Sharpening your Social Calibration

Pillar III

By now you should have realised that some of my posts have an overly long intro, at the beginning of which I start elaborating on the main topic, only to then divert multiple times to talk extensively about a variety of other things, to finally come back to the main topic and provide a series of actionable ideas. This post if one of them :)

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Social Calibration is the third and final pillar supporting High Value. We have already covered Looks and Vibe, and those are the two pillars which generate attraction from the very first moment a girl sees you, even before the two of you have had any verbal interaction, if she’s attracted to you in the first place. Fact is, physical attraction is either there from the beginning or never, it’s not something that you create out of nothing, hence those are the two pillars for you to focus on in order to generate that initial interest.

A girl may revaluate you slightly if the first time the two of you meet you are dressed poorly, with your hair all over the place, and your Vibe is off, while the following time you meet you have your Fundamentals completely under control. But assuming that you are good enough in terms of displaying your current Fundamentals when you first meet her, in that case attraction is either there from that initial moment or never. Very simple. Actually, I would say that even in the first scenario, where you meet her in a moment in which you are selling your Fundamentals short, she has a pretty clear idea whether she likes your underlying baseline or not. Sure, some girls end up with boyfriends they were not physically attracted to initially, and each of them will tell you that “they ended up liking him as a person”, but that’s a completely different conversation, and irrelevant what we are discussing here.

Instead, relevant to this conversation and to seduction in general, is a clarification on the two words I used above, “attraction” and “interest”. For all intent and purposes, they can potentially be used to refer to the very same thing, but there is an important clarification to be made. If you take a certain number of girls who are clearly attracted to you, all of them will also be “interested” in you, but in very different ways: in this day and age, most of them will be interested in your attention only, most likely because they are all taken already. Then, a minority of them will also be interested in you as a potential partner, and this latter group of girls is then divided into some more subsets: some of these girls are extremely eager to have you as a boyfriend, while some others are only looking for lighter and non-monogamous relationships.

There is quite a strong cultural element at play here, and based on what I read online, it seems that there are countries where the dating systems is made of levels, starting from hook-ups, moving on to plates, moving on to dating, moving on to long-term relationships, etc. Always based on what I read online, the USA seems to be one of these countries. Then, there are other countries where things are much more binary when it comes to seduction, meaning that someone is either single or in a monogamous LTR, and quite a lot of countries in Europe are like this. Sure, hook-ups still happen, but much more rarely. For instance, the infamous “carousel”, which I often read about online, is just something that doesn’t exist where I live now, and also in some other countries where I lived in the past. Someone may argue that I think it doesn’t exist just because I’m not part of it, and that would be a legitimate objection, so let’s put it this way: there is always a niche of girls interested in a hook-up, and the Tinder experiment I did in this city two years ago can attest that. But trust me when I tell you that in some countries the concept of “dating” multiple people at the same time just doesn’t exist, and girls just don’t accept to be relegated to plate/FWB category, especially girls in their prime. All this to say that the subset of girls who are interested in you as potential partner may be heavily skewed towards the girls that look at you as a potential boyfriend, rather than a fun hook-up.

So, by maximising Looks and Vibe, you will be able to generate a lot of attraction, and you will get noticed by a lot of girls, the majority of which are interested in your attention only, a minority of which is interested in you as a boyfriend, and an even smaller minority of which is interested in you just for some fun. At least, this is exactly what happens to me, and this may well be because I’m fairly attractive but I have an “angelic”/sweet element to my face. It would be interesting to see what the situation looks like for someone at my own level of attractiveness, but with more masculine facial traits, someone who looks much more like hook-up material from the distance. It could even be that this person has an equivalent situation to mine, I just don’t know, since topics like this are not widely discussed in person (most people around both me and you are clueless when it comes to girls), and if they are discussed it may not be in an objective way (full of Casanovas around). Or it could even be that the key discriminant factor is attractiveness only, rather than sweet facial traits vs. more masculine facial traits at the same level of attractiveness. I just don’t know on this point. But the fact remains: a huge amount of girls is interested in my attention only, a minority to have me as a boyfriend, and an even smaller minority in some lighter arrangements.

And just to close this topic off (for now), since dating multiple people is something not socially acceptable in the not-so-big city without any hook-up culture where I live, and since I’m only interested in FWBs at this point of my life, the trick is to have short “unofficial” relationships one after the other, while at the same time never lying to girls and never leading them on: the fact that you are not the “ideal” boyfriend for the long run will be picked up by them through the way you behave, the way you talk, etc. Within one month or two maximum, during which you have met on average one time a week, sometimes less, other times more, the “relationship” will just end up naturally, since there is really no future for the two of you as a couple together. She will then regret all that for a moment (that “moment” can be quite long to be honest), only to then stabilise her emotions towards you at an intermediate level, lower than the high point when you were spending fun time together, both in bed and outside in the city, and higher than the low point when she felt bad with herself for having made that “mistake” (yes, I’m labelled a “mistake” usually, either through words or through body language, but that’s just the girl rationalising doing something completely outside of social conditioning). Fact is, the initial unspoken yet implied arrangement is not to have a typical coupley relationship, at least that’s the way I perceive it to be, but the girl always ends up getting burned after a while, even with that initial implicit agreement. This is the main emotion pattern which I noticed girls go through with me. There are five of them, but let’s stop this topic here for now.

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It has been an overly long intro, but fact is that I just don’t have much to say on Social Calibration. Let’s put things into perspective again: Looks and Vibe are the two pillars which generate attraction from the very first moment a girl sees you, even before the two of you have had any verbal interaction, and we already said that.

Social Calibration, on the other hand, is what first makes it possible for you to approach said girl in a “calibrated” way, taking into account things like the social pressure on her, timing, initial opener based on the circumstances, etc. Then, Social Calibration is what makes it possible for you to escalate things at the right rhythm, from the opener to the light conversation which follows it, from taking her number on a high note to texting her the right way to set up the date, from having a light and fun date to invite her home when the time is right, etc etc.

For all intent and purposes, Social Calibration is very much an add-on on top of your Inner Core Vibe. Sure, some people are more outgoing and more playful than others even at the same level of Inner Core Vibe, but if they really wanted to, they could pull off the same behaviour in the same circumstances. On the other hand, people at lower levels of Inner Core Vibe will just behave differently even when attempting to execute the same action, like for instance teasing a girl.

If you are at or below 30% in terms of Inner Core Vibe, you will naturally behave like a Nice Guy under all circumstances, no doubt about that. Things like approaching a girl you don’t know at the supermarket, stone sober, is completely out of question, never mind stopping a girl in the street. Inviting a girl home and then trying to escalate things two hours into the first date is something that just doesn’t exist in this reality. Making a tease with a sexual element in it, without using any of the Nice Guy apologetic expressions, nor any nervous smile to defuse tension, is inconceivable here as well. And so on and so forth.

Inner Core Vibe 40% and 50% are transition points, where people can start behaving (attempting to at least) in a cocky-funny way within their familiar environments, where they act confident, but they tend to go the Nice Guy way in circles they don’t know very well, or with strangers.

Then, from 60% up, you behave just like a showman if there is a playful component to your personality: you effortlessly tease in a calibrated way all girls you want to tease, from girls you have just met to girls you have known for years, you handle being at the receiving end of a tease just fine, you approach girls in a calibrated way without worrying that people around may listed to your conversation, etc. You literarily run a show when you feel like it, and when you think that the “audience” is receptive. For me, having the right audience ideally includes having no men in there, since they tend to interrupt with Nice Guy interferences or just with uncalibrated interferences, ruining the overall magic of what I’m doing.

Having said all that, assuming that your personality is fairly outgoing, the best way to enhance your Social Calibration is to work on your Inner Core Vibe. By doing that you will switch from making Nice Guy jokes and Nice Guy teases to making playful-asshole jokes and playful-asshole teases, and girls just adore the last two types. Seriously guys, girls just adore this kind of calibrated cheeky teases and jokes, and this is not a “theory” of mine, but rather my first-hand experience, like anything else present in this blog.

On a relevant point, just recently I considered whether to completely ignore all taken girls I know or not, since I’ve got the clear impression that I’m providing something (my attention, my teases, my jokes, etc) without having anything in return. I decided to be much colder in my interactions with the taken girls outside of work, while still being playful with all girls at work, both taken and single. I’m not interested in any of them sexually, since I’m very strict on not being sexually involved with colleagues, but they just transmit me so much positive feminine energy when I tease them and I joke with them, they are just so cute. With them, I provide something (my playful cocky attitude), I have something back in return (their feminine sweet energy, the way they look at me with their eyes wide open while they happily smile, etc), and that’s perfectly fine. With the girls outside work instead, I only move to the teasing phase with the ones I’m sexually interested in. Having considered that, and also considering that my teases and my jokes are not a given, rather they are to be earned in the free market outside of work, if those girls I’m sexually interested in are not ready to move our interactions up one level when I ask, well then I just remove all my teases and all my jokes, while remaining cordial with them, of course, but only the bare minimum required by social etiquette. Attention is the only leverage modern men have, hence let’s use it effectively guys: once you have enhanced your Fundamentals and you are value is high enough, even just your small talk is a reward for you to give to the girls who deserve it.

Let’s look again at two of my male colleagues, and as usual, the reason we look at them is because work gives me the “opportunity” to be around men I wouldn’t normally associate with outside of work. One of them is at Inner Core Vibe 50%, very strong within his circle of competence, complete “flag” with people he doesn’t know well (i.e. just like a flag adapts to the wind, he adapts to the general consensus there, either implicitly by saying nothing, or explicitly). He also has a few personality quirks, is stingy, has a fairly negative outlook on life, and I think he has Paranoid Personality Disorder as well, but I’ve not done any real investigation into Class A Personality Disorders. Sharing the office with such a person is one of the clear “opportunities” work can give you. Sure. His sense of humour is pretty much zero, and I “worked a lot on him”, since he’s not an evil person overall. You can’t have a serious discussion with serious/pessimistic people like that, otherwise it will be like playing home for them, and they are just master on these serious (i.e. sad/boring/pessimistic) discussions. Hence, every time I need something from him, especially if the topic is known to create friction, I run a little show, during which I tease him, I make joke of him, then I make joke of me, we all have some fun, since I execute all that “show” in a calibrated way, and I get what I need (by the way, the ability to deal with different people in different ways is just included in the global Social Calibration package). I teased him in a variety of ways over time, and it’s only normal for those “varieties of ways” to repeat themselves in the structure in the long run. It has been two years now, and he has only picked up one of my teases, and at times he tries to use it on me, which is fine. Problem is though, he lacks calibration, and as a result he becomes heavy, just what we need to avoid doing. He uses the same tease principle which I use, but he executes it with a level of energy which is a bit off, possibly at the wrong time, and way too many times in a row, and this is how you end up getting completely different results, this is how people classify you as socially uncalibrated. In all fairness, in addition to a level of Inner Core Vibe which could be improved, in this specific example there is also an element of Emotional Intelligence at stake, since he scores very low there.

Another colleague of mine is at Inner Core Vibe 30%, meaning that he is as dominant and as confident as a little kitten, but he’s not an evil person either. I don’t tease him as much since he scores too low on Vibe in order to take playful teases well, and in fact at least twice he overreacted, having confused my playful tease with a personal attack (this is what happens when you come from a place of low confidence and self-doubt). He too has picked up some of my jokes and some of my teases, and sometimes he tries to use them with our female colleagues, but his Nice Guy element is always present in the execution, and the way he makes girls laugh is the Nice Guy way, rather than the playful-asshole way.

Up to now, my overall recommendation to you is to work on your Inner Core Vibe in order to sharpen your Social Calibration, since the way you feel inside will show in the way you interact with people, and in how much you try to push the limits of what is socially acceptable. Let’s move on to some more actionable things now.

Copy a model

Back in secondary school, when I was 15 or 16 years old, I had a friend who was around 10 years older, and who I thought was a lot of fun. I didn’t spend a lot of time with him, but when we were together, I really enjoyed the way he talked, his jokes, and his humour in general. I started to replicate some of his jokes, some of his lines, and I started to act like him at times. I didn’t take all of his personality, of course, also because there were aspects of it I wasn’t interested in taking inspiration from, but I surely picked up some of his sense of humour, and some of his light and careless way of living life.

In addition to that, there were some actors I just liked too much in some of the comedies I watched at the time, and I took some of their humour as well, watching their movies endless times, since I just found them too funny and couldn’t get enough of that humour.

After turning 19-20 years old, I don’t remember any clear example of external influences having such profound effects on me like the two above did. Maybe they still happened, possibly on a smaller scale. But with that friend of mine and those comedies, I just took “inspiration” from them, and started acting in a slightly different way as a result. I don’t know exactly what it is that has shaped my personality the way it currently is, which is not very different from the way it was when I was 20 years old tbh, but those things surely had a contribution.

Hence, I recommend you do the following if you want to apply some changes to your personality, and consequently to your Social Calibration. You chose some actors whose acting in certain movies you particularly like, and you identify with their character. Then, you repeat some of their lines, you repeat some of their facial expressions, you repeat some of their body movements, etc. Certain things will become natural after enough practice, especially if acting like that is something you really like, contrary to something you do just because it may give you an edge with the girls (I discourage this second approach). Better still, but more difficult, is to identify a cool person in real life, and spend some time with him, in order to go through the same process but in a more efficient way. Finding a real cool person is surely more difficult than choosing some good movies, since cool people are just hard to find, and then you need to click with them, in order to spend some time together with their real fun attitude in full effect.

The good use of Visualization

Experience is the best teacher, hence I recommend the following approach as a follow-up to the initial step described above (i.e. identifying some models and taking inspiration from them). On one side, you prepare in advance a few things to say in a few situations, not word by word, since you don’t want to give people the impression you are reading a mental script, but an overall idea of what to say and how to say it. In this way, you will have a toolkit of possible things to test and see how they are received. If they work well, you can then just repeat the same thing pretty much in the same way with different people (certain jokes and teases you can only use them once with someone, otherwise you become uncalibrated when you start repeating them). If something has worked well with certain people, next time with the very same people you can keep the structure identical, and change the content of the joke/tease. Fact is, the basics of good jokes and good teases are always the same, and what you end up doing is always keeping the structure constant while changing the content. Problem is, I don’t know how to further elaborate on these things in words, since it’s not something which I do consciously, but I’m keeping track of my most recent teases to include them in a dedicated post eventually.

All that was for deliveries of jokes/teases which worked as expected. On the other side, when something falls flat, you just analyse whether the problem was in the execution, in the timing, in the people you were interacting with, or just in what you said. Next time you can try something different, to refine what needs refining. Practice makes perfect, and even if reading all this in text may seem artificial, doing this trial & error process in real life feels perfectly natural and will get you calibrated as a result.

Reference memories

Reference memories are invaluable, since if you pay close attention to them, and you consciously analyse the effect that certain things had on certain people, you will calibrate yourself just like that. As with anything, the more you practice this skill, the faster you become better at it. This is a conscious and possibly mentally tiring task only while you are going up to the desired level, once you have reached the plateau all this will happen effortlessly.

You just repeat multiple times what we discussed in the previous point, and eventually you will instinctively know that certain things will have certain reactions under certain circumstances, you will pick up the trends in terms of those reactions, and you will notice that certain groups of girls (people) will react pretty much all in the same way when they see you in a certain way. The only difference will be how the girl feels inside, and not about you, but rather about her.

Focus on “quality” interactions

By “quality” time I mean interactions you can use to work on your Social Calibration. Just today someone brought cakes in the office, and we had the usual gathering of 20 people in circle, where someone made a joke, we all laughed, then someone else made another joke, we all laughed again, etc. Shoot me now, I hate this kind of things, since they are not the “quality” interactions I look for. Those are very much Nice Guy interactions, where you need to be fairly politically correct, making childish jokes, and everyone can do that. Sure, some people are shyer than others, but to do well in those kind interactions you don’t need to be a playful asshole, quite the opposite actually.

My “quality” interactions are with girls, one on one, or two max three girls and me alone, since I don’t want some Nice Guy or some boring man ruining the rhythm of the interaction. Create these occasions for yourself, run your little show, drive girls crazy, and then go: one-two-three and poof… you are gone. Think of it really like a show, where you appear, you lighten up the environment, and you disappear, leaving a wake of positive emotions behind you. If you stay there and let the conversation become serious, deep, profound, boring, then you just end up ruining things, since there is no spark in this kind of latter conversations. And conversely, you can’t extend your teases too much, otherwise they stop being funny. You need to go away on a high note just at the right moment. And guess what? You need to be socially calibrated to be able to create the high note first, and leave the show effortlessly then. And guess what? The more time you spend in as many of these little interactions as possible, the better and faster you end up getting calibrated.

Final thoughts

When it comes to Social Calibration, there are two main elements to it. First, having an understanding of when to start certain interactions and when to hold off. Then, having the right rhythm to “effortlessly” move the interaction forward, by delivering the right things at the right time, and by improvising based on what happens during the interaction itself. Practice makes perfect here, together with careful analysis of what went well and what went wrong during the interaction, and with the good use of Visualization for future interactions.

My final advice is to calibrate yourself to operate in the region beyond what is conventionally done by most people, but still within the boundaries of what is socially acceptable. The area I’m talking about is pretty much virgin around you, since almost everyone sticks within the boundaries of what is conventionally done by most people, just not to take any “reputational” risks, but they end up being extremely boring as a result. On the other “extreme”, some people go beyond the boundaries of what is socially acceptable, and end up being perceived as rude, uncalibrated, and creepy as a result. Not many people operate between these two extremes, and this is the area you are interested in.

To close this post off, if you manage to identify this area “beyond what is conventionally done by most people but still within the boundaries of what is socially acceptable”, and you manage to effortlessly operate in that area all the time, not only when it comes to meeting girls, then you have won in terms of Social Calibration. Managing to do that will give you a big head start when it comes to meeting girls and escalating things with them effectively.

But what do you need to do in order to identify that region and operate in there? Actually, you need to be Socially Calibrated in the first place to achieve that.

Damn it!! But this is a real catch-22, guys!!

Emoji LOL

No, it’s not. You just need to practice until you make it ;)

Cheers.

The Essentials:
• Fundamentals
Game