The Importance of Perceived Value

Guest Post by Mark Manson of Practical Pick Up

Smartly Dressed Man

It’s been understood for a long time now that your value, whether it be through the stories you tell, the clothes you wear, or the people you hang out with, directly correlates to the level of attraction you receive from women. This is classic PUA theory: you DHV, you develop social status, you’re perceived as an alpha male, women fawn over you and claw through each other for your attention. Done and done, right?

It actually gets a bit more complicated than that. Classic PUA theory states that you should DHV as much as possible, to make yourself as attractive as possible, right? Well, not exactly.

The goal is to increase your value to the point that she perceives it to be higher than hers, but not too high. As soon as your value is perceived to be too high, then she’ll perceive you to be unattainable and most of your game will come off as just being an asshole.

Think of it this way, Random Joe walks into a bar, sees Hot Girl, opens her, makes fun of her shoes, tells her she’s a brat and then riffs with the bartender on how ridiculous she’s being, all in good fun. He’s going to build his value until Hot Girl thinks Random Joe is attractive. Again, classic PUA theory.

But now let’s say Brad Pitt walks into a bar, see Hot Girl, opens her, makes fun of her shoes, tells her she’s a brat and then riffs with the bartender on how ridiculous she’s being. What is her reaction going to be? That’s right… Brad Pitt’s an asshole. She already perceives there to be a massive gap between her value and his, and he’s just coming in and widening it… like an asshole.

Cute Girl at Bar

This applies to all of us. Because every girl we open is going to perceive us differently. If you’re an Indian guy with a mohawk, 1/25 girls may just absolutely love Indian guys with a mohawk, and suddenly all of your clever teases and negs will make you sound like a try-hard dolt.

The more common experience all of us have probably had is when we open a very average-looking girl and she cops this huge attitude and acts like we’re the scum of the earth, blowing us out. Meanwhile, we’re thinking to ourselves, “You’re lucky I’m even talking to you.” What’s going on here?

Your game is determined by how much value she perceives you to have in relationship to her. An ugly girl who is delusional and thinks she looks like Beyonce is going to require DHV’s, negs and teases, while you could meet a Lingerie model with extreme self-esteem issues and who is having a bad night and just happens to LOVE that jacket you’re wearing, and suddenly your DHV’s and negs and teases are completely unnecessary and ineffectual.

Your perceived value will not only determine your game, but it will also change from girl-to-girl, night-to-night. A lot of guys get overwhelmed when I explain this to them, but my argument is that this is actually what game is: to ability to recognize how women perceive you in every given moment and then understanding how to react accordingly. A girl who already thinks you’re cool and good-looking, you may actually need to DLV yourself to her and compliment her unnecessarily, depending on how she perceives herself in relation to you. Other women may have a totally inflated sense of confidence, in which case you’ll have to turn on your ball-busting chops to bring her down a notch.

That is the joy and the skill of the game — a constant interchange and dance between not only two people’s ideas and words, but their self-perceptions and emotions at the same time. And when you reach that level, the women of this world truly become your playground.

You can learn more about Mark at

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