Reciprocation – Basic Social Rule
Reciprocation is one of the bases for most of our social interactions. It’s a powerful force that creates uninvited debts and unequal exchanges but it can also be applied to… You’ve guessed right – picking up girls.
Reciprocation In Literature
There’s no secret that many PUA tricks are based on human nature and psychology. We’re the unwelcome social scientists making our daily experiments on humans. That’s why you get those “aha” moments when you switch from reading pick up stuff to psychology books.
Two obvious choices for the topic of reciprocation are Influence: the Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini and How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie. The first has a whole chapter titled “Reciprocation: The Old Give and Take… and Take”.
The Dale Carnegie’s timeless classic is not as direct when it comes to this rule but you can find traces of it in chapters “Become genuinely interested in other people”, “Talk in terms of the other person’s interest”, “Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely”.
Attraction Is First
The spirit of reciprocation was mentioned in the post Attraction Is First. For her to become interested in you – who you are, what do you do – she has to enjoy being with you first and/or become attracted. There is no point in getting to know each other until you’re both into yourselves in some way or the other.
Many guys are great in creating rapport out of thin air. Immediately he and the girl are at ease and it seems like they’re long lost friends. But being friendly doesn’t lead to sex, it leads to friendzone.
Especially when you’re a stranger and the girl knows nothing about you – you have zero value to her. She doesn’t want to know you (why would she?) and unless you’re attractive physically to her she won’t even consider sleeping with you. There is no point in starting a conversation with “hey, let’s grab a coffee someday”. Something has to occur before that…
“Give and Take… and Take”
To get value you have to provide some value. That can be your interest in her (if she perceives you as a higher SMV guy), the compliment you gave her in your open or the fun conversation you had in the vibing phase. But she has to feel that she received something from you. Only then she’ll start to reciprocate.
Everyone wants to be liked and popular. Just by showing a genuine interest in her you’re giving her value. Don’t be impressed, don’t put her on a pedestal, don’t you even think she’s more than you. But I’m sure she’s interesting because you’ve approached her and it’s okay to tell her that.
The same thing applies to every form of game and social interactions. You can’t start by sucking value out of other people. Even in a business meeting, you start by pretending to care about other people, not the deal itself.
Unless you achieved some level of perceived “social debt” she won’t be inclined to invest in your, for the lack of better word, relationship. As I said that “debt” could be in the form of “a more attractive guy likes me!” or “he made me feel so good”.
Fake Interest Trap
Beginners tend to abuse the reciprocity rule by equating giving value with being interested in someone. So they try to learn as much as they can about the girl. And she of course doesn’t want to tell anything because you’re a stranger requesting personal information about her!
Beware of taking value unconsciously! Asking questions is demanding for an answer, which in turn is taking value. That’s why I repeat over and over (and over) again that you should use statements and not questions. Say something about her, don’t ask, give her value (compliment, interest, validation) and then work your way from that point.
Later in the conversation, you will of course ask questions when your social balance is way above zero. You can use some of it to ask open, insightful questions but it simply won’t work in the beginning when she doesn’t care about you.
Many guys are aiming to be alpha motherfuckers who are above everyone else and don’t even bother with following basic social rules. But when it comes to strangers who have no idea who you are you have to remember that those strangers are simply not interested in what you have to say, at all.
When you write someone an e-mail or a text demanding something, without giving him as much as “how do you do?” then don’t expect an answer. A stranger demanding something is as pleasing as a fake charity worker asking you for your money.
Don’t be an alpha asshole. If the girl doesn’t know that you’re a high value man (why would she? you haven’t told her yet!) and you’re not making her feel good and you’re not even offering any value then why on earth would she want to keep talking to you?