I was in LA being filmed for a day game segment of a new Venusian Arts product. I ended up walking into a Borders at the LA Farmer’s Market looking for a good target, at least an 8.5. As I was coming down the escalator with my friend, who was filming, I saw a 9 sitting down on the floor reading a fashion book by the fashion section. I allowed my friend to get in position to record before I approached.
“Hi, quick question for you,” I said to her. “I really have to get back to my friends, but I needed a woman’s opinion on something. First, do you have any fashion sense?”
“I studied fashion,” she said.
“No shit,” I said. “I’m a T.V. producer from Miami. I’m up here shooting some stuff, but I need some cool clothing for my models. It seems like the stylist has no taste.”
She went on to explain to me where she studied fashion and what kind of advice she could give me. She also told me that she was a model, but she’s always feeling fat. Running Mystery Method, I figured this was a good time to neg her.
“You’re not that fat,” I said.
Her face reddened with anger, her eyes narrowed and her lips trembled as she stared down into her book. I knew I was on the verge of blowing myself out of set. But I used my ABCs of Damage Control.
Before she had a chance to tell me to fuck off or anything, I quickly said: “I used to do some modeling, and the truth is, in modeling you’re either fat or disgustingly skinny. So if you’re considered ‘fat,’ it actually means you have a perfectly nice body.”
With this method of Damage Control, I reframed the neg to actually compliment her body, and her anger completely dissipated.
Here a breakdown of the ABCs of Damage Control, and how it worked in this instance:
A: Activating event
I negged her by saying “You’re not that fat” when she already felt insecure and self-conscious.
What was her behavior as a result of the activating event? She was pissed!
What will the consequence of the activating event, combined with her behavior, be unless I do something? I’ll be blown out of set and this girl will not be in my life.
How can I dispute her behavior after the activating event, thus avoiding the consequence? I told her that in modeling you’re either “fat or disgustingly skinny.” I related to her, since I did some modeling, and I reframed my comment so that telling her she’s ‘not that fat’ was actually a compliment.
What was the final effect of my dispute? She stopped being angry and accepted my reframe. I ended up getting this girl’s number, saw her the next day and we ended up back at my hotel room later that night.
There’s also a second method of Damage Control known as “taking responsibility” that I teach. Basically, you negate another person’s anger toward you by expressing anger at yourself. For example, I met one of my girlfriends at her parents’ house one night. She was still getting ready, so I sat with her mother and watched T.V. Her mother got me a glass of wine. I put it down on the arm of the couch, which was all white. The arm was flat and stable enough to support a glass. Her mother asked me to put it on the coffee table instead. I insisted it would be easier for me to keep the glass on the arm of the couch, so I wouldn’t have to get up every time I took a sip.
We were watching Cops, and there was a huge car crash that startled me so much that I jerked my hands outward and knocked down the glass of wine. It spilled all over the couch, and on one of the dogs she had, which was also white. Looking at my girl’s mom’s face, I could tell she was ready to let me hear it. But she didn’t get a chance to say anything.
“I’m such a fucking stupid idiot!” I yelled at myself. “You told me to put it on the table and I didn’t listen!”
I continued cursing myself out for a little while. When I stopped, the anger on her mom’s face was gone, replaced with a much calmer demeanor.
“That’s alright,” was all she said.
By taking full responsibility for my action and being so hard on myself, I took her anger toward me and turned it into sympathy.
Four days later, my girl asked me if I was alright.
“Yeah, why?” I asked her.
“My mom just told me about what happened while you were waiting for me the other day. She said you were really hard on yourself.”
That’s how powerful taking responsibility can be. Four days after that incident, her mom was still feeling bad for me, as opposed to angry.
When you apply it to cold-approach pickup, Damage Control works well for this reason: People only work through conflicts with people they have some type of relationship with. People don’t resolve conflicts with strangers, especially girls; they’ll just tell people to fuck off and never see them again. But you can use Damage Control not only to avoiding getting blown out of set, but you’re also creating a deeper connection with the girl because, subconsciously, she feels closer to you now that you’ve both worked through a conflict.
I actually spent a lot of time in field getting into sets, doing or saying something that would get most guys blown out, then I would apply one of the two Damage Control methods, and not only save the set but have an even deeper emotional connection with the girl/set.
Damage Control can work for all kinds of issues created by you or your wings. And it doesn’t just work in pickup; you can use Damage Control for any issue in any kind of interpersonal relationship.
Mystery and Matador literally laughed at me when I presented my Damage Control methods and suggested Venusian Arts instructors start teaching them at bootcamps.
“If a set is run perfectly, you don’t need damage control,” they both said.
But human beings aren’t perfect, are they?