Outer Game 101: Number Two on the “Don’t Do” List

This one is going to be real quick cuz I’m heading out the door …

2. Don’t Break Rapport When She’s Being Nice to You

At Mehow’s conference, DJ Fuji (who always gives a very professional presentation, btw) reminded me of this one. The way Fuji put it is: “Don’t be an asshole when she’s being nice to you.”

Entropy talks a lot about creating and breaking rapport in his e-book, and it is absolutely essential to develop calibration about when to do which one. Because nothing will kill an interaction with a girl faster than “punishing” her when she’s being sweet to you.

I was texting with a guy a few weeks ago when I really noticed this one big time. He had generated a ton of “compliance” from me. We were brainstorming together, and I was contributing my ideas to the situation. I was heavily into win/win mode and had just had a really good idea, which I told him about. I’ll paraphrase our text conversation below

At first, he continued rapport …

Him: See, now you’re thinking.

Me: Oh, I’m just getting started baby :-)

See, from my perspective, we’re vibing now, and what would have kept us in that space is him either encouraging me or adding another idea, riffing with me. But instead he says something like:

Him: Talk is cheap.

Wow, talk about all the air going out of the balloon. At which point I noticed that this was actually something that had happened a bunch of times in our interactions, and it was destroying my sense of trust. So I asked him how come he breaks rapport with me when I’m trying to work with him and explained that it’s not good for my inspiration. The response was not inspiring. Instead of seeing my perspective, he made it seem like I need to “work” for his attention. Eventually after this happened a bunch of times, I just didn’t feel very invested in the connection anymore. The sincerity and trust and kindness and accountability that are absolutely essential for me in a relationship with a man were not there.

So yeah, number two on the “don’t do” list is don’t break rapport when she’s vibing with you.

1. Don’t use “you statements.”
2. Don’t break rapport with the girl when she’s being nice to you.

About the Author:

Erika Awakening is a Harvard Law School graduate and former practicing attorney. She left the rat race to become a location-independent entrepreneur, holistic life coach, blogger, speaker, healer, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT tapping) expert. Erika Awakening is one of the world's foremost experts on eradicating limiting beliefs and lifestyle design on your own terms. Learn more about Erika Awakening

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Just to keep it clean, making a request for someone to do something is slightly different from telling them what to do…

    Telling a person what not to do can be helpful… like… you know, when you touch my thigh like that, I feel myself pulling away from you… would you like to know what I would like instead?

    Any guy versions anyone wants to offer?

  2. Reality Check says:

    “In NVC, we consider praise and compliments a violent form of communication. Because they are part of the language of domination, it is one passing judgment on another. What makes it more complex is that people are trained to use praise as reward, as a manipulation to get people to do what they want.” –Rosenberg

    This guy again.

    This is way too simplistic.

    Ok. What he’s saying, is by stating something like “you know Erika, you really are an interesting person, and I admire your proactivity and articulation…blah blah blah”
    we are putting ourselves in the DOMINANT position of the qualifier.

    Style supposedly does this ALL the time…it seems he can’t help it.

    Why I call this simplistic is because he didn’t include the authentic expression of this potential paragraph.

    He didn’t say “it depends on what space it’s coming from”

    Could be a qualifying space.


    Could be an authentic admiration space.

    Imagine that the persons eyes are bright, that there’s excitement in their voice, a total genuineness and says breathily…
    “you know Erika, you really are an interesting person, and I admire your proactivity and articulation…blah blah blah”

    See the difference.

  3. GoneSavage says:

    I have asked Erika to shed some light on NVC and how it relates to kind words, gifts, touch, sex and intimacy! My need for stimulation and excitement can’t wait to read her answers!

    “Giraffes say what they do want, rather than what they don’t want….People can’t do a ‘don’t.’” –Rosenberg

    I have observed that you are making a list of DON’Ts. I feel uncomfortable with this for the reason Rosenberg states. I am guessing the reason for doing a list of DON’Ts is because it takes more time and effort to specify a list of DOs. So the need is saving not only effort, but risk, because telling someone what to DO is risky. It is effectively easier just to tell them what not to do, which still leaves the list of options that can be done pretty vast. My request is that we together work on specifying a positive list of DOs!

    The moment is ripe with possibilities!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Geez! This is like a conversation leaning towards reaching up on the spiritual shelf and grabbing the non dual… I feel you GS… I miss the more spiritual tone of Erika’s earlier posts and that vulnerable space of sharing… I’ve been asking myself whether I would consider devoting 4 1/2 years of my life to a journey like Erika has…

    When the connection I share with my former boyfriend who has turned the page to become some version of a pua hits a snag, I swing from one side of the fence to the other. In the times when I hit the negative suffering side of the spectrum, this strange question pops into my head: do I need to take 4 1/2 years off to clear my self of all the crap that seems to show up when I lean into being intimate? Do I totally want to rewire myself so nothing a guy does ((or pursues or wants to become sexually involved with)) bothers me that much?

    Or do I want to simply move out of the Bay Area and find a peaceful spot in the world to reawaken what seems like a pretty wonderful thing; loving, sexy monogamy?

    But rewiring for inner freedom from suffering seems to be essential and the playmate of your choice seems like icing on top… along with the arena one finds themselves drawn to play in…

    Way back when Erika talked about dating guys and being completely at liberty to share meaningful and slightly on the edge sexy cuddling with them, I found myself in jaw dropping intrigue… Do you have any idea how many women would love to know the secrets as to how to effectively have great friendships with guys for long spans of time? THAT ARE NON SEXUAL and STILL WONDERFUL?

    For months, I would either venture out socially only when I was with a female friend, a boyfriend ((and protector)) or I would stay home.

    I even found myself in a bit of a snag with the former gone some version of pua the other night… I was hostile and angry and I found myself saying in my head, geez, your comfort game is really sucking right now, buddy! I am just watching the dance between us of “unrequited love” bounce back and forth and I realize, I can either invest a lot of energy into being free so that anything another person does doesn’t take me down or, another option, I can invest my time and focus into simply freeing up, letting go of the past, shedding those layers and see what shows up or I can aim full focus on juicy, alive, sexy one on one partnership… That’s only a few of the combinations…

    Thanks Erika, for offering a new window on the world of boy meets girl. I’ve learned enough to be able to spot a PUA, release my former boyfriend to his newly chosen hobby, and I’m beginning to sense that I can fully enjoy men on my own terms… because I am starting to become free of the root cause of my confusion and not being truly fulfilled by any of it ((the dating, the boyfriends, the seducers, the poly world, the monogamy world)).

    I can taste it now… that all these versions of love and sex have been what I’ve been doing instead of simply waking up! And doesn’t it seem like whoever you connect with from a place of inner freedom and truly knowing who you are inside of your own freedom, is going to so much more of an awesome connection? no matter who ends up in bed with whom or not?

  5. Anonymous says:

    A lot of people use punishement (guilt) and reward (praise) to control people…however most people seek validation…how should one go about that?

    also, do you think that too much empathy without assertiveness does not turn women on ? I believe that one should balance both


  6. Yes, all the reasons you note are exactly why I didn’t do a “don’t” list for so long.

    Frankly, I blame Quick ;-)

    Just kidding for goodness sakes. We all need to lighten up …

  7. I see where you are going with this, but I feel that you are painting too broad of a stroke.

    First, you mentioned that only after a long chain of these “vibe busters” did you (a) notice and (b) call him out. This sort of interaction was working (so far … In both of your eyes).

    Second, you said that you were busting on him occasionally too: I’m only geting started. But this comment is more complex than you have broken it down so far. But I will combine these two ideas first.

    Before, you two would vibe, then one of you would bust, then the first would bust back. But it never got acknowledged before, as a result, you both kept rewarding each other for bad behaviour.

    Third, he did not calibrate. He kept his game the same all the way through. This means he was stuck (to borrow from Mystery) in A1 where it is vitally important to frame control, or risk appearing like all the other chumps talking to said girl (Erika). His desire to frame control did not let you come to his level of value (in his reality) and you got tired of trying to achieve it.

    I believe you should change this to:
    “Number 2: Dont forget to calibrate as you invest more in the conversation.”
    “Number 2: don’t forget that she is a human being and you are not allowed to suck her self-worth from her”

  8. GoneSavage says:

    “In NVC, we consider praise and compliments a violent form of communication. Because they are part of the language of domination, it is one passing judgment on another. What makes it more complex is that people are trained to use praise as reward, as a manipulation to get people to do what they want.” –Rosenberg

    It took me awhile to wrap my head around this one. But I agree.

    In fact, any sense of “calibration,” “compliance,” or “vibing” at all is an act of manipulation and therefore a violent form of communication. And when I really put my giraffe ears on, I would go as far as to say that any conscious act of “game” is a violent form of communication.

  9. GoneSavage says:

    Is the inner game / outer game shift in your post titles intentional?

    Erika, per your example, I think your “sense of trust” is just a bit fragile. I also find a lot of adversarial language in your posts. Now, am I breaking rapport by saying so?

    I suppose.

    I think the consequence of telling the truth should never affect your willingness to do so.

    I have to say, the compelling charm that I found in your early posts has waned. I know, I only found your site a couple weeks ago, but I read the early stuff too. There is a raw, vulnerable Erika in those early posts that is attractive and exciting. That’s why I became a “follower” of your work.

    I think you have a unique perspective on the community. The more I see you getting caught up in the community jargon and common frames, the less I want to invest in that perspective. Would you have ever thought of “calibration,” or “vibing,” or “compliance” when you met someone a year ago?

    This is my caution for you. I think you make valid contributions TO the community only by expressing yourself in a natural, charismatic way; untainted BY community.

    (By the way, the same thing happens to “naturals” when they find the community… they see all the special terminology and hyper-analysis of social interactions and they get scared away…. “Dude, those PUAs call talking to people ‘opening a set,” weird.”)

    To the starving pick-up artists, if you want to carry a mental checklist of rules, keep it this simple:

    Praise her for what you like, and ignore what you don’t like.

    This is one key to charisma. Most people will ignore what they like, and “punish” what they don’t like. Common mistake. In communication, what you ignore eventually goes away. What you draw attention to (praise or punish) sticks around and intensifies.

    Jason Savage

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