M2M Skill #1: “Game”/Social Skills- The Ultimate Social Experiment Overview
January 1st, 2018
This post is a bit extensive and it outlines both my approach to learning “Game/Social Skills” and learning any skill in general. The general outline of this post will look like:
- Why I’m doing this
- The Starting Point
- The Goal
- Learning/Deliberate Practice Strategy
- The Challenges (Skill Specific)
Why I’m doing this
When we think about how most people meet their “significant other”, they meet them passively. This means, that the sample size of potential mates available to them are dictated by their immediate social circles: friends, work, side-hobbies. Choosing our long-term partner is the most important decision we make in our lives. We spend time deliberating on our careers, so why do we leave this important decision to chance?
And since I’m a Data Scientist, I like to think of this mathematically. Let’s assume that every person has about four different social circles consisting about 20 different people. That’s 4 x 20 = 80 people total. Assuming a 50/50 girl to guy ratio, that’s 40 potential mates in the sample size. Assume 50% of them are taken, you have 20 to choose from. However, you won’t be attracted to all of them, so let’s assume, you’re attracting to only 20% of them, which leaves about 4 people as a potential mate.
I don’t like the odds of picking a long-term mate that’s a good fit out of a sample size of 4. However, nowadays we have dating apps which has significantly expanded the sample size significantly. Naturally though, when barriers to entry lower, the competition is fierce. As a 25 year old male living in SF, I’m competing with VC’s, hedge fund managers, startup founders etc. And to be honest with myself, I wouldn’t consider my looks to be a key differentiator amongst the many asian engineers in the Bay Area.
In business, there’s a strategy called “blue ocean strategy.” The diluted summary, is that basically, you want to be in a market with no competition so you can dominate the market, a “blue ocean”. Dating apps are an extremely crowded channel (red ocean). What channel isn’t crowded? Cold approaches.
Cold approaches have a much higher barrier to entry, since you’re required to shit your pants a few times before you get comfortable. First time, I walked around for two hours, psyching myself out to do it. The benefit, is the approach is essentially a “mini-first date.” If you’re average looking, but are skilled socially, you give the girl an opportunity to judge you based on factors on top of looks.
As a result, I’ll be applying the principles of accelerated learning to the understanding of female psychology, otherwise known as “game”.
My Starting Point
I’m not starting at zero with this challenge. I’m actually at the point, where I can consistently get dates through cold approaching. Compared to apps, this channel has had a much higher ROI. However, I still have this mental battle in my head, where my pre-frontal cortex is still incredible at coming up with excuses not to approach. However, just from personal experiences, there are a many weaknesses I noticed:
- I only feel comfortable approaching girls who are walking by themselves.
- I’m scared of approaching groups during daytime.
- I’m OK with approaching on the street. However, I’m still uncomfortable in other contexts like stores, gym etc. Clubs/bars so, so.
- It still takes me a lag time of at least a minute to convince myself to approach. The longer I wait, the creepier I feel.
- I’m much more comfortable approaching asian girls than other races. Tall white girls are most intimidating.
- Many potential dates falling off due to poor messaging skills.
My goal is not to get laid as much as possible nor is it to find a girlfriend. Getting laid is nice, but it’s a side effect. I’m also happy being single so I’ll only agree to long-term relationship if it makes sense. I actually do not think this experiment is the best strategy for finding a girlfriend.
My goal, is to be able to spot someone I’m attracted to, approach immediately and have a legitimate shot at scoring a date with her. These approaches would be done while I’m going about my everyday life.
As a result, the content I’ll be consuming will come from a variety of sources. Everything from the “pick up” artist community, body language to evolutionary psychology researchers. I wanted a wide variety since each target audience is a bit different. Pick-up artists generally focus on getting laid, while ev-psych go more into first principles on evolution, theoretical principles. I’m aiming for the middle of that spectrum:
- Todd V Dating’s The Art of Game
- The Art of Charm Podcast
- The Red Queen by Matt Ridley
- Mastering Your Hidden Self: A Guide to the Huna Way
- What Every BODY is saying by Joe Navorro
- Way of the Superior Man by David Deida (Already Read)
- Models by Mark Manson (Already Read)
- Mate by Tucker Max (Already Read)
- The 5 Love Languages
- The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
- Sperm Wars by Robin Baker
- Jeff Allen’s Execute the Program
Learning/Deliberate Practice Strategy
The obstacle with this skill, is that it’s hard to quantify what constitutes a “successful endpoint”. Without a successful endpoint, theoretically, I could keep doing this forever and never stop.
As a result, for this skill, I’ll be using a challenge-based approach. This means, I define the required challenges/tasks I’ll need that address my weaknesses. Completing these tasks/challenges will develop certain aspects of the skill. Completing all the challenges successfully will constitute “success.”
I’m also aiming for around 80–90% deliberate practice, while spending 10% or less on reading books or learning. Reading books should only be used to address questions or pain-points or I can read for fun outside my set hours. The nature of this skill requires much more practice than learning.
For feedback, there are multiple options. I’ll be ranking them on a 1–10 scale on the effectiveness of each:
- Have someone who understands social interactions well watch me and give me direct feedback. Effectiveness = 10
- Have a stranger take a video of an interaction and then I can see areas of improvement. Effectiveness = 8
- Record my interactions on my phone to analyze conversational content. Effectiveness = 8
- Reflect by writing on my blog & researching specific concept. Effectiveness = 5
The more effective, the more difficult to implement + will likely cost $$. Worst case, I’ll always be reflecting & writing. However, having faster feedback loops by a person that can give me direct feedback will increase the rate of skill development.
- Any location where I can remain somewhat anonymous.
- High-Traffic Areas such as Westfield Mall/Union Square
Daily Input Process
- Complete Required Challenge.
- Review Feedback
- Reflect on Interactions. Post on blog. What went well? What didn’t go well?
- Research knowledge gaps.