Mixing your signals — aka obfuscating your intentions — is a powerful holistic technique to arouse interest in women, the class of beings who strangely desire more that which gives the least interest in satisfying their desires.
The status signals (and, really, are there any other kind of signals that matter in the least bit when a man is interacting with a woman?) that men display can be broadly categorized into body language and verbal communication.
Body language comprises a host of nonverbal mannerisms and displays, from the way a man walks, to his dress, his facial expressions, to how he moves his limbs, and even to how he stands or holds a glass. Verbal communication is the words that come out of a man’s mouth, and the way in which he says them, in hopes of creating a desirous spark in an attractive woman.
Most men focus on the words they say, because the impact of a man’s body language on women’s senses is both poorly understood and intangible relative to the impact that he thinks his words carry. Body language is therefore relegated to acting in concert with subconscious feelings of self-worth; for this reason, body language can be a man’s worst enemy if he is unaware how his mannerisms betray his hidden emotional state.
Verbal communication is thus overrated and body language underrated by men. The upshot to this formula is that men can chill a bit on the pressure to say the right thing, if they work to adjust their body language so that it does most of the talking for them.
Mixing signals is the art of telling/showing a woman one thing, while showing/telling her another. There are four permutations of body language and speech that are possible when approaching women, only two of which involve mixed signals.
1. Direct Body Language (DBL) + Direct Verbal Communication (DVC)
You make a bold statement of intention with both your body motions and your words. Example:
Walking slowly toward a woman, holding eye contact the whole way, stopping in front of her, pausing for effect, and with a low, deliberate tone of voice, saying, “I’d regret it forever if I didn’t come over and see if you are the type of woman I want to get to know better.”
2. Indirect Body Language (IBL) + Indirect Verbal Communication (IVC)
You engage a girl with a seemingly innocuous statement about some peculiarity in your shared environment, and comport yourself like you have another place to be and she just happens to be there to listen to you. Example:
Looking over your shoulder at the girl, turning your body to partially face her, one foot pointed in another direction, rocking back on your heels as you speak, glancing once or twice at some faraway object, and with a neutral tone of voice, saying “If the bookstore weren’t so full of poseurs, we might have a chance to get a book within the next hour.”
3. DBL + IVC
You make a bold statement of romantic intention with your body and facial expressions, while speaking neutrally so as to suggest you are not interested in hitting on her. Example:
Directly facing the woman, positioning yourself so that eye contact is unavoidable and escape is limited, occupying her personal space, you ask in an unthreatening, bland tone of voice, after a mood-heightening silent pause, if she can direct you to the nearest toy shop so you can buy a gift for your niece.
4. IBL + DVC
You verbally communicate your romantic interest while your body language bespeaks disinterest. Example:
Body rocking, feet positioned as if you are about to walk off, approaching at an angle with shoulders turned halfway outward, eyes surveying your environment, you open her directly with a strong sexual vibe that belies your mannerisms.
Which of these styles of interaction is best? That’s hard to say, because the style that works best depends in some measure on the skill of the womanizer. A sexually needy man who experiences bouts of nerves when cute girls are near stands a good chance of being perceived as incongruent in his words and behavior if he tries to directly open a girl while comporting himself as if he’s too cool for school. Similarly, an experienced player with rock solid confident body language who masks his intentions under a flurry of misdirecting banalities may strike a girl as a coward who is too skittish to say what’s on his mind.
However, this contextual problem aside, I believe a useful generalization about the effectiveness of the different approach styles can be made.
Eric Disco comments:
This is essentially what most guys do when they attempt to be indirect, they are indirect with their words (“How do you get to Starbucks?”) but then they are very direct with their body language–mainly eye contact and body orientation. They face her and give her lots of eye contact, looking at her continuously, as if they’ve just spotted a rare bird. From my experience, instead of combining the best of both worlds, this combines the worst.
When you’re direct, it shows balls. The drawback is that you are betraying a lot of interest, which lowers your value and makes you seem like less of a challenge. When you combine an indirect verbal opener with direct body language, you betray interest but don’t show any balls at all.
Once you’re in the interaction with her, you can start to show more interest physically, once she’s earned it. You can be more sexual with your eye contact, etc. But if you’re going to open indirect, then be indirect. Don’t betray too much interest. Act like she just happened to be there and so you said something to her. If you’re going to walk across a room/park just to talk to her, then show some balls. Go direct.
Eric is onto something. The DBL + IVC style is probably the riskiest strategy for the average man to pull off. It’s too easy to come across like a suave dude who can’t go the extra distance and just ask the girl out. I bet a lot of you good-looking guys who read this blog have this problem.
Any kind of situation which necessarily calls for a direct approach — say, walking across a park or large room in full view of your target so that she is under no illusion why you are moving in on her — would benefit from a direct style verbal opener. You can still go indirect in these circumstances, but you had better be a master at manipulating women’s expectations so that your value remains at a constant high level compared to them.
Men new to the stealthy art of seduction are best served learning pickup by employing the IBL + IVC style. This is, in fact, what most pickup artists teach their acolytes. The typical woman prefers the indirect approach from the typical man, and the inexperienced man is not going to possess the degree of self-amused state control that is required to successfully pull off direct approaches. The newb will need gradual indicators of interest from women to build up his confidence levels to a point where he is comfortable risking more on direct openers and interactions of powerful sexual intention.
Then, too, the newb can get a better grasp of gauging a woman’s “buying temperature” by adjusting his body language from indirect to direct and back to indirect, as opposed to the more difficult route of direct to indirect back to direct. It’s easier to maintain plausible deniability with the former than with the latter.
So, I’d say IBL + IVC is optimal for younger men and less experienced men. This is not a mixed signal strategy at the outset, but it can be farther along in the process when it is simpler to incorporate different verbal and nonverbal tactics.
Where it gets interesting is the IBL + DVC strategy. This can potentially be the most powerful approach technique wielded in the right hands. Such a man is perceived as having the conviction of his words, but simultaneously sending barely perceptible signals that his interest level is waning, or that he’s hard to keep engaged. Naturals tend to this style, and the classic archetype is the devil-may-care badboy who speaks of lustful things to a girl while his eyes wander around the room scanning for fresh meat.
Generally, though, mixing signals is a technique best left for experts. The risk of mood-killing incongruence is very high, and I’ve seen far too many enthusiastic men muck it up when they couldn’t sufficiently manage the inherent discrepancy between their words and their mannerisms.
YaReally makes the inarguable point that, once a certain level of inner confidence is achieved, it doesn’t really matter what kind of approach style a man uses.
The PUA community used to think you needed solid indirect openers to open. Then we found out you could go direct. [...]
Now we understand that you can open with anything, as long as what you open with comes from a place of self-amusement and congruency.
When you think “How should I open this girl?” you’re essentially thinking “What can I say/do to earn this girl’s validation?” and you’re already coming from a frame of having lower value than her.
When you think “What I’m saying is gold, of course she’ll love me, I’m so awesome!” you’re essentially screening her for “Is she cool enough for me to let her hang with me?” and you’re coming from a frame of having higher value than her.
Girls generally pick up on this subconsciously, because they’ve spent their lives having to learn to quickly assess “is this person being genuine/honest with me or are they trying to get something from me?”
A lot of why “Who lies more?” worked so well was because the guys learning it felt like they found the secret invincible formula, so when they approached with it they were approaching from that “This is going to blow her mind, of course she’s going to love me” frame.
Direct worked because the guys who tried it were sick of going indirect and beating around the bush and wanted to just get their intentions out in the open so they were just saying “HEY. You’re cute, I’d kick myself if I didn’t come say hi.” and expecting it to work, so it did.
Some of you may be asking, “Doesn’t YaReally’s advice contradict the study you just posted about how indirect, innocuous openers are best?”
Good question! Superficially, yes. But you’ve got to understand that most of the men involved in these studies have no game, have never heard of game, and likely wouldn’t understand the concept of congruence if you whacked them over the head with it. These studies examine the responses of women to the behavior of the *average, no-game-having* man, and in that context, indirect is best. Since that context is most contexts, it is good advice to follow for most men. Men who have been exposed to a new way of thinking about women and seduction are better equipped to pursue different approach strategies that streamline the process and maximize their lay rates.