43 Responses to State is Overrated

  1. Ben says:

    Fantastic post – ‘being in state’ getting debunked was long overdue!

    I’ve experienced the same thing; I’ve gone out feeling like crap, yet the results have been as good, or better, than when I’d try pumping myself up.

    I think that there’s a danger that when you ‘get in state’ as defined by the Community, it can force you to put on too much of a show. Subsequently, you do worse because you’re trying too hard to remain in state. And when you try too hard, people notice it!

    Your post should be required reading for anyone who’s studied Pick-up for any length of time!

  2. Dangles says:

    Things like “Power words” and “power moves” and games you play with your wings to “pump your state” always seemed so contrived to me. Is being in a better mood great? Sure. Is depending on this stuff for your interactions to go well lame? In my opinion, yes.

    You can totally “pump your state” and still be completely not calibrated socially. A guy in a great mood that doesn’t know how to talk to girls is still a guy who doesn’t know how to talk to girls.

    I can see the value in learning these things in the same sense that some guys need to go in to get blown out at first. Making yourself “state dependent” though sounds more like a pitfall than a plus in someones game.

  3. Kenji says:

    I get it bud, but what about the more moody cats out there, say, the artists, the really passionate guys or the right brainers?

    Some guys (speaking of people in general) are a lot more rational, and generally go through less intense peaks and troughs. Some guys are more emotional – not necessarily negatively emotional – but go though more intense peaks and troughs. Again, like you said, a lot of this is biological, and I imagine the more composed, rational guys to have more testosterone (or something else). It’s pretty hard to tell when the more rational guys are having an off night, so they can proceed as is fine. But the emotional cats look almost unhidably like either death or heaven when they’re out.

    I don’t know them personally, but compare the characters Brad Pitt (generally consistent and composed) plays vs. who Johnny Depp plays (passionate but all over the place).

    That said, in the case of the more emotional guys – artists/ musicians/ what have you – wouldn’t it make to leverage powerful emotions (given that they can’t hide it anyway, control them that well), rather than always proceeding as is?

    Do you feel that these emotional cats should follow the same version of the strategy, or something else?

    Always wondered why you said state-control was overrated bud! This post answers a lot of good questions, but some extra clarity and your thoughts would be cool.



    • Mark says:

      I don’t think it’s any difference whether you’re left-brained or right-brained. I met one of the most amazing chicks of my life while I was horribly depressed and literally didn’t want to talk to anyone (my friends opened her group and she ended up talking to me).

      Being in a good state helps. But people vastly overrate how much it helps. You could go sit in a bar by yourself every weekend and eventually you’d get successes. Mood doesn’t matter. It’s just an added bonus.

      • Gully says:

        Mark, this is an interesting topic.

        All I want to say, is that in terms of state, I think that in a simple way surely it matters. Because, people, men and women alike measure your vibration. Do I want to talk to the girl who seems down, miserable and hard to talk to? Or do I want to speak to the bubbly, friendly girl more? Ill take the latter. Surely that works the other way round. If Im going out feeling a bit crappy, not really on my game, then Im going to know that this is going to effect my interactions without a doubt.

        Having said that, often Ill go out in a kind of depressed, tired mood, but once Im out and interacting with people my energy naturally begins to shift upwards. But if im in a crappy emotional state on a night out, and I cant snap out of it, often interacting is the last thing I want to do.

        Right now ive got a crappy cold that is taking a while to get rid of. Before last week, there were a few girls on the radar, and I was in that kind of state which you could call ‘on a good run’ or ‘on fire’ mode. Your feeling good, your meeting different girls, going on dates, momentum and energy builds. Right now that momentum has been knocked of because of this lingering cold and crappy body/mental feeling. For me personally, I am aware that I have to be in an emotional and physical state where I am at least engaged and enthusiastic.

        I agree that you cant force that good state however, it is due to your lifestyle. Good sleep, diet, exercise, all the obvious basics. But I think being in a good emotional state IS integral to game. I want to be interesting and enthusiastic and engaged, in a good warm, naturally fuzzy mood.

        Yeah, you can still go out to meet girls when your ‘off form’, but when you know your ‘on form’ shit just flows so much better.

        To finish, I do kind of agree that yes, you could probably go out and be in a crappy mood and sit in a bar everyday and you would meet girls naturally. But if your not in a good emotional state, then your not going to want or be as motivated to meet girls. The players, the womanisers, they all mantain that emotional state, whether conscious of it or not, its magnetic. Your emotional state can pull you towards people or push you away.

        • Mark says:

          “Because, people, men and women alike measure your vibration. Do I want to talk to the girl who seems down, miserable and hard to talk to? Or do I want to speak to the bubbly, friendly girl more? Ill take the latter. Surely that works the other way round. If Im going out feeling a bit crappy, not really on my game, then Im going to know that this is going to effect my interactions without a doubt.”

          This is the usual argument for why state is important, and again, I think it’s overrated. Sure, all things held equal, we’ll talk to the upbeat and happy person over the debbie downer. But everything’s not held equal. My point is if you have a lot of stuff going for you and solid game, then state is almost irrelevant.

          Also, many women find something attractive about the quiet, brooding guys.

  4. Nicholas says:

    Hey, does that mean I have moved up to intermediate skill level!?

    When I was competing seriously we were put through courses to harness emotions and focus on only those things that were important to a particular workout or race. It was not to get “hyped up” but rather to align all resources in service of a goal. Is that like socializing with women?

    This week I did have an experience during a ski trip wherein I felt great (spillover from my skiing that day and the high from the vacation) and also did well with women. I am probably, joking aside, about at the intermediate skill level.

    I am not convinced that emotional state is not important in bringing my best to an interaction. My best is defined here as my most authentic and in the moment – borrowing from Psycholgists Carl Rogers and Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi. As written above, I could only agree with you, but I think it is possible to frame an understanding of the idea of emotional state in a less all-or-nothing way.

  5. Kevin says:

    I second the commenter who pointed out a socially awkward guy who’s in ‘state’ is still socially awkward. He’s just awkward in a hyper, talkative way.


    What you said about state parallels some thinking that’s changing in the counselling field in regards to helping people cope with their anxiety and depression.

    There’s more of a movement towards the teaching clients the approach of, “If you feel anxious, or depressed, just accept you’re feeling that way and roll with it. And don’t let it stop you from doing anything. Still go on and do the things in life that are important to you, because everyone is going to have negative emotions some of the time”

    In the past the thinking was you had to stop and analyze your irrational thoughts and change or eliminate them, with logical thinking, or relaxation exercises or whatnot.

    An analogy for the newer thinking is you take your worries and negative emotions with you as you travel through life. The older approach is more like putting your trip on hold until you can deal with your baggage once and for all, which is impossible.

    The newer approach I’m talking about is called Action and Commitment Therapy if anyone is interested.

    • Bill says:

      Hey Kevin,
      I’m just wondering by what you mean when you say “a socially awkward guy who is in “state” is still socially awkward”? I mean “social awkwardness” means different things to different people. For example, a guy may be really socially comfortable, and just make boring conversation all night. Another guy may mix it up a bit and may be a bit “socially awkward”, but still have a better chance of scoring a chick. This kind of come’s back to the post about there being no such thing as totally alpha or totally beta.

  6. Kevin says:

    Whoops, it’s called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

  7. Bill says:

    Regarding this article in general, I agree mostly. Even if you are trying hard to be in state, you will come across as a “try hard” which is not a very attractive characteristic.
    Also, regarding what control’s your emotional state, how much alcohol you have consumed could also be a factor. But that creates its own set of problems, lol!

    • Gully says:

      I think ‘trying’ to be in state is definitely false and people can see through it. But I do believe that being in a good emotional state is synonymous with game. You just need to try and make sure you are in a good emotional state genuinely. That means paying attention to your lifestyle. When your in a good emotional state its almost effortless and thats the beauty of it. When your not its impossible to replicate. But you can definitely work on your emotional state day to day by becoming healthier and happier and having more energy etc. But of course its not an overnight procedure. It shifts and changes.

      • Mark says:

        If this was true, then it wouldn’t be possible to pick up hot women in a shitty state.

        I think the idea that one can work on being in state almost constantly is a myth. No matter how good you get, how comfortable you get, and how amazing your lifestyle is, you’re going to have days where you feel like crap. Brad Pitt and Kanye West have days they’re bummed out, I guarantee you. Does that effect their results?

        • Gully says:

          Brad pitt, kanye west, no. But thats not the other 99.9 percentile of the male population. Our mood/energy is integral to attraction.

          But its hard to

  8. Gully says:

    measure. How can we quantify a good mood/bad mood exactly? Its impossible. But there are definitely rough levels.

    Take 100 guys. All average looking. All dressed relatively similarly. Then lets say half these guys have a crappy emotional state, the other half good emotional state. They all have similar instructions, go to a club and pick up a girl. My bet is that the higher energy/emotional state guys take more women back home.

    • Mark says:

      Yeah, of course they will. State definitely helps. I’m not arguing that. The debate here is HOW MUCH it helps. My argument is that if you have tight game and an attractive lifestyle, then the difference between being in state and out of state isn’t that big of deal.

  9. David says:

    I did some approaches last year with a Dutch friend here in Prague, and that’s the conclusion we realised too. He can be quite up and down, and despite this, we saw that his results were more or less the same regardless of his ‘state.’

    The trick though was to be honest about it. When he said he was in a crap mood, I encouraged him to be honest about it and not need to do the dancing monkey PUA stuff (sorry, I love that term). Girls saw him as being genuine, and yeah, apart from total success with women he does have that baseline lifestyle – highly paid lawyer owning his own firm, with offices in two countries, as well as a love for travelling and taking care of himself. A pretty good example.

  10. David says:

    ps was just wondering tonight. To what extent does leaving the community help you with your success? In other words if state is overrated, then let’s go step further and say the whole ‘community’ is overrated.

    Sure, you can learn a lot or have a lot of knowledge from all the products out there, but without Brad P or David D’s voice whispering in your ear when you appro-, I mean, chat to a girl, aren’t you going to do better?

    • Mark says:

      Unfortunately, it’s not easy to make sweeping statements like that. It’s going to depend on each guy’s needs and also what avenue he chooses to take when he joins the community. I personally think it helped me a lot, although it was far from perfect.

      What I will say though is that I’ve always wanted to do the following experiment:
      – Take 100 single guys with little to no sexual/dating experience who all want to learn.
      – Take 50 of them and tell them to go out every day and approach. Nothing more. Just tell them all they have to do is go out once a day with the intention of meeting women.
      – Take the other 50 and give them access to every product, every seminar and every website. Also tell them they must go out every day for 50 days.

      Then see what happens. Personally, I think the first group will improve, on average, more than the second. But the best performers of the second group would be better than the best performers of the first group.

      I feel like that the community benefits maybe 10-20% of guys MORE than just going out normally would benefit, about 50-60% it’s the same benefit (i.e., it’s really just a matter of them going out and approaching), and then another 30-40% it will actively stunt their development (depending on whose material they become interested in or what bizarre goals they become attracted to).

      • DJ Fuji says:

        Agreed. But I think a big benefit in the community is less the techniques and more of the idea that you can get better by doing tons of approaches. That’s something that mainstream sociey doesn’t really tell you.

      • Bill says:

        Wow, that’s a big statement. By that rational, on average the community
        does more harm than good. As a matter of interest, when you go approach a girl, do you still use “game”, stuff? Or is it instinct/personality/mood that takes over?

        • Mark says:

          For me, it’s like 95% instinct/personality now, and 5% conscious gaming… But that’s after many years of integrating skills into my behavior. When I first got good, it was probably more like 60/40 or 70/30, which is what I recommend for most guys.

          If I may backtrack a little, I was probably hasty with those percentages… it’s hard to talk about the community at large, because a guy who gets into Mystery’s stuff is going to have a very different experience than a guy who gets into David D’s stuff or Hypnotica’s stuff.

          Let me think about it some more.

  11. David says:

    I’d be great if you do somehow do some kind of experiment like that.

  12. Guitario says:

    Basically most of ones improvement will come from their own internal determination to succeed. If you are determined, then your ‘state’ will be what it is and nothing more.

    I can’t remember where i read it but someone said that if you feel fed up and tired, then approach fed up and tired. If you feel on top of the world, then approach on top of the world. As long as you smile, be polite and speak like a normal human being then the girl will probably talk to you.

    The only exception to this is possibly when in loud high energy clubs, where you may have to force yourself to match the girls energy levels to get their attention but even then it’s still a case of ‘all things being equal..’

    • Mark says:

      Interesting point about determination. I’ve thought about pick up in terms of discipline a lot, but there’s a lot to be said for determination as well. May be a good topic for a post. Thanks.

      • Guitario says:

        Determination is the single biggest factor in getting good, not only in learning how to get girls, but in every skill known to man.

        Malcolm Gladwell in his book ‘Outliers’ writes about how to achieve mastery in something you must put in 10,000 hours of practice. The greatest athletes, entrepreneurs, musicians and scientists emerge only after spending at least three hours a day for a decade mastering their chosen field.

        Now in terms of pickup, that doesn’t mean three hours of approaching every day for 10 years, as that is ridiculous. The cumulative hours can be gained by approaching, dating, relationships and generally being sociable in all areas of life, whether that be with girls or not.

        Adding all that time up would probably take about to 2/3 years to do, if you applied these skills to your life day in, day out.

        How this ties in with state is easy to see. Those people that allow their mood to dictate their actions will ultimately fail to achieve their goals. Those that practice (or experience life) and get into the everyday habit even when not feeling on top of the world, will be those guys that succeed in this and get good.

  13. gmorocco says:

    I think that building state is helpful in as much as it gets you out of your head when your thoughts are being a BURDEN. In fact, I think that that is the only aspect of state control that really makes it helpful. (being in a good mood is useful only in as much as it gets you out of your head) If you replaced the word “state” with “getting out of your head,” a lot of the BS that comes with state pumping would be eliminated.

    People would worry less about their mood and instead focus more on being in the moment/not over-analyzing infield.

  14. Nicholas says:

    I feel like that the community benefits maybe 10-20% of guys MORE than just going out normally would benefit, about 50-60% it’s the same benefit (i.e., it’s really just a matter of them going out and approaching), and then another 30-40% it will actively stunt their development (depending on whose material they become interested in or what bizarre goals they become attracted to).

    This is huge to me. Could you explain in more detail? e.g. Why, Who, etc

  15. Brian says:

    I think it’s quite sad how people cannot feel they’re attractive enough for a woman unless they have to have some kind of crutch…like state.

    I’ve been argueing for years how state is for the most part, a mere bonus at best and most people cannot let that go. Unless you shred most of your limiting belief, and realize, it’s all about confident and your overall attractiveness, you’re nothing. State will not help you.

  16. DJ Fuji says:

    I’ve been meaning to blog about how state is overrated for like a year now. After reading this article I have concluded that if I can just procrastinate long enough on all these articles I have to write, Mark will eventually write them and I won’t have to. Who says procrastinators never come out ahead?

    P.S. The fart article wasn’t on my list. But it should have been. 🙂

    • Mark says:

      Darren: farting in set is one of the most important issues for men currently. I think the world would love to hear your take on it.

  17. collegeslacker says:

    Crazy I was thinking the same thing just the other day. I still get caught thinking about my state sometimes and it definitely is counter productive because the only time you notice your state is when it’s down. Luckily I’ve been moving away from it and the results have proven your advice. IMO though, in a very broad, meta state sense watching a funny show with your friends before going out will loosen you up no matter your mood.

  18. Brian says:

    Honestly, when i’m out in field, i’m more concern about not being too much in my head than being “in state”.

    The best advice i’ve ever read regarding state was from robbie kramer. He said people have too much energies in their head, so he had his students focus their energy down to the movement of their feet. That little piece of advice just makes you so much more “down to earth” and more in your body than constantly worrying about bullshit issues like negging, state etc.

  19. Frank says:

    Hey Mark, do you think people have to pass through that Intermediate stage where they are state-dependent to get out of their heads enough to be considered ‘Advanced’? What’s the sign of someone who’s passed through?

  20. Brian says:

    Frank, the only reason why people became state dependent because the community, or rather real social dynamic tells them that they needs state. You can decide at this very moment, you dont need state but you can still gets laid. Your question is one of the reason why normal guys who never learn about the community and just go around and approaches would learn game faster than the average pua. Community guys just ends up filling their head with too many garbage pua theories that hurts them in the long run

    • Bill says:

      I agree entirely with that comment!
      Re state; I went out the other night feeling like crap, and decided to consciously try and mess up with a girl I was flirting with. e.g., I was not that into her, so I decided to do all kinds of stuff to try and get rejected just for fun, like physically escalating way too fast etc. The end result being, she was totally into me!

  21. JohnnyK says:

    Hard to say what would happen if you sent inexperienced guys out without instruction. Some guys need a map. You could tell them to approach women every day and they’d go nowhere. In a sense the community was created by men who needed that system enough to create one. When you look at a guy who’s successful just from approaching its probably because he had a couple good beliefs at the start, like he’s hot or cool, deserving… enough to ignore incongruencies.

    I really like the concept of 100% belief that Tim at RSD talks about. Even if the pickup theory is bunk, if it makes enough sense to the person it can create congruency and then results. After the person comes off his cloud he at least has a frame of reference.

    but I definitely can’t deny the truth of this statement: “[Some] it will actively stunt their development (depending on whose material they become interested in or what bizarre goals they become attracted to.”

  22. Georgios says:

    I ‘m suprised that you haven’t mentioned, a big drawback of state depedence.
    It has happened to me many times in the past.
    Most of the girls you meet when you are in “state” ,wont sleep with you the same night,so you have to arrange a date,or a meeting,or find them on the same place another day.At when you possibly not have the same state.Maybe it is Wednesday after your 10 hour job,and when you had the state it was Saturday .This can cause two things, either stress you to have a state,and ending up weirdo, or just simplify it,and “give it a try”.
    Of course logically,every reader of yours will choose the second,but when you are somehow attached to the outcome,its difficult not to fall in the trap.

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