The Power of Subtext
Unlike spoken language, a text lasts forever. You can’t rely on the girl’s fading memory as an opportunity to muddle your text game blunders. If you want to communicate a risky thought, idea, or intention, wrap it in subtext. Subtext blurs the meaning and intention behind your texts and offers you and the girl different interpretations to choose from.
One type of risky thought or idea is one that’s likely to make the girl uncomfortable. These force the girl to push the personal space boundary she currently has with you. Most of the time, the subject is sex, but sometimes it’s the usual taboo subjects like religion, money, or illness. All these subjects are possible to bring up when wrapped in subtext. Here are some examples:
You want to communicate your atheism, but don’t want to sound like you’re judging her for being religious.
Her: “Going to church first”
You: “I would too, but I don’t think Jesus loves me”
She’s hinting that the restaurant you suggested is pricey, but you’re willing to pay for her. You don’t want to make her uncomfortable offering to pay and implying she’s poor.
Her: “Isn’t that place expensive?”
You: “I have a free dinner coupon for girls like you”
You want to escalate the conversation to something more sexual, but the conversation is non-sexual.
Her: “Ugggh, my feet hurt from running”
You: “I’ll carry you around”
Her: “I love staying inside when it rains”
You: “Don’t like getting wet?”
Her: “I love food!! Lol”
You: “What else do you eat”
Be careful not to rely on subtext when texting about comfortable subjects, it signals insecurity. Girls like a man who’s direct and is less afraid than they are to push comfort zone limits. When you subtext, you’re also communicating where your comfort zone is. She’s going to lose attraction if she’s comfortable about a subject you use subtext to talk about.
Use the power of subtext to protect yourself too. Subtexting helps protect your status in conversations where explicit communication can lower your status. You’ll wind up in these status-risky conversations whenever you explicitly express your feelings, ask for clarification, explain yourself, disclose information, or ask for information. These intentions are clear and reliable signs of interest that make girls feel instantly more powerful. Signaling interest is important, but signaling too much interest lowers your status and can kill attraction.
Subtexting reduces your risk of losing status by obfuscating the intentions behind your texts. Here are some examples of status-lowering intentions you can hide with subtext:
Collect information about her
You want to know if she’s not doing anything saturday so you could plan a date with her.
You: “Getting into any trouble this weekend?”
Tell her how you feel
She is bailing on the date you have planned with her for tonight and you want to communicate that you’re not happy with it, but open to meet next week.
Her: “Sorry!!! I have to bail on u tonight. Stressed out from work, maybe next week!”
You: “k, buy a stress ball for next week”
Disclose information about yourself
She brought up the topic of motorcycles and you want to tell her about the new motorcycle you bought last week.
Her: “I almost ran over a motorcycle guy today!”
You: “Might have been me. Too soon to crash my new bike”
Atomize Your Texts
Learn to shave down your texts to the atomic level. Any character that can be taken out of your text without changing its meaning or without making you look stupid should be plucked out. Not all your texts should be atomized, but it’s the best way to express your thoughts in the least reactive way. Atomize your texts when setting up logistics, exchanging information, or punishing bad behavior.
When atomizing your texts, consider what can be inferred from context. Your ultimate goal is to communicate a thought, feeling or piece of information. Keep reducing down the character count as long as your goal continues to be fulfilled.
As an exercise, try to communicating the following thoughts by using atomic level texts:
A: Don’t worry about our bar options, there should be a large number of bars open for us to choose from tonight
B: It’s k, lot of bars gonna b open
A: Should we grab food before we go to the concert?
B: Eat before concert?
A: Hey! Are you still available to meet tonight?
B: Hey, up for tonight?
A: I have some friends coming down from Los Angeles and I’m going to party with them tonight
B: Gonna party with LA friends tonight
A: The meeting time you just proposed works out perfectly for me
A: Why did you leave so early last night?
B: Left early?
A: Have you ever been to that new club on University ave?
B: Been to new uni ave club?
A: When are you coming to town tomorrow?
B: When in town tomorrow?
A: I don’t understand why you just said that
A: I don’t like mexican food, I think we should go somewhere else for dinner
B: Not into mex, somewhere else
Clearly, atomizing leads to many abbreviations, misspellings and poor grammar, but they will work to your advantage. There’s a range of erroneous writing that’s considered acceptable in mobile texting that will make you appear lazy as opposed to illiterate. Lazy texting is high status because it’s unreactive. A higher status guy wouldn’t bother mustering the energy and focus it takes to type an unnecessary character with fingerpoint accuracy. Bewarned, poor quality writing is less excusable the easier your texting utensil is to use.
Use Context To Analyze Your Text Conversations
A text conversation isn’t a piece of literary work, it’s not a contextless unit of information you can fully understand just by reading its words and emojis. To correctly read text conversations you must consider the context. Each text can mean something different depending on its context. Use context to analyze your texts the same way you’d analyze an in-person conversation by considering body language, location, time-of-day and clothes.
Here’s a list of questions you should answer to help build the context for understanding your text conversations:
Who sent the first text?
Men traditionally make the first approach, but not always the first move. Women will sometimes extend a subtle invitation for men to approach in the form of a quick glance or smile. These days, women make the first move by swiping your Tinder card right or giving you 4-5 stars on okcupid or winking at you in match.com… the list goes on. What’s uncommon is a first move in the form of a text. Normally, this means your dating market value is higher.
What’s your goal?
Are you trying to build attraction or comfort? Was the text designed to punish or reward her behavior? Every text should have a purpose and should be judged accordingly. If the text didn’t fulfill it’s purpose, try to figure out why. Whether she understood your intent or not, a failed text you expected to work shouldn’t happen and you should try to resolve your confusion.
What are the time delays like?
Everyone loves to hate time delays. No, my bad, only lower status text gamers hate it. They’re like dogs waiting for the mailman, restlessly preoccupied with their asynchronous delivery. There’s an acceptable time delay range that doesn’t mean too much if it’s consistent. Divergences in delay patterns are significant and could mean she’s punishing, rewarding, unavailable to respond, disinterested or interested. Another significant sign of interest is if she double texts with any time delay longer than a minute.
Who’s text blocks are bigger?
Character for character, regardless of meaning or substance, text block size matters. The smaller her text blocks are relative to yours, the more likely she’s losing interest. Text block size is similar to time delays. Divergences in block size pattern can signal interest or disinterest.
Your social status, or just “status”, is your perceived power to get what you want. It’s the shared belief that others have about your power, and that you have about your own power.
Since powerful people can get what they want, you have everything to gain as their ally and everything to lose as their enemy. A powerful person could, on a whim, provide you with a world of opportunity and pleasure or cause you endless pain or suffering. And your genetic future is at the mercy of powerful people. A powerful person could kill you or protect you from premature death, provide you with genetically fit children or force you into celibacy.
On the other hand, powerless people can’t affect your wellbeing or your genetic future much. The power you perceive people to have, i.e. status, determines how you react to them. Your emotions, thoughts and behaviors in reaction to status were designed to maximize your genetic fitness.
Your actual power doesn’t cause people to react differently toward you; only your perceived power does – i.e. your status. If you can manipulate people’s perception of your power – by definition, manipulate your status – then you control how people feel and behave toward you.
Honing your status-manipulation skill requires paying close attention to your status signals – the perceivable clues that others use to determine your status. You need to become a detective, noticing subtle status signals that can change other people’s perception of your power.
Your passive status signals are the ones people can observe without interacting with you: clothes, ethnicity, body language, possessions, interactions with others, physical attractiveness, strength, location, hairstyle, age, etc. You want to manipulate your passive status signals to communicate the status you want, but it’s not easy. Some passive status signals are hard to get, like a nice car. Some are culture-specific, like clothes. And some can’t be changed at all, like height. It’s usually more feasible to manipulate your interactive status signals, the ones people observe when they interact with you.
When people interact with you, the juiciest status signals come from your reactivity. Reactivity is the psychological mechanism that evaluates each stimulus for its potential to impact your genetic future, and then decides how much attention to pay it.
When you were first learning to drive, you were probably anxious and hyper-vigilant, i.e. reactive. As you improved, driving became automatic, freeing up your attention to daydream or listen to music. You don’t feel like driving is risky to your genetic fitness anymore, so when you drive, you’re not reactive. Only an unusually interesting stimulus can get your attention: a swerving car, a tailgater, a broken traffic light, an attractive driver in another car, etc.
It’s natural to be reactive when you interact with high status people. Being reactive to something means you’ve psychologically classified it as having a high potential impact on your genetic future, so you visibly care about it. The higher the status, the more you react. The lower the status, the less you react – or maybe you don’t react at all.
Normally, status determines reactivity. But if you’re one of the few people who understands the link from status to reactivity, you can actually run it backwards: By contriving to act with the right amount of reactivity, you can manipulate your status.
Here are reactive behaviors that communicate your higher or lower status in an interaction.
- Fixed eye contact
- Extending limbs, taking up a lot of space
- Exposing vulnerable body parts: throat, abdomen and groin
- Succinct and monotone speech
- Disclosing little information
- Comfortable and relaxed body language
- Emotionally and physically composed
- Indifferent attitude
- Long pauses in speech
- Ignoring questions or requests
- Breaking rapport
- Still body positions
- Slow movements
- Obeying demands
- Passive (aggressive) language
- Defensive in disagreements
- Contorting body to take up little space
- Speaking verbosely or mostly silent
- Darting eyes
- Disclosing a lot of information
- Overly loud or quiet voice
- Indirect questioning
- Losing composure, or tries to
- Avoiding confrontational subjects
- Trying to impress
- Showing emotion
- Asking for forgiveness
- Repeating movements like wringing hands or bouncing legs
- Frequent short pauses when speaking
- Engaged in conversation
- Showing symptoms of anxiety
When you feel unreactive in an interaction, your brain is saying, “this person isn’t interesting or important; use the least amount of energy needed”. Your behaviors then have the characteristic signs of high status: they’re low-effort, comfortable, lazy.
Conversely, when you feel reactive in an interaction, your brain is saying, “this person is interesting and important; give them your undivided attention”. Your behaviors will have the characteristic signs of low status: anxiety, discomfort, excitement, eagerness, anger, curiosity.
People are natural status detectives. Subconsciously, they process your status signals to evaluate your status. Consciously, they can feel an intuition about your status, but they’re usually not aware that any evaluation process ever took place. When you interact with someone whose conscious mind is absorbed in the content of your conversation, their subconscious mind will be keenly monitoring you for signs of reactivity and other status signals.
In the ancestral environment, it wouldn’t pay to contrive your level of reactivity to manipulate your status level. If you raised your status level above your actual power to get what you want, you’d motivate someone else to raise their own status by overpowering you in a fight.
The consequences of status manipulation in modern society are infinitely milder than they were in ancient times. If you get caught padding your resume or pretending to own a Porsche, you won’t get beaten to death. But human psychology is a relic from ancient times. When someone’s ancient brain evaluates your status, it doesn’t account for the modern possibility that your unreactive behavior may be contrived. That’s a bug in the human software which our modern environment has exposed, and which evolution hasn’t patched yet. If you learn to exploit the brain’s software bugs, you can plant in anyone’s mind an intuitive sense that you’re a powerful person.
This blog will teach you to use status and reactivity concepts to analyze your text conversations and figure out how to make your conversation partner perceive you as attractive. Most of the advice on this blog is based on the premise that women are attracted to men higher status than themselves – men who give them an intuitive sense that they have much to gain from allying. But some of the advice is also about strategically lowering your status. There’s an art to status gaming. It’s all about when and how to change your status level to get the results you want.