Matt’s crash course was pretty intense. It was a lot of material to cover in a short time. Matt starts out by telling his story & then we get right to it. We probably spend ten to twelve hours over three days just with lecture (before any workshops), taking notes & gaining an understanding of why things work the way they do & the deeper psychological reasons for this.
We write personal stories & practice storytelling. Rewriting & fine tuning as we go along. I never realized the subtle power of words. One right word can raise interest, one wrong word gets you blown out. So many seemingly innocent things I never think about will make a difference. Lot’s of work on out stories. We try to write our own stuff so it’s personalized. We practice over & over.
Friday night before heading out, Matt even drew a diagram of the venue so we could be familiar with it. I was nervous as I drove there for our first night out. Meeting woman in bars was never my thing. I was rattled. I needed to walk around the block to try to get my mojo back. Out on the street I walked up to every person I saw just to say hello & then right back into the club. I am encouraged to approach another group & this time I got some traction & was able to continue the interaction for a few minutes before ending it. By the end of the night I had talked to at least twenty five people with varying degrees of success & I felt pretty good about that. Just the fact that I talked to that many people in a bar was an amazing accomplishment.
Later we get to the feedback session. I am told I am in the learning stage of conscious incompetence. I believe it. That is so much better than unconscious incompetence (failing without realizing why). At least I have some pretty good ideas why I’m failing. And actually, failing is one of the goals of the approaches. The only way the body will get over the fear is to fail until you realize it doesn’t matter.
The next day we practice again before going out. I have problems when first approaching a group of women. We work on my issues and practice this over & over & over, sometimes in slow motion. We even take film so I can see what I look like.
We work hard on my body language. My whole life I have been conditioned to be the Nice Guy, & it’s so hardwired that even when we practice I can’t help but be the Nice Guy. It’s a problem. I guess I knew that before but now it’s crystal clear.
Sat night we were right back to the club. This time it was much more crowded. Talking to women was a little less intimidating in this setting & although I was still getting rejected on regular basis, it was a easier to take. There were a few good interactions that I felt good about. By this time I was introducing myself to everyone, including the guys, something I would have never done before. I looked around the bar saw all these guys just standing there with one hand stuffed into their pocket, holding a beer in front of them like they’re waiting for some woman to just walk up to them & I thought to myself, “That was me just a few days ago.”
On Sunday we review fashion, among other things. I am impressed with the level of detail with which we review fashion, & I am forced to take a hard look at myself. My clothes, my style, my haircut. They all need to change (I am even advised to burn some of my clothes!) but in the end I know he is right. Later we even go to try out shirts for sizes. I always thought I dressed ok, not great, but I now realize I am sabotaging myself even before heading out the door in the morning. I am amazed by the idea that so much effort & planning is required before you even step into that club, or approach a woman on the streets.
We got to the mall late in the afternoon. As soon as we are inside, Matt nods his head toward an elegantly dressed woman walking by & quietly says “Go get her.” (really? I thought.. no warm up?) I catch up to this woman & introduce myself. She is beautiful with a European accent & seems flattered that I wanted to talk to her. We talk for a minute & she goes on her way. A good interaction. As I walk back I cannot hide the grin on my face. I cannot believe I just did that!
This crash course was a great experience. I have studied this material in some form or another for several years but until now have never taken real action. This was real action. Without being pushed I would have never met all those women. Never. It sure wasn’t easy, but those interaction, clumsy as they were, represent success. It allowed me to experience what is possible (instead of just reading about it) & although there is a lot of work to be done I am thrilled with my results so far.
Looking back at this weekend just made me smile. Matt is a great teacher & has a really entertaining style. I am also struck by how much he genuinely cared about his students & wants them to do well. Needless to say, I would highly recommend working with him.
– Neil, Boston, MA