The Universal Secret – And why we can’t live without it.

Could it really be that simple?

Could the answer to all of our consistency issues be right under our noses?

Why is it that sometime’s we can light up a room, while other times members of the opposite sex turn away in disinterest?

I’ll tell you the answer right now but I’ll have to explain myself for it to sink in. The difference between really connecting with people and not – the thing that every ‘natural’ is always doing in spades but can never quite put into words – is simply speaking the universal language.

Cliché tells us that love is the universal language, however this is only partially true and and isn’t helpful for people looking for the translation – the Rosetta Stone – so to speak.

I actually have to thank an old smoking habit for helping me stumble upon it. Quite a few times in college I had the pesky habit of bumming cigarettes. In fact, I did it so much that I got really good at it. I even developed my own little method.

Despite having the best method in the world, it became clear that whether or not I got a cigarette really depended on one thing:

You can try it yourself and get front row seats to the effects. First, go up to 10 people, ask them for a cigarette, and avoid eye contact and look indifferent. Next, go up to another 10 people, ask them for a cigarette – only this time look them directly in the eye and act although you are in intense pain and that they hold the key to your freedom.

Everyone reading this who’s ever been a smoker is with me on this.

When I look into the eyes of a smoker with a look on my face that he or she can fully relate to – that I really need a cigarette – they feel that same pain as they are reminded of their own times of distress. When they feel that pain and can’t help but want to relieve it in another.

Ages before complex systems of naming and describing objects came into human existence, humans beings were still communicating. Although the vast majority of us have an incredibly firm grasp over at least one of these systems, all of the communication that matters the most happens in the same way as it has for our entire existence of our humanity.

A quick look at an on-line thesaurus gives us over 30 words for ‘angry’, however if a 300lb man has the look on his face that says he’s pissed, everyone who gets even the quickest look at him is getting out of his way.

We need language to hammer out the fine details of a business contract, however how many people would actually do business with someone they didn’t trust, who didn’t give them the feeling that they had ulterior motives?

With that in mind, here’s how you always “get your openers to stick”:

The phrase, “you can tell a lot about a man by his handshake” has been around for awhile. More recently though, the phrase has been taken to advise that one should attempt to squeeze another person’s hand as firmly as possible to show how “confident” they are.

When you greet someone, you can tell a lot about them by their handshake, or more specifically, whenever they greet you in general. The ‘firmness’ of the greeting, however, isn’t how you can tell; even though a firm handshake will often happen as a byproduct.

You can tell this by looking right at the person to see if his eyes are meeting yours and if he has a look of warmth on his face. If you approach a woman, and they look at you and your eyes aren’t meeting hers (theirs) and you don’t have a look of warmth on your face, she will get the same feeling you get when you’re working with a person that you just don’t feel right about, you just don’t trust, and you decide not to work with him.

Let me make two things clear:

If you are thinking about your ‘opener’ when you approach a woman, or maybe just feeling shy, you will not be looking into her eyes, you will not have a warm expression on your face, and she’ll get that feeling that no human likes to feel.

If you start thinking about what to say during a conversation, or question whether or not she likes you, your eyes will drift, your face will become expressionless, and she will definitely get that feeling.

Plus there’s one more important factor to consider:

Women are much better at feeling this stuff than guys, and herein lies the apparent solution, and also the new problem.

On one hand – success in communication, in being charismatic or a ‘natural’, lies in your ability to express emotion vividly on your face and in turn make others feel that emotion. Without that, we’re merely self aware computers exchanging information; and the last thing a woman wants when she goes out is to exchange information – she wants to feel.

On the other hand, it’s never that simple.

Human beings, especially women, have a keen intuition for when someone has their own self interests in mind rather than hers. It’s the same as when you can just feel that a bad salesmen has his commission in mind as he’s talking to you.

It just feels off.

It’s not just selfish thinking that can give another person that feeling, it’s thinking about anything other than the person that you’re communicating with.

And you can’t just act like you’re feeling something for this to work. Try to look happy while you’re thinking negative thoughts, it’s just weird. You actually have to feel these things yourself for them not to trip her bullshit meter.

Of course again this isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Often, when we’ve been hurt in the past, we don’t put ourselves ‘out there’ as much in order to reduce the risk of additional pain. One of the ways people do this is to become more soft spoken, and to withdraw emotion from their face when they speak and “act cool”.

Most of us found out at an early age that it doesn’t really sting when someone shoots down our words, but if we put our heart into something and get rejected, then there’s a pain that can make a child cry. As an adult, we are strong enough to take this pain, but many of us fear that it will be as bad as when we were still developing psychologically.

In order to relieve this anxiety, our society has made it increasingly easier to retreat from putting yourself out there.

Email and social networking sites are amazing advancements in communications and quite incredibly make our world much smaller. The problem arises however, when we use these technologies as a form of mental crutch to avoid actual human communication.

That’s why I wasn’t surprised in the least to hear about studies that show that the people who are the most active on Facebook often report feeling the loneliest.

As easy as it would be, we can’t simply blame Facebook. How many people that you work with on a day to day basis do you try to connect with, and how many do you shoot a couple passing words to without strong eye contact and a warm expression on your face?

If you don’t do it as a natural habit with everyone you meet, it’ll be even more awkward to try and do it with women.

Pay attention the next time you’re out at a bar and here’s what you’ll see:

There will be some people having a good time. They’re laughing, moving around, speaking at a higher decibel than everyone else, and looking each other in the eyes with genuine emotions that they’re definitely feeling on their faces.

On the flip side of the coin, you’ll have people, usually around the outskirts of the ‘fun people’, who have that look on their face that they’re not quite ‘there’, that something’s on their mind, and that it’s probably not the most positive of things.

It’s easy to identify these people, their faces are are lacking all but forced acts of emotion, they’re not moving, even if they are talking to a friend they look as though they’re not really enjoying the conversation, they’re eyes are looking down more than at their friend, maybe they’re looking at their phone – not really to communicate with an absent friend, but simply to take their mind off of the anxiety they’re feeling.

The thing is that they came to the bar for the same reason as everyone else.

They want to be the ‘fun people’. Just about every person has been there before and it’s amazing. You’re having the best time, lighting up emotionally, talking more loudly, and of course attracting more of the opposite sex than ever before – you’re “in the zone”.

The next morning though, we’re usually a bit hungover, we know we just had the most amazing time the night before; the only problem is we can’t remember how to get that back. We search high and low, trekking out to the bar night after night – both men and women – and start drinking with our fingers crossed that it’s going to happen again, maybe with some lines that we believe will do the work of getting it back for us.

The thing is, we know how to get that feeling back, we’ve simply forgotten.

When we see a baby crying or smiling, only the most emotionally checked out people cant help but feel upset or happy, respectively. When we see genuine emotion in another person, we can’t help but feel the reflection of that emotion in ourselves, and we subconsciously drawn to those who make us feel positive emotions, and repelled by people who make us feel negative emotions.

Love-hate relationships are especially dangerous because they literally tear us apart.

Now here’s the fun effect of all of this:

By looking straight into another person’s eyes with genuine emotion while focusing strongly on her emotions – unless she’s feeling an equally strong negative emotion – you will cause her to feel that emotion and  subconsciously become more drawn to you. If you don’t, she won’t. This should clear up any questions routine guys have as to why they’re having inconsistency issues. Sometime’s she’s feeling you, literally, sometimes she’s not.

Upon first developing this ancient skill, one will often feel awkward or clumsy with it, as with any other skill they would develop. With practice though, things slow down.

People will say that you give off this energy, and it’s as if you can read their mind, probably better than they can read their own.

It’s what every natural is doing without knowing it – and through this development than one can become a natural.

Because it is a skill that, like any other, takes practice; one should practice as much as possible. Start with family, friends, co-workers, people at the corner store, everyone. Soon people that have known you forever will be saying those words that we all love to hear:

“There’s something different about you”.

When you go to the bar, instead of scanning the bar for an ‘HB9’ that you can approach in 3 seconds or less, get in a circle with your friends and do what we at The Social Man affectionally call the ‘bro circle’. Whether there’s 2 or 10 of you start emoting. Remember, you’re only as strong as your weakest link, so make sure that everyone is pulling the line. Talk at a higher decibel, move around, talk with your hands, have looks of genuine expression on your faces and look each other in the eye.

The great thing about this is half the time, you forget about the bro circle and actually have fun with your friends when one of you remembers this story you forgot to tell – by acting as though you have emotion you’ll actually feel the emotion. Try smiling for a minute and not feel happy.

Then you’ll start to notice the looks.

All of the girls that are around the periphery will start emoting, themselves.

They’ll talk more loudly, move more, have more expression on their faces, and yes, start to glance in your direction. They now want you to approach them.

They probably don’t rationalize what just happened. But they felt a little hint of that feeling they all came to the bar in the first place to feel, and they’re drawn to it.

Don’t get me wrong, social skills in approaching strangers and escalating interactions are very important skills to develop, and that’s why we’ve developed ‘Say Hello’ and ‘Irresistible’, however if you’re not developing this universal skill that will allow you to powerfully communicate with anyone, anytime, anywhere, then you’ll always face inconsistencies in your interactions.

Also, don’t be surprised that when, through tapping into this, you re-realize your infinite power to strongly connect with anyone, and things start going much better in every other aspect of your life.

As you begin to pay attention to everyone again, you’ll notice that the majority of us are a bit withdrawn and often appear anxious or lost. There is no better time to remind people of what we are all looking for.

Before we’re all on “2nd Life”, remind people that the answer we’re all looking for is right in front of us, and yes, don’t be surprised when you’ve loved a woman or two along the way and your friends in the community say you look like a natural.

7 thoughts on “The Universal Secret – And why we can’t live without it.

  1. Great Article Nick. I’m glad I got to experience all of what your saying in this article at your bootcamp last weekend.

  2. Really good post and it all rings so true. I think its why people get addicted to ‘The Game’ – they’re searching for ‘that feeling’ they felt before. The feeling of ruling the world and girls were opening *them*, on a consistent basis. When in reality its more about ‘letting go’ and choosing the right environment, rather than trying to find the next cool line or ‘routine’ (although they do have their place).

    My tip is this: do stuff you enjoy. With other people.

    As opposed to doing something with the ‘ulterior motive’ of pulling as a priority. In my case I joined a drama group and the environment, the buzz it gave me, and the mix of new people meant that suddenly I was ‘The Man’ (or I certainly felt like it) and suddenly I was *connecting* with women in a fun way and getting a great social circle/social proof as a result. In addition it was a challenge (the director was a hard task master!) – but one that I and others, faced together which really helped the connection we had.

    Its about learning to enjoy life – but recognising and accepting that a) it sometimes takes effort and commitment to do that and b) its about finding something that fires you up, but to keep on looking!

  3. I don’t think that this can be explained enough!

    Feel how you want others to feel inside.

    Emotions are truly contagious. Before I became socially confident, I would be the guy sitting at the table in the club, trying to look cool.

    You know…the badass cool!

    No smile. Laid back. Trying to give my “sexy face”.

    It got me nowhere fast.

    But, once you start to let go of relying on your positive emotions stemming from having a girl think you’re hot and attractive…guess what?…YOU BECOME MORE ATTRACTIVE!

    Having fun, being in the moment, and not being afraid to express myself have been three of the most important character traits I have gained over the past year that have largely increased my success with women, and my self-worth.

    Why? Because these positive, exciting, fun vibes I have been radiating have caused others to feel these same emotions. Guys and girls alike.

    Super powerful stuff! And, super simple!

    Feel what you want others to feel!

    Great post, Nick.


    Tyler H

  4. Excellent article, full of functional guidance, and perfect incite. The Bro-circle is something I love to do, and try to pull my friends into every time I go out. -makes the transition into escalating easier because your energy level is already rising, all you need to do is bring the rest of the bar with you. – also, always fun to chant something along the way. USA USA USA! lol

    – take it easy guys

  5. Over the past couple years I have read this article probably dozens of times. Whenever I “forget” how simple this concept is, this article always gets me back to where I need to be!

    I must ask, how can we be sure that we forget this simple concept less often, in order to be in this state all the time? Because so far it’s been a little tug-o-war between feeling socially anxious and totally utilizing the “universal secret.”

  6. Really glad to hear it Josh.

    And I’d say the answer to your question is focus. If you focus on doing something enough it’ll become second nature. For example, I’ve made it a point to just practice making eye contact with every single person I come across for years, and now, when I want, I can make some badass eye contact.

    Focus, repetition, refinement.Usually it takes about two months of consistency to form a habit. This shouldn’t be something you just work on when you talk to girls. This should be the way you interact with every human every day. I do allow myself “days off” where I don’t feel like interacting with anyone and I keep to myself, but if you work on this 90% of the time you talk to people, it’ll become part of who you are.

    Thanks for the comment!

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