October 10, 2018

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Party Game Insight #1 - Hi, I'm Fader

Hi & welcome back. I haven’t written an article in quite some time, mainly because I have to feel inspired to write. I recently went to a house party. Two kegs and the first keg party I had been to in at least 5 years. It was so interesting; it was like going back home but with a new set of eyes if that makes sense. I picked up (no pun intended), so much new information about the underlying dynamics of the party and how house parties work in general… it was amazing. Not to mention it was a lot of fun. First time I drank off a keg in who knows how long. I learned so much that I am going to write a series of 5 articles on it. So without further adieu (let's get started).

Allow me to set the stage; the party was thrown by 3 of my close friends, had 2 kegs and about maybe 50 or more people over the course of the night. The previous night I was out with one of my friends and we picked up a few different groups who we invited to come to the party. Out of this 2 groups ended up showing up, minus those two groups and my 3 friends I don't know anyone else at the party. 

Throughout the night as I socialized I began to notice little nuances that separate a house party from nightgame, daygame, club game or social circle game. Very interesting. The closest form of game it seems like is a hybrid of nightgame mixed with social circle game. With each interaction I figured out a little more of the underlying dynamics until I found what is possibly the most power tactic for gaming in house parties ever. I want to discuss the tactic but more importantly I want to discuss the underlying psychology of what makes something so simple so very powerful.

In a house party the #1 most important tactic you can ever possibly learn is to introduce yourself. Huh? What kind of an insight is that you ask? Walking back into a house party after so many years with so much more social experience created the illusion it was my first time at a party ever. That might sound strange but let me try to explain it. Since it has been so long, walking in with new beliefs, new social abilities, instincts & capabilities created almost an entirely new experience for me. This along with a few others ended up me getting a girl who is probably a 7.5 - 8 (with almost no work at all), also it led to alot of other interesting conversations and observations. Believe it or not there is a ALOT of power in just this one little phrase. Let’s talk a little about the psychology and why it is so powerful. 

At a house party, depending on how well the people know each other there will always be some level of people who don’t know each other (or possibly are linked through 7 degrees of separation). To clarify what I mean is a friend of a friend of a friend. Although humans are social animals’ socializing is a subset of communication as a whole. Most people are not really good at socializing & "small talk". Search Amazon and see how many books there are on public speaking and small talk in general. I know because I have read a few. Public speaking is actually the #1 fear, even before death. That leads us to the old Seinfeld joke that says that means people would rather lay in the coffin then give the actual eulogy! If you have a fear of public speaking you can check out something like toastmasters. I have never tried it but the people I know who have generally had positive things to say about it. 

You will not get good at this game unless you can public speak well. I see so many students who just don’t have really engaging personalities, flat tonality, expressionless faces, not able to handle a group, etc. One of the best things you can do if you have this problem is take improv classes. Improv teaches you how to think on your feet, be wittier; it gets you de-sensitized to engaging other people in interesting and unique ways. Also if you have stories you are using as routines in your stack you should definitely practice them in front of a mirror. Ever wonder what girls see when you are telling a story? Unless you have recorded yourself or see yourself in a mirror you have no clue. It might be surprising for you.

Going back to the linking of people to the host, generally when you first walk in the party you go and find the host. The host then gets you a drink or a cup and introduces you enthusiastically to whoever is around. These will always be similar to infield what are called accomplishment intros. Also the host will introduce themselves to whoever they don’t know. After that initial burst and as long as you are hanging out with him it is it is expected that the guest at the party will be social and mingle with everyone. Although the host is will introduce you to people at other various times throughout the night the onus is on the guest not the host (btw I think that is the first time I ever used onus in a sentence in my life).

Let me give you an example, I remember 2 people were playing some drinking game, they stopped playing and I commented to one of the kids, I use to play drinking games, I was awesome at quarters. I once hit 22 in a row (true story!). Anyway he's like yea? Let's play quarters, I am like awesome, I'm fader btw, he's like xyz nice to meet you. No awkwardness no nothing. This kid was very social also so when you have 2 social people in the room they will always get along. Let me give you another example that is a little different; there was a girl who was by herself and when I walked over to get a drink from the keg instead of using some kind of indirect, or direct opener, I walked up and I was like hey I don't think we met yet. That was it; we were now engaged in conversation. This is what we call in pickup a "warm" approach. The reason for this is that in a social situation like a party most people don't know how the other person is linked to the hosts. This makes it harder for them to categorize you and because there are a strict set of social norms (and thus implicit frames in these social norms) people will always generally be at least cordial if not friendly to you. To be rude when you are being polite would make them a social violator and not only is it rude it can jeopardize their social standing. What if they are a stranger and you are the hosts younger sibling?) Also, as we will find out, most people aren’t great at small talk and are so happy that you communicating with them.

Then what happened next I found very interesting, she was telling me about her bf, and how he didn’t want to come with her and he was just being a killjoy, etc. She said he hates going to parties like this because he feels it's awkward. I thought about that, he feels awkward because he doesn’t have the skill set in question (making small talk at a party). It's just like guys without game who go to the bar, are wallflowers, and thus feel awkward. They are going to the bar because they think "that is the right thing to do" to meet girls and in some aspects just putting the ball in motion is very helpful (can't win if you don’t play, etc). It is almost like growing up I sucked at sports so every time I went to camp and had to play them I felt awkward… like this negative energy because I was being forced to do something I wasn’t good at and thus didn’t enjoy.

After she introduced me to her bf and him I talked to him for a bit I observed him from afar at a few separate times in the night. There were times where new people came in and he was standing next to someone smoking a cigarette and not even attempting small talk. Here's what interesting though... neither was the other guy!!! This happened a bunch of times with random people (nice controlled experiment eh, double blind holla lol). Once I spotted the pattern I wanted to investigate this. I found this very interesting so what I did next is to see what would happen if I approached the guys and introduced myself to them.

Each and every guy was super friendly (this includes even some jersey shore guidos, mad love yo), not one person was ever rude to me in fact a bunch of people when I asked them how they were linked to the hosts it was like oh my friends gf friends or whatever. So basically they knew NO ONE at the party besides the person they came with. What would they do is introduce you to the people they were with but other then that they weren't exactly being social and going out and meeting people. They were just staying in the comfort and shelter of their peer group.

When you approach them and introduce yourself, it is so powerful for so many reasons; it displays confidence, leader of men, it relieves the burden of the person (who possibly less socially savvy then you) having to start the convo, it avoids awkward social situations, hits preselection when girls seeing you doing it with other girls, etc ad nauseam. One interesting note from what I observed was the people standing next to each other in social situations but not talking were generally always male. I am not sure why this is but my guess is because females are better communicators then men (speak more words per day, start speaking at a younger age, etc).

One advanced tactic I played around with is using what in pickup terms is called forwards and backwards merges. One of the things that made this so powerful is the fact that I genuinely love finding out about people so when I would introduce people to people (almost playing pseudo host) I would tell each person what I thought was the most interesting thing about the other person. This is also great for the host because the host is there partying also, as it gets later, it gets harder to play host, in this way you are helping take the load off their shoulders. 

There were a bunch of other things I learned but as far as a tactic that is very powerful, easy to implement & the background pysche was interesting, there aren't going to be many more than this. Try it the next time you’re at a house party, walk up and go hey I don’t think I got a chance to meet you yet, I'm fader. Let them introduce themselves and then you can even go so how do you know the hosts. From there work the room and as you feel more comfortable and it gets later try playing pseudo host and introduce people to others (kind of advanced but play around with it). Overall I would say party game is way easier then cold approach IMO. Anyway talk to you next month when talk about our next insight.

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