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PowerGaming — the Great PUA trap

March 27, 2013

If you are a newb… stop reading now.   But if you are an intermediate, this post WILL transform you from good to great in pick-up, I promise.  It may be the most important post you read this month. It’s long, yes, I know. But it’s long for a reason. When I train guys that are intermediate PUAs, this is the biggest issue I have to fix in them – and it needs to be fixed because an HB6 or HB7 might easily and lovingly put up with powergaming, but not an HB8+. If you want HB8′s and hotter, you need to read this.

I have also posted a PUA case study from one of my clients to illustrate just what powergaming looks like, why it is so tempting to do with girls, and how to have good game instead.

What is PowerGaming?  
- The powergamer is always trying to give less than he gets, because he is afraid he will ‘lose power’ if he gives more than he gets.
- The powergamer forces their power, rather than providing the good emotions that allow people to eagerly submit

Powergaming is the GREAT TRAP of the PUA Community — Guys become so focused on making her give you more than you give in return, in ‘being the prize’ that they don’t realize they are stalling out their sets because they aren’t giving them good emotions.  They start ‘ignoring’ girls into compliance, start doing too many backturns and being extra careful about how many ‘compliments’ they give. “She’s gotta chase me man, she’s gotta prove herself and earn me”  Of course, this works some, with insecure girls and girls that are enough below your league to value your looks, and thus PUA’s think it works.   But with hotter girls, this is bad game, plain and simple.

Some classic signs of PowerGaming - 

1) Expecting others to submit/want you BEFORE you are nice to them (huge)
2) Worrying that being too nice/friendly to people will undermine their ‘respect’ for you.
3) Expecting others to put in effort and sacrifice to ‘earn your approval’.
4) Assuming that being submissive is associated with negative emotions
5) Trying too hard to make their opinion the ‘top’ one — ie forcing their Judgment Authority
6) Directly engaging things — viewing things as win/lose — the winner wins and feels good, the loser loses and feels bad.
7) Trying too hard to screen people, as if you have to be ‘good enough’ to receive good emotions from them
8) Attacking her playful, vibing attempts to play with the frame as a serious power attempt that must be crushed – For example, if she said ‘maybe I will let you do that for me’, a powergamer won’t just flow with it, he will attempt to forcibly re-assert his power.

Watch this 1 minute YouTube video of a Powergamer — how many other PUAs have you seen that ran game like this??

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQFRVIDYm20

You see, a person WILL NOT submit to you until they know that they will have good emotions from it.  Powergamers DO reward, but the cost/benefit ratio is too high for the submissee.  Powergamers aim to take more than they give — to keep a positive ‘trade balance’

The correct way is OVER-GIVING good emotions, while also just assuming their submission. If they don’t submit, you continue to provide and give good emotions, always, just like you do everyone.  When they finally start submitting, deferring to your opinion, to what you want to do, you just increase the good emotions they are getting from you EVEN MORE. So instead of calling her ‘cutie’ and ‘sweetheart’ like you do to every girl, once she submits to you (maybe by saying that she wants to do what you want to do), you say ‘god, you are too adorable… ok, let’s go!’. If its a guy, you go from liking him and appreciating him, to really boosting his confidence when he defers to you. This allows the submissee to feel good about it.

Now, you don’t try and give MORE good emotions when they don’t submit — that is chasing them. But you don’t give less  any less either… you must keep your baseline good emotions that everyone gets, even when they are a complete bitch to you. It’s like being a celebrity — why would they ever get mad? You must be a source of overflowing good emotions in your environment.

Done correctly, submission is a beautiful thing for the submissee — they get a leader that is bringing them good emotions, and they are also freed from responsibilities and forethought. They can just follow and feel great about themselves — its a huge win/win for them. They get to exist in the moment and find happiness there, knowing everything is taken care of.

If you don’t believe me, think about how tempting it is for a GUY to want to submit to his wife/girlfriends. ‘Just do what she says, she tells me when we are going to have our 2 times of sex per week, and the rest of the time I just get to do what I want, I get to play video games and focus on my work’   She rewards you with sex, and compliments about how good of a guy you are, and you work harder to make her happy. It’s easy — you never have to worry, it’s completely in her hands.  It’s the exact same for girls.

Unfortunately, PowerGamer pestilence is here to stay. For us, powergamers are annoying because it is REALLY hard to keep giving them positive emotions in the beginning, like you must do for everyone,  because they read your niceness as you submitting to them, to you wanting to get their approval.  ‘Haha, he’s being nice to me, and I’m doing nothing in return, I am so in power” Or so they think, until they realize that you are in high demand because you bring good emotions to people.  Eventually, even the powergamer must submit to you or be isolated. In your world, even the bottom rung of people still get good emotions — it’s just that the top rung REALLY get good feelings.

This is completely different than the PowerGamer structure where people at the bottom get completely shit on, and that is ‘supposedly’ their incentive to try and ‘work’ for the value of the top guy. The guys at the top get almost a par-for-par exchange in good emotions with the top dog but not quite.

In the correct way, people submit because it gives them good emotions… appreciation, praise, love. Yes, that does mean that some of their control is lost, but they also know that them giving up that control is not going to cost them good feelings in the aggregate  They may give up their ability to have the top opinion on things, or to dictate where the group will go, or whatever, but they won’t care, in the aggregate, because they don’t  lose good emotions. So they are happy with it; in fact they are glad to not to have to worry about the responsibility anymore. Thus, they can exist in the moment, and they will also trust and seek to protect your leadership.

This is all together is really the foundation of the concept I have created called “Two-Dimensional Push-Pull” (an article I will write up later) – It’s because submission is a BILATERAL trade.  Most PUAs (and people) view it one-dimensionally — good emotions in, good emotions out, keep a positive trade balance.   In Two-Dimensional  Push-Pull, it is actually an exchange of Good Emotions (appreciation, praise, etc…) out, deferrence to judgment, decisions, and opinions in.  This is the trade that makes healthy submission possible.  She defers to your leadership, and you praise her and make her feel overwhelmingly loved. As soon as she attempts to take charge, it gets cut off and you go back to being just simply nice, like you are to everyone. 

Like I said, this is a BIG trap for the PUA community — guys get so focused on this hard submission, in keeping this ‘positive trade balance’ that they just make you not want to hang around them. Then they get lonely and they are like ‘I guess nobody is just ‘good enough’ for me, because nobody is willing to work for me’.  NO, you are just a idiot because you are not giving anybody good emotions that they would be willing to trade to defer to you. They aren’t going to just defer to you for nothing — that just feels shitty. “She fucked up, so I had to punish her by ignoring her” What?? Dude, she’s already forgot about you and found new good emotions with another dude to fill the void you wouldn’t fill (pun intended).

For example: I friended this PUA the other day – I’m like ‘hey man, really good to see you on here, let’s hang out sometime, it’d be really great to meet up with you and have a couple beers!‘    What does his power-gaming self reply with? ‘cool’.    That’s it. Do you really think I am going to continue to re-engage this guy after he has done this? No, that would be chasing, I am not going to shove good emotions down his throat. If he hits me back up, I’ll be just as nice to him. But right now, in his world, he thinks he’s the shit — look how much that guy was giving me, and how little I’ve given back in return — I am SO the shit right now.  What he doesn’t realize is that he has starved out his interaction with me, just like he would with another girl. And I’m much less likely to defer to his opinion on anything or give him power, because I know he doesn’t care about my feelings and is trying to have power.

Anyways, this PowerGaming shit has to stop in the community. It’s why newbs and advanced guys are so much cooler and easier to hang out with than the intermediate guys, because they don’t pull all this ‘how much did he give vs. how much did I give’ bullshit.

Again, if you would like to see a good case study of what powergaming looks like, why is it so tempting, and how to actually run good game instead, check out my real life example of powergaming post.

If you liked this post and my others, and would like to see more as they come out, feel free to follow me via email… the signup is at the top right corner of the page!

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