…is based on two factors: the side of us we show to people, and what they want to see. It’s that simple. A lot of times, we try to manage people’s impression of us by manipulating what we show to them. We act like someone we’re not just to fit in or be accepted by others. We are afraid to express what we really feel; show our inner thoughts and vulnerabilities for fear of being judged harshly. We criticize others who we think act the same way as being not genuine or honest with who they are…or who we think they are.
It is likely, they think the same way about you. Especially if you have the tells of someone who is being intentionally dishonest. Which is why the guys in the community always preach the concept of being congruent in your thoughts, words, and actions. This teaching goes way back in religious scriptures. Ideas that exist in Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, and even Confucianism.
Psychologists theorize that our subjective perception of the world has such a strong influence that it can even blind us from objective truth. All things in the world are neutral, but it is the subjective mind that puts a reason–a meaning–to everything it sees. We do this to make sense of the world around us, finding patterns and establishing a reason why these patterns exist. These subjective perceptions are called beliefs, and when a collective group of people have the same belief, it may seem like it is actually true. That’s why Robert Green places much importance on a person’s reputation in his book, The 48 Laws of Power. Once it is destroyed, you will have a hard time recovering from it.
This is a concept that is very much misunderstood by people in the community, more so the newbies who have just been introduced to this oh-so-revolutionary concept. They think that being honest means telling girls, or people in general, exactly what they are thinking at every point in time. They are blunt and lack social acuity, being brutal with their honesty and thus alienate themselves from the rest of the world. Then they turn around and say that game is bullshit.
That’s is honesty, but it is also stupid.
You’re probably wondering, then, how far you should take honesty–that holding back is actually the opposite of honesty because you are hiding something. People seem to think that managing impressions is manipulation, but yet everyone does it all the time. The dilemma here is how to reconcile the opposing ideas of uninhibited honesty and selective expression of self.
Your choice of words is important in creating people’s perception of you. It is not just what you are saying, but how you choose to say it. Human communication has several layers to it, which you may know, consists verbal speech and non-verbal actions.
But break it down further, the vocabulary you use also carry intrinsic connotations which may have a positive or negative influence on what you are actually saying. Coupled with your non-verbals such as body language, eye contact, vocal tonality, stress, and intonation, there are so many ways you can speak a simple sentence.
It is far wiser to hold your silence and carefully choose what and when to speak than to let words escape your mouth before consideration. What has been spoken cannot be taken back, and if the action is done, it will do you well to commit to it…unless it’s an honest mistake. Admission of mistakes is a display of vulnerability and humility, which can work in your favor when used sparingly. We are human after all.
Honesty does not mean verbalizing every thought that crosses your mind the moment it crosses your mind. You have to take into consideration how the other person might feel and whether they are truly open to criticism. Sometimes people ask for your opinion but they don’t really want your opinion; I’m sure we’ve all experienced that. Hold your opinions until the time is right, perhaps in a more intimate environment at a later date.
This also applies to openers. Many times, guys wonder what to start a conversation with when they see a girl walk by. I ask them, “What does she make you feel?” This question is important because it helps them focus on the qualities of the girl that attracted them and also helps connect them with their inner desires. It aligns their thoughts with their words and so when they go up and compliment the girl, it aligns with their actions as well.
On the other hand, it doesn’t mean that if you think she’s fat, you should tell her that. Don’t! You don’t have to say what you feel. But don’t lie either. If she asks you whether she looks fat, there are many ways to dodge the bullet. These kinds of questions are what I refer to as loaded questions, where she cocks the gun and points it in your face and any answer you give results in a losing situation. Sometimes a smile and reassurance is more than enough. She’s not asking if she is fat, she’s asking if you will you like her even though/when she puts on some weight. It is ok to be honest if you’re not alright with her gaining weight, just find the right time and the right way to tell her that.
There’s an old adage that goes: Actions speak louder than words. People are less likely to take criticism if you yourself do not display the same traits you expect of others. It does not mean that therefore no one should have an opinion at all. I know what shitty food tastes like, it doesn’t mean that I have to learn how to cook every dish perfectly before I can be a food critic.
Likewise, you don’t have to be a master before you can critique others. But you have to hold yourself to the same standard. That means that you have to show others that you yourself are striving for the same thing. It creates an emotional bond with them because now they know that they’re not alone; that everyone faces the same problems and that everyone has to work through the same kinks to get the results they want. Instead of saying, “you should do this…” or “you should do that…”, try “I was having a similar problem before and this is what I did/am doing to work things out…”
The flip-side to validation is assurance. People need assurance as well especially when times get tough. Sometimes as fellow human beings we need to let them know that it’s alright to feel a certain way; that everyone goes through the same things. Give suggestions but don’t force it on them. Your way of working things out is just one of a million ways. Your experience is just another angle to what may be a solution. The important thing is that everything everyone goes through is a learning process.
Here’s an example of how honesty might help you in game:
Not too long ago, I was out at the club with a few friends. It was a slow night and truthfully I wasn’t in the party mood. So while my buddies were on the dance floor, I was just chilling at the bar with my drink–taking in the atmosphere. A girl, Lyra, came up beside me. She was facing the bar and looked observably bored. Usually, I would open with an ironic opener such as “You look like you’re having fun.” But then I saw a sticker on her arm and decided to go in under the radar.
Me: “What’s that sticker on your arm?”
L: “I was at Attica. They gave this out. I came over to meet an old friend.”
Me: “Old friend? You must be 19 at most, how old can your old friend be?” (Tip: always guess 19)
L: “I just broke up with my boyfriend of 3 years. Feeling pretty heartbroken now.”
Me: “Oh that sucks…On a scale of 1-10 how heart broken are you?”
At this point her friend comes up behind her and stands there. I notice him so I introduce myself. He looked pretty mild with his drink so I didn’t think a wingman was pressing. I turned back to her…
Me: “So, 1-10…”
I didn’t know what to say, but I felt the vibe going well. I had hit the right level of eye contact, interest, body language, etc. So I turned and faced her…
Me: “You know what you need?”
She looks at me curiously. I put out my hand. She looks and hesitates but I hold it out until she takes it, creating a vacuum (Credit: Marcus). She takes it and I spin her around and do a little awkward couple dance with her. She laughs and I pull her in.
Me: “Feel better?”
L: “Not really…”
Me: “You know what? I have the perfect cure for heartbreak. It always works.”
L: “What is it?”
Me: “I can’t tell you. I have to show you.”
I lift her chin to face me and hold a solid eye contact for about 3 seconds. She knows what’s coming. I lean in and kiss her. She kisses back. I pull away first.
Me: “So how’s that? Feel better?”
L: “Still no.” (laughs)
I turn away subtly toward the dance floor. She asks a question and we carry on a normal, slightly flirty conversation. At this point, her friend taps her shoulder and whispers something in her ear. I can tell he’s uncomfortable and wants to leave. He wants her to leave with him. She says she has to go, and I pull her in by her waist and tell her I want to see her again. We exchange numbers and she leaves.
Now, that’s just one of the better interactions in a long time. It doesn’t represent every single conversation I have in a club, far from it. But I felt that it went the way it did because I was honest. I didn’t have any expectations, didn’t try to impress her, and I didn’t push for anything. It was like woosh through the whole thing. Even my memory of it is fuzzy. The conversation is not verbatim, just the rough idea of what happened.
The main point is, I said what I felt in the moment, and I lead the interaction with my emotions. Because I was congruent, she didn’t think that I was some guy trying to pick her up at the bar and impress her. Women are very sharp at detecting subtle communication cues such as incongruence, if you’re not being honest with her, she can tell and would classify you as a creep. I know of girls who thought I was weird.
Honesty is just controlling what part of you you want to show to others. And their reaction is based on what they want to see in you. If they think all men are assholes, no matter what you do, she will think you’re an asshole. That factor is beyond your control. It is better to work on controlling what you show to others. Managing what side of you they see is crucial to success.
Honesty is the best policy.