Subcommunication and The Art of Mixed Messages
A few weeks ago I got dinner with a friend. She was dating a guy, but things were not progressing towards exclusivity fast enough. She asked me what to do.
(I don’t generally “switch teams,” but for my friends, anything)
I suspected the guy genuinely liked her and *would* commit, given the sufficient pressure. He was not a player; indeed, he had “crushed” on her before. The issue was now the tables had been a little bit reversed, and he wasn’t feeling the incentive to commit — there was no pressure.
And she didn’t want to put any on him.
“I don’t want to force him to commit to me, I want him to commit to me because he wants to be with me. I also don’t want to play games,” she said.
“That’s ok,” I replied. “There’s an easy way to do this that will have him come around all on his own.”
I took a sip of wine and explained.
How To Protect Your Ego And Avoid Playing Games
In general, there are two fields of dating advice. There’s the “pick up” corner which says “talk to other girls, make her chase you” and the mainstream group which says “speak authentically to her, tell her how you feel.”
Both are amateur approaches, and will backfire in a majority of situations.
The problem with “games” are their inconsistency and externalities. They frequently backfire in making the other person more interested in you and almost always damage trust. It is a blunt-force move that works mostly on low-confidence people, and even when effective creates drama down the road.
On the other hand, expressing your feelings is near suicide if you don’t have enough value or control over the frame. You will only feed their ego and get a shrug; people will think you’re “overinvested” and move on. Fact: No one really gives a shit how you feel if you have nothing to offer them. And in dating, it shows… time and time again.
You must transcend this linear, “conventional” thinking.
And you must focus instead on creating two things: uncertainty and plausible deniability.
You must make her think you like her and aren’t serious about her at the same time — without tripping any wires you’re doing it intentionally.
And the way you do this is by sending mixed messages.
Send Mixed Messages To Create Attraction, Control The Interaction
Mixed messages are powerful for a simple reason: they force action. People are uncomfortable when they don’t know where they stand with someone they like. In order to resolve this, they will do pretty much anything.
Yet you *must* be careful of your subcommunication when you send mixed messages.
The reason “games” are an amateur strategy is because they are transparent. Average people are able to see the person is operating in bad faith (even if they are emotionally triggered), and those with above-average awareness can see the deeper subtext: a person playing games does not feel in control.
Obviously, if you miss this your whole approach will backfire.
Which is why sending mixed messages appropriately requires you to not simply create uncertainty, but cognitive dissonance. To “disarm” your “opponent,” you must play their conscious and subconscious minds against each other.
And you do this by not simply tapering back your action in one area, but increasing it in another.
You just have to make sure you get it right.
Conscious vs Subconscious Wars
Here is the rule of human psychology:
In the war between the conscious and the subconscious, the subconscious always wins. This is because the subconscious mind is deeper, more instinctual, and more aligned with our wishes and desires than our conscious (which is in many ways a façade of rationalizations).
There is a reason why women who hate “the patriarchy” choose 100% of the time men who are confident and assertive over those who are depreciating and accommodating. Their conscious mind may hate these men, but their subconscious wants them — and their subconscious wins.
(this is why you must look more at what a woman does rather than what she says)
Yet that doesn’t mean the conscious mind doesn’t have an important role. Your conscious mind is where you “actively” think and rationalize. So if your conscious mind thinks a situation is good, it’s going to be blind to actions initiated by the subconscious… even if those actions are in fact directed by others.
In other words, having a conscious mind that *strongly* thinks something opposite from the subconscious mind is a recipe for destroying your self-awareness. Which in the world of seduction, is a very powerful tool indeed.
How Mixed Messages Work
Effective mixed messaging is an art-form. You must send the message you want the girl to receive to her subconscious, while sending her the opposite message to her conscious mind.
This sounds complicated — and to be sure, mastering this takes time and finesse. But the basics of it are simple.
Let’s return to the example from the beginning (the genders don’t really matter).
Right now, my friend is in a holding pattern with her guy. They are texting each other relatively equally; the mirroring is strong. She’s been very feminine and supportive of him. He digs it.
What would most people say to do in this situation so she can seal the deal?
The “Pick Up” school of thought, would tell her to drop off for a bit and wait for him to respond — then be “cool” in her responses to get him to pursue her, “resetting the frame” in her favor (wishful thinking).
The “mainstream” school of thought would tell her to express how she feels and what she wants (a big gamble if he’s in the catbird seat).
The Pat Stedman school of thought takes the best of those two worlds.
What she should do is taper off her responsiveness, gradually. Make him reach out to her more to interact.
Sounds a lot like Pick Up, right?
Except when she does respond or when they do hang out, she shouldn’t be “cool”… she should be as sweet as ever (perhaps even a little more). She should simply reduce the *amount* of time she spends texting and interacting with him.
Keep the quality high, but the quantity down.
Because this plays his conscious and subconscious minds against each other.
Content of the text / actual interaction = conscious mind.
Frequency of texts / interactions = subconscious mind.
You see, he’s going to get a twinge of anxiety when she’s not texting him. This will prompt him to message her.
This anxiety will build when she doesn’t respond immediately; he will be desperate for resolution, and when they interact he’ll be searching to see if anything is wrong. But the thing is — he’s not going to find it. She’s going to be warm and pleasant as ever.
Which is going to confuse the hell out of him.
Because of his subconscious anxiety, as time goes on he’s going to feel like he’s she’s losing interest. But when he thinks (consciously) about his interactions with her, he’ll think “everything is going well, she’s probably just busy.”
So, he will continue to initiate, more and more.
Falling completely into her trap.
You see, unbeknownst to him, she is chipping away at his frame.
And as long as his conscious is occupied with how good their sparse interactions are, he’s not going to realize how invested he is until it’s too late.
Which is exactly when she should pounce, and express her wish for an exclusive relationship.
With the power in her hands, she can walk if he doesn’t acquiesce. There’s little to no chance he’ll resist.
(Read: Girl Game. That is, if you want to prevent this from happening to yourself.)
How Mixed Messages *Don’t* Work
This is the effective way to go about mixed messaging. But there is an ineffective way too.
It’s in fact extremely common among men who have not come and worked with me to destroy their limiting beliefs.
It’s called “doing it backwards.”
I see this all the time with tough guy “players.”
(There are quite a number of them masquerading as “experts,” in fact.)
They “consciously” convey how independent and attractive they are, even brag.
Meanwhile, their subcommunication reeks of insecurity and neediness.
They text their “prospects” non-stop, talk to other men (or the women themselves!) about how many girls they get. Overshoot their “aggressiveness” by miles.
These guys totally totally miss how they are coming across subconsciously:
We’ll talk about these gentlemen another time. But for now, just make sure your subconscious messaging gets more attention than your conscious ones.
Cause when you’re trying to mix message, it’s biggest purpose is a subterfuge for the subconscious battle over frame control (the most important thing).
Don’t get hung up on what you say. Get hung up on what you do.
That’s how you become a “good guy” who treats women right… while keeping them addicted to you.
PS If you liked this post, you’ll love my book Tackling Texting. This is the sort of “deep” psychological approach I apply — which is why it’s evergreen content. Coming out soon!