Book notes: Models by Mark Manson

Models by Mark Manson book summary review and key ideas.

Models: Attract Women Through Honesty by Mark Manson

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Synopsis:

Models is the first book ever written on seduction as an emotional process rather than a logical one, a process of connecting with women rather than impressing them. It’s the most mature and honest guide on how a man can attract women without faking behavior, without lying and without emulating others. A game-changer. Inside, you’ll learn:

  • The root behavior that causes all female attraction.
  • Why typical dating advice and pick up theory is counter-productive in the long-run.
  • How to overcome nervousness and anxiety around attractive women.
  • How any man can make himself appear attractive with a little time and effort.
  • The three keys to keeping conversations with women interesting and engaging.
  • How to discover the beliefs and attitudes that are sabotaging your success with women.
  • How to develop a genuine and joyful sense of humor.” -Audible

 

Opening thoughts:

I believe I chose this book because of the usual reasons such as a high average rating, good reviews, and it being related to the other books I’ve bought. However, I saw that Mark Manson wrote it, and I really enjoyed his other book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. I feel like this book should be a pretty good and great addition to this month’s theme of dating and relationships.

Key notes:

Reader’s note: Wow, apparently this book did so well for a first draft that it went viral. Then when he finally revised it, it was the number one bestseller in its category, even about The Game and Mystery Method. People in forums even said you read this before asking any questions.

  • This is a book about speaking and relating to other people, not obtaining objects or status symbols

Part 1: Reality

Chapter 1: Non-Neediness

  • A man’s attractiveness is inversely proportional to how needy he is
    • The needy man tries to control what others think and feel
    • The non-needy man is more concerned with controlling his own thoughts and feelings
    • Neediness is a feeling. It’s intuitive by women and instinctual
      • Neediness is basing your actions on a constant need for approval
  • Non-neediness is not only caring about yourself
    • When you are attracted to a woman, you should be affected by her
      • You should be invested in her
      • The whole point of relationships is to be touched and moved by others
    • The idea is how we prioritize other people’s perceptions vs. our own
  • Female sexual attraction is based largely in feeling comfortable and secure with a man she meets
    • Women have evolved a sexuality that is more psychological than physical
    • The psychological need is rooted in a need for security and connection
    • This is why status is based on behavior and not simply assets or looks/fitness
  • Seduction is the process by which a man induces a woman to become as invested in him as he is in her
    • Two ways for seduction to happen:
      1. A man creates the perception that he is far less invested in her than he actually is
        • Neediness disguised as non-neediness
      2. A man actually is less invested in her, genuine non-neediness
  • It’s important to continue to invest in oneself, even as life’s changes occur and the relationship goes on
    • It’s the only long-term solution to keep long-term relationships stable and happy
  • The only real dating advice is self-improvement
    • Work on yourself, conquer your anxieties, resolve your shame, take care of yourself and those who are important to you
    • Love yourself otherwise no one else will
  • If every girl you date is unstable and crazy, that is a reflection of your emotional maturity level
    • It’s a reflection of your confidence or lack of confidence
    • It is a reflection of your neediness

Chapter 2: Power in Vulnerability

  • Being vulnerable is the most powerful and non-needy thing you can do as it says you don’t care about the repercussions of putting yourself out there

Humans are attracted to each other’s rough edges” -Robert Glover

  • Sharing yourself openly with other people forces that transition from needy and afraid to non-needy and comfortable in how you feel about yourself
    • Sharing these truths about yourself forces you to own them and accept them
    • Feeling embarrassed or ashamed is just a feeling, part of your humanity, and not the end of the world
  • Ultimately what we all want is a strong, independent, non-needy partner who fulfills us, who we can share ourselves with and receive them in return

Chapter 3: The Gift of Truth

  • Regardless of what you say to a woman, the intentions and implications of why you are saying it are far more powerful than the words themselves
    • You can’t fake vulnerability and honesty
  • Human nature is such that we don’t trust people who like us if we don’t feel as if we’ve earned it somehow
  • Being a nice guy in order to receive approval and attention is a subtle form of manipulation, and therefore dishonest
  • If you’re only trying to get women to impress other people, then you really need to take a look at your motivations
    • You must come to terms with why you are seeking attention and approval from others
  • Even if a woman is attracted to you, there might be some friction that prevents an escalating relationship, such as a difference in values, lifestyle, logistics, and other external circumstances
  • You will be incompatible with most women in the world and this is a fact of life

Part 2: Strategy

Chapter 4: Polarization

  • If you don’t find a woman attractive by your tastes or standards, don’t pursue her
  • 3 Categories:
    • receptive
    • neutral
    • unreceptive
  • The goal is to identify the women in each category and move forward appropriately
    • Don’t try to make unreceptive women receptive
  • The two biggest time sinks are
    1. friend zones
    2. women already in relationships
  • When you express yourself to women, you will polarize them
    • They will either become receptive to you, or they will make themselves unreceptive
  • When you express your truth and express more investment than them, you will not be attractive to them and she will not be receptive
    • If there is a high amount of friction that cannot be overcome, then she’ll become unreceptive
  • His favorite question for neutral situations: what’s your favorite thing in the world?
    • This question tells you 2 things:
      1. How passionate and self-aware she is in her own life
      2. If you have anything in common
        • He drops her if she’s not the first, and the second gives him an opportunity to polarize them quickly to being receptive
  • Your ability to move women from neutral to receptive will be proportional to how good your game is, or how well you’re able to communicate and express yourself with women
    • And your ability to sort through women and meet as many as possible will be determined by how fearless and bold you are when it comes to meeting women
  • Surprisingly, a lot of women will react warmly to bold advances
    • Even if they’re not interested in and reject you, they respect a man who is bold and honest

Chapter 5: Rejection and Success

Your ability to deal with failure will determine how much you will get to deal with success” -Dan Kennedy

  • Being slapped taught him that he’d rather polarize and have a reaction than a woman being indifferent
    • Being polarizing to women is more important than being pleasant to them
  • He also learned that you cannot always control how people will react to you
  • It is not until you’ve been rejected a certain amount that you realize how insignificant it is
    • The reason men fear rejection is because they are operating on other peoples truths, not their own
      • Men who do so tend to be oblivious to their own
      • If they were aware of their own desires, needs, and values, what would they have to be afraid of?
  • The moment you realize that 95% of those attracting women stuff has nothing to do with you is the moment you become free to pursue what you want without hesitation or fear
    • When it doesn’t work out, the best thing to do is let it go and remember that it is not about you
  • This is why we approach women looking to see if she fits our values and needs and not the other way around
    • If a woman rejects him, he sees it as simply an issue of compatibility
  • Success with women is maximizing happiness with whatever woman/women we prefer
    • Success should be defined by screening through as many women as possible until we find the ones we enjoy and the ones who enjoy us
    • Suddenly, rejection goes from hurting our success rate to helping it
  • Whether we get any specific woman or not depends on our level of investment relative to our investment in ourselves
    • This is non-neediness, which we build through vulnerability
      • We practice vulnerability by being honest
  • There are three ways in which we are honest:
    1. Living based on our values – Lifestyle
    2. Becoming comfortable with our intentions – Boldness
    3. By expressing our sexuality freely – Communication

Chapter 6: The Three Fundamentals

  • These are the three ways a man can become more vulnerable and less needy
  • Identifying and focusing on the fundamentals you need to work on most will be the quickest route to improving your love life and sex life
  • Almost all men who struggle with relationships fall into one of two categories:
    • socially anxious
    • socially disconnected

Part 3: Honest Living

Chapter 7: Demographics

  • The most important first question: which women do you want to meet and what kind of relationship do you want to have with them?
  • Theory of demographics: Like attracts like. You attract what you are
  • Sit down and figure out the following before taking to women:
    • What do you value the most in a woman?
    • What is an absolute deal breaker?
      • This will help you decide where to look
    • Where do these type of women frequent?
    • What are the events and organizations that explore your hobbies?
      • Write down all your passions and interests
  • Expand your interests and pursue them in order to expand your demographics
    • You will attract the type of women based on your beliefs about women
  • When it comes to age, money, and looks, it’s ultimately all about the demographics

“Only lazy women are interested in men with money because they don’t have anything else going for them”

  • Ask: for which demographic of women are looks and money important?
    • Women who only value good looks tend to be women who only have good looks and little else to offer
    • Women who are highly interested in money are those who don’t have other interests or opportunities in front of them
      • Women who are only interested in these things aren’t going to make you happy or have much to offer
  • Social proof: as humans, when we see many other people valuing something, we will unconsciously value it ourselves
  • The goal as a man is to cultivate as much social proof within your demographic as possible
    • Social proof only functions within a demographic
      • That’s why once you’ve narrowed down your demographic, you want to cultivate your connections and put yourself into as big of a leadership position as possible
  • Create and lead active groups in things you are interested in
    • Don’t just pursue your interests, become a leader in them
    • Don’t just choose a demographic of women to meet, dominate the demographic
  • One takeaway from this chapter: it is far more powerful to be something attractive rather than to say something attractive

Chapter 8: Lifestyle and Presentation

  • Not everyone is born good looking. But any man with some time and effort can become attractive
  • Unfortunate truth: appearance is extremely important
    • The effort to reward ratio and psychological benefits of putting effort into your appearance is great
    • Your outward appearance is often a reflection of your self-investment
  • Two biggest factors in appearance:
    • fashion
    • fitness
      • If there was a magic pill, these two will do more to attract women in a shorter amount of time than anything else you can do
  • 3 rules for dressing well:
    1. Wear clothes that fit
    2. Wear clothes that match
    3. Dress to your personality
  • The exact way you exercise isn’t as important as the fact that you do it
  • An easy 80/20 start for nutrition is simply cutting out the following:
    • sodas
    • fast food
    • desserts
    • candy
  • Better body language and vocal projection engage other people more effectively, but also affects your moods positively
  • Start paying attention to your body
    • How you present yourself, how you sit, how you stand, and the amount of eye contact you’re making
    • It makes a difference and adds up quickly
  • One thing that will always make you stand out, particularly to women, is if you’ve not only expanded your horizons, but you’ve also made your own decisions about your personal tastes, your experiences, and what you think about various topics
    1. When exploring art and media, assume everything has a form of value
      • It’s your job to find it
      • Nothing is stupider than to be prejudice against something for no other reason than because if a stereotype
    2. When expanding our horizons, start with what’s generally considered the best
  • Exploring various forms of art and culture will develop your perspective to be more varied and allow you to be able to relate to more people’s experiences and ideas
    • And allow you to have a wider body of knowledge for dealing with people in general
  • Poor lifestyle choices afflict all of your interactions and communication when it comes to women
    • Poor lifestyle choices reflect a lack of investment with yourself which in turn causes you to be less confident around others for validation

Part 4: Honest Action

Chapter 9: What Are Your Stories?

  • The only important “skill” in dating is learning how to stop buying into your own bullshit
    • To stop believing in your own stories
    • The resistance is constant so you must constantly fight against it
  • He believes anxiety is the biggest culprit when it comes to preventing men from successfully meeting and dating women
    • You remove anxiety, and trial and error will take care of most of the rest
  • Helpful ways to break your own pattern:
    1. Think about what you’re most anxious about (approaching, showing sexual interest, asking a woman out, the first kiss?)
    2. Write down your pattern (blame, apathy)
    3. Create a goal. Tell a buddy and ask him to keep you accountable
  • Blame is another form of neediness. It’s prioritizing others over yourself
    • As long as it’s their fault, then you don’t have to make yourself vulnerable
    • But when you practice taking responsibility for everything that happens in your life, you stop blaming others
  • A recipe for a happy and healthy relationship is one where both partners take responsibility for their own emotions and their choice to commit to the other
    • Challenge yourself to find the good and beautiful thing inside of everyone
      • It’s there and your job to find it, not their job to show you
  • Another issue men face is a lack of sexual motivation to go out there and pursue women
  • Science is backing up claims that successful people have high sex drives and channel this energy into their work and accomplishments
    • They often abstain from sex or masturbation for long periods of time and would feel more energized
  • Masturbation and Porn Diet to increase motivation and get better results
    • End all pornography immediately. Starting today
    • Limit your masturbation to once a week. Schedule it and pick a day
    • When you masturbate, you’re only allowed to fantasize about women you’ve met and not had sex with

Chapter 10: How to Overcome Anxiety

  • In reality, women want you to succeed
    • If they like you, they keep giving you second chances
    • The reason they have to reject you isn’t because of ego, but because you failed to make them feel what they’re looking for, a man who can make her feel more alive
      • They want to meet a charming, confident, charismatic man
  •  If you’re unable to take action, you’ll get nowhere
  • the proper way to handle your fear and anxiety is to accept it, recognize that it’s normal and a part of who you are, and not try and hide it from the woman you’re meeting
  • Non-neediness does not mean fearless
    • Non-neediness simply means to feel the fear but not let it define you
    • Non-neediness means feeling to fear and deciding that something else is more important
    • Feeling fear and acting despite it builds courage
      • Courage is a habit. Courage is a form of discipline
      • Courage involves acting against fear whereas discipline involves acting against laziness and fatigue
      • Courage is built like a muscle
  • Boldness only works if you are aware and acknowledge that what you’re doing is out of social norms
    • Example: if you say that you don’t normally do this and it might seem kind of strange but then you ask them out on a date
    • Greater boldness leads to greater polarization
      • Always air on the side of assertiveness

Part 5: Honest Communication

Chapter 11: Your intentions

  • Creepiness is behaving in a way that makes a woman feel insecure sexually
  • Flirting is expressing your sexuality in a way that makes a woman feel sexually secure
    • Flirting is the opposite of creepiness
    • Most methods of flirting can be grouped into two different groups:
      • Teasing
      • Boldness
    • Scientific research shows that sexual tension builds when the uncertainty of potential sexual possibilities is presented in an interaction
  • Attraction obsession comes from a place of insecurity
    • It seeks validation. It is needy behavior and therefore self-sabotaging in the long run
  • Attractive social behaviors are rooted in a comfort with making yourself vulnerable

Chapter 12: How to Improve Your Flirting

  • First impressions are crucial
  • Guidelines for a good first impression:
    • Do not startle or scare her when you approach her
    • Example: “Hello, I’m ____. I (think you’re cute and) wanted to meet you
      • His best approaches are when he doesn’t think about it and he spontaneously just walks up and says hello
    • Always have a nice, comfortable smile
    • Lean back, stand up tall, speak up loudly and clearly, make strong eye contact, introduce yourself and stick out your hand and give a strong handshake
      • This is being a confident human being
  • Your intent when approaching should be none other than your desire to get to know her
  • Creating threads of conversations through statement is far more powerful than questions
    • It assumes rapport and instantly makes conversations more personal
  • Cold reading is a skill where you’re able to intuitively know something about someone else without actually knowing it
    • This is just a way of creating interesting statements rather than asking questions for information
      • Ex: “you seem like a California girl
      • You seem to be a creative person. I bet your job is interesting
      • You guys look like you’ve been friends for a long time
        • Each statement makes an educated guess and engages the woman far more than any question
  • It’s better to be random and interesting than predictable and boring
    • Don’t be afraid to just blurt something out
    • This works because statements require no investment from the other person
  • These statement force you to share information about yourself with helps her to trust you and build rapport
    • If you do it correctly, she’ll start asking you questions
  • To have endless conversations, you need to be able to identify jump-off points in a conversation and generate your own thoughts on that
  • 3 points of a story arc: The setup, the context, the resolution
    1. The Setup
    2. The Context/Conflict
      • This causes tension and expectancy
      • It needs to be intriguing and hook people into wanting to know what happens next
    3. Resolution
      • Releases tension
      • The can come in the form of punchlines for jokes, conclusions for ideas, or closure for a generic story
  •  The final goal of a successful conversation is to make a personal connection with the woman you’re talking to
    • There are only two real subjects of conversation:
      • You
      • Her
  • Making a connection requires 3 steps:
    1. Being open about yourself
    2. Getting her to be open about herself
    3. Relating to each other’s experiences
  • Write down 3 things for each topic to talk about:
    • your passions & favorite things to do
    • your dreams ambitions life goals
    • the best and worst things that have happened to you
    • your childhood family life and upbringing
  • A sense of humor is almost always at the top of the list of when women look for in a man
    • A man who can laugh easily at the world and is not afraid to laugh at himself conveys a sense of non-neediness
    • He also makes women feel good around him and therefore more secure
  • Humor is the art of drawing connections between two seemingly unrelated ideas or subjects
    • Humor is a creative activity and therefore will be greatly tied to your ability to express yourself
  • You aren’t ever really attracting a woman unless you’re connecting with her physically and emotionally

Chapter 13: The Dating Process

  • Only ask for her number if she seems genuinely attracted and interested in you, or if you can see yourself wanting to hang out with her again, or have time to hang out with her
  • Don’t do lunch dates and never make an afternoon date the first date if possible
    • This conveys “let’s just be friends”
    • Save dates for the nighttime as it builds a greater sense of expectation and flexibility to spend more time together
  • No movie dates for 1st and 2nd dates
  • Avoid dinner dates as they can also be awkward and impossible to touch
  • Good date locations are ones that are active, participatory, and allow for touching or flirting
    • Examples: comedy clubs, dance classes, museum exhibits, walks in interesting places (plazas, parks, etc), concerts, or just grabbing a drink somewhere
  • Find venues or activities that are close to either your place or her place
    • Research at least 4-6 good date venues or activities that are within a short drive to your place
      • Even better are within walking distance
  • Our level of intimacy doesn’t just come from how much we talk about as much as it comes from the experiences we share
    • Dates should be arranged to create as much mutual experience in the least amount of time possible
    • Examples:
      • Coffee, then ice cream, then swing at the park, then shopping at a quirky bookstore
      • Salsa, then drinks next door, then walk to neighborhood pizza place, then video games at your place
      • Window shopping at a shopping center, then improv comedy show, then a quick dinner after, then walk around a local park
        • Include dancing if possible as it’s the most sexual activity you can have
  • You should try to constantly be leading
    • Every decision should be yours and she should be expected to follow
    • Remove “what do you want to do now” from your dating vocabulary
  • To avoid awkwardness, just pay on a date
    • Unless you’re broke, just take care of them
    • The only exception is if she physically takes out her wallet/credit card and stops you

Chapter 14: Physicality and Sex

  • Women are turned on by being wanted or desired
    • Female arousal is affected more by psychological than physical stimuli
    • The more assertively you pursue a woman, the more aroused she becomes
      • There’s something almost magical about an inhibited physicality when being with a woman
  • Getting physical with women and getting physical quickly and comfortably is ultimately the difference between having a lot of female friends and having a lot of girlfriends and dates
    • Getting physical quickly and comfortably is by far the most integral piece of seduction and dating women
  • Women actually prefer you to be physically assertive
    • One is because it polarizes them and two is because it’s bold
    • Studies show touching someone early in the meeting will make them see you favorably
      • Try lightly touching them on the arm near the elbow
      • Small tap, brush, or light squeeze
      • Something to punctuate the conversation
  • Think of touching as the exclamation marks or question marks of the dialogue
  • Pre-approach signals:
    • Non-accidental eye contact
      • When in doubt, assume it’s not accidental
      • Humans are preprogrammed to look at what they’re curious about or what they find attractive
    • Smiling or her approaching you, or proximity
  • Conversation signals:
    • Excessive smiling/laughing a lot more than others
    • Standing close
    • Excessive eye contact
    • When her actions show subtly that she prioritizes you over others
  • Escalation signals:
    • Isolates herself with you
    • Touches you
  • Kissing
    • The old adage: if you think you can kiss her, you probably could have 10 minutes ago
  • Women need a sense of build-up and foreplay before sex
  • The correct answer to any objection is always: “That’s fine, we’ll do whatever you’re comfortable doing
    • The point is to have an enjoyable experience, not more notches on your bedpost
  • The important thing is not to see sex as something you are earning or taking from a woman, but rather something you two are participating in together
    • It’s a team effort
  • The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to foreplay is teasing or expectation
    • Don’t just rush into things
    • Take things slow and create a drawn out and sensual experience
    • Girls love to be teased
  • When it comes to sex, more important than any physical technique is being dominant
    • Sexual gratification for women is far more psychological than it is physical
    • A large part of this comes from being dominated and sexual control
      • Women like to feel like you are in power in the bedroom
      • They want you to be assertive and strong with what you want
  • True, long-lasting, emotional connection can only come through submitting to long-term commitment
  • No More Mr. Nice Guy by Dr. Robert Glover – one of the best books he’s read on men’s emotional health and development
  • What if it was a gift?
    • No matter what happens to you, no matter how bad or how bleak you feel, ask yourself “what if it was a gift?” and try to rationalize a way it could be so

 

Themes / Main Ideas:

  • A man’s attractiveness is inversely proportional to how needy he is
  • The only real dating advice is self-improvement
  • Being vulnerable is the most powerful and non-needy thing you can do
  • Ultimately what we all want is a strong, independent, non-needy partner who fulfills us, who we can share ourselves with and receive them in return
  • The goal is to identify the women in each category (receptive, neutral, unreceptive) and move forward appropriately
  • Your ability to move women from neutral to receptive will be proportional to how good your “game” is, or how well you’re able to communicate and express yourself with women
  • You cannot always control how people will react to you
  • Success should be defined by screening through as many women as possible until we find the ones we enjoy and the ones who enjoy us
  • Theory of demographics: Like attracts like. You attract what you are
  • Don’t just pursue your interests, become a leader in them
  • It is far more powerful to be something attractive rather than to say something attractive
  • Unfortunate truth: appearance is extremely important. Your outward appearance is often a reflection of your self-investment
  • A recipe for a happy and healthy relationship is one where both partners take responsibility for their own emotions and their choice to commit to the other
  • Attractive social behaviors are rooted in a comfort with making yourself vulnerable
  • The final goal of a successful conversation is to make a personal connection with the woman you’re talking to
  • You aren’t ever really attracting a woman unless you’re connecting with her physically and emotionally
  • Our level of intimacy comes from the experiences we share
  • Getting physical quickly and comfortably is by far the most integral piece of seduction and dating women
  • True, long-lasting, emotional connection can only come through submitting to long-term commitment

Closing thoughts:

I have to say, out of the three books I read on dating and attraction, this was by far the best. I love how the principles are grounded in being a non-needy man whose focus is on developing himself into someone worth being with. It’s all about taking responsibility, taking action, and working on the internal game in order to improve your outer results.

Whenever I see common threads among books in unrelated fields, I pay attention. The idea of taking responsibility is always somewhere in any personal development book. Not playing the victim or worrying about what you cannot control is the key to living a happier and more fulfilling life.

Another idea I loved is being vulnerable and confident in yourself. This is what a very attractive person does because it conveys non-neediness.

Ever since I started this book, I’ve been reframing myself and my interactions around this idea of being “non-needy”. I can honestly say that basing my actions and thoughts around not being needy has made me significantly happier and way more successful in my interactions with others. I feel like I’m slowly getting back my mojo when it comes to personal interactions.

Overall, I HIGHLY recommend this book. Not only for people who are interested in this topic, but specifically for guys like myself who are feeling a bit lost when it comes to dating, relationships, and most importantly self-confidence. This book along with the other two have significantly reframed my mind in the right direction.

Nutshell:

The best dating advice is self-development. The more you can cultivate “non-neediness” in your life, the more attractive you’ll be and the better relationships you’ll have.

Rating:

4.5/5

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