We often speak about strategies we can use when the other party is naïve. But what if we are dealing with a sophisticated quarry who aims to use strategy on us? And one day someone will use strategy on us. We cannot be so arrogant to assume we’re the only player in the world of paeans. Nor can we blame another for what we do to him ourselves. Well, we could, but doing so is rarely successful. How then do we deal with this elegantly and effectively?
Firstly, congratulate yourself that someone has found you interesting enough to spend a large amount of energy on. Then, observe and analyse the strategic behavior. Is it pleasant or not? What do we feel like doing in response to it? Would that behavior enhance or damage our strategic position? Keep in mind that the quarry will often repeat behavior that results in a pleasant response. Finally, you consider the possible outcomes given your response. Let’s look into a an example:
A man invites you under the pretext of business or friendship or some other thing not related to romance or seduction. It seems like he has ulterior motives, but of course you are unsure. You find his invitations to be enjoyable for their own sake, so unless they result in anything negative, you are happy with them. Let’s say the pretense is business. If it is good business for you, and you would also find the man attractive on a romantic level, all possible results are positive and you can follow trough quite safely. If the man is a disaster in business and a cad in his personal life, you would be best off declining as there is no positive outcome once you get entangled. Worse, you may feel obligated to something unstrategic because of a history of pleasant interactions. However, if you are a bit of a cad yourself, you may be able to enjoy the interaction and decline further involvement without guilt. You may even feel free to use his as bait for bigger fish. Another option is that the interaction is dull, but the possible result is interesting. This would usually describe a situation where we want to keep it strictly business, and perhaps fear the quarry wishes to bore us on a romantic level. (If you’d consider romance with a man you find dull in dating…well, to each her own but you know what you are.) You have to decide for yourself how much you are willing to tolerate for the opportunities you hope for, and be willing to walk away once that limit is crossed.
As you see, being the target of strategic action can have many different kinds of options, and though we cannot protect ourselves completely without also lessening the amount of positive experiences we have, we can enter the battlefield with both eyes open. We weigh the risks and the rewards and take power by either accepting both or rejecting them as suits our objectives and nature best.