How to Magically Reconnect With Everyone – Part 1

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According to an ancient Hindu legend, there was once a time when all human beings were Gods.

But they abused their power and so Brahma, the chief God, decided to take it and hide it in a place where it could never be found. He decided to hold a council of the Gods to help him decide the best spot.

“Let’s bury it deep in the earth,” said the Gods.

Brahma answered, “No, that will not do. Humans will dig into the earth and find it.”

“Okay, let’s sink it in the deepest ocean then,” replied the Gods.

But Brahma said, “No, not there. For they will learn to dive and they will find it.”

Then the Gods said, “What about the highest mountain top, out in the farthest corner of earth?”

But again Brahma replied, “No, that will not do either. They will eventually climb every mountain, scale every peak, and once again take up their divinity.”

The rest of the Gods were exasperated. They threw up their arms in surrender. “There is no place!” they hollered. “The humans will proliferate, and they will find it anywhere we put it.”

Brahma was quiet for a time. He thought long and deep. Finally he looked up at the rest of the Gods with a knowing twinkle in his eye. “Here is what we shall do,” he said. “We will hide their divinity deep down in the one place they will never look – the very center of their own being.”

The rest of the Gods rejoiced. Of course! It was the perfect place! They all formally agreed on it, and the deed was done.

Ages passed, and since that time humans have been on a desperate and unending search — travelling every corner of the planet, digging, diving, climbing, and exploring – for the one thing they know they’ve lost… something already within themselves.

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In my thirteen years coaching men on their dating lives, I’ve heard a lot of the same questions asked over and over.

“How do I talk to women?”

“What do I say?”

“How do I get her to like me?”

“How do I make more friends?”

“How do I flirt?”

“How can I be more confident?”

If you’re reading this now, it’s probably safe to assume that you’ve asked at least one of these questions — either to yourself or someone else. If you’ve ever asked one of these questions, chances are you’ve gotten the wrong answer.


Because you’re asking the wrong question.

What if I told you that you have mechanisms in your brain which build the strongest bonds in the known universe  — both platonic and romantic — with every human being on the planet? What if I told you these magical brain mechanisms works without you having to do ANYTHING  — just like your heartbeat?

I’m not talking about the kinds of connections where you talk about sports, collaborate in business, or chase women or whatever. I’m talking about the kinds of connections that are the number one determining factor in your overall happiness. I’m talking about the kind of connections that — if we don’t have them — are the leading cause of addiction, depression, anxiety, and suicide.

If we have this magical connecting thing inside of us, why do we still feel lonely and disconnected from others? It’s a good question, and one that nearly every human being has asked himself at one point or another.

Before I answer the “why”, let me first identify these mechanisms:

The first magical part of our brain that I’ve been referring to is our collection of mirror neurons (the largest amount carried of any species in the known universe by a long-shot). In short, our mirror neurons fire when someone in our periphery exhibits some emotion or behavior. This triggers the release of brain chemicals that cause us to feel the same feelings and behave in similar ways as the person we’ve observed (Preston & Waal, Decety, Gallese), with yawning being the most accessible example of this .

An emotional bond forms whenever we empathize with — or feel the same feelings as — another person. Our mirror neurons automatically do this for us.

The second mechanism in the brain which “magically” bonds us with other living things is the release of oxytocin when we make prolonged eye contact (Uväs-Moberg) or share physical contact (Field). For the unaware, oxytocin makes us feel bonded to others. Combine a shot of that with the emotional connection provided by your mirror neurons and voilá, you’ve got the strongest bond in the known universe,  courtesy of your brain.

Of course, it’s not that simple. Try to stare into a stranger’s eyes and touch them and more often than not you’ll be met with hostility. Usually we need to allow first our mirror neurons to do some emotional harmonizing before another person will feel comfortable allowing themselves to become more bonded with another person.

But again, if our mirror neurons do this automatically for us then why do most of us still feel so disconnected?

That answer is where things start to get difficult for us. The reason why our magical bonding mechanisms seems to be broken more often than not is that we’re not using them. Why? Because our brains kind of suck at multitasking.

When we’re tapping into our problem-solving abilities (“How do I achieve x?”) or other more analytical brain processes, it’s almost impossible to let that magical bonding process occur at the same time. It’s like that advice you’ve heard but never quite understood: you “get the girl” when you stop trying to get the girl.

Men in particular struggle with this. The mirror neuron system in women, on average, is more active than ours. Additionally, it’s easier for women, on average, to multitask (Brizendine). On other words, it’s typically easier for a woman to tackle a logical problem one minute and emotionally connect the next than it is for us.

This is all relative though. While former UFC champion Ronda Rousey would still lose a fight against similarly trained male fighters, she’d still kick most guys’ asses on the planet. The biggest block for us in achieving deep emotional connections is societal conditioning.

Girls are often encouraged to develop emotional intelligence and connections from a young age. Boys, on the other hand, are often punished for being emotional and rewarded solely for their analytical and athletic prowess. It can be said that girls get love when they emote, while boys get love by figuring stuff out and accomplishing. It’s no surprise that men then spend their adult lives logically trying to figure out how to get love (and why 99% of the dating advice we receive is analytical and doomed to fail.)

If there’s one thing that my work with thousands of men has taught me, it’s that despite these hurdles we face, any man can re-develop his ability to share these deep connections that we’re all dying for. In order to teach men to access that magical part of themselves and connect with anyone, I like to start by highlighting the ways which our analytical brain regularly cuts us off from these mechanisms.

There are three overarching ways in which our brain isolates us from others despite our best attempts to connect:

  1. Analyzing/figuring out

“What should I do?” “What should I say?” “What does this mean?” Here’s a hint, whatever answer your analysis gives you is incomplete or just flat out wrong (typically infected with your fears and insecurities.) Moreso, while you’re thinking about something you believe is helpful, you’re actually just shutting down your magical connecting device because thinking about something is easier than emotional intimacy.

  1. Judgement

It starts with us: “I’m not good enough for them.” “I’m too good for them.” “I’m a weirdo.” Then, that judgement is projected outward: “She’s an asshole.” “Those people suck.” “This is stupid.” It’s all the same though, just isolating us further from others because that voice in our head (aka, our ego) knows it’s much safer that way.

  1. Defensiveness/Control

Most of us walk around most of the day with our guards up. We try to manage the responses from those around us in order to achieve what we believe to be the optimal result. You can’t blame us. When we put ourselves out there emotionally and we’re punished for it by the unpredictable responses of others (as in our childhood) it really hurts. However, those walls we create around ourselves only serve to isolate us further. They make us feel like no one understands us, no one could possibly get us, and that we really are alone.

Why does that voice in our head (ego) seem so intent on keeping us miserable? That answer is easy when you consider it’s primary function: safety and security. Want to have food available and a quality roof over your head for the foreseeable future? Your advanced analytical capabilities have that covered. Want to create the most prosperous society in the history of the world? All hail analytical thinking!

But when it comes to happiness and connection, that voice straight-up sucks. Not on purpose, he just wants to keep you safe and secure. There’s nothing scarier to him than the unknown, and there’s nothing more spontaneous, more unpredictable, and more chaotic than our emotions.

Our ego is terrified of his unpredictable, emotional, free-loving neighbor. So he attempts to figure out how to analyze, judge, and control him to try to prevent any embarrassing outbursts. He tries, but he fails miserably — repressed emotions become unstable emotions.

He’s not completely wrong though. Sometimes there are people we’re better off keeping a distance from. But at this time in history — as we prescribe more drugs to combat depression and spend more time staring at glowing screens than into others’ eyes — we arguably need that connection more than ever.

It’s time to take some risks before it’s too late.

So how do we overcome five-thousand years of conditioning, achieve harmony in our brain, and enjoy the deep connections we were meant to? Check out Part 2 to find out.

Why You Suck At Flirting, And How to Become The Ideal Lover

Most people suck at flirting. There are some cultures where the majority of individuals do not suck at flirting, but most people don’t come from those cultures.

If it were just you, it’d be your fault — but it’s not. It’s the fault of a culture that gives a detailed education on how to look sexy or even act in specific sexy ways (talk like this, say that), but fails to teach us how to be a sexual person. This leads to a disconnect between a person’s “sexual side” and the person they are around others most of the time.

“I didn’t feel comfortable flirting because my/their friends were there.”

“I didn’t feel comfortable flirting because it was at work and I need to act professionally.”

Does this look shameful to you?

These statements, which I hear all the time, reveal a warped understanding of what flirting actually entails. Due to the sexual shame we carry, sexual feelings are often muddled with what I’ll call confusing feelings. Because these confusing feelings are so often partnered with our attempts to flirt, before we can even talk about what sexual communication is, we have to first untangle the mess of what it isn’t.

The first confusing feeling people associate with flirting is anxiety. When our bodies begin to feel more turned on by our environment this often triggers anxiety (again, due to sexual shame) and we often compensate by thinking more. We’ll run through thoughts of how we should act or what the other person is thinking — but all this is really doing is distracting us from our feelings. Instead of communicating appreciation for our sexual feelings, we’re only communicating anxiety. This naturally makes others feel less comfortable around us and sends us the signal, “my sexual feelings make others uncomfortable”.

The second confusing feeling people associate with flirting is insecurity. As I’ll discuss in greater detail in an upcoming article, most of us aren’t enjoying enough sexual intimacy — whether emotional or physical. When human beings don’t get our basic needs met, we don’t feel secure… it’s not surprising that people who are looking for sexual intimacy from a place of insecurity — or perceived scarcity — are described as “thirsty.” When we’re communicating our own feelings of lacking more than our sexual feelings, the words “slut” and “creep” are tossed out most often.

The final confusing feeling commonly associated with flirting is expectation. Like anxiety, this feeling that’s often confused with sexuality stems from your tendency to jump into your head to avoid your feelings. Instead of our thoughts being self-conscious, thoughts stemming from expectation become a personal fantasy revolving around what you’re going to do with this person. Your “flirting” isn’t representative of the feelings of the moment, but rather of your fantasy. This can make the other person feel overwhelmed by your feelings, since they’re disproportionate to the moment. When both individuals do this to each other it typically leads to relationships that start hot and end disastrously.

Now that we’re clear on what flirting isn’t, we can finally talk about what it is. When we’re around certain people our bodies involuntarily create sexual feelings. When we’re not repressing or muddling those feelings in the ways described above, these feelings are some of the most pleasureable feelings on the planet. I’ve exchanged nothing more than eye contact that was more pleasurable than a lot of the sex I’ve had. When a guy asks me why I didn’t get her number, he’s missing the point.

The first step toward becoming an amazing flirt is to simply enjoy the beautiful feelings others inspire in your body for their own sake without anxiety, insecurity, or expectation. You must become more aware of the confusing feelings that try to derail this natural process, and practice brushing the thoughts they create away. Then, simply return to enjoying the pleasure buffet that God/nature has spent billions of years preparing for you.

Sexual turn-on isn’t the only feeling to be in touch with and enjoy though. When we truly turn our attention toward the feelings inspired by others, there’s an inherent sense of awe present as well.

There’s the basic awe of another human being — who’s filled up with all the same feelings, thoughts, and demons — climbing up their own mountain in life. There’s beauty in someone’s comfort with themselves, in their kindness, in their adventurous spirit, in the light of their eyes, in the dazzle of a genuine smile, in the way someone’s outfit highlights them, in the sound of a voice, in vulnerable dorkiness… and a million different things that are particular to every person.

“This is the life, and the world we were all meant to enjoy.”

The best flirts recognize that there is inherent beauty in every single human being. They don’t start by evaluating whether another person is up to their standards before determining whether or not they’re worthy of taking pleasure from, but rather they find beauty everywhere. When you put “objective hotness” on a pedestal because it kind of feels good to say that other people aren’t in your league, all you’re doing is denying yourself an ocean of available pleasure and ensuring that you’ll suck at flirting.

While the first step to being sexy is to simply enjoy the amazing feelings inspired by the endless beauty around you, the second step is to share those appreciative feelings.

This can be scary, especially after a lifetime of cultural programming and past flirting experiences being loaded with the common pitfalls we discussed above. All you’re doing though, however, is saying “thank you.”

“Thank you for the feeling of awe. Thank you for the feelings inspired by your beauty. Thank you for having the courage to put yourself out there and share that beauty when we’ve all been hurt/shamed for doing so. Thank you.”

A smile is the most basic way to share this appreciation. As I discuss at length in As You Are, communication starts and ends with your feelings. A forced smile will always be awkward. You can’t be thinking about the best way to share something. You must be connected to your sexual feelings and the gratitude you have for those feelings. When you do that, your appreciation comes beaming through every part of your face.

As people become more intimate the feelings shared often mutually evolve from, “I really appreciate the way you’re making me feel,” to “I want you,” “I want to be on you” etc. At its most basic level though, flirting is just saying “thank you”.

All of this knowledge won’t make it any easier to actually start flirting with people when you’re not used to doing it. That will always be hard/scary. But just try it for one day.

Take the time to really pay attention to what you find beautiful around you. Be almost like a treasure hunter looking for it. Be aware of thoughts that try to distract you from your feelings and refocus your attention on enjoying them. Give yourself permission to check out another person — not with any anxiety, insecurity, or expectation, but rather just with appreciation. If they “catch you,” simply say “thank you” with a smile and your genuine gratitude behind it.

If the majority of people are still replying to your appreciation with discomfort or awkwardness, then it’s most likely still laced with too much anxiety, insecurity, or expectation. In this case hold off on sharing your appreciation for now and simply practice enjoying the feelings inspired by others for their own sake while quieting the thoughts in your brain. While it might be difficult at first, this practice will rewire the neural pathways in your brain and become easier until your sexual system is running as it was meant to.

Once you can share your feelings without your thoughts twisting them you’ll become so accustomed to positive responses from people that the rare times your appreciation is met with discomfort, you’ll know that it’s because of their stuff and not yours (nothing wrong with that, we’ve all got stuff).

It’s difficult to describe how the world changes when you see the way that most people react to your unadulterated sexuality (aka, your expressed appreciation for them). However, I think a recent past client sums it up nicely:

“There was a pretty Mexican architect named Veronica at the airport, then serious sexual tension with Jennifer, our flight attendant, on the way home. Then Shaelee at the gym, and Mason at the store tonight when I got back home. I literally can’t believe it. I’m chatting up and flirting with women everywhere, and loving every damned minute of it. I felt more engaged while talking to a male friend of mine at the gym tonight, too. I feel like the best way to describe it is that a door has opened that has allowed me to exchange more love with other people, and how can that do anything but make a person feel happy?”

This is the life, and the world we were all meant to enjoy. We can, and should all do our part to make it a reality by simply beginning our interactions with a thank you.