Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Glory Of Group-Think

Alright we're gonna play a little game here......

I'm gonna lay out three instances of phenomenon and leave it up to YOU to guess what it is.

You game??

OK here they are:

1- A news piece on "the community" is done that portrays studying success with women in a negative light, and people get annoyed that something they're a part of is being disliked by the mainstream.

2- The "trend of the week" in pickup (ie: compliments VS teases / structured gameplan VS free flowing) is something someone disagrees with, and he goes and makes post after post on various internet forums about how the trend is wrong and he wants everyone to see the light.

3- A famous guru keeps a semi circle of eyes-glazed-over followers around him at all times, and the followers constantly look to their guru to discover their own path.

Any guesses?? What's the commonality here??

Well I guess the title of the article kind of gave it away......... :)

What we're talking about is the bizarre nature of human psychology in all it's glory.

It's the phenomenon known as RELYING ON GROUP THINK.

The way it works is basically that people have two ways of determining their sense of "reality":

1) First hand experience.

2) The second hand experience of other people.

Because we don't have the time and energy to verify everything about the world for ourselves, our psychology is usually tuned to rely most heavily on 2nd hand information.

There's a whole intricate system to this -- which if you've experienced The Blueprint then you're versed in my spiel on that.

The long and short of it is that the stronger your ability is to SEE THE WORLD THROUGH YOUR OWN EYES the more confidence you can gain more quickly.

This actually results in you being a lot more attractive to women, but that's a whole 'nother story.

Right here what we're talking about is this.......:

The "dating community" is supposed to teach you how to see the world through your own eyes and become a a man who dictates his own sense of reality.

But more often than not it winds up as just a NEW form of social conditioning & group think to replace the old crutch previously provided by the mainstream.

Now let's breakdown the three examples under this new light.

1- What the mainstream masses think about studying success with girls has nothing to do with you.

Literally nothing. No, no, duuuuude, it's like, literally NOTHING to your life.

You can try all day long, but you will not find a single tangible change to your day-to-day existence based on whether the media's coverage of this stuff is favourable or not.

And it *definitely* doesn't affect the way women respond to you.

So why would you feel an emotional reaction to a story, or even invest a single minute of your life into watching a nonsense media spectacle AT ALL??

Well if you're noticing this in yourself, it's probably because you've been drawing your confidence from a "well" of group-think.

If more people accepted your way of thinking then the "I want people to agree with me" mechanism up in your head would be happier with you.

This would raise your confidence, and funny enough, make you more confident around women because you'd feel like you're doing the "right thing".

Even though what other people think means absolutely nothing -- so long as YOU are getting the results that you want.


2- What other people in the community think about what works FOR YOU has nothing to do with the way you choose to interact and relate to women.

I've read posts from guys who said they used to get success using pick up lines and then read about going natural and lost confidence in what they were doing before (or vice versa).

Uhhhh, why??!!

If what you were doing before was getting you the dating & sex life that you wanted then why would you switch it up??

Again, if you're one of those guys then the reason is probably that you were previously gaining confidence in the "pick up lines" from the fact that there was a whole community of guys claiming they worked.

Pull that out of the equation and it's like the rug being ripped out from under you, and that's just nonsense.

One of my goals in creating The Blueprint as a "set of principles" instead of a "how to" was because what works for YOU is not always what will work for somebody else.

The bottom line is this: if you THINK what you're saying to a woman will "work" then it PROBABLY WILL.

That's because of the confidence and congruence that you have behind it, and so when you're talking to her she's feeling that vibe and energy coming off of you.

So whether a bunch of guys who you`ve never met on the internet agree with you or not, you have to find your own way of doing things.

And lastly.........

3- Just because a "guru" offers you his or her experience does not mean that it alleviates you the responsibility of having to think.

One of the freakiest aspects of the "guru phenomenon" is that in many cases the guru initially has LESS confidence than the average person.

What needs to be understood here is that most people who lack confidence will respond by becoming introverted or deferring to other people constantly.

But in the case of a "guru" its often somebody who has learned an "alternate strategy" where they gain enough people to surround them and validate what they're saying that they can say:

"Look, all these people agree with me...I must be right!!"

Meanwhile the followers all get to say:

"Wow there's all these other people who agree with him/her....He/she must be right!!"

So there is basically a symbiotic relationship going on here.

Both the guru and the followers are exploiting eachother as a crutch to gain a stronger sense of their own beliefs.

This is actually a topic that goes a lot deeper and it deserves it's own article -- including of my own experiences with it, because they are freaky and bizarre.

OK so what is a healthy approach to knowledge then??

Well first of all, it's great to go out and seek new ideas.

Looking for better opinions, cultures, and perspectives is always one of the best things you can ever do.

Beyond that, being involved in a mastermind group that continually attunes your mind to the "frequencies" (as they say) of presence and abundance is probably one of the biggest factors for learning success with women that you can possibly find.

The difference between a healthy approach and a bone-headed one is whether or not you're moving towards your own core or just replacing one form of social conditioning with another.

So next time you feel yourself having an emotional reaction to someone not agreeing with you, ask yourself:

-"Am I reacting because I rely on other people to agree with me in order to feel confident that my sense of reality is accurate??"

-"Am I reacting because the foundation that my sense of reality is laid upon is shaky and easily de-stabilized??"

-"Am I reacting because secretly I'm not sure whether I'm right or wrong??"

And if any of those are the case, then start continually "putting yourself in check" when you feel yourself relying on the crutch of people's opinions instead of seeing the world through your own eyes.

In fact here's a tip for you to play around with...

Whenever you feel the urge to correct somebody, experiment with just letting it go.

Notice how it makes you feel BETTER because you're confirming to yourself that you don't need other people's approval to be certain of your beliefs.

Moreover, notice how when you slip up and correct somebody that you feel the cheap thrill of their agreement followed by a buyer's remorse for knowing how irrational it was to care about what they think.

Of course there's a big difference between straightening out a buddy to help him out and relying on other people's agreement as an addiction to a psychological crutch -- but this is obvious by the emotions you feel in your body when you open your mouth.

The act of "offering value" always aligns you with the present moment and a clean feeling of self esteem.

The act of "taking value" (ie: speaking to gain agreement from the other person) will conversely get you in your head and leave you feeling antsy and clasping for straws.

Anyway hopefully this article hasn't been too aggressive or freaked anyone out.

It's just a little something to let stew up in the noggin' for the next time you find yourself caring about other people's approval of your ideas.

Of course it's always good to cross-reference your beliefs with outside input whenever possible -- the challenge is knowing the difference between when it's constructive or just useless and absurd.

Have fun!!


PS: Been hearing all sorts of crazy rumours about some sort of massive Summer Special -- you NEED to click this link to see what I'm talking about:

PPS: Tim has been super active on his blog. Have a quick click over to:


Olivier said...

This is a great post. It made me feel more aligned with my senses. Thx!

RichBristol said...

"The way it works is basically that people have two ways of determining their sense of "reality":

1) First hand experience.

2) The second hand experience of other people.


The long and short of it is that the stronger your ability is to SEE THE WORLD THROUGH YOUR OWN EYES the more confidence you can gain more quickly."

Fasicinating. I haven't watched Blueprint yet, but Im reading a book on a new branch of psychotherapy called Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT). The concepts are closely related to RSD stuff; it's all about acceptance and values-driven action. It's REALLY similar to your stuff, I wonder if you've read any of it?

Anyway they have a really sharp explanation of how humans create suffering outside of immediate "in-the-moment" pain and limit themselves (e.g. by internalising lessons from 2nd hand experience), and the answer is basically rooted in the way we use language and relational frames. Anyway really interesting and ties in closely with the Blueprint I think. Book is called "Get out of your mind and into your life" by Steven Hayes.

Anonymous said...

Just showing some love as always.

My Stylelife Challenge said...

Your understanding of the human psyche is extraordinarily deep!

Anonymous said...

Great man. Thank you :).


lol..does it help if same guy does this twice? I'm thinking NO buhhht. :D. Should I? I'll tell more people as well.

skywarp said...

This has been a major sticking point for me...I thought for years that my behavior was my own because it was somewhat non-conformist to the moral majority...but I was just being influenced by other non-conformists!

Nowadays I have gotten a little better at thinking for myself and ironically that has included involving myself in some ideals that are reinforced by society, because I think they serve me better.

I think it's inevitable that I will always be influenced socially to a degree and that's lead me to be more pro-active in choosing the people who I surround myself with.

Great post!

Mike! said...

This has been a constant struggle for me on RSDNation and life in general. Its been a struggle tying to get my thoughts in order.

PS I've been having a nagging suspicion that FR's and LR's are by nature validation seeking. Every time I think of writing one, it seems to be coming from a place of worrying about what other people will think or trying to prove myself to someone else. When I am REALLY happy with myself, I don't care if people on the forum know "how cool I am", or "how many lays I have". Every-time I ask myself why I really want to write a FR, the need to write one completely disappears.

FR's/LR's seems like a really shallow way to start labeling yourself, and a trap to start comparing yourself with people you've never met. And all to create some "superpimp" image on a fucking internet forum. IDK, just something i've been dealing with lately.

PSS Not to mention the startling realization the other day that you guys (RSD Instructors) are all just guys who actually go out. No different from me, or anyone else for that matter. Its easy to tell yourself that you're no special snowflake. But to look at someone you admire and say the same thing seems really freeing on some level. Like I finally feel equal and don't give two shits about what a you guys think or feel about me. Oddly, this has made me lose my desire to become an instructor. Which seems to be me just saying that I want you to validate my skill level.

Fuck that. I don't need you to give me permission to be happy with myself and my skill level. (Knowing full well that you never asked to be the judge of my skill level or happiness. *I* made you the judge)

Great Article Man.


Anonymous said...

social conditioning, magic-pill society, and group-think all suck

shackabacka said...

Hey Tyler,

Wow. First of all, great post. I love it.

My path to this community actually started with the movie 'Fight Club', which then lead me to Landmark Education (where I took on a leadership role). While doing that I found 'The Game'. Reading that really made me hate you. But then a funny thing happened. The more research I did into the community, the more authentic RSD seemed to be. Like I could actually be who I already was and be successful with women. I didn't have to Peacock, or dress like a pirate/tool. Long story short. Of everyone I've read about, your transformation has been the most inspiring, and I've identified the most with you, and the people that you've influenced (Sinn and the pickup podcast guys). Thanks for sticking with it, and thanks for dealing with all the bs. You truly have made a difference.


BlackJack said...

This article reflects something I have been struggling with...Acting through your own intentions.

I have spent weeks just getting clear on what I really want and it is only now I feel ready to act.

As you said in the Blueprint, the process of acting through your own intentions is a lifelong process. I would add "of regularly stripping off social conditioning to act through your true self."

When you write "The bottom line is this: if you THINK what you're saying to a woman will "work" then it PROBABLY WILL." This is true in ALL areas. This is why acting through your own intentions is SO important.

I realize that virtually all of amy setbacks have been do to group think (i.e., not acting through my own intentions).

I also LOVED your definitions of adding value and taking value. I have never heard it defined so well. I hope it is in your book.

"The act of "offering value" always aligns you with the present moment and a clean feeling of self esteem.

The act of "taking value" (ie: speaking to gain agreement from the other person) will conversely get you in your head and leave you feeling antsy and clasping for straws."

Anonymous said...

profound stuff, bro.
answers questions i have about handling criticism.

thanks. i'm going to keep an eye on this stuff and let you know how it goes.

thanks again,

Reg said...

Wow, loved this. Thanks, Tyler.

Don said...

great post!!!

Achilles said...

Thanks Tyler,

soooo... much... value..... i need to sit down :S


Satori said...

Much respect, Tyler!

I love how leave that usual pick-up territory and connect those concepts with bigger things such as living life in general!

Great article...


phantom said...

awesome post!

Ocelot said...

Is that a picture of Shoko Ashara? Well done

Positive Man said...

OMG !! Your understanding of human psyche is so high !

Great value here.

Thanks Tyler

TightGame said...

Nice article, especially the part about gurus. I thought one of the more interesting insights in the Blueprint was that people draw state from predefined social roles. Since I'm not a pickup guru, it was refreshing to hear that this phenomenon sometimes manifests itself as "guru-student" symbyosis, where the guru actually gets his state from being the tribal leader in the context of a pickup workshop or seminar. So then the guru's "game" becomes a self-fullfilling prophecy.

I'm not just trying to tool on pickup gurus here. It's something that I've noticed in myself; we all have different aspects of our personalities that come out in different social situations, based on our own value in the social matrix. In theory, core confidence or authenticity would mean transcending the social matrix entirely. Again, one of the best insights in the Blueprint.

Look forward to hearing more about this, as you indicated here that it's worthy of a blog post in itself.

Anonymous said...

fuck yea glorious post!

e13c7r0nic said...

Mr. T,

Awesome post. This resonates with Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead. I just finished reading it. It shook me to the core. Like the guy that mentioned it on The Blueprint, it affected me. The entire book is a lot about this post. We take our experience of the world from the judgement of others, through second hand experience.

Nathan posted on this somewhere, that being dominant feels good because that's what our true nature is. Not being part of the group-think, having your own set of values and beliefs, is a form of leading, simply because you're not following somebody elses creed. We lead by not living according to somebody elses view of the world, but instead seeing the world through our own eyes.

Good most, man. Cheers.