Methods of Resisting Pick-Up Artists, Advertising, and other Manipulators

Strategy 1:  Understand that PUA tactics and methodologies–and other forms of influence such as advertising–are designed to engage and play with your emotions.  The tactics are designed to elicit feelings of attraction, aversion, obligation, helplessness, fear, arousal, laughter, curiosity, and laughter.  Usually the tactics are verbal but can also be visual and kinesthetic.

Strategy 2:  Do not fight the flow of emotions, but rather observe your own emotions.  Develop on your own an ability to observe your own emotions and thought processes.  For this, I recommend practising zazen ( a form of meditation developed within Zen Buddhism) and centering prayer (also known as hesychasm, which is prayer without mental images or internal voicing, found within the Catholic and Orthodox Christian traditions.  Zazen can be practiced by anyone, atheist or theist, whereas centering prayer requires a theistic standpoint.  One or both of these methods will develop that part of yourself which is highly observing and neutral; some magicians and mystics call it the Watcher.  Developing the Watcher requires daily discipline but is well worth the effort.  Many meditation experts recommend that beginners start a meditation practice 20 minutes per session, twice daily.  The idea is to work up to 1 hour a day of meditation, but if you choose, you can work up to 2 or more hours if you have the motivation and desire.  This effort is worth it.  Meditation over a long period of time will give you much greater calm, tranquility, and control over your emotions.  It improves mental processes and increases clarity of thought–your greatest allies in decision-making. 

Strategy 3:  Let go of the need for approval and validation from other people; let go of the fear of disapproval, opprobrium, and ostracism.  Let go of the need for logic, emotion, consistancy, and fulfilling other people’s expectations.  You don’t have any “‘splaining” to do–to anyone.  Right here, right now, you are good enough as you are.  You have the right to exist as you are.  While human beings exist within a social matrix, our right to be occurs with or without social approval.  (This is the antidote to women’s fears of disapproval, lack of social status, and being punished by abandonment.)  This doesn’t mean that you can prey on people, or that you don’t have moral obligations to humanity; what it means is that don’t let anyone call you on the carpet for not dancing to their tune.

Strategy 4:  make decisions based on intellectual reasoning and immediate intuition–not emotions, fantasies, and feelings.  Intuition and emotion are different; I’ll explain the difference.  Intuitions are perceptions, often immediate, that arise without apparent logical thought or apparent cause–i.e., you can’t explain off the bat the reasoning for the perception, it’s just there.  Intuitions are usually sudden and usually don’t have emotional content to them, unless they’re intuitions about immanent physical danger–then they’re usually accompanied by an immediate burst of adrenaline, or a weird, unrelenting discomfort or edginess.  Emotions are physiologically-based biochemical reactions touched off by thought processes, fantasies, etc.  An emotion works like this:  Step 1)  a perception occurs, Step 2) a thought occurs as a reaction to this perception; it touches off a biochemical reaction in the brain, which is Step 3) emotion, which in turn (often) causes Step 4), an action or a reaction.  What I am proposing as Strategy 4 is this:  do not allow Step 3 to determine Step 4, ever, unless it’s an emergency. 

Am I advocating that women dump all emotion and become Vulcans?  No.  First of all, it’s not humanly possible, and secondly, it’s not humanly desirable.  Emotions are the spice of life, and provide a great deal of energy for the motivation, persistance, and drive of human endeavor.  Emotions are the best fuel for acting on your decisions.  Emotions, however, are the poorest basis for decisionmaking; utilized this way, they leave you extremely vulnerable and easily preyed on.

Strategy 5:  learn to observe the world around you and the behaviors of people in your vicinity.  (This task can be exacerbated if you’re depressed, have attention deficit disorder, or are dealing with psychological pain from childhood abuse and/or neglect.  Seeek independent therapeutic and/or medical help for these issues so that you can become a better observer.)  This is where the practice of zazen will help you immensely:  not only can you learn how to watch your own emotional states, you can also carry this discipline to watch the world around you.

Strategy 6:  learn to sit with discomfort rather than to run from it.  Realize that negative emotions won’t kill you, and that they are merely biochemical signals indicating that there’s something that needs to be fixed internally or externally.  And if the problem can’t be fixed, sit tight; the pain will pass.

Strategy 7:  WHILE CALM AND TRANQUIL, ask yourself what it is that you want to do with your life.  Do you want to make a difference in the world, effecting change?  Do you wish to save the biosphere and all life on earth?  Do you want to help wean humanity off of organized religion?  Do you wish to serve God or humanity or both?  Do you want to be a wife and mother?  Star athlete?  Stateswoman?  Doctor?  Engineer?  Theoretical physicist?  Firefighter?  You get the picture by now.  Find your one driving passion in life, what it is you truly wish to be and do; set up the conditions to fulfill that; then *DO IT*.  Keep in mind that if you have several goals in life, there’s a way to juggle them–for example, you *can* be a firefighter and a wife and mother–but it will require some doing, i.e., marrying the right partner who will be supportive of your goals and pulling half the load of the housework and childcare.  In other words, you need to focus your energies on setting up the right environment to support your goals.  (This is one of the big reasons why I favor extended families and communes rather than the nuclear family; nuclear families cannot frequently take a lot of environmental pounding before they disintegrate, whereas real extended families are nigh well indestructible if the family members stick together.  They are SO much more resistant to pressures.)  Focusing on your goal(s), setting the proper environment up, and *pursuing* your goals will give you something to live for and will make you THAT much less needy, vulnerable, and open to manipulation.  It is the aimless, not the driven, who are the primary targets of the manipulator.

OBSERVATION ON STRATEGY 7:  keep in mind that strategizing patriarchialists very much like to sabotage, sandbag, and run interference on women’s attempts to set up environmental conditions favorable to self-actualization, ostensibly in the name of protecting children, saving civilization, in the name of religion, etc.  Note the giant war on single mothers, the “father’s rights” movements, the war on Title IX,  the ongoing war on funding for domestic violence prevention and helping battered women, etc.  This interference is delibrate, not accidental, and is based on a cultural war ideology that requires everyone to participate in a patriarchal nuclear family whether they want to or not.  Women as a group are going to have to become simultaneously more fierce, creative, cunning, and active in demolishing this interference.  The logical end result of women’s efforts in this direction JUST MIGHT HAVE TO BE the creation of a female nation-state, similar to the concept of Israel or Kurdistan, or to the mobile all-female tribes of the Kurgans (offshoots of the Sarmatians and/or Scythians).\

Strategy 8:  After deciding your life’s work, examine your friendships and relationships to see if they nurture you in working towards these goals.  If your friendships and relationships are nurturing and sustaining, great!  Keep them!  But if you find yourself with roller-coaster emotions from someone’s behaviors towards you, STOP!  THINK!  PUAs, players, addicts of all varieties, and other types of mind gamers in general create a lot of drama, “excitement,” anger, and anguish in their victims.  You don’t know whether you’re coming or going; that’s the time to walk away.   It’s best if you use your cognitive processes to prevent getting that upset, but hey–we’re all human, sometimes we’ll fail.  Walking away is a good failsafe to make certain you’re not being toyed with or manipulated.  Be especially wary of people who attempt to bring you to the brink of real anger or anguish and then do things to reassure you or “calm you down.”  When you catch this, look the person very sternly in the eye, and coldly, calmly, and forcefully state, “Game over.”  THEN TURN AROUND AND WALK AWAY, AND *KEEP* WALKING AWAY, NO MATTER WHAT.  Don’t let someone “reel you in” with radical, sudden tones in voices or behaviors.  That’s manipulative.

Expect that you may get silence, jeering, begging, mocking, angry putdowns, remorse, etc.  Ignore it–and keep on walking.  Firmly, violently cross this person off in your mind as an undesirable and NO ONE TO ASSOCIATE WITH.  You have the right to choose your own company. 

Strategy 9:  MAKE A FIRM RULE TO YOURSELF NOT TO GO TO BED WITH SOMEONE UNTIL A SET TIME PERIOD AND LEVEL OF INTERACTION/KNOWLEDGE BEFORE YOU ENGAGE IN SEX WITH SOMEONE.  People used to advocate waiting for 6 to 9 months before having sex with someone, but the problem with that is that many players have figured out ways around time limits such as those.  I recommend more of a two-to-three waiting period to get to know someone before bedding them. , if you’re willing to have premarital sex.  For myself, I decided no sex before marriage–we put rings on each others’ fingers before there’s sex.  And by the way, there is absolutely nothing wrong in lifelong celibacy.  If you’re married or already in a committed relationship of some variety, stay monogamous no matter what–even if the relationship is in trouble. 

 CAVEAT:  PLEASE DO NOT INTERPRET THIS STRATEGY AS MY ADVOCATING THAT YOU SHOULD STAY IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP, EVER.  This is exactly NOT what I mean.  The moment abuse enters a relationship, it’s no longer a bond of love, but a tyrrany–and tyrannies are to be overthrown, not endured.  No one should ever have to endure abuse or neglect.  When I advocate staying monogamous no matter what, even if the relationship is in trouble, I mean to stay faithful while the relationship still exists, in spite of its problems.  Simply put, don’t have sex with another person unless you break it off or divorce someone.  That’s not to say I advocate staying with someone as though they’re a ball and chain! 

Strategy 10:  When you set a boundary with someone, enforce it no matter what.  MAKE A DECISION PRIOR TO MEETING ANYONE ABOUT WHAT BOUNDARIES YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE, AND THEN STICK TO THEM.  THESE ARE NON-NEGOTIABLE TERMS.  Know your mind, know your terms, and refuse to buckle under or cave regardless of guilt-trips, threats, indifference, shaming, or anything else that feels or doesn’t feel like pressure.  If someone says, “Okay,” still stick to your boundaries.  No matter what anyone says, stick to those boundaries–regardless of whether their words are positive, negative, or neutral.

Strategy 11:  Do not allow yourself to be used as a “pivot” or “wingwoman.”  If any man requests that you help him find “dates” or “hot babes” or “girlfriends” or “potential mates,” etc., tell him NO and that you expect him to find his own partners.  Don’t praise someone’s abilities in bed, even to your girlfriends; there’s a chance that you might be unknowingly used by someone.  If you refuse to be someone’s matchmaker and he dumps you, castigates you, or breaks off contact with you, odds are excellent that you found a PUA or a player.  Also, don’t vouch for someone romantically unless they were a longtime boyfriend or husband.  Hold the attitude that your personal reference should be as valuable as 100 bricks of gold in Fort Knox–rare and costly.

Strategy 12:  Learn to be unimpressed when a man gives you that “thousand-yard stare” of primal attraction.  Many women are initially unprepared and become shy and disconcerted–then wildly aroused.  Understand that it’s a mirage–no indicator whatsoever that the man giving you this stare is of any help, use, value, or worth to you.  Period.  The attraction and sexuality are real, but that’s all it is.  Learn to avoid confusing this type of attention with anything of benefit to you.  (The reasoning behind this strategy is that many women grow up feeling ignored and devalued within  their own families, as girls all over the world are not valued or taken seriously as much as boys are.  Consequently, women are frequently very, very hungry for attention–especially from men, as they usually don’t get what they need from their fathers.  The PUA and player takes advantage of that.  Learn to view attention as your due, not to be bursting with joy when someone gives it to you.)

Strategy 13:  Disengage from the hedonistic philosophy in this culture.  Instead, cultivate a philosophy of personal heroism, honor, worth, and citizenship.  Be a heroine!  Be a philosopher!  Be an activist!  So what if you don’t have sex or a lot of sexual experiences?  So what if you’re not driving a Mercedes-Benz?  Refrain from chasing after pleasures, or from being scared of not ever having sex again or not having the “finer things in life.”  So what if you never get to “have a man??”  You can go down to the sexual toy store and get a battery-operated “jade stalk” that will do the job just as well.  Don’t let someone make you feel small for not doing what everyone else is doing in having sex.  You don’t need a jerk to have pleasures; ther is something to the idea of just watching a garden grow or watching the full moon rise over the meadow. 

Strategy 14:  Learn to recognize when you ARE being dominated, played, or treated poorly.  Believe it or not, a lot of the reason why women stick around, pick, or stay with jerks is that the women don’t recognize when a power imbalance occurs and what the methods are to create those power imbalances by PUAs, players, and other mind gamers.

Strategy 15:  When someone says something, give yourself time to think about what he or she just said–especially if it seemed rude, negative, critical, or of the left-handed compliment variety.  Keep silent–don’t say anything immediately, and think about the words used and the tone and non-verbal message used.  [Admittedly, this is a hard thing to do if you’ve got a defensive personality, which is why therapy, zazen, and centering prayer can all help in learning to observe rather than to immediately react.]  This gives you time to assess the words to find out what the intent is.  If the person keeps talking in order to elicit a response, i.e., “Whatssamatter–cat got your tongue,” or other things (positive or negative), keep silent.  Keep silent until you’ve figured out what you want to say or do.  Then say or do it, on your own timing–when you’re ready to.



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7 responses to “Methods of Resisting Pick-Up Artists, Advertising, and other Manipulators

  1. Brain

    Hi Scarred,
    I enjoyed reading this, although I have to admit I need time to consider more fully. In the meantime, I have a couple of questions:
    1. Do you see these strategies in a particular order of relevance or importance? i.e. is any one of them more vital than the others? I’m getting the feeling that different strategies may apply to different women.
    2. Do you think all are needed for defense? I ask this, because off the bat I would have a problem with number 9.
    My reasoning is that firstly, I really think advising women to stay in troubled relationships is not the way to go. Maybe you could expand on that and why you wrote that?
    Secondly, my feminist spidey senses tingle when I read anything that seems to mandate on women’s sexual activity. I understand that the reasons you might advocate celibacy or waiting are totally different from patriarchal reasons for telling women similar things, but…well…I don’t want women to go back to a time of denying themselves sex, from fear of the consequences (a time even more strict on that than this one, I mean!) Again, hope we can discuss further on this.

    I like the sound of zazen though.

  2. scarred2062

    Say hey Brain, it’s good to see you posting here.:) Let’s see if I can put on ye old thinking cap and answer your questions well.:)

    Answer 1: I’m thinking that *probably* the very most important strategies are the ones for gaining control of the emotions and the time periods, although to me all of them are quite important. To my way of thinking, daily meditation, letting go of the need for validation and approval, and delaying in making decisions about sexual activity are *the* most important strategies, the reason being is that PUAs and players both like to prey on the emotions and stampede their victims/prey into decisionmaking. Sometimes it’s the PUA making themselves look very big (“Demonstrating Higher Value”), or sometimes it’s the PUA devaluing his victim–or both. If I can convince women to quit caring about how they themselves might appear, in turn this should *hopefully* cause them to not care about whether they’ve got a “high status” boyfriend–and thus foil PUA efforts in their attempts at self-advertising. In turn, this should leave women *MUCH* less vulnerable to predation through PUAs trying to manipulate social proof image.

    Answer 2: “Secondly, my feminist spidey senses tingle when I read anything that seems to mandate on women’s sexual activity.”

    There’s nothing wrong with those spidey senses, and I congratulate you for using them! I don’t want to mandate *anything.* Women should feel free to adopt and *adapt* these strategies as they see fit.:)

    “My reasoning is that firstly, I really think advising women to stay in troubled relationships is not the way to go. Maybe you could expand on that and why you wrote that?”

    I might not have made myself clear, I’m glad you pointed this out. My thinking was/is, “If you’re in a relationship, however troubled, *stay monogamous.* *HOWVER,* that doesn’t mean that a woman (or a man) should *stay* in a troubled relationship no matter what. That’s saying women should stay in abusive or neglectful relationships, and that is **plain wrong** to require our sisters to do that. However, I could see where my wording could be confusing, and I’m glad you asked the questions. Next two or three days, I’ll add a caveat to Strategy 9. Good thinking, Brain, I hadn’t realized how it would come across…The last thing I want for a woman is to stay in a relationship where she’s getting crapped on or ignored…

    You see, my way of thinking is–one slap, one push, etc., or *ONE* time where a man forces a woman into sexual activity she doesn’t want, etc.–that means it’s NO LONGER a loving relationship–it’s a TYRANNY. Tyrannies are to be overthrown or escaped, NOT endured.

    “I understand that the reasons you might advocate celibacy or waiting are totally different from patriarchal reasons for telling women similar things, but…well…I don’t want women to go back to a time of denying themselves sex, from fear of the consequences (a time even more strict on that than this one, I mean!) Again, hope we can discuss further on this.”

    I agree, because *women* own their bodies! However, I think for *secular* reasons there’s nothing wrong in being celibate and staying a virgin or celibate until marriage. BUT………….

    The last thing I want to do is promote a religico-fascist idea that women’s bodies belong to someone’s idea of God (and, by proxy, a religious hierarchy or husband who are the only ones who speak for God). I *am* a Christian, but I believe that God *wisely* gives us self-sovereignty and stewardship over our own bodies. Also, most of all, God gives us *free will!* And I also believe that atheists have rights *too*–which is why I favor a *SECULAR* state and a public discourse on ethics and morals that’s based from a *secular* point of view, instead of forcing *my* religious beliefs on people. I think it’s wrong the way a lot of religious rightwingers are trying to bring back stigma; I think that’s an awful thing. I *NEVER*, for example, want to see a woman demonized or judged for *having* premarital sex, for going *out* to sow her wild oats, or to *do* the Murphy Brown thing and *have* a child without marriage. Also, ever notice how it’s always *women* who suffer the stigmas and not the men?? BOGUS!!

    The LAST thing I want our society to do is go back to the 1950s, let alone the 1850s! I can see your concern where, what if what I’m advocating might cut down women’s freedom–something *already* terribly under siege!!

    But also, just from a practical point of view, stigmatizing women’s sexual behavior–causing them to fear consequences, especially social, for sexual behavior, actually leaves them more VULNERABLE to PUA tactics. The reason being? If a woman fears being thought of as “loose” or a “slut,” PUAs call that the “anti-slut defense,” or ASD. And they’ve developed quite a *number* of manipulations to handle “ASD!”

    I think, however, one phenomenal secular-based reason for why women should wait two-three years before having sex–or wait until marriage–is the specter of STDs. To my way of thinking, especially with some of the newer STDs that are rumored to be out there (i.e., an evil variety of flesh-eating bacteria, etc.), it makes perfect sense to be very cautious in terms of going to bed with someone. Also, it *hopefully* foils the PUAs and players.

    BUT, let me reiterate. These are *strategies* (or strategic suggestions). Every woman must decide for herself what she can or will adopt. Some women are honestly okay with one-night stands or don’t mind being part of a harem. If that’s their conscious choice, I have *NO* problem with it. I’m sure some of the women have turned the tables on PUAs and added the PUAs to *their* stables without the PUA knowing!:) That’s not up to me to judge. Some women probably have no problem going to bed with a PUA even being conscious of what he is. *AS LONG AS* she’s decided that before meeting him for the first time and she hasn’t been manipulated against her better judgement, my feeling is *THAT’S UP TO HER* to decide.

    “I like the sound of zazen though.”

    Honestly? That’s probably the strongest strategy and defense, along with centering prayer. The clearer and more aware of your emotions–and detached from your fears–the less the PUA can get you. *That’s a truth>*

  3. re-reading briefly, it occurs to me that a lot of these strategies are general (as you say, applying to PUA, advertising and OTHER mainpulators) and therefore may be widely applied. Very useful, considering the nature of manipulative methodolgy is similar to a many-headed monster: cut off one head, another grows. I like that you are taking a life- wide approach here.
    As it relates to PUAism, a lot of these approaches could be adapted to apply to men too. For example: strategy 3. The guys at TG’s thread, who are asking “how can I meet women and form relationships?” – well, if they are honestly wishing to do so without exploitation, then the advice you give in 3 is an extremely good place to start. If someone genuinely wants to maximise their chances of success in dating WITHOUT risking abusive or exploitative behaviour on their own part, then they need to understand this:

    “Right here, right now, you are good enough as you are. You have the right to exist as you are.”

    It’s kind of like that old truism, you need to love yourself before anyone can love you.
    Well, you need to accept and believe in yourself before you can actually have confidence that any interaction with another person is going to be worth that other person’s time. I think when it comes to relationships and dating, the exploitative behaviour is not coming from people who feel secure and validated in themselves. Entitled, yes, but entitlement is not the same thing this sort of self-acceptance. Some men need to realise that “you are good enough as you are” ALSO means “you don’t need to have sex to prove something about yourself”.
    Relating to previous comments, the desire for sexual interaction with others is not wrong. In fact, I am *all for* people, even men (!) having more sex. The problem is that some men think that the fact they desire a particular women means that they somehow deserve to have sex with her. Nobody ‘deserves’ sex….don’t matter who or what they are. If someone wants to have sex with you that is a PRIVILEDGE. Yes, this goes for all genders. It goes for all situations – monogamous, free love, transactional, whatever.
    Imagine if everyone thought that way! Sex would be this amazing thing that lots and lots of people revered, enjoyed, spoke openly and unashamedly about….
    instead of being this thing that women begrudgingly dole out to men

  4. scarred2062

    “I like that you are taking a life- wide approach here.”

    Only way to do it, IMHO…even just a cursory look at the subject made me realize that there was a lot more that was going to have to be done other than simply memorize some of the lines and techniques that PUAs use.

    And yes, my strategies *can* be used by men. Actually, I think one of the biggest reasons men appear not to be as “emotional” as women is that they have been encouraged heavily by their conditioning to not look at things at their face-value and to be highly competitive. A competitive nature means that you’re going to heavily dislike the other fella “getting one over on you.” So men, I find, are often encouraged to question what appears to be authority, and their participation in competitive group sports, chess, etc., gives them the realization that deception is a common phenomenon in the world. Women (until recently, with the advent of Title IX) haven’t had the opportunities to get this education as part of their childhood upbringing. The wise guy who won’t take “any wooden nickels” is admired. On the other hand, “girls” are expected to be stupid, naive, and gullible; they’re frequently sneered at for being such. The irony is that NO ONE seems to have taken on the creation of savvy girls in an organized way…

    “It’s kind of like that old truism, you need to love yourself before anyone can love you.”

    You betcha!

    “I think when it comes to relationships and dating, the exploitative behaviour is not coming from people who feel secure and validated in themselves. Entitled, yes, but entitlement is not the same thing this sort of self-acceptance. Some men need to realise that ‘you are good enough as you are’ ALSO means ‘you don’t need to have sex to prove something about yourself'”.

    I agree whole-heartedly. Many men use sex as a way of proving to themselves that they’re men, or “still” men. This doesn’t work, because the feeling of the “proof” wears off. They’re locating their gender identity outside of themselves instead of within, where it belongs. Unfortunately, women are also starting to buy this garbage, having to “prove” they’re feminine all over again–a nasty little side effect of the New Patriarchy.

    “If someone wants to have sex with you that is a PRIVILEDGE. Yes, this goes for all genders. It goes for all situations – monogamous, free love, transactional, whatever. Imagine if everyone thought that way! Sex would be this amazing thing that lots and lots of people revered, enjoyed, spoke openly and unashamedly about….
    instead of being this thing that women begrudgingly dole out to men”

    That’s it. You’ve got it, the whole nutshell and all. What bothers me is that why isn’t *anyone* asking why women so grudgingly parse sex out to men. Why isn’t anyone asking that at all?

    In other words, why are women so threatened by having sex with men?

    They certainly didn’t *used to* be–check out the late 60s through the mid-80s!

    NO ONE in the PUA community–or, as far as I can tell, in the male world, is ASKING these questions. I grew up in the late 60s-early 70s–I remember things as being a lot freer and more optimistic.

    Sometime I’ll get into more of the reasons why I think women have become a lot more “cross-legged.”

  5. ooh, I loved this! Thanks Scarred!

  6. scarred2062

    You betcha TG! MORE IS COMING. It’s coming out slowly, but the AIM is quality…:)

  7. Danny

    They love the show at this site. They called the girls here neo-feminists.

    Scarred: Danny, please explain yourself more thoroughly. I’m willing to examine some of the ideas put forth by the women on this site, but I need a much more specific thread detailing what the positions of these “neofeminists” are. I think I *get* what you’re saying, mainly that some women genuinely don’t have a problem with what PUAs are doing. My response to this is that this is because mental and emotional manipulation is so rife in this culture that people literally can’t recognize it as abuse anymore, which is more of a sad commentary on modern humanity rather than on the inaccuracy of my basic position. Some would hold that to be arrogant, but any opinion on any position in this screwy world of ours is an act of hubris, IMHO.

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