Rules of the Game (Girl Version): Day 10

February 8, 2011

Mission 1: It’s Opposite Day
Today, we’re practicing the art of ‘disqualifying’ someone. The reading is called, “The Power of No.”

Some main points:

In every interaction, be the person giving validation, not the one needing it.


Screening exercise: Imagine ideal man. List qualities like personality, looks, upbringing, values, interests, knowledge, and life experiences.

1. Smart. I also tend to be attracted to men who have a science or math-mind, though this isn’t a requirement. Just good, interesting, sometimes deep, sometimes light conversation.

2. Kind. Maybe it’s because I hang out with a lot of professional go-getters, but it’s important for the person I’m with to be kind, understanding, compassionate…. They are willing to take time out of their busy schedules to get to know me.

3. Cute handsome. I like guys who have boyish qualities, probably because I look like I’m 10. Eyes and hands are important. Hands – while I like the shape, it’s mostly about how they touch.

4. Willing to give 100%. I understand if we don’t hit it off, but if we do, don’t tell me you want to date other women because that’s the phase you’re in or some other lame excuse. Let’s be giddy together! We can be mature about it – not obsessed – but let’s build trust from the beginning. Be willing to go through a false start with me, if it means a chance at a storybook ending. (I know, this will be a deal-breaker for lots of men but, hey, a girl can have high standards.)

5. Want balance, success and happiness. About success… there was a time in my life when I wouldn’t admit to myself that I wanted to surround myself with successful people (“the college days”). Success meant conforming, which meant selling-out. I’ve grown up. Not only have I realized that I want to be successful and that I’m motivated by others who want to be successful, but I’ve also realized that you don’t have to be a conformist to be successful. I’m reading Keith Richards’s biography. He’s probably the epitome of someone who doesn’t sell-out. (c.f., Sir Mick Jagger. Just kidding! Sorta.) He’s probably one of the most successful musicians out there.

So, yes, I want to be with someone who wants to be successful. I’d also like to point out, however, that earlier in the book it said (p. 22), “When it comes to wealth and fame, simply displaying the desire and ability to achieve them can be just as powerful. Like talent scouts-many women are attracted to men with goals and potential.” I liked that. I’m 29 year-old entrepreneur, which means that I fail a lot. But I fail to achieve. In other words, if you’re unemployed or between jobs, I’m not going to hold it against you. How awful is it when people judge you based on your response to “what do you do for a living?” At the same time, I’d love for you to have some sort of plan for long-term success. Mostly, I’d want you to be proud of your life’s achievements.

Nevertheless, those achievements must include happiness. Not to sound lame or trite but it’s really the most valuable currency.

Wow. That was an insightful exercise.

Now list 5 deal breakers. e.g., manipulativeness, narcissism, smoking, drinking, drug use, jealousy, pets you’re allergic to, and emotional baggage.

1. Competitive. (Especially with me.)

2. Self-absorbed.

3. Actively dating others when we have a good time together and we could be spending that time seeing each other.

4. Inability to hold a conversation/not interesting.

5. I’m sure I’ll think of one later. I want to say lack of e-mail but how nerdy would that be?!

“Keep in mind that this is just an exercise. When dating, remain open to the unexpected. If you’re looking for someone who fits this bill exactly, you might overlook an even better match when [he] appears but doesn’t meet your preset criteria.”


“Take control of an interaction by alternating back and forth between these two poles – punishment and reward, validation and invalidation, approval and disapproval, qualification and disqualification, push and pull – is one of the key ways to amplify attraction.”

10 More Ways to Disqualify

  • Save [him] from you
  • Give yourself a monetary value
  • Put [him] in the friend zone
  • Go over the top
  • Reverse roles (“Everything [he] doesn’t want a [girl] to do, jokingly accuse her of doing to you.”)
  • Employ [him]
  • Be the snob
  • Be the authority figure
  • Make her compete

Performance Notes

“For most of you, disqualifiers won’t come easy – not because they’re difficult, but because they go against everything you’ve been raised to say around women you like.”

Really, I’m not trying to be coy here but he’s telling me to play the game. As a girl who grew up playing the game, stopped and learned how to show boys how she really feels about them, this is gonna be hard!

Mission 2: Play Hard to Get
I used the “employ [him]” method. The reaction? “I can’t believe you delivered that with a straight face.”

Other homework: Think of a 3rd possible way to disqualify someone. Use it!

…that was easy enough. I talked to a Steelers fan. Go Green Bay!

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