sorry I think PUA and I think gross pick up artist put people down to get them to like you more while doing magic tricks
i’m kind of the same way. i never thought of myself as a PUA but now i do…thanks :(
I think my main takeaway from this conversation is that I need a better name for what I’m doing :-/ Also that I have a lot of feelings about PU culture.
90% of pickup, as I’ve heard it, is generic self-help shit like “take the initiative,” “make eye contact” and “ask them about themselves,” basic social skills and flirting, and the negging is just an overpublicised placebo effect and a way to justify $30 ebooks by touting Dumbo’s magic interpersonal feather.
And…I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with the basic social skills part? At all? Sometimes it’s useful / safe to be generically likeable and bland *cough*work*cough*, and if it’s the confidence boost you need to introduce yourself to strangers / people you want to fuck, godspeed.
The problem is that the aim is to be *liked*, which is a good way to start any relationship, but it’s not an end in itself. Like, PUA might get you laid / acquaintances, it’s good at forming an instant connection, but it’s not going to get you a deep relationship of any kind, the intimacy and authenticity aren’t there, that’s not what it’s for.
And the problem with the aim being for as many people to like/fuck you as possible, is that - used on its own - it turns people into targets. Do they like me? Good. Mission accomplished, target acquired. Hard to make friends with a target.
And when I know I can pretty much make people like me (with stuff which has nothing to do with *me*, like lots of eye contact and asking about themselves, it is literally that boring), the temptation is to do that even when there’s no reason to, because it’s safe and proven. It’s about “can I make them like me?” rather than “do we get on?”; the latter is scary and my instinct is to run back to the former even though it’s depressing and ultimately superficial. After med school I am pretty excellent at chatting nonsense with random strangers, but any time I’m expected to be ~myself~ rather than ~charming~, social anxiety slithers back in, big-time.
I had a female flatmate who was in the PUA scene and ended up basically going semi-pro as a club promo girl, and she said all her interactions were pickup, she had no real friends, and two years after quitting it was still fucking with her relationship because she found it really hard to make connections or have honest interactions with her boyfriend. So er. I am not that bad, but.
I am totally okay with most pickup tactics as tools, but I am not so good with everything that should come after, and I think that is what I need to fix.
And that’s my problem with PUA; 5% is actively harmful, the rest of it comes from…a really bad ideological place, and once you see it works it’s too easy to start applying it to everything :-/