Negative Feedback Loop

Quick Definition: A mental thought process that escalates into a spiral of negative thoughts repeating themselves, which can be hard to control if the artist is not consciously aware of the symptom.

Full Definition:

There’s a reason why winners often tend to stay winners and losers seem forever stuck on the losing side of life. For example, have you ever noticed how when you’re going through a fairly long ‘dry spell,’ and you’ve reaffirmed to yourself that you are in fact going through a dry spell, how that dry spell seems to somehow extend itself? And have you ever noticed how a few successes with women can quickly gain momentum and create a snowball effect of sexual encounters until you’re walking around feeling like Hugh Hefner and Don Juan De Marco all rolled up in one? This phenomenon can be accounted for by our feedback loops.

Man suffering from negative feedback loop
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A feedback loop in psychology is an interpretation of an experience or outcome of a certain act or behavior which is then transformed into an input. A negative feedback loop occurs when a person interprets their experiences or outcomes in a negative light and beats themselves up for their ‘failures’ and ‘shortcomings.’

Take the following situation as an example:

A pickup artiste walks up to a beautiful woman and starts a conversation with her only to have her blow him off by saying that she has a boyfriend.

A pickup artiste with a positive feedback loop would have an internal dialog that goes something along the lines of, “Ah well, I must have conveyed too much interest too early. Got to work on that next time. But hey, at least I had the balls to walk up to a beautiful woman and start up a conversation. You know what, she might have a cute friend or sister…” 

Whereas a pickup artiste prone to negative feedback loops would have an internal dialog that sounds like this – “Shit, she just outright rejected me. I’m probably not attractive enough for a woman like her. Who knows, maybe I’m not cutout for this PUA nonsense. Maybe I should just stay home and play video games.”

This type of negative feedback loop can lead to a never ending downward spiral seriously affecting a pickup artiste’s self-esteem.

A few tips on avoiding negative feedback loops:

  1. Remember that there are no things such as failures. Only lessons. As Micheal Jordan once said, “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
  2. Be outcome independent. You can’t always help what an outcome of a particular interaction is. But you can help how you react to it.
  3. Actively work on appraising your pickup attempts with a few positives. For example, if you were rejected by a woman, remember that just by approaching her, cold turkey, you set yourself apart from the majority of the other men around you.
  4. Be brutally honest with yourself, but give yourself positive criticism.
  5. Keep at it. You can’t create momentum by just making one approach a week. Keep practicing and keep actively working on your positive feedback loops and your success will gain momentum.


His dry spell was most certainly prolonged by his negative feedback loop. 

Related Terms:

Feedback Loop, Positive Feedback Loop, Inner Voice, State Control.