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Keeping it in check

Just got back from a two week trip to see the fam back in Iowa, and wow how things have changed with me in the three years i’ve been in Los Angeles.  When I showed up here I was pretty naive and I experienced quite the culture shock.  It took me about three months to get my bearings with the big city, and upon returning to Iowa three years later I got the opposite culture shock.  I even talked with a few people who I was friends with back then.  One specific friend asked me about what I was doing in Los Angeles and when I told him about what I do he gave me a response that I often get when talking about what I do.  In fact, this response is so common that just yesterday Brad and I got the same response from another guy when Brad talked about what we do.  That response is false bravado, and it’s a problem among men that i’d like to touch on.

False bravado is when a guy builds himself up in front of another guy.  It’s bravado because it’s in the bragging realm and it’s false because it often has very little basis in reality.  It’s a purely subjective opinion at best.  Now i’m all for talking about girls and fucking them, but bravado is entirely different because it often is an attempt at building or maintaing an already inflated ego.  I would insert an example here but i’m quite sure we all know about eighty hundred thousand dudes with a ton of false bravado.

So why am I writing about this and how does it relate to learning pickup?  Well, I wanted to write a bit about this because I think for everyone, myself included, the line between feeling good about our successes and going a little overboard with our ego can be a very thin line.  When talking about women, the temptation to fudge a little or one-up each other can cloud our ability to be completely open to learning.  That same pumping of ego can even completely blind us from learning otherwise very valuable information!

Today my message is short and sweet.  Picture a friend of yours who has the worst game you know of.  Got it?  Now ask yourself if you’d listen (and I mean listen with an open mind in an attempt to learn) if he was talking about a technique he used to get laid this past weekend.  99% of us wouldn’t listen with this mindset.  Oh you would?  Okay okay.  Then ask yourself if you would actually go out and try out his technique.  Be honest!  Because if you’re like me then I know you’re making every attempt to lie to yourself right now.  I’m even attempting to not be honest with myself while i’m writing this.  Don’t feel bad, it’s tough!

My reality is that most of the time I don’t listen as much as i’d like to with as open a mind as I would like to, and it takes solid effort to dodge the temptation to talk about myself or indulge when others talk about me.  I like my ego being pumped up as much as the next guy, and it’s scary to admit that because I know it’s a slippery slope.  On the other hand, i’ve seen Brad time after time have complete openness to learning from anyone around him, even students he’s teaching during workshops!  It’s a beautiful thing to watch happen, and it thoroughly impresses me.  After all, I was once a workshop student myself.

The whole point of what i’m getting at here is that if we can be humble enough to completely dodge our own egos then we gain the ability to really maximize the amount of learning we can do from anyone around us.  On the other hand if we indulge in our own false bravado, we can only completely block any further knowledge we might gain from the situations we find ourselves in.

So… when met with your next chance to engage in a bravado-type conversation,  I encourage you to hold your tongue and listen without speaking, take action instead of talking about your past actions, and open your eyes and your mind to learning whatever’s in front of you.  And if you still feel the need to pump up or own ego, remember that true respect is earned from those around you, not asked for.

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