What Does it Mean to Be “Icey?”


My workload just stepped up another notch, but I’m not too worried, it’s seems like I can just spew out articles like there is no tomorrow.

What I want to do today is talk about what it means to be “icey,” and how you can develop it.

The best way I can illustrate this is through a video from Arnold Schrwarzenegger himself.

Check out how when the egg hits him, he literally DOES NOT FLINCH.

He’s almost stoked by it, giving him an opportunity to take off his jacket and show off the guns.

Check it!

Where did Icey originate?

It’s based off Iceberg Slim’s book PIMP, where he got the nickname I think because he was doing speedballs of heroine and cocaine, and when a stray bullet went by, shooting off his hat, he didn’t even flinch and some other pimp was like, “Damn!!! You so icey! I be callin’ you Iceberg Slim!”

And so it began.

Another example I like to use is Don Draper from Madmen. The quixotic, stoic, masculine archetype of an unemotional dude who can handle any situation, and gets shit done.

Love that show, purely to reinforce the extreme unreactiveness. (and a bit for the 1950’s misogynism, not gonna lie)

How do I Become More Icey?

It takes extreme control over your emotions, and looking at things as objectively as possible.

For the control of your emotions part, I’ve said countless times how negative emotions arise when your life situation jives with your value structures. But as you cultivate higher and higher levels of consciousness, you realize that all of life is a joke, and you are just wearing some costume, and any sort of emotional response becomes laughable, pointing to you taking life too seriously.

Emotional anchors are just arbitrary meanings you place onto completely random events or objects in your life.

The more you can objectively view life, the less you get emotional about ANYTHING.

This leads to an interesting point about relationships and the process of breaking up.

Sometimes the breakup is super easy, sometimes it’s gut wrenchingly hard, no matter how conscious you are.

The reason the hard ones are so emotional is that you tie so many emotional anchors to the relationship. These are stereotypically the type of relationships where you fight a lot, break up, get back together, and repeat the pattern over and over until the final break up, which REALLY SUCKS.

Then EVERYTHING reminds you of her.

As you start to get over the relationship, the attrition of psychological anchors takes time. Most people let it unconsciously happen, but weird self help junkies like myself consciously analyze each anchor as the emotion arises, one by one, and try to objectively reframe things in a way that it no longer creates a negative reaction.

I remember back to my last serious break up, I’d look at stupid stuff like a TREE, and think:

“Oh, I remember that one time when we walked passed a tree.”

Like what the fuck?!

You start filtering EVERYTHING through the experiences you had, and EVERYTHING creates an emotional response.

Then one day you look at that tree and it no longer has any meaning, it’s just a tree.

A similar thing happens when you approach a girl. You go out, start getting rejected, and IT HURTS.

But once you do it a few times, you no longer view rejection as something that affects your identity, or who you are. You no longer have any sort of emotional response to it.

As you get better, you start dealing with her freaking out, or some dude trying to take your girl, or someone PUKING ON YOU, and still maintaining your cool.

Getting good at this mostly just takes time, and living life. Man, you go through bankruptcy, get divorced, or travel the world, and very little gets you emotional.

You deal with it level headed, calmly, and get shit done.

Push through procrastination, push through the sad little story of your past, push through limiting beliefs, and push outside your comfort zone.

Things get in your way, things fuck up, and you deal with the punches and keep moving forward. Or look to learn and try a new direction.

But you don’t dwell in sadness like a weak little child. Get over your sad self and man up.

Get back in the game and live life.

Alright, time for my daily ab workout and a protein maca fruit smoothie…

Have a good weekend everyone. :)

29 replies
  1. Shane
    Shane says:

    Nice article. It occurs to me that one of the reasons your writing is so appealing to me is that you have a more objectivist-style self reliant frame than I do (I think coordination and cooperation is the key to almost everything big, can’t really do it alone, etc.) so it’s cool to see that perspective so well-developed.

    Reply
  2. LOV
    LOV says:

    Hey, I was thinking about how icey James bond is. The reason why he is so ice is because he is puts himself in so many life threatening situations. After going through that, what is talking to a girl?
    Wad are some hobbies that can help us develop this ICEYness?

    Reply
    • LOV
      LOV says:

      I have been pushing my comfort zone a lot and it has made me become less identified with the outcome. But I was wondering what were other things that I could do in conjunction with it that can help me become more icey?

      Things like reading books, working on my self esteem, etc.

      Reply
  3. Jazzy
    Jazzy says:

    Golden post, Brad!

    Could you clarify if iciness is still expressing deep emotions of excitement and utter joy towards things you love, like the example of traveling the world. I understand you said to stay cool and level-headed, but does that mean when you’re in the beginning stages of this, do you hold in all of those deep emotions when experiencing crazy big positive or negative changes in life?

    Reply
    • Brad Branson
      Brad Branson says:

      Don’t suppress your positive emotions, being expressive and fulfilled by your passions is important. The point is that you need to stop identifying and being reactive toward everything in your life. Experiencing the hard times, sucking it up, and dealing with it makes you a more centered and emotionally strong person.

      Reply
  4. Rad
    Rad says:

    Jumping outside the comfort zone is so hard but that’s the only way to become aware of limiting beliefs that imprisoned you inside your tiny little comfort zone in the first place.

    Reply
  5. jules
    jules says:

    Yo Brad, through the years I got emotionaly pretty unreactive which results in sweet dating success. But on the other hand I remarked that I got problems to enter a new set with a higher energy. So beeing in a set almost always leads to at least a kiss close, but winning a complete strange set over doenst work so well with this unreactive attitude for me. You know the video when Tyler is out with Julien and screams enthusiasticly at two hot blondes “Heeeey, you guys know how to party” and directly go into a double hug? I made the experience that to win over a new set you need to have a strong positive vibe, but once you are accepted its the iceyness which brings you the attraction. Do you agree on that? Do you have a special techniques to pump your energy when entering a new set? Its one of my main sticking point since over a year…

    Thx in advance from Berlin

    Reply
  6. Trentman
    Trentman says:

    I just finished the 3rd season of Mad Men. Brilliant show. Don Draper is a boss. It’s also fantastic to see how all the male characters lead with women. Kind of helps internalize that leading mind set.

    Reply
  7. SriLankaEddie
    SriLankaEddie says:

    Icyness…

    This is a MUST…

    LEARN THIS…

    You can not be your best self if you are reactive…

    Icyness=evolved…

    You evolve as a human being when you learn to endure the worst of the worst without a stir…

    It not so much that emotion is suppressed but that you truly understand the situation at hand…

    In other words it always ” is what it is”…

    Nothing more nothing less…

    Reply
  8. reino
    reino says:

    I’ve made breakthroughs in my night game lately, there’s almost minimal approach anxiety. But, in the day time I constantly feel I should be approaching but I rarely do, it’s causing some unnecessary frustration.

    Reply
  9. Hannes
    Hannes says:

    hey Brad,
    thanks for the articel, its very nice ;)
    can you recommend some books or other stuff on the topic negativ mind patterns and reframing?

    Reply
    • reino
      reino says:

      I’ve been reading Emotional Intelligence 2.0, it has some stuff on self-awareness that is supposed to help you become more aware of your emotions.

      Reply
  10. LeeMus
    LeeMus says:

    I love this article Brad. it respects the smooth and cool vibes i’ve been learning from you via your blog and rsd. I own my own business, and I recently went through some “stuff” last week and it could have gotten me off of my rhythm but due to my “higher consciousness” i was able to assess the situation and move on, w/o breaking my rhythm. Awesome stuff Brad!

    Reply

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