In the last post, I discussed the concept of frame in detail, and I mentioned the concept of “reframing” behavior.
Reframing a person’s behavior is one of the most powerful social techniques in a man’s arsenal. Reframing is a must-have skill because when done effectively, it shifts people’s perceptions of the reframee’s actions in favor of the reframer, puts the reframee on defense, and often makes the reframee question and/or change their behavior.
In a dating context, women are much more attracted to a man who knows hows to reframe their behavior in his favor. This happens even if the reframe is not logically true (and it often isn’t).
As Rollo Tomassi explains, “frame is everything.” Women need to know that their man has strong frame control because it shows that they are in control of their own reality and have influence on the world around them.
The ability to reframe women’s (or anyone else’s) behavior is a crucial part of this control. PUAs have discussed reframing to death because it’s a key component of game.
Women will respond to a man’s frame first and foremost, all else be damned. If they can push you around by manipulating your frame, their respect for you will go down the toilet. It is absolutely possible to regain frame, but if you don’t, your results with them from controlling interactions with them to getting sex and other relationship concessions will be dramatically lower.
Women are not alone, however. Women may be the more “emotional” sex, but both men and women act on an emotional level before they respond to facts, whether they understand it or not. And although most men are less pushy, a man who establishes his frame on you will perceive that he can disrespect, bully, and manipulate you.
Since frame control is so important, knowing how to reframe behavior is an essential skill! Reframing is also a critical technique to debate and persuade others, counter verbally aggressive behavior, and to survive and procreate.
Since this subject is so important to understand, I highly recommend you put down your distractions and continue reading this article. This one is about 14 minutes long (sadly, longer than most people’s attention spans these days). Even if you know a lot about this subject material already, this article will likely give you insight you haven’t had previously. If it’s too much time to ask for right now, just bookmark the article and finish it later.
Understanding “Reframing” Behavior
Again, reframing behavior is to define someone’s behavior (whom we will label the reframee) in another context. Alternatively, it can be defined as adjusting someone’s frame to fit your own. This is typically done to benefit whoever is reframing the other person’s behavior, who we will label the reframer.
As I mentioned in the last post, having solid frame, and by extension, reframing people’s behavior, work because they work on people’s emotions, which alter their perception of people’s actions. Whether we realize it or not, we all view people emotionally and rationalize (or deny) our feelings in words.
We see someone as tough because our emotions make us perceive that they have respectable or intimidating traits. We may be neutral to someone because they haven’t done anything to benefit or offend us. A boss is viewed as such because our brain has evolved our emotions to view people in a social hierarchy. You get the idea.
The emotional manipulation that occurs when reframing behavior is often subtle.
Remember this: people tend to shift their behavior after something has been reframed effectively, whether they admit it or not. This is a crucial concept to understand about reframing.
As we all know, a common political tactic of the left is to call the right “racist.” While a right winger may deny being racist and accuse a left winger of being racist instead, I can guarantee that more people on the right are careful about being perceived as racist to maintain their frame and identity. Therefore, they’ve fallen more for the frame of the left then most of them will admit.
When I was first learning about reframing, I was amazed by how powerful it was. I remember taking most women too seriously when I was in my late teens and very early twenties (although ironically, not when I was a kid — cultural conditioning I suppose). When I learned a few of these PUA “techniques” and consciously started reframing girls’ behavior, suddenly they were admitting more about themselves and their behavior than I ever thought.
There are Many Ways To Reframe Behavior
You can reframe someone’s behavior in many, many ways. For instance, you can call them out on the emotional reason for their behavior, you can publicly raise doubt about their motives, you can attack their moral character, you can paint their behaviors in a different light, and much more.
Depending on the situation you’re in, different types of reframes may be necessary. If you’re flirting with a girl, or if you’re being verbally attacked in normal circumstances, your reframe doesn’t need to be complex. You just want to demonstrate unbreakable self-confidence. In a situation where you’re attempting to persuade others, your reframe will probably involve more wordplay.
So in simpler situations, a reframe doesn’t necessarily need to be well-thought out or clever. Even laughing at someone can frame their behavior as silly and frame you as unaffected and above their behavior. Simple statements like “Nice try,” can be a reframe if delivered properly, even if they don’t make a ton of sense. Here’s an example:
Girl: I can’t believe you didn’t take pay for my (insert bullshit item here)!
You: Haha. Nice try. (implying that she’s just trying to get you to pay for something)
Then just proceed to another subject. No more energy needs to be expended into it.
Even using a response showing that you’re unaffected by someone’s bullshit demonstrates that you are not falling into their frame.
If someone is getting angry at you, even while giving you logical facts, telling them to “relax” is a reframe. This is because you are pointing out that they are acting emotionally and that they should stop, whether they present a good point or not.
If this doesn’t get them to act less emotional, it at least points out to those around you that the person is acting emotionally, which shifts their perception of the interaction. Often times, people act emotionally while giving you important information that you have to listen to, and you just want to separate their emotional statement from the facts they’re giving you.
Just remember that you can reframe someone’s behavior in many ways, and one type of reframe may be more useful depending on the situation and the person you are talking to. There are many more examples ahead, so keep reading.
The Power of the Last Word
I’ve always noticed that the person who gets the “last word” of an argument typically ends up being seen as right, and they usually feel like the winner.
I remember when I would let someone get the last word in just to end the argument (even at times where I shouldn’t have), and it felt like I was proven wrong, even though I just wanted to end the argument and I was absolutely certain that the facts were on my side. This feeling is why politicians fight for the last word in a debate.
The answer for why this is the case, again, lies somewhere in our psychology. A statement that doesn’t get argued back feels correct to people, particularly when they either agree with the statement or when they have no real knowledge of what’s being discussed. They tend to look at the fact that it’s something is not debated and use that as subconscious validation that it’s true.
I personally believe that this is true because of our evolved dominance hierarchies. In the caveman days, the strongest caveman would get the last word because he was stronger and the other caveman was afraid to respond in fear of greater provocation. The facts behind the argument don’t matter when it comes to feeling; humans didn’t evolve to understand the truth, only for survival.
Even if you’re in a debate format where the other side has to get the last word as part of the rules, or if you’re at a comedy club where the comedian is roasting you with the mic and the crowd can hear the comedian but not you, any type of comment directed at you or reframe of your behavior will linger psychologically.
So remember, frame is really just about feeling. If you feel like your behavior was effectively reframed, then it probably was. You need to respond to it.
In a lot of cases, you can easily write off what the reframer says with a simple comeback demonstrating that you’re unaffected. However, in more high-stakes interactions involving a level of persuasion (debates, large crowds, etc), the best way is often to attack your opponent’s frame by pivoting and reframing their behavior.
Don’t get defensive, and remember that you can respond in many ways. You can pivot (a common debate technique) by answering their reframe with your own reframe. Sometimes ignoring their reframe and plowing on is ideal, but not if their reframe is believable and generated a big reaction from observers.
What Makes a Powerful Reframe?
So, what are the key components of a great reframe?
A powerful reframe is delivered swiftly, confidently, and unapologetically. It is best when the statement is believable by those participating or observing in the interaction. It is best delivered by an authority figure (a credible expert, someone with a lot of social power, or both).
That’s about it. Our first example is below.
Our First Example
Alright, gentlemen, this will be my first PUA-style game advice. Are you ready for this shit?
Here’s a situation I encountered not long ago:
Me entering a mixed group with a girl I knew was very attracted to me:
Me: “Wow, I didn’t know Jess was here. If she was, maybe I would have come over a little faster.” (performing a “pull” during a push-pull phase)
Jess’s Jealous Friend: Wow, that’s creepy.
Me: No, that isn’t remotely creepy. You’re just a jealous hater.
Jess’s Jealous Friend: No I’m not and yes it was, blah blah blah.
Cue a casual shift to another subject. The psychological effect of the reframe lingers when you move on, especially if it isn’t well-addressed by the reframee. This can be done fairly easily by making the reframe then moving on to another subject. Just ignore the person if they continue to drone on.
When I left the room a few minutes later, I heard her friend repeat that she was creeped out, but Jess did not agree with her. In other words, her friend was upset that she was called out for her behavior, knew I got the upper hand on her, and was trying to spare her own ego.
This was a simple, easy reframe. Her behavior was easy to identify because women get jealous all the time when they see other girls get hit on. She acted like a jealous brat, so I just called it out for what it was. Sure, I pissed her off, but anytime you can call out an American girl on her bullshit, it’s worth it.
This reframe also showed that I was unaffected by her bullshit behavior, and it put her on defense. I didn’t take her seriously, I just called her out on the emotional rationale of her actions.
Remember, calling people out on their bullshit is one of the best ways to reframe their behavior. If you know someone is verbally aggressive against you for some ridiculous reason, or if you know they’re lying or acting on an agenda, call it out for everyone to recognize.
Reframes Should Be At Least Directionally Accurate
In the last example, what I said was about Jess’s friend acting in jealousy was logically dead-on. Both girls knew she was acting out of jealousy, so it was a powerful reframe.
As you can see, reframing behavior is best done when it has a strong element of truth to it. If people believe a reframe to be correct, it has much more weight in their minds. And again, if he reframe was strong and there’s no solid rebuttal, the reframee will very often question and/or change their own behavior.
However, you do not need to be 100% factually accurate about a person’s behavior in order to reframe it effectively.
Reframing is most effective when it is at least directionally accurate. This means that the statement has to be generally agreed upon as true, but you can put your own spin on it as well. The more believable the spin, the better.
In the last example, had I said to Jess’s friend “yeah, you’re being rude again because you’re getting jealous. I see you do this a lot. Maybe you should stop being rude to men and offer something useful” then the part about her acting jealous was observably true, but I took it another step further.
Whether the second part is true or not, it’s a least more believable because it’s a similar point to the first part, which was observably true. She would then have to seriously play defense to those statements, and would probably be more than a little pissed off.
Reframes Can Be Built Off of Total Lies
However, a reframe of someone’s behavior, especially when meant to persuade, does not even need to be partially true from a factual standpoint. It just has to be believable in the eyes of somebody observing or participating.
This is how the media can reframe the behavior of a person they have targeted while having no factual basis. They can easily lie about the facts and play to the biases of their viewership, which usually will believe what they say.
Now, imagine being accused of something you didn’t do. Let’s say you’re in a diner and a man you have never met before points at you and yells out “you fucked my wife!”
You could counter by saying that he’s bat-shit crazy and he has no evidence. There’s your reframe.
His counter is that you’re a lying piece of shit. The people watching have no evidence (if you have a reputation as a womanizer, some may be more likely to believe it). Your response may be to:
A) Point out the absurdity of his actions, the fact that you don’t know who he is, and tell him to fuck off. Others may wonder if you’re guilty, and he may escalate it further, but at least you showed that you don’t give a fuck. If he’s particularly distraught, and he likely is, he may take it to the next level and/or continue to accuse you.
B) Calmly deny it and point out how emotional he is, but empathize, tell him to take a deep breath, and tell him that you will talk to him in private if necessary (we’ll just pretend you didn’t call him bat-shit crazy earlier). It’s cliche, but being seen as the “adult in the room” makes you look better in the eyes of others. You may expend more energy on the situation, but you’d look more like the reasonable person in public.
The people perceiving the event will view the situation differently depending on the frame you established. Additionally, you can see here how a frame can be established with no factual basis.
Note that for a reframe like this that is entirely untrue, it must not be easily observably untrue. If someone’s wearing a blue shirt, you couldn’t say to him “take off that pink shirt, you blatant homosexual!” People would look at you like you’re crazy, and rightfully so.
Reframing is Used Everywhere
You have no doubt seen this video of Donald Trump getting hit by the question about his treatment of women by Megyn Kelly. It is easily one of the best examples of a effective reframe you can find.
This is the power of an awesome reframe and a pivot with his rebuttal. Not only does Trump make the audience laugh off the question, but he also turns her question into a matter of fighting against political correctness before going into detail about why it’s a problem for the prosperity of America.
His answer plays to the audience’s underlying annoyance about political correctness. The answer is made more powerful because he ties it in with the well-known fact that America’s standing in the world has dropped.
This is incredibly powerful to the audience watching. Trump comes across as strong and above the pettiness of the question. Aside from some of his rambling towards the end, his answer was picture perfect.
Is Trump factually correct about the number of women he insulted? No, but when it comes to establishing the frame, it doesn’t really matter. Voters responded to his powerful frame and voted for him largely because of it.
Remember what I said about the components of an effective reframe. Trump’s delivery was spot on; he was calm, composed, swift, and he verbally twisted the question in his favor. His answer was directionally accurate; most of the audience probably agreed political correctness is an issue and that the direction of America is a huge problem, even if wasn’t right about all of the facts.
And also note that this is a high-stakes situation involving a lot of persuasion. Trump has to give a well-thought reframe here as part of his answer. Simply saying something like “that’s cool” or “I don’t care” just wouldn’t work here.
From this example. you can see how reframing behavior is used in political debate. This technique is used everywhere. If you can skillfully reframe people’s behavior, then you can use it to your advantage in any field involving people; including game, marketing, persuasion, and a lot more. Politicians, lawyers, reporters, marketers, and countless other professions all know the power of the reframe, whether they specifically define it or not.
You Will Set Your Frame and Reframe Differently in Different Situations
Let’s make one last major point: the way you frame your behavior and reframe others’ will vary in various social contexts.
If you’ve worked any kind of job that requires working with the public, you’ve no doubt encountered irate customers that act like everything that went wrong with their experience is your fault, despite you having no control or prior knowledge of what happened previously. Even if they don’t explicitly say it, their voice tonality and word choice often indicate their attitude.
Allowing them to totally set the frame is a mistake. In a situation where you care about the outcome because you need money but you want to separate yourself from the idiots you probably work with that caused the problem, and where you don’t have as much power as you would like, you can still set the frame in a “reasonable” manner. This allows you to maintain self-respect while not doing something that would make you lose your job.
Often times, the best thing you can do is firmly say “this is my first time hearing about this, but I will do what I can solve this.” It does sound a little corny, but it frames the interaction in the right direction. You’re announcing that had no prior knowledge of the situation and you’re there to work with them on their problem.
This implies that any attempt to act like you’re more responsible than you actually are is nonsense. It’s a somewhat subtle (remember, reframes often have subtle effects on the reframee’s behavior), but important difference in both of your perceptions of the interaction. As long as the customer doesn’t dispute the claim, for the sake of the discussion, the statement is tacitly agreed upon as true. You’ll often find the customer, while still pissed, is no longer directing their anger at you specifically.
Of course, if you are the business owner, you can take a different approach. You have more power over the business, and you likely have the power to tell them to fuck off if you want. Smart businessmen know that they can fire their customers too.
This post ended up being longer than I anticipated. Hopefully, you now have a stronger grip on the importance of reframing behavior, what it does, and how it’s done.
If you want more material and practice, watch this video on Donald Trump’s persuasive talents during the election. It’s a very educational video all around. Identify the reframes he makes and ask yourself why they work. Trump is an unconventional, talented political figure that has tons of material to learn from.
In an upcoming post, I will discuss in more detail why reframing behavior works. It will be an interesting lesson on psychology that will give you a lot of insight into yourself and others.
I’ll also take requests to expand on some of the concepts here if I think it would make a viable article. Either post something in the comment section or hit me up on Twitter at @WesternMastery.
And make sure you don’t miss the next post, or any other, by entering your email address into the subscription form below.