The 3-second Rule

Image by Mario Alberto Magallanes Trejo

There is an interesting technique used by the pick-up artists of the world. It’s called the “3-second rule”.

Now, this article isn’t about pick-up artists, nor is it a comment on what they do. Ultimately, who cares.

But the fact remains that there are certain techniques and theories used by pick-up artists that can be successfully adapted by anyone to virtually any part of their own lives.

The “3-second rule” is one of those adaptable techniques. It’s a quite ingenious technique, yet incredibly simple.

The “3-second rule”

No, this isn’t the rule that claims to give you the exact time-frame for when a dropped piece of food is no longer safely edible. I believe you’re thinking about the “5-second rule” there … which, by the way, has been scientifically disproved.

But I digress.

Back to the “3-second rule” now.

This rule basically states that the best time to approach a woman after getting the “right signals” from her (eg. eye contact, or a smile) is to do so within 3-seconds.

“But why male models?”

Sorry, I meant to say – “but WHY 3-seconds?”

Why not 5? Why not 10?

Why not 3 MINUTES? Or 30?

Simple.

Because 3-seconds is such an insanely short time that it prevents the guy from over-thinking the situation (or talking himself out of it).

It prevents shyness, anxiety, and nerves from taking hold. It propels the guy to avoid hesitation, and take action. And by taking action, he already separates himself from the other 99% of guys who would instead just stand there, stare, and drink their beers instead.

In fact, he would probably separate himself from a majority of the overall population, just by taking action and doing something proactive.

Increase that 3-second timeframe, though, and self-doubt can start creeping in. Visualisations of worse-case scenarios start emerging, and before the guy knows it, he has missed his chance to meet someone.

Simple theory, right?

But it’s not just limited to the pick-up artists of the world. Nor is it limited to a particular gender, or a particular situation.

You’re probably already seeing what I mean…

This is a rule that can be applied to many other things in our lives.

How often do we over-think situations?

How often do we convince ourselves that we can intellectualise a situation before taking the necessary action?

How often do we “plough a field in our mind”, and then fail to do anything further? (by the way, if you’re literally “ploughing a field in your mind”, it’s time to develop some new hobbies!)

Many people do precisely this whether it’s trying to approach the opposite sex, prepare for a job interview, decide whether to exercise, or pursue their dreams.

The “3-second rule” is a great method of encouraging less thinking and more action.

It encourages you to trust yourself. To trust your instincts, and trust that you’ll land on your feet no matter what happens. Trust yourself that you can cope with just taking the plunge.

Sure, you might struggle a bit initially, but with practice you will adapt.

Take swimming as an example. Most likely the first time you tried it you panicked or just really struggled to tread water. But eventually you probably conquered it.

As humans we have incredible powers of adaptability. Perhaps we should use them more often instead of constantly fighting against change?

About Adam Wozniak

Adam Wozniak is the founder and writer of Encouragement from a Stranger. He believes in the importance of encouraging people to think, question things, and live life on their own terms. Or something like that... – www.AdamWozniak.com

Comments

  1. Carolyn King says:

    I experienced a great example of the 3-second rule in a business context. At the start of a training session on presentation skills, we were told to prepare a quick presentation about ourself, with 5 minutes to prepare. We dutifully did this, and stumbled through our presentations satisfactorily. Then someone arrived late, and was asked to do their presentation straight away with no time to prepare. They breezed through and floored the rest of us with a superbly natural presentation. Of course they didn’t need to prepare, they were just being themself!

  2. Adam Wozniak says:

    Great example, Carolyn! Funny how that works, eh?