Almost every pick up company out there basically makes fun of average guys, and says that this is how average guys try to pick up girls, “Hey, what’s your name? Where are you from? Do you have a boyfriend? What do you do for
fun? Where did you go to college? Where do you hang out? Do you want to go to dinner?”

And there is something to that, but there is actually a deeper, rooted psychological reason why question-based pickups don’t work, and it has nothing to do with the fact that they’re lame, or the fact that everyone is doing it, or the fact that they are all the same. It has to do with something called the law of reciprocity.

The law of reciprocity basically states that because humans are not well equipped to survive in the world, meaning that we don’t have claws, or fangs, or
anything like that, we had to become social animals. We had to bond together in order to build cities, in order to be safe from saber tooth tigers, etc.

What happened was, human beings have psychologically become programmed with something called the law of reciprocity, which basically states that if you do something for someone first — if you give someone some information, if you give someone a gift, if buy someone a drink— they are going to be more likely to give something back to you.

And the reason is—it’s pretty simple. If someone does something for us, that is a good sign that they have our best interest at heart, which is going to make us more inclined to do stuff for them. If someone just tries to take, and take, and take, then we don’t like that. So because of this, we can actually explain why question-based pickups don’t work based on sound psychological theory.

So when you approach a girl, it’s a cold approach. She doesn’t know anything about you, you don’t know anything about her and you just try to get her to give you information—“What’s your name? Oh, I’m Jon.” But you’re giving her information secondly; you are reciprocating as opposed to her going first. “Where are you from? What do you do? Where did you go to college?”

She is being asked to contribute first in the hopes that she’ll get something back, as opposed to the law of reciprocity which states that if we want information or a gift from someone, we have to give something to them first. Question-based pick up violates the law of reciprocity by asking the girl to give us information without us giving her that information first. So, based on that, we can learn that the best way to ask questions is by asking them after we already give the girl the information.

For example, if you’re going to introduce yourself, it’s much better to say, “Hey, I’m Jon, what’s your name?”, than it is to say, “What’s your name? I’m Jon”, and then wait for her to introduce herself.

It’s much better if I want to ask a girl the question about what’s the most adventurous thing she’s ever done, it’s better for me to talk about something adventurous. I’ve gone first, so that she feels that she’s getting the law of reciprocity happening. I’ve told her about an adventurous story, now she’s going to feel more inclined to tell me about an adventurous story.

That’s the reason that question-based pickups don’t work, they violate the law of reciprocity. If we can cling to the idea or reciprocity and give information about ourselves before we ask a question, we will have a much better response to our socializing.

In general, there is nothing wrong with questions, you just have to make sure that you’ve given information before you ask your questions. Think of asking a question as a request for something. So if you haven’t given any value, any information, to the girl first, she will be less inclined to answer. Even if she does, she’s going to start to lose interest because you are violating this very basic psychological rule.

If you are going to ask questions, you will want to use them in a specific way, and in social comfort there are three general purposes we want to use a question for. We talked about the first one, to set up a story or topic of conversation as a transition. “Hey, have you guys ever been to the Hollywood sign”, “Oh, check this out.” “What’s your favorite movie?” “Oh, my favorite movie I saw yesterday was…” Another reason to ask a question is to tease.

Sometimes when I blank out and I’m trying to meld social comfort, I will just ask a social question like, “Where are you from? Where do you go to college?”
And then I will tease the girl on her answer? So if I’m out in Hollywood and I say, “Where are you from?” And the girl says, “I’m from Orange County”, and I think: “mental note, do not date this girl, Orange County girls are trouble.” Or if I’m out during the daytime and I meet a girl and she says she’s from the Valley, I might think: “Oh, Valley people are bad news.” Or if she says she’s a tourist, she’s from England, I might think: “English girls are bad news.” But I’m asking a question specifically to tease here, specifically to break that social comfort and to start the attraction-building process. I’m not just going to ask a question to get information. I’m never going to be like, “Where are you from—oh, cool.”

Another way is to relate and build commonalities; that’s kind of the opposite side of the coin. If I feel like this girl doesn’t need to be teased, but I do need to relate to her and build commonalities, I might say, “Where are you from?” and she may say, “Oh, Colorado.” And I would say, “Oh, you know I go out to Colorado once a year for snowboarding, I stay in Breckenridge. I love the people out there, they’re really nice.” Building commonality, showing her we have things in common, likeness. That’s a likeness tactic; likeness kind of blends through all the stuff.

Teasing is an attraction tactic, that’s why I don’t teach a linear method, because all these things blend together and that’s why you can do it all in 5 minutes, because you don’t have to go from step to step to step. Everything kind of blends and it’s cyclical. Sometimes you are building social comfort, then it can hook and you’re building attraction, then you are adding some likeness, then you go back to social comfort and then it all kind of goes around in a swirl, until you get some interest from the girl.

So again, don’t be afraid of questions. Questions are a viable form of socializing. Just make sure you keep in mind the law of reciprocity, that you don’t just ask a question to ask a question. You do them for a specific purpose, usually to set up a story or topic of conversation to transition; to tease or to relate and build commonalities.