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Hovering

This post is also available in: German

One of the most socially inept mistakes I see guys doing is the Rejection Hover. (The Hesitation Hover is almost as bad but at least in that scenario the guy can pretend he’s just waiting around for a friend to arrive.) It usually happens like this: Guy walks up to a girl who is alone or with a group of friends, runs his pitch, fails to capture her interest, gets the cold shoulder… and inexplicably decides to hover — like a hungry but stupid bee trying to find the entrance to a complicated flower — in their immediate vicinity even though they have turned their backs to him.

Instead of walking away with his pride intact he opts to loiter along the group’s perimeter, losing status points by the second. It is painful to watch. Nothing telegraphs ‘NEEDY LOSER’ faster than standing uncomfortably with a befuddled and forlorn look on your face peering over the shoulders of people who have concluded you suck.

Why do men do this? (And I’ve caught myself hovering a few times from lapses in judgement.) Odds are most men are just too lazy to move the fuck away to another spot in the venue or aren’t aware how badly hovering carries the stink of beta. You can’t fix what you don’t know is wrong. The other reason may be that he really believes the girl will warm up to him if he physically imposes himself in her peripheral vision. Maybe he wishes that she’ll give a second look at his tough grimace, chiseled triceps, or cool hand-in-jeans-pocket stance and reconsider his mate value. This is projection. Because guys are looks-focused, we think girls are equally looks-focused. But that is a failure of imagination. Once a girl has decided she doesn’t like your personality she loses all interest in your looks or how suavely you can hook your thumb through your belt loop.

This is why it is critically important to refrain from orbiting a set that has snubbed your efforts to engage them, if for no other reason than to avoid looking like a feeble choad.

There are alternatives to hovering that will have you come out looking less beta. You could re-enter the set one more time, gums blazing, and try to sell yourself with a new pitch. You could eject confidently and find another target, preferably one that hasn’t seen you just get blown out. You could casually turn and chat with an adjacent group of people as if your target’s rejection was completely inconsequential to your state of mind. You could call over your wingman to occupy your awkward social isolation. You could walk ten feet away.

Exception: If a girl or group of girls approaches you, it’s acceptable to stay put if your opener receives a chilly reception. In this instance, it would be the group that is hovering, not you.

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