I've been having a little back and forth with a commenter on my Valentine's Day Post. My first thought was, "Am I getting trolled? Awesome! I must be doing something right!"
Basically said poster, we'll call them Opaque, said that most of my advice was silly, it generally wouldn't work, pick up artist techniques won't work unless you are a natural, and of course the only way to get love if you are not a natural is Magic, with takes a lot of effort.
Firstly, as I stated in my replies, my advice has been giving because I have found it to either personally work for me, or know people who have used it very effectively. Direct correlation between action and results. You do not have to be a natural (God, what does that even MEAN?!) to get it to work. You just have to do the work. Will it get you everything you've ever wanted? No. Nothing will. But it will leave you in a better position to get what you want.
But trying something new is much better than trying the same shit that hasn't worked for years. You must adapt to the flow of the situation. What is the worst that can happen? You find out that those things don't work for you? Even then you are ahead of the game because you've learned something new! The alternative would be doing the same shit you already know doesn't work for you, and learn nothing.
Now, two Magical myths to cast dispel illusion upon.
1. Magic is hard. Fuck no! Magic is EASY! people do it every day. Magic is hard to master, just like carpentry, physics, Tai Chi, and anything else that you really want to plumb the depth of. My most effective love spell was done when I was sixteen, still nominally Roman Catholic and desperate for one specific girl to love me. I focused all my yearning, my desperation, my desire, and carved the planetary seal of Venus over my heart with a box cutter, just enough to bleed, and coupled that with prayer and the recitation of divine names. I did it all at work in a locked stock room. I do not recommend it. It did not turn out well. Do not try this at home. Monkey's paw scenario. Do not do this thing. I am also surprised I did not get tetanus from my lack of safety precautions.
People do Magic all the time. Casting the evil eye, praying for blessings, working with spirits, burying statues, making offerings, consulting oracles. All. The. Time. Magic is a part of human culture. Even humans who think it is silly will usually try it once or twice in their lives, sometimes as a lark, sometimes with hope that it may be real.
Magic is easy. Adepthood and Mastery are hard to achieve. Applying Magic strategically into your life takes work, but the act itself is as natural as any other action.
Myth 2: "Magic is the only way to get X". I have never found that to be the case. Ever. That myth is the natural outgrowth of poor planning. That is desperation Magic, and as Jason often points out, that is shitty Magic. Having a pile of things that work, Magic being one of them will not help you towards your goal unless you know what to do with them. Unless you can apply them to a purpose. A pile of lumber and supplies do not a house make. A proper architect has to have them made into a home, linked to gas, water, and power lines. No matter how many resources you have, if you do not have a proper plan, you will not get far.
Being a natural at anything does not guarantee success. There are plenty of people in the world born beautiful, or into privilege, that either coast quietly or self destruct. Because they don't have a proper plan. There are pleanty who plan for the heights of success, and achieve it, and then crash and burn because they don't know what to do when they get there!
It is also an outgrowth of myth number one, above, that Magic is hard, and thus separate from every other field of human endeavor. Magic is no more special than baking, or being a network analyst. If I do not care for my appearance, do not bathe, am consistently rude and off putting, and rarely make an effort to conduct myself in public, it does not matter how many sigils I consecrate, how many spirits I evoke, how many energies I channel, because even if I get the partner of my dreams, if all that is holding them there is spellwork, it is no different than a psychic lobotomy. If you do not till the soil and do ALL the work necessary to make changes in your life to get the things you want, even if you get them, you'll not be able to hold on to them. If you can hold them it will be with a maximum effort, as those changes will be incompatible with your old life.
New wine must go into new bottles after all.
I've talked a few times about Special Snowflake Syndrome, where the practitioner views themselves as unbelievably special, talented, chosen to change the world! Every emergency is a psychic attack and every inconvenience a plot from the Gods or the Legions of Hell to thwart their holy mission! The other side of Special Snowflake Syndrome is"Sad Sack Syndrome".
Sad Sack Syndrome is not the same as legitimate depression. Being a Sad Sack is merely focusing on the negative of everything. Focus on all the things you don't have, can't do, and don't like. Focus on every weakness, and all the unfortunate things in life. Vocabulary is couched in negatives, and things wrong are found with every experience, relationship, and interaction. In the geek boy scene, it is also occasionally used as a pick up technique. No really. I'm serious.
All problems, and woes are trotted out to the prospective geekpartner. Looking slovenly and hunched over, hopefully someone will pity the poor soul, and maybe give them a sympathy hook up, or even just a kiss. It's being a beggar. It's being so pathetic that "someone will give you a break." It is the opposite of what compotent people do. Instead of starting and highlighting your strengths you build upon weaknesses, depending on others to buffer you up. I've seen it used to try to date, try to get a promotion, and try to otherwise get ahead. It is a terrible plan. It is also insanely childish. Sad Sack Syndrome branches from that impulse that every child has when they realize that when they cry, or are sick someone will pity them and give them what they want. Some people never grow out of it. Those folks are unfortunately no self respect and no respect for the times and boundaries of others. A cunning ploy of the l'enfant terrible within.
As someone who suffered from Sad Sack Syndrome in his early twenties, all I have to say is: Grow up! Stop focusing on all the shit you don't like and make some effort to change it. If you are in a situation you do not like, and you do nothing to change it, then obviously you want to be there, and thus getting what you deserve.
Lastly, just because something does not work for you, does not mean that it doesn't work. It only means it doesn't work for you, yet.