It is not often you learn how to steal women’s hearts from a mass murderer, but today’s the day. I know what you’re thinking – the title has to be a clickbait, but no, no, I genuinely mean it.
<MASSIVE SPOILERS FOR THE DARK KNIGHT>
A few days ago I saw the following image, which made me reinterpret the whole character, and thus the movie. Part of the illusion that ‘The Joker’ gives throughout the whole movie, is that he’s a force of nature, he cannot be reasoned with, or controlled (not even by himself). This affords him a mountain of freedom, as nobody really questions that he switches the story of how he got his scars on a whim, or that he doesn’t really seem to have much of a plan, to name a few. Hell, the movie even goes on to great lengths to point this out by saying such ominous things as “some men just want to watch the world burn” in reference to him.
To a much lesser extent this is what girls do, for what is the most common answer when you try to understand women? Usually it’s something along the lines of “silly boy, you can’t understand women!” This in turn means that girls can often adopt hypocritical stances, and nobody questions them (say, promoting chivalry whilst saying that they don’t need men). I’m not saying this is a bad thing, in fact I’m saying that for achieving influence and recognition, this is an optimal strategy. If you’re easy to please, people will take you for granted and thus you’ll end up with less things overall; compare this to being difficult to please and every so often asking for a reasonable offer, people will be much more willing to fulfil the reasonable offers, as they might garner favour with you at a comparatively low cost, when compared to your usual demands. It’s sort of like when you haggle, you ask for something exorbitant, so that when they take the time to haggle you down, you end up with more than what you expected you’d get, and they think they got a great deal to boot.
In sales, this is called “anchoring”, you anchor someone’s perceptions of value by quoting a price way higher than anyone will reasonably expect to pay, then immediately after, offering a drastic discount and thus the client excitedly buys it as they’re supposedly getting it for a steal; us men, do not naturally do this, we have to learn it. The reason is that we like to not play games and rather than playing poker we put all our cards face up, whilst we make the girl decide what the next move ought to be, this makes dating very mechanic and inorganic. In other words, we point blank say what we think in regards to the girl, ie that we find her attractive, and thus we do not keep any of the mystery alive, thus the girl is put in the embarrassing position of having to awkwardly decide whether she wants a man or not, rather than have the interaction naturally flow into attraction. It’s like a dance, when women lead the dance, the man has failed in his job and the woman is just trying to make the best out of a bad situation, which often just looks forced. Worse still, in the dating process, we take the decision to seduce the girl, to try to rationally convince her that we’re the best choice, rather than have the girl seduce herself – which ought to be her real job.
Going back to The Joker, why is it that he played this little game with Harvey Dent, rather than just convincing him through rational discourse – especially when the outcome was already predetermined? For the same reason we think car salesman who explain their product ad nauseaum are shady, even if what they have to say is top quality.
Economists have termed this problem as “asymmetry of information”, meaning that one party in a potential deal has more information than the other one. Obviously, each individual agent is looking to maximise their own utility, so the rational thing for the knowledgeable party ought to be to share the good knowledge, but withhold the bad. The problem for the seller arises in that the buyer knows this might happen, and thus if the buyer’s not fully convinced, he won’t go through with the deal – even if what’s on offer is top shelf quality.
A salesman who’s sure of his product’s quality does not seem to care whether you buy it or not, as he knows ten other people will jump at the chance to get it. Ironically, the best strategy is thus often to not say anything, hence the appeal of the “strong, silent man” for women. Even more bizarrely, sometimes it’s good to even mention minor bad things, even if fictitious, as people will think that if you’re willing to say such things, then you’re confident enough in your product that people will want it despite its flaws – hence the appeal of fun men who are “self-deprecating,” for example when asked what the length of one’s penis is whilst flirting, it’s much better to say something along the lines of “It’s two inches – I call it the two inches of terror” than to give a huge number, which seems desperate. Actively trying to sell the product leads to worse results, than not bothering to give out much information and simply showing, not telling who you are. Like anything in life though, this requires a balance, and is by no means a rule set in stone.
In other words, for a person to be truly convinced that they’re making the right choice, they have to make the decision by themselves – they have to seduce themselves. You cannot explain why something is the way that it is, and have someone truly believe you, they have to FEEL that something is true. Let’s refer to this “self seduction” as “Socratic Seduction” in honour of the Socratic method, which uses verbal techniques to lead people down a preset outcome seemingly by their own doing. Had The Joker explained in words what he thought about the world, without doing that little routine, then Harvey Dent wouldn’t have been convinced.
The Joker doesn’t want to watch the world burn, he wants to prove that it can by his hand. If it were only about chaos there are far better ways to do it than bothering a broken man.. This appears to be a very silly distinction, but its actually very important. In terms of seduction, the distinction is someone who doesn’t care how the woman gets into his bed, be it through lies, money or trickery, as he just want to have sex, and someone that wants to seduce a woman because he is himself.
Men often get frustrated with women seemingly deliberately testing them with scenarios that seem to have no right answer (when asked whether you find a woman attractive, for example). Men call these tests, “shittests” and get annoyed that women cannot be like them – rational and direct. The point is that these “shittests” don’t have a right answer, it’s more about how you behave which signals whether you’re worth the effort than the actual answer. What men fail to appreciate is that being like men, concise and to the point, is an entirely irrational behaviour for women, given their priorities,as they might not otherwise be able to assess whether a man is worth their mettle, without a more prolonged trial period than men would like. For a woman, or anyone, to truly love and believe in you, they have to do it out of their own volition – it has to happen through Socratic Seduction.
I think this is why the skill of attracting women is called “game”, you have to do these gestures, to play these games, in order for true Socratic Seduction to occur. Attraction is non negotiable, but it can be nurtured in the right direction if the cards are played correctly. As such, my advice for the day is be more like The Joker, at least where women are concerned.
Have you learned lessons from any characters in movies, tv shows or books? If so, how did they change you as a person?