Social Triggers

AKA Personal Social Triggers

Quick Definition: The various accumulation of social cues or actions that result in a person behaving a certain way.

Full Definition:

Social triggers are different for everybody. One woman at work may consider touching her shoulder sexual harassment, while another may be open to a lot more before considering it “sexual harassment”. Some guys will become jealous or defensive at the first sign of any interaction with this girl, while others are much more relaxed.

Different people have different tolerance thresholds. Understanding this allows the PUA to navigate the waters with more precision and achieve his goals.

Examples of “blow outs” or huge rejections usually happen because a social trigger write was tripped. Sometimes, it can be because that person is having a bad day and taking it out on you. Truly understanding this gives freedom in the artist’s decision making process.

For example, a girl may become antagonistic over a guy coming over to talk to her girlfriends. Somehow, she is upset. If you are a perfectly normal, polite guy, her interpretation of that event is crossing her social triggers. In this case, the artist can choose to deal with it appropriately even though the girl is acting “unreasonably” in his eyes. He can:

  1. Choose to eject (save time)
  2. Choose to challenge her: “Hi. Who are you? I was having a polite conversation with your friends”
  3. Choose to call her out: “I like that you’re protecting of your friends, however this is socially unacceptable we are having a polite conversation”
  4. Choose to use sarcasm: “I know right I am such a creep”

Generally speaking, in seduction situation, a funny, dominant vibe is best. Sometimes though, certain people only respond to threats.

Understanding social triggers is difficult because you never know what could set someone off in a certain direction. But once you learn to observe these, you can navigate it to get what you what. Social cues come in tonality, choice of words, and most of all, micro-expressions and body language.

social cues graph

For example, one time, we entered a hostel we used to live in. The guy at the front desk was giving us a hard time about visiting that place. My wings and I sort of brushed him off and went to talk to the girl at the desk. He was pissed can ushered us out when we started talking to the girls there.

Somehow, we had set off his social trigger. I knew then that unless we address this guy’s problem, he was going to cause problems later on. Playing it back, we should have approached him first, asked him how he was doing, and explained our situation: “you guys are doing a great job at the hostel. We had a great time here the last time we visited. Do you mind if we take a look around for a few minutes?”. Instead, we brushed him off “hey we were here last time, can we look around? yeah? cool?” as we were walking around. He felt disrespected. As a result, he cock-blocked us.

Reading social triggers doesn’t mean you always have to respond to them. Sometimes guys (or girls) are naturally mean and in those cases, you should choose to stand your ground. If your behavior is within the social frame and not breaking social rules, he or she will seem like the asshole. This of course delves more into AMOG theory.

Further Reading:


Understanding other people’s social triggers gives you more power at work.

Related Terms: Social Cues, Social Faux Pas, Social Hierarchy, Social Value, Social Circle, Group Mentality, AMOG, AMOF, Frame Battle, Frame Control

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