7 Life Lessons to Learn from Pickup Artists

Pickup Artist in his natural habitat

Debunking the Pickup Artists’ Negative Reputation

Whoa, did you feel that? It was the rush of a thousand women as they all simultaneously picked up pitchforks, lit their torches, and vowed to never return to Self Stairway due to the misogyny of this post. “Pickup artists?! What are you thinking?” Now hear me out before I get crucified and lose my readers.

Apparently, pickup artists (PUA) aren’t all pretentious jerks who want to use sleazy methods to seduce “easy” women. I came across this article while reading Ramit Sethi’s words of wisdom and this really interested me in the topic.

Naturally, I conducted a bit of research and look, I came out just fine! I didn’t transform into some sort of fist pumping guido with a no-shirt policy (okay, maybe it’s because I’m too thin).

What I’ve learned is that these are all just normal people with the desire to better themselves as an individual. PUAs aren’t relying on pickup lines, tactics, and lies to get women to sleep with them. This comes as much as a shock to me as it does to you.

Don’t get me wrong there probably are tons of people out there who are manipulative and have bad intentions, but the entire community has a terrible reputation that is undeserving. It’s not all about how to pickup girls. In fact, women can also apply all of their advice to better themselves as well! Their advice is universal.

They’re more like people who help others like themselves out, teaching each other how to approach women, how to appear confident, how to listen, etc. That doesn’t sound too bad. Here are some things that can be learned from the self-improving advice of the community that we can all apply to our own lives

1. Outcome independence

Pickup artists coined a term called “inner-game,” which essentially boils down to your self-esteem; it’s about what you think and how you value yourself. One of the most important cornerstones of their philosophy is that to be successful you have to be outcome independent.

What that means is that you have to not expect things to happen your way all the time because you win some, you lose some. You go in not expecting anything and great things will happen. It’s all about the mindset. You can’t always get the girl.

Back when I first started college, I was on fire. I was approaching many girls, getting my name out there, and getting numbers because I actively sought these spontaneous social interactions. After a few weeks my momentum died down and there were days where I didn’t get any numbers, resulting my in me kicking myself over and over. It bothered me when I didn’t get the results I wanted but this is exactly what the pickup artists try to get us to avoid.

Life is exactly like that because things aren’t just going to show up on a silver platter because you expect it to. You also can’t keep feeling disappointed because things aren’t always going your way. Sometimes you just have to try without expecting too much. I think these guys put a lot of thought into the psychology of both women and the men themselves because that can be pretty eye opening.

2. How to gain confidence

From what I’ve gathered PUA are big fans of “fake it till you make it” and I don’t blame them. It is a mindset that often times works. They believe if you fake it enough, you eventually reap the benefits of this newfound confidence, which in turns results in actual confidence boosts.

For example, while you are faking confidence, other people subconsciously pick up on it and begin to treat you better. Since you were accustomed to a certain level of respect prior to faking it, you also pick up on these subtle clues, which in turn makes you actually confident since all of a sudden you are being treated like a king! It is an interesting cycle that only makes you benefit more and more.

Confidence helps you in every aspect of life: whether it is communication, public speaking, or asking out that girl that is standing across from you as you read this article.

If you’re wondering how you can fake confidence then just imagine someone you find confident and emulate. Notice their posture and body language. It’s very sure of itself and open. Start standing and sitting taller, no more slouching, and walk with authority.

Don’t mumble when you speak or talk softly with your throat. Really demand respect when you talk and sound sure about everything you say. Don’t hesitate to speak up for yourself either.

3. It’s better to try, don’t regret

How often have you spotted a beautiful person that we immediately notice and feel attracted to? Then the scenarios begin to run through your head about how awesome it’d be if you could just walk up to her and say…

Wait, what happened? Oh, she left. Damn…

PUAs encourage people to try to at least approach the girl even if all you do is ask for the time. Hell, even go direct at times and straight out ask for the number without even discussion. It is better to have tried and get rejected than walking around regretting and thinking about what may have been.

How many times have you put on hold your desires and aspirations? You only end up regretting inaction for many days later and then you run around with a regretful mind. It is better to have tried and failed (or even succeed) than to not have even attempted it.

There can only be two results, you don’t get it or you do. If you don’t even attempt it you automatically default into the former. That’s terrifying because you lose without even trying.

Approach people

4. Diminish negative thoughts

I can’t tell you how often I talked myself out of something because I kept thinking negatively. I was projecting negative opinions about myself onto others, making the assumptions that others thought badly about me even though they didn’t know about me! How ridiculous is it that I’m making assumptions for them? I was in my own head, convincing myself that I’ll look like an idiot before even testing out my theory.

The pickup artists preach that you should remove all negative thoughts and just get in there. What good does thinking about what could go wrong do for you or how others won’t respond well? It lowers your confidence, it makes you want to leave, and ultimately it makes you feel horrible about yourself.

Adopt a more optimistic lifestyle and your overall happiness increases in the long-run. The pickup community seems to have a lot of lingo and terms, but I actually like some of them such as “abundance mentality”. Abundance mentality is basically thinking in terms of “plenty of fish in the sea”. If you strike out, it’s alright because there are tons of other people you can meet. Don’t fixate on one person!

Remember there are plenty of new opportunities every time you are disappointed. Why stay stuck in the past? Stop time traveling, stay in the present and enjoy the possibilities open in the future. Start taking chances like never before.

5. Become resilient to rejection

When life knocks you down, you’ve gotta bounce back up. There was a period of time when I was down and stayed down for a very long time due to some emotional trauma. I felt the world was against me, I felt like every door I tried to open kept getting shut in my face, I even contemplated trying things I promised never to try because nothing was going my way. Then one day, the sky opened up for me and my mind just cleared, without having to do anything I would have regretted. I became resilient.

Something interesting happens to guys who get into the dating game; they give up after a few rejections and they call it quits. You know how people say dating is like a numbers game? Well, pickup artists believe in a variation of that. Basically keep approaching women, get rejected over and over, and you can only improve from there. Even after some emotional turmoil and you feel at your worst, you’ve got to be able to bounce back without losing yourself no matter what.

When it comes to dealing with rejection, you practice several things. You improve with talking to women as you try more often, you get used to the idea of not always getting what you want, and you learn to be resilient so you don’t drown in self pity.

Resilience translates well into all aspects of life. It’ll make you less prone to stress and anxiety, it will make it easier for you to get back up after a horrible breakup (don’t sleep around though), and just better prepare you for most of life’s hardships. Resilience is often overlooked, but I think it’s a vital component to living a good and happy life.

6. Become an active listener

Somehow, this may be one of the most surprising things about the community during my misconceptions. PUAs actually listen and they teach others to as well!

I can’t speak for all of them, but a lot of the people I read were advocates of making her feel like she’s being listened to. Maybe you can argue that hey, maybe he’s just trying to get in her pants by making her feel vulnerable!

Active listening

At that point, I’d say you’re just nitpicking.

Active listening is amazing and most people don’t even do this with their closest friends. It establishes rapport, creates comfortability, and usually leads to genuinely interesting conversations. I could even argue that active listening is one of my most valuable skills.

Meeting new people comes easy once you learn the art of listening because it truly is an art in itself. Practice active listening by truly engaging in the conversation, asking insightful and open-ended questions, and show them you’re listening by using eye contact and nodding.

7. Get out and have fun, even when you don’t want to

We all have those days where we’re just dead tired, not wanting to do anything. Suddenly I feel like Bruno Mars is going to break through my walls and start singing “The Lazy Song”. No, that’s different I love days where I can just lie down and relax; I begin enjoying the peace as I absorb the previous week. Then I can even sneak in my daily journal and meditation. I think that’s healthy.

I’m talking about when you just don’t want to go out and enjoy life because you’re scared or lazy. The pickup community stresses always getting out of the house to meet new people, men and women, even if you don’t want to. PUAs call it increasing your social proof.

Everyone has days where they’re just miserable and for some reason you shut down all plans. You isolate yourself, you drown in self pity. Stop, just get out of the house and enjoy yourself because you deserve it. Don’t make up excuses or delay, just get out and do something.

All in all, PUAs are philosophers and actual self-help gurus. Maybe their goals may be a bit skewed at times, but a lot of the people there have good hearts when it comes to self-improvement. Take what you want from these so-called pickup artists. I know I’m going to absorb the good and filter out the negative.

As always, thanks for reading and I hope you remember to subscribe and leave a comment below here!


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Vincent Nguyen is the author of Self Stairway and founder of Growth Ninja, a digital marketing agency that specializes in Facebook Ads. Voted "Most Guapo" five years in a row (lost during 6th year to a hand model.)

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23 responses to 7 Life Lessons to Learn from Pickup Artists

  1. I just want to stop by and say that I appreciate you for looking into a subject like this to show others what else is going on under the surface. After having read ‘The Game’ a long time ago I realized at the end that this guy did change and eventually became a different man (again) at the end of his book. No one saw that coming and no one read to understand Neil’s truth, but everyone had something to say.

    • Hello,

      I’m glad to share my views on something that piqued my interest. Since I didn’t do extensive research into the community and my analyses are rather superficial, is there anything that you would comment on? How accurately do I depict the community in your opinion and is there anything you’d like to see added or changed?

      I’m always open to feedback and even though an article is published, it can always be improved on.

      I can’t say I’m entirely familiar with the book but like I said in the article, pickup artists seem to be all about change, which is exactly what I preach on Self Stairway.

      • One thing you’ve got pinned down is negativity and resilience to rejection. Abraham Lincoln was defeated at everything in life but 1 or so things. He was defeated whenever he tried for office MULTIPLE times… but you know how that part of history unfolded. This is one of the biggest things that stop people from pursuing a life they want, it stops people from meeting others, it stops people.

        Being an active and engaged listener is the basic foundation to relations which is also networking and we live in a world where 1 hand washes the other, which made the article even more impressive especially noting the teaching part. The other thing is that most men don’t engage in comradery these days which sucks imho because there’s many things we may not know about ourselves and from what i understand about the PUA community this type of bonding is done without a caste system or any social ranks. Everyone is a brother.

        Thank you for explaining parts of the underlying foundation. While in the end some may use it for picking up women they couldn’t due to hypergamy, they’ve found a way to fix many problematic idiosyncrasies or shortcomings and progress as a human being. I’ll have to link some of my friends to this blog

        • Wow very insightful comment Mccoy. Rejection is definitely difficult to accept and it is understandable how it can destroy people. Hell, certain opportunities that didn’t go my way nearly ruined me as well. Then you get into the mindset of using failure or rejection as fuel to improve, so many doors open. You don’t even recognize yourself from years back and you begin to wonder why self-improvement wasn’t utilized sooner.

          Indeed active listening is vital and many people miss that. I actually stressed active listening in I think at least four articles now if you count guest posts. A lot of people don’t have these basic, essential skills that very prominent figures possess. It’s like a well-guarded secret or something, or you would think, by how rare it is well executed. Indeed there are a lot of things to learn from your fellow man. I would barely be half the man I am now without certain key figures in my life that challenged my former beliefs.

          Yeah, I understand that these techniques can be used for more… Primal desires, but that’s not a bad thing. The part that strikes me as most interesting about pickup artists is the fact that I and so many other people had a misconception of their tactics. It is legitimate self-improvement at its core principles. You cannot help but admire that. Thank you again McCoy and I hope they enjoy reading.

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  2. Whoa, I’m so sorry Alex! For some reason the spam filter got you and it didn’t even notify me until now! You must have felt like I ignored you or deleted your comment… Or something worse. Jesus, two weeks late. It may have been because you linked to another site haha.

    I’ll give it a look and maybe draw some inspiration for it. Most likely I’ll touch upon the topic of pickup artists again because there really are a lot of interesting subjects that they bring up. Thanks for the link and I apologize again on behalf of the spam filter!

    P.S. I’ve whitelisted your I.P. for comments, just in case!

  3. Ladies and gentlemen, Billy has joined the fray!

    I make it no secret that I’ve been into pick up for the past 3 years, My article that I wrote, “The Friendship Equation” is all of my lessons derived from the pick up community.

    Several “tactics” that are used are necessary. We do have scripted lines to start a conversation, but we follow general principles and steps in order to attract the woman we are interested in.

    Pick up is now focused almost entirely on fixing your inner game before your outer game, and getting your life firing on all cylinders. Good post Vincent!

  4. Many positive things I learn from PUA. It’s good psychological development.

  5. I studied for long time and still practicing PUA techniques. I can assure that if taken with the right mindset it can change your life. Not only because having many girls makes you happier, but because the skills needed to attract women are the same needed to live a more full and satisfying life.
    So I started a path to get women, but as a side effect I ended up improving enoumously my life 🙂

    • I would say that’s the best side effect ever! It is quite amazing how wrong me and possibly millions of other people were about PUAs. It’s not just about women, it’s about self-improvement.

  6. For me my biggest roadblock was caring too much of what happened if I got rejected. Once I made a point not caring my confidence and success skyrocketed!

    • I’m still struggling with this on a frequent basis. An hour ago I was having a late dinner with a friend of mine when a cute girl caught my eye. She was sitting alone and was waiting for someone. Even after my buddy and I finished our meal she was still waiting on whoever she was waiting for so I thought she may have just been stood up.

      I wanted to go over there and talk to her but I was afraid she’d shut me down. I told myself that maybe her date (or whoever) would walk in and ask me to leave. Then I kept making on excuses. Truth is, I was afraid of how she’d react if some guy came up to her and talked to her while she waited. It happens to the best of us. 🙂

  7. I actually written something, sort of dissecting pickup artistry and what happens next..

    The less desperate one is, the more attractive they are. Instead of staying in a world that tends to perpetuate that desperation, isn’t it better to live a life that’s your own.

    How does pick-up work? PUAs (pickup artists) sometimes work their trade during the day, usually at the mall—this is called “day game” —but the classic location for seduction is the trendy club or bar. For the most part the pickup artist operates, in pairs with a wingman for support or sometimes they go in packs. They choose their victim and she must be approached within three seconds—this is the “three-second rule,” If a man looks for too long at his target, she might begin to think he is creepy ; and second, he might hesitate to make a move.. One must convey confidence to be effective. Pickup-artist closes. Number closing is getting a number from a girl; k-closing is short for kiss-closing; and f-closing for.. well..

    Pick Up Artist – An Antithesis

    • I’m sorry but this is not at all a summary of the artistry. All you have done is listed a few of the worst sounding qualities that this immense philosophy creates. First, not everyone uses the three second rule. Second, the terms for closing are outdated and just childish. Just the fact that you used “f-closing” in your summary, puts that negative word in a person’s head and associates negativity with our cause. Not everyone is trying to have sex with someone the first night they meet them. Many PUAs will take their number, and go on actual dates like a chivalrous man should.

  8. Amen. Pick up is what got me into self-development and living a more conscious life when I was at a particularly low point in my life several years ago. The principles I learned from it have helped me immensely in everything from job interviews to my own creative projects (and of course dating).

  9. I just want to say a HUGE thank you for showing people the positive side of pick up artistry! I am the owner and head dating coach of a company called Louisville Dating Rehab. I have had nothing but positive reviews and comments from the clients I have helped and I feel absolutely great about it. Even some woman have thanked me for helping their friends for them. On the other hand, I have plenty of people who stop by my Facebook page just to leave horrible comments regarding how we supposedly treat women. I personally have every bit of respect for the women I talk to and try my best to show all of it. I try to explain this lifestyle to the critics but it doesn’t always change their opinion of me, my company, or the art itself. Now, I will just send them the link to this well thought out article.

    My darling girlfriend is actually the one who sent me the link to this article through Pinterest. I have currently been with her for almost two years and she is well aware of the tactics I used to prove myself worthy of her attention. She thinks it’s great that I help others do the same and she actually accompanies me on some of my training sessions to give a female’s perspective and also wing for them if the chance arises.

    All in all, I think there is no better way for date coaching than to implement skills as a pick up artist if someone is in desperate need of a change in their dating life. Even if just the basics are learned, that will drastically help a man’s social dynamics. I push all my students past their comfort boundaries from the very beginning just to show them a difference in just the first few hours with me.

    • Hey man! Good to see one of my first articles is still providing value.

      I don’t doubt at all you’re doing good stuff over there with your company. I’m not sure how the community is perceived these days but it’s definitely more self-improvement than most people realize.

      You’ll most likely face the negative criticisms from people who don’t “get it” for as long as the company is running. It’s alright, though. Focus on the people who do understand and want to improve themselves. They’re the ones that matter.

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