BECOME THE MAN WOMEN WANT
24th of November 2014

How To Be Attractive To Women, Pt. 8: Show That You’re Smart (Signaling Intelligence)

Introduction:

Women find intelligence attractive, but the only way they know about your intelligence is if you show them in ways they appreciate. In this episode, Tucker and Geoff discuss education credentials, signaling intelligence, and how to use your intelligence in ways that women find attractive.

Podcast:


You can click here (right click, then click save as) to download the episode directly.

Click here to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.
Click here to subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher.

Video:

[coming soon]

SPONSOR: This episode is sponsored by Bookhacker. They do the reading, so you don’t have to. Check them out on Amazon or Bookhacker.net.

If you want to sponsor the Mating Grounds Podcast, email [email protected].

Key takeaways:

  • Intelligence predicts how good you’re gonna be at cooperating in a relationship, the quality of the genes for growing a good brain that your kids might inherit, your ability to get along in the world, hunt and fight and learn and do everything effectively.
  • There are smart dudes out there who are really, legitimately brilliant, who don’t get any girls, and a big part of the problem is they are not displaying or signaling their intelligence to women.
  • One way to signal intelligence is having a great sense of humor. Telling interesting stories. Having romantically relevant skills, like playing an instrument well or being able to do a good portrait of a woman with paper and pencil. Stuff that actually connects to women
  • Higher education credentials are basically bullshit. They mean nothing about what youve learned, and the proof of that is the fact that it’s much harder to get in than it is to do anything when you get there. It’s not college education that leads to high income, it’s being smart enough to get into college. They don’t care what you learn, they just care that their school looks good and that they have a good reputation. Some individual professors might care, but the system does not. Education credentials do matter though. Other people put value on them, and this includes in mating situations.
  • If you’re gonna go to school, go to the best school you can go to, not because it’s a better school. But because the name on the degree is 80% of the value you’re gonna get from it. So, either go to a really good school or go to a really cheap school.
  • If you have a really great SAT score, unless you’re senior year of high school or maybe freshman year of college, shut the fuck up. No woman’s ever gonna be impressed by an SAT score.
  • If you’re not going to go to school, you need to have something else that you’ve done that you can point to that people are like, “Oh, that’s cool.” If you start a company, no one’s asking where you went to school anymore. If you started a company, that is far more social proof of intelligence than any degree is, because that’s real.
  • Gap years are very beneficial. If you’re going to college, taking some time off to learn about the world will make you more effective when you’re in school. The students who do best and learn best are the “mature students”, people in their mid-twenties rather than just seventeen. You will also have higher status as an older guy, you’ve done things and been places. This will lead to more success socially.
  • If you can go to college, the reasons not to are the fact that you’re very entrepreneurial, you have a lot that you want to do, then college is kind of a waste of time. If you don’t know what you want to do, going to college is not a bad idea.
  • If you don’t go to college, get a job where you learn a skill or gain experience. Working in sales or retail can give you skills that you can use throughout your life. Being a waiter or bartender will teach you lots about the world. Get a job that requires you to interact with a ton of people or requires you to do something. Learning skills by actual trade is really beneficial. Even if you don’t want to be an electrician, if you apprentice under an electrician for a year, you will learn. When you choose a job, the questions you should ask yourself are “What am I going to learn?”, “What mentors am I going to have around that can teach me and be role models?”, “Who else will I work with?”, “Is it a good mating market?”, “What specific skills will I learn?”, and “Will I like it?”.
  • Being smart is great, but what does that smartness get you? Being brilliant doesn’t mean anything if you don’t do anything with it. So, if you target your brilliance into being great at sales, great at conversation. The sexy part of intelligence is what can you do because of it. Physical skills are actually often a sign of intelligence.
  • Whatever it is you know or you like, understand it, teach it, which makes you learn it, and then that displays your intelligence. If you’re interested in it, realize there’s Wikipedia, there’s YouTube videos. Anything out there that you’re interested in, there’s thousands of other guys out there interested in it, too. They’ve already written about it, made videos about it. You can learn more about it. You don’t have to know everything, just learn the things you care about.
  • Women can assess your intelligence from almost everything she sees you do. There are lots of studies that show if you were having a face to face conversation with a woman, she can get a pretty accurate assessment of your intelligence from even just two or three minutes of conversation. So learn to talk articulately, because women value articulate, intelligent guys who can talk about their own feelings and emotions and all the stuff women complain about.

Links from this episode

Podcast Audio Transcription:

Tucker:
Alright. So, on this episode of The Mating Grounds podcast, we are doing…So, yesterday was intelligence. What intelligence is, how to get smarter, how to develop your intelligence…all those sorts of things. Today, we’re gonna talk about signaling intelligence and displaying your intelligence credentials, education credentials, that kind of stuff. If you’re watching the video – You know, we shoot these and put these on YouTube or they’re all going up on YouTube eventually, if they’re not right this second – you will see that Dr. Miller has his Stanford shirt on and I have my Duke shirt on. We are conspicuously signaling our education credentials.

Geoff:
It’s a little arms’ race we’re having, just swinging our schools’ reputations right on the table.

Tucker:
Right. Exactly. Instead of our penises, we’re putting our schools on the table. I will note that I have a Duke Rugby shirt on, which I think beats just a normal Stanford gay tree shirt, which is what you have.

Geoff:
Yeah. My tree is totally gay.

Tucker:
Stanford should change their name to the Stanford Big Trees. Then I’d be like, “Alright. That’s so stupid that it’s actually kind of cool.”

Geoff:
And stop calling it Leland Stanford Junior University, which makes it sound like a junior college.

Tucker:
Well, people that went to Berkeley would say that it’s a junior college, but I didn’t go to Berkeley, so I don’t care. Unlike our other co-author, Nils, who did go to Berkeley who’s not here, who I’m sure would have quite a bit to say, but right now no one gives a shit.

Geoff:
He would just punch me for just having a Stanford t-shirt.

Tucker:
And no one cares, if they’re not here. So, anyway. Being smart. Here’s the thing. Here’s why this podcast exists. If you’re a young guy, you care about women, I’m gonna tell you why you care about this podcast. Being smart absolutely can help you with women and it can help you – clearly, with your life, but it can definitely help you with women. But there are so many smart dudes out there who are really, legitimately brilliant, much smarter than me, who don’t get any girls, and part of the problem, aside from all the other things they’re doing wrong, whatever they are, a big part of the problem is they are not displaying or signaling their intelligence to women. So, Dr. Miller, why don’t you talk for a second about…I know we talked in the last episode about why women care about intelligence, why intelligence is sexy, at least on an evolutionary, psychological level. But talk about signaling and displaying intelligence.

Geoff:
Yeah. So, remember the last podcast, we talked about all the very good reasons why women should care about intelligence, right? It predicts how good you’re gonna be at cooperating in a relationship, the quality of the genes for growing a good brain that your kids might inherit, your ability to get along in the world, hunt and fight and learn and do everything effectively. So, women really want an assessment of is this guy kind of bright or super bright or just kind of average or truly, literally retarded? ‘Cause that happens.

Tucker:
Yes.

Geoff:
Right? They want to know. And the problem is, guys in modern society think well, intelligence, that’s book smarts. Yeah, that’s important for going to a good school, doing well on your SATs, getting a high-paying job, but that’s not what we’re talking about. Those can be effective ways to display intelligence to Ivy League, professional women who know the differences between Duke and Stanford and Berkeley. But for most women, those ways of displaying intelligence are not romantically relevant, right? They don’t hit their emotional buttons, so we’re gonna focus here a little bit on educational credentials, but mostly ways you can display your intelligence naturally in a way that emotionally connects to women. For example, great sense of humor, right? Telling interesting stories. Having romantically relevant skills, like playing an instrument well or being able to do a good portrait of a woman with paper and pencil. Stuff like that that actually connects to women.

Tucker:
Exactly. So, let’s start off with education signaling, because that’s what everyone thinks. And then we’re gonna finish, we’re gonna move more into actually more romantically effective ways to signal. So, we’re gonna start with stuff that maybe is a little boring to guys and get into how to get laid with your brain. Okay, so you want to start by talking about Michael Spence? You think that makes sense? He’s the guy that won the Nobel Prize in Economics. He invented signaling theory in Economics. Not overall, though.

Geoff:
Even before Spence, we talked about Thorstein Veblen a little bit with signaling, right? And Veblen’s book theory, The Leisure Class, was a brilliant analysis of conspicuous consumption, why we buy luxury goods and show them off. But he had a fabulous chapter, actually the funniest chapter, towards the end, about higher education as a form of conspicuous leisure, right? Where you go to a college – and this is 1890s America, remember. But even back then, Veblen observes, you go to college, you learn these bizarre dead languages – Latin and Greek – and debate ancient, philosophical questions that still haven’t been solved in 2,400 years. Why? Veblen says basically, it’s a way to show you’ve got the money and the spare time to waste four years, whatever, going to Harvard or Stanford and doing that.

Tucker:
Or Duke.

Geoff:
Or Duke. Okay. Yeah.

Tucker:
I’m just fucking with you.

Geoff:
Oh, I know. So, you’re showing you’re the kind of leisure gentleman from the kind of family that can afford for you, instead of going out to earn a living gainfully, to basically just be in a holding pattern for four years, doing nothing remotely useful, and it’s like the old British aphorism. A gentleman need not know Latin, but he should at least have forgotten it, right? I took three years of Latin in junior high and I’ve fully forgotten it. But there, I’ve just mentioned it.

Tucker:
Right. Exactly.

Geoff:
Veblen said, yeah, higher education is a form of conspicuous leisure, then Michael Spence, the economist, comes along in the seventies and says, you know what? Educational credentials like the Duke degree might not really be indicating what you learned at Duke. They might be kind of an IQ credential that says not, “Oh, I learned a lot at Duke,” but, “I was basically smart enough to get into Duke. I had the SAT scores to get in and I survived. I didn’t flunk out or get arrested or whatever.” Spence said most of the value of educational credential is actually in the selection process for entering.

Tucker:
Well, that’s the hardest part. So, both of us have very advanced degrees. You have two advanced degree. I have one advanced degree. It might be different for you. It might be harder for you, ‘cause you have an actual research PhD. I went to fucking law school. That’s a goddamn trade school. I don’t care what anyone says. Law school’s a fucking trade school that holds its nose in the air and pretends it’s not a trade school. The reality is, even our podcast producer, Jason, went to law school, too. So, everyone in this fucking room has an advanced degree.

Geoff:
This is like hanging out in Washington. Like, everybody has a JD.

Tucker:
Right. Exactly. A JD or an MBA or actually not in Washington…or a Masters or whatever. Everyone has advanced degrees, PhDs…Here’s the thing. Advanced degree credentialing, I got to law school and I realized in the first semester I didn’t have to go to class. Class was a total waste of time. There was no attendance, your entire grade was based on one exam at the end of the year, so I was like, “Why the fuck am I doing this? I’m just gonna go dick around, whatever.” I essentially hacked law school. I still got, like, a 3.0. I graduated in the middle of my class, never going, lived in Cancun for the second semester of my 2L year, did crazy shit, and it made no difference. I’m still a Duke Law graduate just like all the dudes who went to every class and took every test and whatever. And you know what I was doing instead of going to law school? I was hanging out in Chapel Hill with all the UNC undergrad girls on Franklin St. It was 65/35 girl to guy, and I got so much ass because I was a Duke Law student. So, all those foppish-haired, douchey UNC frat guys who thought they were awesome ‘cause there were just more girls than guys, which is the iconic example of a mating market that we will talk about later, deeply, about mating markets and how important those are. But there were more guys than girls, so all I had to go was show up, be the Duke Law dude, and be a little bit funny and a little bit arrogant, which I was in spades, and I fucked my way through, like, three sororities. It was fucking amazing. You hook up with one, go to her formal, you fuck her friend, then it becomes this whole arms race. It’s a whole different thing. Only because I was at a law school, basically. If I was some dude with a job, maybe I could’ve done the same thing, but it would’ve been much harder. I would have had much better game, and at twenty-four, my game was good enough for undergrad girls. I don’t know how good it really was, but you know?

Geoff:
Going to Columbia University for undergrad, for me, was both a stroke of genius and deeply idiotic thing to do. The stroke of genius was Columbia went co-ed the year I entered, 1983. Before that, it had been all male. Like, when my dad went there, right?

Tucker:
You went to a school that went co-ed the year you got there. So, it was still 80% guys.

Geoff:
Yeah. Except, suddenly, the entering freshman class was 50% women and there was Barnard, which was all female, across the street. So, suddenly—

Tucker:
Oh, yeah. And those girls are crazy art whores.

Geoff:
So, I got to observe first-hand what happens when the sex ratio on a campus goes from wildly male-dominated to kind of female-dominated.

Tucker:
What happens?

Geoff:
Well, women get more into short-term mating and more promiscuous and less choosy, ‘cause they have to compete more. On the other hand, the stupid thing is I thought I would have amazing cache in New York, generally, being a Columbia—

Tucker:
No. In New York, who gives a shit about an 18-year-old freshman?

Geoff:
Yeah. Exactly. I thought, well, I was even more narcissistic back then. But I realized, oh. I have, like, no money and I’m kind of smart, but compared to the Wall Street guys…

Tucker:
No one gives a shit.

Geoff:
…in the era of…yeah.

Tucker:
In New York. No one cares. In the eighties, right. This is the Masters of the Universe, Bonfire of the Vanities era. Oh, yeah, dude. You had nothing.

Geoff:
Yeah. This is American Psycho era. Absolutely.

Tucker:
Alright, so let’s talk a little bit about education and education credentialing. First off, totally agree. Both of us are sitting here – literally, everyone in my podcast studio in my place, all three of us have multiple higher education credentials, and I think all of us will tell you that they’re basically bullshit. Yours are the least bullshit, ‘cause you had to actually do real research and write a real paper and defend it. Like, you have a real PhD. Jason and I are graduates of law schools – some of the best law schools in the country, right? And still, kind of total bullshit. Like, I didn’t go to class. I didn’t buy my books. I actually had a bet with one of my friends that I could not go to class once, not study, walk in with an outline that someone who actually went to class took notes and gave me, and still…like, give me an outline an hour before the exam. I’ll study that and still go in and pass. They said, “Okay. Do it with Fed Tax,” which is Federal Tax, the hardest class in law school. I got a 2.6. Can you imagine? Like, how ridiculous is this, right? So, whatever. Education’s bull. Guys, if you take nothing else from this podcast, take this. College degrees are, for the most part, total bullshit. They mean nothing about what you’ve learned and the proof of that is the fact that it’s much harder to get in than it is to do anything when you get there. They don’t care what you learn. They just care that their school looks good and that they have a good reputation and that’s all they care about. They don’t give a fuck about what you learn. Understand that. No powerful system is built for you. It’s built for the people in power of that system. All the rules of that school are there to reinforce the power of the institution, not to help you. There might be individual professors that are good or individual people. Not for you. Now, that being said, why do education credentials matter? Because other people put value on them. Look, I’ve sold three million books and all the books are about drinking, hooking up, acting like an idiot. Do you know how many people in media have basically treated me much better because I had a law degree? How does that make any sense? When you’re writing books, they’re irrelevant! Totally irrelevant. But the reality is, you don’t learn shit in college, but the credentials can and do matter. It’s bullshit. It’s not fair, but it’s the reality, right? And these credentials can actually matter a lot in mating, too. I’m not gonna pretend like they don’t. If two guys in a bar, one guy went to Harvard and the other guy went to Austin Community College, all other things being equal, ceteris paribus, which in Latin means what? All things held the same. The guy who went to Harvard’s getting ass. Right? I mean, you’ve seen this a hundred times. You’re the guy who went to Stanford, some other professor went to wherever, and you make some funny point and he makes a funny point back. You win ‘cause you went to Stanford, right?

Geoff:
Even in my own little mind, right? I tell myself, “Yeah. Okay, he makes twice as much as me, but he didn’t go to Stanford.” I mean, I agree with all that with the exception that for a tiny minority of guys, if you’re truly smart and highly motivated and super curious like I was. I was that guy in college who actually took twenty-one credit hours a semester plus audited a couple more classes, just because…Yeah. I was that guy, just because I literally loved learning stuff.

Tucker:
That’s funny. At the University of Chicago, I did too. I was the same way. I loved learning. I thought class was stupid and boring, but I loved learning. Same thing.

Geoff:
But if you’re in the right college…Columbia was cool because you had small seminars with top professors where you actually got to engage them intellectually. Most colleges aren’t like that anymore. Far from it. It’s either foreign grad student lecturing 300 people or it’s a, like, PhD student having a small discussion group. But if you’re in the right place, if you’re highly motivated, highly intelligent, it can be a great place to learn. But for most guys most of the time, you’d actually be better off learning stuff from Khan Academy, YouTube, Netflix documentaries…even a president of Harvard a century ago said anybody who can read and get a great education from a shelf of books five feet long.

Tucker:
That’s sort of the point of…

Geoff:
Good Will Hunting.

Tucker:
Good Will Hunting. Yeah. And it kind of makes that point in a Hollywood way, but it’s a good point. And it’s a valid point. So, here’s the takeaway, guys. If you’re gonna go to school, go to the best school you can go to, not because it’s a better school. It doesn’t fucking matter. But because the name on the degree is 80% of the value you’re gonna get from it, right? So, either go to a really good school or go to a really cheap school. One or the other. The worst thing you can do is go to an expensive school that doesn’t have a great reputation. Kenyan in Ohio is, like, 50 grand a year and it’s fucking dog shit, right? So, you’re getting the worst of both worlds whereas I went to the University of Chicago and then Duke. Geoff went to Columbia and Stanford. Who cares where Jason went? But the point is, we have names on our degrees that other people ascribe a lot of social proof to, right? Now, what about those guys – and there are a lot of guys listening that maybe shouldn’t be going to school or don’t want to go to school or don’t like school. You’re probably sitting there thinking, alright…Hold on a second. We’re gonna get to that in a second. What do you do if you don’t want to go to school? How do you display education, intelligence, because there’s a lot of ways. the basic answer to that is, if you’re not gonna go to school, if you’re not gonna have Duke on your degree, you need to have something else that you’ve done that you can point to that people are like, “Oh, that’s cool.” So, if you drop out of Harvard to start Facebook, that’s legit, right? If you start any company. “Hey, I started this company, blah blah blah.” No one’s asking where you went to school anymore. If you started a company, that is far more social proof of intelligence than any degree is, because that’s real. That’s not bullshit. It’s sort of like no one ever asks where any actors or athletes went to school. The only time you care about where a pro-athlete went to school is because you care about his school, like, “Oh, Anthony Davis played in Kentucky. I’m a big Kentucky fan. I like Anthony Davis,” right? No one else gives a fuck where he went to school. They care about what you do in the league and that’s it, right? Same thing with acting. Same thing with the violin. Those sort of demonstrable job skills, right? Most people have jobs where there’s no objective measure, so where you went to school still matters decades into your job. Now, let’s talk a little bit more about education, now, ‘cause there’s a couple things. I want to make this very clear, ‘cause this is more of a life skill than a mating skill. Standardized tests. A lot of guys do bad on standardized tests. Let me tell you something. Standardized tests measure one thing: your ability to take standardized tests, and that’s it. I’m talking about the SAT, the LSAT, etc. I used to teach the LSAT and basically, I was one of Princeton Review’s star teachers for a while because I was increasing kids’ scores fifteen to twenty points, which their internal metrics were seven to eight is a good increase and I was doubling that. I’m not really sure what I was doing different. I honestly don’t know. I didn’t spend enough time – I only taught, like, three tracks so I’m not really sure what I did different. I think it was just that I was, like, kind of motivational. I was, like, a football coach teaching LSAT…I really don’t know what I did different. Maybe I had some—

Geoff:
You probably just terrified them into excellence.

Tucker:
No, I inspired them. I did not terrify them. They are different. But the point is, if you suck at those tests, don’t sweat it, guys. It’s not a big deal. Guys, let me tell you something else. If you have a really great SAT score, unless you’re senior year of high school or maybe freshman year of college, shut the fuck up. No woman’s ever gonna be impressed by an SAT score. That’s the lamest thing…dude, I cannot tell you how many times we’ll be at a social event – I was younger, obviously, but I remember specifically when I was at Duke going to Chapel Hill and, like, whatever. I’m talking to some girl, the UNC guy comes over, and it becomes an ape sort of baboon, alpha male showdown, whatever. A status hierarchy fight, basically, is what it is. Boils down to, “Oh, yeah? What’s your SAT score?” And then, of course, the fight’s over. Then, it’s just laughing and whooping and hollering and then me and all my friends call him Captain SAT the rest of the time. Of course, all of us scored higher than him because we’re all smarter, but the fact that you brought that up, that you punk him about it and he goes on and on, it’s like, “Well, I got a perfect verbal score and…” whatever. And he’s just like, whatever. Don’t bring that shit up.

Geoff:
Yeah. I’m feeling a little internal shame about this because this was, like, the reason I kept failing as a freshman, is mentioning my SAT score.

Tucker:
Well, no wonder you went into sex and mating research!

Geoff:
“This isn’t working!” By sophomore year, I had figured it out. Like, just be funny and interesting. Because it’s actually so much harder to fake being funny and interesting than just claiming to have a certain – unless you bring out your ETS certificate, which is…guys, don’t do that.

Tucker:
Don’t ever do that. Oh my god, don’t do it.

Geoff:
But there’s a reason why you shouldn’t do it. Women didn’t evolve to be romantically attracted to printed little numbers on a paper certificate.

Tucker:
No. They can be status indicators in very bounded, small social groups, and that’s it.

Geoff:
Yeah. Women evolved to appreciate your intelligence in natural ways that are hard to fake, mostly through language. So, Tucker, I just wanted to go back to something you said about the SAT, ‘cause there’s a big misconception about the SAT that it’s all kind of bullshit, it doesn’t really predict anything, it’s only about your ability to take paper and pencil tests, it only correlates with book learning. Actually, that’s—

Tucker:
It’s, like, a cultural instutional…

Geoff:
Yeah. It’s, like, a cultural, arbitrary thing where it’s a way to create arbitrary differences between people. It’s oppressive, blah, blah, blah. Well, it is a sorting mechanism, for sure. It does create differences between people. It leads to different educational and career outcomes, but it’s actually a really good IQ test. I mean, ETS does a good job of measuring IQ with the SAT. They never admit it’s an IQ test, but it correlates about .7, which is pretty high. And it does predict how well you do in college. It does, like, the GRE test people take for high school, in my experience, definitely predicts how well grad students do. And I pay a lot of attention to GRE scores when I select PhD students. Some people who are smart test badly. That’s true. But, honestly, they’re the exception, and if somebody’s got some super low GRE scores, I think they’re probably not gonna be able to handle graduate-level work.

Tucker:
Well, listen up, Professor Brillo-Brain. You need to check your white privilege, ‘cause that is some bullshit. I know the data, right? I might be getting the science wrong, which I do quite often, right? Or at least sometimes. I still think the SAT – even though I did well on the SAT, I still think it’s…Look, here’s the point. If you did well on the SAT, that’s great. If you didn’t do well, don’t freak out. It’s not a big deal. If you talk about the SAT as a way to increase your status outside of maybe senior year of high school or freshman year of college, you’re a fucking loser and I don’t ever want to support your oppressive cultural institutions that keep my brothers down. Alright, let’s get on to more important stuff. What else should we talk about, educational stuff? Okay. Here’s the misconception. I know a lot of guys who are very insecure because they don’t have educational credentials. Well, we can sit here and say, “Don’t be insecure,” and we’re gonna talk about why you shouldn’t be in a second, but I think here’s the misconception. The reason that you think educational credentials are so important to women is because there are…there is a group of women that it is very important for, right? And I think that group is heavily overrepresented in media. So, you see this over and over and over, right? For instance, I don’t know. There was some study done…It was definitely done by a conservative group, so this is just an example. But this conservative group did a study of how many gay characters are on TV, and there was something like some huge percentage, like, 40% of the characters. I’m making up numbers, but the point is, there was a huge percentage and it was like three times the percentage of how many gay people are actually in America, right? Listen. I’m very…I can’t stand most of the conservative, anti-gay groups. I think they’re ridiculous. I’m using that study to make a point that media over represents some things and underrepresents other things, and I think this is a great example of shit that’s overrepresented.

Geoff:
Yeah. Also, bear in mind, when you hear politicians saying, “Everybody should go to college! College is the best investment you can make! Look how highly it correlates with future income.” Well, let me tell you something about those studies. They never control for IQ. They never control for the selection effect.

Tucker:
Or socioeconomic status, which also predicts future success very well.

Geoff:
So, the thing that really predicts future earnings is just being smart and working hard. The fact that smart people also tend to go college and then, lo and behold, they make a lot of money. It’s not causal. It’s not the college education, typically, that leads you to high income. It’s being smart enough to get into college.

Tucker:
Exactly. Precisely correct. So, anyway, let’s talk about guys…Here’s the thing. We’re gonna tell you a bunch of things that you should do either in lieu of college education or in addition to college, alright? There’s probably a lot of 17, 18, 19-year-olds out there being like, “I hate college. I want to drop out. I’m not sure if I should go,” etc. What are some things you would recommend? A gap year, we’ve talked about. Mentoring, starting a company, getting a job, right? All of these things are things you can do in lieu of college education.

Geoff:
I think the gap year is a good place to start, ‘cause probably a lot of our listeners, I hope, are high school guys. Even if you go to college, don’t go straight from high school. There’s no good reason to do that. It’s an American tradition, but it’s fucking stupid. I’ve taught college a long time, and the students who do best and learn best are the “mature students,” i.e. they’re in their mid-twenties rather than just seventeen.

Tucker:
They’re twenty-one instead of nineteen, right.

Geoff:
And a lot of them have been in the military, they’ve served in Iraq or Afghanistan or they’ve started a business, they’ve taken care of a sick parent…

Tucker:
They’re adults.

Geoff:
They’ve grown up. If you’re a male, your prefrontal cortex, the controls…

Tucker:
Very underdeveloped.

Geoff:
You know, your inhibition and your willpower doesn’t even mature until your mid-twenties, fully. So, the longer you can delay going to college in a certain way, the better. For two reasons. One, you’ll grow up before you go to college instead of in college. Two, by the time you get to college, you will have the highest status of the guys in your freshman class.

Tucker:
‘Cause you’ve done shit and you understand the world and you’re better at everything.

Geoff:
You’ve done things and been places and you’ve dated. You’re not a virgin. You aren’t all excited about suddenly being able to drink for the first time. So, typically, the longer you delay college, the better you’ll do in college.

Tucker:
I have a couple of friends, military guys, who went to Marines or Army, whatever, right after high school, then went back to college at twenty-two or twenty-four. Those guys were, like, basically tigers in petting zoos. Like, they fucked so many girls and they did so well. They ran their schools. All of them ran their fucking schools, and on top of that were awesome dudes. Everyone loved them. I don’t mean ran it like a dictator. They ran it like they were just amazing people and putting them around a bunch of little kids, essentially, they immediately became leaders. Every woman wanted to sleep with them. Every dude wanted to be their friend. It was almost like the perfect situation. They took an immense amount out of college, by the way, because they also studied. They learned. They made relationships with a bunch of their professors, which they then utilized after school in any number of ways. That is probably the best way to do it if you’re going to go to college. Look, I’m not sitting here saying don’t go to college. I think the only people…If you can go to college, the reasons not to are the fact that you’re very entrepreneurial, you have a lot that you want to do, college is kind of a waste of time. If you don’t know what you want to do, going to college is not a bad idea, but I cannot agree more with Dr. Miller. Do something first, even if it’s just a gap year where you travel the world like a fucking bum, you will learn so much and you will have such a great perspective and you will come into college three years ahead of the other freshmen. And if you did military, even two or three years of military, way better. I’m not saying you have to go in the military. Anything, though. Anything at all. Fucking city year would be even better. Like, some goofy…Teach for America. Some goofy fucking shit like that. You do teach for America and you walk into these cognitive developmental psych things, and you can actually be like, “No. That’s fucked up. That’s wrong. I just spent a year teaching in some school in Detroit. That’s not how kids learn at all.” Whatever. You have some experience with something. You’re not just a fucking clown out of high school.

Geoff:
At least with the college classes that have anything to do with real human life, like Economics, Psychology, Sociology, Literature, you’ll get so much more out of the classes for having had some life experience. Right? Who gets the most out of my Human Sexuality classes? It’s not the 18-year-olds who just lost their virginity six months ago. It’s the women in their thirties who just got divorced a couple of years ago and want to understand men and women and what next and they’re on the mating market and they’ve got kids and, you know, they’re ready to learn.

Tucker:
Yep. Could not agree more. Alright, so let’s talk about ways to demonstrate and signal intelligence, right? So, we talked about education credentials. That’s a way to signal intelligence. It doesn’t really signal intelligence, though. It signals your ability to navigate the social system that revolves around education, which can be intelligence. Maybe, maybe not. Education credentials can matter, but there’s a ton of things you can do. Should we talk about mentors, starting a company, stuff like that? Or…let’s briefly go over, just real quickly. Look. If you don’t want to go to college, or even if you do or you’re not sure, highly recommend there’s other things you can do. Getting a job is a good idea. Don’t just get a job, like, some crappy job instead of going to college. Do something where you know I’m gonna learn a skill or have an experience that I couldn’t learn. So, in law school, I worked in Cancun as on-site staff, right? That was mainly to get laid, but I fucking learned an incredible amount in the two months or whatever that I was down there. It was like a brand new world. Working overseas in certain safe areas can be really illuminating. Working in sales can be really illuminating. Working in retail. Dude, being a waitress – a waiter will teach you so much about the world. Bartending in places will teach you a ton. Almost every smart dude I know bartended, or at least a lot of them. Not smart. Almost every socially skilled guy I know bartended or worked as a waiter, something like that. Those sorts of jobs can be really good. Even if you can’t afford to travel and you’ve got to get a job, get a job that requires you to interact with a ton of people or requires you to do something. If you can sell, you have skills all over. That means you can persuade people. That means you can basically have any job you want for the rest of your life, alright? I would also recommend, if you have the ability at all, either starting a company or joining a company startup, right? That doesn’t mean…it doesn’t have to be a tech company. You don’t have to join Facebook. I’m talking about, like, you want to start…Starting a company means you sell shit that people want to buy. Whether it’s a service or a good, you are selling something people want to buy. I would not recommend starting a tech company unless you understand tech and programming and are an engineer, especially at that young age. I would actually recommend…Wherever you live, chances are…Entrepreneurship is blowing up in America because of Shark Tank, because of Silicon Valley, etc. I’m a mentor at an incubator in Austin, it’s a consumer products incubator. I would really recommend looking at different local startups and doing free work for them, working with them, whatever. You’ll learn a shitload. Every startup has a ton of things that need to be done and not enough people to do them, and if you want to come on board and learn, as long as you’re willing to work your ass off, you can probably do something good. And then mentoring, I think, is another big thing. Mentoring is harder, but it’s basically finding someone really smart and really skilled and working for very cheap or nothing to learn a lot from them.

Geoff:
You mean being mentored.

Tucker:
Being a mentee of a mentor.

Geoff:
Yeah.

Tucker:
Or an apprentice. Apprenticing, right? Learning skills by actual trade is really beneficial. Even if you don’t want to be an electrician, apprenticing under an electrician for a year, you will learn. First off, you’ll learn an actual skill you can use for the rest of your life. Everyone needs electrical work. You’re gonna need it in your house. Plenty of people need it. And that’s something that you can – for the rest of your life, you understand that, right? Let me give you a really good philosophical point. Listen to what I’m about to tell you, ‘cause it took me thirty years to understand this. There’s a great quote by Miyamoto Musashi, who is the greatest samurai of all time. This dude fought sixty-two samurai duels or something like that. And these are, like, to the death duels. These aren’t, like…this isn’t sparring. Like, motherfucker killed sixty-two people, right? Someone dies. He was largely considered the greatest Japanese swordsman of all time or one of the best, and probably the greatest martial philosopher of all time. He wrote a book called The Five Rings, which I would very much recommend reading. You’re not gonna understand it, really, at all, till you get to your late twenties, early thirties unless you’re just one of those crazy mature people, like Buddha at 18. He has this great quote. I’m paraphrasing, ‘cause I can’t remember it, but it’s basically like learn one thing well, because in one thing, all things exist. And his basic point is, if you are really good at anything, then that becomes your window into understanding everything. And it doesn’t mean if you’re really good at archery or something. It doesn’t mean…archery is not a perfect metaphor for the world, but it’s really good at teaching you how to be good at other things and it’s a great way for you to have metaphors to relate to other things. Once you master one thing, then it’s much easier to master other things and to understand other things. Do you agree?

Geoff:
Yeah, and you know, a key point here, guys, is that when you’re choosing a job, a lot of young men think what’s the most convenient job and what pays the most? Those are the two least important criteria you should be focused on. You should be asking yourself, “What am I gonna learn?”, “What mentors am I gonna have around that can teach me and be role models?”, “Who else will I work with?”, “Is it a cool mating market?” Like Tucker’s Cancun job. “What specific skills will I learn?”, “Is it risky and adventurous and give me cool stories to talk about in the future?”

Tucker:
“Will I like it?”

Geoff:
Right. This is why it’s better to go to Alaska and do almost anything, whatever, than stay in your hometown, because at least you can say—

Tucker:
‘Cause then if you go back to college, you’re the dude who just spent a year in Alaska!

Geoff:
Yeah.

Tucker:
And you’ve got cool stories! You have shit to say whereas most people don’t.

Geoff:
Yeah. And think, there’s certain jobs, like being a restaurant server or bartender that kind of open up a whole world that’ll be useful the whole rest of your dating life, ‘cause suddenly every bar and every restaurant becomes, like, your home. You’re comfortable with it. It’s familiar.

Tucker:
I grew up in that business. It’s helped me the rest of my life.

Geoff:
So, when Tucker goes to restaurants, he knows everything that’s going on kind of behind the scenes and how the kitchen operates.

Tucker:
I know how to order. I know how to order wine. I know how to order food. I know how to talk to waiters. I know how to get tables quick. I know how to talk to managers. Whatever. And it’s like, these skills in isolation, like, whatever, right? But you’re taking girls to dinner and it’s super fucking impressive if there’s a two-hour wait and you get sat in ten minutes, right? Or you order an amazing bottle of wine or you made friends with the server and they take you in the kitchen and show you a bunch of stuff. Whatever. And it’s not like I’m saying you have to do that. The point is don’t imitate me. Be good at something. That’s the way you display intelligence, right?

Geoff:
Yeah.

Tucker:
I think that’s actually a great segue into the section I promised at the beginning: how to use your brain to get laid, right? Here’s the basic point, and I want you to speak to this. Women find intelligence attractive ‘cause intelligence indicates fitness, all this other stuff. Basically because intelligence means that you can do shit. So, the reverse of that means if you’re not showing women you can do shit, they don’t know you’re smart, even if you are. I think that’s why we started with education, ‘cause there’s so many guys who think being book smart or having education credentials is signaling intelligence to women, and it’s actually not the optimal way to signal intelligence to women.

Geoff:
Yeah. And this cuts both ways. There’s a lot of high IQ guys, like I was in college, who think, “Well, intelligence is really important and I’m smart, so women should just fall all over me just because I know this will lead to success and status and they should fucking know that.”

Tucker:
The thought process is more unconscious. It’s, “I’ve been told I have to be smart. I’ve been told I have to get into a good school, I have to do good on SATs. I’ve done it, so women should like me.”

Geoff:
Or, “my parents love me because I’m smart. Therefore, women should love me ‘cause I’m smart,” right?

Tucker:
Right. “Just immediately, without me doing anything else except being smart.”

Geoff:
Right. Yeah. “Just being, and like, they’ll magically know my IQ just from witnessing me standing, like a wallflower, in the corner, as a little introvert, right?”

Tucker:
“Don’t they know I’m the number eight ranked Halo player of my guild?” Right.

Geoff:
And then there’s a reaction against that, right? Where guys go, “I’m so frustrated. Women don’t respect my GPA. They don’t find it sexy. Therefore, women must not care at all about intelligence.” That’s exactly the wrong lesson. Women care about intelligence displayed credibly and romantically, in ways that are emotionally engaging to them.

Tucker:
Yes.

Geoff:
If you can do that, that’s golden. But that means you have to learn to talk and make jokes and tell stories and acquire skills and demonstrate things in a way that…you can do stuff that you would not be able to do if you were dumber than you are. That’s the key thing.

Tucker:
Yes. Let’s run down a quick list of things that indicate intelligence to women in a way that they care about, right? Being able to recite Hegel does not…There are some women, I’m sure, who get turned on by that, but there are very few and you better be in a Philosophy department somewhere to be hitting on those women.

Geoff:
And Hegel is the least sexy philosopher, except for Kant.

Tucker:
Well, Kant’s the least understandable philosopher. So, let’s run down a bunch…we’ve got a big list of things, and then we’ll talk about some things that we think are easiest and best, especially for young guys. So, having any sort of skills at all. Like, literally, guys, any sort of actual skill – again, not video games. Not, like, being good at fucking…actually, I was gonna say not being good at Magic The Gathering. That’s an actual skill you can make money on and you can use to play poker. I’m not sure you’re gonna get girls on it, but at least it’s a skill. So, having a real skill. So, can you change a tire? Electrician, plumbing, any technical skills are all skills. Being smart is great, but what does that smartness get you? Being brilliant doesn’t mean anything if you don’t do anything with it. So, if you target your brilliance into being great at sales, great at conversation, great at, whatever, any of these things, that’s what’s sexy, is what the skill from the intelligence is. Not the intelligence itself. Physical skills are actually, believe it or not, a sign of intelligence a lot of times. Yes, there are a lot of dumb football and basketball players. Whatever. But most physical skills require intelligence and coordination. Dancing, things like that, right? Being able to text with a girl is a sign of intelligence. I’m not gonna say don’t do the c, u, lol. Whatever is socially appropriate for your age group and your group, that’s what you should be doing on texts, right? Being able to have a good conversation is a big sign of intelligence, specifically a sign of social intelligence. Being able to tell a story, being able to understand other points of view, confidence is a sign of intelligence. Having done things. Here’s a great…I hire people for my companies all the time, and I’m always like, “I don’t want to see your resume. I don’t care. It’s full of bullshit. Tell me what you’ve done.” I can basically cut 80% of the people that way, ‘cause most people are like, “Uh…blah…well, I was the…” And they start talking this nonsense. No. What have you done? What have you built? Show me something you’ve written. Show me something you’ve built. Tell me what you’ve done. Most people actually haven’t done anything, because – this goes back to education – they mistake credentials with action. They are not the same thing. Action is always sexier. Always, always, always, always. Habits you have, right? So, what are some good habits that are sexy? Actually, no. Hold on. We’re talking about habits, how to develop these things, right? Let’s talk for a second about the list we just went over. What are some obvious, easy things that guys can do or skills they can have that will indicate their intelligence to women in a way that women care about?

Geoff:
Bear in mind, almost everything you do in front of a woman, she can assess your intelligence as you’re doing it, to some degree. Now, there’s a lot of studies that show if you were having a face to face conversation with a woman, she can get a pretty accurate assessment of your intelligence from even just two or three minutes of conversation. It kind of depends on the topic. If it’s a thought-provoking topic, she can assess especially well, right? There’s studies where guys are asked, without knowing what they’re gonna be asked, “You’ve got thirty seconds. Answer this question. What should be the role of media in today’s democracy? Go.” And then they’re recorded. Just like…

Tucker:
“The role of media is to inform and educate people so that you can participate in democracy.” If you can say that, it’s like, “Okay. He’s not stupid.”

Geoff:
Right.

Tucker:
If you say, “Uh, I don’t know…”

Geoff:
And then you record it and show the videotape to a bunch of women and they can pretty accurately gauge the correlation between their rating of you just answering that one question and what your actual IQ test score is pretty good.

Tucker:
Yeah. So, these are real studies that you’ve done, probably.

Geoff:
Yeah. I haven’t done these, but other…I know about them. I talk about them in classes. They’re solid. So, once humans evolved language half a million years ago, we had an amazing way to judge each other’s intelligence, personality, moral values, etc. So, learn to talk articulately, and women especially value articulate, intelligent guys who can talk about their own feelings and emotions and all the stuff women complain about.

Tucker:
Understand yourself.

Geoff:
Right. Understand yourself, have some insight.

Tucker:
This doesn’t mean you have to be Cyrano de Bergerac, right? Sitting around writing this deep, ridiculous poetry. No, no, no. Have a basic understanding of yourself, you know? Which, by the way, if you do, you can be self-effacing, which makes you funny, which is another big indicator of intelligence. Alright, so let’s say I’m an 18-year-old. I’m listening to this podcast. I’m like, alright. I fucking get it. I can’t be a fucking retard. I have to have some brains. So, Dr. Miller, what should I do? What are some habits that I can have that will help me? I’m not going to school, I’m going to do whatever, and it’s some legitimate job to be proud of and shows intelligence. But in the meantime, what’s shit I can do as a young guy that can help me not just get smarter, but get smarter in ways that matter to women? Like, things we talked about yesterday. Understanding things, googling words, teaching things, things like that. So, go over some of those things.

Geoff:
Well, I think a key thing would be, like, every morning wake up and ask yourself, “Hey, what could I learn today that would be challenging and that, if a woman saw me do it well, she would kind of brag about it to her girlfriends?” Now, that does not mean you level up in World of Warcraft. Women are not gonna brag about, “Oh, he’s a level 61 Mage” or whatever.

Tucker:
So, you play World of Warcraft. Or you just made that up?

Geoff:
No. I had a PhD student who did and we did a study on conspicuous consumption with World of Warcraft weapons, actually, but back to the point. Yeah, skills that a woman would be interested in and that a dumber guy couldn’t do as well as you could learn to do it.

Tucker:
What are some that you think?

Geoff:
The handyman skills are a good example. You’d be amazed at how many women I meet who are kind of expecting a professor to be absolutely useless at plumbing, electricals, woodworking…

Tucker:
Well, ‘cause most of you Poindexters are.

Geoff:
Yeah. And, you know, I made a little effort when I was a suburban, married dad, whatever, to at least learn how to use a miter saw and to, like, change a showerhead and just basic stuff like that.

Tucker:
I don’t know how to use a miter saw.

Geoff:
Well, they’re fucking dangerous, and that’s one reason why they’re a reliable indicator. If you’re really dumb and you try to use a sliding compound miter saw, you’ll cut something off. Same with not everybody can afford a pilot’s license, but the principle’s important. If you’re dumb and you try to fly a Cessna 172, you will die and crash. So, if you have a few thousand hours of flying experience and you’re not dead yet, that means you’re pretty smart.

Tucker:
This actually goes both ways. I’ll never forget, I fucked this girl ‘cause she was a pilot. I was so impressed, and she was, like, twenty-two. She was a legit certified commercial pilot. I was so fucking impressed. I mean, I probably would’ve fucked her anyway, but I’ll never forget that. I was really impressed. Alright, so here’s the thing. Guys, you don’t have to learn shit you don’t care about. If you care about a skill – we’ve talked about this before. If you care about football, learn football, right? Actually, football’s a great example. Most women don’t care about football. Even if you’re not a football coach…Now, imagine you’re gonna watch football every Sunday. I watch football every Sunday, right? I love football. My current girlfriend, Veronica, doesn’t really give a shit about football, but I know football well enough – like, last year, I kind of sat her down and explained the game to her. “Here’s what a Cover 2 is, here’s a Cover 3, here’s a Dropback. Here’s…the point of football is sort of faking, deception.” I explained it from a really strategic point and actionable…we watched, last year, the NFL did the All 22 screens where it was, like, you could see the whole field and you could subscribe to this channel. It was pretty cool. So, we just spent thirty minutes walking her through what’s going on the field, and she still doesn’t care about football, but she was so enthralled because it’s something that’s cool and new and, like, “Oh, wow. There’s so much thought to this that I never…I just thought it was these big, dumb idiots crashing together, right?” First off, by teaching her, I had to learn a little bit more about football, ‘cause there were some things I didn’t quite know and I was like, “Alright. I’ll take two hours and read up on it.” There’s so many good resources on understanding the strategy of football. Then I really got it, so I walked her through it, and she was super impressed. This was relatively early in our relationship, and look. It’s not like she wouldn’t have liked me if I hadn’t done this, but it’s just another indicator of, like, “Oh, wow. This guy’s really smart.” And by teaching her, I had to learn it really well, right? So, I walked her through, like, six plays, like, whatever, the Redskins vs. the Cowboys. Six plays. That’s it. But in six offensive plays, I taught her everything she needed to know, the basic concepts of defense and offense, what’s going on in a field, and how complex it is. Now, when she watches the game, she likes it. She’s like, “Ah, it’s fun.” Right? Same with basketball. The point is, whatever it is you know or you like, understand it, teach it, which makes you learn it, and then that displays your intelligence. That’s just one way to do this.

Geoff:
Yeah. So, just get in the habit of, if you encounter something you don’t understand, oh, my god, it is so easy to find out…

Tucker:
Especially if you like it. If you want to understand it. Not just everything.

Geoff:
Yeah. Well, I’m the kind of guy who wants to understand everything, so I’ll just Google it.

Tucker:
You’re different, dude. There’s a reason you’re the professor on this show, because you know all this shit.

Geoff:
But yeah, if you’re interested in it, realize there’s Wikipedia, there’s YouTube videos. Anything out there that you’re interested in, there’s thousands of other guys out there interested in it, too. They’ve already written about it, made videos about it. You can learn more about it, and when I was in high school, if you’re interested in something, I would get little enthusiasms, like, “Oh, I want to understand submarine engineering.” You’d have to bicycle to the library and look it up in the card catalog on paper and then borrow books and read them, right? And it was a pain in the ass.

Tucker:
I’m in between generations, so high school, I got my first computer and internet, so it’s like, I kind of remember that, but only as a vague childhood memory.

Geoff:
Yeah. Nowadays, you just sit around on your butt with your iPad. You can learn so much, and most guys don’t take advantage of it. There’s no longer any excuse to be ignorant, especially about the things you love and care about.

Tucker:
Here’s our point, guys. You don’t have to know everything, right? You don’t have to be, “Oh, I’ve got to read all these things.” No, no, no. Bullshit. Pick the three things it is in life that you really fucking care about. Three things. You care about – I don’t know; I’m gonna make three things up – football, drinking, and video games. Those are three things almost every guy cares about, right? Know football really well. Enough that you can teach it to a woman and walk her through it. She’s gonna be super impressed. Know drinking, but not like, “Oh, I can fucking pour five beers down my throat in a minute.” Understand. So, Nils, our co-writer on this. Nils bartended for years, right? We go into a bar – everyone thinks they know drinking, right? Nils, like, knows every fucking drink. He’s better than most “mixologists” about stuff. It’s like, a girl wants something. “I don’t know what to get.” He’ll tell the bartender, “Come over here,” and he’ll tell them, “Do these six things with a drink.” The bartender will make the best drink the girl’s ever had and she’s fucking blown away. Every girl wants to fuck Nils after that. I mean, he’s married now, but I knew him when he was single. Every fucking girl wants to fuck him after that because he’s the dude who told the bartender how to make the best drink the bartender’s ever made and the girl loves it, right? Basic shit like that. That’s intelligent. That’s a sign of intelligence. Then, video games. Okay, fine, most girls don’t care about video games, but if you really care about video games, you can understand strategy. You can understand design. You can understand – there’s a million things – storytelling. My god, video games are amazing stories. You can understand these things. If you’re just a passive consumer, then you’re just a piece of shit and no girl’s gonna care about you nor should they, because if a girl was a passive piece of shit, you wouldn’t care about her other than probably to sleep with her. So, if you can tell a great story. If you can tell a good enough story that it could be a video game, that’s intelligence.

Geoff:
Also, there’s a hidden benefit, even…say you’re teaching a woman about football and she doesn’t care about football. At least bright women will think, “I don’t care about football, but I’m gonna meet other guys in the future and most of them care about football. It will help me enormously to evaluate their intelligence if I know what to ask them to tell whether they really know what they’re talking about or whether they’re bullshitting me.”

Tucker:
Also shows your empathy and your kindness if you can teach well.

Geoff:
And patiently.

Tucker:
It’s a great display. Great display. Very attractive if you can teach something to a woman which, of course, you can. You just have to fucking learn something. Let’s end this – last bit of this podcast, let’s do bad signals. Things you should not be doing. Things that make you look stupid, right? We kind of talked about one, talked about your SAT score. Let’s really expand on that. So, what are the first things you think of where, like, someone does something and you’re, like, “Oh, god. That guy’s an idiot.” Or, women, especially.

Geoff:
Particularly, if you’re doing a display of intelligence that is kind of risky and you fail, like, you use a big word and you don’t use it the right way and you don’t really know what it means.

Tucker:
Like, you say fat-i-gued instead of fatigued or something, right? Which happened in my school one time. We all laughed for hours. Yeah.

Geoff:
Or if you invoke some concept, like from some idiot like Deepak Chopra and you’re like, “Oh. Quantum Mechanics shows we’re all connected, and so our souls are bound and you’re my soul mate.”

Tucker:
You better fucking know what you’re talking about if you say some shit like that, ‘cause as a dude, I know just enough that I can be like, “Alright. Last three or four questions and show what an idiot you are.” Yeah. You better know what you’re talking about.

Geoff:
Yeah. It’s great if you use one of those rare, impressive vocabulary words accurately and you don’t overdo it. That’s great.

Tucker:
Yeah. Like, once an hour at most.

Geoff:
Yeah. We’re actually in an era where the written word’s become a lot more important with email and texting. And bad spelling and bad punctuation is actually kind of a big turn-off to women.

Tucker:
Depends on age ranges. 17-year-olds, it might be a different thing than 27-year-olds, so know your social group. But, with professional women over twenty-four, it makes a big fucking difference.

Geoff:
Yeah. And there’s a top ten list of stupid punctuation and spelling mistakes that young guys make again and again. We should probably have a blog on that.

Tucker:
Yeah. They’re vs. there and all that stuff.

Geoff:
Yeah. Or where to put the apostrophe in you’re. Stuff like that. It sounds trivial, but bear in mind, it correlates with intelligence. Objectively, it doesn’t matter where the damned apostrophe goes, but to woman’s ears or eyes, it says something about your traits if you don’t know the difference and you don’t bother to learn. Either you’re stupid or you’re lazy.

Tucker:
So, some other things. Bragging. Generally speaking, bragging at the very least, shows a lack of confidence. We’re gonna have a whole podcast about confidence. Lots of them, ‘cause it’s very important for most guys, but a lot of times bragging about intellectual things, like if you went to Stanford, you don’t ever say, “Oh, hey. I’m Geoff Miller. I went to Stanford.” No. Let people find out. If a girl finds out, it’s very attractive. If you bring it up, it’s unattractive, actually. It’s one of those things where it’s not like, “Oh, well. He brought it up. If I’d found out, I would’ve been more attracted to him.” No. It’s actually unattractive if you’re one of those people. At the very least, it shows a lack of confidence. A lot of times, it does show a lack of intelligence. Like, you were talking about mispronouncing words, but also bragging about intellectual things, people must think you’re compensating, sometimes, for intelligence, right?

Geoff:
Yeah. And also, it shows emotional lack of intelligence, right? Low emotional intelligence. Low social intelligence.

Tucker:
What are some others? Telling people instead of showing. Guys, it’s actually okay. I don’t know how much this is gonna apply to mating. This definitely applies to life. So, I’ll say it. It’s okay to say, “I don’t know.” In fact, in a lot of circles and a lot of situations, it can be very attractive to be the one in the group who says, “I don’t know. This is a very complicated question and I don’t think anyone has an answer. I’ll tell you what I think, and I could very well be wrong.” Like, I’m not very good at that. I’ve learned to do that. Like, last night, actually, at dinner, I was with a bunch of people and we were talking about why 50 Shades of Grey was popular. Not to go into that awful discussion, but all these people are like, “Oh, it’s this and it’s this.” And I’ll be like, “Well, no one knows and I don’t know. I’ll tell you what I think.” And I just gave my answer, and I’m not even necessarily sure my answer was better than any of the other answers, but you could tell everyone else at the table was like, “Oh, this guy must be really smart because he’s so humble in his intelligence.”

Geoff:
Yeah. Intellectual humility is a sign of intelligence, because the smarter you are in a sense that the more you know what a small proportion of stuff you know that’s out there, right? So, if you take the attitude that a) I don’t know, but b) I’d love to learn, right?

Tucker:
Then that sets you up to learn.

Geoff:
To a woman’s ears, that means, “He’s humble about himself. He doesn’t think he’s a know-it-all. I can talk to this guy. He’s willing to improve. He’s willing to learn.” And it also means you’re likely to be the kind of guy who’s kind of a lifelong learner, who’s always interested in new things, trying new stuff, comes home with cool stories. That makes you a hugely more attractive kind of long-term boyfriend potential. Because it means you’re not stuck in a rut.

Tucker:
Right. It’s okay to not have an opinion on shit you don’t know about. Like, I try and make it a rule for myself, if I’m at a dinner party or whatever or just out with friends, it doesn’t matter, and people are talking about shit I don’t know about, I just shut the fuck up. I don’t have to say shit all the time. That’s the thing. In a conversation, you’re far better saying three things and two of them being really smart than saying ten things and two of them being smart, because it’s much easier to look stupid when you talk than when you don’t. So, if you don’t have shit to say – this is more in a group, I think, a note about being in groups. If you don’t have shit to say about a topic that’s intelligent, shut the fuck up, or ask questions of those who do and listen and make observations. Save the things you say for topics you know about, where you can sort of bring something intelligent. There’s a really famous…it’s about humor, but same point. Really famous Seinfeld episode where George is, like, “I’ve got one good joke every meeting, maybe two. I think what I’m gonna start doing is leaving the meeting as soon as I make my joke, ‘cause then people will think I’m funny and it’ll leave them wanting more.” So, he does it the next meeting. He says a joke and everyone laughs and then he leaves, because before he was trying six jokes and five fail and no one remembers that his one joke was funny. They just remember the five failures, like, “Oh, he’s not funny.” He does that in two meetings or something and then the CEO, like, dismisses everyone else in the company. He’s like, “The meeting’s just you and me, George. You’re so funny. You always leave me wanting more.” Then, of course, it backfires ‘cause George has nothing to say and it’s a total disaster, but the principle is actually true and really fucking good. If you say what you say for the times you have shit to say, whether they’re funny, relevant, interesting, smart, you’re going to be better off. Just spend the rest of the time listening and asking people questions and encouraging them to talk, they’re gonna like you more, which is sort of the opposite of what I’ve done in this podcast.

Join the Mating Grounds Mailing List

Get the voicemail number to ask us your questions directly:

SHARE THIS ARTICLE