Social Savviness Rule #1 was: Don’t Get Defensive. Also known as the “If you show your soft underbelly, people will claw at it until your guts are sliding out” rule.
In this post, we will discuss the second of the three Rules of Social Savviness:
Rule #2: Don’t Force Conversation Topics.
Men have a thermal exhaust port. We are too logical. No, seriously. Logic is great for building bridges that won’t collapse and for inventing calculus, but it’s horrible as a mental facility for managing relationships or persuading women to see your point of view.
(Women have a thermal exhaust port, too: Their emotional bonding and subsequent rationalization for their feelings that blinds them to a man’s true motives.)
Logical thinking is how theories are formulated, arguments are devised, and solutions are hard-won. Men, by dint of years of exposure to their own natures, have resilient egos which can withstand blows by opposing forces and regroup for another day of adventure and creative-destruction. Unlike women who retreat to deeper delusions when their egos are struck by reality, men can, to varying degree, take an ego shock in stride and incorporate new evidence that will accrue to their personal advantage.
That male trait which is a gift in non-romantically infused contexts is a handicap when the opposing force is an alien who doesn’t play by the rules of logic. That force is female self-love, from which all absurdities of thought and peculiarities of reason flow.
So what happens when the unstoppable force of male logic meets the immovable object of female self-love? You get what we in the seduction business call a stubborn refusal to let an orphaned conversation thread die out when it isn’t being received well by female company.
We’ve all seen this happen to some hapless over-logical male: The triumphant quasi-announcement of a scintillating conversation topic nursed in a split second judgment that the gathered will be amazed by his wit and wisdom, the forthright glee with which it is presented for studio consumption, the leaking of confident airs from his demeanor as he too slowly realizes no one is reciprocating his energy or spring-boarding off his brilliance, the stuttering follow-up as one or two congregants, usually women, ricochet unpredictably into new topical territory, the prison of silence that muffles him as he surrenders to the reality that the crowd has MOVED ON.
And then, the most awkward moment, the anti-climax he will regret for months if he is young and for an hour or two if he is older and giving less fucks about life’s sadistic pop quizzes. That moment, after the conversation has fully turned and spasms of fresh vigor have been injected by girlicues following their bouncing bubbly balls, when he throws himself, bellyflop style, onto the organic rhythm of the back and forth with a last-ditch effort to impose his previous stream of concreteness. And, naturally, the reddening splash turns to reddening hue as eyes of pity shot with capillaries of contempt answer his logical insistence with an ocular writ of cease and desist.
He is humbled, and his allies in male logic abandon him as the women take the lead to rescue a souring scene. As go the tingles, so go the tumescents.
If you get what you think is a winning conversational theme in your head, be prepared to abandon it at a moment’s notice. Like De Niro* might say about seduction, don’t get attached to a topic you aren’t willing to drop in ten seconds flat, if you feel the female heat around the corner.
(*Running ref gag.)
Let threads die. Don’t attempt to revive threads at a later time. Don’t beat a fun time over the head with your genius insight that the world is fated to endure. Don’t hammer home a message when the crowd has decided it’s time to talk about something else. If you can master the art of artfully dodging your own bull-headed self-loyalty, you can learn to appreciate the percolating jazziness of verbal foreplay. It’s a talent that comes second-nature to women, but which men — especially autist spectrum men — have to work at to achieve the same level of instinctive grasp.
If you feel that headstrong voice egging on your ego to drive home a point, don’t listen to it. Avoid its tempation. Choose strife. Accept that conversations and social pressures will be chaotic, and that from this bubbling froth of flirty banter that is outside of your narrow mental alleyways and that flourishes under both your simultaneous command and acquiescence, real desire can erupt, like a solar flare.
Women measure a man’s mate worth by many more variables than just his shoes or square jaw. They measure his wit, his grace under pressure, his adaptability. Can he steer discursive switchbacks with confidence? Can he quickly disown colloquially limp lows while claiming careening conversational highs as his own? These tells of a man’s alpha nature — and yes, they are the distinguishing hallmarks of the alpha male personality — are subtle enough to be missed by other men with eight-cylinder powered logical minds, but are magnified to outsized relevance by intuitive women with a million years of evolution to guide them toward the vessel of their orgasmically up-sucked überseed.
One trick I have learned that has helped me avoid the error of forcing conversation topics is to relinquish a flowering thought at the moment when the crowd wants to hear more of it. Better to err on the side of leaving a topic stranded close to a high note rather than beating it to death past its expiration note. You are not a stand-up comedian with a captive audience and a mic; you are a man in a group of people all more or less equally competing for air time. Use the floor wisely. Your wit should be a gift, not a chore.
Next post: Rule #3!