Standby Kids

KillSquat finally got back to me. he’s dealing with some shit you civies will never understand. give him him some time. i’ll be talking with him and hopefully he’ll be posting soon enough. in the mean time, read my site and my blogroll folks.

not sure when he’ll post, but i need to talk to him more. and to be honest, he needs some HM venting before he posts again. so……until he unloads on me, he’ll be in hiding.

what you readers don’t get is that Marines are SERIOUS when they spill to us HM’s.

that’s all you get. he’ll be back when i’m done fixing him. and fixing Marine’s is my primary job.


Sermon The Second, Part Two

This took longer than I wanted to post, mostly due to the denizens of my fair city attempting to die a lot.  Makes for an unpredictable schedule, does ol’ Death.  I’d lodge a complaint, but that Dude creeps me out when he turns His attention toward me.  I just collect the overtime and shut up about the extra hours.

Awright, before we get started –

This shit is not The Way, The Truth, and The Light.  It is a collection of concepts you should consider carefully.  It all applies to some degree, but no human being is exactly the same as another.  We all balance on a meniscus of habits, desires, drives, and pathology.  No curve is precisely the same – but everybody’s bent.  Okay?  Okay.

In the first part of this Sermon, I advised the newly Red Pilled Man to let go of his preconceptions about what women like.

So….what do women like from men?

Here are some basics, in no particular order:

1. Women want to be stimulated.

Stimulation in this context is not objectively “good” or “bad” – it’s merely a stimulus that evokes thought or feeling.  This can mean verbal fencing, listening to interesting/funny stories you tell, or doing some activity.  It can also mean engaging in a contest of wills.  It sometimes means thinking about men/you – whether fantasizing, worrying, playing matchmaker, stalking other women on your Facebook (stop it, Katie, we broke up a long time ago), etc.

Relationships figure prominently in women’s status/identities and the stimulation she gets from them is very important to her.

2. Women want to feel sexy.

There is a lot of nuance and individual variation to this.  Women want to be desired by men/a man they find desireable themselves.  Jane Doe doesn’t give a shit what BillyBob the itinerant, meth-addled garbageman thinks of her ass.  She considers him “creepy”, – the only enjoyment she gets from BillyBob’s Epic Ode To Her Glutes is to affirm that she’s out of his league.

A woman who’s in touch with her sexuality also enjoys using it to influence her environment.  For some women, that means making hubby’s Dockers tight by wearing that one nightie for him.  Other women like getting into the VIP/bottle service area of the club due to their Awesome Bew-bage.

3. Women want to feel deserved.

This is distinct from feeling taken advantage of.  Ye Hoary Olde Saying “Rank hath it’s privileges” applies here.  Every woman has a core identity, a way she views herself.  From this view she derives her social status.  This core identity feels like it deserves certain attributes in a man.  If more “man” is available – hey, great! – but less “man” will not be tolerated for long, if at all.  A dude who barely makes the grade will be tolerated only grudgingly.

This principle is perhaps more mutable than others, and bears careful consideration by men.  The core identity changes over time, therefore the “man she deserves” often changes as well.  This identity is subject to influence by extrinsic factors (I’m prettier than that bitch….right!!?!?) and events like childbirth, health, and the appearance (gasp!) of that first grey hair.

The most important and influential extrinsic factor operating on a woman in a relationship is her significant other – but he is emphatically not the only factor.  Do not forget that, gents.

4. Women want to feel secure.

This feeling has many manifestations.  Security can come in the form of a social support net, money, love, a good family, or confidence in the ability of her significant other to deal with problems.  The less perceived ability a woman has to influence her environment (either directly or indirectly), the less security she will feel.  The more her significant other behaves how she feels he should, the more secure she will feel.

Perhaps the most important thing for the Newly Red Pilled Man to notice about these things is that they all occur inside the woman’s head.  None of this stuff is directly related to who you actually are or what you do, gents. Getting women to treat you like a Badass is easier if you are, in fact, badass, but that’s not what we’re talking about here.  How she feels about you is the critical vulnerability.  Her feelings are what fuel her actions.  If you want to influence her behavior, you must be cognizant of them.

It’s also important to point out that some of these principles can conflict with each other.  For example, a woman may feel less secure watching her man be hit on by another woman.  She’s stimulated – there is definitely cognitive and emotional activity elicited.  If the man handles the situation Gamefully, she will then feel desired (sexy) and have her social status reinforced positively (deserved).

The relative importance of these principles is also dependent on context.  A woman you just met in a bar is looking for a combination of the first three, with security a distant fourth.
Matter of fact, if she’s yelling, “Security!” you’re about to have a Real Bad Night.  A pregnant wife, on the other hand, is going to value security very highly.

Rather than seeing these principles as contradictions, it’s more useful to imagine them as competing forces that must be balanced. Pay careful attention to the balance of stimulation and security, in particular.  Think of an aircraft – the pilot must manage lift, thrust, weight, and drag.  Neglecting any of these forces is where smoking holes
in the ground come from (fact!).

In some later Sermons we’ll discuss how you can effect these things.  In the mean time, feel free to argue/teach/learn/discuss in the comments.  I’m heartened and gratified by the discussion that’s taken place here already – you folks kick ass.

Sermon the Second, Part One

If you learn nothing else from me, let it be this:

Women want what they want.  Period.  End of story.

There is much gnashing of teeth done by men who’ve just taken the Red Pill:

“How could she leave me?  I was the fastest COBOL coder in this time zone!”

“But…but…but I handed my entire paycheck over to her every week!  I never so much as looked at another woman!”

“I brought her flowers and asked if she would please accompany me to a showing of The Vagina Monologues.  She flaked and went drinking with Spike instead.  He’s got two motorcycles and no helmet.  He went to a trade school, for fuck’s sake.”

Another hard truth here, gents:

Most of you Blue Pill Guys are barking up the wrong tree.  It’s a fact. You just are.  Listen – women are not men.  All the Women’s Studies classes in The Universe will not change that.

The things you respect about yourself and your buddies are not necessarily the things women respect about you.

Let me say that again another way:

Women do not necessarily value the same things in a man that you think are important.

One more time, below your sensitive, politically correct belt:

If you insist on treating women like men with boobs, you’re blinded by your male gaze.  You’re a sexist, actually.  You’re bordering on male chauvinism, especially if you burn billions of calories arguing about why things should be the way you think they are.  You’re just as bad as Amanda Marcotte or that sniveling, lickspittle eunuch who runs the Manboobz site – just the flip side of the coin.

Smear your face with ash, wail piteously, and don a jockstrap of coarsest sackcloth – The Universe doesn’t give a shit, and neither do women.  Women want what they want, not what you think they should want.

Me and lots of other men will argue with you, try and show you the error of your ways, even point out where you picked up this faulty bit of programming.  That’s the point of this blog, as a matter of fact.

However, you need to do a little work yourself.  Like an addict working a 12-step program, you need to accept that the way you did things in the past was not the best way to be happy, long term.  Like a recruit in boot camp, you need to accept that most of what you “know” is bullshit.  You need to use the proffered tools to rebuild yourself into a fully functional man.
Here’s a little Rudyard Kipling to ponder.  Read it, and think about it’s application to your life over the next day or so:

The young recruit is ‘aughty — ‘e draf’s from Gawd knows where;
They bid ‘im show ‘is stockin’s an’ lay ‘is mattress square;
‘E calls it bloomin’ nonsense — ‘e doesn’t know, no more —
An’ then up comes ‘is Company an’kicks’im round the floor!

The young recruit is ‘ammered — ‘e takes it very hard;
‘E ‘angs ‘is ‘ead an’ mutters — ‘e sulks about the yard;
‘E talks o’ “cruel tyrants” which ‘e’ll swing for by-an’-by,
An’ the others ‘ears an’ mocks ‘im, an’ the boy goes orf to cry.

The young recruit is silly — ‘e thinks o’ suicide.
‘E’s lost ‘is gutter-devil; ‘e ‘asn’t got ‘is pride;
But day by day they kicks ‘im, which ‘elps ‘im on a bit,
Till ‘e finds ‘isself one mornin’ with a full an’ proper kit.

Gettin’ clear o’ dirtiness, gettin’ done with mess,
Gettin’ shut o’ doin’ things rather-more-or-less;
Not so fond of abby-nay, kul, nor hazar-ho,
Learns to keep  ‘is ripe an “isself jus’so!

The young recruit is ‘appy — ‘e throws a chest to suit;
You see ‘im grow mustaches; you ‘ear ‘im slap’ is boot.
‘E learns to drop the “bloodies” from every word ‘e slings,
An ‘e shows an ‘ealthy brisket when ‘e strips for bars an’ rings.

The cruel-tyrant-sergeants they watch ‘im ‘arf a year;
They watch ‘im with ‘is comrades, they watch ‘im with ‘is beer;
They watch ‘im with the women at the regimental dance,
And the cruel-tyrant-sergeants send ‘is name along for “Lance.”

An’ now ‘e’s ‘arf o’ nothin’, an’ all a private yet,
‘Is room they up an’ rags ‘im to see what they will get.
They rags ‘im low an’ cunnin’, each dirty trick they can,
But ‘e learns to sweat ‘is temper an ‘e learns to sweat ‘is man.

An’, last, a Colour-Sergeant, as such to be obeyed,
‘E schools ‘is men at cricket, ‘e tells ’em on parade,
They sees ‘im quick an ‘andy, uncommon set an’ smart,
An’ so ‘e talks to orficers which ‘ave the Corps at ‘eart.

That’s a message of hope for those who choose to hear it, and a warning for those who do not.

You’re being kicked by life, day by day.  You can either adjust, or get kicked to Death.  You can use the kicks as teaching tools, or live as a bruised, lumpy human target.  Go ahead.  Maybe someone will admire your tombstone one day:

“Here lies Joe.  He didn’t care about Reality.  He stuck to his fantasy until the bitter, lonely end.  It just made more sense to him than the real world.  He was proud of his failure to adapt and overcome.”

Or, get with the program.  Use your eyes.  Perceive things as they are.  Stop asking,”But what does it all mean!!???!”  That’s the wrong question right now.  It’s counter-productive.  You aren’t qualified to ask, let alone hear the answer, until you understand how it works.

We’ll start getting into some nuts-and-bolts type stuff in Part Two of this ‘ere Sermon.

Sermon the First

Over the next few posts I’m going to lay some foundations.  These are things I think are important for the newly Red-Pilled Man to understand.  Some of them are not nice.  There are no quick fixes for any of them.  Gimmicks will work for a short time, or give you a glimmer of hope, but I’m not interested in that.  I want you to get what you want, long term.  So here’s the first sermon:

Remember what happened the first time you went off to college, or deployed, or visited Grandma over the summer?  You came back home and things were…..different.

There was a new stoplight at that intersection. Johnny’s mom got a new car.  Sarah fucked Billy and now her car’s outside his apartment every night.  Old Man Yi got killed in a robbery and his son Little Yi is running the liquor store.

For many of us, the first time we return home from an extended absence is the first realization that people actually have separate lives.  Instead of seeing only your future stretching out in front of you, an awareness creeps in of thousands of other futures moving forward, all at the same pace.  They intertwine, intersect, or swerve away from your future, never to be seen again.  Stuff happened while you were gone.  It still does.

Keep that in mind.  If you’re naturally a bit narcissistic, or have a tendency toward solipsism, it’s easy to forget.

“But…but…but Dogsquat!  I’m not a narcissist!” you retort.

Yeah, we all are to some degree.  A little narcissism is a good thing.  Without it, you could never show up to a job interview, or stand up to a bully, or argue with a stranger over the internet about how non-narcissistic you are.

I think this facet of humanity is where a lot of guys get into trouble with women.

Say you’re pining over a girl – she’s beautiful and cool and into the same weird shit you are – you spend a lot of time thinking about her.  You imagine a future together or wonder what she’s like in bed.

Well, she ain’t doing that.  Her life is separate from yours.  Her thread may cross yours a few times in the Marvelous Rug Of Life, but it’s not twined intimately with your thread, no matter how much you’d like it to be.  For the most part, people aren’t thinking about you when you’re not right in front of them.

If you pin your hopes for happiness or booty or whatever on some chick, you’re going to let all kinds of bizarre thinking creep in.

That girl you met at the bar?  Not thinking about you right now.

That cute chick that sits next to you in Cell Biology?  Not thinking about you right now.

The ex you’d like to get back together with?  Yup, you guessed it – not thinking about you right now, either.

Why am I repeating this depressing fact of life so many times?

Because it’s superfuckingimportant.

One of the fundamental principles of Game is called Outcome Independence.  It is not talked about often, but it’s one of the most powerful tools you posses.  If your happiness is truly independent from the outcome of an interaction with a woman, you’re halfway to where you want to be.  You won’t fall for little shit tests, appear too desperate, or sink into mini-depressions when she doesn’t text/doesn’t come over/won’t go home with you.  You might not even notice the little landmines girls lay in your path, because you’re skipping right past them.

If you pursue this principle, along with a few other things, you may find desirable women chasing you.

And Gents – it is impossible to be Outcome Independent if you’re pining away over a girl who isn’t thinking about your ass anyway.    There are many ways to discipline the mind in this regard.  Sometime down the road I’ll share mine.

Until then, here’s an easy fix:

Every time you think about a specific girl when she’s not there, or how much you’d like a girl in your life, do 20 push-ups.   Seriously – walk away from the group and pound ’em out.  If you’re in bed and your mind drifts, roll onto the floor and beat your face 20 times.  Studying?  Working?  No excuse – bash ’em out ASAP.

There are times, of course, when a girl is thinking about you.  Until you fully internalize (I mean live it, not fake it) this principle, odds are it’s not the girl you want thinking about you,  or it is the girl you want, but she’s not thinking anything good.

So start pushing, Gents.

Feel free to expand on Outcome Independence in the comments if you have tips or anecdotes to share.

On Blue Pill Expectations

I’ve been on two internet dates. One ended with me getting hot tea poured deliberately into my lap, and the other one was a fucking disaster.

Many moons ago, I went through a period of pretty low self esteem. I had just gotten out of the military and had a five year long relationship end on bad terms. I was adrift in life, and women could smell it on me. It was like I had a phantasmal neon sign above my head that read “Mid twenties male. Brash, annoying, desperate, clingy.” There was no love out there for your Faithful Scribe.

I did what every idiot does at that point, which was to convince myself that if I could just get the right girl, everything would look up. The ladies were not so enthusiastic about my cart before the horseness. I turned to eHarmony to remedy this unfortunate situation.

After the month long vetting process, I finally arranged a date. The girl was a Mary Kay salesperson (make up ladies are hot, right?) and seemed to be about where I was in life. I drove over to her apartment to take her to dinner, visions of meeting my future wife playing in my head. I just knew that this would be The One – we were going to become a team and pull each other out of our collective funks, building each other’s self esteem. Together, we were going to conquer the world.

I pulled up outside her building (she didn’t give me her actual apartment number for PERSEC reasons) in the rain and called her. After she said she was coming out, I began watching for her. I am a gentleman and always open the door for a lady, but I wanted to stay in my warm, dry truck as long as possible. After several false alarms, I heard a knock on my passenger side door. My finely tuned jungle sense had somehow missed the future love of my life walking across the parking lot.

I sprung into action, much chagrined. Had I messed up her first impression already? I hopped out, and went around to the passenger side door. The creature I beheld was nothing like the one that had danced in my mind on the trip over. There were no long, lean thighs. There was no feminine jawline, no perfect (but tastefully concealed) busom pushing through a sheer (but tasteful, you see?) blouse. Absent were soulful (but glinting with subtle mischief!) eyes.

I was looking at a human tub of shit. This poor girl had let herself go to the point of repulsiveness. She had two and a half chins, a pannus that hung to her knock-knees, and tiny, beady eyes that were permanently squinting due to the oppressive weight of facial fat. Dear Reader, I believe I actually took several steps back.

“Hi, Dogsquat! I’m so excited to meet you. Where are we going to eat?”

My mind raced. I had reservations at a five star restaurant. I was prepared to invest three or four hundred dollars on dinner with the vision in my head. There is no sense skimping on the woman who was to be my salvation, I had reasoned. But this? Is this what I deserved? Hell no.

“I figured we could head over to The Macaroni Grill. They have pretty good food, I guess.”

Quick thinking, right? Smooth, too. Not smooth or quick enough to back out of this date, though. I was bullied into opening the truck door by social convention, and my inability to be a total asshole to an obese girl.

Have you ever seen films of the paratroopers getting on planes prior to jumping into Normandy? Burdened by a hundred pounds of gear and parachute, those brave men struggled up the ladders into DC-3s, teetering on the threshold until they got a helpful shove from the man behind them. Watching this woman get into my truck was quite similar. She huffed and puffed, quivered and jiggled, and finally slopped herself into the passenger’s seat. My huge Dodge truck with a 3/4 ton suspension groaned. When I got back on my side, I swear my truck had a ten degree list to starboard.

Walking in to the restaurant with her, I was as embarrassed as I have been since a very unfortunate incident in fourth grade. The men cast pitying looks at me, and the women were not much better. The servers looked at her greedily, knowing there was economic opportunity in a woman who obviously ate so much.

Dinner conversation was uncomfortable, until I struck upon an idea. I asked about her past relationships. If I wasn’t going to get to know the future Mrs. Dogsquat, I could at least do anthropological research into the kind of man who sought a woman such as this. She was emboldened by my seeming interest in her.

“Oh, I don’t date a lot. I was seeing this guy for awhile, but he cheated on me and gave me an STD.”

“Oh..An STD?…So…uh…what did you get?” Like she had won a raffle or grab bag or something.

“I have genital warts. Don’t worry, though – I get them frozen off and you won’t catch anything. We can still have sex.”


“I hope we do have sex later. I’m having a really good time with you. I promise it will be great.” The last part was said with what I assume was a conspiratorial wink, but it looked like some adipose triggered facial tic.

“Okay.” I said.

That was the final blow for me. At that point in my life, I might have sunk so low as to use this poor creature for sex, but the thought of warts on my unit put the kibosh on that. We sped through dinner, her surely thinking I was excited by the promise of wading through folds of Limburger scented chub in search of her diseased lady parts, and me wishing for an ejection seat instead of a booth.

When we pulled up in front of her apartment building after dinner, I made the usual excuses about being tired and having to work early in the morning.

“You’ll call me, right?”

I envisioned her very own phantasmal neon sign spinning over her head. It read “Female, mid-twenties. Fat, boring, desperate, and an STD.”

I went home, deleted her number, and drank half a bottle of Jack.  Something had to change, I thought.  This can’t be all there is for me….

On Screwing it Up

When I’m single, I hit on every woman I think is attractive.  It’s good for them, and fun for me.  Most of the time.  No matter how tired/drunk/covered in blood I am, I do it.  Why keep the women  of the world from my presence?  Doesn’t seem fair.

When I work too many shifts in a row (I’m a paramedic) I start looking at everyone as a potential patient.  The balance of work, fatigue, and women should be carefully considered.


I was standing in line behind a nice young lady at a grocery store, dead on my feet after a zillion hours on the ambulance.

“You’ve got really nice veins…” I mumbled.

“Wh…What!1??eleven!?” she replied.

“No..uh..I mean…Your median cubital vein is perfect! If I had to, I could get a 14 gauge IV in there, no problem! Even if your heart stopped and your venous tone was crap.  No, seriously – I could do it.”

“Oh my God!” she said. She’d started out bright red, but progressed to a most pale skin tone.  Pale and diaphoretic as we say in the Meat Wagon business.

“Sorry. I’m really tired,” I sighed. “I didn’t mean to say that out loud.”

I still feel bad about that whole exchange. I creeped out that poor girl something fierce. I’d been working my ass off for 24 hours. I am tall and like to lift weights. I’m not a beautiful man, even in the best light. At the time, my eyes were so bloodshot they looked like cherry tomatoes in my face, my hair was wild, sweaty, and greasy, and I had unidentifiable stains on my pants and boots.

If her dad/SO/the cops had showed up, I’d have saved them the trouble and kicked my own ass. I was half expecting to be called in to my supervisor’s office for a month after that, since my agency’s logo was clearly visible on my shirt.

Sorry, Grocery Girl. I really didn’t mean it like that. I was just really, really tired.

But….Nothing happened.  I got a funny story, and she got a funny story (eventually it’ll be funny).  One of the worst attempts at flirting in the universe resulted in no material consequences.

And I looked like walking Death at the time.

Why are you not flirting with women again?

On Powering Through

I set my pack down and took a deep breath.  This is gonna suck, I thought.

I inched closer to the wall, trying blend in to my surroundings.  In this type of operation, remaining unobserved is critical.  The target is not an issue – you know what’s going down, and they’ll find out soon enough.  Sometimes the target wants this type of confrontation, anyway.  It’s the people close to the target that are variables you can’t control.  Some doctrines suggest allowing the target to escape if the situation is unfavorable for engagement, and I was operating that way due to local conditions.

I ran the plan through my mind again.  This operation had been in the works for a month, and I was terrified of fucking it up.  I was visualizing the primary and secondary egress routes with my eyes shut when I recognized the target’s distinct voice around the corner.  No mistaking that voice – not after all the direct and indirect intel I’d gathered.  I took a turkey-look around the corner for a quick visual confirmation.  I half-hoped I’d see something that warranted an abort, but conditions were favorable.  This, as they say, was motherfucking it.

My mouth tasted like copper.

My abdominal muscles clenched.

My right knee quivered like it always does when I’m scared.

I stepped around the corner.

The target locked eyes with me.

Blood pounded in my ears.

I unstuck my tongue from the roof of my mouth.

“Hi Melanie!” I croaked.  “Will you go to Homecoming with me?”


That’s a true story, by the way.  All the tactical high-speed bullshit words got crammed in to my head several years later, but the rest of it is 100% truth.  It can really be that fucking scary to ask a girl out – believe me, I know.

It doesn’t have to be, though.

What you need is practice.

Start small. The next time you get coffee from a cute barista, ask her the time. Just a simple,”Hey – do you know what time it is? Okay, thanks!”  Ask her one question not normally associated with buying a cup of joe.

Go to the mall, find a cute sales-girl, and ask her to help you pick something out.  If I was doing this exercise I’d look for a nice dress shirt, because I’m fashion-challenged. That’s fine, because I will Gamejitsu my hypofashionemia into a demonstration of higher value.


“Hi there.” eye contact and smile “You look like a person that knows about shirts.  Listen –  I’m an expert in advanced cardiac life support.  I know all about car crashes and broken bones and gunshot wounds.  That stuff comes easy to me.  But shirts….they’ve always been a mystery.  Help me out here.  How many sleeves do you usually recommend?”

That’s it – you’re off and running.  It doesn’t matter what you’re an expert in – accounting, 13th Century Welsh nobility, prolactinomas – whatever.  Pick something you’re good at and mention it.  It’ll pump you up subconsciously.  Then admit a stultifying ignorance – ignorance so exaggerated she knows you’re pulling her leg a bit.  Keep your tone friendly, maintain reasonable eye contact and open body language, and smile.  She’ll laugh.

Then, just let her do her thing.  Ask a few questions about the merchandise. Go with her recommendation, thank her for her help (eye contact and smile), and buy it.

Now, stay all-business with these girls – they’re there to do a job, not to be creeped on. If she shoves a number into your hand while the boss isn’t looking, you take it with my blessing – and skip the rest of this article.  You don’t need my help.  For the rest of you – Rome wasn’t built in a day.  Don’t make some working stiff’s day any harder – and yes, she’s a working stiff no matter what she looks like.  We’ll get to BJs in backrooms later.

Even though these girls aren’t going to blow you in the stockroom, you can get something out of the interaction.  Pay attention, and they will help you realize something:

To a certain extent, we all act out roles for strangers and people we don’t know well.  The girl who’s going to sell you a shirt is playing the part of Apparel Technician #2, and your part is Fashion Challenged Dood #4.

As such, there are accepted scripts to follow, and certain guidelines that keep you “in character”. If you deviate too far off script, you’re thought of as creepy/awkward. Think about what an actor playing a part would do in your shoes, and do that.  Embrace it.  Take courage in the role – to her, you really are Fashion Challenged Dood #4.  She doesn’t know you used to eat paste in 3rd grade, or that you’re a virgin, or insecure about your dick size.  Fashion Challenged Dood #4 doesn’t have those problems, so when you’re in his shoes, you don’t have those problems.  Wipe that paste off your face before you go in the store, please.

Do this until the “Holy Jumping Jesus! I’m talking to a hot girl! And she is motherfucking talking back to me!  Guys!  Guys! Do you see this shit, guys!” feeling in your gut goes away.

This will help you internalize the fact that women (even girls you like) are just people. Even the coolest, smartest, funniest, sexiest woman in the universe is just another person. Hell, when it comes down to biology, she’s basically identical to me.  No shit.  All you guys with tight Game reading along can think about that this weekend while you’re banging some dimepiece.  No thanks is necessary, gents.  I live to serve.

Anyway, there’s no good goddamned reason you can’t relate to me or her.  There’s absolutely nothing special about either one of us. You’ve just got to find the common ground with each and go from there – and every single person on Earth has some kind of common ground with you.  Think hard enough and you’ll find it.  It’s there.

The “acting trick” is a mental crutch to make that easier. You can (and should) drop it as you become more practiced at reading subtle social cues, and get more comfortable in your own skin.

Good luck, gents.  Try it.  And don’t buy any three sleeved shirts.  It’s after Labor Day and you’ll look unfashionable.