Everyone has a routine emotional state that they live with day by day. Personal events may modify these stable living conditions – such as winning something, losing something, etc.
Some people walk around in a happy state of mine. They have a positive view on life in general, both at work and play. Other people walk around with a suppressed pissed-offness mindset. These are usually very impatient individuals, basically walking around looking for something to get upset or angry about. There are some who use the victimized attitude. Everything that goes wrong or makes their life tough is caused by something else outside of them or someone else’s fault. These people couldn’t take responsibility for getting to work on time.
The pool hustler who uses this shark can quickly identify your emotional state. Once he knows your general attitude, he can apply an opposite emotion. Most people are able to play decently as long as they are in their own mindset. When they compete against someone who is broadly applying an opposite personal attitude, it throws them off their game.
The hustler doesn’t need to “feel” the emotional state he is demonstrating – he only needs to act it out. This outward appearance doesn’t affect his playing skills. It is presented for the sole purpose of messing with your mind.
He can quickly pick up on your mental condition by watching your facial expressions and tone of voice. These provide sufficient clues to make a determination of which attitude he needs to apply against you.
Here are some examples and how he responds:
- You are happy with your life and work, bring to the table a positive approach. He assumes a sad and desolate personality, describing a tale of woe and worry about his recent trials and tribulations.
- You are on the downside – suspicious of others who might or could take advantage of you. He is all upbeat and enthusiastic. As such, he attempts to cheer you up and won’t stop trying no matter what.
- You are quiet and contemplative, wanting to consider all things before making decisions, especially how to play the table layout. He is noisy and chatty, constantly talking and loudly disturbing the general atmosphere.
- You are exuberant and outgoing, willing to consider all people to be friendly (at least until proven otherwise). He is telling you to tone it down while complaining that he has a headache and is not interested in listening to your prattle about life.
- You are feeling upset and irritated, because something didn’t go right. He is smiling and joking, oftentimes at your expense – all in a friendly sort of way – of course.
- You are full of optimism about life in general. He is expressing predictions of gloom and doom – designed to suppress your positive viewpoint.
If you prefer a passive response to his efforts, stop communicating in any way. Assume your best poker-playing attitude. Nothing makes you happy. Nothing makes you sad. You play with no positive or negative emotions.
This stolid and emotionless game face affects his ability to carry on any peripheral conversations. Because the communication lines are cut off with your non-responsive attitude, his efforts begin to look a bit silly.
You can also try the meditative style. When it’s not your turn, sit in your chair with eyes closed and assume a statue-like appearance. Let him remind you of your turn.
Try a variation of the “superior-above-it-all” approach. With a proper tone of voice, say, “How childish.” A well-timed sneer can be very effective in making him hate you.
“The Look” is also effective. On every conversational attempt – stop, stand up and direct an unblinking stare at your opponent. When you have eye contact, shake your head slowly for five seconds, followed by a return of your attention to the game.