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I decided to play devil's advocate yesterday with Tycho just because that's something I enjoy doing. I think in reality I fall somewhere in the middle of this argument but that's not as much fun. What I didn't expect was to get flooded with mail from guys thanking me for sticking up for this system because they use it. I also got my share of mail from angry girls but honestly I expected that. I made some pretty ridiculous exaggerations for the sake of a silly argument. Just like any time we exaggerate for the sake of a joke, we end up offending people who don't see the humor in it. We've been doing this for ten years and so the angry mails were no surprise. It was the mails from guys thanking me that really threw me for a loop.
Like I said, I was trying to be ridiculous but in reality I guess I sort of hit on something. As someone who was diagnosed with, and currently takes medication for chronic anxiety I suppose I should have expected it. You can go back through the archive here and find my posts about anxiety. It was something I lived with for as long as I could remember and it was horrible. What I didn't really understand until I started taking medicine was that the constant worrying and anxiety had also lead to depression. Once I was on Lexapro I started to feel...well good and I finally had a frame of reference. When you're always depressed and worried you don't understand that there is any other way to feel. It probably sounds crazy to people who've never had to deal with it but it's true.
One of the effects of my anxiety was that I couldn't talk to girls. My wife Kara was the the first girl I ever went on a date with and the fact is I didn't even ask her out myself. My friends at the time knew that I liked her but also knew that I would never be able to ask her on a date. I was in my early twenties and I had never really talked to a girl for longer than a couple of minutes. My friends knew this and so like some kind of crappy romantic comedy they cooked up a plan to get us together. They told me that she wanted to meet me at a movie theatre and they told Kara that I wanted to meet her there. We ended up together watching Vegas Vacation and when she reached over to hold my hand I was literally fucking terrified.
What I'm realizing is that sort of anxiety is almost like a kind of class feature for nerds. I got tons of mail from guys who aren't using these systems to abuse girls or score one night stands. They are using them for the reasons that I listed jokingly. They really are trying to learn to be more confident and get past their anxiety with girls. They feel like all the douche bags out there give the system a bad name and more then one recommended a book called the Game by Neil Strauss. Where as I had pretty much given up on the idea of ever meeting a girl these guys are going out and trying to get help. I'm not sure how I can blame them for that.
In my exchange with tycho I was trying to do a bit, I was playing a part and I thought I was making a joke. I guess I was being a little more honest then I really understood. Now obviously I don't think women are evil witches ensorcelling men with their magic vaginas. I'm a 31 year old married guy with a kid and a much clearer view of the world thanks to the miracles of modern chemistry. What I can say to all the guys mailing me about this system is that the girls you're so terrified to talk to, are just as scared of you. I've got guys mailing me saying they don't know how long they should wait before calling a girl or if it's okay to ask for their phone number. They are worried about not understanding the rules of some imaginary game. My advice for what it's worth, is that the girls you really want aren't playing a game, and they won't expect you to play one either.
So there's a bit of discussion going on between Mike and Jerry on the front page about Pick-Up Artists and the techniques they use. It's making the New Comic thread a little cluttered so i think it deserves its own thread.
I've had a guy try to use 'the method' on me once and I have to say it just feels uncomfortable, almost like he's hunting you emotionally. I really didn't enjoy it, and it was only recently that I realized what he was doing and where he was learning it from. I have to say the entire thing feels pretty slimy.
Is this actually a confidence builder for guys? Does it make you feel more comfortable if someone tells you what steps you need to get women to like you?