by Brad Bollenbach


Popularity is the one insult I have never suffered.

– Oscar Wilde

For all the writing I do about social skydiving, the vast majority of my interactions with women don’t go any further than our initial conversation. In fact, sometimes they barely get beyond “Hi”. I’ve talked to hundreds of women in the past year, but I’ve gone on dates with a mere fraction of those, probably around three to five percent. Sometimes it’s because I’m not interested. The other 90% of the time it’s because she’s not interested.

Exercising choice in the women you bring into your life is all about being willing to get blown out and fail your way forward. An important tool with which to navigate yourself through the battlefield is social polarity.

Social polarity is the idea that no matter what you do, what you say, what you look like, how you act, how you dress, or what your opinions are, some people will like you and some won’t. Some guys will think you’re cool, some women will think you’re absolutely magnetic, and others will try to tool you and make you go away as quickly as possible. No matter how hard you try, there is no way to avoid the world around you being divided into the lovers and the haters. This idea applies as much to men as to women, and to interactions that are either purely platonic or more sexual in nature.

The implications of social polarity are extremely liberating. Knowing that, no matter what, I’m guaranteed to be liked by some and disliked by others has freed me up to be totally authentic. This has resulted in a tectonic shift in how I relate to others. Instead of trying to “get a good reaction”, I’m concerned only with radiating my personality and focussing my attention on only those who are a strong vibrational match.

(Note: As you read what follows, try not to get to hung up by the specific terms used. I’m just describing a model of reality that works for me in meeting people, and I find these terms useful in capturing the key concepts of this model.)

Social Polarity Vectors

Social polarity can be measured along four vectors:

  1. Physical. How you present yourself, what you look like, how much money you have, who your friends are, how you dress, your personal hygiene, your mannerisms, and all your other “surface features”. A guy who is 350 pounds, constantly sweating, doesn’t believe in self-maintenance, and has Big Mac lettuce dripping from his chin is going to put out a different energy than a guy who is smartly dressed, takes care of himself, and always wears a smile.
  2. Mental. Your opinions and beliefs, knowledge and skills; your “identity”. You won’t just automatically attract people with the same beliefs as you or repel those of lesser mental faculty, but your intellectual frequency will influence the dynamic of your interaction.
  3. Emotional. The energy with which you express thoughts and respond to social inputs.
  4. Spiritual. The extent to which you acknowledge and connect with the creative force that exists beyond your physical body and mind. This polarity vector has a critical influence on your ability to bounce back from blowouts.

Each of these parameters is a knob that you can adjust to modify your social energy signature, and thus change where the line is drawn between those who align with you and those that don’t. The key here is to understand that social polarization is a property of the energy exchanged, not the words exchanged.

Guys tend to polarize with other guys primarily along the mental vector, and secondarily the emotional one. If you’re at a party and happen to bump into a fellow Ruby on Rails geek, chances are you’re going to hit it off pretty well, platonically speaking.

Women tend to polarize with other women first emotionally, then mentally. While both men and women are emotional creatures, women tend to exhibit a much wider range of emotions than men and tend to express those emotions more openly to their friends and lovers.

Platonically, a guy will tend to polarize with a girl either physically, emotionally, or mentally and the level on which each person resonates with the other may be totally different. A common example is the guy that resonates with the girl physically (read: he wants to have sex with her), while she resonates with him emotionally (read: he is her emotional tampon).

Finally, guys will tend to polarize sexually with girls along the emotional and physical vectors, with the mental vector being a distant third.

Types of Social Polarity

There are two fundamental types of social polarity: natural and unnatural. Natural polarity results from having a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual profile that is consistent with itself. Among other things, it means that the way you think is the way you act, that you accurately express the way you feel, and that there’s a general balance between your spiritual belief system and the physical, emotional, and intellectual expression of those beliefs.

Unnatural polarity occurs when one or more of these vectors fall out of alignment with the others. Instead of acting the way you think, you may suppress your true intentions and take this out in other ways like overeating, drinking heavily, or through a wide range of undesirable emotional responses. It may also mean putting up a front instead of expressing yourself honestly. What you see isn’t really what you get.

Your Social Energy Signature

Your social energy signature (SES) represents your unique physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual fingerprint in a given social context. Context is an important part of your SES because different social situations will emphasize different aspects of your SES, affect how it gets interpreted by others, and may even redefine your SES, at least in part.

For example, your SES at a Thanksgiving dinner with the family will likely be different from when you’re out drinking at a pub with your coworkers. In some social contexts you may be seen as high status and/or have a lot of social proof where in others you might be a perfect stranger. And the social dynamics will be fundamentally different if you’re surrounded primarily by guys, primarily by girls, or by some mixture of both.

Social Polarity in Practice

So how can you use your knowledge of social polarity and social energy signatures to meet people?

For both men and women, social polarity has many implications for how you interact with the world as a social animal. I’m going to concentrate on what this means for the guy who wants to improve his success with women, since that’s the context in which I have the most experience applying these concepts.

When it comes to approaching women, you don’t need pickup lines. Social polarization implies that our alignment with others happens along energetic lines; the words don’t matter. The only purpose of your “opener” is to initiate the flow of energy. In my experience, guys who focus too much on specific lines often just use that as an excuse, so that when they get blown out they can blame it on the line they used, when really the rejection happened at a much more fundamental, energetic level.

Instead of trying to “get a good reaction” from women, focus on becoming a polarity detector. A great Poker player spends the vast majority of his time folding, and a guy who gets the kind of women he wants spends most of his time getting rejected. The only way to avoid rejection is to avoid talking to women.

Beyond just approaching them, you shouldn’t actually “try” to get women to like you at all. The most important thing is to express yourself as authentically as possible and leave the rest to polarity to determine if she’s a good fit for you. Sure, you can change your social energy signature “on the fly” and thus change the way you polarize with a girl (though she still might not like you), but when you do gravitate back to your natural polarity, you might end up repelling her anyway, so there’s no point faking it to begin with.

It’s important to not let blowouts faze you, or at least to minimize their impact on your emotions. Rejection and full-on blowouts are a fundamental part of the social polarity model, and are merely the sign of a polarity conflict. This is where the spiritual vector comes into play. Your ability to, at least conceptually, step outside of your body and mind and observe your physical, mental, and emotional states as an impartial spectator is crucial to becoming the “nuclear unreactor” when faced with negative social inputs.

Social polarity is a powerful tool for navigating yourself through social interactions. It’s a model that emphasizes that our alignment with other people happens primarily along energetic lines, rather than by carefully crafted conversation. Realizing that there is absolutely no way you can avoid having some people like you and some not frees you up to express yourself truthfully and focus your attention on only those who are a good vibrational match.

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  1. diva says:

    very nice article man…. keep posting

  2. Michael says:

    I like the thought of your article. I really hate myself when I try to change my personality just so someone who doesn’t even matter that much to me will like me. And when that doesn’t work, I get depressed to a point that I question what kind of person I really am.

  3. happycamper says:

    awesome, my brother is always just a jerk and his friends to so i hope this will work! Thanks

  4. Horlardymayjy says:

    nice one dude

  5. John says:

    Great. I tried this and I got six new friends in one day!

  6. Josh says:

    This is a great article. Thanks for sharing, it gives me a logical framework to think about social interactions.

    Reminds me of the Godfather “It’s not personal. It’s just business”

    When you think about the many ways in which women size up men who are interested in them(and vice versa), from physical looks, to money, etc. It’s really a series of unknowable trivial cues, idiosyncrasies and mood of that moment that may decide whether people accept us or reject us.

    If someone’s having a bad day, I don’t take their negative comments to heart. If we are rejected in our romantic pursuits, why should I view it any differently?

  7. benchi says:

    i don’t just know the people i like don’t always like me and i don’t no what to do.

  8. joe says:

    Another article that reminds me I have no chance of ever meeting women. I’m going to be alone for the rest of my life, I just know it. I don’t have what it takes to meet women, I’ve tried in the past and all I ever get is rejection after rejection. I’ve also lost all my friends, they all moved on with their lives because they have been able to meet women and gone on to various relationships and great careers. They’re not waiting around for me because I’m socially awkward, and they have invested no patience in helping me out. They think I’m not even worth it. No one has ever shown any concern for the emotional damage they have done to me. They have all left me behind because I can’t meet anyone. I have no one, I’m stuck in my parents house watching life pass me by. Because I don’t have what it takes to attract anyone.

  9. Jossie says:

    This is a great article!

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