Most “nice guys” who read this blog know not to be “the nice guy” or “too nice” when meeting women. As a former “nice guy” myself, I know that this is easier said than done. How hard can it be not to be “nice?”
Well, it can be... for the same reasons that any dating science personality change can be hard. What we’re doing in the Love Systems approach (as explained primarily through Magic Bullets, the Love Systems Routines Manual Volume 1 and Volume 2, and the Interview Series) is calibrating specific aspects of our personality.
So, let’s say you were like I was ten years ago... and you need to be “less nice.” Well, how much less? How do we know when we get it right?
And here’s a potential problem. If you could map every attribute of your personality from 1-10, you could probably determine an ideal range for every characteristic, and it’s seldom on the extreme. Even among the eight attraction triggers discussed in Magic Bullets (the eight characteristics that virtually all women respond to, no matter who they – or you – are), you can go too far. Take confidence, for example. Being an 8 out of 10 or a 9 out of 10 in terms of confidence is great. Being 10 out of 10 is... a little bit weird. Women might find that intimidating, or assume you are covering something up or are weird or inhuman in some way.
Well, niceness works the same way. If you made a range where “nice” was a “1” and “jerk” was a “10,” you might want to be around a 6 to an 8. [Don’t take the actual numbers too seriously; this is to illustrate an idea.] And a lot of “nice guys” are around a 3.
What happens a lot is that guys experiment with being more of a jerk. They get some results. They push a bit more. They get more great results. Then inexplicably, some women start having negative reactions.
What’s happened is that this hypothetical guy is hitting a 9 or a 10 on the scale. But it’s hard to realize this, because most men are consciously or subconsciously changing how they present themselves along a bunch of different dimensions. So the guy who is being less nice is also using the Emotional Progression Model from Magic Bullets and delivering great routines adapted from the Love Systems Routines Manual. Overall he is getting better with women, but this overall improvement masks the fact that he’s gone too far in one area.
This happens a LOT. Unless you have access to master instructors like on a Love Systems Bootcamp who are experienced and trained in observing different men approaching women and coaching them to greater success, it’s nearly impossible for most people to really self-analyze what they are doing right and wrong.
So, is the lesson that people sometimes take good dating advice to an extreme? No... that would have been a lot shorter and more obvious. My point is actually quite different: if you are learning on your own, you SHOULD take new techniques to an extreme. For example:
In my experience – and I’ve trained hundreds of guys in the last four years, including several who have gone on to become instructors with Love Systems – most men need to learn the range of useful behavior. Moreover, you need to develop an instinctive feel for it. You need to get used to the signs you get when you’re being too nice. You need to get used to the signs you get when you’re being too much of a jerk. You need to be able to recognize these early, when you’re only a little bit outside of the ideal range, so you can calibrate back into it quickly. With practice and experimentation, this will come naturally.
You actually do this already. Let’s use the example of just talking to a friend. You know what the ideal volume range is from experience. But if you come in outside that range – say you’ve just gotten off the plane and your ears are plugged and you don’t realize how loudly you are talking – you will quickly and instinctively give yourself the feedback you need to change... often without thinking about it. When you’re too loud, you might notice other people looking in your direction more than usual, you might notice your friend shifting his head back and looking less relaxed, or you might feel a difference in your chest. When you’re being too quiet, your friend will lean in to hear you, he might look like he is concentrating on what you’re saying more than normal, and so on. All of these are feedback mechanisms that let you modify your behavior. And they work, because you have lots of experience with being too loud or too quiet in normal social situations and have learned to modify how you present yourself.
Learn how to tell when you’re doing too much or too little of something by being conscious of what results to expect when you do.
Let’s apply this to niceness. What are some signs that you are being too nice?
[This isn’t a checklist. None of these necessarily mean you are too nice, and not all of these signs may appear even when you are being too nice.]
Similarly, there are some common signs to be aware of when you are being too much of a jerk:
With any change you make, take it to both extremes (too much and too little) and get used to where the boundaries are.
As a more advanced thought, if you’re trying to be less of the “nice guy,” I’ve had a lot more success teaching men to be “selfish” than to be “jerks.” When you’re a jerk, you are deliberately bringing someone else down. When you’re selfish, you are putting your own needs first. And that’s the problem for most “nice guys.” They put other peoples’ needs and wants above their own.
I’m not advocating people be selfish for no reason. Only do this if you are getting the “nice guy” reactions from women. Cancel plans if you don’t feel like going out or something more interesting comes up. Within reason, don’t offer to pick her up, drive her home, etc. Dates should be things that you’d enjoy doing anyway – this applies whether or not you are normally too nice, and Chapter 17 (Dates) of Magic Bullets explains why. When you’re faced with a decision, ask yourself what a selfish person would do. And so on.
Another great way to manage your “nice guy” factor – either up or down – is to pick out and adapt some routines from the Love Systems Routines Manual. A routine is just a story or a game or a phrase or anything you can say or do in different situations for the purpose of succeeding with women. Every routine in the Routines Manual is introduced with an explanation of when and how to use it, and from these descriptions you can pick out a few routines that will make you seem more nice and less nice and adapt them for your own reality. Now you can manage your own “niceness” level!