Personal Development

How Self-Improvement Can be Learned Through Pickup Artists

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Written by Vincent Nguyen
You surely raised a brow upon reading the terms “pickup artists” and “self-improvement” in the same sentence. Don’t those sleazy jerks use routines to pickup easy, manipulable women? I’m sure there are people out there like that, but they are actually a community of guys who want to help others improve themselves to become more attractive to the opposite sex in a very classy, humble type of way. Think self-improvement. What can we learn from these so-called pickup artists?

There is without a doubt a certain sense of charm about someone with more confidence in their own actions and their seemingly optimistic outlook.
true love searchingTo the pickup community, confidence is THE key to becoming better with women. There’s no surprise that the number one advice given there is to work on confidence; reiterating that if you have none then work on faking it.
What part of life doesn’t benefit from confidence? It is easier to get your foot in the door at an interview when they see that you exude confidence in yourself and your abilities. No doubt is it more of an advantage to appear confident on a first date than to be an insecure, needy person.
Then when you look into your social circle, whom do you respect the most? It is most likely the one with confidence, the one who isn’t afraid to lead; it is the alpha male, as the pickup artists call them. Don’t you want to be that person, the leader of the pack?
The community stands by self-improving advices and they do not just teach cheap tricks to men who want to sleep around. They teach the average male to become a better person and how to become confident. In fact, their advice is sometimes so universal that there are many women in these communities who read them just to learn. They aren’t disgusted by the audacity of these men because it is just a giant self-improvement group with a negative reputation they don’t deserve.
Since confidence is such a huge part of improving as an individual, how can we learn from the pickup artists themselves?
Fake it until you make it
One of the first methods they teach is to “fake it until you make it”, believing that the more you fake it, the more you begin to internalize this new-found confidence. You see, this is the way they argue it works.
You are normally not a very confident guy, so you are used to a certain way of being treated. So once you begin to fake being confident, you get an understanding of how it feels. In addition to that, you start to notice people treat you differently, people look at you more, and all of a sudden, people are more sociable! What does this do for you? It makes you start to feel actually confident because all of a sudden, you’re being treated so well!
Let’s take a look at it again. You fake confidence so people start giving you more respect, which gives you actual confidence in yourself because you are no longer second-guessing. Round and round it goes.
Hit the gym
The second thing they teach provides more tangible results you can see in yourself physically; this of course, means joining a gym and putting on some muscle. What better way to feel confident than to genuinely see yourself as a stronger guy who isn’t so weak anymore? It’s beautiful to be able to see the before and after and just know that you’ve changed for the better. Women will notice you a lot more and it doesn’t involve having to talk to anyone just yet.
It gives you that extra edge over other guys who don’t work out, and truthfully, we live in a very physical world. Whether or not you want to admit it, people who are better looking tend to get what they want more. You may as well use this to your advantage and get a confidence boost.
Start dressing better
You don’t have to dress as smooth as James Bond, nor would you want to. You want to dress to fit the occasion, but try to wear clothes that work better for you in terms of fit and style. If you’re wearing loose t-shirts three sizes too large and jeans that can fit two of you, then you’re doing it wrong. Read up on basic fashion tips; it will make you feel better, look better, and be treated better. It also comes with an extra dosage of confidence.
Personally, I am a huge advocate of quality over quantity. Don’t reach for those packs that promise five t-shirts for $15 because they won’t last you very long.
Practice and improve your social skills
Improving your social skills is a huge cornerstone to pickup artists as well. They tell you to practice getting comfortable with starting conversations with anyone, regardless of gender. Actively listen and engage those you talk to; come up with great stories to make them laugh. All of this ties into picking up women and it makes you a more sociable person.
If you want to get over your fear of striking up conversation with people you don’t know, start off with something simple. Go up to that friendly, approachable looking person you see and just ask for the time, maybe even asking for directions if you feel like extending the conversation. Once you feel comfortable enough, go ahead and spontaneously initiate legitimate conversation. Just have fun with it because you most likely won’t see these strangers again.
So don’t think that simply because they have a negative reputation they don’t have tons of self-improvement worthy advice. I find them to be very philosophical in their ways of thinking and they dissect what it means to be an attractive individual.
There you have it, a more positive look on the world of pickup artists and how us normal folks can learn from them. Remember, they aren’t just trying to pick up women; they’re trying to change their lives. Don’t forget to comment below and share your thoughts on learning self-improvement from pickup artists. Perhaps there still is something morally off about it to you? Either way it’d be great to hear and get a conversation going!

Some Amazing Comments


About the author

Vincent Nguyen

Vincent Nguyen is the author of self-improvement blog Self Stairway. Teaching that self-improvement is done through constant self-reflection, Vincent often draws through anecdotal experience to tie into his life lessons. Currently an aspiring PR Specialist, he wants to aid those seeking the tools to live a better, conscious life. Feel free to follow Self Stairway on Twitter.


  • […] You surely raised a brow upon reading the terms “pickup artists” and “self-improvement” in the same sentence. Don’t those sleazy jerks use routines to pickup easy, manipulable women? I’m sure there are people out there like that, but they are actually a community of guys who want to help others improve themselves to become more attractive to the opposite sex in a very classy, humble type of way. Think self-improvement. What can we learn from these so-called pickup artists?  […]

  • Awesome post, Vincent. I still hate the term “pick up artist”, but I understand the context in which it is used. Whenever I see “pick up artist” I think of Mystery and Style wearing their leather boas and tossing out negs.

    Pick up nowadays is much more self improvement and being honest and up front with your intentions. My standard opener is: “Excuse me, I saw you walking past, and I just had to say…you look adorable today. Whats your name?”

  • LOL. I never thought of comparing self improvement to pickup artists, but it works. I’d say the big one for me is “fake it ’til you make it.” Another saying I like is “act the way you want to become and you will become the way you act.” I often find this works wonders for shifting my thinking from negativity to positivity. When I am down in the dumps feeling sorry for myself, I just have to start focusing on those things I am grateful for to start lightening my mood.

    Dressing better is also a big one for me. I do notice that the better I look, the better I feel. And it is not about dressing to impress each time, it is about looking good for what I have on, even if it is sweats or pajamas.

    • You’d be surprised with how many things can relate to self-improvement. :) That’s a great saying too since it gets the point across.

      It’s true and its effects are powerful! I don’t feel as confident in my basketball shorts and baggy t-shirts as I do when I’m wearing dark denim or khaki pants with a well fitted t-shirt!

  • As someone who has been through both ends of the spectrum – very little confidence as a kid, very confident as an adult – it seems to me a lot is about a sense of PLACE. Where do I fit in? Do I have something to offer others? Will they be interested in it?

    Once you get that in place, it becomes easier to operate in your power zone.

    And of course, finding confidence in one areas starts to create a spill over effect. You radiate overall confidence. Then people REALLY start treating you differently!

    Great post! Thanks for bringing up the topic in a cool way. :)

    • I was exactly like you, both ends of the spectrum. You definitely have a point about that sense of belonging. I find that there are ways to operate in that zone by working internally. What is going through your head? Are you out to impress others? When you begin to value yourself without having to seek validation through others, it’s much easier to feel confident. It’s not easy, but it’s great once you figure it out.

  • The pickup artist that you describe I can relate to, that’s the kind of person who I’d have admiration for, but as you say, those sleazy guys who go for the ‘easy’ don’t make the list.

    Faking it might sound easier than it really is, especially when you’re ingrained in a current friendship circle. If you could hang out with a few new people being the ‘new you’, then I reckon that’d lower the bar.

    I’ve got a comfort zone to get out of here, it’s one of those things where I know I should do it – spontaneously walk up to strangers just to meet them, regularly. It’s scary. The few times I’ve done it though have given me such a rush, the fear-barrier got demolished and I felt like I was in god-mode… I think I’ve found some goals for next week!

    Great to see you on here, Vincent!

    • Thanks for sharing your insight, Nick! Profound as always. It’s definitely not easy when you go out doing this with the actual purpose of lessening your fear. The pressure and the feeling of the spotlight is heavy, but it only gets easier!

  • Hey Vincent, interesting take on the subject of confidence. Self-confidence is such an important piece of the self-help puzzle. And I imagine it must take a fair amount of confidence to play the pick-up artist.

    It’s true that building some muscle will do wonders for your confidence. Not just because of the looks you get from the ladies (though that’s awesome too), but from seeing the strength you’ve built and knowing you put in the work, effort and pain. You EARNED that muscle, and so you gain confidence.

    Thanks for pointing that out.


    • Hi, Trevor! I am pretty impressed by what these pickup artists do. The amount of courage it must take to do this is way up there.

      Putting work into building your body is satisfying even if just for self-glory. Just don’t be too vain in the open because that’s not a good thing! :)

  • Confidence is very important when it comes to relationships. When I first began to date, I had no confidence at all and that was the #1 reason why the relationship ended. Who wants to be with someone that doesn’t have confidence and believes in themselves? This isn’t to be confused with arrogance either. There is a line between being confident and being arrogant.

    • Confidence carries over to just so many things that it’s ridiculous. That line you mention is very difficult for people to distinguish between. I have trouble with this line sometimes too, but it’s all about receiving honest feedback from others so you know when you’re being a bit much.

  • All great points, Vincent. We cannot deny evolution – we pick stronger mates because our brains say “Ah, the stronger he is the better he can take care of my offspring…oh, and what fine, strong offspring we will have!” Even if we do not plan to have children, our brains tell us this.

    So, instead of burying our head in the sand and saying, Don’t judge! we can instead pull on the sneakers and head out for a walk or to the gym. Even though I am happily married, I still notice toned arms (men or women!).

  • It’s nice to see some good publicity regarding that industry although most people will always have negative views on it. It’s definitely in a much healthier place than it used to be and I agree it is awesome for all round personal development!

  • this is so true.
    but it doesn’t take care of the “taking action” part which im stuck right now. god damn approach anxiety.

    • Hello,

      Unfortunately, the topic of seduction was not my intention when writing this article. I found the community interesting and realized they gave practical advice on self-improvement in general that most people could use.

      I did mention briefly a call to action for “approach anxiety,” but that is on the level of conversing with strangers without any hidden agendas other than a friendly banter.

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