Stereotypes and Responsibility

As I mentioned before, humans stereotype for a reason. There’s an infinite amount of information going on in the world at any given time. Even the simplest of people are highly complex and multifaceted individuals, with varying motivations, emotions, reactions and beliefs. To account for the sheer amount of variables present in any large social situation is absolutely impossible for the human mind.

Therefore we evolved the propensity to stereotype as a simple solution. We observe a few basic actions of a certain type of individual and then we extrapolate that onto an entire population.

The two Romanian women I dated valued manners and courtesy, so all Romanian women must value manners and courtesy.

Germans tend to be taller than average, therefore German women must prefer taller men.

Black guys often hit on fat girls, so black guys must like big girls.

Smart girls never go to night clubs. Tall women are always insecure about height. Girls in short skirts just want attention. Women under 22 are immature and fickle. Girls in clubs are bitches. Lawyers are easy. Latin women just want you for your money. On and on and on and on.

This isn’t to say that stereotypes are always wrong. They’re not. Often there’s a little bit of truth to them, otherwise they wouldn’t exist. But often there’s little or no truth to them either. And often they end up doing more harm than good.

Particularly in the case of picking up and becoming more competent with women, I encourage guys to steer away from stereotypes as much as possible. Even if you’re absolutely convinced that they’re true, they’re just almost never worth buying into. Any stereotype you come up with is going to have far too many exceptions to make it worth your time holding on to it.

And it’s not worth the drawback: relinquishing your personal responsibility to each interaction.

See, the second you decide something like, “German women like tall guys,” or “White girls don’t like Asians,” or “Club girls are all bitches,” or “Law students are easy,” you’re relinquishing your responsibility for the interaction. It’s another defense mechanism; it’s another way for you to say afterwards - - whether you got with her or not -- “See, I knew it! They’re all bitches,” or whatever the stereotype is.

To be more specific, let’s say you decide that all club girls are bitches. There may be legitimate problems you have and legitimate factors you could be improving. You may need to dress better, speak louder, stand up straighter, and be more confident and less invested on the approach. But the second you say, “See, club girls are just bitches,” you remove all responsibility for improvement from yourself. It’s a cop-out and a way of protecting the status quo and your current level of investment.

It’s a way of shirking personal responsibility, and when you shirk personal responsibility, you never improve, you never become more vulnerable, you never become less needy.

The single best advice I can give you if you wish to improve at anything is to take full responsibility and accountability of your results and your actions.

Everything that happens in your life, whether good or bad, you should try to take some sort of accountability for it. We’re only capable of changing and improving what we have control over and if we refuse to take control over our lives, then we can never expect to improve our lives.

Obviously, from an objective point of view, there are always going to be situations which were completely out of your control. I could sit here and rattle off a thousand examples of times where something completely extraneous derailed my interaction with a woman and there was little to nothing I could do about it.

On top of that, we’ve all been subjected to a lifetime of social influences and injustices, many of us were raised in difficult family or educational situations, others of us have been wronged by women in the past.

Are we responsible for all of this as well?

This is a common and insightful question I get from men. If so many things out of my control have happened to me and my relationships, how can I hold myself responsible for things that I had absolutely no control over?

Here’s the point: you can’t always control what happens to you; but you can always control how you respond to it.

You may have no control over the fact that the last woman you dated had abandonment issues and freaked out when you wanted to take a trip with her and dumped you. But you can control how you process it and how you react to it. You can either react to it as a victim or take control, learn from it and move on.

You may have no control over the blond in a short skirt who seems stuck up and rejected you outright for no good reason. But you control how you react to it. You can either react as a victim (all girls like that are bitches), or you can learn from it and move on.

You may have had no control over the fact that your parents divorced when you were young and your father was emotionally distant. You can react as a victim (people are nasty and selfish) or you can learn from it, take control and move on.

I’m not a religious person, but the theologian/philosopher Reinhold Niebuhr wrote a simple prayer that I believe holds a lot of wisdom: “God, grant me the serenity to accept things that I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” That, in a nutshell, is what personal responsibility and personal accountability comes down to -- accepting what you cannot change, and acting to change what you can.

If a woman rejects you, you can’t control her reaction to you -- but ask yourself: could you have approached with more confidence? Said something more interesting? Could you dress better? Could you look better? Could you be more sober? There are always plenty of things within your control in any given situation. Focus on those and let the chips fall where they may.

Men develop a lot of bizarre rationalizations and beliefs around women in order to protect themselves. I could honestly spend an entire 300-page book on this topic alone. But I’ve limited it to the highlights in this chapter to hopefully make it clear where yours may (and probably) lie.

As you go out and take action and actively pursue women, you’re going to be confronted with these rationalizations and beliefs. Some of them will be new. Others will have existed for a lifetime. Regardless, it will take a lot of awareness and diligence to call yourself on your own bullshit, and unravel these unhealthy attitudes. Always remember that these beliefs and rationalizations were invented by your mind to keep the status quo, to protect your highlyinvested ego.

 
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