Male and female attraction is a mysterious thing. Some guys are born knowing it; others spend their whole lives looking for it. Some guys are uglier than sin but always have a beautiful girl around; others are decent looking but haven’t been with a girl in years.
Figuring out attraction has become such a puzzle that nowadays you never have a shortage of countless blogs, various “gurus”, specific “methods” and a wealth of other information that aims to help the helpless in the right direction. But is the secret to attraction so complicated that it justifies a whole industry that has spawned around it?
Take a typical computer programmer as an example. He (as the overwhelming majority of computer programmers are male) is a smart, studious human being that spends the majority of his day making the computer perform magical calculations using his own magical code. While some programmers can pickup women, in my experience, the overwhelming number of programmers wouldn’t know how to pick one up if she had two handles on the side. It’s true that programmers aren’t the sexiest human beings in the world, but as I alluded in the points above, looks don’t tell the whole story.
Last year, while I was living in Brazil, I went out with people from different backgrounds and nationalities all the time. Each one brought along their unique way of socializing with people, a way that was undoubtedly morphed by their own cultural pressures.
There was a serious German, a humorless Belgian, and a dry-witted Finn. Southern Europeans such as Italians and Spaniards were, in general, more relaxed. Latin Americans were even more care-free: from all the Argentinians I met, I don’t remember a single serious conversation I had with any of them. Yet, probably the most relaxed were the Brazilians. Perhaps it’s a direct consequence of living in a relaxed environment; with a beautiful tropical climate and pristine beaches, Rio’s residents live for today, and worry is for another day.
So, one shouldn’t be too surprised to discover that it was the Brazilians (and Argentinians) that were the most successful with women. While their approach and style were different, together they had many things in common.
The most important was that when they were out socializing they were never in a logical state, but always in an emotional state.
So what exactly does emotional state mean? It means flipping a switch in the brain and not bringing up anything leading to a heavy and prolonged logical discussion.
Keeping It Light
As men, we love to solve problems all day long, but there’s a time and place for everything. If I was working on something complex all day, and I’m going out with friends later, the last thing I want to do is think or talk about solving a particular problem.
Naturally, I wouldn’t be discussing “heavy” topics such as:
- Why/why not Obama is good/bad for the country
- The national debt and its implications on the US economy
- My crazy super duper algorithm I’ve been working on
- My plan to stop global poverty.
The problem with the above topics is that they will force you to reason logically–which is the last place you want to be when socializing and generating attraction. These topics are perfect for educational and work related environments.
The flip-side of logical conversation is emotional conversation. Emotional topics are usually filled with sarcasm, humor, irony, and are never taken seriously. While logical conversations are used to progress a particular discussion, or to even solve a specific problem, emotional conversations do not flow in this linear fashion. They are simple banter, a way to “blow off some steam”, etc.
That’s why my Latin American friends were so successful: they were constantly in an emotional type state, and since emotions are highly contagious and powerful, they were able to “pull” other people into their world by telling interesting stories or cracking clever jokes.
Now computer programming is a job that requires intense problem solving, and non-stop logical thinking. Other professionals like salespeople and artists are mostly engaged with their emotional side, unlike the computer programmer. And the harder the job forces you to think logically, the harder it is to switch to having fun and loosening up. That explains why heavy problem solvers and analytical thinkers are usually not comfortable in a social environments such as parties, bars and clubs: their emotional side of the brain is not as developed as their logical side.
Many problems are solved by a methodical logical process, but attraction isn’t one of them. So for those of you that spend most of their day solving a complex problem, remember to flip the switch and the leave the problem and most logical thinking where it belongs: at the workplace.
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James Maverick used to work in a cubicle as a code monkey in Silicon Valley. Then, in 2007, he quit his job and a one-way ticket to Brazil. Ever since, he continued to travel, visiting over 85 countries and living in more than a dozen of them. He loved his location-independent lifestyle and has no plans to live in America.