State Control, Pt. 2

Last time, I wrote about what State Control is and how it can fit into your life. Now I’ll continue with the nuts and bolts. How do you implement this skill?

Step 1: Awareness

The first step in many inner game processes, and life skills in general, is Awareness. It’s only possible to make alterations if you can pay attention to things and notice when Action is necessary. For State Control, Awareness is key. It involves staying conscious of your emotional State in the moment. The instant your State begins to drop below a level where you can perform (pick up) optimally is the time to take action with the next steps.

It is not at all difficult to notice your subjective State. However, maintaining a consistent habit of Awareness is only possible with a good amount of practice over time. Also, the habit of inner Awareness takes mental energy to develop. Mental energy is tied to physical energy, so if you find it is challenging to summon the necessary mental vitality, look to increase your overall health and energy level. Common methods for this include diet, exercise, meditation, et cetera.

Step 2: Action

Notice that Step 2 is NOT diagnosis. In the field (while picking up), it is generally disadvantageous to attempt diagnosis. Avoid talking or thinking about game in the field, as it can get you out of State or put you into an introverted mood. (Read my winging post to see how to talk about your set effectively with your wing. Hint: don’t ever talk about concepts or generalities.) Diagnosis can happen once you’re out of the field and journaling about your outing. Live coaching is great for diagnosis, too, because coaches have more objectivity than you by definition.

Types of Actions

  • Immediately open another set. This one is a favored technique to prevent blowouts from affecting State negatively. But in general it’s a great way to prevent your mind from beginning thought processes, which in general are not helpful in the field.
  • Talk to anyone. This one is great if you’re not in a talkative mood yet. Jake P and I do this a lot, blurting out random stuff to people just to entertain ourselves, et cetera. I’ve noticed too few students do it.
  • Wings. Wings can be great to raise your State. In fact, this fact is the main reason why so many guys have trouble going out solo to pick up. Don’t let them be a crutch for you. Example: I remember one New Year’s Eve, Jake P and I were out in Hollywood. We were both feeling sleep-deprived and run down at the venue. As soon as we became aware of this though, we began double high-fiving each other and yelling “YEAH!” (I had to jump to reach Jake’s hands, which helped pump me up even more.) About five seconds later, this big set of girls opened us and about an hour after that, we were pulling them back to their place. I think I broke this girl’s bathroom tile while having sex in there, but that’s another story.
  • Body Language. Communication from your body goes into your nervous system and brain as well as out into your environment. So adopt a pose which is aligned with the State you wish to create within yourself. The double high-fives above are a good example of this, too.
  • Reframe. Sometimes a purely mental Action goes a long way to improving State. Tony Robbins, the famed self-help author, writes a lot about this sort of thing. Many of them are visualization techniques. Example: I used to be uncomfortable in bars, primarily because I didn’t drink and didn’t have any idea how to cold approach, so they didn’t have a point to me. When I started to go out, I got some venue anxiety. One time I was in this ritzy bar in Hollywood and I felt that venue anxiety again for the umpteenth time. This time I was practicing Awareness, though. So I just lifted my head up and imagined that it was my living room, and the rest of my house was actually upstairs. I was having a house party! Immediately my body language relaxed. I began saying welcome to people, clinking glasses with them, and asking them if they’re having a good night. It was as if people did think I was the host. After that, I rarely had venue anxiety again.
  • Other Actions. There are countless other ways to quickly improve your State in a healthy, productive way. Can you think of any?

Step 3: Return to Awareness

Taking a particular Action is only useful if you actually see a benefit from it. So Step 3 is to chek back in with yourself after taking that Action. Sometimes this step isn’t even necessary, because good State feels “right.” Being in a bad State feels “wrong” so it is relatively simple to conclude that more Action is required. It’s important to return to Awareness if a particular technique has not worked to change/improve your State. Use your Awareness in the moment to judge an Action’s effectiveness and quickly decide on another course of Action if it has not functioned well for you.

After a short time trying out various Actions, you will begin to see which ones work well for you consistently. Ideally, you will eventually take these Actions automatically to improve your State. That’s how it is for me. You can do it too. Be patient and take it step by step.

And enjoy your awesome State!

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10 Responses to “State Control, Pt. 2”


  1. 1 MikeT March 22, 2011 at 4:51 am

    Another great post. This is an important topic that I think doesn’t get enough attention in the pickup community.

    I was hoping you could give some specific tips on the “Talk to anyone” point. I’ve found that forcing myself to open sets when in low state (usually due to “venue anxiety”) can be too much too soon if I’m feeling very stiff and introverted. I’ve noticed that just being social and talking to people can really help to snap me out of that, at which point transitioning to opening sets isn’t such a big deal.

    So what are good things to do in terms of talking to anyone? What types of random stuff do you blurt out? What are some formulas?

    • 2 laphil March 23, 2011 at 2:52 am

      Hey Mike. Here’s where super normal stuff works great. All the things you don’t say anymore to chicks you’re flirting with are good. I will randomly compliment fat chicks or dudes on their clothes or smile or something. I am genuinely looking for positive things in the environment to point out. As for opening dudes, I just bring some positivity. Simple stuff like “Hey man how’s your night going?” can go a long way. Things I said when I reframed my bar anxiety were more like “cheers” and “welcome.” Hell, you can go around the whole place and clink glasses with everyone.

      • 3 MikeT March 23, 2011 at 6:35 pm

        Thanks, Phil – that’s helpful. One more question occurred to me:

        Would you use the same lines (e.g., “Hey man (guys), how’s your night going?”) when interrupting a conversation between, say, 2 or 3 dudes? I’ve found it’s pretty easy to open lone dudes in a bar or club setting (when limbering up my social muscles) but that it’s harder to open groups. What techniques do you use there?

        I ask because in bars and clubs groups are generally the norm.

        • 4 laphil March 23, 2011 at 9:56 pm

          yeah that will work. probably my favorite is to clink glasses, say cheers, and maybe throw in some fist bumps. then i’ll like start complimenting them and asking them about themselves in a warm, non-needy fashion for a second.

  2. 5 Dave T. March 22, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Thanks for the post, I can totally relate to the venue anxiety you mentioned with the crowded and noisy bars. I’m looking forward to trying out these techniques to get in state.

  3. 7 mark March 24, 2011 at 4:57 am

    How would I go about warming up in a mall or a busy place like a store? Do you compliment people and just walk away? Even when people are around and will think you’re a weirdo?

    • 8 laphil March 26, 2011 at 7:24 pm

      You can compliment and walk away, or keep talking. Doesn’t really matter. Your comment about people thinking you’re a weirdo tells me a lot about you. You have far too little social freedom at this time to be good at cold approach pickup. You can’t care what others think that much. People can think I’m a weirdo all they want. I don’t give a fuck about it. Inside, I always know I’m cool. Do the 18 degrees exercises from this product a bunch to increase your social freedom.

  4. 9 Irving A. March 27, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Excellent post and follow up on state control. Some other ways to raise your state that have worked for me in the paste are:

    – recall back your favorite uplifting song in your head while you’re walking. It makes you really get into the mood.

    – just LET GO, completely, and BE okay with not knowing what’s going to happen next. Be okay with not being in control and allowing chaos to take place.

    – remind yourself that there are far more positive things that can happen from approaching, than negative things.

    – And my personal favorite, carry yourself as if you have value. But I guess this one can go back to LA Phil’s “body language” bullet point. But yeah, carry yourself as if you have have something valuable to offer.

    When you have a gift to give to others, do you approach them with a hunched back, bored/sad look, or do you approach them with pride and in a happy way?

    • 10 laphil March 28, 2011 at 4:41 pm

      Good stuff, Irving! I agree completely with all of those. You reminded me about another thing to recall: past dating successes. You can think about the look on the hot girls’ faces as they orgasmed, or their hot bodies as they undressed while staring at your cock, etc.


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