Guide -- Conversation skills
Conversational Skills /Social Skills
note - This was part of a dating guide for men, but lots of this content applies to anyone.
Skilled listening and demonstrating understanding / empathy is the secret of great conversation - specifically show that you can understand them and empathize with them. The master listener can quickly understand someone’s world, perspective, pains, hopes, beliefs, likes and dislikes - in other words, their essence, from conversing. Everyone wants to be understood.
With it, you can talk effortlessly because you have many topics to choose from, you can connect to her true feelings - not just the words, you know when to change topics, etc.
Having said that, you don’t need that much skill here. You just need to be normal and carry a conversation and make her feel something, an emotional connection. It certainly helps if you’re fun to talk to though.
States Resonate and Vibe
Have a warm approachable vibe and be able to put people at ease. Read the sections “States Resonate” and “Vibe” on the How to Fix Asian Men page
● Listening - see the introduction.
● See the voice section above. It’s very important to understand 80-90% of communication is not in the words, but how you say it.
● Your job is to make her comfy and put her in a good mood. It’s all about engaging her emotions.
● Just Contribute Something. You don’t have to be original or clever to contribute. This applies especially to group interactions. Just giving your feelings / emotions / opinion is enough quite often. Just contributing shows that you’re cool and engaged in the interaction. Many introverts such as myself mistaken silence as respect when we feel we have nothing interesting to add. Ironically, this silence says that we are arrogant and aloof. So say something!
● Get experience talking. Talk to the old, young (not too young, you might look like a pedophile), man, woman, homosexual, etc.
● The ratio of talking and listening is about 70-90% with you talking in the first 1-3 minutes until she’s warmed up to you. Understand that you’re approaching so you’ll be doing most of the work. Do not mistaken her initial lack of effort as disinterest. Try to get to a point where it’s equal levels of engagement from you and her.
● Do not be a questioning interviewer. That is a huge turn off because it’s boring and tedious for her. If you find yourself asking many questions, it means you’re not paying attention and you are not exploring deeply the vast amount of material in front of you.
● Make statements about them. This is ultra important based on what they’ve told you and what you’ve observed. This will get them to correct you and give you more info or open a topic to explorer and learn more. Statements assume rapport and give you many topics to choose from. This often cures the problem of running out of things to say.
Instead questioning her, you state your question as a “statement”. “Where are you from?” = “You look like a Miami girl. You have a healthy tan.“, "What do you do for work?” = “You seem to be a creative type. You have this creative creative energy about you.”, “How do you two know each other?” = “You two look like childhood friends with an interesting history.”
Statements engage her so much better. You’re telling her about herself and she’ll be the focus of the discussion without feeling weird. You can also use it to naturally compliment and tease her. The actual technique has a name, it’s called cold reading and it’s a very useful skill to warm people up. I highly recommend that you master it not just for women
● Change topics if the current topic goes stale. Redirect to rapport building.
● Try to bring up topics that draw out their personalities such as interests, hopes / dreams, places they’ve traveled to, hidden talents, confessions, specific events (happiest, wildest, dangerous), etc.
● Speak simply means using the simplest and fewest words to convey your thoughts / intent
● Do not be too interesting. It looks try hard.
● Women feel more comfortable/connected the more they share, but you must share first. Share stories that show your humanity, vulnerabilities, emotions/feelings, etc.
● Be comfortable steering conversations to sexual areas. If she tells you she’s a dancer don’t ask her about the latest production. Say, “You must have very toned legs.”. Do this within reason and it all depends on the interaction.
● Once there is discomfort caused by silences or awkward topics the magic is killed. You must be able to make her have fun or at least allow her to join in. See the section below on never run out of things to say.
Building Rapport / Active Listening
I got this from some ebook, called 7 responses for Rapport by an author named, Tung. Their website is gone, unfortunately.
The 3 Simple Steps to Rapport is basically just another way to describe “active listening”
- Listen to what the other person is trying to express by observing their body language, tone of voice, and then finally their words. Give nonverbal (nodding, emotional expressions to show you understand their view)
- Gather the total message of what they were trying to express and ask yourself, “What were they trying to get me to understand?” There is no rush. Wait 3-5 sec for the stuff to sink in. Pause for effect and look around or at her to build up anticipation. Appear to be looking for the right words. Don’t overdo this.
- Respond accordingly making sure to demonstrate that you not only heard what they said, but understood it from their perspective. Add your thoughts / emotions / feelings / agreement / disagreement, etc in your response.
To know if you’re on the right track, you get:
● A smile
● nodding their head in agreement
● firing up a conversation with you
If you are not doing this correctly, you will simply get:
● A blank stare
● A weird look
● Them firing up a conversation with you about how you’re wrong (this isn’t all bad. It’s at least something to work with.)
The seven ways to build rapport (this an expansion of step 3 from the list above):
● Paraphrasing - this is self explanatory
● Analogies - this is self explanatory. It’s the same idea as paraphrasing except you’re using an analogy.
● Questions - Use this when you need more information to understand them and/or show empathy.
● Adding Onto Their Thought/Story - this is self explanatory
● Finishing their thoughts/stories/sentences - this is self explanatory
● Laughter - Simple. You simply laugh if they’re making an attempt at humor.
● Disagreeing jokingly - This is like trolling or sarcasm or teasing. It’s supposed to be funny. For example, someone says, they waited over two hours at the border crossing and you reply, “I can tell you’re very impatient” with a joking smile. This shows that you understand them but you’re just teasing.
Never Run out of Things to Say
● Do not be the questioning interviewer See the “the rules” section above.
● Go deeply into a topic. Each topic is like a tree with many branches. People often switch to another tree instead of exploring the branches. They end up sounding like an interrogator and it’s conversational suicide.
● Form a new topic off current topics / responses. This is a key skill to natural and long conversations. She talks about a her dog distracting her from home work then you can talk about the dog now / later. It’s a little different for implied topics. For example, she talks about a class she’s taking so the implied potential topics are school, favorite subjects, aspirations, school clubs, dorm, and hang outs.
● Make statements/assumptions about her. See the “the rules” section above.
● Always have 2-3 topics that bring out the best in you. Know these topics inside and out before you talk to people. Don’t change them around often. Try to make at least one of them interesting to women like relationships. See below for a list of good female topics.
● Draw topics out of your surroundings including people nearby.
● Convey your qualities with stories. Anything will do, you can take everyday things from your life and just describe them with less facts and more emotions to convey how you feel from your I perspective. Humanize the experience. That’s the key. I was surprised, sad, happy, excited, etc. The feelings make the stories matter. All stories follow a simple pattern: setup (setting the scene), conflict/problem, and resolution.
● Ask fun questions. See Garry Poole’s The Complete Book of Questions.
How to Bring out Emotions/Feelings and Build a Real Connection
Sharing substantial insights about the four areas below really brings out emotions/feelings in her and yourself. This creates very strong connections because it goals and passions are very close to our hearts and they shortcut into their emotional state and reveals our vulnerable side unlike “safe” topics like the weather where people hide behind a wall. Prepare and be ready to share three answers to each:
● Passions/favorite things to do
● Favorite things
Note: Don’t divulge anything too personal too soon. They don’t need to hear that you’ve been traumatized by a violent burglary when meeting you.
● Confessions / Things people would be surprised to know about yourselves / Secrets / Vulnerabilities / Best / Funniest / Luckiest things that have happened to you
● Reveal secrets about yourself to initiate this and slowly peel back the layers of your personality. If it goes well, she will reciprocate at each step and build an emotional bond and strength the trust/rapport. Share biggest fear, regret, first impression of them, surprise, etc
This works in the same way as confessions, but you reveal a weaknesses instead, which shows you trust her.
● Childhood, family life, and upbringing
Prepare and know your material but deliver it naturally - not verbatim as that comes across as robotic. Understand that values and interests don’t create the connections. It’s the sharing and relating of emotions/feelings that create the connections. The values and interests simply allow you to dig up those emotions/feelings.
So the formula is: You usually share first then she shares and then you two can relate the experiences, emotions/feelings, etc
Proven conversation games
● Marry, fuck, kill - One person picks 3 people and the other must decide who they would marry, fuck, and kill.
● Would you rather - make them choose between two bad or good choices and explain why
● Truth or dare - let them pick one. If it’s truth, you get to ask anything and they have to answer truthfully. If it’s a dare, then they have to do whatever you dare them too. Don’t get too creepy with this.
● Two truths and a lie - You two take turns sharing two truths and one lie about yourselves and the other has to guess which is truth or a lie. This is great because you learn more about each other but you also see how they perceive you and they get to know the real you.
● Guess each other’s family backgrounds
● If you could get away doing something nice anonymously, what would it be?
● If you could get away doing something bad (eg stealing) anonymously, what would it be?
● What would you do if you won the lottery?
● Who do you want to meet? Dead or alive or both.
● Confessions - exactly as it sounds.
● “Make it, or Break it” - Take turns imagining the dream partner. The other person slowly inserts bad qualities about them and see how the other responds. Would they still like them? Gradually build up the “bad qualities” like start with poor dresser and eventually work up to smelly > broke > cheating. The bad traits can be real or just silly. Just have fun.
Specific interactions to build emotional connections:
● Role play - This works by giving her emotions and also allows you to tell her how you feel without being blunt about it. Create a role play filled with emotions. She will experience them and tie them to you even though it isn’t real. The key is to use a role play where you are in the leading / dominant role and she is in the submissive role. If she plays along then those roles of dominant and submissive will often be accepted during your real life interactions.
For example - You are teacher sand she is bratty student. You are fitness trainer and she is lazy client. You are doctor and and she is patient living a dangerous lifestyle. You are patient husband and she is the wife that gets into trouble.
● Future projections - This is role play that is set in the future. I found this example online.
"You really have to go with me to my friend’s beach house in Mexico with me! It will be so much fun! Imagine you and me lying on the beach in the warm sun relaxing sipping on a cold tall glass of pina colada listening to the waves of the ocean and feeling the cool breeze flowing through our hair. Can you feel the warm sand between your toes? I can see it now! I notice you need more sun block on your shoulders and back so I help you put some on like this. (Then demonstrate as if you were going to put sun block on her shoulders and back).
Good and Bad Topics
● Her past relationships
● Her perspective on dating
● Her perspective on dating in the city
● Gender Dynamics
● Her attitude towards dating
● Her outlook on dating in <city>
● Does she believe in monogamy
● What does she think of intimacy in a relationship after a few years.
● Call her by name occasionally.
● Always wait your turn to speak
● Share openly but do not share everything. Remember less is more. Eg Be friendly, but don’t be an total open book.
● Do not force topics if they’re not welcomed.
● Do not revisit a dead topic. It looks desperate.
These are master conversationalists. They can make something out of nothing.
Mike Rowe peddling crap on QVC. Notice how he’s self aware yet makes fun of the situation while being charming and entertaining.
Here he is at various dirty jobs getting down and dirty. Everyone loves him. He’s down to earth and brightens every one’s day.
Wayne Elise AKA Juggler, CEO of Charisma Arts, a dating coaching business
I haven’t watched this specific interview, but I have seen his other material and it’s solid.