Development, Other, PUA Theory - Written by Entropy on Saturday, December 26, 2009 16:11 - 4 Comments
Lost at Intermediate
Great post on a forum recently from an intermediate skilled guy about feeling “lost” in the community.
“There is plenty of help for newbie. Where I see a lack of help is in the middle. If you can open, get numbers and even follow up, but you just aren’t able to get past that final hump and be successful with girls, where do you turn? The only advice I have seen is go open more sets, learn to calibrate and yet that is no magic bullet for a lot of guys. The other thing I hear is ‘hire a coach.’ But most of us don’t have that kind of money, or we’re not sure it’d be worth it.”
There are a couple reasons for this. First of all, it takes far longer for an intermediate guy to become advanced (1-2 years, if not more) than for a beginner to become intermediate (6 months or so). So because the transition is far longer, it’s much easier to get frustrated at a lack of development.
But another part of the problem is WHAT intermediate guys’ sticking points are. Beginners need to focus on the fundamentals, opening, good conversation, escalating, etc. This stuff is VERY easy to teach, and is very clear-cut, easy to measure, so it’s quite easy to learn for anyone who puts in the effort.
Intermediate guys almost ALWAYS fall into one of two categories of sticking points: lack of calibration/lack of experience or inner game issues.
Intermediate guys are basically guys who have the basic skills down, but they still don’t feel like they control their results, or get consistent results. This is either because they’re uncalibrated — i.e., they don’t know precisely when to use each skill or how much to use — or they have some sort of belief system that’s sabotaging them somehow or deep-seated emotional issue that’s preventing them from attaining their goals.
Unfortunately, the ways to fix these sticking points aren’t really anything you can find in any single forum post (unlike something like body language or fashion). Resolving these sticking points is often complicated and unique to each specific guy and his situation.
In the case of calibration, the solution is exactly what you complain about here: go out and do more sets and be mindful of what you’re doing and what works.
If that’s not working, then you have a blindspot within your beliefs and/or some sort of inner game issues going on. Generally, every time I meet a guy who is “decent” but is seeing no improvement over a long period of time despite going out consistently, 99% of the time it’s because of some sort of inner game blind spot.
Coaches can’t really help with the calibration issue other than to speed it up a little bit — and that’s assuming you do a one on one. It’s impossible to get that much personal attention on a bootcamp with 3-6 students. Whether accelerating your calibration ability for the $1250 or $2000 price tag or whatever is worth it to you is your decision. For some guys, shaving a year off their learning curve can be worth it. Others would rather go it alone.
As for inner game issues, a coach CAN point those out to you, point out bad habits, point out faulty belief systems. The problem here actually tends to be YOU, not the coach. Guys with inner game sticking points, by their very nature, tend to be horrible at accepting advice and criticism. And I can tell you from vast personal experience, this can be one of the most frustrating situations imaginable. When a guy is paying you to tell him things about himself that he refuses to listen to… typically both of you coming out bitter about it and no one improves.
These days, I’m very wary of doing more than 1-2 phone consultations with someone with inner game issues. If they haven’t improved after that, I tell them to see a therapist and to take some time to themselves, as working with them further is like bashing my head against a wall.
But I hate to break it to you, but the truth is that there’s no *easy* way around any of this for the intermediate guy. If you go out a lot on your own, unless you’re very diligent, self-aware and perhaps naturally talented with people, progress will be slow and arduous.
A coach is no guarantee, and at the end of the day, they’re only going to accelerate your progress, not do it for you over night. Coaching newbies, you can often get magical “overnight” transformations. But for more intermediate guys, it’s more complicated. The most I can often do is point them in the right direction and give them proper encouragement. I often tell students that I can draw them a perfect map, and walk a while with them, but I can’t travel their entire journey.
There is ONE more thing that I’d offer to the struggling to the intermediate guy. I realize that most intermediate guys, having been active for 1-2 years, are familiar and adept at just about all of the theory out there.
Well, what helped me immensely coming up was actually reading the personal experiences and transformations of those better than me. When you see how other people overcome obstacles and barriers, it gives you new perspectives on how to overcome your own. On top of that, reading or hearing about other people’s sticking points can also give you insight into your own sticking points that you’re unaware of.
The author followed up with another post and lamented the following:
“It’s just unfortunate more of these advanced guys aren’t around to hand out free advice. Sometimes I don’t understand the unwillingness to help without a cash exchange.”
I can understand the frustration, but there’s an economical principle going on here. A lot of coaches offer TONS of free advice (just look at this blog), but we can’t personalize advice for EVERYONE, especially intermediate guys who have more unique and personal sticking points.
And that’s the unfortunate truth… Look, I’ll be honest, it takes about five times more effort to coach an intermediate guy than it does to coach a newbie. And at the end of the day, whereas it’s pretty easy for me to drop some free advice here and there for a new guy — it may take 5 minutes of my time and effort — handling some in-depth sticking point from a more experienced guy is something that requires enough time and effort from me that I won’t do it for free.
You combine that with the scarcity of able coaches (hell, half of the one’s that are paid don’t know what they’re doing), and you basically have a lack of any advice coming from the top which you speak about. Unfortunately, that’s just the way it is.
So I guess this is just an insanely long post to say that there’s no easy solution for intermediate guys. But that comes with the territory. The difference between an advanced guy and an intermediate guy is that the advanced guy’s game suits his personality. It’s unique to him.
Once you reach a certain point in this game, there’s no clear-cut, single “right way” to be extraordinarily good. So no matter what — whether you pay a coach or not — the majority of the responsibility and effort is going to fall back to you to achieve those goals.
That why the absolute best advice a guy in your situation can get, is the kind of advice that only happens face-to-face. You’re past the point of emulating somebody else or trying to fit yourself into someone else’s shoes. It’s time for someone to come take a look at you and help you to fit into your own shoes.
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