There is a cycle that goes…be, do, have, be, do, have, be, do, have…
Be a king and you’ll do the things a king does and then you’ll have what a king has.
Or, do what a king does, so that you’ll have what a king has so that you will be a king.
Or, have what a king has so that you’ll be a king and then you’ll do what a king does.
So it doesn’t matter where you start this cycle. You can even take action towards all three.
Break the cycle you are in right now and create a new one.
Many people have been taught to get along with everyone. To try and make everyone like them.
But if you want people to love you, you’re going to have to risk some hating you.
Don’t be afraid to polarise opinions by dialing up some of your traits.
Even if it’s just an experiment. Try being “more you” for a couple of days and see what happens.
It’s no secret that most of the people looking for help with their social skills confirm to certain stereotypes.
Engineers, programmers and other logical thinkers.
Logic and reason are great, but they can only carry you so far so far when it comes to what’s going on at the micro level in social interactions.
(Logic and reason are much more applicable at a macro level, yet funnily enough that’s exactly where it’s applied least).
When you’re socialising in the moment you need less binary thinking and more fuzzy logic.
If you’re too much of a logical thinker then you need to train your mind to be more creative and spontaneous, to be able to deal with ambiguity and implied meaning.
Talking in politically incorrect generalisations here…
Women are passive, men are active.
If you are a man the onus is on you.
And being active, moving things forward is the most valuable trait you can display.
Because at the very core of the male-female dynamic the man has to be active…
…otherwise nothing will happen.
And the woman has to be passive because if you are incapable of making a move without assistance then how will your potential sons fair?
There is a time and place for thinking.
At work, when you’re listening to a lecture, when you’re planning ahead.
But when you’re looking to socialise and meet people it’s not so useful.
Even when you’re consciously trying to improve and train yourself you only want to spend 10 – 20% of your brain bandwidth on tactics or techniques.
The rest of the time you should be outside of your head.
Focus on expressing yourself rather than impressing people.
Expressing yourself without attachment to how people will react to it.
If you are trying to impress or impress something upon people then you’re going to be attached to the outcome.
“Did I convey what I wanted to? Are they feeling or thinking what I want them to feel or think?”
Practice expressing your authentic self every day, and let the chips fall where they may.
Form and function are intertwined.
I want to make things simple for you.
So I write things down in a simple way.
You can make things as easy or as complicated for yourself as you want.
Remember your mind and body are optimised for helping you to reach your goals.
Don’t stand in their way.
Keep things simple.
Be wary of the law of diminishing returns.
In the beginning you get a lot of return on your efforts.
Just going up and introducing yourself to new people will increase your chances tremendously.
After that you may experiment with your body language and tone of voice.
That will improve your results even more, but not as much as the first step you took.
Then you might try out different opening lines.
Again you may improve your results but the returns are starting to diminish.
Always keep in mind how much effort and time you are putting in and whether they are worth the results you expect to get from them.
Sometimes it’s worth it, sometimes it isn’t.
Always look for the 80 / 20 rule (also known as the Pareto Principle) and optimise what you are doing.
Where are most of your results coming from?
Do more of that.
The vast majority of tricks and techniques are there to fool yourself into thinking you are worthy.
Focus on those that are easiest to implement and give you the best return on your time and effort.
For a long time the ‘tool-box’ metaphor was employed to make learning social-skills easier for systematised nerd-thinking.
While it’s useful it can be overly mechanistic and reinforces the wrong mind-sets.
You need to approach this holistically.
Because this is a game of fluidity, subtleties and emotions.
Not just cold hard logic.