Let’s pretend that you’re a lender who gives out money to people in exchange for interests. One day, Mr. A and Mr. B enter your office and both ask for a loan of $10,000. Now, Mr. A is well-off man who already owns a successful business. He is financially secure, but he wants the money to expand his current business. As he is a successful man, you are confident that he will be able to pay you back the sum, leaving you with profit from interest. Since it’s a good investment, you don’t even hesitate to lend him the money. On the other hand, we have Mr. B is poor and financially unstable. He works jobs here and there, but nothing secure. But unlike Mr. A who wants the money to expand is already affluent wealth, Mr. B is desperate for the money just to pay his bills and get by. He begs you and tries to get you to pity him so that you’ll lend him the money, promising that he’ll pay back. As much as you may feel sorry for him (or not), you cannot let your feelings dictate your business. You choose not to lend him the money even though he needs it more than Mr. A. You know that if you give in because you feel sorry for him, you’ll resent both yourself and him and you’ll not likely get your money back.
This little scenario demonstrates what happens to millions of people on a daily basis: rich people continue to be rich and poor people continue to be poor, attractive people attract other people and unattractive people repel them, winners win and losers lose, the cycle perpetuates itself.
We can focus on the winner effect and talk about building a momentum, but I want to focus on what I call the negativity loop as it is something I’ve struggled with in my own life. Like Mr. B in the above scenario, I was poor in many areas of life, with the greatest trouble being my ability to connect with others and form social bonding. It goes without saying that I also had great difficulty attracting women during this time.
With the negativity loop, you are stuck in this cycle of loserdom where you desperately need other people, but they’re not interested in reaching out to you for the same reason why the lender wouldn’t give money to Mr. B. And the more desperate you are, the less likely the people will want to associate with you. People want to socialize with someone who is confident, secure, and already sociable. They want to invest their time and energy on people who will give value back in return—like Mr. A. Even when they help you out because they felt sorry for you, they won’t do it continuously and may even hold resentment that they were guilted into doing something they don’t want to do.
Because my social skills were sub-par, because I had negative attitude, and because it was harder to connect with me, people preferred not to interact with me. And by being alienated, I was stuck. It was not easy for me to escape the loop on my own without anyone’s help. I had to try and try, fail and fail, make an embarrassment out of myself, and rub people the wrong way many times before I pulled myself out of the negativity loop. I had some help, but it was mostly my own effort that took over a decade of effort. I don’t know if I’m still completely out yet.
This problem extends to attracting women as well. Women want high-quality men who are confident and secure. They can’t be bothered with desperate men and others whom they consider as being losers. And in today’s dating market, we see the same lender scenario playing out: attractive men are having all the sex they want and more while the unattractive men who are desperate for love, sex, and affection are suffering with loneliness and depression. And because women are not attracted to men who are lonely and depressed, these men are stuck in the negativity loop from which they can’t escape from.
So, what is the solution? How can a man escape from this deadly loop?
Well, it first depends on what kind of philosophy of life you adhere to.
There are two types of people when it comes to social interactions: those who believe they should cover their true selves to display a socially acceptable image and those who believe that you should always be honest and show your true self without holding back. Of course, most people fall somewhere in-between rather than the polar opposites.
I personally don’t have a preference, but I will say that the two have their own advantages and disadvantages. It really depends widely on the different circumstances you may find yourself in. The type of people you want to associate yourself with is also a big factor you should consider.
My general advice is to minimize giving off negative vibe as much as possible without pretending to be someone you’re not. For example, if you’re often in a bad mood, you don’t necessarily have to pretend that you’re happy, but you could stop complaining about how difficult things are. Any negative vibe you give off that has no use can be eliminated with a bit of self-control. Being stoic about your pains will make you much more attractive than whining all the time to every person you meet.
The same goes for your body language. Negative people can give off negative vibe without even saying anything through their body language. If you slouch, frown, and avoid eye contact, people will subconsciously categorize you as a loser or a negative person and will be less likely to want to interact with you. Again, you’re not lying to yourself and being someone you’re not by improving your body language. If you workout—something I’ve neglected in my youth—you’ll automatically improve your mind and body to a more positive state. As always with self-improvement: master your body first.
Next, you should try and engage with people. Although, in general, people prefer to interact with “positive” people, they will still talk to “negative” people from time to time. They’re more forgiving than some might imagine. By actually trying to talk to people, you’ll gain confidence and build on your ability. You’ll also learn what to do and what not to do in specific circumstances. Your experience is the best thing that will guide you out of your loop.
My next advice is the controversial one: If you’re more interested in practicality and improvement than being genuine, it’s a good idea to fake and mimic others who are more confident and positive. You obviously don’t want to do it all the time and for the rest of your life, but it is a good way to get you started if you find yourself stuck after all these years. I find that people in North America are already very superficial, so it won’t be like you’re doing something they’re not already doing. The key here is to leave a positive impression on other people’s minds so that they’ll be attracted to you.
And finally, the most important thing is to actually become a better person. If you’re boring, you need to have fun hobbies. If you’re not sociable, you need to practice. If you look like a slob, you need to take care of yourself. If you’re unhappy about something, you need to fix it somehow. If you’re too desperate, you need to undo that first. If you’re weak, you need to be strong. There’s a recent trend where people simply expect the world to accept them for who they are so that they don’t have to make any effort. That’s absolute rubbish and you reject that sort of loser mentality. This doesn’t mean that you are living to suck up to everyone for their acceptance, but that you are still trying to be a better version of yourself for your own benefit.
Although my advice here has been limited to social interactions, I believe the same can strategy be applied to other areas of life including dating, mastery of a skill, and general self-improvement. The negativity loop is a hellish place to be stuck in and it’s best to try to escape it as soon as possible.