1. This goes for platonic as well as romantic relationships.

We all intuitively know this, but we act in accordance with some kind of false beliefs.

Laura and I have a sort of running joke that I hate people. This is not true. I just don’t get along with most people. You probably don’t either. That’s perfectly OK. I don’t need more friends. If I make more friends that’s cool, but I’m quite happy with a small social circle.

The reality is that there are a lot of people out there who we connect with, but there are a lot more who we do not connect with. This is why being social with intent is important. She might have the personality of a rock. Or she might be your future wife. There is exactly one way to find out. Meet her. Meet everybody.

Same goes for women reading this. Be open to men approaching you and also go out and approach men. If you’re not getting what you want you’re allowed to go after it. And, of course, this also holds true if you’re LGBT. All love. (On that note: Legalize marriage for all already. Why are we still having this discussion in 2012? Sheesh.)

Reality Check #4: Almost all girls are very receptive to talking to you.

Sometimes it went well and sometimes it didn’t, but nearly no pretty girls were rude or insulting. Although maybe that depends on your definition of rude. Quite a few girls I stopped on the streets didn’t want to talk and just kept walking. That’s not rude though. It’s not natural to stop dead in your tracks and engage in conversation when you’re on your way somewhere.

Again, most beautiful girls weren’t rude – save for Lauren Conrad. Instead of responding with words she just gave me a look of contempt, hateful eyes, and a head shake. She may be worth millions and “famous,” but I didn’t even know who she was until after I walked away. Whatever. Kong (from SimplePickup) got rejected by her after me as well. ;)

And I did make an attempt. Fuck preserving the ego.

This is not a selfish endeavor and preserving the ego is selfish. This is about changing your life and the lives of the people you meet. I don’t care who you talk to, if you sincerely offer up a compliment to somebody they’re going to feel better about themselves. The more people who feel good about themselves the better all of our lives become. If you can’t approach for yourself approach for humanity. Thank you in advance.

Oddly enough, there were some girls I was not attracted to who weren’t very nice to me. I talked about this with Jason (from SimplePickup) and he has some theories as to why this is. Maybe he’ll talk about them on their YouTube channel some day.

The lesson here is: if you’re attracted to her she’s probably also very nice. And if she’s mean, who cares? We all have bad days and you can’t fault someone for having an off day. But know it’s not you. It’s them. Really. You’re all good. Also, please don’t respond with something rude if a girl is rude to you. Just move on.

One of the funnier interactions I had was when a girl told me the following: “Hey, I have a boyfriend, but there are a lot of pretty girls here. Go wrangle up some of that snatch!” Not only pretty, but very supportive/encouraging. We chatted for ~10 minutes after that because she was fun to banter with. (For me this is about being social not just getting girls.) Maybe she didn’t have a boyfriend and just wasn’t interested, but I will take this type of rejection any time.

Note to women: Seriously, if you’re female and you reject guys like this you are my hero. Be firm about it if you’re not interested (no mixed signals), but be supportive. “Listen, I am not interested, but you have some balls and I respect that. See that girl over there? Go, go, go!” I know some guys are dicks and won’t get it, but most guys are not. Don’t let those few spoil it for the majority.

I think what I’m really saying here is leave people better than you found them. That means:

  1. Say something nice.
  2. If someone says something rude don’t respond (or respond with another compliment and really throw them for a loop) and move along. Some people hate themselves and, as a result, also hate you. It’s not your job to deal with it.

Reality Check #5: Say what you mean and don’t beat around the bush.

Being confident goes a long way. If you see a girl you think is cute/beautiful/ interesting/fun/whatever then immediately walk up to her and say that. “You are absolutely stunning and I needed to meet you. Hi, I’m Karol.” Don’t beat around the bush. Don’t come up with lame lines or routines. Just fucking say what you feel. It doesn’t matter what it is. You already know you won’t get along with most people so you might as well state your intentions quickly so you can either move on or continue chatting.

Again, I know a lot of people will tell me this is wrong. Unless you’re the woman of my dreams I’m not listening.

Reality Check #6: There are no excuses. Everyone everywhere is fair game.

Headphones on? Jogging? Riding a Segway? A bike? Going in the opposite direction as you? Walking far in front of you? (Run after her!) Eating lunch? Or maybe she’s a barista or cashier or working any other job?

It doesn’t matter.

Ask yourself this: Is she human (and of age, of course, you perverts!)? Then you have the green light.

Maybe you see her sitting down on a couch with friends at a lounge? Cool, sit down and start talking. I did this a few times. (Often at the prompting of Jesse who was constantly looking out for “difficult” situations to put me in.)

This is how it works:

  1. See group of pretty girls sitting down.
  2. Walk over and sit down with them.
  3. Start talking.
  4. Maybe they’ll like you, in which case you stay.
  5. Maybe they won’t, in which case you leave.

If that sounds a little insane remember people often go out to have fun and meet other people. Just because someone is sitting down doesn’t mean they don’t want to meet you.

Reality Check #7: You won’t have anxiety. You will enter a high mental state, tunnel vision, god mode.

I didn’t have anxiety with approaching. In fact, it wasn’t nerve wracking at all like I thought it would be. After you get started the adrenaline starts flowing, you enter a high mental state (or “god mode” as the SP guys call it), and you feel great. When I think back to most interactions I don’t even remember the people around me or the place I was in. I had tunnel vision. Me and her. In a bubble. Yeah, the bubble can burst, but the bubble is safe. It feels good. It pumps you full of adrenaline and endorphins. Your dopamine receptors go apeshit.

How to enter this mental state.

  1. See girl.
  2. Say something direct.
  3. Repeat 1 and 2 until you find a girl you connect with.

I have a feeling the only way to enter this mental state is to be direct. A lot of “pickup artists” (like in the book The Game) advocate an indirect approach. For example, go up to a girl and say, “Hey, can I get your opinion on something? Who’s hotter, Justin Timberlake or Ryan Gosling?”

Disingenuous. Weak. Does not pump you full of adrenaline. Does get your interaction started off with a routine/line. How do you then transition to stating how you feel? Just start there from the beginning.

If it’s a rehearsed routine then it’s almost like starting the relationship off with a lie. That doesn’t interest me in the slightest.

You could maybe argue that telling every pretty girl you see that she’s pretty is a routine/line. It’s a weak argument though because if it’s direct and honest it’s not really a “line” at all.

“If you never tell a lie, you never have to remember anything.” – Mike Skinner

Reality Check #8: Boyfriends and Husbands Will *Not* Get Pissed and Fight You

Quite a few times I unknowingly approached girls who were with boyfriends and/or husbands that weren’t in their immediate presence. This is what always happened: nothing. Sometimes the boyfriend/husband would come up and swoop her away. One time the boyfriend just watched me and laughed. I was literally talking to his girlfriend for two minutes while he was 10 feet away (I didn’t know until she pointed it out and then he walked up to us). They were both playing a game with me I guess. But hey, no fisticuffs and no harm done.

Think about it. If you’re with your girlfriend out somewhere and a guy starts flirting with her are you going to cut his throat? No. Unless you’re a psychopath. You will likely be annoyed, defensive, and maybe even flattered. But not violent. Maybe you’ll say something like, “Yo, that’s my girlfriend/wife. Step away kind sir.” You’re not going to get into a fight. It’s just not worth the trouble.

How to diffuse the situation if the boyfriend/husband is pissed: “Whoa, sorry dude, I was just hitting on your girlfriend/wife. Didn’t know you were together. My bad.” And walk away.

Reality Check #9: Not Approaching Hurts More Than Rejection

I used to tell people I have no regrets. I lied. I have thousands of them. Every single girl I ever wanted to say hello to and didn’t. That pain hurts far more than the pain of rejection.

Sometimes my ego still kicks and I don’t approach. But, if I had to guess, it’s probably skewed 80% approach / 20% no approach instead of the former 2% approach / 98% no approach.

I’m not going to say rejection doesn’t sting. But it’s temporary. And the adrenaline I feel from doing a direct approach is nearly impenetrable. The adrenal force-field is strong, my friends.

But my words mean nothing. You have to feel it yourself. Try the following:

When you see a beautiful girl immediately – and I mean within 2 seconds – walk up to her (the adrenaline will start flowing already) and say, “You are pretty/beautiful/cute/gorgeous/stunning/interesting/fun/whatever and I had to meet you. Hi, I’m [your name]” Say whatever you want and don’t worry about if the conversation is a dud. A lot of them will be.

I promise you two things if you do this.

1) You will get very high sans alcohol or other substances.

2) If will be fun and addicting.

If you’re male I know you feel regret about the girls you don’t approach. There’s exactly one thing you can do to fix that pain. Approach, approach, approach. The pain period of the approach goes by quickly.

Interestingly enough there is no such thing as actual rejection. It’s just a learning experience. Calling it a rejection is simply the easiest way to convey it. Every “rejection” brings you that much closer to a girl you connect with. Having that kind of power needs to be celebrated instead of feared.

Reality Check #10: This is about more than women.

It’s about life. It’s about not being afraid to talk to people. Probably 10% of the time I’m out now I talk to random dudes or old people or families. If I think somebody looks fun to talk to I’ll talk to them.

Here’s an example that happened a couple days ago: I went out to a bar to meet some friends. I didn’t see them so I walked up to a table of 2 guys / 2 girls and started chatting. (There were no groups of just girls to talk to, so I went with the group that looked most fun.) They asked me to sit down, bought me a shot, we hung out for an hour and had a great time. That type of thing was always beyond my reality.

Another example that happened just yesterday: Went to my favorite food truck for dinner and started talking to the dude working there (had never seen him there before). It was slow so we chatted for a good 5 minutes. We were chatting like old friends, not typical small talk. When it came time to pay he gave me my food for free. Again, this type of stuff used to be beyond my reality.

Reality Check #11: Everything I’ve written here is bullshit. I don’t know anything.

Sometimes I still feel I’m hopeless. The truth is, even on my best days my self-confidence tops out at maybe a 5 out of 10. I don’t write this to get pity. I’m quite happy with life and rarely feel down. Pretty much every day of the past ~4 years has been better than the day before it. But I’m not confident in my looks or my social skills. I’m confident otherwise (as far as business, for example – maybe too confident), but it doesn’t carry over.

Where I’m At Right Now

I’m not better with women today than I was two weeks ago. I’ve been embarrassing myself daily since I came back to Austin. Come watch me when I make my daily lunch/dinner visit to Whole Foods and it usually (not always!) turns into a hilarious game I’ve dubbed “Rejection Theatre.” When I go out at night it’s often the same. It sounds worse than it is though. The rejections go both ways.

Two weeks ago I gave too much of a fuck about preserving my ego and not making a fool of myself in front of women.

Today? I’m all out of fucks. If I see a girl I think is interesting I want to go find out if she is, in fact, interesting. I might not even have a chance to find out because I might stumble and misspeak or completely freeze up. That happens at least once per day. It feels really good in a shitty kind of way. And it’s OK because the action is important to me and I’m going to keep on failing until I don’t.

I’ve learned that the worst that can happen if I approach someone is I’ll get strangled to death or boiled in oil. Oh wait, nope, that won’t happen. If it doesn’t kill you … wait for it …

wait for it …

wait for it …

it often does make you stronger.

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Closing notes:

1) This isn’t going to be the last time I write about this topic. The best way to stop reading about it from me is to unsubscribe from my e-mail list, rss feed, and twitter account.

2) Since most people Google before dates nowadays any girl I date will probably find this Essay before I mention it. Hopefully it opens up some interesting conversations. If nothing else, it’s the ultimate filter.

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If you think you need help with women and/or other aspects of manhood my friend Mike is putting on The Conference For Men in April. More info here: http://conferenceformen.com/. A conversation with Mike actually prompted my attending the SimplePickup bootcamp so I think you’ll be in good hands. (When you attend be sure to throw yourself fully into it for maximum impact. That was the key to the SimplePickup bootcamp working so well for me.)

Shanna Mann

The biggest problem I have with PUAs is when they recount their tales and they are cognizant that the girls are *clearly* saying, “Don’t talk to me” with their body language.

On one hand, you have all these guys who want to improve their confidence with women, something I totally support. But there are way too many guys making it all about them, and not realizing that that kind of attention can be construed as harassment. (Here’s a good, non-man-bashing account of what it’s like from a woman’s perspective. http://j.mp/AgApQS)

You sound like you’re walking that line pretty well, though. Do you have any insight to share on when (and when not to) approach a woman whose signals all point to NO?

Karol

Thanks for sharing Shanna. I used to think everything was a “no” signal. Now I know it’s not.

Unless, of course, she’s inside her home or in a bathroom or something obviously crossing the line.

Andrew Marvin

Thanks for this great article, Karol. What an awesome way to start the week!

I’m right there with you in the late bloomer department, having always been a proud introvert and letting my handful of relationships come to me instead of chasing after them. As I get older, I’m starting to realize that maybe there’s not “all the time in the world” to wait around for someone to find me. Maybe I need to look for her too.

I just crossed paths with an exceptional looking girl in Target last week, after checking out SimplePickup via your mention. I didn’t talk to her and totally regretted it for the rest of the day. I’m sure it was a worse feeling than whatever would have happened during our conversation.

Please do keep talking about this kind of thing. No one else I follow does, and the regular exposure to it helps cement that ballsy attitude in my brain. I’m going to start moving forward in this area, even if it just means making eye contact, smiling, or saying hello.

Thanks, and all the best to you, sir.
Andrew

Karol

Thanks Andrew. We all have many “girl in Target” regrets. It’s OK though. Although we don’t have all the time in the world, there are always more girls in Target.

Jonathan

Just some of the stuff I wish I could have known in my teens or 20′s! But, you are never to old to learn. BTW: You are gonna have to work MUCH harder to get unsubscribe :)

Karol

I wish I had learned it in my teens or 20s as well. But today is better than never.

Vendetta

About that – ever since I was 29 and found the Game, I’ve been thinking, “I’m too old, I’m too old.” And now I’m 37. And I’m still going around in the same circles thinking “I’m too old.” Well, there must come a point where, you know, I just AM too old!

Even if I COULD go approach a hot 9 or 10, twenty three year old girl, I can never be the same age as her again, I’ll now always be that “creepy older guy”. So it makes me wonder, why I am even bothering? And if I don’t bother with this part of my life… the rest can, well….

Karol

You do realize that Neil Strauss, author of The Game, was in his mid-30s when all he wrote about was going down? Age only matters as much as you want it to matter. And fine, if you have an issue with it, don’t go after 23 year olds. Go after 27+ year olds. Or 47+ year olds. It doesn’t matter. The skills still apply.

Ed

I can chime with much of this. I was one of the world’s worst on relationships of any kind. The person who brought me up (grandparent) told me not to make friends! I was a virgin till age 24 so there’s always someone worse off than yourself.
I’m attractive to some women but still mess things up (I’m 62). Yes I still struggle and it’s great meeting straight honesty in this tricky area. I get as confused as the next guy but I’m still working at it. All the best to you. Great to know you’re an ordinary guy with the same struggles (except you’ve cracked IM by the looks of things…)

Karol

Interesting re: your grandparents telling you not to make friends. I got a lot of “why don’t you have any friends?” which probably wasn’t much better.

As for “cracking IM”: there’s nothing to crack, per se. Read Mark Cuban’s eBook if you need some inspiration.

Jeremy

Well, I’m glad SOMEONE let us know the juicy details about the Mark Cuban lunch ;)

One of my biggest takeaways from Tim Ferriss’ book a few years ago was the comfort zone challenges and the idea that “99% of people strive for mediocrity so when you shoot for the moon, your chances are unexpectedly high for succeeding, for example asking out the hottest girl in the room” (well, depending on the room, j/k [FOTC joke])

p.s. I love it when you are open and honest, Karol.

jw

Paul

Karol,

I always enjoy reading your perspective on things. Thanks for sharing this post in particular. It seemed painfully personal but it’s been my experience that insight like this usually makes for some of the best thoughts to consider because they stem from such honesty. Quite a bit here I relate to.

If you want my opinion, my advice is “Stay your path, find the faith in yourself….you are doing just fine.”

Be sound.
PZ

Karol

Thanks PZ.

Karol

Yeah, I remember the Tim Ferriss challenges. I even did the “lay down in the middle of a crowded area” one, but that didn’t feel like much of anything.

Tara

Coming from someone who had no self esteem until the age of 28, I totally get it. I didn’t go to a bootcamp but one day it just hit me…I’m ok! I’m more than ok. I’m smart, I’m funny, I’m hardworking, I’m cute and I DON’T NEED ANYONE. That was my key. At the time I was a single parent and, frankly, most guys didn’t want to bother. The day I realized I didn’t need anyone changed the course of my life. I broke up with my then boyfriend, told my father to eff off (I was actually saying it to my mom though him which was one of the reasons I was so insecure…long story), dropped 20 lbs and stopped worrying about what anyone thought. I stil hold true to that…18 years later (yikes, am I really 46??? when did that happen?) Anyway, I have never liked the bullshit lines. I’m very direct, want direct and if you don’t like me, oh well. Guess what? I’ll live. Good for you Karol and finding your path to security. I have a great saying that I re-read sometimes when I start to doubt myself. Not sure who wrote it but it’s awesome…When you’re not confident, fake it. That’s it. Pretend, take a chance, act like you know what you’re doing and don’t hide. Eventually you will be confident. I’m a walking example.

Karol

Hey Tara,

I hear that. I need to be alone a lot and don’t “need” anyone, per se. The issue was that I never felt comfortable trying to be with or find someone in the first place.

My confidence is always fake. :)

Karol

sendaiben

Hi Karol

Loved the post and were I not happily married would definitely be doing something similar right now :)

Keep shooting for the moon!

Karol

Thanks Ben!

Lawrence

Hi Karol
I found your article very interesting and with a lot of truth in it.I think if a person can get over the fact that not everyone is going to like you , when you when you are growing up and not have a fear of rejection it will stand you in great stead for the rest of your life.
I do realize that this is also the hardest time of your life to do it with all the pressures of being cool and fitting in. You just have to keep on trying to meet people and being honest is the best way to do it, ask yourself if the first words that someone says to you when they are trying to meet you where a lie how would that make you feel.
So well done to you for having the courage in taking the steps to be moving in the direction that want to be going.
I try and remember the words of 2 great sports when I need to give myself an emotional lift.
“Never let the fear of striking out get in your way” Babe Ruth
“I’ve never been afraid to fail” Michael Jordan.

Thanks for a great article.
Lawrence

Karol

I’m very confused by this statement: “I do realize that this is also the hardest time of your life to do it with all the pressures of being cool and fitting in.”

I’m not 15 and I try to not fit in more than I try to fit in. Being cool has nothing to do with any of this.

Rossmore

Good job Karol and keep it going…it only gets easier:)

Chris

This was really encouraging to read,Karol. For some reason, I have quite a few people talking to me randomly which my boyfriends have always claimed is ‘being hit on’ or whatever you want to call it, and the way you approach the whole topic means you’d be one of the guys that would actually be interesting. Lame pickup lines don’t cut it and, on the other extreme, simply leaving a business card or number on my table while I’m drinking a coffee is just a little too lame too. The in between route is, you guessed it, honesty. There’s something so intriguing about someone who takes the trouble to observe what clearly interests me and then start a conversation on it (a vaguely viable one anyway). I hate to hear a guy friend of mine talking about ‘she’s above me’ or any of that rubbish and I loved reading about your journey of finding out that noone is ‘too good’ for anyone else base purely on an initial ‘sighting’. Nice one!

Karol

Thanks for sharing Chris.

Yes, it’s likely when guys randomly talk to you they’re “trying” to hit on you, but doing it in a weak/meek way.

Laura

Hey! I liked the article, thank you for sharing your experience. I am certain people will learn from it.

One of the best points the pickup artist guys make is that it’s good to have a reason to approach a girl other than getting her number. Women, especially the obviously attractive ones, become wary of it. They get a lot of unpleasant advances, often from drunk or obnoxious people (not to be confused with confidence, which is definitely a good thing). That’s the most common way it can go wrong, really. The reason doesn’t have to be a line or in any way dishonest, just talk to her about anything relevant at the time (or completely random).

You are right that the experience makes you stronger, but unfortunately trauma is cumulative and stays until dealt with properly. People stop being themselves and opening up to others if it doesn’t work enough times. An important part of a healthy close relationship is finding someone who knows and understands who you are, and likes and values you for it.

Do talk to people, it’s the only way to find out what would happen!

Karol

“The reason doesn’t have to be a line or in any way dishonest, just talk to her about anything relevant at the time (or completely random).”

Yes. The issue is not all of us are witty improv performers who can come up with something to say quickly. In which case being direct and honest works well. There’s nothing to remember. Just say what comes out.

Thanks Laura!

Vance Woodward

Fucking awesome! Wow.

Karol

Thanks Vance!

Mike Hrostoski

Karol,

I can totally relate. I don’t know if I shared this with you in Mexico, but I too was terrified of girls in high school and most of college. My friends would make fun of me because I was crazy confident at everything else in my life (academics, athletics, doing whatever the hell I wanted), but when a cute girl talked to me I’d mentally shrink down to the size of a little boy. Timid, meek, terrified.

The only reason I had my first kiss, first girlfriend, or my first anything was because the girls initiated it. Fast forward to today, and I’ve changed a great deal.

When I look back at my progress with women, it’s because I went out there and actually started DOING things. Reading helps to get the theory down, but the only way to get better at attraction is practice. Want to get better at talking to girls? Approach, approach, approach.

People take their cars to a mechanic and their teeth to a dentist because they are subject matter experts. Similarly, you went to study with subject matter experts on one of the most important skills a man can have in life. So you shouldn’t feel “apprehensive, unsure, or embarrassed for signing up.” You should feel awesome.

It makes me so happy to read this and watch you publicly shed those limiting beliefs and build new ones on what your reality with women can be.

And glad to see that you too are fresh of out fucks. #0fucks

Poppa Wolveri

P.S. – I still get scared of girls ALL the time. Not the paralyzing fear of before, but it’s still there a little. Lately I’ve been pushing through though and the results have been amazing. And success breeds success. It helps being in New York City, lots of opportunities every time I walk down the street.

Karol

Thanks Mike. As you know, our conversations a month ago prompted me to go ahead and commit to going to LA (even though you didn’t know it).

I appreciate your insights/conversations. #0F

Mike Hrostoski

Yes! I can’t wait to hang out with you again and totally dominate the social scene.

And by that, I mean get rejected dozens upon dozens of times with no attachment to the outcome. :) #0F

Michelle

What an amazing place our world/community/neighbourhoods would be if people just talked to each other (without the head-fucks we all go through and fears we all play out)….just talk when we want to – regardless of age, gender and the perceived stereotype that ‘we’ tend to place on others. I think that is why I enjoy South East Asia so much – people just talk to you – my neighbours don’t even talk to each other. I recall when I first moved to this neighbourhood (12 years ago), I hand-wrote a letter introducing myself and inviting each neighbour to come and meet me and introduce themselves to me. It was near Christmas time…not one neighbour did.
I like your guts Karol and I am not sure why you nearly did not write this, and I am nit sure why you want zero subscribers (perhaps I missed one of your posts about this..?), but I like what you say and I like how you live.

I think that the world is a better place because of you, Karol – thank you for your time, energy and insights, and most of all – your honesty.

When someone makes themselves vulnerable (by telling it how it really is for them, without the fairy-floss (cotton candy in US lingo) coating – it is not only touching (to the heart) – it is humbling – a very satisfying feeling to feel , and with that comes gratitude – I am grateful to you to be able to read about your antics, and your inner feelings about yourself.

I wonder how you will be in 10 years time – at the rate that you are growing and sharing – anything could happen :)

All the best to you, Karol – I hope that all your dreams come true.

Michelle in Adelaide Australia (‘bag-lady with a home’)
(doesn’t twitter or fb, so hope the email address is enough to gain acceptance :)

Karol

Hi Michelle,

The zero subscribers thing is a half joke: The point is to say whatever I want and if I lose subscribers/friends/anything then it’s for the best. I write for myself, first and foremost, and I have to keep that in mind or else I won’t be as truthful as I’d like.

Thanks for everything.

Karol

Tom

Good stuff, Karol. Glad to see you learning and growing, as always.

“Is she human (and of age, of course, you perverts!)?” — Just wanted to let you know that even this isn’t that much of an issue (as long as you stay away from underage children!). 15.5 years difference between my wife an me, and I promise we’re not the only ones who wouldn’t have it any other way.

And you’re right about Reality Check #8. As long as you speak Polish… :)

Best regards,
Tom

Karol

Err, I thought that’s what I meant by that statement. “of age” = “not underage”

Carrie Rose

Karl-Good stuff. Funny how you see yourself though. I’ve always thought you were adorable and would be flattered to have you come up and start chatting away. I have read The Game as I am single and wanted to know what “the other side” was studying. The book’s approaches would not work on me and I find them annoying. I like your direct honest approach. I have tried it on men and have been as unsuccessful as yourself. Men are not as “easy” as our culture has led us to believe. I find it very hard to meet people unless I’m in a group setting, the men I have approached alone have been awkward at best….All we can do is keep at it, I know I am.

Karol

Oddly enough, most girls say that stuff doesn’t work, but it does. I’ve seen it work. With girls who said it doesn’t work.

The issue is that I personally don’t feel comfortable with using psychology/manipulation in a relationship setting.

Liz

Thanks for the read, Karol, and the honesty. I’d say (at least as a girl) in my own experience, your reality checks are on point. I can’t recall who it was that I read lately, if anyone knows then feel free to correct me, that wrote something to the effect of for every 1,000 people you meet 990 are eh, 9 are pretty cool and 1 will be exactly on your wavelength. But, you’ll never find them unless you meet a shitload of people. So, I think it’s something a lot of us have to work on, I know I do.

Karol

Thank you Liz. 1,000? Whew!

Liz

Er, maybe it was 100?? Lol, point is still the same!

Paula

I’ve been curious to read this post since you tweeted that you might write it. I was certainly not disappointed. I also checked out the SimplePickup guys and they’re pretty fun(ny) to watch, might turn into a secret pleasure ;) It’s totally awesome that someone out there is teaching the ultimate truth; your not going to meet anyone, unless you go and meet someone.

What I had a problem with initially is #6 Everyone everywhere is fair game.

It reminds me so much of all the times that guys (never women) hit on me and then forced me into situations were I felt unsafe. Cutting off my escape route, not taking “fuck off” at face value, groping, kissing or otherwise (sexually) harassing me, simply because I wanted to be left alone and in their sense of entitlement I had no right to say no.

With some effort I also remember other times when guys (or women) hit on me and totally accepted that now was not a good time for me (any rejection is about her stuff not yours). And that did feel good.

So yeah, from this woman’s perspective, I guess it is totally fine to approach anyone at all at anytime if you respect that persons response. But, I guess, for the wonderful people here that goes without saying. *glancesaroundmeaningfully* ;)

I would love to read more from you, Karol, about this subject and about your experiences. Even when I moved in largely male social circles the subject of initiating contact very seldomly came up, I’m curious.

Karol

“Being forced” is not at all what I’m advocating. Not even a little. That is a completely different issue than “everyone everywhere is fair game.”

Kristof

This is one epic essay, Karol! I am very much in the same ‘situation’, always talking about girls that look cute to my friends but never approaching.

Looking forward to reading more about your progress. I will now go grow some balls myself and make my own episode of ‘rejection theatre’.

Karol

Thanks Kristof. Let me know how it goes!

Baker

Dude, this is awesome. Good on you, for jumping head first into the training.

Even married to the most wonderful person I’ve ever met, I would love this sort of experience/exercise. Like you said, the confidence to approach and have genuine conversation with *anyone* is such an amazing boost.

Can’t wait to read more! Woot-woot!

Karol

Thanks Baker!

This kind of exercise would likely help anybody. Oftentimes I would have just as much approach anxiety introducing myself to dudes (at a conference for example) and I think this will probably help with that.

Collin

It doesn’t feel like 5k words when you’ve got the flow. Thanks for sharing.

Karol

Glad you enjoyed it Collin, thanks.

Yamile Yemoonyah

Hi Karol,

although I’m a girl that gets talked to quite a lot (because guys think I’m cute/pretty), I myself am rather shy and feel awkward in social situations. Like you I’m an introvert and a late bloomer (first kiss with late 17!) and only have a few close friends.

When I see a guy I like, I get all nervous and don’t really know what to say, so I usually don’t say anything. I guess I should start practicing and not always rely on you guys to do all the work :-)

Anyway, there is one thing you might not have thought of before: The girl you’re talking to might be as insecure as you are, even if you think she’s the most beautiful girl you’ve ever seen :-)

Karol

“I guess I should start practicing and not always rely on you guys to do all the work.”

It’s a conundrum, isn’t it? A lot of shy girls and shy guys are probably great matches, but they’ll never know it.

Introversion is one thing and shyness is another. Introversion is great. I’m an introvert and need a lot of alone time. Shyness is not so great. It stunts personal growth and it’s what I’m mostly trying to overcome here.

Drew Costen

Fascinating insight into your life, Karol.

I’m currently not interested in dating anyone, but I make a point of talking to as many strangers (male, female, or otherwise) as I can, and I find that the vast majority of them are more than happy to get into a conversation, no matter how good looking they are. Actually, the few people who ignore me are generally the less attractive ones, so I always figure it’s a lack of self-confidence thing on their part happening (though the secret service-type guys I tried to chat with today also completely ignored me, but I’m sure that’s just part of their job description).

Anyway, great post. You’ll have to work harder to get to zero followers. :D

Karol

Thanks Drew. It’s interesting how we put people (men and women) on a pedestal when they’re good-looking, or successful, or famous. We’re all just human and that’s a good baseline thought to have if approach anxiety is running rampant.

Jeff

I can surely relate to your struggles and admire your courage in writing about it in public. Doing so I suppose gets your dopamine levels up and consequently those who read this too. It was fascinating to follow along on your trek. A most empowering epistle.

Karol

I don’t know if writing this got my dopamine levels up. It was exhausting and cathartic though.

Colleen

Hey Karol! Congrats!!! And THANK YOU for sharing this!!!! It’s so helpful to know that people like you, who are making your own way in the world, still struggle. It’s so easy to look at you (and others), see the strength that you have that allows you to live life your way and think you must have this same type of strength in everything you do. Being honest like you have makes you so human and gives me hope that I can do the thing that I have a lot of fear about – breaking out on my own and living my life my way without a J-O-B! It’s great to be reminded that we all have some sort of Kryptonite or Achilles Heel to overcome.

BTW – this whole process that you are going through is giving you the ONE thing that makes women (and people in general) respond far more than looks, money, personality, etc. – it’s self-confidence! Not cocky BS, but honest to goodness, this is who I am and I like myself self-confidence. It’s also why all of those guys have remarked upon how ballsy you are! Keep up the great work! I look forward to hearing more about your escapades!
Colleen (P.S. I’m working on that website)

Karol

Thank you Colleen.

This is not lost on me: “this whole process that you are going through is giving you the ONE thing that makes women (and people in general) respond far more than looks, money, personality, etc. – it’s self-confidence”

Which is why I see that positive results even by simply faking confidence.

Alexandre

Karol, awesome man!

I like it for the same reason: live.
More than get womans, if feel alive, fell free to engage a conversation with whoever you want, went you want. You don’t need to wearing “nigth” clothes, or in a bar, or listening to hip hop or any kind of club music. As you sad, being woman, let’s go.

It’s not that easy to me, but after watching the Simple Pickup videos (thanks for the advice) I fell like, not doing it, I’m loosing a big slice of my life.

Freedom,

Alexandre

Karol

Thanks Alexandre.

Anilia

Karol I really loved this post. Mainly because of all the times you ignored your ego and acted really ballsy. It’s also interesting to get this perspective b/c I’ve usually been the popular/pretty girl that gets approached alot. And you’re totally right – the only time I’m rude is when the guy is being disrespectful or negatively persistent and won’t take no for an answer.

I also love reading about someone who has a big fear, faces it head on and then says “holy sh*t, this isn’t nearly as bad as I thought it it’d be”… which is usually the case when we face fears head on.

And I really like the fact that this post didn’t end with “now I’m a pickup superstar and have no fear left, I’m a god at it”… “I’m not better, I still mess up and I don’t give a f*ck” is much more authentic and kick ass since you’re still putting yourself out there anyway.

Karol

Thanks Anilia.

And thanks for sharing this for the all the dudes reading: “the only time I’m rude is when the guy is being disrespectful or negatively persistent and won’t take no for an answer.”

Dea

Dont even dare to stop writing about this subject! And not only this subject but with all this honesty and details.

I loved it everything you wrote and it if people unsubscribe because of this post, great! It’s not about the quantity is all about the quality of your audience that matters, isnt it? And I am sure that the ones who stick around are the ones that at some point related to you, like I do.

I’m right there with you in the late bloomer part, mostly because I was a shy kid until I decided to study theater and improve my social skills, but once I did, from time to time I do have quite of a busy social life, meeting people, traveling a lot, hosting people and bla bla bla, but the problem for me at least, while living in Brazil, I dont find Brazilian men interesting AT ALL. And they probably feel the same, because they never or rarely approach me.

But one thing is true, I am super supportive. The ones that approached me and I wasnt interested, we ended up become friends and I helped them pointing out some girls and stuff like that. :)

Again, loved it and keep the good the posts coming.

Hug!

Karol

hehe, thanks Dea. I won’t stop writing.

If you don’t find Brazilian men interesting that is quite an issue. Seems like a move is in order. :)

Dea

Well, I’ve moved. And had to come back because I faced another big issue: Visa! I am not allow to live anywhere more than 90 days. Blah!

Annie Andre

Karol,
what’s to say. I was waiting for the embarrassing moment or the part where you reveal something really bad. I just saw pure honesty which makes you really interesting..
What’s fantastic about your situation is your taking steps to learn about the fine art of talking to women in a non weird way. I watched the video from their website and think i need to watch more..
ps
i’m sure you have a lot of female admirers who read what you write. You just don’t know it..

Karol

Thanks Annie. I think we’re all embarrassed by things that others don’t find embarrassing.

Note: If you watch all their videos you’ll find things you don’t like. Again, for the most part, they’re doing it to prove a point (and also for youtube entertainment).

Todd

Karol,
You should be able to find it, but I think it is interesting that you don’t want kids and aren’t sure about marriage. That limits your choices significantly with most “healthy” women.

What is it that you really want from a long term relationship? I don’t know that you mentioned that anywhere in the article. Are you looking for a companion to do and share things with or are you looking for regular sex, or both? What is it that you want from a relationship?

Karol

“I think it is interesting that you don’t want kids and aren’t sure about marriage. That limits your choices significantly with most “healthy” women.”

So many things wrong with this statement I had to approve your anonymous comment so I could point that out.

Shanna Mann

Jinx!

Shanna Mann

I’m sure you don’t mean to imply that women who don’t want marriage and children are unhealthy or ‘broken’…

Karol

Among other things, yes, that’s what I suspect he was implying.

Mateusz

First of all, I have to say that I was really waiting for this post, especially after reading your review of Simplepickup bootcamp.

I relate to almost everything that you write in this post. I’m an introvert just like you and I have absolutely no problem with being alone. It really doesn’t bother me that I spend most of my days at home (or outside) doing something alone – that’s just my nature.

However, I know that this isn’t a good way to make friends, look for a love partner and it really affects everyday life. Do you have to force yourself to act maybe a little incompatibly with your nature? Most introverts don’t like small talk, going out with no real purpose, spending time with strangers etc. because it drains their energy.

In other words, do you believe that in order to improve your social skills you have to forget about introversion and just force yourself to act sociable even if you don’t feel like doing it?

“If sincerity & honesty do not work then I don’t want that girl anyway” – real talk! Simplepickup videos made me realize exactly the same thing. I prefer authentic relationships over courtesies and beating around the bush.

Keep writing these posts Karol, I’d really love to read more about your experiences and your learning process. It’s far more useful and motivating to read experiences of a guy like you than reports of extroverts who were always good at social interactions. Nothing more frustrating than pickup advice from a good-looking always outgoing and sociable guy.

Karol

- I am exhausted. This is exhausting. The adrenaline keeps me going. So yes, in a way, I am working against my nature. That said, it’s incredibly fun. I’ve had so many good conversations and have seen so many smiling faces in the past week it keeps me going.

“do you believe that in order to improve your social skills you have to forget about introversion and just force yourself to act sociable even if you don’t feel like doing it?”

I think there’s a difference between introversion and shyness. Even as an introvert you go out and do things, like grocery shopping. Being shy stops you from speaking to the pretty girls you see in your day-to-day life. Introversion doesn’t stop you from that.

Yes, I have to force myself, but I don’t have a negative frame about it. “OK, this isn’t in my nature, but every time I do it it’s easier and more fun.”

Adrian Witter

Damn Karol you hit me hard with this one.

Considering the amount of time I spend contemplating this stuff and my own seemingly bi-polar disposition to women and social situations in general its great to see the common thought pattern we share put out there so vividly.

Not to mention it came across as humorous so if nothing else it was a good read.

Oh an thanks for the introduction to the SimplePickup YouTube vids, priceless!

Karol

Glad it hit hard Adrian. Looking forward to hearing about your own approaches. :)

Paul Carlson

I wasn’t sure what to expect but sure am glad I read the whole way through.

Dude, #10. My mom did this all the time. She would always be chatting it up with the people at the checkout, random people in the store, whatever.

It used to embarrass us as kids back then, but I find myself doing this all the time now, talking to “random” people. It’s fun and you make a new friend sometimes.

We’re all just people, after all.

Good read, man.

Karol

“We’re all just people, after all.” Yessir!

Joy

Hi Karol,
I’m so glad you wrote this…so much to *love* about it:)
The title is amazing!
And, your adventure is amazing as well. That you chose to share so openly obviously inspires others (judging from the comments above).
My two cents would be this: life is a series of experiences, and when we choose to experience something outside of our comfort zone, we are simply choosing to expand what we consider “comfortable”.
I’m an introvert which always surprises people because when I choose to be out and around I am very outgoing and social. I love meeting people and hearing their stories; to me it is fun and inspiring. I have a very relaxed energy so the majority of people feel comfortable connecting with me, and I like that.
I find it refreshing when a guy shares a *respectful* comment about my smile or my looks. But, it’s when a guy takes the time to say I noticed you speaking kindly to the cashier and I wanted to say thank you or I noticed you were looking at this book, what do you think about it so far or I noticed you looking at this flower or fruit (or whatever at the farmer’s market) and I would like to gift you with it, that really stands out. Not the “gift” but the noticing beyond my smile. (Perhaps you may find this technique “works”).
You consistently inspire me to explore. What I receive from your words in this instance is to step through fear and doubt to create whatever “it” is that you truly want to experience. Thank you!

Karol

Thank you Joy. I’m actually a little bit surprised at the lack of hate. This industry is quite polarizing and it has mostly a bad rap.

I feel we might be very similar in regards to introversion and enjoying meeting people/hearing their stories.

As for your examples of approaching someone: all great, of course. The issue arises when there is nothing situational to say … still gotta say something! We give ourselves excuses to say nothing and eventually we miss even situational opportunities to say hi because we’re so used to keeping quiet. That’s based on my own experience, but I think it’s probably common.

Jenn

Beautiful examples!

I recall once being in line at a very busy coffee shop, behind a group of families obviously just come from Church. One family was at the counter ordering, and beckoning the other friends (and their families) to come up and order with them, thereby skipping the very long line.

The woman in front of me was standing patiently, explaining to her ~9 year old daughter that they would wait their turn, while the other 10 people went up to the counter to skip the line.

I remember smiling and thinking ‘this woman taught her daughter an excellent lesson today’ and wishing I had the courage to say to her how touched I was by her patience and honesty and consideration for others. To this day, I think of that event and wish I had said something to her. I hope she knows what an inspiration she is to people around her. Next time I witness something like this, I hope I speak up.

Holly

Hi Karol,
Great article. As another late bloomer, high school wasn’t a highly social time.
College improved things; however, it wasn’t until 10 years ago that I began talking to strangers all the time.
Sometimes just a compliment, sometimes a comment on the weather, whatever presents the opportunity and I include all ages, both men & women, older, younger. I look for interesting people and off we go.
I’ve been told some absolutely amazingly personal stories, some tough times being experienced or just simple stories. I continue to be amazed and, yes, it does make someone’s day better, about 97% of the time.
So keep it up! And if you ever see me in a coffe shop, come on up! At the very least I’ll make you laugh.
Cheers!

Karol

Thanks Holly. I don’t know where you live, but I’ll try to say hi if I see you in a coffee shop. ;)

Katherine

This was a phenomenal article. It was honest and an engaging read. Thank you!

-Katherine

Karol

Thank you Katherine.

Irvon (Bud) Corwin

Hey Karol,
This was really interesting. I can relate exactly your feelings of rejection and not daring to take the first step. I use to be the same when I was in Jr High and High School.

That was a long time ago and I did over come my inability to communacate.
I am now 73 years old and have been married nearly 52 years, I can still
sympathize with folks that find it hard to talk to the opposite sex.

Please keep on trying and also keep on writing. You are nearly a master at it.

Karol

Thanks for your kind words Bud and congrats on 52 years!

Tomasz

Wow Karol, it must have taken a lot to share something so personal because I can personally relate with my experience except I haven’t taken such a boot camp; at least not yet.

I don’t understand why people would have anything negative to say, perhaps they hate their life that they need to take it out on someone else.

Anyways, this kind of material is great but it’s a two edged sword because guys have been using this stuff just to get laid which is ruining things.
Focusing on the positive side; it’s great for confidence and for people to get a reality check that women are not superior creatures.

I think the problem today is that men have no balls and they need to get some hence why they allow women to tell them what to do and control them. Men need to be men and this is one great way to learn the skills.

Karol

I don’t see a problem with men or women looking for just sex. Or anything else for that matter. If it’s consensual it’s all good. Especially if it’s based on honesty and not manipulation. I’m not opposed to meeting a girl and wanting nothing but sex, as long as she knows that. That’s not my goal, of course, but it happens.

//

I don’t agree with your last 2 sentences, but that will take a book to respond to.

Jim Spray

I enjoyed sharing your journey and I feel your attempts to really connect will continue to be rewarding as long as, with the vendor, connecting with him was the reward and not the free lunch. Also, the approach for both of you was natural and not forced.( Common interests and needs.) “Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream.” Jim

Karol

I definitely don’t have expectations of any interaction going in beyond, “Let’s see where this conversation goes.” Thanks Jim.

Jorge Osuna

Hey Karol!

Very very very nice post, I loved every bit of it.

Seems to be a popular one, since took me nearly an hour to read the post and the comments!
I found myself nodding along the reading all the time, all your experiences resonated deeply with me, since I’m also an introvert, but also very shy.

I too was a late bloomer, and studied engineering back in the times when there was 2 girls for every 100 students, so talking to girls was really a challenge, and didn’t get much practice.

One particular thought I found inspiring is “I don’t think we all have a “the one.” I think most of us have multiple “the ones.”” . I also believe there’s a lot of girls out there that can be The One, we just need to find one.

And I really don’t fully understand why all the fuss about the pickup programs, its a skill somebody wants to learn, so there’s teachers. I was a member of some of them back in my dating era (AKA when I was single), and while I didn’t have any success on meeting interesting girls, taught me a lot about myself (a success itself).
Maybe some girls think we want to use those skills to take advantage of them. Maybe they think we should develop them ourselves. Too many maybe’s, I stopped letting what everybody else thinks rule my life long ago. So, I just did it and if somebody doesn’t like it, fine by me.

It’s like you said, a good filter.

I hope you write more about this and more so-called “delicate” subjects. I enjoy very much realizing there’s a lot of people like me, open to everything, willing to try new ways, new skills, no matter how unpopular they seem.

My favorites:
- Be honest. That’s the best way to start any relationship.
- I rather regret doing something, than not doing it.
- Being different is okay.

Great reading You, as always. Keep at it!

Cheers!

Karol

Thank you Jorge. re: engineering. I can relate to that as well. I was in the comp sci program at school so not many females. That said, there were a lot of females around campus, so that’s really just an excuse on my part.

Thanks again.

Brandon

Hi Karol

Thanks for sharing so openly.

I used to be scared of having an advance rejected, a speech badly received or any other kind of interaction with a stranger screwing up.

Then I realised that while I was busy being so afraid of and trying to look so good to others, that no-one else really cared because they were usually busy being afraid of everyone else (including me) and trying to look good.

Do you recall the inklings of horror in the faces of your pickup targets which so readily turned into fascination when they realised you weren’t a threat and that you actually brought a refreshing and unexpected positive change to the daily grind?

-Brandon

Karol

Hey Brandon, no looks of horror. Sometimes looks of confusion. Like today when a girl was sitting on a bench with headphones on and I had to wave my hand to get her attention. But yes, the confusion turns to a smile/positive change very quickly. Within seconds.

“no-one else really cared because they were usually busy being afraid of everyone else”

This is a great point and one I should have written about. One of my fears with approaches was other people hearing me and laughing if it didn’t go well. The positive reframe: Most guys are jealous of other guys who can approach attractive women so even if they’re outwardly laughing they’re inwardly envious. Also, due to tunnel vision I don’t notice other people when I start talking to somebody. I still can’t put my finger on why this happens, but I like it.

Benny

Thanks for writing. Enjoyed reading about it. Back before I was married I was horrible with women. I so badly wanted to be confident. I read pick up blogs. Read tips. Almost wanted to try a bootcamp. I had approach anxiety so bad. So many times I’d see a cute girl and just couldn’t approach. Frustrating times.

So I enjoyed reading about your weekend and hear about your wins and losses.

Do you think you’ll do more training?

Wish you the best on this adventure.

Karol

No more training. At this point it’s just consistently approaching and seeing if there’s a match. Although it seems otherwise, I’m not overthinking it.

Łukasz

Pure awesomeness.

Thanks for sharing. Gives me a motivation to stop being such closed person and actually start talking to people I don’t (yet) know.

Wish you all the best.

Karol

Dzieki Łukasz.

Matt

Good read. I sent it to my 17 year old little brother. This made me remember when my not so great looking buddies and I would overcome our inhibitions by out doing each other on trying the worst pickup lines we could think of. One night I went up to 14 girls and told them as though they would be interested, “I’ve got cereal in my pocket.” It “worked” 4 out of 14 times. That’s a 29% conversion ratio. I’d take that on an email campaign every day of the week.
Since I’ve been with the same woman for 5 years and just married her 2 months ago, I’m taking with me the notion that I need to interact with strangers more since I love having good and random conversations.

Thanks for the scribble. You are the Inbox (1) that I save to read when I get home from work when I have some peace and quiet.

Karol

Ha, that’s funny … and an incredible success rate.

Thanks for your thoughts Matt. Hope your brother gets something out of it and I hope future messages make it to Inbox (1).

Nick Budden

Hey Karol,

There is one point here that I wanted to bring up, based on this quote from the article:

“One example: In 11th grade there was a girl named Mandy who would come up to my locker many mornings and try to talk to me. She was very pretty and very nice. I mostly said nothing.”

And also:

“At some point during Sophomore year I met a girl who I would go on to date for over 4 years. I was 20 at the time….In other words, the only other easy time to practice getting comfortable interacting with girls went out the window. If University is good for nothing else, it is good for building social skills. That is if you don’t date just one girl the whole time you’re there, of course.”

I bring up these quotes because I have similar stories about middle/high school, and an almost identical story for university years. I’ve also rationalized them to myself by saying that I ‘missed out’ on the time when I should have learned to socialize with the opposite sex, and that if only these events hadn’t played out for me this way, I’d have learned these socializing skills as well as any other men. When I admitted to myself that this was just an excuse (I mean really, I could have learned these skills at any time, and at any age), it was a liberating feeling. The first step is to admit the problem, and my problem was that I was making a conscious choice not to learn these skills – my lack of skills was not a product of my environment but of my mindset.

I’m not necessarily saying that these are excuses in your case, I’m just saying you should ask yourself if they are.

Karol

Nah, I wasn’t using those examples as excuses so much as analyzations of the situation. When you’re in a relationship it’s not a particularly easy time to practice being social with females (or males for that matter). Or maybe I just don’t feel comfortable hitting on girls if I’m in a relationship.

Logically, I know I could’ve learned social skills at any time. But I didn’t. And those are examples of some of the roadblocks/silliness.

Anna

Wow Karol, great post! Even I am a late bloomer, having spent years in an all girls school and having a five year relationship from college, it can be quite difficult to transition back to the dating scene after that and deal with the opposite sex. I can relate to you in some way. I could get really shy with men, most esp when I’m attracted to a guy. But among all the guys I dated or considered dating (I can count them with 1 hand) the common things that attracted me to them is that they were direct and sincere with no BS fake compliments. I give any guy my time when he has the balls to approach me. And that tops even a very good looking guy who’s all ego. Sometimes a not so good looking guy becomes good looking to my eyes just because he has confidence. The one thing I don’t quite agree with is with women approaching men. Or maybe because it didn’t work for me. Most girls are willing to work too but I think that majority of us still believes that it is the guy who should approach first. If men are the hunters, women deep inside wants to be pursued too and value authentic relationships, not based on pickup lies. But I see a lot of women settling with anybody or worse pickup artists because the world is full of them and they’re just being realistic. It is quite sad. If most guys read this, the dating world will be a much better place with a lot of great women not being left out single. Loved the honesty Karol! Looking forward to more interesting posts!

Karol

Thanks for your thoughts Anna. I think it goes both ways, but it really depends. If a girl isn’t finding/dating the type of guys she wants to be dating then maybe she needs to step it up and approach. If she’s happy with her dating life then this doesn’t hold as strongly because there’s no need to fix what isn’t broken.

brook delorme

hey Karol- awesome read. glad you wrote it. Pickup has always been a super curious topic to me. I think I first read about pickup 15 years ago in Vogue magazine or the like, and actually read the book The Game a few years ago- to better understand how men were influenced to think… I was the girl who wouldn’t approach men, not because of insecurity, but because I needed to know they were secure and confidant enough to approach me. (though, come to think of it, I’ve never met someone who became a boyfriend on the street/ bar/ club scene. It’s always been through school/ working together/ online communications/ – something that brought personality to the forefront.)

you know that scene from one of the first episodes of mad men with the peggy and the lipstick? (sorry, been watching lots of mad men this week.) “no girl wants to be one of a hundred colors in a box. ” i.e. she wants to know you have recognized something uniquely special about her that interests you more than the dozens of cute girls who potentially cross your path in a day. how do you incorporate that into the strategy?

I think what you are doing is cool and yeah, ballsy. keep writing about it. :)

Karol

Mad Men has come up in conversation about 3 times in the past week and it always goes over my head. (Haven’t seen it.)

“I needed to know they were secure and confidant enough to approach me” – bit of a catch-22

“she wants to know you have recognized something uniquely special about her … how do you incorporate that into the strategy?” – This is a great point. Unique comments come out in regular conversation if they don’t come out on the initial approach. The issue is guys use this “I need to say something unique” angle as an excuse to say nothing at all. And so in the cases where I can’t think of something unique to say I don’t worry about it.

Kyle Walters

Thanks for sharing this Karol! As much as I hate to admit it, getting married has hurt me when it comes to talking to strangers. I was much more outgoing when I would travel alone and having a companion often causes me to be comfortable in situations and not reach out to others when a good outcome could arise. I will definitely be keeping this article in mind when it comes to future interactions with strangers!

I would like to share a story that hits upon your reality check #10. When I was in Vegas last year, I was at Pure nightclub in Caesar’s palace. Beautiful view of the strip from the rooftop club. Anyway, I started talking to a guy randomly who was in the VIP section, asking how much it cost and just other small talk. No ulterior motives. But he eventually ended up inviting us in to the VIP. Had an amazing night and he was actually a host at surrender nightclub in the encore and got us in the next night for free. Skrillex was playing for their one year anniversary. Was unbelievable! Just goes to show what is possible when you create positive social interactions in your life. :)

Karol

Nice, thanks for sharing that tidbit Kyle.

Doug Weir

Karol,
I had a premonition that you would delve into this topic. You are spot on with Reality Check #10: This is about more than women. With all due respect to the women readers — a very classy readership indeed and I love you all — this is about men and whether we step up to embrace life or not. Whether we spin a cocoon of doubt or actually get up and throw ourselves into the face of challenge. Whether or not we switch into turbo approach mode to empirically test the limits of our reality (i.e. That babe is too hot for me. True or False?). Thanks and best regards.

Karol

It wasn’t a premonition. I mentioned I would be delving into it. ;)

Thanks for your insights Doug!

Rami

Dude, I teach geeks to meet girls, and I want to tell you, I am so impressed and proud of the changes you’ve made. In this post, you’ve basically summed up what my goal is with every client: turn them into approach machines, kill the ego, and let them have fun with it.

The most important lesson I ever learned in my journey is, as you mentioned, what you say doesn’t matter. I took a bootcamp with Mystery about 1.5 years ago, and he taught me lines and routines, but the most important thing he taught me was to stop being afraid, and just approach. As long as you do, it doesn’t matter what you say, you’re learning and getting results.

The SimplePickup guys are my favorite group of teachers at the moment. Not only are they all brilliant, but they have fun and reference videogames. I sincerely hope they make bajillions of dollars as they save the world.

Finally, to you Karol, I say kudos, godspeed, and (one of) the girl(s) of your dreams is only a couple of hundred approaches away. Get out there and meet her!

Karol

Hey Rami, just read over a bit of your site and subscribed to rss.

Thanks for your thoughts/affirmations of my thoughts. :)

Jenn

I enjoy watching the videos those guys put out. I don’t agree with everything they do, but they DO teach you a LOT about interacting with people. Everyone is just another human being – the same as you. Go say hi.

I’m proud of you Karol. It takes guts to do what you did, and then to post your experiences. It’s prompted me to be more outgoing and social in my daily life as well. I’m a stay at home mom, and when we go to play groups everyone kind of keeps to themselves and watches their kid. This week I thought of your post and went up to a couple of the Moms and just started talking. Made the time there much more interesting for me, and I hope, for them.

Just say hi. My new motto. Thanks Karol.

Karol

That’s great Jenn. Congrats on being more social at play group! Glad I could be the inspiration for that.

Sara

Fabulous writing on a subject that’s so often swept under the carpet. The older I get, the more and more I realize that shyness is actually quite an issue for me. Funny too, because I’m a performer, and the two don’t seem to go hand in hand. And yet, when the microphone’s out of my hand, I’ll be the one standing alone in the corner of a new room, terrified to speak to anyone. That can include men or women, in any scenario from a conference to a bar to a gathering of new people at a friend’s house. Once I get to know people a little, I’m off to the races, but it’s that initial ice-breaking that I find so terrifying. I’ve always felt very alone in that mind space, but clearly there is in fact a large gathering of us, all not talking to one another!

As a divorced mother who works from home, I find the prospect of meeting men daunting. But strangely enough, I’m meeting very few, sequestered here in my living room. Your essay was a brilliant reminder that we all need to say fuck it and leave our homes AND our comfort zones. The terror that I feel that someone is going to laugh at me for trying to talk to them or worse yet, lettig them know i think they’re attractive, is probably quite unfounded. I know I’m a genuine person, and that’s what I respond to in other people. If we all just stick to that genuineness (is that even a word?) and honesty, we’ll probably be in pretty good shape, huh?

Thanks for sharing your vulnerability and cracking the light in a humourous way! I look forward to more…

Karol

These made me smile because I can relate so well:

“clearly there is in fact a large gathering of us, all not talking to one another!”

“I find the prospect of meeting men daunting. But strangely enough, I’m meeting very few, sequestered here in my living room.”

Thanks for writing Sara.

paurullan

You know you are just great, are you not? ;)

Karol

ha, thanks Pau

Leslie

Karol, you are so freaking cool.

This year, after moving to boarding school and generally being a 16/17 year old, relationships with boys have become much more prevalent in my life. Now that I never get away from them, ha, I’ve noticed a backlog of not-so-great beliefs about guys that I’ve kept stuck in my system. For the first time I told a guy I liked him, and got “rejected,” because… well, I won’t spill the details here, but because of somewhat odd reasons/circumstances. liked me but wanted to stay friends blah blah. I’m also working on all of the beliefs I’ve accumulated about them in the back of my mind…
Cheers!
Leslie

Karol

Leslie, I love that you have the courage (or whatever it’s called) to tell a guy you like him. For whatever reason, high school seems to make that more difficult so kudos to you. Being open with people at your age is an exercise I wish I had gone through. The sooner the pain period is over the better. :) Thanks for sharing.

Amro

Karol, thank you for sharing up your experience. You are right about to not be rude even with rude reactions that might happen in the approach. Thank you

Meghan

I think this is so awesome! And not gonna lie…it inspired me to go up to a guy on the train the other day and give him my number, which is definitely something I have never done before.

Would love to hear your thoughts on how this works the other way. What would your reaction be if a girl did the same thing to you? I know a lot of people think the guy should always approach the girl, but in my opinion if a guy is bothered by that then it’s probably not a guy I’d like to be dating anyway!

Karol

Killer! Congrats and thank you for doing that.

“I know a lot of people think the guy should always approach the girl…”

Mostly women think that and I’ve found most (not all) hold to it like a religion. :)

I think it can work well the other way. But walking up and giving a number might not necessarily be effective without a conversation. Same if a guy walks up to you and gives you his number. You’ll likely never call. I think it’s better to initiate conversation and see if you connect on any level before giving a number. But if you’re in a hurry, of course, I think “you’re pretty cool, but I’m in a hurry so here’s my number. Call me!” can work.

DF

Being present, purposeful, & prepared is all part of occupying the space of being human. Mantra: “I, Here, Now”

Kathy Brenes

dear Karol,
i want to be your friend, can I? =)
i have the same issues, not get along with people really easy!
and i have read like 25 different books of how to get a man, and i´m just tired of all these advice!!! ( and everybody here must be thinking now that i m ugly, well i am not!!!), i thought i was the only strange human being with this issues.
haha

Karol

Thanks for writing Kathy. There is a big difference between reading and doing when it comes to something like personal growth. It’s great to read the books, but how many men have you opened conversations with? Say “hello” to 10 every day and you will see things begin to turn around.

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