SOAL Q&A #6

Fantastic questions for this week:

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  • How can I stop daydreaming about a girl after I have a good interaction.
  • If a woman wants to have sex on a first date, should you always go for it?
  • How long does it take to get over a serious breakup, and what are more specific ways I can speed up the process?
  • How do you deal with shy girls in nightclubs when the conversation isn’t really flowing?
  • How do you set/control the frame in a conversation?
  • How do I get over my fear of STD’s?
  • What do you do when you run out of things to say?
  • What do I do if a girl checks out my Facebook profile and seems distant afterward?

Downloadable Audio

 

Book Excerpt: How to Easily Overcome Awkward Silences

You’ll never find the right answer if you don’t ask the right question. This is the problem a lot of guys face when a moment of silence falls over a conversation. They start asking themselves what the most interesting thing they can say is to fill that silence, or what question will get the best response out of her. They’re asking themselves the wrong question and making their job far more difficult than it needs to be – it’s hard for me to be clever when I’m in front of a girl who makes my heart race. As you’ll see in this chapter though, once you reframe your goals in those moments of silence, the task of making a conversation happen becomes much more simple – the way it should be.

He’s not asking himself the right questions.

Every conversation reaches a lull. A topic is introduced, you both chat back and forth about for a number of minutes (we’ll discuss how to stretch this out as long as possible in Chapter 11) and then you reach a point where no one has anything else to say on the topic. At this point, someone has to introduce a new topic, or push the conversation forward in order for it to continue.

You don’t want to be the one to do this too often, otherwise the conversation turns into an interview. She’ll start to contribute less and less while you feel as though you’re doing all of the “work” to keep the interaction going. (More on getting her to contribute equally to a conversation in Chapter 12.)

At the same time, she shouldn’t be pushing the conversation forward every time, lest she gets the impression that you’re not interested in continuing to talk to her and that she’s doing all of the work. In the end, this division of labor should be about 50/50, with each person taking turns pushing the conversation back and forth to each other.

This was another area that hindered Mateo from Chapter 4. In the same way he hesitated to start an interaction, when the lulls came in a conversation he didn’t feel comfortable continuing it. He’d jump into his head wondering what he should say next, worried that it wouldn’t be good enough, forced her to fill in all of the lulls, and in the end would lose interactions because he sent the woman the signal that he wasn’t really interested in talking to her further.

The secret, and what really helped Mike, was the idea that you don’t have to do so much. If you try to think of the most interesting topic you can introduce to the interaction, you’ll be putting too much pressure on yourself and will often come up with nothing, especially in a situation that makes you nervous in the first place, such as standing in front of a woman to whom you’re attracted. Plus, this comes off as “try too hard”. Few things turn off a woman more than having to wonder why a guy is trying so hard to win them over. Rather, they’re more attracted to men who don’t feel like they have to prove themselves and make everything look easy.

Instead, all you need to do here is demonstrate to the woman that you wish to continue talking to her. With that in mind, there are only two ways in which I push the conversation forward when it’s my turn to do so.

instead of stressing yourself out over having the right thing to say, start asking yourself the right question

  1. Boring Interview Questions

Questions such as “so where are you from” are often spoken of irreverently in the dating advice industry as something to avoid at all costs for being too boring and common, but they’re an essential part of my playbook for several reasons. As mentioned above, when you’re mind is racing and the girl in front of you is making you nervous, that last thing you want to try to go for is something complicated that you’re more likely to forget and bumble through. In these situations when my heart is jumping out of my chest and I have to worry moreso about the things that actually matter in a conversation that I discuss in this book, I want something simple and easy to remember that I can pull out of my back pocket at a moment’s notice.

Also, these questions send a very clear message that you’re not trying too hard. In contrast, women see these questions as the “normal” (as opposed to weird) way for a guy to interact with a woman he’s just met and is the way she envisions a confident man interacting with her in every fantasy she’s ever had. (As opposed to the goofy comedies we love where the awkward guy manages to get the beautiful girl by magically saying and doing the “right” thing.)

These questions aren’t meant to set you apart – your physical actions and the way you follow up on these questions (covered in the next chapter) will do that. Remember that trying to impress her is one of the surest paths to failure. All these questions are meant to do is express to her that you’re interested in her and wish to continue the interaction.

As I mentioned in Chapter 5, my first go to interview question after a “hey, how’s it going” is typically, “so what are you (guys) up to tonight (today)?” After that, I usually go with the classic, “So where are you from?” – a deep question disguised as a boring question which very easily lets you start talking about childhood experiences, building a lot of intimacy in a short period of time. I usually leave work off the table unless she introduces it – as people work enough that they don’t want to think about it on their off time – and will stick more towards where they’re living now, what they like about the city, etc.

 

  1. What Turns Her On / Future Plans

If I’m starting to get into a girl and want to find out more about who she really is, then my next instance of pushing the conversation forward will feature a question about what turns her on and what her plans for the future are in light of that.

This typically won’t be the way I’ll phrase is. Usually the wording will be more along the lines of, “so what are you into?” or “so what do you like to do?”, and then I’ll follow up on her response with questions about how she envisions making that a bigger part of her life in the future. However you word it, the intention remains the same: you want to find out what she’s really passionate about, what turns her on and excited her like nothing else in the world, and her deeper ambitions.

The benefits of this question should be rather obvious: you’re showing her that you’re truly interested in her as person and talking about things that excite her most will get her contributing more to the interaction with a ton of energy and excitement. Even if you aren’t passionate about the same things, you can still appreciate her excitement and energy for what turns her on, and a turned on woman is always wonderful.

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Although you have to push the interaction forward about half the time, this is all of the “work” you should be doing. If you’re doing any more thinking or work in a conversation than what I just listed above, then you are trying and working way too hard and subsequently turning off every girl in the process. As you’ll see in the following chapters, the rest of your responsibilities require no effort whatsoever.

As Mateo eventually did – relax, take the pressure off yourself, and instead of stressing yourself out over having the right thing to say, start asking yourself the right question: “How do I show her I love talking to her and want to do it more?”

SOAL Q&A #5

Questions for this week include:

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  • She has a test coming up, and isn’t going on any dates until it’s over, when/what should I text her?
  • I have trouble trying to create rapport via text, should I call instead?
  • Even though I try to get girls to talk, it feels like they always put the onus of being interesting back on me, what should I do?
  • What’s the biggest difference between college game and real life?
  • Do nice guys really finish last?
  • You say your goal is to get her talking, but sometimes I get called out for not talking enough. What should I do?
  • I’m feeling “numb” after a bad breakup, is this normal?
  • A girl said to me: “you can’t handle me” – how would you respond to this?
  • What do I do if she doesn’t fill in the “lull” in conversation?
  • How do you “pick up older women?
  • How does growing up with divorce affect your love life?
  • Any advice for online dating?
  • I may have ruined things with a girl I liked because I was too afraid to get sexual on our first date – any way I can recover?
  • How does “daygame” differ from “night game”?
  • How can I bring women I’m really attracted to into my social circle when my friends can be embarrassing?
  • How can I be “dominant” in a mixed group of girls and guys?
  • How do you deal with socially dominant women?
  • Is there any way to make a powerful impression over text?

(Downloadable Audio)

Book Excerpt: The Secret to Being an Incredible Conversationalist

There’s two real issues that hear when it comes to guy’s issues with conversations that they care most about: “I always run out of things to say”, and “I feel like I’m doing all of the talking and not getting much back in return”. Raise your hand if you can relate to either of these – ok, that’s everyone in the universe. Luckily, about five years ago now, as I was working on developing the conversational material I taught, I had an experience which clearly defined what being a masterful conversationalist entailed – and how to solve these issues – more than any other experience I’ve ever had in my life.

Some would call it fate.

He knows the secret.

He knows the secret.

I was on vacation in the beautiful city of Amsterdam, staying in one of the most popular youth hostels in the city amid beautiful canals, near the outskirts of the red light district. I love staying in hostels when I travel, finding them the best place to meet new, interesting people to enjoy my trip with – especially when traveling alone. The very first evening confirmed this bias as I sat in a circle of my fourteen co-ed roommates, having some beers, trading stories, warming up for a fun first night on the town. Sitting directly to my right in the circle also happened to be a lovely blonde Romanian girl, and as the night wore on and we flirted more and more, she began leaning in closer and closer to me.

“Ahh, this vacation couldn’t be off to a more perfect start”, I thought to myself.

Then, as life often has a tendency of doing, a wrench got thrown into my plans. That wrench came in the form of three Norwegian guys, yelling and creating some commotion in the courtyard below. These guys were checking into the mens’ dorm just across the aforementioned courtyard and most of the girls in our circle ran over to the window to see what all of the hooting and hollering was about. After some words exchanged, the ringleader of the group grabbed our window sill and pulled himself up into our room with the help of some of those enchanted girls, and then stood in the center of our circle where he proceeded to hold court.

He was the proverbial “alpha male”. He had a strong, commanding presence and told stories and jokes, all the while having the group lingering on his every word – basically doing what people usually think of when they think of a master conversationalist. Most disturbingly, as I looked over to my right I saw my sweet Romanian girl – not leaning toward me anymore – but rather leaning forward toward him and giving him the look that told me she had a new object of her affection.

“Son of a bitch”, was the thought I clearly remember ringing through my head. There goes my perfect vacation.

As I sat there in the same scene that once seemed so perfect, several thoughts which align perfectly with the most common issues guys face in conversation now ran through my head.

My first thought was simple frustration with the situation. “This sucks, why did it have to happen this way? This guy is douche. These people are stupid, I didn’t really like their company anyway. Stupid Europeans. And this Romanian girl, if she’s really going to be interested in a guy like like that then I was never interested in her in the first place, she can have him. I’ll go out on my own and meet some much more awesome people.”

I was a ball of negativity, unfairly dumping my own frustration on everyone else. More than that, I was playing the victim, blaming everyone and everything else for my negative feelings and feeling sorry for myself the same way a guy who “runs out of things to say” simply shrugs his shoulders and feels sorry for himself because the conversation isn’t going anywhere.

Luckily those awful thoughts passed and were replaced by new ones. At least these new thoughts weren’t all mopey and self-defeating like the last ones, but they were negative in their own way. They were: “Who does this guy think he’s dealing with? I’m Nick Sparks – I can be one hundred times more charismatic, funny, and charming than this clown. My stories would blow his out of the water. If I wanted to turn on my social power this guy wouldn’t stand a chance.”

This was my ego talking. I wanted to make it all about me, “look how great I am”. I felt challenged, and my insecurity wanted to pull out the ruler and measure my manhood against this guy. This is one of my biggest and most tempting weakness – I’ve always loved the spotlight, and have developed what most would call a fairly dynamic personality . This though has led to me sometimes making it all about me – which is one of the surest ways to turn off everyone else. Introverts I work with always think they need to be more like extroverts in order to be great conversationalists, when in fact extroverts often have the toughest time becoming a great conversationalists because they can’t get over this tendency. Thus extroverts always feel like they’re doing all the work and not getting much back in return.

More importantly, the thing that most people think of when they think of an amazing conversationalist really doesn’t matter.

I couldn’t have been more tempted to take this path, and honestly I’m not sure why I didn’t – bigger things at work I suppose. For whatever reason though, I caught myself and after clearing that garbage away a very curious thought came into my mind: “everyone else is enjoying this entertainment, they can’t all be wrong. I should stop being selfish and see what all the fuss is about.” If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, I suppose.

And so I became his biggest fan. I put all of my energy into really listening to what he was saying and enjoying what everyone else was enjoying. I leaned forward in my seat and started contributing to the conversation as a supporter, “wow, that’s really cool”, “how did you get out of that?”, “I did something like that but not nearly on that level”. What’s important here is that I had to be genuine – people can smell fake from a mile away – I had to really get into it and ‘feel’ what I was saying.

As I did this, the funniest thing happened. He started to react more strongly to me. As I gave him more genuine enthusiasm and interest he started giving me more of his energy and attention – talking more directly to me than he was to the rest of the group. As I reflected on this phenomenon, I realized that I could relate. As someone who is prone to enjoy the spotlight, I knew how the most valuable thing I could receive was strong, genuine validation to what I was saying. From that perspective it came as no surprise that as I became his biggest fan, he became more and more interested in my validation.

After realizing this and seeing him coming closer and closer to me to almost turn what was once a group conversation into a two man show, I started leaning back in my chair, slowing down my energy, and as I did so all of the momentum that he previously had came down with me. As he shifted his focus to me, everyone else in the group shifted theirs toward me, and as I looked over to my right, I see my sweet Romanian girl was leaning back toward me, giving me those eyes that made my heart flutter.

Everything was right with the world again.

 

This experience taught me very clearly what the best conversationalists already knew: Feeling down on myself, being the victim, and using these excuses to keep me from taking any action surly wasn’t going to get me anywhere, and more importantly, the thing that most people think of when they think of an amazing conversationalist – being the uber-entertaining center – really doesn’t matter.

While being charming and charismatic certainly doesn’t hurt and can be fun (I still enjoy it), it can hurt you if you try to base your “game” on it. What really matters is the ability to get someone else talking – moreso to get them excited so that they start directing their energy toward you while you validate that energy. To put it another way, would you rather be the jester or the king?

 

The rest of this section of the book will be dedicated to just that. I will be detailing, in order of the strength of effect it has on people, the things that most powerfully get other excited and talking more – basically the things that the best conversationalists in the world do whether they’re aware of it or not. Take a moment to reflect on the lesson I learned in Amsterdam, think about how it challenges your previously held beliefs on what it means to be a great conversationalist, and get ready to learn all of the other ways to become the kind of guy that people are naturally drawn to.

Oh, and just case you were interested in how things with with the Romanian girl, after a few more minutes of interacting with the group, I leaned over to her and asked her if she wanted to get out of there and go have a drink. She did, and we had a wonderful rest of our vacations together.

SOAL Q&A #4

You sent me your questions, both ahead of time and through the youtube comment box, and I answered them live. Here’s what happened last night in case you missed it:

(A list of the questions answered, and the downloadable audio can be found below the video)

  • I always get better responses from girls during the day than at night. What’s going on?
  • This girl seems colder when I’m going for the second date, what should I do? (Text examples given)
  • Who should pay for a date?
  • I’m a smaller guy and people seem to pick on me. What should I do?
  • How do you know you’ve found “the one”?
  • How can I not give out the vibe that I’m only going out to talk to girls?
  • What do you think about getting back with your ex?
  • This girl I’m seeing is also seeing another guy. How can I get her to pick me over him?
  • What do you do when girls react to your work negatively?
  • Thoughts on “direct vs indirect”?

Downloadable Audio