My question for you is this: what do I do when the woman I want to talk to is with other men? How do I get rid of them to get to the girl?
- B.K., Cherry Hill, NJ
It sounds like you're off to a good start. But before I answer your specific question, I want to talk about your mindset. You talk about "getting rid" of the men in her circle. Maybe that is what you should be doing in a specific situation, but probably it's not. She will value you less if you do not appear to have the ability to get along with - for example - her brother, sister's boyfriend, coworker, or even a platonic male friend. If you appear to disrespect any of these men, that will make it extremely difficult for you to leave a lasting, positive impression on the woman you want to meet. In the long-term, you also don't want to deal with the fact that your girlfriend's friends all hate you.
Most of the time, the best strategy is to befriend the other men. This does not mean kissing up to them, but it does mean treating them with respect. Imagine that you are at the park with your younger sister. What would a man have to do for you to want him to go out with her later, or at least for you to be neutral about it? One trick – imagine the guy is your best friend. Act toward him like you'd act around your best friend, and you might draw him into that frame. Sports, movies, and music are good sources of conversation with other men.
Now, that being said, how does opening what we call a "mixed set" differ from opening an "all-girl set?"
Address the men in the group primarily, at least at first.
Quickly find out how they all know each other (so you know who is who's boyfriend, who just met, etc.).
Use an opener that is more about events and actions and less about emotions and "getting a woman's opinion."
Beyond that, mixed sets are remarkably similar to all-girl sets. Most of the top men in the field prefer mixed sets, since the presence of other men in the group gives them a chance to use tactics and material that doesn't work as well in all-girl sets.
Hats off to you. I've read where one of your instructors said that "enthusiasm is contagious" but it's hard to describe what good enthusiasm, as opposed to manic energy, looks like without actually seeing it. Anyway, I had a major realization that most guys are boring and lack energy when meeting people.
I'm sure you've heard this before, but HOW do you get your energy level up so that this happens naturally?
A.L., Exeter, U.K.
It takes practice to get yourself into this mindset. Beyond practice, here are some tips:
Warm Up! Figure out what triggers an enthusiastic emotional state in you, and use it. For me, it's certain songs that I make sure I have in my car on the way to the club. When I get out of the car, I'm ready to go.
Avoid energy traps. This is the reverse of #1. Some activities will suck away your energy and your interpersonal power. These tend to be solo, intellectual activities, like reading a book or being at a computer. Avoid these right before going out.
Do "warm up sets." If you're going to a party where people are going to see you as you come in, you know you'll need to make the right impression early. If you've been sitting at home alone for the past hour, it will be very difficult to let the "Enthusiastic You" come out. So pop into a bar on the way there and chat up a few people. Maybe you'll even show up at the party like a rock star, with some attractive people you just met. Worst-case scenario is by the time you get to the party, your social persona is ready to go!
Don't overcompensate. We see this on bootcamps all the time. A normally-shy guy will approach women, arms waving everywhere, jumping up and down like he's a cartoon character. Women can tell that this isn't energy or confidence or enthusiasm – it's insecurity. It's easy for us to correct this in person, but, like you said, it's hard to explain this in words. If you get a chance, take a bootcamp and watch a Love Systems Instructor. He'll correct your mistakes and later you can practice in front of a mirror or get your wingman to give you honest feedback.
As always, there's no substitute for practice and feedback. It's one more thing to keep in mind, but don't let it stress you too much. As you become more comfortable with Love Systems, you'll be less worried about "what to say next" and have more space to work on body language.