It seems like the word “empathy” is everywhere right now.
Let’s start with the dictionary definition: the intellectual identification with, or vicarious experiencing of, the feelings, thoughts or attitudes of another1.
This is clearly an essential attribute when it comes to attracting women. Every other website or blog worth its salt will have no end of articles explaining why empathy is important.
I’m looking at a website right now that says (with some justification): “you must have empathy to be a master”.
In this article, however, I’d like to argue that in certain situations TOO MUCH empathy can hold you back. In fact, some situations would actually benefit from a total lack of empathy.
How He Got the Girl
For the sake of consistency, let’s continue to quote from the same website. It’s a blog by a well-known female dating coach where she describes how a guy in Vegas managed to win her over after they met in a club one evening. Part II of the series explains how he was able to “overcome obstacles”:
I made the conscious decision to ignore him after he started making eye contact with me from across the room. Most guys will reject themselves at this point. He didn’t do any of those things. He was not dependent on what I did. He had already made up his mind that HE was interested in me. He had enough confidence to assume attraction. And with that confidence, he was able to assume that he’d be successful approaching me even though I had stopped reciprocating any eye contact.
His actions are the very opposite of an empathetic response. He did not try to empathise with her. He saw something he wanted and went straight after it, rather than trying to anticipate how she might have been feeling or what her circumstances were. And it worked! As the girl herself said: “I looooove feeling desired by a confident, unapologetic man.”
Don’t Always Empathise
To get anywhere with attracting women, sometimes you have to leave the empathy at home. Yes, empathy will help you connect with people. It will make you a fine listener and a trusted friend. But it will also throw up the sort of “obstacles” that our hero had to overcome. Let’s think how too much empathy might throw up obstacles in the various phases of attraction:
Approach objections: she could be busy; she might have a boyfriend; she’s in a conversation so she might not want to be disturbed; she’s listening to music; she’s on the phone; she might not like me; she looks like she wants to be on her own right now; she might not like random guys approaching her.
Escalation objections: she might think we’re moving too fast; she might not like me; she might be feeling uncomfortable; she might not feel comfortable with a guy touching her in public; she might be shy.
Closing objections: she might not want to give me her number; she might feel awkward if I ask to see her again; she might think this has been a pickup all along.
Date objections: she might not like the place I’ve suggested; she might be busy on the day I was going to suggest; she might think of me just as a friend; she might prefer to meet up in a big group.
If you fully indulge your empathy, you’ll end up indecisive, unconfident, cowardly, weak and unsure. Women crave a man who is the opposite of this, a man who is: decisive, spontaneous, confident, dominant, who takes chances and goes after what he wants.
Find a Balance
Now that’s not to say empathy is a bad thing, far from it. Of course in many conversations, connecting on the emotional content is an invaluable skill. Lose ALL your empathy, and you become a psychopath. Indeed “psychopaths… lack empathy towards others in general, resulting in tactlessness, insensitivity, and contemptuousness. All of this belies their tendency to make a good, likable first impression2.”
But, on the other hand, “psychopaths have a superficial charm about them, enabled by a willingness to say anything without concern for accuracy or truth3.”
The psychopath is often very charismatic. In fact, he would enjoy a great deal of success with women (at least in the early phases of attraction) just by virtue of how many he approached. So empathy must be a balance. Too little, and you’re a psychopath, with all the negativity that the word connotes. But too much might be just as bad.
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