The Power Of Social Circle

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Imagine the scenario...

You're dressed and looking mighty sexy. You've got everything going for you. You are PUMPED to lord the club, once you get through the door. You're waiting outside in that cattle-call line. Maybe you got a little conversation going with a very fine 9 who promises to wait for you inside by the bar. Life is glorious.

And then you move to the head of the line. And some mountain of a man in a sportcoat and ear piece asks you:

"Are you on the list?"

List? What list? He mumbles something about private party and lets the 9 go in and tells you to pound the curb.

All because of a piece of paper, your 9 is about to go find a thousand chodes and miss out on every bit of awesomeness you could offer.

Paper, an arbitrary, EXTERNAL creation from "the establishment" that suddenly just bitch-smacked your state and sent you looking for another venue with other women.

This can be devastating, logistically and mentally. It can fuck with your head. I know it can fuck with mine. You'll get angry and say, "What's so great about list? How dare it stop me!" But by then it's too late, you're inside your head, caught up in emotions and you need to come back to balance before you can get primed for another go at things.

The question you should ask yourself is NOT "What's so special about that list!"

but rather:

"Are you guys on MY list?"

You cannot truly be a full-on party without having some exclusivity. No chodes, no trolls, no hangers-on, it's all you and the hotties. You control who crosses the velvet rope around you. You've got your own mental list. Selectivity in a world of abundance. It can make an average night legendary.

But how can you, the guy who knows so few people develop that list? How can you hit that legendary "I AM A PARTY 24-7" elevation? (by the way, the view is glorious from this height)

Social Circle.

It's who you know, and by extension who they know. I refuse to believe that you have no friends. I refuse to believe that you don't know anyone. Even the chodes you know have friends. Everyone has friends. It doesn't matter if they're in the community, or if they're gay, or if they're lame. You know people.

And now it's time to make use of that. Because if you know people, then invariably they know people. And those people know more people. And everyone's available for some manner of interaction.

That one average girl at the supermarket, she might not be great in bed, but I bet she has friends. Hot friends. Hot friends without a gag reflex. Would it really kill you to get to know the average girl? Not every interaction must be closed sexually. Sometimes, people survive on kisses and maybe a grope.

By making one friend, you're opening the door to potential other friends. Constantly opening those doors, and keeping them open with so positively confirm true abundance mentality that you'll be known as "the party guy" in no time.

So, even when interactions look flat, even when they are lackluster, there is something to be gained from them -- social circle.

This isn't social proof, (although it's related), this is just the simple act of knowing people. Not in a manipulative way (hey, I know the bartender, I get a discount), but in a genuinely compassionate way that encourages people (even strangers) to call you with little or no solid reason.

"I got off work early, and you were the first one I had to call." "Was in the grocery store, and remembered something you told me about cookies. I laughed so loud that people stared at me!" "I thought about you in the shower."

All of it is things I've been told or things texted to me, all because I just know people, and they've come to know me as someone who is a constant source of boundless energy and fun.

Social Circles, expand them and benefit.


Contents

[edit] The Importance of Social Currency

Social Currency is a term I'm sure I've stolen from a college textbook somewhere, but it's important to the construction and sustainability of social circles.

What is it?

Social Currency is your worth to any social circle you're a part of. It's what you exchange amongst members of that social group, it's what increases as you prove more and more interesting and therefore a greater part of the social group.

For example, as a member of a family or a sibling, you have social currency to trade among your family to improve your standing. You can help your mom with some chores. You can listen to your father when he complains. You can be nice to your grandmother when she pinches your cheeks. This will raise the amount of social currency you have in that group. You'll be taken to a higher standard, which will grant you greater leverage later when you want spend of that social currency.

It goes beyond just being nice and helpful. In social settings, when meeting new people, their entire perception of you is based on momentary, and often ill-conceived perceptions. By use of your social circle, you can correct these perceptions even before the actual meeting occurs and give yourself even an advance on moving towards greater value and interest.

For example: You go on a day2 with someone. You and she hit it off. She introduces you to her friend. Rather than see you as just some guy, she'll base some of her perceptions and notions on the material her friend gives you.

This is the essence of the "Female network". Friends talk to each other, information is spread. This is not a statement of caution to protect "reputation" but rather a statement of fact so that you're aware that you're not acting in a bubble. All things have consequences, and you can use them to your advantage.

Social Currency rises and falls based on what you do. If you're a jackass, and that's become your de facto role in a group, then you're only going to increase your value by staying a jackass. This is what makes self-transformation so difficult. By trying to change your role, you have to go against the perceptions of others (not to mention those of yourself) and you've got no currency, no leverage to do so. This is why so often one guy gets a lot of flak from his friends when he makes an effort to stop being a chode.

However, once you demonstrate that you can be more than a jackass, your social currency will rebound, because now people see you as being more than what they typecast you for. You'll actually experience better social connections on the heels of transformation, because you'll be self-motivated as well as validated within the social circle. It's a win-win.

So, social currency is the value you bring to a group. What can you translate this into? How can it be spent?

Let's go back to the family example. You're a good boy. You follow the rules, you stay out of trouble. Your parents reward this good behavior with a treat, maybe you get to stay up later, or they're willing to overlook a one-time incident because your track record is clean. That's a rather passive way to spend social currency. Let's be more active about it.

You're with your friends. Maybe some are out with girlfriends, maybe you're all just hanging out. You spot a really gorgeous person across the room. You want to go talk to her, but doing so means getting up and leaving your friends. One of your social circle says, "Oh her? I know her, she's in my gym class."

This is your bridge to meeting new people. Your social currency is then spent when your friend brings that new girl over and talks you up.

"Hey, have you met my friend here? He was just about to come and say hello, so I told him how much fun we have together at the gym."

BANG. Your buddy just winged for you, opened a new girl for you, and gave her a favorable starting point for a conversation. Cha-Ching. Currency well-spent.

I wish I could tell all the keyboard jockeys and theory-heads that there are quantifiable numbers as to how much social value you have. Sadly this is not an RPG, so there's no scale I can refer to for Charisma modifiers and social interactions. Just be content knowing that the better friend you are, the more likely you are to be well thought of, and therefore more likely to be exposed to new people favorably.

A personal example:

I regularly see a therapist (socially). We have dinner together, and we usually have very brainy discussions and great sex. Her sister is getting married and she doesn't have any steady relationships. So she asked me. She thought enough of me to put me in the wedding party of people I have met once. Yet, even when I protested, she explained that she's talked me up to her sisters and family and everyone seems to agree that I am in fact a nice guy.

Side note: She's promised to introduce me to one of her sister's hot friends for a threesome, so that's an extra weekend incentive.

So I could easily panic at the idea of being in the wedding of near total strangers. But I let my social currency do my work for me, and I know when I walk in there, once I get a sense of room rhythm and a vibe, I'll be regarded as comfortable family.

Make use of your networks. They pay huge dividends.


[edit] Expiration Dates

I would very much like to think that there's no expiration date on social circles. It would be great to think that everyone who knows you remembers you for all time. Not only that, but it would be ideal if they remember you only for the best thing you did in that particular interaction.

But that's not the case. People forget. People do this consciously or unconsciously, and they need reminding.

How many times have you called someone that you met even 2 days ago and they ask, "Who is this?" and then you have to go back and remind them that you were the guy at the bar. Or that you were one of a thousand guys back at the bar. Or you were one of a million guys who has expressed interest in her. You better pray that you're memorable.

Can you make yourself memorable? Certainly. Is it worthwhile to do so? Definitely.

Sometimes, this can be accomplished by peacocking. It's shallow, quick but memorable. For deeper connection, you have to go to the social circle.

"Who are you?" "Oh, I'm her friend. We met at the museum." "Right! Yes, now I remember."

The tenuous connections that alcohol makes are rarely strong enough to warrant long-term memory. Being the guy who sat next to her while she drank her fifth Tequila Sunrise amounts to way less than you think it does. While she might be observant, she's also drunk. And drunk people often have shitty recall.

Find routes to people through more concrete means. This way, when you do encounter them drunk, that's not the first impression they give you. You spare them that socially-conditioned embarrassment. You know them when they're sober, you know they're not like this normally. But hey, we're all out having a good time. It's okay to kick a few back. Hey, we should make out!

These things happen.

If you open 10 girls a night, and they all give you numbers, do you honestly believe that all of them remember you as well as you remember them? Do you even remember them? By name? By appearance? By conversation? It's damn near impossible to do so with everything going on in a club. It's a little silly to set the bar so high that way.

But you're building a social circle. It takes time. Baby steps. Those ten people each warrant their own conversation. And over time and more interactions they'll earn a place in a context and social circle. They become "The girls of the club who can dance" or "The hotties I want to defile". Only through active progression can you establish this. But you have to keep it up.

Letting people go dormant happens. People get busy, they find other people, and while you might be a great option on Tuesday, they can easily find what they perceive to be a better option on Thursday.

The choice is yours as to whether or not you want to pursue them or let them go. It's not a crushing blow to your ego if they choose to leave. Let them. It opens up your circle. It allows you to bring new people in, and that means you now have to go out and screen people. So, while you mourn their loss, celebrate the chance to replace them. Who knows, maybe you'll run into her later and have a chance to point out what she's missing. Revenge, while harsh, can be sweet.

Keep your circles in shape. Keep moving. Keep doing.


[edit] Daisy Chains

Remember the Kevin Bacon game?

"X is a movie with Y and Y was in a movie with Kevin Bacon."

This is essentially a Hollywood social circle

Think for a minute about the people you know, and how you know them. You'll probably get something like this:

HB-X is a friend of Chode Y, who I know from Activity 2.

or

HB-Z used to date Chode Z, who is the brother of HB-9, and I know her from school.

All things connect. And it is through those points of connection that you can find the best, easiest ways to expand.

Here's a quick exercise:

Get some paper. Write down the name of three attractive people you know Now, next to their names, write down how you met these people

Now, skip some space and write down names of people they know. If you don't know any people, make plans to find out.

So....

Mary from the Gym ??? Tina from the Bar sally Alice from Whole Foods ???


Now I have things to work on when I go back to Mary and Alice.

Expand your circles.


[edit] Enemies of the Social Circle

I've spent the bulk of this thread laying the groundwork of a major building block of my overall game. I'm more than happy to empty my head and give out knowledge and value, because if it serves me so well, I want it to serve others as well. Hopefully, it will help someone else more than it did for me, and then they can spread it around.

Shit, some days I'm just spreading value herpes.

On today's menu is something a little more practical. Rather than get you all abstract and heady with the potential power of social circle, let's talk about who or what can stop your progression. Let's talk about Enemies.

Yourself -- Can't have a discussion about enemies and not include this. You can be your own worst enemy. You may have already known this, you may just be discovering it now. Eventually, everyone discovers this. During discovery, this sucks. No lie. You'll watch yourself sabotage shit. You'll get thoughts in your head and not know the reason why you're planning things or doing things. And then, invariably, an hour later you'll ask, "Why did I do that?"

Maybe you rationalize and stop going out. Maybe you write a text message rather than call someone (I am still so guilty of that one). Maybe you get into a new scary situation (say, as part of a Challenge) and then you completely wuss out. And all the time, you start wishing. I wish I could have said that. Oh, I wish someone was here to help me wing. Oh, I wish I had a coach over my shoulder 24/7.

Sadly, we have no genies in bottles. If we did, Christina Aguilera would be putting her tongue on my no-no parts.

I don't know all the reasons why you do sabotaging things, or why you don't do anything. I know one of the big reasons though -- Protection. Your ego and your socially-conditioned brain love to stay protected. They're really paranoid sometimes, and nothing gives them a greater sense of comfort than insulating yourself behind huge walls of limitation and false belief. On top of that, they love when you build moats of distance around yourself. Maybe your moat is Warcraft. Maybe your moat is television. Maybe your moat is the fact that you're all alone in your town, and you have no friends.

Once you recognize your moat, it's time to cross it. Build yourself a drawbridge. Something simple. Something doable. Something that connects you to the road, and by extension other people. You've seen castles before, you know what I'm talking about. So what can connect you? What can you possibly do to breach your moat?

Baby steps as always. Try a hobby. Something third-party that makes you interact with actual tangible people. (I can see the PMs already, "But Warcraft is social, I interact with doodz on the internet all the time.") I mean actual physical bodies. Go find some. Stand near them. Engage in a task that does not require keyboard, monitor or mouse. Yes, leave your house. Yes, go outside. (Put a coat on, it's winter)

Building connections to other people can be scary for you new guys. All kinds of panic sets in, and you start sabotaging yourself. But, remember BABY STEPS. Keep it small. Manage your time. Build that bridge slowly.

More later on Enemies, when I talk about fat friends, best-ofs and leeches


[edit] More Enemies of Social Circles

2 Fat Friends -- Specifically, I am referring to the great number of hot women who have giant 2-legged manatees for friends. I have always believed this to be for several reasons:

i. Fat friends make them look more attractive ii. Fat friends usually take no chance at social activities, leaving more available men with less competition. iii. Fat friends truly are great listeners. I mean, what else can they do but listen while they gorge themselves?

Fat friends take it upon themselves to act as buffers, filters and protectors of the more desireable people. One must assume it's a longtime bit of conditioning from back in the prehistoric days when the slightly fatter gatherers helped the better looking cave-woman find the better berries. It's nurturing to an extreme, and some people take this "BFF" role very seriously.

I know you've seen these people. Shaped liked eggplant, pears, large trapezoids and hexagons, you'll find them often stunted emotionally. Maybe they have an Elmo or Hello Kitty fixation. Life is still all about "drama" for them, because only through that "drama" can they serve their purpose. Often, they think sex is icky, and don't engage in any sort of behaviors to promote or declare their own sexuality. They're not unlike giant useless tater tots, just meandering through life.

Fat Friends clog up social circles. Physically, they take up space, creating logistical nightmares. Socially though, they use their lack of looks and ability to filter to serve as gatekeepers for deeper entrance into social circles. I believe they do this because they know they're not getting fucked, so they like to prove their superiority by adding hoops to leap through.

DO NOT FALL FOR THESE HOOPS. Fat friends are not your target. Ever. They are secondary objectives. It may seem a stroke of genius to say, "Oh I'll just befriend all the fat friends and then I'll have no trouble." But, my friend, you've forgotten a basic principle -- Girls talk. So while you think you're acting in a rather slick, stealthy manner, you've long been spotted. This is not to say you'll be totally lost in your endeavor, but it's transparent when you start to single out ANYONE, including fat friends.

My suggestion? Befriend all people, evenly. And then advance towards your choice of hotter people. Imagine butter.

When you make toast, and you go to put butter on it, what do you do? Do you just drip butter on one spot, making a giant glob? No. You take your knife and spread that dairy goodness on the whole piece of toast.

Let's look at that again.

You take your knife (social skills) and spread butter (your personality/sexuality/value) all over the whole piece of toast (the entire social circle).

When you're out interacting with people, and you come across a small cluster of people, note the composition. Figure out who in the group is the token "fat friend". Make sure, in the course of your actions, you're spreading that butter to them too. Keep them involved.

Spread your butter, bitches.


3 Best-Ofs -- While not specifically an enemy, this is often the enemy of overall interaction. Here's a scenario:

You're out at the club. You spot a group of HBs having a rocking good time. One of them, a blonde, is a rather naughty kitty. She must be bent over. You will not be denied. You stride over and fire up the interaction. Things are good. Conversation, kino, everything with the blonde is supernova excellent.

And then you sit down to chill with her and her friends. And her friends are as exciting as day old ketchup. The interaction starts to choke on it's own weight. Doubt creeps into your mind. You better isolate the blonde before this goes bad on you.

In that situation, when there's one crazy diamond shining amongst the coal, you're working with a best-of.

It can be defined as follows:

One person in this group is the best of all of them. That one person is my goal, the others need only be relevant for as long as it takes me to get the best of the group alone.

It's very straightforward when expressed that way. Each group, no matter the size, has best-of elements. Sometimes it's the alpha that's the best-of. Sometimes you want that mousy one in the corner because she intrigues you. Sometimes it's the guy with the bankroll.

What defines the best-of is whatever characteristics you're pursuing in that interaction. The rest of the group, for whatever reason, does not possess the requisite amount of that characteristic, and is therefore merely a pile of bodies in the way.

Best-of groups will often try to keep their best elements. Groups of women will conveniently go the bathroom. Mixed groups will often re-engage closed ranks conversation. Groups don't want to give up their best-of, because without it, they're lost.

So how do you get past it? By becoming your own migratory best-of. Adapt to the group dynamics. Resonate with them on their level. Bring your party to them. Connect on their level, and then elevate them to yours. Once they understand and buy your value, taking their best-of away is not a problem, because you've left the group with some nice residue. And in the afterglow of that, you can succeed.

Besides, once you're done with their best-of, you can promptly return it to their group and always be welcomed back because of the residue you left.

4 Leeches -- Leeches are those people who offer nothing in a social circle, and are just there to take for themselves. Perhaps it's from a lack of confidence. Maybe they're just assholes. But in any case, they're taking value with little contribution of their own. 90% of the time, there's some kind of circumstance which keeps them around the circle, despite their effects. Maybe you've heard of some:

a) "Oh, that's Gary, he just broke up with his girlfriend." b) "Well, Tina's a little annoying, but she needs friends." c) "Billy's my little brother."

Social circles, because of their fluid natures, excuse poor behavior based on circumstance. There's nothing specifically preventing a Leech from improving themselves, but because they know they can get away with taking from the circle they continue to do so.

You'll encounter a lot of Leeches in the world. If at all possible, pacify them and give them a lot of space. Leech is a nicer word than parasite, and no one likes parasites. Leeches generate and exist off of sympathy, so look for them to create situations where they can be pitied or helped, but then feed their own ego by declining that help. This perpetuates their leeching off the social circle.

"I really want to go out tonight, but you know, I can't get a date." "I'd love to go out, but my car won't start. Oh, you'll pick me up? You don't have to. But I appreciate it."

Side note: It is my personal belief that a lot of keyboard jockeys and information gatherers start off as leeches. It's a natural, albeit annoying first step in socializing. The transition from sit-and-read-theory to actually going-out-and-doing is scary, so they compensate by spending time as a leech, essentially keyboard jockeying without actually having a keyboard.

If you believe yourself to be a leech, what can you do? Take initiative. Rather than wait for people to include you in plans, make some of your own and include them. Break out of that role once and little by little it's easier to do it the next time. And the time after.

If your social circle has leeches, what can you do? Bluntly, you can cut them off. Or you can give them a chance to shine. Make them the center of attention, let them demonstrate value. They'll change soon enough.

Now, go spread butter.

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