"Most people are locked in their own worlds, making them stubborn and hard to persuade. The way to lure them out of their shell and set up your seduction is to enter their spirit. Play by their rules, enjoy what they enjoy, adapt yourself to their moods. In doing so you will stroke their deep-rooted narcissism and lower their defenses. Hypnotized by the mirror image you present, they will open up, becoming vulnerable to your subtle influence. Soon you can shift the dynamic: once you have entered their spirit you can make them enter yours, at a point when it is too late to turn back. Indulge your targets' every mood and whim, giving them nothing to react against or resist."
― Robert Greene, The Art of Seduction
To Be Selfish, Or Not To Be Selfish?
When it comes to the topic of narcissism (selfishness, self-love, grandiosity) the vast majority of people take a black & white stance on the subject. Most people believe that being selfish is either "good" or "bad."
Both standpoints are wrong. The "selfishness is bad" crowd likes to vocalize an air of moral superiority as a means of gaining positive attention. But as we all know, absolute selflessness leaves us defenseless to the manipulations and deceits of other people. We've been made aware of that cold reality, but many of us have made the mistake of jumping to the extreme opposite end of the spectrum ― that we must think only of ourselves at all times.
And while that may be true from a strategic standpoint, from a tactical standpoint it's a recipe for failure. Just as with any aspect of human nature, selfishness is only as good as the effect it produces.
Executing A Selfish Strategy Requires Selfless Tactics
A true Machiavellian is proactive in his planning, and adaptive in his execution.
We spend most of our lives in solitude. This is the perfect time to be selfish. Think over your goals. What is the best way to get what you want? The answer to that question has nothing to do with other people, and everything to do with what you want and how you will find a way to take it. What does the world have to offer you? What, or who can you use to get what you desire?
However, when interacting with others, self-obsession is the ultimate way to draw people away from you. Not only that, but our brains are simply not wired to plan and act simultaneously. Why? It all comes down to selflessness. Try to think of it like lifting: When you're on the bench press testing the limits of your strength, is there any proactive, inward thought going through your head during that set? Fuck no, you know you need to be entirely focused outward on what's in front of you so that you can adapt to any changes in circumstance. This is the selfless mindset I'm referring to; it's an intense focus on your immediate surroundings during which you're in an adaptive state.
Now try to think about how that mindset applies at a crowded bar or a party. If you trust your instincts in the gym, you should easily be able to trust your instincts at a party. Anyone thinking "Should I approach this girl?" has already failed the test. Your body is literally wired to know which types of people it wants to be around, so instead of focusing inward on you and your interests ― focus outward on other people and their interests.
That's the best way to describe the tactical mindset for seduction. When you're out getting drunk and just talking to people, you need to be genuinely interested in them. Don't talk about yourself. Don't talk to people just for the sake of talking to them. Do what you want, without thinking about what you want to do. It's the ultimate feeling of euphoria.
When you see a hot chick at the bar and you let out one of those natural, under-your-breath "holy fuck I wanna bang you" type of comments. Don't think about anything. Just let the animal within you do what it wants to do. Keep your eyes locked on your prey and keep your mind focused outward. How will you know if there's an opening to talk to her or not? The animal within you knows, you don't need to baby him. Trust your instincts, and I repeat: it's the same type of mindset as lifting heavy weight.
The more important aspect of social acumen is actually talking to people. But you must selflessly be focused outward on them if you want to be socially adept, and thus attractive to girls. Thinking about "where this conversation is going, why she would say that, how am I gonna isolate her from these people" is inward thinking that will draw people away from you. That type of thought will either make you come off as awkward or an asshole. Is it no coincidence that people who drone on about themselves are the worst conversationalists? They make the interaction incredibly awkward for you because they don't give a fuck about what you're interested in, they only care about their own little world that they're never able to detach from.
Try to picture a typical Chad Thundercock out at the bar. What's he doing? Is he standing around with his friends in silence, too fucking selfish to say anything because all he can worry about is what people think about him? Or is he chatting everyone up and having a blast because he's genuinely interested in other people? A lot of people dumb it down to "well he's just confident." But in reality all he's doing is being selfless, focusing outward on other people and obeying the instincts of his body.
That's not confidence; it's basic social acumen that comes off as confidence and self-assuredness in the eyes of other people.
tl;dr Focusing our minds outward on other people is the core basis of seduction/social acumen. Trust your instincts, because your body already knows how to adapt to any given situation. Do not conflate the inward selfishness of strategy with the outward selflessness of tactics; the two mindsets are distinctly different.
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people, than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
― Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People