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Man Law #62 – Institute “Always-Already”

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The term “Always-Already” was first introduced to me while sitting in a Social Theory class by a professor who made her own clothes. Despite her waist length dread locks reminiscent of a 70s hippy at Woodstock, she had a great way of teaching and getting the class involved in the subject manner.


Acting "As If" you already know the person is more important than WHAT you say. Your confidence and calmness will show you are first rate.

In this particular class, “Always-Already” was applied to society as things that were always in motion as if “without question”. For instance, we use money and would never think of any other form of payment. Our parents used money, their parents before them, and their parents before them, all used paper currency in transactions.  Although people may work out different arrangements such as the barter system, it’s generally accepted in modern society that at the end of the two week period, our paycheck will come in the form of monetary compensation and not a four-week supply of milk.

This concept also can effectively be applied to a person-to-person situation. Instead of thinking of a formal meet-and-greet (“Hi, My Name Is”) that you might use in a business setting, when you are at a party/bar/lounge, it’s BEST to act as-if you already know each other – “Always-Already”. It works. For instance, if you are at a bar, and you are standing next to a girl and the bartender looks to you for payment, point to her and say “She’s got this round.” I have done this countless times with complete strangers and it has never failed to break the ice.  But the power of it is that it doesn’t have to be at a bar or a party, you can use this “Always-Already” concept anywhere. It turns out that “What you say” is less important than “How you say it“. If you are completely comfortable in the situation and don’t come across as overly eager or ogling at her, she will easily play along. In fact, many women are masters at using this to “pick-up” guys.  They are so good at this that most of the time, we don’t even know its happening.

Another instance to practice this is in something I’d like to call the “Elevator Exercise”.  The elevator is a great place to strike up conversations with strangers.  Chances are, you will NEVER see these people again. You only have a few seconds to make a clever statement. No matter what the person looks like – male, female, old, young, fat, skinny – act as if you already know the person and say something.  While you would guess this would be a no-pressure situation yet for some reason, many people feel awkward when standing in a confined space with a complete stranger.  It might seem odd to try this out at first, but if you can walk away with a person’s contact information such as a business card from a few seconds interaction, you’ve successfully mastered this concept. The key component is to not act like you are going to be there that long or that you are walking into a job interview with an “Ask me anything” expression.   You have a purpose and reason to be where you are, and just couldn’t resist the brunette standing next to you.

Matt Damon in The Departed did this perfectly…Observe. Take Notes. This is the absolute epitome  of a great pick up:

  1. Anonymous
    November 12, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    Classic. I love the concept. And the explanation of implementation was well played. Great clip as well.

  2. DJ Long
    November 18, 2009 at 10:52 am

    this does work well… and can lead to other areas and arenas where one may have had little to no success. i often like to tell random people, primarily women, that i see in my daily passing that they do have a pretty smile or that a certain looks flattering on them. granted this does go back to a previous man law about not commenting on the obvious. but for me, given constraint of time or other priorities, i’m not trying to pick her up or date her. plus, she wouldn’t be wearing that particular color if she didn’t like its hue or “cut” to accentuate her style and persona. therefore, random positive comments stated with sincerity and not in a creepy horndog tone can bring a smile or make her smile bigger and before she knows it you’ve turned the corner, stepped on the bus or out of the elevator, never to be seen again. this is a confidence builder and maintainer. i do it often.

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