What Separates A Winner From A Loser

Neil StraussNeil, The Game23 Comments

I want to share with you one of the biggest lessons I learned in the last month.

It’s something I’ve been trying to figure out since I first started teaching workshops, and noticing that some people excelled while others got nowhere — even though they were both putting in the same amount of work.

There was a piece missing that no one was teaching. Here’s how I found it:

A PUA I’d met on my last book tour did a massive favor for me. He’s a sweet, good-hearted guy who has been in the community for years, knows every routine (even listens to them over and over on his iPod), goes out sarging nearly every night, and yet is still a virgin.

So in exchange for all the heroic work he’d done, I flew him to Los Angeles for a weekend to examine his game and find his Achilles’ Heel.

I eventually found it, and it turned out to be such an epiphany that I made it one of the assignments in the Stylelife Challenge in Rules of the Game (see Day 16).


Here is the key distinction:

The guy who fails at the game is the one who goes out looking for women to make him feel good about himself.

The guy who succeeds at the game is the one who goes out and makes other people feel good about themselves.


This first type of guy, no one wants to be around. He is needy. He is insecure. He is reaction-seeking. He will suck your energy dry in his selfish quest for your validation and approval.

This second type of guy is easy to be with. He radiates charisma and positive energy. You enjoy his company, as do your friends, and you want him around all the time. You trust him, feel comfortable with him, end up at his house at 5 a.m. wondering where all that time went.

Both guys do and say the exact same things but get a very different reaction from women because of the intent they are communicating.

WAIT a minute, you may say: What about negs? Their use seems to contradict this idea of making people feel good about themselves.

Think again.

When you give a woman who’s often hit on a generic compliment, she will usually either ignore the remark or assume you’re saying it because you want to sleep with her.

When you tease her and show her that you’re unaffected by her beauty and demonstrate that you’re out of her league – and THEN let her work to win you over and ultimately REWARD her with your approval, she will leave that night feeling good about herself. Like something special happened and she connected with somebody who appreciates her for who she REALLY is.

In short, a neg will buy you the credibility you need to sincerely compliment her later.

That said, I don’t necessarily advocate negs; they are in many ways a temporary patch to stick onto your personality while you learn to possess real confidence and strength of character.

So, to drive this all home, here’s an assignment I gave the guys in the Stylelife Challenge: Your mission this week is to make five people feel better about themselves – with no thought as to how you come across in the process.

This can include anything from telling a parent how much you appreciate them; to making an awkward guest at a party feel wanted and included; to telling a person who just blew a lot of money on a car/outfit/haircut how cool it looks; to giving a homeless person eye contact, smiling, and handing them five dollars.

Start developing an instinct for what someone needs to feel good about themselves and their choices, and stop worrying about what they think of you.

Pretty soon, it’ll become a habit, and you’ll be a social magnet forced to sign up for Half Your Dating seminars to stop your cell phone from ringing all the time.


In Your Corner,

P.S. Did I mention how charismatic you look today? And I love that thing you did just now. Keep it up!

P.P.S. After spending the weekend in L.A. and discussing the ideas above, the PUA with the former Achille’s Heel sent me the following email: “The other night, it was my 26th birthday. I was chatting up a four-set using the positive ideas we’d discussed, and one of them started groping me.

Next thing you know, hardcore tonguedown makeout.

First time ever – yay!”


23 Comments on “What Separates A Winner From A Loser”

  1. From what you’ve written, it seems like it’s all about coming across as being real, and genuine.

    Who really wants to be around someone that’s try trying to suck up to them?

    The problem is that so many people think of hot girls as some sort of treasure, but they’re just people. Negs to me just seem like a light reminder to a girl that they’re a person like the rest of us.

    I love the philosophy of bettering others lives. I remember I was in town a while ago and saw a girl walking alone. Approach Anxiety got the better of me; it was a perfect situation to be a gentleman and offer her some company. She ended up getting harassed by a bum and I ended up running up and telling him to f*ck off.

    Moral of the story is that it’s not sleazy to talk to girls. When you could make a positive difference in someone’s life go for it. It might just make you both better off 😉

    1. Sound words. Too many guys put attractive women on pedestals and treat them accordingly – I know I did for a long time! As you say, once you start treating them like normal people and get them to qualify themselves to you, the success is sure to follow! It also makes you more confident, as you see yourself as an equal to them, not someone needing to suck up to them all the time. Now if only I could heed my own advice… 😛

  2. i totally agree agree tho no one wants to around some one that’s need emotional satisfaction, it should be given to others. if that makes any scence
    i think you should teach some workshops on how to play the wii lol. first off its a good ice break when you actually have a girl come over after a first date or after a club/bar. it makes for a good physical activity and competitiveness. ive always had good luck with the wii, well wii sports works the best.

  3. Genuine is the key word here…
    Girls pick up on this, if your not Genuine you need to find something you burn for, if you are a computer geek you can talk about it, just use smooth words.

    I’m kinda a doctor you can say, only I don’t work on people I work on making computers feeling better so you can update your facebook profile with out needing to use 20 min getting onto internet, just a example…

  4. I’ve learned this from my career in sales. The more confident, genuine, and sincere you are, the more opportunities gravitate towards you. Great writing, as usual, Neil.

  5. On what u said is recognized to my experience and never thought on what it would intail. Now learned a lesson.

  6. its worked for me soooo many times. when its a hot babe but i flip on her and tell her she “kinda cute, but nt really” (diss her with a neg mixed with a compliment) – twist her mind a lil which makes her notice me. u stand out this way

  7. Read When Pride still mattered : Vince Lombardi, theirs a man who was winner. Dude changed the way football was played in the day, he was doing things that are common now but unheard of then

  8. This is so fantastic that you make pickup art, as a process to become a better person in general! You’re so cool!!! 🙂

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