Faux Pas

Quick Definition: A violation of the standard accepted rules of behavior within a given environment or social situation; the French word for “false step.”

Full Definition:

Faux pas (pronounced “foe paw”) is another name for social missteps committed by people who are unaware of the unwritten social rules around them. Making faux pas is a sure sign of a PUA who is uncalibrated to his social environment. The best way to learn how to avoid making faux pas is by gaining experience in the field, although even experienced PUAs can make faux pas from time to time.

Common faux pas that newbies and GPUAs make are things such as wearing white socks with black shoes, poor grooming, kino escalating unsmoothly, and bragging. Basically, these are all things that a PUA can do that demonstrate to those around him that he is socially clueless.

However, social rules are malleable and can be bent or even broken by more experienced PUAs. By purposely going against an established social rule, a PUA can demonstrate his confidence and independence (such as by loudly peacocking). However, breaking social rules requires a high level of social intelligence, calibration, and a rock solid frame. Otherwise, the PUA will come away looking foolish. As with all things, it is important to first understand the rules before one can break them.

In addition to not noticing social norms or cues within a given society, faux pas can also refer to the cultural shock experienced when one is in a foreign country or cultural setting.

For example, in Indonesia, it is impolite to touch someone with your left hand, because it commonly believed that the left hand is used to clean oneself with toilet paper. This is a common mistake made by travelers and tourists to that country, and something that one needs to be aware of when traveling abroad.

Because social rules differ from place to place, it important for PUAs to do some research and learn about the customs and social norms of other people, if they wish to practice pickup outside of their familiar social and cultural setting.


Assuming that your manager was pregnant was a total faux pas!

Related Links:

Related Terms: Calibration, Social Cues, Social Programming

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