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! Sticking Points !
First off, If you haven't heard Braddock, Mr M, and Rokker's IVS on sticking points, then I would listen to that, it's money!! A lot of this is stuff Braddock talks about on the Interview Series, but here's a break down of Sticking points, how to recognize them, how to solve them, and what the main ones we see on workshops.
Here we go...
A sticking point is a flaw in your game, it's the part of your game you don't have figured out yet. They make your game look a lot worse than it actually is. For example you could be great at opening, carrying a conversations, role playing, teasing, qualifying, but awful at going sexual and physical progression, and you'll look like you have no clue what you're doing!
Doesn't that suck! Think of what you're missing out on. Just because you have one thing that's holding you back, you can't get to all the good shit later down the road. Now sometimes you can get by and girls will allow you free passes, but that is the exception to the rule, and with 9's and 10's, (in cold approach) you will get blown out faster than a New Jersey haircut!
With game it's important to start from the beginning. Take a couple days or so to learn the outline of everything; get the 30,000 ft view of what game is, all the steps, what the process is, but DO NOT try to learn it all at once. Just know the process so you can see how everything starts to relate to each other. Next you start from the beginning. Get your Inner Game right... think of this like a Sky Scraper. The building has a foundation (inner game) the framework (fundamentals) and then the levels (steps in the model like opening, transitioning, role playing, teasing, etc...) You can't build a sky scraper without laying the foundation. If the foundation of a building isn't strong, then a storm or something that sways the building hits, then the building will crumble and fall. So if your inner game isn't strong, then you will have emotional sways, ups and downs based on your successes or failures, and your frame won't be strong, and your subcommunications won't be right. Now I used to have a lot of inner game problems, and from living down the street from Braddock, Daxx, Dahunter, and living with Calabrese and Pendrixx, I've learned how to fix them. Braddock's inner game seminar is ridiculous, the reviews speak for themselves and for anyone wanting to seriously get good at "Game" then Inner Game is a must to develop.
So you've layed the foundation, now you build the framework, you learn the fundamentals of game, you learn the steps, what they consist of, the basis of it all and a 30,000 foot view (not a detailed description of each level) of the overall process. So what is that process? It's the emotional progression model, laid out step by step. So you learn what the fundamentals are and then you start fillin in the levels. So you start at the ground floor...anyone guess what that is? Yep! Opening and Transitioning! (start from beginning to end, bottom to top, so bottom is opening, top is relationship management)
Credit Braddock for this analogy... you gotta build floor one before you build floor two. Then you gotta build floor 2 before you build floor 3, etc.... So don't worry/focus on comfort if you can't open, get opening and transitioning hammered out before you move on to the next step! So a sticking point is a blank floor. You could come into all this (learning game and the model) with a great knowledge of teasing and vibing with people, and building comfort, so those levels are already filled in but you're still missing the bottom levels so people will never travel up to the top floors.
Ok so there's a general process, lets get into sticking points.
How do you recognize them?
-Lesson Learned (Daxx)
Daxx gave me such a good idea, he recommends that you put a note or section in your phone saying "Lessons Learned". Whenever you're out and you learn something new like "don't let drunk girls wander away from the table to find their friends (because they'll get lost or forget to come back!)" and "talk slower" "smile more" etc... so you review these before you go out and it just helps you realize what you're working on and remember what not to let happen again!
-Where did the set go wrong?
When you get blown out, where did it end? the opener? after a harsh tease? interview mode in qualification? too sexual? Remember what you're saying and see where things are going awry. When you start to see it going wrong at specific points then, boom you found a sticking point!
-Where do they tense up?
A good way to gauge how you're doing in set is to see how a girl's body language is. Is she tense, is she edgy, keeping her distance, and look uncomfortable? Or is she smiling and hitting you, dancing and not rigid or locked up. Do they tense up when you touch them? when you tease them? when you try to go sexual? Always pay attention to what a girls body language is saying rather than what her mouth is. (caveat, a girl says "stop" "no" or something along those lines, you better stop.)
What can you do to solve them?
One of the many things I've learned from Braddock is don't go out with a list of a thousand things to do at once! You don't get proficient in any area of life by trying to tackle everything all at one time. You learn things step by step, treat game the same way. Break down what you want (a girl friend, fuck-buddies, one night stands, etc...) and then break down each area that pertains to it. So for more one night stands, for example, you'd limit your comfort and qualification, and up your attraction and seduction skills. The other ways to solve them is to get feed back from other people working on the same thing. Go out with wings, tell them to watch you in set, tell them what you're working on and have them give you feed back. You can film yourself, give the camera to your wing and have him film you, then watch it later. You can record yourself, see where you messed up, take note of it and then find the solutions!
This can take a month, a day, two months, a week, however long, but don't skip over something because you're not good at it. Think to yourself... "what is the one thing holding me back from really progressing?" then write down a bunch of things you can think of, identify the top two things and get to work on them immediately! Most likely they're going to be the hardest things for you to do, you'll feel awkward at first, but it's important to keep at it and don't let your brain trick you out of doing it. You brain sees pain as one thing, emotional pain and physical pain are seen the same way in the brain, so you getting anxious and that sunken feeling in your chest about doing something is the same as getting punched in the face, and your brain will steer you away from that. So say you can't approach, you'll get those anxious sunken feelings and your brain will be like, "ok if I don't want him to do this scary thing all I have to do is make him feel this", and then it'll do that every time. It's important you break that cycle and do it anyway, so you have control, not your brain!. (credit Braddock for that lesson as well).
So the main way to solve sticking points is to break them down one by one and work on them till you got them under control.
2 Common Sticking Points we see on workshops.
-AA (Approach Anxiety)
Daxx and Braddock have written extensively on this on their blogs, and in their classic writing sections on TAF...and on workshops I've seen them take guys with severe AA, who've only really opened like 2 sets or less a night, and get them to be an opening machine!! If you haven't read their posts yet, you need to for sure.
A couple points on AA:
Don't hesitate. You see something you want, you get a feeling, it's a good feeling, it's that "Damn she's sexy, I want to talk to her". Stop right there, don't have any other thoughts, just think "Damn I want to talk to her" and act. It's the thoughts after that that start to mess you up. Continuing to think only leads to, "what am I going to say?" "what is she going to say?" "Will she like me" etc... It's key that you act on your first intention immediately otherwise you get caught up in your head, and you start to spiral downward.
In every area of forming habits (approaching women, eating right, working out, etc..), you're either going to be spiraling upwards and moving in a positive direction, or you're going to be spiraling downward in a negative direction. When you hesitate, you start to spiral downward, getting in your head, then you get annoyed you didn't open, then you open with nervous sub-communications and get blown out, then you get even further annoyed, until you break the spell, then you get a positive reaction, you use that momentum to open more sets, then you start feeling good about yourself, sets last longer, you get better reactions, get a number, get a make out, etc...
All that from just not hesitating.
Some things that helped me get over AA... "Failing generally means ending up where you started" - you got nothing to lose by approaching... "I'll regret not doing it tomorrow" - people always regret the things they don't do, not the things that they actually do.... Accept the frame "It's not that I can't do this, it's that I'm still learning how to do it." So no one outcome will determine if you can or can't do something, you're just learning the ins and outs of it. And the last thing that helped me was "Stop acting like a pussy and go talk to girls." - they're women, they won't shoot you if you open them wrong, you don't go to jail for getting blown out, nobody is going to chop off you dick if you don't hook 90% of the sets you open. The only people who make fun of you will be the guys who are too embarrassed to open the girl themselves, otherwise they'd just give you props for trying... so man up and start opening! :-)
Like everything in game there's a gradient to touching, start off small, hand shakes-pats on the arm-little playful shoves-high 5's, and gradually increase the level of intimacy, hugs-grabbing hips-picking her up-floating cresses-pulling hair-grazing her ear as you whisper in it-etc...
The key with physical escalation isn't to try to run up the ladder as fast as possible, but not to be scared to either. Break the touch barrier early, shake her hand, then when you make her laugh or she makes you laugh, touch her arm, high five her, marry and hug her. Remember that just because you get to the top of the ladder doesn't mean you have to stay there or try to climb higher. Just because you kissed her doesn't mean you have to either stay a the "kissing" level or move up to trying to get your hand up her skirt or feel her up in the club.. it's better to go back down the ladder, then run up, then go down, then run up. Don't think that "some might be good, so more must be better" women don't think like that, they like to miss things and want/crave it.
For someone struggling with touching, be the touchy guy for a while, go out with the goals to master touching. See where the line is with each girl, where do they tense up when you touch them, why do you think they did it? Chances are you just did it too soon, so you didn't build enough value in her eyes, or you did it is a creepy way, like not talking while you touched her, or drawing all the attention to it.
Some guys are too touchy, others aren't touchy enough...the only way to find out is to experiment or have someone available who knows their stuff to give you feed back. Play with this and see where you end up.
Fixing one simple thing can could make your game explode and you could be knocking more girls down than Layla Ali!! Remember, a sticking point makes your game look a lot worse than it is, don't focus on having sex with girls, focus on fixing your sticking points and the rest will happen naturally. It's like the saying "Don't focus on the outcomes, focus on the process." Sex is outcomes, Sticking points are the process....
Take a minute and think of and write down what your sticking points are and what they're holding you back from. How much is that one or two sticking point(s) costing you?!? How much is it worth to get it fixed?
This concludes this week's LOTW... next week's options are:
- How to think
- Transitioning reconstructed
Till next week!
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