SOCIAL MASTERY

A Guy’s Guide To Social Value And Attracting Women

By Brendan Corbett www.dhvacademy.com

This book is copyright 2010 with all rights reserved. It is illegal to copy, distribute, or create derivative works from this book in whole or in part, or to contribute to the copying, distribution, or creating of derivative works of this book, unless you have consent from the author. Front Cover Illustration: Copyright © 2010 By ‘Giraffarte’ In association with www.dreamstime.com

Copyright © 2009 www.dhvacademy.com Brendan Corbett All rights reserved.

CONTENTS
Introduction i

PART ONE - DEVELOPING A SOCIAL ATTITUDE
1.1 What Blocks An interaction? 1.2 The Right Attitude And Mindset 1.3 The Improvisation Approach 2 12 35

PART TWO: INSIDE INTERACTIONS
2.1 Building A Lifestyle 2.2 A Lasting Impression 2.3 What To Talk About 2.4 The Art Of Approaching 2.5 Authentic Listening 2.6. Get Them Involved 2.7 Storytelling 2.8 Natural Conversations 46 55 63 69 95 103 111 123

PART THREE: BEYOND INTERACTIONS
3.1 How To Take Control 3.2 A Strong Presence 3.3 Within A Group 3.4 Sparking Attraction 3.5 Social Mastery 139 151 162 169 202

INTRODUCTION
The goal of this book is to help you increase your social value and be naturally attractive through conversation, interaction. and social skills.

‘Social Value’ is defined as the ability to be observed as somebody who has extremely good skills with other people. As a result, you are likeable, popular, and people respect you. You don’t need to be a celebrity or a big CEO to be perceived as having value. Value comes from the way in which people react to you and know of you. You can gain this in your everyday life when you know how to be extremely comfortable and confident in social situations. When you can talk to anybody and everybody with ease- that’s when you know you have it. If you have ever been in situations where you have been too quiet; too shy; repeating yourself; lost on what to say and talk about; feeling blank etc…then this is for you. This book will guide you through the structure of social situations and how to take full advantage and have complete control. I was once in a position where I struggled severely from social anxiety. While I was in search for answers and how to get over it, I came across a lot of other people with similar problems.

i|INTRODUCTION

I began to notice that their struggle was a result of lacking social experience, and they also had the inner challenge of being in a nervous or anxious state of mind when they were in the presence of other people. So I wanted to create a book to combine those two areas: overcoming social/approach anxiety, and also devising an improvised structure to interactions. At least that way, social situations can flow effortlessly. Put it this way. Think about how a typical conversation goes...

Person A: Hiya Person B: Oh Hello, How are you? Person A: I’m fine, How bout you? Person B: Aw I’m good too thanks Person A: What you been up to? Person B: Oh not much, you? Person A: Yes the same. Busy as always haha Person B: haha, yeh Person A: … Person B: … Person A: Well I best get going so I’ll see you later. It was nice to see you again. Person B: It was great seeing you as well. We’ll catch up sometime. Person A: Definitely!

Sound familiar? The trouble with this interaction is that there is no way for advancement. They both cut each other off by remaining resistant and closed. A lot of interactions tend to go like this. Chances are they probably won’t “catch up” sometime soon because they haven’t invested in each other. It’s an example of a conversation going wrong, and it’s a recurring pattern for people who tend to cut interactions short. They can do it for a number of reasons, but the underlying factor is they are just not comfortable. If it was with a friend they had known for years, the interaction would have played out very differently. But we want to reach a point where we can flow with anybody.

CONVERSATION PLUS ATTRACTION
If a man struggles socially with strangers and groups, then how do you think he will go on with a girl he actually likes? I’ve always had a curiosity about interactions between men and women. It appeared to me that, yes, even though it is quite easy to talk to a girl on a friendly level with chit-chat, you have to have something else going on to spark the infamous CHEMISTRY. And you can also notice the mundane conversation patterns during interactions with a girl…

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Guy: What’s that book you are reading? Girl: Danielle Steel Guy: Oh I’ve never read her books. Are they good? Girl: Yes, otherwise I wouldn’t be reading it. Guy: Good point. I’ve just finished reading Tom Clancy’s new book. Girl: I’ve never heard of him. Guy: A-ha (Dying a slow and painful death) Girl: … Guy: … Girl: ………….. Guy: Well, I best be off. Enjoy your book.

In this example there was no connection. They both bounced off each other in the opposite direction. Unfortunately for most guys this is a recurring theme. With a few minor changes though he could have turned it around to have a flowing conversation with her, and he could even get her to like him and meet up with her again. I want guy’s to be able to get passed this hurdle where they stumble and not know what to say. Or, the other extreme is- they talk a lot, but it’s nothing of any value or a way for the other person to join in and connect. You can be great with your friends, but we need the social skills with everybody.

TAKING AN IMPROVISED APPROACH
For those who struggle socially, the cure is usually the ability to get out of their own way and just flow. They can express themselves freely and open up. Improvisation- it is the on-the-spot spontaneity you see in theatre and performance. Actors often talk about it and it’s most common in music such as jazz. It is a skill where you create in the moment with all that you have available to you. The question is: What can you create in terms of social interactions once you get out of your own way? Socially awkwardness comes from a hesitancy to express opinions, thoughts and ideas. As a result, you get the kind of interactions I pointed out to you on the first page. But if you can overcome that hesitancy, and you can free yourself to express anything and just “throw it out there”, then it gives the other person an opportunity and opening to carry on the conversation with you.

HOW DOES IT APPLY TO INTERACTIONS?
In this book, I am going to provide you with a social structure you can improvise with. You won’t be bogged down to the routine manner we all go through in conversation. We can learn to divert and spark up new ways to continue a conversation and have an interaction which can actually go somewhere. iii | I N T R O D U C T I O N

We all improvise every single day. As much as we try to live in our safe little bubbles and plan out our days, knowing everything we are doing in advance- we still have to improvise and figure things out as we go. With interactions you have no script, just as in life. You have to create your dialogue on the spot and learn to create and react right then and there. With that being the case, most beginning interactions with people tend to remain on the safe side. We stay confined to small talk and fluff because that’s how social conditioning has trained us. But you can go beyond that with improvisation and social skills, and you can be the guy who has a cool and confident presence and an ease to interact with anybody. The extension of this skill is to interact with girls you like and spark relationships.

COMBINING INTERACTION + ATTRACTION
Creating attraction tends to be the main goal between a man and a woman when they interact. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to happen with safe and respectful conversations. Making a woman feel something for you requires you being in control. But it’s hard to be in control if you’re a stumbling mess and worried about “saying the wrong thing”. I naively assumed I needed methods to spark attraction, when in fact all I needed was a general understanding to work with. The only reason I became consumed with it all is because of the control and predictability it had. But the predictability soon wears off. You begin to feel a fraud. If you’re doing the ‘pick up’ thing, I’m not suggesting pass it off. This is about taking a step back and building a gym mat. It’s a place where you can fall flat on your ass and still keep on going. Not many guys can do that. One they seemingly “fail”, they cave and walk away from the interaction. If they had the right mindset and skills, they would have not given in so easily. I took a step back and decided that the answer was to first of all BUILD A FOUNDATION OF SOCIAL SKILLS which you can apply with everybody and anybody.

How could I expect a girl to ever be attracted to me if I sucked with other people and lacked social value?
Having a foundation not only increases your social value, but the confidence it gives you allows you to be naturally attractive. Most guys lack in this department. Social Value is a big key to sparking attraction iv | I N T R O D U C T I O N

BUILDING A SOCIAL FOUNDATION
Let’s face it, most of us live not so extravagant lifestyles. It can be boring, mundane and uninteresting. We will not all be the typical man-of-value stereotypes that will capture a woman into our webs of seduction.

The ultimate test is being able to make the mundane boring stuff BE fun
Because what are you left with when you take away the ‘Pick Up’ methods? Pure and simple, you are left with conversation- an expression of self. It is at the foundation of any interaction. But if you can’t even have the balls to open up and have full self-expression, then you are at a dead end. I noticed that the conversation part though is where a lot of guys tend to be stuck on. They become too linear and fixated on their approach and the content of what they say. With that, they miss the natural attraction sparks that are happening right in front of them. You can tell when you lack a foundation because you say statements along the lines of: - I ran out of things to say - What should I have said next? - It went really quiet and I was losing her. Should I have done another palm read? - I had to leave because my mind went blank. She wouldn’t click with me. How long would you last if you ACTUALLY had her? You can only repeat your ‘attraction material’ a few times and get away with it. You have to have things to talk about in order to converse and interact. Once you get passed the “socially correct” questions like how are you; where are you from etc- then it is down to you. And this book is a compilation of the skills you need to get over that fixated attitude. Then the interactions start to become FUN rather than filled with anxiety. It will no longer be a case of, “What will I say when we run this topic into the ground? I’ll be lost. There she goes, she’s finishing her sentence. Her lips are now…about…to stop moving. What did she just say? I missed it! Too nervous…Should I talk about my pet fish again?”

THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL INTERACTION
Real conversations are scarce, so our interactions with people are limited. It seems that most people’s methods are to wait for the silence so they know that it’s their turn to speak. And in that time, I believe the person is either thinking, “What should I say next?” or “Where is the exit?” The interaction itself is never the real focus. It’s especially obvious when you are interacting with somebody for the first time. Strangers can be so unpredictable. v|INTRODUCTION

Whenever two or more people are hovering around together, there has to be some form of interaction. On the flip side, there are an abundance of people walking past us in this world every day. Multiple opportunities to connect and have some company are all around and yet most people can still feel lonely. We need social interaction- it is part of human nature. But because of the social barriers, people can find it difficult to reach the point where they engage and invest with each other. That is where the friendships and long lasting relationships happen. Interaction means “to interact”, which means it takes two to tango. “Being social” for short. Conversation is the tool that allows us to interact with one another. After the initial eye contact and proximity, you HAVE to say something. And conversation is easy. They say a sentence, you say a sentence- it’s a done deal. However, that’s the SIMPLEST form of conversation, the kind you saw in the first example. It doesn’t appear to be interactive like conversations should be. It’s passive and fleeting where neither seem to be interested in taking the time to get to know the other. But conversation is much more than being all about the words you say. Put it this way- If you are a quiet person and unresponsive, then no doubt you will be tarred with the personality traits of “shy” or “ignorant”. Both of which I don’t think we all like to be known as. Most of us can’t seem to help that. You don’t want to be quiet on purpose. It’s only because conversation is uncomfortable for you. But the other person doesn’t know that, so without you even saying a word you’ve been judged in a seemingly negative way. They can get the wrong impression about you. A lot of us say, “I am shy until you get to know me”. What they really mean is, I am going to be uncomfortable opening up with you until I reach a level of comfort. This isn’t about overcoming the judgments you get. You can be judged even for the way you walk in most cases. I’m simply pointing out that your interactions have a greater impact than discussing daily news topics or what the other person has been up to.

Every social interaction projects your personality and attitude. Even if you are quiet- you are projecting shyness and insecurity
Conversation is expression, and you deserve to be able to express yourself fully without fear or anxiety.

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CREATING A CONNECTION
And then, once you can talk freely with people, you have to go beyond that and create a connection. Try having a long-term friendship or relationship without saying a word. I know married couples seem to hit that point anyway after 20 years with each other, but give it a go. Anybody can make small talk and fluff their way through. A quick hello, a nice how are you, what you been up to- it’s friendly, non-intrusive, simple. But it doesn’t create anything concrete to build up a social circle or relationship. Making a connection requires more than just small talk- it requires investment. Obviously you don’t want to create a connection with everybody you meet. You’re not trying to be a walking Facebook here. By connection I mean ‘interacting on a personal and expressive level. It is those relationships that form your social circle and create a socially abundant lifestyle. It could be with anybody where you have to show your face on a regular basis, or maybe even in the new places you have decided to venture into on a whim. If you have the freedom to interact and converse at will, then as a result, you will certainly create social value.

IT HAS TO START SOMEWHERE
In reality, everybody you know now was once a stranger to you. After a while it probably feels second nature to request meeting up or asking for a favour with a friend. You know, doing the things you can never do without a level of comfort. Now, I understand conversation sounds easy. Conversation just seemingly flows when you are with a friend or somebody you are close and comfortable with- so why continue reading? Because…

By having strong, confident social skills and the ability to improvise with anybody gives you VALUE. And value = being attractive.
You can’t get the girl if you don’t have any value. It’s not much fun when you are the guy stood on the sidelines staring and waiting. It’s also not much fun when you talk to a girl, and you get the feeling she isn’t joining in- it’s just you asking question after question. A girl can judge you by the company you keep and the reactions others have towards you. By having a foundation and a strong social circle, you already plant the seed in her mind that you have value, and that you are great with people- that gives her security and a desire to want to align with you. vii | I N T R O D U C T I O N

Also, the majority of our new friends happen by being in a social setting like college, or we are introduced. But there are multiple strangers and interesting people out there. Why pass up the opportunity just because we lack confidence and social skills? There is an important fact you have to consider:

Without people, you gain nothing. No No No No No No friends- No social life. girlfriend- No intimacy and future family potential. networking- No job or business opportunities. customers- No sales. audience- No performance. teachers- No learning.

We need people. They are our prime resource for everything. It goes as far back as an evolutionary need. But with the current conditioning and boundaries, we can neglect this part of our life.

THE FEAR OF INITIATING
People are your source to all that is valuable in your life. For many of us, the idea of talking to new people is a scary concept- we don’t even bother to do it. When you walk down the street it is very rare that you will be reciprocated with eye contact. We are all in a world of our own. When we are in a waiting room, we bury our heads in magazines. When we are on a bus, we check our mobile phones. When we are at a bar, we wait till we have consumed enough alcohol to forget our own name. To be social you have to learn how to develop a certain mindset where you find it fun to interact, even with complete strangers. You have to build a level of confidence where you can handle the SOCIAL PRESSURE. The majority of interactions are passive, so the ideas and techniques provided here are to help you get passed those blocks YOU put up, and also what other people put up- then you can be more than just a quick Hello. So here it is, a “how to” guide on:  Expanding your social circle and increasing your value.  Being comfortable in any social situation and have full self-expression  Being able to connect with others and engage them.  Bringing the best out of people by giving them permission to also let go and open up.  Having fun, creative and playful interactions.  Letting others let you into their worlds while you do the same.  Being naturally attractive. viii | I N T R O D U C T I O N

PART ONE

DEVELOPING A SOCIAL ATTITUDE

1.1 WHAT BLOCKS AN INTERACTION?
Conversations are sometimes difficult to keep going. They hit pauses, awkward silences, and you don’t really know what else to say. When that happens, people often blame themselves and they don’t understand why the person is “ignoring them” or just not interested.

Interactions are a two-way process. For them to become two-way there has to be a level of reciprocation, which means that both people have to contribute and create openings for the other person to jump in. Within your social circle you don’t have to be conscious about conversation. It comes naturally. You can bounce around with any topic and feel free to ramble on about anything that comes up. You could have one word answers, cut it- and then go on to something else. You’re not concerned about whether you are in to dance music and they’re in to classical, you still feel free to talk about your tastes anyway without thinking “I’m boring the tits off of them here”. You are free to speak without judgement. And it probably took a while for you to get to that level of comfort. You had to have a few shared experiences and “Wow, Me too” moments. When they took that leap of faith and opened up about something personal- you reciprocated with your own little anecdote, and you felt good by building that trust. 2|WHAT BLOCKS AN INTERACTION?

With new people it’s a whole new ball game. You don’t know about each other. The only thing you can really go on is your first impression and the environment. If you approach somebody new, chances are you will both be cautious in what you talk about. You also have no shared experiences to riff off, giving the old “Remember that time when…” intro. You are starting from scratch, so there comes more ways for interactions to hit a dead end and uncomfortable pauses. It’s to be expected.

YOU ONLY GET ONE SHOT
Okay, in truth, you don’t only get the ONE shot with a person, but it helps for illustration purposes. Let’s say you approach somebody, a pretty girl for example. You walk up to her, give your introduction that you spent 30 minutes trying to get right. And all you get in return is…

Girl: Oh, hehe. Okay.

Where do you go from there? It’s impossible for you to say, “Wait! Let me try this again. Just wait here. You carry on doing what you were doing…” You think you’ve been rejected. Was it your breath? The way you stood? Maybe you should have gone for the cocky grin instead of the full teeth smile. Either way, it’s a difficult block. She hasn’t given anything back to interact with you in return. So you walk away believing another opportunity has been lost. Back in Fred Flintstone days, you would of only had about 3-4 more girls to try it on with before you ran out of fresh meat. It’s a common scenario, and it doesn’t end there. How about if you actually got the girl to meet up with you another time? Now instead of 10 minutes, you have 3 – 4 hours of possible dead ends and silences. That’s usually the part where panic mode hits. It’s the social awkwardness people fear. You feel you have to find something you can both hit it off on and impress each other, then something else…then another…then another. If that ends up being the case, then it’s usually down to bad social habits. Interactions should be free-flowing, but we are not shown how to be social in schools and through education. We are left to our own devices and try picking it up as we go along by copying those around us. 3|WHAT BLOCKS AN INTERACTION?

So these bad habits tend to occur and they’re often not your fault. Perhaps you have been conditioned to be shy, or told “Be polite and always listen”.

OVERRIDING THE BELIEF THAT IT IS REJECTION When you experience these blocks- you will often feel like you are being rejected.
Many thoughts will run through your head as to why the other person isn’t getting involved as much as you would have liked. Often self-consciousness hits and we think we’re being boring and you’re not hitting it off. Then anxiety comes into it and you both back away due to it feeling uncomfortable. We love interacting with people when all the fears and anxieties are brushed aside. Unfortunately, we all exhibit common behaviours, or BLOCKS, when we first interact with people. Social politeness tends to play a big part, but overall we tend to restrict ourselves from giving too much away. We become uncomfortable and don’t want to say or do the wrong things. No doubt you have done it in the past to people- you’ve gone quiet or you have thrown questions at them to divert attention from yourself. But you didn’t mean to reject the person, did you? Of course you didn’t, although it probably appeared that way. Once you become conscious of these blocks, you begin to realise that we are all guilty of doing it- and it’s not really rejection at all. It is social safety and our discomfort in social situations that make us want to press the abort button or not give much detail. Being aware of these blocks gives you a more respectful and understanding approach. You can brush off awkward silences with a knowing smile.

THE BLOCKS
Like I said, you’ve probably already blocked people in similar ways but without even realising it. It’s usually an unconscious process, which is why it’s so easy to misread the signals. I’ll go through how to avoid blocks later. Right now it is important to just be aware of them. Notice whether you have ever experienced these blocks or done them unconsciously with others, and it resulted in the conversation leading down a quiet road. 4|WHAT BLOCKS AN INTERACTION?

1) YOU ARE IN YOUR OWN WORLD- BEING CAUGHT IN THE HEADLIGHTS We’ve all had it happen to us. We’ve been walking along minding our own business, eyes fixed on the pavement and getting to where we have to be. Then it happens…

The voice from afar: Excuse me. I’d just like to borrow you for a second…

It’s a typical salesman opener. You perk your head up, and depending on their body language and welcoming face- you have a split second to either say “no thanks, not today”, or you go along with it, where it’s only after that you realise you have just signed up for radioactive medical tests starting next Tuesday. Congrats! People are constantly in this state of trance. When somebody snaps us out of it, it’s like the feeling you get when you’re startled up out of your sleep. You latch on to any statement thrown at you, or the more recurring option- you run like hell. The last thing anybody expects is for a complete stranger to start talking to them from out of nowhere. Some people welcome it with open arms. But most of us are all in our own little worlds- heads down and hidden away. It explains why most people are on a defensive when you approach them. It’s an unknown experience. They are thinking: - Who is this person? - What do they want? - Which way do I run if they whip out a knife? And all in the space of 5 seconds as you attempt to initiate a conversation. That’s not something to be afraid of. It is something to accept and to take into consideration. The person will hardly know you, but we are all guilty of making snap judgements based on the way other people present themselves. It’s a point where you have to show your openness through every fibre of your being. That’s right, full on emotional nakedness. If you go up stumbling with your head down- chances are you won’t be perceived as somebody to continue talking to. I know…it’s brutal. Realise that in the initial few minutes of approaching, you are going to be the one doing most of the talking. They’re still half asleep and wondering what the hell is going on. Talking does not mean offering a tirade of questions- that just deepens the “get me out of here” feeling.

5|WHAT BLOCKS AN INTERACTION?

2) CLOSED SELF-EXPRESSION. YOU DON’T LIKE TALKING ABOUT YOURSELF A lot of people find it very difficult to talk about who they are, what they’ve done, or what they are even thinking. Whenever the conversation steers towards asking questions about them, they do whatever they can to slip away and deflect it on to something else. Imagine, if you will, the dialogue:

Person: So what do you do? You: Oh nothing much. How about you? Person: I’m a skiing instructor. It’s brilliant. I never thought I could get into a career where I love what I do. What things do you enjoy doing? You: I don’t know. Whatever takes my fancy at the time, I guess. Where do you live?

The answers are very short and closed off. They don’t contribute anything for the other person to hook on to move the conversation forward. Rather than being closed off, the person should have shared who they are. When you don’t share yourself the conversation becomes one sided. It puts a premature block on the whole process.

You have to be open to contributing
People who feel uncomfortable with that concept generally start to deflect by asking more questions, or like the above example they start giving short answers. Being reluctant to expose yourself usually comes from feeling inferior. It’s a response to believing that sharing who you are isn’t important or interesting. The other reason is feeling shy whenever the attention and spotlight are fixated on you. It gives you an internal pressure to cower away and step out of the spotlight. With it being internal, it requires changing the way you think about the interaction and yourself. You may imagine that whenever you expose yourself the other person will find it ____________ (insert blank with any negative connotation). Being more open and expressive requires a new mindset to build a positive self-image. At least then you will feel secure enough to express who you are and be comfortable in doing so. 3) YOU DON’T LIKE TO BE SOCIAL- BEING INTROVERTED. For some of us, being in our own world can feel the most comfortable place to be. We get to relish in our own thoughts and be as creative as we like without fear of people trampling all over them. They are our thoughts- and we feel better for that. 6|WHAT BLOCKS AN INTERACTION?

I don’t like using the Jung psychology term of “introverted” either. We all have different parts that contribute to our personality as a whole. You can be introverted AND also extroverted. There is no split that suggests you have to be one or the other. So again, it’s a mindset and belief that prevents you from wanting to be around people. You can be introverted as much as you want. You can go away and create or think as you wish. However, there has to be a balance within your lifestyle where you tap into your extroverted self and let your social savvy side shine through. In short- you feel motivated to socialise. Not everybody wants to be talkative and social 24/7. Sometimes we just want to unwind with our own thoughts. That’s understandable. Throughout life though we are often thrown into the lions den where we have to be social and interact. Sometimes you don’t feel like laughing at the boss’s jokes, as you mentally picture lunging over the desk with your stapler in hand- but you still laugh at his jokes anyway. It’s amazing what we can do when we feel under pressure. You may in fact not be as introverted as you think. A lot of the times it’s a way of defending your ego. We would rather devalue something that we feel uncomfortable with, rather than say, “Hey, I’m no good at that”. Your introversion excuse could just be a scapegoat. Only you will know which you are doing when you are truly honest with yourself. If you are protecting your ego, then let it go. Don’t resign yourself to being introverted. Yes, you may find social interactions very uncomfortable and you feel you don’t like them at all. You would much rather be away from people and go inside yourself. But for your own sanity and balance, develop the skills necessary to pump yourself into a state where you enjoy being social. You have only become an “introvert” by accident. A few negative social interactions when you were younger, and your unconscious packed its bags and called it a day. Your life and personality may have been totally different had those interactions had gone the other way. Understand that if you in fact do sway more to being introverted and keeping yourself to yourself, then find a balance. 4) STAYING ON TOPIC- MILKING IT TILL THE END This is a very common mistake, so it’s very easy to go unnoticed. The idea is that what most people tend to do is exhaust the topic until there is nothing else to squeeze out of it. Let’s say for example the topic is music. That leads to a whole array of questions. Favourite bands, lyrics, gigs you have been to, type of music etc. Even though there is a lot to go at- at some point the topic will burn out and exhaust itself. 7|WHAT BLOCKS AN INTERACTION?

On top of that, it gets very boring staying only on the one topic. The worst kind of milking is the dreaded INTERVIEW. The topic will obviously be the other person, and we squeeze and milk it to exhaustive proportions. Because what then tends to happen is a list of questions thrown out without delving in deeper on other tangents. It follows the line of, “So who do you live with….oh cool…what do you do for a living….fabulous…what hobbies do you have” etc. The trouble is it can be addictive to stay on a topic that you both seem to hit it off on. It’s very hard to resist and switch on to another topic because you fear you will lose the momentum where it seemed like you were on a roll. There is no specific formula if you are in search of length in minutes. It’s more of a vibe you get that the conversation needs to switch up. That comes with intuition, and intuition comes with experience, and….you see where I‘m going. To prevent the burn out from happening you have to be creative and use associations, so that you are able to not get stuck in the same topic for however long. You can ask a question about the person and then go into it deeper and relate it to your own opinions and circumstances. It reminds you of other experiences that tie in with other topics. Who knows if you will ever get back to where you started. The point is having the ability to be creative and stretch out the conversations potential, mixing it up and diverting to other links, rather than being resigned to one topic…then another…then another- all in a linear fashion. 5) TALKING ABOUT YOURSELF TOO MUCH I’m not too sure whether this happens because of vanity or someone having a nervous disposition, however you do get some people who appear oblivious to helping the other person get involved. It’s the whole cliché of give somebody an inch and they take a mile. Even if you don’t give them an inch, they’ll make one anyway. I’m sure we love to hear about people. After all, we are asking them questions and creating the opportunity for them to open up and express who they are. But there does reach a point where you think to yourself, “…it’s dark out. I’m sure it was light when we got here. How long have they been talking?” It can easily be done through nervousness. Talking at length about your self for some people can be a distraction, and they may only be doing it to get away from awkward silences. If you are the culprit of talking too much, then you won’t really be aware that you are hogging all the talk time. It will generally all be, “I did this…I did that…I want this…I need that” statements. The person has “I”s all over the place.

8|WHAT BLOCKS AN INTERACTION?

It’s fine if you can talk at length. The other person may be revelling in the fact that you are easing their pressure to interact. It takes self-awareness and a curiosity about the other person that allows you to stop yourself in your tracks and end up the monologue. 6) CLOSED QUESTIONS Closed questions are ones that get you one-worded answers. With some people you can ask them open questions and they still give you one-worders. Revert to point #2. Closed questions are zoned in on facts. An example question would be “How many brothers do you have?” All you will get in return is a number (Fact). Instead, you could ask, “So tell me about your family…” it is a question posed as a statement- and it is aimed at a wider topic area. Sometimes all your closed questions need is a little rephrasing. I know we don’t like interviews, but interviewers are typically good at the “posing questions as statements” thing. They ask a question and sit back while you fumble to say why you think you are capable to be CEO of a £140,000,000 company. But closed questions can be useful at times. You need closed questions to get the facts- just as long as you use those facts to develop the interaction. In everyday conversation with your best friend you can always get away with closed questions. That is because there is comfort to go beyond one word responses. With new people, we often feel like we don’t want to put the other person on the spot. Asking them open-ended questions could put them in an uncomfortable position. Grab some balls and understand that it is necessary to go through these uncomfortable moments. You will have to be the leader who takes the initiative. If you put them on the spotso be it. Although, before I get burned at the stake, I must warn you to be tactful. 7) YOU REALLY DO NOT GET ALONG I don’t imagine that sitting with a person who has 27 piercings (per limb), along with a tattoo of somebody being strangled to be a cosy experience. My initial thoughts would be, “I will never get along with this person.” It’s amazing how quick our judgments can be. In the same respect, we could see somebody with a guitar and assume they love to play/write music. Funnily enough, so do you- it’s a match! Until you realise it’s a gimmick he uses to pack his lunch in. But we can’t depend on people exposing their personality through their style. I find a lot of people tend to be very reserved. 9|WHAT BLOCKS AN INTERACTION?

Just think of that big ol’ brute from ‘The Green Mile’. Most people would shy away at such an intimidating figure. But there was more to him than his large presence. It’d be a shame to overlook that over a “We won’t get along” rule. Having said that, you could find out you really do not gel with somebody half way through a conversation. My thoughts to that are: Hey, it happens. There are over 6.5 billion people in this world- We can’t get along with everybody. Over time your social intuition will develop and you will begin to notice who you will vibe with and who you won’t. Whilst achieving that intuition, choose to remain open-minded and give people the benefit of the doubt. They may surprise you with an, “Oh My God. I would never have guessed” moment. 8) YOU COULD BE PERFECT- IT’S THE OTHER PERSON After you read this book you will know all the ins and outs of interactions and conversation. Trouble is, you are playing this game with probably 95% of the population who never took the time to truly understand themselves and how to master their social skills. Some people are natural. They’ve had good strong positive role models throughout their life and developed positive habits. They can naturally connect and interact, and they’re instantly likeable without even having to be conscious about it. They have an enthusiasm about socializing. Unfortunately, a lot of us take on bad habits. So in your short but colourful life, you will no doubt meet people who demonstrate the above blocking techniques that make interacting that little bit more difficult for you. They may be too quiet and too reserved to share who they are. They may be too passive and aloof or all “me me me”. They may be wearing a scent that triggers off your allergies. Whatever the reason, you will be faced with a question…should I take the time to get to know this person better? That is your decision. But by understanding interactions, you will learn to have more tolerance for people who do not have the conversational intellect. You understand the blocks and choose to go beyond the initial vibes you might get. You won’t feel rejected, nor will you feel any resentment towards yourself.

WRAPPING UP
Reminding you of these blocks is to help you be conscious of them so you can override them. It’s a chance for you to catch yourself in the act, and to also notice when other people cause the blocks. 10 | W H A T B L O C K S A N I N T E R A C T I O N ?

With awareness you have the opportunity to disassociate from them and not feel as though you are being rejected or blown out. Obviously some acute awareness is necessary. Some people may actually be acting in these ways to literally dismiss themselves from the conversation and from you. Hey, it happens. We can’t please everybody. And being social implies us coming across a diverse range of personalities- and not all of them can match with ours.

BLOCKS WITH INTERACTIONS SUMMARY
- Blocks prevent a two-way interaction. - They are usually through insecurities and shyness. - They are not a form of rejection. THE BLOCKS 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) Catching people off guard, in the motions/a trance. Shy about self. We stay quiet and don’t express. Introverted. Like own space. Avoid being social. Staying on topic too long without diversion to other topics. Stuck in a loop. Talk about self too much Wrong kind of questions. Closed. Get facts but don’t use to add. Don’t get along. Too different or too similar. Clash. Other person exhibits the blocks making it difficult for you.

- Work around the blocks so you have better conversations and you bounce off each other.

11 | W H A T B L O C K S A N I N T E R A C T I O N ?

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