Am I taking value or offering value?
So many guys who go out to meet women give off a grimy, salesman vibe: they clearly want something from the girls’ they’re talking to. You know how you feel when a homeless person asks you for money? That’s how these guys are making girls feel. Not good.
This ‘vibe’ is what it means to be taking value. Of course, these guys aren’t aware that they are coming off this way, if they were, they wouldn’t keep doing something so counterproductive.
The opposite of taking value is offering value. When a guy is offering value, it looks like his only agenda when interacting with a woman is to make her feel better for having met him. Offering value is powerful because it triggers what psychologists call reciprocity.
Jack Schaffer, psychologist and author of The Like Switch, writes, “The principle of reciprocity is triggered when people become aware that someone else likes them, they find that person more attractive. People tend to reciprocate the same feelings others extend to them.”
So, if you offer value, girls will offer value back (i.e. respond to you positively). If you take value, they will take value back (i.e. respond to you negatively).
This dynamic is one of the underlying fundamentals of pickup, and if you get it wrong it will make everything difficult.
It’s important to ask yourself whether you’re taking or offering value. After some of your interactions with girls, ask yourself honestly, “What was my goal was when I was interacting with that girl?” Were you hoping to make her day better without wanting anything in return; or, did you have an agenda?
Read the Signs
Girls will give you clues as to whether you’re coming from a frame of offering value or taking value. If you’re offering value, they will smile, make eye contact, and invest in the conversation. If you’re taking value, they will avert your gaze, give short responses, and look a bit uncomfortable.
Obviously, these are generalizations, some girls might give you good reactions when you’re taking value and vice versa, but once you look for it, the pattern will become clear. There have been nights when I was very much coming from a taking value frame in which every single girl gave me a negative reaction; and nights when I was offering value in which every single girl gave me a positive reaction.
If you do find that you are often ‘taking value’ in your interactions, there’s a couple strategies I’ve found useful to change this.
- You can make a point to only interact with women you don’t find attractive on a night out. This will help force you to learn how to have fun even when you’re talking to girls who you don’t want to ‘take’ sex from. Once you can have fun with the less attractive girls, you’ll have a good idea of how to offer value in your interactions.
- You can make a rule to yourself that you’re not allowed to ‘close’ any girls on a particular night. You can approach as many women as you want, but no numbers, makeouts, etc. This will help you learn to interact with women for its own sake, even when you don’t have anything to gain from it.
Now, you might think, “Fuck that, why would I waste my time interacting with girls if I can’t fuck them?” Offering value is actually extremely pragmatic, you offer value because you know that you’re going to get something in return: you’re giving to get. The first step to getting what you want from people is learning to give them something they want first, and good emotions is something anyone can offer.
Those are four questions you can ask yourself when you go out to develop your awareness of the four fundamentals of game. If you find you’re fucking up one (or more) of these things, that might be frustrating at first, but it’s actually a good thing. You can’t fix a mistake you’re making until you’re aware that you’re making it.
The hardest part about getting better at game isn’t learning how to trigger attraction or how to make her invest or something like that, it’s learning how to notice the mistakes you’re making, accept them, and learn from them. Once you master that skill, nothing is impossible.
Found this series useful? You can check out the full-length book, The Seduction Blueprint here. This book dives deep into how to develop your self-awareness and take more action.