Josh Sway
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/ Emotional Capital 101

Know your emotional capital, and deploy it wisely


We are told not to fear rejection. And while we all know that rejection doesn’t really matter, it still stings. There’s no way around it: that punch to the gut when you find out the girl you think you love sees you as nothing more than a friend hurts. The kick to the stomach when you see her being intimate with another guy that you can never replace stings. Rejection shouldn’t stop us from pursuing success, but experience enough of it, and it just might.

The principle at work here is one I call ’emotional capital’.

I like to think that we all possess some amount of ’emotional capital’. When things go our way, our emotional capital reserves are built up. When we get rejected, or our emotions are hurt, our emotional capital base takes a hit. Unlike monetary capital, the more emotional capital we have isn’t that important, but like money, it’s important not to dip into negative territory.

Emotional Capital Bankruptcy

Have you ever not gone out because "what’s the point?" Ever stopped checking your online dating profiles because "nobody writes me anyways"? Have you stopped approaching women altogether because "I just get rejected all the time." If this is your life on a regular basis, I don’t want to marginalize the risk of depression, but most likely, your issue is something much less sinister: you suffered an emotional capital bankruptcy.

All the rejections and failures in your dating and social life kept debiting your emotional capital account and there weren’t enough credits in the form of success to balance the books. You went bankrupt, and now you simply cannot afford anymore debits. Rejection doesn’t matter when you have emotional capital, but when you don’t, it’s devastating: so devastating that you are willing to sit at home and play video games just to not risk a rejection hitting your already negative account balance.

The bad news is that it’s unlikely playing video games will magically recharge your emotional capital account. The good news is, like a company that’s insolvent, you can get back on your feet.

Chapter 11 For your Emotions

Usually, when a corporation goes bankrupt, it doesn’t close up shop and cease to exist. It generally "reorganizes". Bankruptcy court allows the company to restructure its debts, investors often provide the company with some financing to continue operations, and the company reevaluates its operating practices and lines of business.

Restructuring your emotional capital situation works in a surprisingly similar way. The first step is a moratorium on the debt collector: to begin the healing process you must wipe the slate clean. The rejections of the past are in the past and they can no longer linger over you and prevent you from ever operating again. It’s unlikely you will be able to totally wipe out the damage, but you should strive to ease the burden of past rejection. Time and focusing on your well being outside the dating world is generally the best way to fade out bad emotional debts.

While a company is restructuring its debt, it often secures a line of credit or some other form of financing to continue to operate. You can do this with emotional capital as well! Corporations seek out investors, you should be seeking out friends. Friends are an invaluable resource when it comes to replenishing your emotional capital reserves. They can recharge your battery by being a non-judgmental ear to vent to, a motivator to go out and just have fun with no pressure, or a direct source of encouragement, good company, and a much needed ego boost. Think Swingers and the classic "So Money" scene:

Once a company goes bankrupt, it’s unlikely it will want to keep operating exactly as before. Likewise, if you’ve gone through an emotional capital bankruptcy, you will want to prevent it from happening again. You’ve got to understand WHY you burned through all your emotional capital, and what you can do to change the way you use up emotional capital.

Restructuring the business

Emotional Capital is used up in a variety of ways; the most common being rejection. It’s impossible to be successful with women without ever going through rejection, but if constant rejection is a major burden for you there are ways you can maintain success while reducing the amount of rejection you experience going forward. Here are three ways you can start doing that today:

1. Target Selection

Many members of the "seduction community" advocate approaching as many women as possible in order to get women. While this strategy works, it also leads to a lot of rejection. And rejections cost emotional capital. Focus on better target selection when going out and you can lower the odds constant rejection will cost you your entire emotional capital bankroll. Read about the basic principles of target selection here.

Another common target selection issue that leads to a quick emotional capital bankruptcy is approaching only extremely high quality women (often hired guns) with little to no courtship or dating experience. If you’ve given up going out because you’ve been constantly rejected by cute hostesses, bottle girls, and bartenders, target selection is an easy restructuring fix. Just like you can’t become Michael Jordan overnight you can’t expect success with one of the toughest cohorts of women to seduce without gaining some experience with more realistic targets. Change up the women you approach.

2. Expand Your Dating Surface Area

Trent Van James wrote about this here. Often rejection and failure is a function of not broadening your horizons. With target selection issues, the restructuring involved is similar to a company shedding an unprofitable line of business. However, sometimes, what a company needs to do to become successful is to expand and enter new lines of businesses. If you are not meeting enough women, expand your dating surface area.

3. Appreciate your success

In "Confessions of a Winning Poker Player," Jack King said, "Few players recall big pots they have won, strange as it seems, but every player can remember with remarkable accuracy the outstanding tough beats of his career." It seems true to me, cause walking in here, I can hardly remember how I built my bankroll, but I can’t stop thinking of how I lost it. — Rounders

This quote doesn’t just apply to poker. Are you constantly reliving your failures with women at the expense of your successes? It’s very possible you went bankrupt because your successes failed to generate nearly as much credit as your failures cost you. Re-evaluate the way you weight success and failure. Recall the success you’ve had with women, even if the successes have been small. Dating is inherently a game of low success per trial, but the reward per success is high. If you are barely rewarding yourself for success, emotional bankruptcy is a certainty.

Avoiding Bankruptcy In The First Place

Ideally, emotional capital won’t be an issue for you in your dating life. But it’s much harder to avoid going bankrupt if you don’t know that such a bankruptcy even exists! This isn’t a surprise: a lot of seduction advice assumes that the emotional burden of failure is nothing, and while we can strive for that in our lives, it is unlikely to ever be zero.

But now you know and understand emotional capital, so you can avoid the seemingly unexpected (but in hindsight rather obvious) pain of an emotional capital bankruptcy by following some of the simple advice in this article. Are you starting to resent the burden of constant drone like approaches followed by rejections? Put some effort into better target selection. Frustrated with lack of date-able women in your life? Expand your dating surface area. Feel you aren’t successful enough? Start appreciating your success more.

Most importantly, recognize emotional capital is real, and take steps to manage it.





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