Desperate people repulse us. This is true in dating, sales and marketing, and life. We crave what’s scarce. We’ve all been on both ends of the spectrum. I saw this scene play out last night. Here’s what happened.
My wife and I couldn’t get out of the house fast enough. The kids were in good hands. We went out to a nice local restaurant for a short-term escape.
After we ordered, another couple sat down at the table next to us.
This is is a big restaurant with separate small dining areas. We could hear their conversation. It was obvious they were on a first or second date. As I eavesdropped on their conversation, something else became obvious.
The Date Wasn’t Going Well
They lacked chemistry. The guy rattled off question after question about her job. She answered dutifully. It all seemed mechanical in nature.
I give the guy credit. He kept at it. I know the feeling. You hope that if you just give it time things will change. One more question. One more benefit to show your awesomeness.
Of course, that never works. It only makes things worse. It makes you sound needy and desperate.
It’s no different in marketing or business. The more you try to impress the more needy and desperate you sound. That’s a turnoff in dating, marketing and life.
Take Your Power Back
What’s a better approach? If you sense your audience, reader or date lacks interest, do two things.
- Recognize it
- Make yourself unavailable.
“I get the feeling you’re not ready to take action on … Feel free to unsubscribe.”
“I think we both agree. This date is going nowhere. Let’s call it a night and get on with our lives.”
This is a win-win approach. There are two possibilities.
Worst case, you cut your losses and save time.
And the best case? Your sudden carefree attitude may make you more desirable. We’re drawn to what we can’t have (people who shun us). We disdain the clingy and needy ones.
In Thomas Green’s 48 Laws Of Power, Law 36 advises us to “Disdain What You Cannot Have. Ignoring Them Is The Best Revenge.” In this context, it means don’t chase what you’ve been denied. Ignore it. Shun it. It means nothing to you. By losing interest in the other person, it makes you more desirable. It’s one of those quirks in human nature. We crave what is scarce.
You see examples of this all the time.
We desire to do business with the busy salesman, not the one begging for customers.
And my own experience: Before I started dating my wife, I struggled to get dates. Once I was off the market, women showed more interest in me. I know I’m not the only one with that experience.