After discovering dating coach Hayley Quinn via Channel 4’s documentary “Bi-Curious Me”, I have been spending some time trawling through her blog and YouTube videos. I have come to the conclusion so far that she is, to date, the most relevant PUA/dating advice source I have found, in terms of my own questions and needs.
In my earlier post I described her body language advice on telling who’s open to an approach as being “pretty basic” (although still better than what I was able to derive by myself!). However, since then I have been using the tips more consciously and it has improved my confidence in reading a person’s openness to being approached. I haven’t yet actually approached anyone (building up to it!) but just using it and feeling it has led me to the conclusion that it may not be necessary or possible to give more detailed advice. Tilting the odds towards my favour is always the best I can hope for.
The questions I have about deciding what to say also find more assistance with Quinn than from the other sources I have so far. Her OAR system, for example, could be very helpful towards cutting down the “thinking time” spent on coming up with an opening line – the fact that it comes in steps based on initial body language read also offers a hint at processing the “what happens next?” issue. Currently, I am still struggling to construct the opener quickly enough to avoid feeling creepy (that is, within the “3 second rule” or at least, my own internal sense of what feels creepy to me). I also get hung up on game-planning the response.
A big issue for me on this is that I feel that, the moment I stop someone or step up to them in the street (or other venue, for that matter) I am seeking to command their attention. This is undoubtedly taking something from them and focussing it on me. Quinn, in a few of her “Saturday Sarge” intro speeches that are presented on YouTube, and in some of her advice columns and videos as well, talks about making sure (that is, waiting until) you have their attention. So that puts some kind of onus on me, once I have taken this (or she has given it to me) to make some good use of it that gives back at least as much value as she has invested. (As an aside, I should note that maybe other people perceive investment of attention differently than I do, and maybe this is an introvert thing or maybe some other kind of personality trait.) I need to make it worth her while giving me her attention. That’s where we get into discussions of ‘strokes’, compliments, openers etc. And Quinn’s “OAR” system is part and parcel of that. As discussed in the “what happens next?” point, if I want the conversation to go somewhere, then I need to hold the attention after the initial burst, and that means I need time to get my brain and mouth in sync. I feel like I have done a bad thing if I can’t manage that much.
At the moment, I am working on getting quicker developing at least an opener, as far as the “R” section, at least – it gives me a fighting chance of getting that synced brain/mouth thing going, and then I might have enough to start practising this for real. (It occurs to me that businesses like Daygame.com, Hayley Quinn, etc could have an app or web-based tool to help guys practise their openers, just flash up a photo of an attractive woman for three seconds, during which they can say what they thought of – don’t say anything, and it’s a fail. Maybe even start with a longer time frame and step it up as we get better?)
One thing that interests me is Quinn’s video explaining three core principles, which she terms “Giving”, “Integrity” and “Social Freedom”. Social freedom, she defines as viewing it as a natural human wish to communicate, and that should totally include stopping people and talking on the streets. Fair enough, I suppose, unless you’re an introvert in which case talking to people can seem incredibly unnatural. Just sayin’.
“Integrity”, she explains as knowing your values and sticking to them. To me, this is a similar concept to “congruence”, but on a larger scale. It’s also something I looked at when I discussed my tools and challenges. Given that my “Pernickety-die” has an “exacting standards” face to it (still can’t bring myself to call it a “dice”, even though that would actually be clearer, because “dice” is the plural dammit!) then perhaps we can see that integrity is important to me in a big way.
On “Giving”, Quinn echoes the claims of Jon Matrix that sparked this discussion of “what are they looking for?”. She says one should ask, “How can I give them an amazing conversation, how can I give them a great feeling by being with them? … so you’re not taking stuff from people any more, you’re giving things to people.” Now, as may be apparent from my earlier remarks, I don’t think that approaching someone can ever be purely giving something: it has to start with taking and commanding their attention, at least long enough to spark up that “amazing conversation” (which for me, means being ready for her response to my opener, but I think I can wing it from there). (In a later video, Quinn says not to think this way but doesn’t offer anything practical to change this perception.) All the same, my discussion of what a successful interaction means to me talks about a lot of the same things that Quinn mentions in her video under “giving”.
So maybe it is down to this that makes Quinn’s advice fit so much more closely to the questions I feel I need to address. I find, as much as others profess to such values, that they do not seem to approach them from an angle that sits well with my understanding of them.