How to make a great first impression – Sherlock (BBC)

January 29, 2012

Character: Sherlock Holmes
Type: TV Show
Shown: BBC Three
Year: Started 2010 – Ongoing


What is the scene about?:

In this scene, Sherlock Holmes is meeting Dr. John Watson for the very first time. Dr Watson has been brought to meet Sherlock Holmes to see if they would be suitable to share a flat together. Before the subject can be brought up, Sherlock answers John’s questions before he has time to even think them!


What makes him an AM:

Sherlock is an Alpha Male but not in the traditional sense. When you think of Alpha Males you visualise action film stars such as James Bond or Jason Bourne beating people up, getting the girl and so on. However, this is an incorrect viewpoint. Alpha males control the situation and are the most powerful in the group, others respond to them in kind. Sherlock displays how you can be brainy and be alpha too.

00.00 – 00.15 Sherlock ignores John and Mike when they enter. He doesn’t respond to them coming into the room by issuing a welcoming i.e. showing that John and Mike are on the same level as him (Please note that this although shows power, it also comes across as rude and can alienate people). John, perturbed by Sherlock not greeting him, looks around the room, in a beta male fashion not confident in the situation. Sherlock simply continues with his work

00.26 – 00.36 John responds to Sherlock’s first words (a question if he can borrow Mike’s phone) by saying he can use his phone (John is somewhat eager to please – a beta move). In response to John offering, Sherlock locks eye contact with John for a few seconds. Then Sherlock walks over and collects the phone. Immediately, Sherlock starts texting and looks away from John – at this point, he starts to ask John a question (about where he served in the Army). Sherlock asked for what he needed, when he got it, he carried on with the action that he needed to do.

00.36 – 00.47 Notice that he doesn’t look at John – Sherlock knows that he has John’s attention, that he is the most important thing in the room and of course, John will be looking at him. Sherlock ignores John’s questioning reply, so John looks to Mike for answers and reassurances as the Alpha male isn’t paying attention to him. When John finally answers Sherlock’s question (about the location he served in) he looks down to the floor as he answers. This is a submissive move by John (i.e. he is bowing to the more senior male in the room, showing that he is more dominant), showing he has accepted Sherlock as the Alpha male in the pack. John plucks up the courage to question Sherlock but Sherlock simply dismisses his question by looking away and announcing his ‘servant’ has arrived (Molly with his coffee).

00.51 – 00.58 Completely ignoring John, Sherlock turns to Molly (who has just arrived with his coffee) and questions her on where her lipstick has gone to (earlier in the episode, she had been wearing lipstick to appeal to Sherlock and he voiced his dislike of it – she has since removed it from her face to try and win back favor with Sherlock). Molly explains that she has removed it. Sherlock without any ‘sugar coating’ to his thoughts, simply states to her what he believes (e.g. it makes her mouth now look too small). This is a good Alpha male trait here – saying what is on your mind and not holding back due to concern about what someone else may think. An Alpha male will not apologise for what he believes and will speak his mind.

Notice how Sherlock turns his back as he talks to her and walks away. Sherlock is voicing what he believes, he doesn’t care for her reaction, he is not pandering to the girl – this is a big thing to learn! Remove the girl from the pedestal, let her try to win you over.

01.01 – 01.13 Sherlock asks John a question but he doesn’t look at him. Sherlock knows that he is the ‘Top Dog’ in the room and that everyone will be listening to him. John queries Sherlock as he doesn’t really understand why he is asking, not what he is asking. Sherlock repeats it (as if John doesn’t understand him) and also gives him further information this time to ensure he is understood. This time though Sherlock looks at John to check that he understanding, giving John a ‘reassuring’ smile to appear warmer to John, as if he is trying to encourage him to follow what he is saying.

01.13 – 01.43 John starts to question Sherlock about why  he would mention about them possibly being flat mates (he again looks to Mike, to try and get some reassurance from him as the Alpha male – Sherlock – is ignoring him and being in total control, something John as a military man is not used to). Again, Sherlock ignores John’s questions and start getting ready to leave. An Alpha Male knows that his time is valuable and will not engage in any activity that is not of benefit to him. Sherlock has decided that the interview is finished, he has vetted John enough. He decides to leave the office, knowing that John will do as he says.

01.46 – 02.19 Sherlock turns in annoyance at Johns questioning ramble. Notice how John talks fast as he if panicking now that the Alpha is leaving, he needs some answers and is pleading with the Alpha to engage him again. Sherlock talks slowly and calmly throughout the clip – another sign of confidence and being an alpha male.

Sherlock again locks in the eye contact. He turns to John, with his body language open and facing him, and addresses why he thinks what John has said is incorrect. Sherlock is, not for the first time, saying exactly what he thinks openly and honestly. At the end of Sherlock talking, John again looks down to the floor as he plays Beta male again, accepting what Sherlock says to be correct.

02.19 – 02.29 Sherlock turns back, but with his body language still facing towards the exit. He tells John the details about the house visit but it is merely a afterthought, he knows John is under his spell now and will come along with him. He doesn’t need to go back or plead to John to come along. He knows that John will come and he can now focuses on what he wants to do, which is to leave the room. Sherlock leaves the room and leaves John to stand stunned and again look to Mike for reassurance.

 What can you do to be like him or get laid:

Please note that some of what Sherlock does, although Alpha, can alienate people and scare away some women. I would suggest toning it down slightly when with a date but remaining strict to the main principles of being Alpha. For example, buying her a drink is OK if you are buying yourself one, but do not buy her a drink simply to get her to speak to you – she needs to prove herself suitable to you first.

Key point: Sherlock only answered questions that were relevant to what he believed to be important. Notice that he didn’t need to fill the gaps in the conversation. He had confidence in himself, he believes that he was the most important person there and that anytime he spoke they would always listen to him and he wouldn’t need to keep them listening. In your conversations, only answer what is important. Your time is just as important as anyone else’s. Talking only when needed is a powerful thing. Too many people nowadays doubt themselves and have to waffle, they use filler words like erm, um and so on to keep the other person in the conversation with them. Always remember to let the girl qualify herself to you. You do not always need to talk, try shutting up and let her fill in the conversation. KNOW that you are the Alpha male – let her take on the submissive role and win your attention.

Sherlock controls the conversation, the whole way through. Notice that he doesn’t appeal to John to like him. He doesn’t try and act cool or different than he truly is to win John over, he doesn’t try and bribe John by saying what he can do for him. Sherlock simply states what he feels John needs to know and asks if he can handle it. John’s opinion of Sherlock isn’t relevant to Sherlock. Sherlock just asks what he needs and waits for his answer. This is a true Alpha male characteristic. Don’t change yourself. Don’t be someone else. Stay true to what you believe and never change it for anyone else.

  • As Sherlock does, only focus on what is important. You will notice that John looks around the room as he enters. He is showing a classic beta male trait by looking around – he is unsure of his situation and looking for something to do as Sherlock did not immediately engage him in conversation as he expected. Moving around and staring around are signs that you are not confident in your environment and weak. Control your area, move when and where you want to. Do not feel obligated to spend time with people that you don’t want to. Other people follow social rules as not to offend others but an alpha male isn’t the same as everyone else!
  • To show his dominance, Sherlock only reacts when he needs to. He talks to people when he feels the need. When John and Mike enter the room, Sherlock doesn’t respond. He only acknowledges John when John offers Sherlock his phone to use – John is assisting him with a resource he needs. Do not feel the need to pander to everyone else. Saying thank you and other pleasantries is acceptable but only to people who deserve them. .
  • When you do talk: Speak your mind, do not hold back something that you believe to be true, simply to appease someone else. Also NEVER state that you believe something that you don’t (e.g. I like X, Y or Z when you don’t) to impress a girl. It may be a shit test from the girl (to see if you are fake and will not stick to your beliefs when tested) and it will make you seem beta and weak if you change your opinions again and again. An Alpha will believe in what he wants and will voice his beliefs regardless of what others may think or when questioned (remember however there is a line between being Alpha and rude/no tact – tread carefully, there is no success in being rude simply to try and appear confident to others by ignoring them)
  • Believe that everything you say has value and importance. Do not plead or appeal to others to listen to you.
  • When speaking to someone, use eye contact. Look them in the eye and turn your body language towards them if you need them to focus solely on you.
  • Only speak when you have something that you want to say. Get used to silence on dates or with people. Do not feel that you need to fill in the gaps with filler words or something else to keep the other person engaged in the conversation (in other words, do not feel the need to qualify – i.e. show the other person that you are cool enough to talk to). Let the other person (girl or guy) qualify themselves to you – let them chase your approval and talk to you.
  • Value your time. We all have the same amount of time in a day, do what you want to do with your day, not what others expect of you. Never do something to impress a girl. Know that you are unique and special exactly the way you are (who has chosen to improve themselves). When you decide its time to leave, you leave! Do what you want to do, do not change your actions simply to increase the chance of sex or fit into a group better. It never works … trust me!
  • Do not put a girl on the pedestal, i.e. do not raise her to be viewed higher than you value yourself. Most guys make this mistake where they play beta to her. They laugh at her jokes, offer her gifts (e.g. buying her a drink etc) etc to validate themselves in her eyes. DO NOT DO THIS! Let the girl (as Sherlock does to Molly) chase you, let the girl try and validate and show you she is cool enough to hang around with you. Girls are not used to this. A girl tends to be the prize in a bar or club – they do not know how to act when a guy flips the scenario on them. The guy who does this will be seen as unique and a prize to get in the girls eyes – just where you want to be. Watch the video again and see just how smitten Molly is with Sherlock and how she acts on his every word.
  • Talk slowly and calmly, with a deep authentic voice – do not talk in a pretend deep voice if its not you, instead work on developing your tonality and authoritive tone. An alpha male is not rushed or panics. Aim to talk as if you are in full control of yourself and the situation regardless of what is happening.

So what do you think? Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments below

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3 comments on “How to make a great first impression – Sherlock (BBC)

  1. New Alphamaleexamples post: This one is about how to make a great first impression as shown by the BBC’s Sherlock!

  2. You should read the books, Sherlock is so much more interesting. I have a spare copy next time your visiting 🙂

    • Anonymous Jul 25, 2012

      Yeah, this is one of my very old articles – I wrote differently back then. Really love the BBC series though. Cool, I’d love to borrow them. Hopefully, ‘ll be down soon but looking forward to ‘The Patriots’ in Inverness!

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