By ROB SCHUMANN
In response to the 10th installment of Off The Trax podcast, the wonderful presenters debated about the ‘text back’ after an initial date. While I’m not particularly experienced in this specific interaction, as a living, breathing male with a penchant for analytical approaches to topics like this, I’d like to further explore this occurrence.
The ‘text back’ action is the equivalent of the ‘call back’ for a job you applied for — a limp-wristed attempt at receiving feedback for a performance you’re unsure of. How this process is executed can only indicate two things, both possibilities unpalatable.
First, the feedback approach. Sending a text as a follow up, offering reinforcement for everything your body language already said during the initial interaction can only serve to indicate a lack of confidence from the sender.
“I had a lot of fun last night.”
Gag me with a fleshlight. Nothing is more utterly repulsive then this kind of sycophantic phrase that is the literal equivalent of the creepy, hygienically challenged guy that chats to you about the weather on the elevator.
“Cold today, huh?”
Sit on it, Bob.
But how do you respond? Politely, because that’s proper etiquette. Was anything accomplished here?
“He was just making conversation, why are you so rude?”
Because language is a bloody tool, don’t treat it like a pool toy. Spoken word is nice, but oftentimes is just noise serving to represent what it attempts to conceal, or what it avoids saying directly.
“Again, you lost me.”
Semiotics. Signifier > Signified, and all that. Here’s an example:
I had a nice time with you last night.
What did you hear? What did you comprehend here? Don’t say the literal. Pro-tip: It’s almost never, ever the literal. If you still haven’t realized this, go back to Facebook and make a status about “everyone being fake/evil/selfish and report back in a year.
Also, slightly off topic: When you do this you don’t actually mean fake/evil/selfish you mean “disagreeable to your idealistic conception of how a certain event or interaction should be.” That feeling you had after reading that? That’s what Sartre called Nausea. No, Abilify won’t help.
Back on topic… Either A: The speaker/texter is attempting to gather feedback on his performance, indicating a lack of confidence (repulsive).
Or B: Making an attempt at conversation, despite having no material to discuss.
Such a response is boring, dull and translucent.
Being too direct early on gives the risk of stirring up a resistance that will never be lowered. First approaches should include nothing of the seducer in your manner. A proper seduction should approach at an angle, indirectly. Making your purpose known early is surely a failure-prone method to proceed.
What you are after in seduction is the ability to gently nudge people in the direction you’d like them to go. This is a very delicate maneuver, the moment the object of affection suspects they are acting in response to your influence, the moment this power disappears.
An effective method to make this happen is to allow the object of affection to believe they are coming to you, that they are in control of the dynamic, that they decide what happens next.
Is it illusory? Maybe, but if you present only so many choices and advertise them as having only a few desirable outcomes, who’s really in control?
Surely there exist many ways to eventually achieve this position, working from ‘friend’ to lover, letting them notice you in different places without a blatant approach and so on. The key is to get attention, and give them the opportunity to want to bridge that gap. That part is up to you.
“Whatever, I don’t think it’s a game.”
That’s fine, but others are playing. Don’t get in their way.
“I do not approach her, I merely skirt the periphery of her existence. . . . This is the first web into which she must be spun.”
– Søren Kierkegaard
Seduction and attraction have historically been a topic with various contentious viewpoints that vary from treating it as an aspect of a social science worthy of study to a misogynistic, exploitative approach to finding romance. Regardless of your perspective on the manner, let’s think of human social interaction in terms of a ‘game,’ and following that thesis, let’s see how we can stack the deck in our favor.
These phenomena are gender-neutral (unless otherwise stated), and based on studies (which I won’t bother to cite), observations, conjecture and instinct.
Note: The term ‘seduction’ does not solely pertain to romantic endeavors. A phrase that may better fit what is described here may be “appeal to affection.” Essentially, the observations here can and should be utilized in relations with others to achieve an end. Some may be obvious, however fully digesting the material will offer an advantage in human interaction both as the party capable of using such phenomena and being aware when these ‘tactics’ are being utilize on you or another party. Observing these occurrences as a third party can be both illuminating and wildly entertaining. Identification is necessary in order to avoid falling under ‘the spell’ of these occurrences.
Starting with the basics:
The Rule Of Reciprocity
I’ve lost hours off of my life listening to worthless speeches about mediocre products and solicitations by Religious messengers and as a result have ended up with trash cans full of “What Jesus says about the War In Iraq” pamphlets.
Every single time, I’d laugh off at the initial approach like the jaded modern cynic so many of us are, yet time and time again I’d be stuck talking to Dorothy about how Jesus saves or how the Prune Cutter 6000 can reduce my vegetable prep time by 300%.
It wasn’t until I examined why this continually occurred until I realized the reason that it did.
The Multi-Level Marketing organization (Sc)Amway used such a technique with resounding success. Amway’s distributors would give potential customers a sample package of products offered with no cost or ‘strings attached’ as long as the receiving party agreed to try out the products.
A short time later, the representative would come back to pick up the sample pack, gather input on the products and take orders. Faced with the obligation associated with such an experience, many customers would place an order on the spot.
This tactic increased sales exponentially vs the tired old demonstrative sales processes.
The Hare Krishna society utilized a similar approach to increase donations. Previously they’d stake out popular areas, such as airports and give the song-and-dance to disinterested passers-by hoping for the occasional pocket-change donation. Using reciprocity, the Hare Krishnas made a manifold increase in donations. By offering a passerby a simple ‘gift’ — a flower, and explaining that is was a gift (theirs to keep) and then asking for a donation they used this principle to make a massive increase in donations. The sense of instinctual quid pro quo obligation created by such techniques serves as a profoundly influential force.
This is not an uncommon occurrence, this technique is very basic but still in every realm of sales or any interpersonal interaction. I’ve been made aware of car dealerships giving overnight test drives for potential buyers, I wonder what the percentage of success is there opposed to a quick trip around the block?
However, once you see it, even the very clever ways that this is used it fails to have any power over you. There are few feelings more liberating than saying “I’ll take your free shit, but I’m not buying your junk.” and watching the arrogant exploiters affect sink.