12:33 AM, Green Mango Club, Koh Samui, Thailand
Loud music is interrupting what would otherwise be the shocking silence of my new life. For 3 months now I’ve been out of my country, in a strange solitude, the road my single and constant companion.
I’m not sure why I’m here. Vacation? Mini-Retirement? Some desperate attempt to find meaning and fulfillment?
Why am I so unhappy?
At 22, I’ve officially “made it.” I’ve built my own business from zero, and now it’s doing quite well. It provides a comfortable monthly income and, being entirely internet based, allows me to travel & live anywhere in the world. Despite this, I find myself utterly depressed.
When you think you should be happy, but you’re not, you end up miserable.
This sad truth was playing itself out in my life, night after night. I’d meet people, talk to them, tell my story, they’d be impressed, and then… nothing.
I wanted fun, and I wanted strangers to give it to me. I saw they had plenty of it. Why couldn’t they share?
I left the bar alone, a bit drunker than I was upon entering, and hopped on my moped to begin riding down the dark and winding road to the room that had become my home.
I make it home safely, watch Curb Your Enthusiasm on my laptop and fall asleep 1 season later. Dreading the Groundhog Day type scenario that was sure to play out tomorrow.
This scene has played out 100s of times in my life. And I’ve watched it play out for a lot of other people. It’s a difficult cycle break. Once you start to believe that “fun” is something other people have, while you watch by yourself, you get conditioned to force that to happen.
I can’t pinpoint a singular event where it all changed. It wasn’t through direct intention. Honestly, I think some other things went right, entirely by happenstance, that led me to be in the right mood on the right nights. This led to having the right experiences, with the right people, and me gradually forgetting how to be that mopey prick that I used to be when out in bars.
I hope this extended introduction convinces you that what I’m sharing is not just armchair theory. I had to spend a lot of miserable nights, doing it all wrong. Eventually, by sheer volume, I did a few things right. I could immediately feel that it was right, and made mental notes along the way to “do that again.”
Over the course of about a year I transformed myself from being the guy that everyone hopes doesn’t come up and talk to them, to being the guy that you’ll hopefully be eager to meet.
I don’t really care about winning popularity contests. But without a doubt, knowing how to work a bar or a club is an important social skill to have. Luckily, most guys/people absolutely SUCK at this. So you don’t even have to be good, you just have to be clever. This is where my edge kicks in.
For a long time, I wasn’t really good with girls (or guys). I studied a lot of stuff to try and figure out why I couldn’t attract a mate. What I learned back then was that needy/whiny bitch isn’t on anyone’s list of desirable traits. What I share here are things that I developed myself while traveling, out of sheer necessity. I either had to learn how to meet new people or continue to spend a lot of nights being very lonely.
- You can’t be a creep. Creepy guys are creepy and if you are a creep there is no way to hide it. 80% of our communication is nonverbal. The creeps get weeded out within the first 5% of that nonverbal. Tip: Don’t be a creep.
- Get comfortable talking to people. If the thought of talking to a stranger freaks you out, make it your goal to start a conversation with 100 people in the next 7 days. Anyone will work: cashiers/waitresses/taxi drivers/homeless people/police/etc. Just push the conversation a bit: instead of handing them money and saying thanks, ask a question, and expect an answer. Within a week, approaching strangers will be as easy as… something that’s very easy.
- Be clean. Fashion isn’t everything but if you look like a total slob, people will notice, especially girls.
Now what I am supplying here is a one night system. It’s not a long-term, build-a-social-circle plan. It’s walk into any bar, anywhere, anytime, and run shit.
The Artist at Work
Rule #1: Within 60 seconds of entering a venue talk to someone.
The sooner the better. Just pick the most approachable group and start talking to them. See three heavier-set middle-aged ladies? Dive in, be fun, be friendly, and genuinely get to know them. A five-minute conversation with a stranger leaves a strong impression. For minute 1, be cordial and fun. For minutes 2-4, focus entirely on the people you are with and get to know everyone. For minute 4-5, casually scope out an adjacent group and try to make eye contact with someone in so that you can transition to a new group.
Be curious, both ways. Make it a game to find out information about whoever you’re talking to. Figure out if you find them interesting. Don’t give anyone anything except pleasant conversation.
Rule #2: Never leave somebody by themselves.
Nobody likes to sit alone in a bar, and people who are by themselves (and aren’t total psychos) are generally eager to have someone talk to them. So if you see someone alone, ALWAYS talk to them. If you open the easy group of 3-4 ladies and chat for a few minutes and see a guy or girl sitting alone nearby, walk over, start a conversation and invite them to join the group you just befriended. This is the ultimate social courtesy and it pays huge dividends in goodwill.
When you meet a new person, don’t just drag them over, talk to them for a few minutes alone and qualify them for the group. If you get a bad vibe from the person and think the group you just met won’t enjoy them, or think they won’t enjoy the group, don’t force a merger. Total weirdos are rare (usually I am the only one) so this doesn’t happen a lot. But it’ll make you look bad if you bring some creepy guy into a group of girls and leave him there.
Don’t put new friends into awkward situations.
Rule #3: Master The Transitional Arts
The first group that you talk to should be the only group you have to open cold. The next group you approach you are going to do so with the aid your first group. You can either take the group you are with and “go mingle” or make eye contact with someone else in a nearby group and approach by yourself. I always prefer to approach new people alone, as less experienced approachers can mess things up. Doing it by yourself also demonstrates desirable qualities.
Realize that when you are part of a fun group where everyone is having a good time, all of the people in the nearby vicinity are going to notice and want to be part of your group. Nobody goes to bars to have a boring time.
But now, when you leave this fun group and approach an adjacent group you are not “some random loner guy in a bar” you are the ambassador from Team Fun extending an invitation of equal and great fun to this new group.
Rule #4: Be an expert at Time Management
You just took five minutes and made a few friends with zero effort that are now setting you up to make a bunch of new friends. Take five minutes per group and rinse and repeat, learn and remember people’s names and try to become friends.
You really only need to spend 5 minutes per group. Doing this you can go through 12 groups per hour; assuming you hit it off with three people per group, that’s 36 new friends an hour. Within an hour, you’re the coolest guy in the bar.
Those gorgeous super models in a tight knit circle that would have never known that you existed or that would have shot down any attempt to talk to them (had you stood by the bar drinking a couple beers for the last hour working up your courage) will now be eagerly trying to get your attention and get you to approach them to see what all the fuss is about.
One tip for exiting groups. Don’t just be like, “Ok… Bye”. Say something like, “You guys are awesome! I’m gonna go mingle with the commoners for a bit and see if I can bother anyone else, but we definitely have some more hanging out to do, so let’s meet up in like 20 minutes. If you guys end up taking off make sure you come find me before you do.”
People are going to LOVE you.
I’m not gonna discuss “sealing the deal” in this post as that’s not what “being the coolest guy in the bar” is all about. Getting a girl to go to bed with you can be hard if you’ve never really done it before, and if you try to do it and fail, it can blow the whole venue for you. If you apply this system though, and do it right, you might just find that the girls will be trying to pick you up.
If you are “going out to get laid” you are almost certainly in violation of Rule #1.
Rule #5: Make it a game.
I don’t mean, “spit lots of game on dem bitches.” I mean treat the whole thing like a game, make it fun. I regularly find myself walking into bars in foreign cities where I don’t know anyone. I know I’ll only be there for a night, and will never see these people again. That means everything is an option! I can make up elaborate back stories, fake personas, and tell insane lies. Think “Wedding Crashers”. I don’t ever do this because my real persona and stories are more fun for me, but it’s nice to have options. Also, knowing that there is no risk of “loss of face” allows me to go all out without any fear.
Life is just one big experiment. Sometimes you have to try unexpected things if you want above-average results. I’ll do all kinds of crazy sociological experiments in these settings. Try standing too close to someone and see how their body language reacts, try standing way too far away. Try being really high energy or try the mysterious quiet thing. Just see what happens and do it big. You learn in the extreme!
This isn’t some foolproof system to pick up chicks. Give me a break. What it is, though, is a way to walk into any bar, anywhere, and get tons of complete strangers to feel good about themselves and be glad that they met you. You are giving every one of them a great story to tell and making their night out a hell of a lot more enjoyable.
It’s the easiest thing ever, it’s painfully simple, and the results are always astonishing…
If you’re totally stuck in your own self loathing, do this as a favor to other people.
Final gift, the best pickup line ever…
Sometimes it can be hard to know what to say when you are first talking to a new person, armed with this pickup line you’ll never have to worry about that again. Anywhere, anytime, you can use this to start an exciting and engaging conversation. Just make sure to smile as you say it.
Line: Hi, I’m [insert your first name]! What’s your name?