(Editorial Note: Check out this CNN article of rejection letters received by famous artist and musicians: “From Warhol to Hendrix to boy in love, Rejection Letters Revealed“)
These two words might be the most powerful two words in the entire blog. In my life, I’ve been very fortunate.
I’ve been rejected. A Lot.
Not just by women. Dogs. Cats. Even some trees.
Now, I’m not talking about the face slaps or the ice-in-your-face that you see in the movies type rejection. I’ve never seen that happen (but if this has happened to you, please send in your story to email@example.com). The type of rejection I’m speaking of is the one where you’ve wanted a situation to turn out one way and it turned out different; WAY different.
Earlier in the blog, I posted Man Law #6 which stated that flowers were the kiss of death early on in the courtship. I still believe that. This law wasn’t born out of thin air. While many women agreed that you shouldn’t send flowers too early, other women, particularly European women (i.e. born in Europe) disagreed. To the American women who stated they liked flowers, I THEN asked them “How many times have you actually gotten serious with a guy who gave you flowers prior to any romantic involvement?”
Now, here is the story that led to this Law. Realize that this was not one singular event but this was the culmination where I realized that all the Shakespeare, all the Dawsons Creek, all the Wonder Years, had lied to me. Flowers – Just Don’t Do It.
Almost five years ago, I took a weekend trip up to New York to visit a childhood friend of mine I had reconnected with through Facebook. She was now attending Law School and we had decided
to go to one of those “exclusive” Law School parties with students from Columbia and NYU. There were a ton of beautiful people there and one in particular was a young Dominican girl from Brooklyn. Now Lawyers and potential Lawyers are dangerous to begin with, but cute, attractive ones are downright deadly. One thing led to another, by Monday I was home and by that Wednesday, she was my girlfriend.
Pamela Anderson once said “Don’t Get Married on Vacation” and I had done just that. Needless to say, we parted on good terms, stayed in touch but I still had a thing or two for her. While we were still talking to each other, I ordered flowers through FTD.com to be delivered to her on Valentine’s Day (Also known by the term S.P.A.D, Single People Awareness Day.) There are hundreds of women that are shaking their heads while they read this because flowers on Valentine’s Day is quite possibly the worst, I repeat, the WORST, thing you can do with someone you are not exclusive with. Looking back, I really don’t have a clue what I was thinking since I wasn’t going to move to New York and she wasn’t going to drop out of Law School. But no one was there to tell me otherwise, and what followed is what they don’t show you in the movies.
I won’t get into details of the page long letter she sent me, but what I can tell you is that we have not spoken a WORD since.
Luckily, at that time of my life I had some experience with rejection and I stepped back, recalibrated and got back on my feet again. It took about a week. But there’s been times where it took close to a year before I really felt normal again. In Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, there is a pretty powerful scene where the father says to Bruce:
“Why do we fall down Bruce?”
“So we learn how to pick ourselves back up.”
And this is even more true with relationships. Getting rejected or hearing the lets just be friends hurts us all but don’t try to conquer it because its going to happen no matter what. The reason why I called this “Embrace Rejection” is because you have to accept that this will happen no matter what and timing and circumstances might be going AGAINST you and have nothing to do with who you are. There are so many reasons why someone might not be on the same page as you are that its pointless to analyze these. If you find yourself constantly rationalizing someones behavior to the positive, chances are you need to pick up your stuff, say “NEXT”, and move on. Don’t let Rejection get the best of you. Step back, Brush the dust off. And learn to get back up. Each time is quicker, faster, and you grow stronger.
Man Law #71 is a condition precedent to Man Law #72 for you 1Ls. Look for it next week!
“I think there should be a law against anyone getting married under 35.” – Tom Hanks, New York Times article published in 1988. Married for the past 22 years.
For the record, I’m going to start this post off by stating that I want to get married. I want to have kids, raise a family, the whole 9 yards, the Full Monty. I do not have anything against the institution of marriage per se or against monogamy. I simply think that one should wait until they are of an age where they feel they have experienced enough of life before trotting down the aisle. I want my decision to get married based on my personal choice and not from pressure from the girl who I’ve been dating or a fear of growing old and lonely. Personally, I don’t believe that this can happen before you turn 30. If you are 21 or 22, and have dated the same guy or girl for a few years and feel like the only thing left for you to do is get married, by all means, go for it if you feel that it is right. However, the period of getting married at 20 and staying married to that person for 30-40 years has pretty much died off and if America or society is ever going to truly mean “Till Death Do Us Part” when we exchange wedding vows, we will have to revisit the whole idea behind matrimony.
So last Sunday I’m channel surfing and came across a fascinating interview with Elizabeth Gilbert on the Diana Rehms Show (Editorial Note: the interview can be played through Windows Media Player). Mrs. Gilbert just released a book entitled “Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage”. Here is a woman who went through a horrible divorce. It really shaked her belief system and she went through a period where she questioned what her original decisions to get married were based on – just WHY she felt the need to get married at an early age. As she states in one interview on NPR that when she was 19, she would stay up until 2 in the morning with the other girls in the dorm and PANIC over how they were going to raise their kids and hold a full-time job. To put this in perspective, the only thing I could think of when I was 19 at 2 in the morning was how to watch the porno I downloaded from Napster without waking up my buddies next door or my roommate. (If you are reading this, Sorry Will, duty calls!)
In the next few paragraphs I hope to give an accurate but brief summarization of two of her musings that really stood out and left an impression on me. Married or not, everyone should listen to the interview. If you are a woman, you need to listen to the entire interview more than anyone and leave us poor guys at peace. So, sit down, grab some coffee, listen to the interview and think about this stuff before you find yourself walking down the aisle wondering who the person is standing next to you that you are about to live the rest of your life with…
Women want a wedding and not necessarily to get married. Almost as soon as little Suzy learns to walk and starts reading, she starts planning her wedding. Now this isn’t ALL women, but a large majority actively think about these types of things. It’s no wonder that America is lost when it comes to marriage. She is looking for a man to fill a role, a position. You can picture the Craigslist advertisement: “Hey, we have a job opening for a man with these qualifications. Send resumes AND references to firstname.lastname@example.org ). I remember living in the dorm rooms and seeing some of the girls with subscriptions to Bridal Guide. There’s only one problem with that equation, you need a boyfriend first! Now, not all girls are like this and many have a strong, more realistic head on their shoulders. As one of my girl friends, who I shall call “Trixie” puts it, “I went to college to get a BS, not a MRS.” To hear Elizabeth Gilbert talk about the inspiration behind this law, skip to around the 15th minute in the interview. (Ladies, that means you.)
To many women, marriage means that they have been chosen. It signifies that out of the pot of women of every shape, size, and color, that she has been chosen as being worthy of someone’s love and attention. She has been PICKED from the crowd. In some respects, this would make anyone feel special. In Elementary School, No one wanted to be the last person picked on the dodge ball team. The faster someone chose you, the better you were. In many ways, we never grow out of this childish way of looking at things. We carry this belief system into early adulthood. The faster we finish school, get a high paying job, get married and have kids, that we are somehow beating the rest of the competition. And then what? We are subconsciously programming ourselves to look for outside validation. Gentlemen, for those ladies out there accusing you of wanting to be a bachelor for life or being single, share with them the fact that it is statistically proven that the longer you wait to get married, the greater the likelihood of staying together. Why do you think that is? Maybe marrying the second or third person you ever slept with wasn’t the best idea after all. At least wait until number five or six.
Now, prior to the twentieth century there was a very REAL reason for getting married early. If the average life span was 35, you couldn’t afford to wait until after your law degree to have kids if you were a woman. But in 2010, we are experiencing the longest life expectancies ever. You have at least two solid marriages to prepare for in your life so SLOW DOWN! That’s one marriage to have kids in, and one marriage to actually be happy in…but NOT if you wait, you can have your cake and eat it too. For those of you who can’t, go for it, maybe you can break the mold. Prove me wrong.
On a side note, I was recently promoted to another position within the company. I received an e-mail from my Mother today (1/23/2010) congratulating me on “…doubling my salary in three years…” but she was quick to point out “Another 20k and you can finally get married…”
Thanks Mom, I love you too.
The Art of Charm: An Exclusive Interview with “The Art of Charm” and Pickup Podcast Host, Jordan Harbinger
Women have a great advantage in the relationship department because of one simple thing – they talk. They learn from each others experiences and mistakes and this is added to the general body of knowledge known as the “female” perspective. They might not agree with everything in this body of knowledge, but they have plenty of resources at their disposal to get advice on dating and getting what they want out of relationships. Men do not.
When a guy ask another guy for advice about women, the vast majority of the conversations will usually go something like this:
Jason: Dude, I have a date with that Russian girl, Lena, tonight! I really like her, what do I do?
Adam: Just be yourself.
Jason: But where do I take her? What do I say? How do I act?
Adam: I don’t know dude. Just be yourself and if she’s the one for you then things will work out.
Adam: What channel is the game on tonight?
If you want to learn how to drive a car, you go to Drivers Ed. So, when you want to learn how to improve your dating skills, you go to a Dating Coach. When I first downloaded PickUp Podcast and was introduced to AJ and Jordan Harbinger, I was looking for advice on a SPECIFIC situation. I did not recognize most of the names of the guys they interviewed but I did have an interest in “Body Language” and “Story Telling”. Because men don’t talk or share this information as our female counterparts do, we become secluded on our islands of thought. The Podcast became an easy way of finding answers to all sorts of questions that guys think but are often too proud to ask.
After going through the first 5-10 PickUp Podcast and listening to what AJ and Jordan called the “Toolbox”, I was hooked. I quickly subscribed and for the next year or so during my 2-hour commute went through dozens of interviews that included tips by and for the common man. Many of these interviews and conversations formed the inspiration behind The Unbreakable Man Laws.
AJ and Jordan launched PickUp Podcast back in 2007 and it quickly grew from 30 listeners a week to 10,000 listeners a month. After taking a brief hiatus to finish up the New York Bar exam, Jordan took a job on Wall Street while AJ finished up his degree in Biology at Michigan. In no time at all, the PickUp Podcast blew up to 40,000 downloads each month and are now at 100,000 listeners each month. When they realized there was a solid market, AJ and Jordan formed The Art of Charm school . Since the inception, The Art of Charm school has been featured on NBC’s Today Show, Saturday Night Live Weekend Update, the NY Daily News, WABC Radio and a host of other news media.
As with all of my interviews, I asked members of The Unbreakable Man Laws Fan group on Facebook if they had any questions for AJ and Jordan. Nick Bradshaw stepped up to the plate and a shout out and thanks goes to him for submitting these questions. Be sure to follow the contact links at the end of the interview to find out more information on The Art of Charm by dating coach Jordan Harbinger.
Question: Do you see the pickup game as more of a science or an art?
Jordan: It’s really a bit of both. First, there’s definitely a science to what we’ve developed as a community and as a company. Many, MANY men (and women, as evidenced by some of our fanmail from bisexual and lesbian show listeners and clients) have tried a LOT of techniques and systems, and reported their results. The end product is definitely ‘scientific’ in nature, but artful in the delivery. Since the scientific system can be tweaked and molded to fit each of us as individuals so that it’s congruent with who we are, I’d say after the foundations are in place, that which is communicated is very much an art.
A good way to look at it is like this: when building a house, first one must dig a proper foundation and build the frame. There’re different designs for sure, but at the end of the day, EVERY house has these basics. Once that is built, the parts that are displayed to the world are a reflection of the designer/architect.
Question: Can ANY guy REALLY use the techniques that you’ve come across?
Jordan: I used to ask myself the same question all the time, even when I got good at this stuff. I thought, even after ‘mastery’, that MAYBE we’d just invented a great system that works for US. However, after teaching hundreds and hundreds of clients and receiving reports from thousands of listeners across the globe, it’s obvious that what we teach can work for anyone.
In fact, we’ve had clients as old as 62, as young as 16 (with parental consent). Both men and women, gay and straight, people with social anxiety, mild autism, ADHD, and a whole gamut of other challenges. Our system has delivered results to all of them.
Question: When is it okay to break the “pick up” rules?
Jordan: It’s funny. That Dalai Lama actually said: “Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.” I thought that was quite unexpected from the Dalai Lama himself.
In order to know when it’s okay to break rules, you first have to master them, and understand WHY they exist in the first place. The rules (or, the ‘what’) are training-wheels for new guys to use so that they avoid self-sabotage and common pitfalls during the early phases of their learning.
Learning the ‘why’ (the reason WHY a rule exists to begin with) is a very large part of what we teach here at The Art of Charm. We want all of our students to be masters of social dynamics, and so we spend a lot of time explaining and illustrating the reasons behind everything our students see and experience. This level of knowledge is what separates those who can reproduce a mechanical result versus those (such as AoC graduates) who can adapt their skillset to any situation, from the bedroom to the boardroom.
Question: How can a guy ensure that his game doesn’t land him in the Friend-Zone?
Jordan: The model that we use here at The Art of Charm is based on a “Map of Interaction”, which includes the ‘Attraction’, ‘Rapport’ and ‘Seduction’ phases of an interaction.
One of the most common mistakes guys make is failing to generate sufficient attraction with a girl and jumping straight into the rapport (connection) phase. This is where emotions are shared and a real connection to other people is made. However, without attraction in place, the guy falls squarely into the friend zone.
Question: How long do you wait before you call/text a girl after a successful Pick Up?
Jordan: Contrary to what we’ve ‘learned’ from movies and other sources, texting right away is often the best idea, and results in more solid follow-up and a higher likelihood of meeting up again.
After I meet a girl and get her number, I’ll text her a few hours later at the most. That way, she still remembers me, even if she has 10 other guys chasing her that night. Further, her emotional state is still pumped from her interaction with me, and this ensures she’ll save my number in her phone if we haven’t taken care of that already. Of course, this greatly increases the likelihood that she’ll answer my texts and phone calls, which is directly related to the chances up us meeting up.
We’ve actually tested this scientifically with a few hundred women, and put it into a follow-up system that we’re releasing to our listeners.
Question: After a successful Pick Up, do you stop running game on the girl? If no, then how long do you continue?
Jordan: Here at The Art of Charm we don’t consider anything we do to be ‘running game’. We don’t ‘turn this stuff off’ because it becomes a part of you. Confident guys who have their sh!t together (feel free to change that to ‘stuff’ or whatever) don’t turn off their confidence -ever. It’s just who they are.
Question: How do you “run game” and “keep it real” at the same time?
Jordan: (see above) -with us it’s all about authenticity. We bring out the best part of everyone who walks through the door, and give them the tools to bring out the best in others. There’s no difference between ‘running game’ and being confident and charismatic.
I believe that this is a ‘subtractive process’ and not an ‘additive process’. What we DON’T do is give guys a bunch of material to help them put a veneer over their flaws. Having a social mask just drives a wedge between people that makes it impossible to connect.
In other words, we remove guys’ insecurities and social issues, fake personas, etc, so that who they really are is what’s displayed in a confident and attractive manner which allows them to make strong, authentic connections with others.
Question: Is there a “golden rule” when it comes to Pick Up Artistry?
Jordan: Yes. Always “Leave her better than you found her.” I encourage people to extend that to every area of their lives. You’ll be glad you did.
As soon as you finish reading this post, check out the free PickUp Podcast on iTunes – over 100 hours of interviews and tips for guys on dating, building rapport and attraction. Check out The Art of Charm School at www.theartofcharm.com .You can also follow AJ and Jordan on Twitter @PickUpPodcast, @TheArtOfCharm and be sure to check out their show on Sirius/XM Radio Game On every Friday 8-10pm EST (5-7pm PST) on “Stars Too” Sirius 108/XM 139.