Josh Sway
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/ Not Screwing It Up Is A Skill

Learning how and when NOT to do something is just as important.


Getting women isn’t always about putting in hard work.  At some point, if you haven’t already, you’ll have opportunities with women that are attracted to you through little or no work on your part.  A mutual friend will introduce you to her, and then later on they’ll say, "Hey, she’s really into you.  Don’t worry, you can’t screw it up."

But that’s not true.  It may have not taken much effort to build that attraction, but you can still definitely screw it.  Just because you effortlessly built attraction doesn’t mean you’ll effortlessly maintain that attraction.  Maintaining that attraction isn’t necessarily hard — it is mostly a case of "don’t screw it up."  But "not screwing it up" is a skill in itself — one that can be understood, learned and adapted just like all our other advice on JoshSway.com.

So with that said, here are some of the key points when you’re position of "not screwing it up".

1. Don’t get too excited

Remember alpha-cool?  Just because you’re getting heavy IOIs from a woman doesn’t mean you should deviate from that.  She may not be playing it "cool," but you still should.  Reverting back to acting "eager" and overly excited is the biggest way most guys screw it up.

It’s tough not to be excited when you’re with a woman whose attraction is seemingly a slam dunk, but it’s something you need to manage. Being overly excited projects neediness, and neediness is a big turn off for many women. Some examples of being "overly excited" include not giving her any physical space all the time (for example following the girl to the bathroom if she has to go to the bathroom), expressing too much interest verbally (let your body language and touching do the talking), and joking around too much and "trying too hard."

In general, being way too talkative is a sign of over excitement. You don’t want to be dull, but you do want to maintain being cool.  Don’t get too caught up in your current success — because it may prevent any future success!

2. Don’t get too comfortable

Yeah, I know, I just told you not to get too excited.  Well, you don’t want to be too comfortable or passive either.  Don’t forget that you still haven’t succeeded in accomplishing much of anything just by having a woman’s interest: interest is only an prerequisite to accomplishing something tangible; it’s not the actual accomplishment.

So a great way to "screw it up" is too get too comfortable.  Don’t assume you can freely talk about taboo topics, for example.  Don’t assume you no longer have to flirt and interact with her.  If she asks you to dance, don’t think: "well, I don’t really like dancing, so she’s really into me, I can turn her down without any repercussions."  You shouldn’t act too excited, but you shouldn’t ditch all common sense and assume that her attraction is endless and infinite either.

3. Don’t take unnecessary risks

Politics and dating topics aren’t the only things you should avoid if you just want to "not screw it up". In general, you do not want to be too controversial and take too much risk if a girl is already very interested in you. I wrote about how you should be analyzing the reward before you mindlessly take risks in a previous article, and all of this applies here. That is especially important when a girl is already very interested in you.

It’s simple math.  If you’re at a friend’s party and they have a pool, shouting "CANNONBALL!" and jumping in may make you look daring, edgy, and extroverted.  Or it could make you look like a tremendous tool.  If you’re chances of getting the girl are already 95%, what exactly is that cannonball accomplishing?  What do you gain by taking such a huge risk?  Your chances are already 95%!

4. Do escalate

This is the most common way guys screw it up with a woman they attracted with little effort.  A lot of guys are used to the approach-attract-escalate cycle, and will view it as one large effort.  You work at the approach, you work at the attraction, and then you work at the escalation.  Each of those steps requires conscious effort and decisions.

But just because you’ve accomplished one of those steps with minimal work, doesn’t mean the other steps will require equally little work.  A woman at a bar may approach you, but you still need to do all the usual things like DHV and using identity statements to attract her.  Likewise, a woman may give you every indication she’s attracted to you, but she’s probably not going to rip your clothes off herself and initiate escalation.  That’s still on you, so you still have to do it.

If you can tell she is interested and likes you, don’t be afraid to get closer to her, touch her, maybe even kiss her and at some point get her number (or ask her out, or get her to go home with you then and there).  So often I get emails from guys with a story like, "I went to a party and was introduced to this girl, all my friends said she was so into me, but when she left the party she just gave me an awkward hug."  Well, did you escalate?  No?  Then what did you think was going to happen?

When it comes to escalation, most guys lose a girl who is interested in them because they escalate too slowly, not too quickly.

The Converse: If You Screw It Up, Don’t Beat Yourself Up

If you have experienced this situation before, you may have been wincing as you read this article.  "Man, all I had to do was not screw it up, but I then I went ahead screwed it up!"

Perhaps.  But the whole point of this article was explain that not screwing it up is a skill, and not something that you should assume is second-nature and self-evident.  If it was, I wouldn’t be writing about it.  You screwed it up because "not screwing it up" was a skill you were unfamiliar and unpracticed at, just like all the other skills required for approaching and attracting women.  I didn’t write this article so you could dwell on the times you screwed up in the past; I wrote it so you could focus on practicing and improving this skill.

The good news is it’s a lot easier to improve at "not screwing it up" than most other skills.  Use common sense, don’t be too eager or too comfortable, and remember that you will probably still need to put in the work to escalate.  Remember these concepts, and "not screwing it up" will truly become as second-nature as you’d expect.





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