How To Pick Up Girls Part 2

HOW TO PICK UP GIRLS Pt 2

Sun 8th Oct 2006, Tim Briffa

Whenever it comes up I’ve written a play called ‘How To Pick Up Girls’ it’s usually just a matter of time before the question comes “…and so how do you pick up girls?”

My standard response is to say “I only wish I knew” and then remind them it was a work of fiction, but in truth it’s a subject I’ve given a lot of thought to over the years and if they seem genuinely interested I’m usually happy to offer a theory or two.

It’s not just men who ask me this question, though if it’s coming from a girl its usually accompanied by a slight narrowing of eyes and crossing of arms and offered mainly to prove they would never be so dumb as to fall for some kind of set routine or ‘shtick.’ Women are quick to tell you how easy it is to get a man to do what they want, but suggest they can also be played and they’re invariably outraged.

But just because I think it’s possible to manipulate a girl into bed, doesn’t mean I agree with it and I generally try to avoid direct game-playing. So instead of this being a set of pulling tricks I’ve been told about or witnessed being used as I originally intended, I’ve decided to make it a more general overview of the subject which I’m hoping will be less open to abuse.

Before I start there’s something I need to make absolutely clear which is that men and women are not the same. That might be obvious to most people, but every now and again I run into someone who believes the old school Feminist/PC notion that our differences are purely the result of social conditioning, girls being given dolls to play with and boys being given guns etc. plus a culture that praises a guy who sleeps around while putting down a woman who does the same.

Conditioning certainly has a major effect, but we would behave differently regardless of the culture we are raised in due to a range of hormonal, cognitive and biological differences governing perception and sexuality, many of which can be observed long before conditioning could have had any significant effect.*

(*At just six hours of age, baby girls react more keenly to sounds. At six months they are better at recognizing faces while boys of the same age have better spatial awareness skills.)

The most significant differences is that only one of the sexes can become pregnant. This inclines the woman more naturally towards monogamy than the male who can potentially father dozens of children in the time it takes her to produce one as well as influencing the traits we seek in a potential partner.

It matters not whether we consciously want or even like children. After ensuring our own survival on this planet, our strongest instinct is to pass on our DNA via the fittest specimen we think we can attract, so that one day it can do the same – the perpetuation of our species. This is what all the flirting, buying drinks and asking what bands the other person is into, is ultimately all about.

Not only is the idea of the sexes being the same, demonstrably false, but rather than bringing us together, I believe it’s created even bigger divisions and it’s only by accepting we have different desires and drives, we have any hope of understanding one another and truly getting on.

So unless anyone has any questions?….No one? Good, then I’ll begin.

1/ PRIMARY CHARACTERISTICS WOMEN SEEK- PROVIDER/PROTECTOR

Babies require almost constant attention. To raise one alone in primitive times – where we’ve spent the vast bulk of our evolution – would have meant an increased risk for both mother and child of dying from hunger, thirst, exposure etc.

It is therefore etched deep into every woman’s subconscious to avoid indiscriminate sex, lest she fall pregnant as a result and where possible to seek out the best provider/protector she can find.

Once this would have meant someone resourceful and/or physically strong, but tends now to translate as someone successful/wealthy or with the makings of success. So any outward signs of this (fast car, expensive suit, Rolex etc.) is guaranteed to draw female attention.

It’s no use him being rich if he later runs off (which wealthy men are more likely to do by virtue of their popularity) so he must also appear sincere in his intentions, so any form of romantic display (flowers, poetry etc.) or a willingness to commit (a ring on the finger being the ultimate) will also elicit a strong response.

Ideally she’d like a man who is both rich and in love, but luckily for most guys, women will usually accept a shortfall in the wealth dept. if the man shows sufficient passion, on the basis that what he lacks in resources he should make up for in his willingness to stick around and work hard on behalf of her and any future offspring.

It follows from this, that one of the worst things a man can show a woman is a lack of passion. Like a lot of guys, when I first started going on the pull, I’d chat up as many women as I could thinking I was increasing my chances – the ‘throw as much mud…’ approach. This can work in some situations, but in a closed environment like a club, you’re often shooting yourself in the foot. If she’s at all interested in you, she’ll have been checking you out too (if less obviously) and if she’s had to watch you try it on with half a dozen girls before getting around to her, you’ve as good as told her you won’t be sticking around.

Other ways to signal your general half-heartedness is to forget her name shortly after being given it or to continue scanning the room while talking to her. Simple stuff you’d think, but it’s amazing how many guys make these elementary mistakes.

The above constitute the primary characteristics a woman looks for in a man, roughly equivalent to what appearance and sexuality represent to men. It’s worth noting that the physical traits men are most drawn to (full lips, firm breasts, curves etc.) are all indicators of fertility so ultimately still relate to reproduction./the creation of healthy offspring. It’s also been shown that good-looking people are trusted more and tend to do better in life, so beauty also confers a survival advantage.

2/ SECONDARY CHARACTERISTICS – LOOKER/LOVER/ENTERTAINER

The more choice a woman has, the more she can look towards finding someone who satisfies her on a more personal level.

A glance through any lonely hearts column shows the most universally sought male personality trait is a ‘GSOH.’ It’s unclear why women find humour such a turn-on.

Similar to an orgasm, being made to laugh is an involuntary, yet pleasurable reflex – so there could be a subconscious link to that. Or it might simply be that so few women can tell a joke, when they find someone who can do so without screwing up the punch-line, they’ll sleep with them out of gratitude.

Humour also suggests the man is intelligent as well as ‘safe.’ and not some psycho who won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. It’s easy for men to overlook how threatening they are potentially to a woman, and rightly or wrongly psychopaths are assumed to be intense individuals not given to making light-hearted quips the whole time.

Though not as high a priority as for most men, she does still need to feel physically attracted. Sexual prowess is also important, but with no way of knowing how a man will perform in bed without actually sleeping with him – something she’s programmed to keep to a minimum – she may rely on more subtle indicators of his abilities according to her personal preferences, which is why women can be aroused by something as seemingly abstract as an athletic performance or even a passionate piano recital.

Every woman is different and some may be more typically male in their desires, but for the most part it seems Nature has given her the task of caring for the child and for the man to make sure it’s not too ugly.

3/ VETTING METHODS

Being mainly attracted to looks, it’s easy for a man to know who is a candidate for his attentions, but as all the main traits a woman looks for (wealth, power, desire for commitment, safety etc.) are either not apparent from appearance or can be faked or lied about, how does she know who is worth fluttering her eyelashes at and working her subtle magic on?

One way is by checking the women around him. A hot babe on your arm is like a great reference on a CV. She won’t know what’s attracting her (Great in bed? Heir to a fortune?) but she will assume it’s good and worth having.

Of course this is of limited use if he’s already with someone. A more useful sign he has something going for him is confidence, which is why almost every self-help book recommends it, though he might simply be full of himself.

Probably the most reliable way to know if a guy is genuine and not some loser/chancer hoping for an easy lay is by simply holding off before having sex. This seems to come more naturally to women who on average feel most in the mood for sex around the 3-5th date. If anything men are inclined to lose interest the longer they’ve known the person, which can present a problem as by the time she is finally in the mod, he may be going off the idea,

Should he proceed despite his waning interest, there is another potential hurdle in the form of a chemical women produce after having sex called oxytocin – aka the ‘cuddling’ or ‘bonding’ hormone – making her feel even more attached.

Having spent several nights getting to know him (or as she will see it ‘investing in the relationship,’) he can no longer expect to leave with a peck on the cheek and a ‘see you around some time.’ Floating in a sea of oxytocin and thinking about her next fix, she will want to know precisely when she will next see him around and should he feel forced to offer a date, will then be asked why it can’t be sooner.

By the time he’s extricated himself from the situation, he’ll have paid such a high price in term of DVDs starring Renee Zellweger and increasingly needy phone calls, he’ll think a lot more carefully before pulling that stunt again.

So again what appears to be a huge evolutionary cock-up, proves a great way to reduce babies born to unsuited couples and another victory for Mother Nature.

Women’s reluctance to jump into bed may partly be learned behaviour, but it also has a physiological basis. While the area of the male brain that processes sexual thoughts is located in both hemispheres, for women it’s predominantly located in just one.

So while he is in a kind of permanent sexual standby, able to turn his thoughts to sexual matters almost regardless of what he is focussed on, the woman tends to require some ‘warming up.’

When it comes to processing emotions, it’s women who use both halves and men who employ one and require the ‘warming up.’

If this one fact was better known, I believe it would do more to bring the sexes together than the entire works of Feminism combined. No longer would women have to puzzle over how her man can be warm and loving one day and cold and distant the next. Nor would men wonder how their partner could be asking him to talk dirty one night, then storming out the next because he suggested a quickie.

It also means that whether one is looking for love or sex, one should heed the lesson of ‘frog boiling’ namely, if you turn up the heat too fast it will jump out.

4/ BASTARDS

From everything I’ve talked about, it would seem like the ideal man would be romantic, sensitive, charming etc. yet we’ve all known men who are none of these things, yet attract more women than almost anyone.

Bastards – as they’re commonly known – break all the known laws of pulling. Instead of wooing a girl with flowers and candlelit dinners, he’s more likely to invite her to some dive bar where he’ll get her to pay for the drinks, before shagging her in the alleyway around the back. He’ll then ignore her calls until a couple of weeks later when he sends a text saying to come straight to his wearing her best lingerie and come straight to his – which she’ll spend five minutes cursing, before ordering a cab.

Even women struggle to explain the appeal of the exact type they should be running a mile from. But it’s actually not so irrational, as indirectly bastards fit almost all the criteria they are programmed to seek.

By refusing to follow the standard rules of seduction, this suggests an alpha male/ leader type, thus marking him as a good potential provider. His unpredictability tends to make him exciting to be around – ticking the ‘good entertainer’ box. His overt sexuality is usually passionate, another plus and the fact he’s so upfront about his desires ironically suggests a certain honesty that some find refreshing, given most guys are looking for sex, but try to hide it.

The only area he falls seriously short is regarding commitment. Yet even this can work to his advantage. Given the human tendency to project, she will likely attribute this to some past emotional hurt which only her unique form of loving can cure.

By the time she’s realized he’s not some wounded soul and really is just a bastard, he’ll have slept with half her friends and moved on to pastures new.

5/ THE EVOLUTIONARY LOOPHOLE

Non-bastards might now be wondering if there’s any way to get a girl into bed without having to somehow subvert their desire for something long term. “What about nymphomaniacs?” I hear you all ask. “Do they really exist? And if so where can I meet them?”

Nymphos do exist. But they are usually nuts and more trouble than they’re worth. This is an observation, not a value judgement and not surprising when you consider the dangers and lack of biological advantage for a woman to have a multitude of anonymous partners.

Fortunately there are some relatively-sane women who enjoy sex for it’s own sake from time to time.*

(*A recent study showed women were more attracted to photos of guys on motorbikes, during the middle of their menstrual cycle.)

I refer to this idea in my play, where I call it the 1 in 10 Rule – being the approximate proportion of women who have the same attitude to sex as most men. To quote Ted Dellar the US sex guru whose CD course gives the play it’s name “This doesn’t just mean one in ten women feel the same way as you, but the remaining nine out of ten women feel the same way as men, one tenth of the time.”

By learning to recognize who is genuinely up for it much of the game-playing can be avoided.

This is more of a ‘vibe’ thing (which I will come to later,) suffice to say it’s often the opposite of who one might expect (when picking out potential groupies, Beatle roadies were instructed to go for ‘the quiet ones at the back.’) In the same way men use the promise of romance to procure sex. It can also be confused by the fact that women will often play up their sexuality to get what they want – be it a relationship, a confidence boost or just a night of free drinks.

She may not be deliberately leading you on. One way alcohol affects women is to temporarily raise their testosterone levels, making them feel more ‘male’ sexually, usually reverting to type a bit later in the night, when the genuinely horny ones have usually left with someone.

6) THE MAGIC FORMULA

I said at the start I’m against direct game-playing, however there’s one technique I’ve used and can’t resist talking about.

I discovered/developed it a few years ago with Raife (the sex-obsessed drummer I mentioned in the Christina At The Bus Stop essay) and it involves some of the principles I’ve discussed. In fact it’s how I figured many of them out.

At the time we’d become friends with Grub Smith who wrote a column called the Laboratory Of Love for FHM in which he’d often road-test some technique or toy. As a result he’d get sent a lot of invites to things likes sex exhibitions or launch parties for some new condom range, which he told us were usually full of semi-naked models and Page Three types. He’d been in the job long enough to have grown bored with all this, so we began pestering him for any press passes he wasn’t planning to use.

The first we went to was a birthday party for Live TV, the UK’s first porn channel famous at the time for showing topless darts. As promised there were various scantily-clad women about, who we spent most of the night ogling and being ignored by. Eventually, we did what we often did when we’d given up on a club or party and retreated to a corner to talk music, tell jokes etc. (Raife can be very funny so we’d usually end up in hysterics.)

After about twenty minutes, two model types introduced themselves. Girls often came up when we ‘withdrew’ like this, curious why we weren’t acting like everyone else or perhaps just wanting to get in on our good time, but we weren’t expecting it to happen somewhere like this.

Then a couple more girls came over and by the end of the night we’d been given three or four phone numbers including that of their Swedish (topless) weather presenter and one of the leads from their erotic soap opera ‘Threesome.’ I should mention that Raife never took advantage of these offers as he had a girlfriend who he was very much in love with. I never quite understood what he got out of chatting up hot women he could never sleep with, but he seemed to enjoy the flirting and said he got a kick out of turning them down at the end of the night.

The next invite, more or less the same thing happened. Shortly after retreating to a quiet corner a girl came over and asked if we were in a band. Raife was in the middle of some story so he just went “yeah we are” and continued talking.

She then asked the name. Raife replied that she wouldn’t have heard of us, which was probably true, but rather than give up it seemed to make her more curious and she began insisting we were famous. She called her friend over, saying we were in some famous band which Raife then started playing to, by still refusing to give our name.

At some point the second girl tried to kiss him. He pushed her away going “leave me alone,” which again made her even more persistent. As we got drunker, he became increasingly outrageous, telling her at one point that he wouldn’t have sex with her, but would consider coming in her face. He often came out with this crude, but funny stuff with girls in clubs. They’d usually push him or act mock-outraged, but they’d almost always stick around and often come onto him later. But with these girls the effect seemed magnified tenfold and he ended up with both of them all over him. Later he got talking to a lingerie model who handed him her card with a note saying ‘Call me. Day or Night.’

Later we tried making sense of all this. We already knew the reason girls like it when you’re rude or dismissive is because it suggests you have something going for you, (similar to why they find confidence or bastards attractive,) But it’s one thing treating a regular club-goer like she’s beneath you, to do this to so some stunning model, suggests you must really be something special – and hence the girl’s insistence we were famous.

Once we’d figured out the psychology we began to apply it and by about the fifth event we had it down to a set of precise moves: After entering the room, we’d go straight to the bar without even glancing at any of the girls no matter how beautiful or how little they were wearing. We’d continue to talk and look only at one another.

Within about forty minutes we’d start to notice a few girls gravitating towards us in our periphery vision, until eventually one would come up and say something eg “how are guys doing?” to which we’d give the briefest answer “good thanks” and carry on our conversation. She’d either become more persistent or walk off slightly dazed at having received her first brush-off in years/ever.

If she did walk off, someone a bit braver (who would likely have witnessed this) would give it a go, and at some point we’d drop the cool act and properly engage in the evening, though continuing to make no effort to be polite (e.g. not offering to buy them a drink) and being as rude/crude as we felt.

The worse we behaved the more they’d react, which would draw the attention of other girls, until we’d sometimes have a little crowd caught up in this incredible filth feedback loop and all of it based on bluff. (Can you see why I named it the Magic Formula?)

We had some mad nights. I remember looking at Raife with three models around him, suddenly grabbing his nose and going “did one of you just fart?” Another time a well-known porn model bet him £20 she’d fuck him by the morning. Raife won (if you can call not fucking a porn model ‘winning.’)

Raife was always better at this stuff than me, maybe because he wasn’t trying to have sex, whereas I’d usually betray my intentions by coming on too soon or taking the bad boy stuff a little too far (probably shouldn’t go into that.) I didn’t usually care if I blew it as we’d usually have had so much fun by that point. I remember leaving one place laughing our heads off while Raife threw four or five phone numbers into the gutter going ‘idiots!’

7/ CHEMISTRY/ENERGY

Having since read The Game – Neil Strauss’ account of the US pick-up scene, I can see what we were doing was like an extreme version of what he calls ‘the Neg’ – where you make a subtle put-down in order to suggest ‘high value.’

While I enjoyed the book, I was surprised he never discussed chemistry, as if as long as a girl looks good, she’s worth pursuing. In my experience not only is it much harder to pull someone if there’s no chemistry, but the sex will be terrible even if you succeed.

I once met a Spanish girl with whom I felt instant chemistry. We went back to hers and were soon meeting up every weekend.

What was unusual about this, was that neither of us could speak more than four or five words of the other’s language. It was about three weeks before I worked out she’d come here to study. Yet I never felt bored and we’d be constantly laughing our heads off as we tried to communicate by pulling faces and pointing at things.

As her English improved (obviously I made no attempt to learn her language) we were able to have more in-depth conversations and began to properly get to know each other. It turned out we had quite a lot in common – she even shared my contempt for Feminism which was rare back then – and we continued seeing each other for another two or three years.

It occurred to me later this might just as easily have killed the relationship – she could have been some Franco-supporting fascist for all I knew. What was also interesting is that it didn’t significantly improve things either. We still spent about the same amount of time together and I wouldn’t say we had any better time than when our only way of communicating was through sign language.

Most people think the reason we get on with some people and not others, is because we have shared interests, but this and other stuff I’d learned through practising meditation brought me to the conclusion that every living thing has its own unique energy field or ‘frequency,’ some of which ‘harmonise’ with our own, making us feel good to be around and stimulating thoughts, humorous ideas etc, while others create a dissonance, putting us on edge and making it harder to articulate ideas, be funny etc.

Although the people we get on with, do often have similar tastes, this isn’t why we get on, as much as a reflection of compatible energies which draw us to similar interests, artists etc.

While energy levels may fluctuate, our basic ‘frequency’ is fixed, which is why our relationship with people we’ve known for many years, tends to be very similar, no matter how much we feel we’ve changed outwardly.

Even animals react to one’s other’s energies which was why they sometimes form both ‘friends’ with whom they go everywhere with and ‘enemies’ that they constantly fight with.

Sexual chemistry is also a reflection of how our energies combine and because it’s all a manifestation of the same thing, I believe you can predict with a fair degree of accuracy how you will get on sexually by how you relate on a conversational level.

To do this one has to ignore the topic of discussion and focus instead on the overall dynamic. If the conversation flows easily without any awkward silences, most likely you’ll stay interested in the bedroom. If you have to force the conversation or find it hard to concentrate on what they’re saying, the sex will probably also feel like work.

If the conversation is light, but the silences aren’t embarrassing, the sex will probably be good, if a bit lacking in fireworks. If the discussion sometimes gets heated, but you find it interesting, things are likely to be more passionate.

You can get quite specific on this. If you find yourself getting on like a house on fire the first time you meet, but the next it’s like you’ve said everything you have to say – that would probably have been a great one night stand (though that ship will probably now have sailed.) If the conversation seems to go round in circles without ever reaching any satisfying conclusion, that too will be mirrored in bed (if you get my meaning.)

There must still be a physical attraction, but ultimately it’s the person’s energy I believe we’re draws to, and which either does or doesn’t maintain our interest.

8/ LOVE

Occasionally one feels an attraction that is so strong it is to good chemistry what heroin is to cannabis, complete with opiate-like highs when together and withdrawal-like symptoms when apart. Cynics sometimes attribute such relationships (aka ‘true’ love) to a kind of desperation or ‘settling’ issue, yet even the rich and famous with almost limitless choice will often have that one person they can’t seem to walk away from.

As if put together by some Cosmic Matchmaker, the attraction is so strong and mutual, it’s like you couldn’t mess up if you tried. If you make a clumsy pass, she will find it endearing, if you have some spinach between your teeth, she will say ‘oh my God, you like spinach too? I thought I was the only one!’

But even true love has it’s ups and downs and doesn’t necessarily work out, in which case it can be devastating. Some mystics believe falling in love is a way to work out karma from a previous lifetime and what better way to have to resolve your differences than literally be addicted to them? Whatever the cause, it’s an awesome and powerful force.

9/ BREAKING UP

If you are on the pulling or dating scene long enough, chances are you will eventually end up with someone who is more into the relationship than you – forcing you to break up with a person you may like, just not quite enough to sacrifice your independence for.

I’ve asked a few girls how to end a relationship, and they’ve all said it’s easy, just tell the other person straight it’s not giving you what you need and you can’t do it any more.

I suspect the reason they say it’s easy, is because for them it usually is. If you tell a man it’s over, he’ll probably feel upset, but once he’s established it’s not some bluff, he’ll then retreat to some dark mental place for however many months or years it takes before he’s ready to go back out there and risk having it all happen again.

But ending it with a woman is a whole other thing. Usually her first reaction is to go into pragmatic mode, asking precisely what you’re unhappy with and then offering a range of possible solutions – most of them involving spending more time together.

If you insist nothing can save it, she will then enter full-on emotional mode, at which point almost anything can happen. She may kick, scream, throw stuff and call you every name under the sun, but by far and away the hardest to deal with, is when she starts to cry.

When at last the tears stop, you are still only at the very start of the process and can expect several months of calls and texts, alternating between saying how much she misses you and telling you what a bastard you are. At some point she’ll say she never wants to speak to you ever again, only to ring a few hours later accusing you of being an even bigger bastard for not checking she was okay.

Until one day the calls stop for real, which can only mean one thing. She has found someone else who, should you be foolish enough to ask, has all the qualities you lacked before adding she now realises it wasn’t you she loved, but the ‘idea’ of you which was basically what you’d told her at the start.

Okay, so maybe now I’m the one projecting. Still, when women say men are afraid of relationships, I think it’s not the relationship most of us fear, but how it will end.

10/ THE RULE THAT MEANS YOU DON’T NEED RULES/INSTINCTIVE APPROACH.

Men hoping to glean tips from all this, may by now be feeling confused. While it seems some women want a man who is charming and sensitive, others prefer a more and rough ready type. To make matters worse, the same woman may be attracted to a different type at different points in her life, or even from one day to the next.

However, there is a way of knowing who wants what – by using one’s instinct/intuition. Instinct will tell you who is looking for love, who wants sex, when to be crude and how crude you can get away with being. Instinct knows everything and everyone has it, so it’s worth getting in touch with.

In it’s basic form, Instinct is like a glorified ‘yes/no’ system, so if you want to develop yours, the first thing to do is to recognise one from the other. If you ever told a joke that bombed, most likely you knew just before telling it, that it was inappropriate or the wrong moment. That was your instinct saying ‘no.’

You may also have felt this when meeting someone who later proved untrustworthy. For me it’s almost a physical tightening in the chest, but it may be less specific.

The ‘yes’ feeling is really just an absence of the ‘no’ feeling. Like a bell ringing true, everything inside feels relaxed and at ease.

A good way to start applying one’s instinct is first to enter the relaxed ‘yes’ state – saying and doing only what feels comfortable, without forcing anything. Then any time you get that slightly tense ‘no’ feeling, stop what you were about to say or do, wait until you’re back in the relaxed ‘yes’ state and then continue. Instinct only works in the present tense, so it’s possible whatever you were about to say or do may still be appropriate at a later time.

Once you’re familiar with the two feelings, you can make decisions by contemplating a question and waiting for the response.

“Should I go up to the brunette at the bar? No? Okay, how about the blonde in the corner?…Great, she seems nice.”

This doesn’t mean she’ll sleep with you, but it should at least be a positive experience and you’ll enjoy the conversation.

Because instinct is such a subtle feeling, it can easily be drowned out by our two other primary drives that of ‘Logic’ (intellectual, ‘rational’ thought etc.) and ‘Animal’ (lust, emotions, fear etc.)

Like a skilled barrister, Logic can be very convincing when presenting its case. “So you’re thinking about chatting up the blonde, are you? And what makes you think she’d be interested in you? Oh you have a feeling, do you? Get real, you’re not remotely in her league.”

Animal can also be persuasive when trying to satisfy its needs. “Forget the blonde, it’s the brunette you should be going for. Trust me, she’s well dirty. Who cares if you’re getting a dodgy vibe, live a little!”

So you go for the brunette and it seems Animal was right. Until just as you get to hers, she gets a call from an ex saying he’s on his way over. As you find yourself stuck in the middle of nowhere at 4am, you finally get what Instinct was trying to tell you.

Instinct doesn’t only apply to seduction. It can be used to make any decision, where to move to, what job to take, what car to buy, anything, though it’s particularly useful in situations where you don’t have all the information or when dealing with strangers.

As well as its subtlety, people often ignore their instinct because it means having to abandon a comfortable, familiar situation in favour of an unpredictable one with no guarantee of success. For example, it may tell you to give up your secure, well-paid job in order to start your own business. And the business may still fail. However the wisdom usually becomes apparent in time – the failed business teaches you some lesson that proves crucial in setting up another that is a success. Or it leads you to another line of work, you wouldn’t have considered otherwise, but are much happier in. So ultimately you never regret following it.

Instinct is a genius of lateral thinking providing solutions not even Logic could devise and if you do ignore it, it won’t hold a grudge. You can ask for advice at any time and it will do everything it can to get things back on track or make the best of a difficult situation. It really is the wisest and kindest friend you could ask for- unlike those fair-weather ones Animal and Logic.

I seem to have strayed from the initial brief here. Anyway, develop your instinct and you can pretty much forget everything else I’ve said.

(This essay was expanded on after it’s initial writing. See also Endnotes.)