It’s all about avoidance

February 14, 2015

I’ve been reading a few internet forums and blog comments sections of late and my Innate Pattern Recognition System (IPRS, a.k.a. human brain) has noticed a rather obvious underlying message to some of the odder comments. At the surface level there seem to be a number of ostensibly different set of concerns raised and advice given. For example:

  • Technique-based game is quite superficial relative to the deeper mindsets stuff.
  • The PUA frame of reference is toxic, a “manipulate fear-based protocol” and really you need to move “beyond game”
  • The player’s lifestyle is shallow and mind-numbing. Far better to find a Quality Girl to enjoy a meaningful relationship with.
  • Chasing women is just a distraction from other more manly pursuits, such as making money or mastering a craft.
  • When you dedicate yourself to picking up women you are becoming the ultimate pedastaliser because you devote your entire being to pleasing women.
  • Tinder is the way forward. Just perfect your photo and learn the hacks.

I won’t bother engaging any of these positions with logic and evidence. It doesn’t really matter what their relative merits are. They could all be true or all be false and it wouldn’t matter. What I want to bring out is the fundamental behavioural advice they all agree on: Don’t cold approach.

Full of shit, yesterday*

Full of shit, yesterday*

And that’s the point. We are frollicking along the giddy heights of advanced meta-weaseling with these avoidance gems. As the functional sociologists figured way back in the 1950s, an easy heuristic to apply to any closed system is that everybody is getting something out of it. Whether this is a postive interaction (e.g. personal trainer gets paid, client gets a good workout) or a negative interaction (e.g. alcoholic gets attention, long-suffering wife gets to play martyr), all parties in the interaction get a payoff. This is explored in fascinating detail by Eric Berne in The Games People Play.

So let’s apply it to what I will collectively term the BeyondGameosphere.

Everyone feels approach anxiety. As I discuss in Daygame Mastery, AA is really how a lack of self-acceptance manifests itself in a desire to avoid real world feedback on your true value. Tom put up a video calling it Assessment Anxiety and I mostly agree with that. If you knew every girl you approach was going to like you (sex or no sex) you wouldn’t feel AA. It’s not really the approaching that worries you rather than the risk the girl might not accept you. Her acceptance is a proxy for your own self-acceptance. AA is real and releases itself into your body and mind the same way fear does. While writing on self defense, Geoff Thompson classified different types of fear according to the relationship between the action (a threat) and the timing of it’s build-up and aftermath. Have a look at this list (Adrenal Map) and tell me it doesn’t describe AA equally well. Some examples:

  • Pre Post-Fight Fear = the fear of consequences after a fight. This would be your future projection of how bad you think you’ll feel after a day getting blown out.
  • Think-Fight Fear = anticipation of confrontation. This is routine AA, a heightened anxiety as you think about approaching.
  • Pre-Fight Fear = the fast adrenalin dump of immediate and unanticipated confrontation. This would be a day you don’t plan to approach and suddenly see a hottie that gets your spider sense going and you know you ought to approach.
  • Double-Tap Fear = having celebrated closure too quickly, to have confrontation suddenly re-open (think of the horror movie where “dead” killer suddenly gets up again). This is when the set has been going great and you’ve calmed down into a steady state but then she does something to suggest you aren’t as far along as you thought.
  • In-Post-Fight Fear = bottling out in the middle of a confrontation when you suddenly begin thinking of the consequences. The set is going well but you start the negative self-talk along the lines of “no way can this be happening! she’s so hot! don’t fuck it up!”

Adrenalin is a physical syndrome that requires a physical release. When people get Bad Feels, they find a coping strategy. Such strategies are not created equally. Some will address the cause while others merely medicate the symptoms and go no further towards improving your objective reality. The most effective AA strategy is to cold approach: deal with the fear and take right action, until you are meeting and sexing the girls you really want. But that’s also the toughest. It requires mental strength and long-term disciplined action. So there’s a whole army of snake-oil sellers offering to install advanced inner game without going to trouble of encountering Bad Feels.

Cutting edge game

Cutting edge game

The reason the BeyondGameosphere is so resilient is because everyone is bullshitting each other to anaesthetise the Bad Feels away with a heavy dose of Happy Feelz valium. The instructors provide rationalisations to do everything but cold approach: inner game, warm approach, social circle, gym, move country etc. Their superfans maintain their own position of pseudo-importance on the forums/blogs by telling numerous unlikely stories of how they’ve implemented their No Approach ideology and are now so much happier than when they were meeting dozens of pretty young women through cold approach. And the beginners get sucked in, thinking it’s possible to get good with women without doing the actual hard work.

It’s one massive circle jerk of bullshitters and scammers.

Fortunately for us, there’s a really easy heuristic to separate out the real men of game and the numerous bullshit artists trying to scam you into co-signing their avoidance bullshit. Ignore the rationales they offer and just deduce the natural behavoural advice they offer:

Does it require you to cold approach in order to have more success with women?

No? Then they are full of shit. To declare yourself “beyond game” is a classic lower-intermediate tell, signifying you’ve done enough cold approach to begin being worn down by it, but haven’t yet built yourself up to deal with it. There’s a whole community of crabs and barrel-hosts waiting to hold you in place.

Advanced Inner Game Paradigm

Advanced Inner Game Paradigm

* But in his defense, he does seem to advocate some approaching. His snake oil is more like a resource for other people who wish to avoid approaching


  1. Steve’s “approach from IOI” strategy is based on getting the result without that much pain in the process as well. Sure, the rationalisations of gurus are BS but this doesn’t invalidate the strategy. You said the goal is not to be awesome, but to be happy, and this is true for the amount and type of game applied as well. Tom approached hard, traveled and had money yet wasn’t happy. So if the point is to show you develop better game through cold approach, that’s true, but this doesn’t mean you’ll be happier because of it. There is no trophy for the best player. [I agree with this. Approach from IOI does have its limits though – it only works if you’re getting IOIs. Steve can live entirely off that, most men can’t. Also, it’s not very character building so it doesn’t put you on the upward trajectory towards hotter women. That said it’s a valuable tool for all players and hence I also advocate it where possible. K.]

    • That’s true. I personally prefer clubs for cold approach, love the thrill but it damages other areas of my life if I’m not careful, because of the intensity.

    • Thanks for the mention Xman. Just a point, you don’t have to passively wait for IOI’s, you can be super agressive at forcing them out. Some girls are more reticent about shooting out IOI[‘s, and in different venues and timeframes might need a little push to give you the little signal. It’s your job to go and unearth them, but it doesn’t need to be subtle. Nick’s seen me do it on the street, in nightclubs etc, and I think a lot of guys would be very surprised at how blatant I am about forcing the reaction e.g. standing 8 inches away staring at her, looking her up and down like a predator etc.

      There’s nothing passive about it.

  2. I’ve been cold-approaching since I was 15, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Still doing it at my dance bar. Once I must have gotten 15 rejections in about two minutes. Fnallly a hottie agreed to dance. Two immediate 5h1t-tests followed, lol. “You get rejected a lot, don’t you?” and “Why aren’t you wearing your ring if you’re married?” She said, “I don’t dance with married men” as she continued to dance with me.

    NB: I’m a fairly good dancer and women at my bar see me dancing. There’s a lot of self-disqualification going on by beginners.

    Continuing to approach after rejections builds value. [Strongest blades forged in strongest fires. K.]

  3. Don’t knock gaming tinder. You can learn the hacks while mastering a craft: [That’s not my point. K.]

  4. Perfect exposition, Nick, of the subtleties and depth — and pervasive flavour and psychological insidiousness — of AA.

    Approaching is nerve-racking for me, but so what? I’ve tasted the importance of doing it. I can’t ignore the evidence of my direct experience. If I did it more often, I’d be more of man. It’s plain as day, though, that I could lie to myself about this conclusion in order to assuage my ego. I’m unwilling to do that.

    That said, I don’t think a man has to “feel bad” about not approaching every girl. Kind of depends on his circumstances, character, ambitions, libido, logistics, etc. Beating oneself up about it… I’m not convinced that’s helpful.

    But habitually to fail to run after girls that really grab your eye is a defect any man should strive to overcome. It’s giving in to cowardice and leads to self-alienation and self-denial and a diminished self-esteem. That’s not the wolf you want to feed (to use the common parable), is it?

    I don’t care what other dating hacks a man uses, all men MUST form SOME kind of habit (or better: a policy) of putting themselves in harm’s way with women on a semi-regular basis, or they risk losing a masculine edge. This may be especially true if you’re in a relationship, as an antidote to betatization, but it’s a debatable point.

    Summary judgment: it’s normal not to appraoch every girl; it’s a crime against yourself not to approach any; it’s wicked (and philosophically misguided) to suggest that approaching is passé or unnecessary.

    Maybe — just maybe — being GOOD at cold approaching isn’t a REQUIREMENT for every man. But bloody doing it at least now and then DEFINITELY is.

    I do not like approaching, and I am no master of it. I weasel a lot, for every reason listed above. But I will be wiling (and able) to approach on my deathbed even if it kills me!

  5. Hello K,

    Interesting post as usual but let me play devil’s advocate

    You yourself wrote a couple of years ago: you wrote down your 10 biggest accomplishments in life. And the hottest girl you fucked was only #7.

    In the same vein, a PUA recently said ‘ Building a successful business of your own is difficult and hard to come by — beautiful women are quite common in contrast and easy to come by.”

    In the face of the above –

    Are you saying Chasing Skirt is more life-changing than building a successful business or can even rank as a serious life accomplishment in scheme of things

    Devil’s advocate [I got top scores in my uni, had a successful career, won a bunch of boxing matches, and have recently created a successful business. I still think knobbing younger/hotter/tighter regularly is harder. I don’t know which PUA you refer to but I’m guessing he’s repeating a mantra to make himself believe in abundance rather than telling the strict truth. K.]

  6. My current girlfriend, my longest relationship I met ice skating. She fell down a bunch and I approached her because I liked the sound of her accent (she was latin American but in the US). My longest relationship to date.

    I had not gone out with the intention of cold approaching – yet here I am after a cold approach. I can only imagine where I’d be if I set out with the purpose of cold approaching.


  7. Very true. Many guys who want to try Game use the advanced-Game philosophies o justify not doing the hard stuff in Game.

    They are confusing the Catholic mindset on virginity with the Arnold Schwarzenegger mindset on bodybuilding.

    The Catholic mindset on virginity is: don’t lose it outside of marriage. Any experience you have sexually outside this paradigm will lead you to the conclusion that you wasted yourself, be degrading, and depress you. Save yourself for marriage.

    The Arnold Schwarzenegger mindset on bodybuilding is that Arnold did it to become famous and appear alpha. He used it to springboard into movies into movie star into Governor of the largest state in America. He went through all that pain and steroid use and dislike as the bad guy of bodybuilding to get what he wanted. He may not have liked all the work he had to do in bodybuilding, but he needed to do it to get where he is today. Ultimately, the bodybuilding lifestyle was unfulfilling to him, but that does not mean he should have avoided it from the start, since it got him to where he wanted to be.

    Thus cold approaches: it’s not like losing your virginity in Catholicism, it’s like bodybuilding to Arnold: you need to do it to get laid in order to discover whether it really is what you want permanently or else is a way to move into something that truly fulfills you.

    Simpler: if you want to learn to swim, ya gotta jump in the water.

    • It’s a great analogy. But unless Arnold is misremembering like Brian Williams, he loved the bodybuilding lifestyle — even if he loved what it got him even more. I’m skeptical he could have found the motivation to reach the heights he did purely on extrinsic “so what’s this gonna get me?” grounds. There had to be some inexplicable, causeless fire inside. (Although, if you read his book it’s clear he found immense motivation in his desire to score women; that mattered to him a hell of a lot.)

      Which is maybe relevant to approaching? What’s the inner fire one has to stoke?

      Because it does seem the impetus to approach should ideally flow from the man’s non-rational hindbrain (our version of “It felt wrong but I just couldn’t help it!”), as much as from a forebrain process that rationalises “I don’t like this, but it’s good for me.”

      • I think Arnold willed himself to like it—like many mega-celebrities, what separates him from those ho never made it besides luck is an unbelievable will to do ANYTHING for his goals.

        I know the whole famous bit where he talks about how he feels like he’s “cumming” when he works out, but we must remember that he himself claims that for the documentary he deliberately acted like a character–all for attention. I think it’s more likely that he experienced pain from bodybuilding and hated it, but saw the results, and so willed himself to like the pain—to fuse the reward with the pain mentally.

        Anyway, we may never know.

  8. I also agree. I’m in beginners hell now but I’m doing my sets. It’s slower as I’ve moved to a moderate-sized American city (Target and Wholefoods are my hunting grounds) and have no one but myself to hold me accountable (I weasel out of ~2/3). Having no lays from day game so far but I feel tremendous after approaches. It’s spilling over into nightgame, onlinegame and girls-at-former employer game, simply because I’m starting to see myself, as you said early on in Balls Deep, ‘as the guy who approaches women’. I’m a ‘sports fuck archetype’ by looks (pull contact IOIs in bars often, had a few 8s literally beg me to fuck them in college) but don’t yet have the personality or entitled mindset when it comes to women to match my height, cheekbones or body.

    People want to talk about taking ayahuasca or mushrooms for an ego reset. Bullshit. Start approaching hot American women with mangled Krauser lines. Anyway, I’m dead set on getting my 1,000 sets.

    Heartfelt thanks for writing Mastery and Balls Deep, I know I should probably buy Nitro….

  9. I don’t think you can completely avoid cold-approaches even if you are super-rich and even somewhat famous. I remember some Game community members seeing Leo DiCaprio cold-approaching in VIP clubs. I am sure even he gets rejected occasionally. Some of the womanizing Hollywood stars also need to cold-approach plenty of women on parties – they enjoy a huge DHV, but if they relied only on their fame, then they would miss out on the hottest 8s and 9s, because those are generally not the ones who chase you.

    Recently I went out with a friend of mine who is a very good looking Natural. I think there were some 2000 people in the club and a lot of women. He was actively approached and even physically pulled by some girls, but he simply was not into them. In the old days before Game he might have taken that low fruit. Instead he rejected those advances of less attractive and older women and approached the hottest girls out there. He still got rejected most of the time, but got a make-out and a couple of numbers.

    No matter your looks or status – if you want to bang the hottest girls your SMV can provide, then you have to cold-approach – otherwise you end up like Quentin Tarantino and have a chubby feminist Indian 6 claim publicly that you raped her while sucking on her toes. Tarantino did perfectly fine “social-circle” Game and would be a hero to the crowd you describe in your post.

    • I don’t think any of DiCaprio approaches can be considered cold. Just seeing him in the venue beforehand makes it warm (or boiling hot) based on his huge fame and looks. It’d be funny though to see infields of him cold approaching hot women on the street that don’t know who he is. Without his fame as the hook I don’t think he’d do well at all. He’s got the fame though so he doesn’t need to truly cold approach.

      To your main point though, I agree that you always have to nut up and approach to get the best girls. You’ll rarely if ever get IOIs from the hottest ones, and you’ll have to run your game and show your value from scratch.

  10. I just watched that video you referenced. Almost spilt my coffee over my marmalade on toast when he said they are creating a platform for ‘authentic masculine spiritual development’. What? I just want to learn how to fuck poor little Ivana in my dirty tower block in Moscow.

    A big problem in the ‘game’ community now is that I could find more testosterone on the panel of ITV’s Loose Women than at a (insert saturday based meetup here) talk. I don’t want to bash individuals, but it seems like everyone in the whole PUA scene has forgotten that this is about FUCKING GIRLS. These guys manage to find game by some odd chance, but have no real desire to actually be out nailing girls; they love the seminars and walking up and down oxford street jumping in front of girls thing. They have no deep and huge craving to be fucking 19 year old Croats in the ass; I’m sure some of these guys would cringe if you told them the sick shit that a lot of top gamers get up to.

    I don’t want to sound like I am just hating on these guys, whom I have some sympathy for, but this seems to me to be a situation which is exponentially growing over the recent years. Pickup is no longer about picking up girls. It is about taking Ayahuasca retreats, working on my ‘core self’, learning how to be friendly to women and make male friends, Meditation and weird fitness regimes. (Side note: I do wholeheartedly believe lifting heavy weights will do wonders to put some hairs on your chest; this is one of the only other things you should be doing along with approaching.)

    I’ve mentioned this to you before Krauser about how I am disturbed by the celebrity like status PUA’s are getting amongst their followers; men are coming into pickup not to approach women, but to watch youtube videos and attend weird talks to escape the reality that they aren’t actually do anything worthwhile. If you are walking behind a girl you want to approach in the street and you are thinking anything other than how badly you want to smash that tight little ass, you have already lost the game. [Very true. I wrote a post about gurus and acolytes a few years ago. K.]

  11. I would also be very careful of the good looking instructors in the community as well who preach on about how they game and fuck girls.

    If you watch most of their approaches or (If you have good looking friends), insist on them showing you pics of the girls they’ve banged. Most if not, all of them will likely be a point or 2 below their looks threshold and were all mostly by ‘warm approach’. I have a few friends like that, and when you call them out on it, they will typically give you a BS rationalisation as a way to weasel out from the fact that they refuse to game the hotter girls and fear of getting rejected.

    I was in Reading yesterday visiting a friend, was in a restaurant and observed a couple. The interesting thing to note was that the girl was quite hot, but the guy was very good looking. It was blatantly apparent where the value dynamic was. That the guy was blatantly getting by on his looks, because as far as I could make out from their conversation. He had fuck all game.

    The biggest problem that I see is having a big ego. While getting laid is fine, you have to be honest with yourself by assessing your current quality you’re banging and ask yourself “Is this the best I could possibly do?”

    If you’re out and see a girl you really want to talk to and secretly tell yourself “Wish I can get a girl like her” despite getting laid regularly. Then you’re meta weasling

    If you’re getting them with relative ease with no work, then I believe you have no place in focusing on ‘lifestyle’ or ‘ayahuasca retreats’ until you can honestly say that you’re reaching the top of your game by the highest quality chicks you can find.

  12. Good points and well said. I like these ‘wake up and face reality’ messages.
    Self-deception is so common to see. It can be funny and sad.
    People may pay a high price for it; much higher than they realize.

    I decided years ago to remain wary of it in myself, and yet even so, it remains a challenging foe; stealthy; insidious.
    Watching out for it can be uncomfortable, tiresome, tedious, etc. It can dim your happy mood.
    This practice appears to be unpopular.

    These observations (written by others above) of common self-defeating behaviors remind me of what I’ve seen in many people supposedly doing martial arts and/or athletic conditioning.
    They rationalize avoiding the discomforts of pain, fear, intense exertion, sacrificing other options, etc.
    Naturally they do not achieve anything impressive.
    Too bad they can’t be realistically humble about their true level.
    I have mixed feelings seeing someone think he (or she) is a badass martial artist
    when really they are woefully unprepared for a real mean fight.

    I’m not one to advocate quitting or settling, but at least quitters and ‘settlers’ would be better off if they could just admit to themselves that’s what they are, that’s what they’re doing, here’s what they can realistically expect,
    and then decide to accept themselves as they really are, with some degree of self-esteem.

  13. John Matrix now believes he’s “Beyond Game” just listen to the latest Daygame Podcast. [Oh dear. He has legit top-level skills, though. K.]

  14. Really great article once again Krauser..

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