You’re out for a night with the girls and you get approached by a charismatic guy who’s wearing a silly hat and chatting up your friends. You wonder why he’s completely ignoring you. Chances are, this guy is a pickup artist.
Would it surprise you to learn there are actually websites, online forums, books, and even workshops devoted to teaching guys how to pick up women and get laid?
These guys are known as pickup artists, or PUAs for short. They’ve actually got a huge list of abbreviations in the pickup artist world. For example, SHB refers to “super hot babe,” and AFC means “average frustrated chump,” as in all the guys out there who can’t score the SHB.
If you know what to look for, spotting these trained pickup artists is actually pretty easy. Here’s a list of some tell-tale signs that the guy approaching you is actually a PUA.
One of the most obvious signs is what is known in PUA terminology as “peacocking.” Just like male birds who display their colorful feathers to attract a mate, PUAs put on an elaborate visual display to attract the ladies.
PUAs often wear a completely ridiculous hat, hairstyle, or outfit that gets your attention and serves as a conversation starter. Or they might be holding some random object, such as a bowling ball, that they want you to ask them about.
2. False Time Constraints
When a PUA approaches a group of girls, he’ll often use what is known as an FTC, or “false time constraint” to put them at ease. He’ll make up some excuse why he can’t stay for long so the girls don’t get uneasy about how long this new stranger is going to be taking up their time.
He might say something like, I’ve got to go meet up with some friends at another spot, so I’ve only got a minute, but can I get your opinion on something?”
3. The “Neg”
In PUA lingo, a “neg” is a backhanded compliment intended to show disinterest so a hot woman doesn’t realize she’s getting hit on. The “neg” also aims to bring a hot woman down a notch, using reverse psychology to put her down just a little bit so she feels like she has to prove her worth to him.
The purpose of this little trick is to turn the tables on on a woman so she feels like she has to prove herself, rather than the other way around. A “neg” is not supposed to hurt her feelings, but rather be a playful, teasing comment, such as, “I just saw a girl outside wearing the exact same outfit,” or “You’ve got big ears, but don’t worry, it’s cute, just like a bunny.”
4. He Excludes You
A PUA will often talk to everyone in a group except his target. Being accepted by the target’s friends makes him appear safe and more appealing. Since hot girls are used to getting attention, they will wonder why he’s ignoring them.
The ultimate goal of befriending everyone in the group and excluding one girl is to make her wonder what makes this guy so great that she isn’t worth his time. This is an example of a DHV, or “demonstration of higher value.”
5. Kino (Casual Touching)
Kino is a key element of the pickup and is used to establish a precedence of touching. PUAs use kino to put women at ease, by finding casual ways to make physical contact that don’t creep women out.
For example, they might suggest little games, such as a thumb war, or they might offer to read your palm. The PUA will slowly escalate the kino touching to build up a girl’s interest so that when he goes in for a kiss, he’s already built up the connection with her and it’s not awkward.
6. Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
NLP is kind of like hypnosis and is used in communication to influence a person subconsciously. One method is to use hand gestures to build associations with certain feelings. A PUA might get you thinking about something sexual while using a specific hand gesture, and then use that same hand gesture while talking about himself later on.
7. Prepared Responses
A PUA will often ask a question to which they already have prepared a response. For example, he might ask if you want to kiss him. If you say no, he’ll respond, “Good, I wasn’t going to let you anyway.”
They will also prepare responses for when women comment on their peacocking items. For example, if a girl makes fun of his ridiculous hat, he would have a retort ready to go. He might look her up and down and respond, “Well at least I made an effort.”
Now that you know some of the signs that a guy is a PUA, it’s worth mentioning that not all PUAs have bad intentions. Yes, a lot of PUAs are just trying to talk their way into your pants with no intention of ever seeing you again.
But there are also some guys out there who are just socially awkward and learn the PUA techniques because they genuinely want to meet a woman to eventually be in a relationship.
So how do you know the difference? If that guy with the goofy hat that came up to you and wanted to read your palm gradually worked his magic until he had you making out with him in the corner of the bar and keeps trying to get you to come back to his place, he’s probably just looking to get laid.