Explored in RSD’s Blueprint, the identity criterion is an important concept related to inner and long term game. Simply explained, identity criteria are the things that happen to us that make us assume a certain identity.
For example, let’s take a hypothetical character, Jim Slims. When Jim walks into the office in the morning, he sees his cubicle desk, his boss, and his co-workers. In Jim’s mind, suddenly these outside influences “click,” and he becomes “office worker” Jim. That weekend, Jim goes to a family BBQ. He has his friends with him, his family is there, and so is his beautiful girlfriend. Although there are a few co-workers there, his surrounding is reinforced by his house, his social connections, and his own sense of self-worth. In this environment, Jim assumes the “natural, alpha and fun loving” identity. That same weekend, Jim visits a doctor’s office for a consultation. It is his first time there on his own. He has no recollection of how he should act or what his relationship to the staff at the hospital should be. In this state, the identity criteria are still being established.
The scenario described above is what happens in Jim’s subconscious mind. He is unaware that these identity criteria affect on his overall mental state and the character he assumes. Situational confidence is a derivative of these identity criteria. To completely ignore these cues, which are sometimes physical in nature (i.e. office space), is unrealistic. Rather, PUAs develop first an awareness of identity cues. In becoming aware of it, they can logically choose to accept certain criteria or not based on how they should behave in a certain setting.
If the pick up artist is at a gun range, is it in his best interest to follow the instructor’s lead? Is it in the artist’s best interest right now, given his career, financial and social value considerations to be flirting with the female office staff? Should he be more proactive but risk pissing off the doctor because he has some very important questions that he needs to answer about his health? These are the questions that a PUA can ask himself once he understands the existence of identity criterion.
An interesting clip from Harold & Kumar goes to Whitecastle, whereby Harold assumes a stronger identity after a crazy night (spoiler warning here if you have not seen the movie):