Category Archives: Conversation Skills

Beware Of False Prophets

The Danger Of Fake Validation

One time I went to this goofy seminar.

One of the exercises we did is a pretty popular one among goofy seminars.

They shut the lights out completely, and you aren’t allowed to talk.

You’re supposed to only use your sense of touch to “get to know” the other people.

Lots of people use it for different things.

As I learned it, it’s kind of a metaphor for how we live.

Not unlike Plato’s cave idea.

Where we don’t really see “reality.”

We only see a poor shadow.

A reflection.

The idea being that we are really just feeling around in the dark.

There are a lot of metaphors to describe the complexities of life.

But they all agree that life is pretty complicated.

At least modern life is.

Recently a few scientists have actually admitted that social media is bad for you.

It’s very much like junk food for your ego.

Fake approval, fake likes, fake friends, fake validation.

Just for a second, imagine the REAL version of all the fake attention you might get on social media.

Real people would walk up to you, look you in the eye, shake your hand, and say, “I like you.”

And they meant it.

Or imagine if a group of people came to your house.

Imagine they said:

“We really respect your ideas and the work you are doing. We’d like to be kept in the loop, if possible. We would very much like to follow you.”

Imagine how REAL social approval would feel, compared to how fake social approval feels.

Imagine getting ten thousand, or even a million “likes” for RE-POSTING some clever meme you found online.

Now imagine getting a standing ovation from a speech you just finished.

Imagine the looks on people’s faces when they really “get” your message.

The looks of REAL recognition and approval.

These are the REAL THINGS we crave.

For the longest time, they kept our society humming.

We ONLY got positive social recognition for things that actually HELPED OTHERS.

This is the danger of fake social recognition.

It’s junk food for your soul.

How long would you last if you only ate bowls of sugar?

This is the modern equivalent of feeding on a diet of social media.

Luckily, you can RE-CALIBRATE your social instincts.

So you only seek REAL validation for REAL benefit that you provide to others.

Learn How:

Ego Taming

Customize Your Brain

Customize Your Brain

When I was in high school I went to this party.

I’m not sure what the occasion was, but there was a mix of kids and adults.

I don’t even remember if it was a kid party with a bunch of grownups, or a grownup party with a bunch of kids.

Anyhow, I was in the garage, and I noticed the homeowner had a car covered up.

But it was a pretty small car.

After a few questions, the owner (of the home and the car) came out and took off the cover.

I don’t even remember what kind of car it was (I was never a “car guy”) only that was a little red convertible.

And he was spending his free time customizing it, down to the super cool looking dash board, with all kinds of gauges and dials.

One thing that struck me was how this guy lit up with enthusiasm when he was describing it. Something he was obviously passionate about.

Most people buy a car, and they’re good. They may put down some custom mats, or maybe even put something cool on the dash, but that’s about it with how much people “customize” their cars.

Most people use their brains the same way.

They figure they’ll use their “stock model” without doing any custom work to it.

Sure, they’ll go to school, like everybody else.

Fill it up with enough data to pass the next test, like everybody else.

Then get a job, like everybody else.

And show up on time, and do what they’re told, like everybody else.

That strategy works, until it doesn’t.

Then what?

What happens if you want to do something, and you look upside your brain for a strategy, and come back with nothing?

What happens if you (gasp!) have to try something you’ve NEVER done before, in an attempt to get your needs met, but your factory-setting brain says, “No way, dude!”

You could vacillate, like everybody else.

You could look for somebody to blame, like everybody else.

Or you could do something different.

You could get started TODAY learning how to customize your brain.

How to practice thinking, so the when the inevitable situation comes up, you won’t be stuck.

You’ll take action, leaving everybody in the dust.

How do you do that?

Here’s How:


The Infinite Loop

The Exchange Model of Communication

There’s a pretty interesting procedure in NLP called “Integration of Parts.”

Basically it’s a hallucination where you create a “dialogue” between two “parts.”

Like if “part of you” wants to get out and meet people, but another “part of you” wants to stay home and watch TV.

You bring them both out, and literally talk to them (and hear their responses) as if you were having a negotiation between two physical entities.

The idea is to keep “going up the logical level” of each of their “desires” (going out and staying in) until they both realize they want the same thing.

Then you can work on coming up with a better strategy to get that need met, rather than having inner conflict.

The reason it works is if you take any “criteria” for why we want to do something, and you’ll end up with a hard to describe “feeling” that can be equated pretty easily with any other hard to describe “feeling.”

Like you buy a car because you want to get to point A to point B. But you buy a certain car for certain reasons (safety, looking cool, feeling good, etc).

Good salespeople know to respectfully find these “higher order criteria” so that they more easily fulfill them.

If you want car that has a 350 cc engine and gets 22 MPG, that’s going to be harder to satisfy than a car that makes you “feel safe.”

When talking to people for personal reasons (e.g. not selling them anything). The same strategies apply.

You don’t exactly walk up to a stranger and ask them what they’re looking for in a new acquaintance.

But knowing those criteria are ALWAYS there will help a lot.

Whenever people are meeting each other socially, we all have pretty much the same criteria.

We want our ideas to be heard and respected. We want our wants, needs, and fears validated.

We don’t want to be told our ideas are silly or foolish.

We’d all rather talk about things we want, rather than we don’t want.

Looking at social interactions as negotiations is a bit strange.

But if you keep it on the down low, and always give them something before you expect something back, you’ll have a lot more success.

AND you’ll find that talking to people is a lot easier, when you’re using the “give first” mindset.

You’ll be remembered more, and you’ll be thought of in a much better light.

Doesn’t matter if you’re making friends, looking for lovers, finding new business contacts, or just passing the time.

See every conversation as some kind of “exchange,” and give before you get.

You can learn how, and a lot more here:

Interpersonal Resonance

Eliminate Social Anxiety

Eliminate Social Anxiety

One of the ideas from NLP is something called “meta programs.”

These are these semi-rigid filters we all have in place through which we see the world.

For example, one of them is how we are motivated. On one end of the spectrum are people who are motivated externally. Other people. Praise, validation, etc. On the other end of the spectrum are the people who are motivated internally.

They don’t really care what others think or do. They only do something if it “feels” right to them.

Of course, most of us are a mix of both. Few people are completely one or the other.

Another “meta program” filter is “sameness or difference.” When you look into an unfamiliar situation, do you automatically find things that are the same as what you are used to, or different?

Again, most of us are a mix of both.

And while these do operate largely unconsciously, you can bring them up to the conscious level.

For example, when meeting new people, some of us automatically feel nervous, shy, anxious. So we see others as somehow “better” than us. Otherwise it would be impossible for them to “reject” us if we approached them to start a conversation.

One thing that can help is to consciously look at them, before you approach, through the filter of “sameness” rather than “difference.”

Meaning force your monkey brain to think of all the ways you two are similar, rather than different.

If you were walking up to somebody that was TOTALLY the same as you, rejection wouldn’t even come up.

The more you can practice this, the more the fear of rejection will vanish.

Another powerful way to do this is to imagine all of your similar “fears.”

Since ALL HUMANS have a HUGE collection of irrational fears, this is pretty easy.

And since most of our fears are similar, it won’t be much of a stretch.

EVERYBODY doesn’t like to be put on the spot. EVERYBDOY fears rejection. EVERYBODY has deep fears of social exclusion.

Just take a few minutes to think of “that person” (whoever they are, boss, lover, friend, business partner) as having the SAME FEARS that you do, and hold THAT in mind when you think about talking to them.

You don’t even have to approach them. You can do this sitting at the mall watching people walk by.

Just choose people you’d LIKE to approach, but would otherwise be too nervous to.

And then do this exercise. Imagine them being terrified of public speaking, or getting left behind, or anything.

This is one of DOZENS of exercises in the Interpersonal Resonance book.

Do them daily and you’ll be a social magnet in no time.

Get Started:

Interpersonal Resonance

Gold, Bitches!

Find The Gold That’s Always Around You

I’ve had a lot of crappy jobs in my life.

And some pretty awesome ones.

One of my favorites was when I worked at a movie theater in high school.

Lots of people my age, fast paced, got to meet people when they were in a good mood.

The best part was when I’d load up a car with popcorn, drinks and candy and push it into a packed theater a few minutes before the movie started.

I would push the cart up and down the aisles and holler out like an old school pitchman.

And I almost ALWAYS sold out.

Other jobs were horrible. The worse was when I was a telemarketer. They had us memorize a script. And hooked us up to an automatic dialing computer. We would see the person’s name a split second after they answered.

And spit out the memorized pitch. If they hung up, the computer would automatically dial another line.

It was incredibly BORING.

The only fun part was when somebody got ultra pissed and went off into a well spoken tirade against telemarketers. THAT part was pretty entertaining!

Funny thing was, if I agreed with everything they said, while they were yelling at me, they actually thanked me when they were done.

It’s easy to fall into a rut, and hear the same things and say the same things day in and day out.

So when we finally unleash how we REALLY feel, even if it’s anger, it feels pretty good to get some sympathy and understanding.

Every single person you run across has all kinds of things they’d LOVE to express.

But most are too shy, and nobody ever asks.

So they never do.

Which is why there is a GOLD MINE inside pretty much every person you come across.

Even if you’re just looking to kill time while waiting for the bus, people can provide enormous value.

Everybody’s got a story. Everybody’s got a different perspective.

All you’ve got to do is practice “opening them up.”

Because inside, there is TREASURE.

And the more people you talk to, the more stories you’ll have.

The EASIEST way to use Covert Hypnosis to slip ideas into people’s minds is through stories.

“Hey, that’s pretty cool, that reminds me of this girl I was talking to the other day at the bus stop…”

And then launch into several nested loops, within which you can layer all kinds of language technology.

Most people go through life hoping to AVOID interacting with others. But once you realize that OTHER PEOPLE are your greatest resource, you’ll realize the HUGE gold mine that’s around you.

All the time!

Get Started:

Covert Hypnosis

Is All Pasta The Same?

How To Skyrocket Your Magnetism

Once I had a deep discussion with a buddy of mine.

Why do tacos cost more than burritos?

It’s the same stuff, just put together differently.

We concluded that tacos take more labor per weight than burritos, so they cost a little bit more.

If you happen to go down to your grocery store, take a look at all the different kinds of pasta.

Not the whole dish, the dry pasta that you need to boil and mix with other stuff.

Most people can name a couple off the top of their head.

Spaghetti, ravioli, lasagna, etc.

But what’s really different about it? Same stuff, just different shapes.

Yet just a slight change in shape can make a dramatic effect on the outcome.

If all you ate was spaghetti, it would get pretty boring. But when you start to play around with the different dry pasta, you’ll probably start playing around with different sauces.

Pretty soon you can come up with some interesting and delicious combinations.

Once upon a time there was this “belief” that a human couldn’t run a mile in under four minutes.

But as soon as the first guy proved it was possible, a whole bunch of other guys started doing it.

It’s funny how our limitations keep us locked up in more ways than one.

It’s also pretty interesting that once you make very tiny changes, they can lead to dramatic results.

Once you realize it’s OK to do something different, you’ll start doing other things differently.

And when you start trying other things differently, you’ll start getting different results. Better results. Which will hopefully motivate you to try even MORE things differently.

Proving to yourself that those limitations are really just imaginary nonsense.

One of the simplest ways to change the way you do things is change the way you talk.

Just like spaghetti and burritos, by changing the STRUCTURE of your language, rather than the CONTENT, you’ll start to have some amazing impacts on others.

No need to reinvent yourself. No need to go out and get a bunch of “experiences” just to seem more interesting.

By changing HOW you talk, not WHAT you talk about, you can become more magnetic, more charismatic, and much more effective.

Think of two restaurants. One that sells only spaghetti. And one that sells all KINDS of pasta.

Which would you rather eat at?

Whether you want to build a relationship, enhance an existing one, make more money, get a better job, all you need to do is change HOW you communicate rather than worrying about the CONTENT of your communication.

This means that what’s inside your head, right here, right now, is sufficient. Just figure out to present it in the best way, and you’re set.

Get Started:

Covert Hypnosis

Can't Step In The Same River Twice

How Long Do These Take To Learn?

When you were a little kid, learning was easy.

Since it happened automatically, you didn’t have to think about it.

You just kept trying to do something until you could do it.

This is how all humans learned, until very recently.

When we try this as adults, it’s called “modeling.”

Meaning we see somebody doing something we’d like to do, and then try and copy them.

Unfortunately, it’s not always so easy.

Because not only do you have to DO what they do, you also have to NOT DO what they DON’T do.

This is the missing ingredient if you’ve been trying to “learn” from gurus who promise to “show you step by step to get what I’ve done.”

Now sometimes, this is easy. If you’re copying somebody’s cake-baking technique, for example.

Because when YOU operate on the ingredients, they will respond the same way they do when THEY operate on the ingredients.

It doesn’t matter WHO puts the batter in the oven. So long a the batter is prepared the same way, and the oven is the right temperature, you’ll get the same cake.

But often times we’re copying people who have been INTERACTING with a certain environment. And unless YOU are interacting in the same environment in the same way, you’ll get a different result.

Let’s say you wanted to study acting. And you copied the precise movements speech patterns of the most famous stage actors around.

So much so you were EXACTLY the same.

But unless you could reproduce the same audience, with the same expectations, you’ll get a different result.

It’s sort like that old saying, “You can’t step in the same river twice.”

Only it’s WAY more complicated. No matter how much you model somebody, you’ll ALWAYS be operating within a slightly different environment.

Does this mean modeling is useless? Not at all.

It just means that you need to model a meta-skill, rather than surface skill.

What does this mean?

Let’s say you memorized a boxing match from Mike Tyson. You copied his EXACT punches, at the EXACT time.

Obviously, this would NEVER work. Because all the punches and blocks would be based SOLELY on what the other guy was doing.

Paying attention to feedback is the missing ingredient.

No matter HOW WELL you copy some “step by step” procedure, if you don’t pay attention to feedback, AND adjust accordingly, you’re doomed.

But paying attention to feedback is easy. It’s natural. It’s how you learned to walk. If you leaned forward too much, you’d fall on your face. And your inherent feedback-response mechanism told you to not lean forward so much next time.

So long as you are ALWAYS open to feedback, and you are willing to adjust, you’ll always get better.

And then you’ll learn the secret about things like learning Covert Hypnosis.

You’ll NEVER FINISH learning. Because you can always get better based on the feedback you get.

Compared to others, who sit in a seminar and listen, or read a book and think they are DONE.

YOU will always be improving, learning and getting better.

Get Started:

Covert Hypnosis

Generate Overlapping Interests Between Conversational Partners

Overlap Their Desires With Yours

Pretty much everything can be thought of as a mix of two extremes.

Like sweet or salty. I like salty food more often than not.

But once in while I like to eat something sweet. Too much and it’s not good any more.

In NLP there are all kinds of “Meta Programs” that are these filters through which we see the world.

And like everything else, they can be thought of in “extremes” but most of us have a mix.

Like you can be motivated to move away from fear, or toward pleasure.

If you are too much of one, it will cause trouble.

Most of us are maybe 1/3 of the way from either end.

Another thing is how people make decisions.

One the hand, there are people that simply cannot decide unless somebody tells them exactly what to do.

On the other hand, there are people that absolutely NEED to be the decision maker in every single situation.

Clearly, both are kind of lame.

But most of us are a mix of both, usually more one than the other.

If you are interested in self development, taking an active role in improving your life, or have even thought about doing things differently, then chances are you are more “internally motivated” than “externally motivated.”

Meaning you’re likely more of a self starter than somebody who needs to have somebody tell you what to do 24-7.

It’s good to know what these filters are if you ever need to persuade anybody.

Andy whenever you talk to anybody about anything, there’s usually some persuasion going on.

Sometimes a lot, sometimes a little.

Now, you could spend a lot of time reverse engineering somebody’s “meta models” until you have them wired down completely.

Then you could present your ideas to them to fit into their “model of the world.”

There are consulting companies that make lots of money doing this for clients and employees.

But there is a MUCH easier way.

Just ask.

I know, simple, right?

But if you ask people what they want, (which most people NEVER do), they’ll usually be happy to tell you.

Then just figure out a way to present your idea so that it matches what they want.

This is MUCH easier than most people think.


Because most people think in very vague terms. Few are walking around with a specific idea of what they want.

Then you take THEIR vague desires, and match them with yours (vague or specific, it really doesn’t matter) by using the SPECFICALLY VAGUE language patterns of covert hypnosis.

This is ESPECIALLY easy when you’re using these patterns on people you already know. Even just casually.

Because you already sort of “know” what makes them tick. What they want. What makes them happy.

So when you talk to them using these patterns, YOUR ideas will seem like THEIR ideas.

Which means no matter WHAT they reference (internal or external) it will make perfect sense.

Get Started:

Covert Hypnosis

How To Kill Social Anxiety

Kill All Fear

Be The Thing People Want

​I went to this party once, and I was supposed to meet a friend there.

But just as I pulled up, he called me to tell me he couldn’t make it.

And the party was a friend of HIS friend, so I didn’t know anybody.

So, what did I do?

I played a game with myself. I looked at my watch, and gave myself an hour to get everybody’s name.

Did I make it? No, I didn’t.

But the reason I didn’t was pretty interesting. Seems that just by setting that internal goal, I was getting “caught up” in conversations with people. Pretty soon I started to think to myself, “Geez, I need to get out of this conversation, as I still have people to meet.”

Other times, I’ve gone places, even with friends, and just sat there looking around.

Waiting for something to happen.

And what happens if you sit around waiting for something to happen? It usually doesn’t happen.

Because when it comes to social situations, that seems to be everybody’s game plan. Wait around for somebody else to make the first move.

Since in the first instance, I was the one making the first move in every single conversation, people didn’t want to let me go.

I was the “thing” that they were waiting to happen.

Now, you don’t have to meet everybody every time you go out. But ANYTHING is better than just kind of winging it and hoping something happens.

Think of going on a mental scavenger hunt. Try and collect things, like three hobbies, three jobs that people have, or anything else like that.

That way, you’ll remove the BIGGEST social fear people have. And that is rejection.

If all you’re doing is trying to find three different hobbies, the ONLY way you can get rejected is if nobody has any hobbies, or everything thinks their hobby is a matter of national security and won’t tell you unless you’ve been cleared by the CIA.

See, when most people talk to somebody interesting, they really don’t have a specific goal, other than to “be accepted.”

So long as you choose any other goal, that will push your default fears to the back of your brain, where they won’t bother you.

And once you start walking up and talking to people, they will see YOU as the most charismatic and magnetic person in the room.

To learn more tricks like this, check this out:

Two Secrets Of Irresistible Communication

Are You Spitting Word Salad?

Do Your Words Make Sense?

​Dale Carnegie tells an interesting story in one of his books.

Some famous lady (politician or rich person or something) had a “conversation” with Carnegie one evening.

Only Carnegie didn’t speak much. All he did was ask directed questions and follow up questions. All the while being genuinely interested in what she had to say.

A couple days later, when somebody asked her opinion of Carnegie, she said, “He’s the most interesting conversationalist I’ve ever met!”

This, of course, is after he discovered that EVERYBODY is always most interested in themselves.

So when you talk to people about themselves, they will like talking to you.

ESPECIALLY when most of us walk around talking about ourselves.

If you want to do an interesting, eye opening experiment, eavesdrop on a couple people talking. Or take yourself out of the conversation, mentally, if you’re in a group. 

You’ll hear something like this:

“Well, I …. and I … so I…”

“Yes, that’s fascination. But me… and me… and me…”

Another thing you’ll notice is there is a HUGE lack of “content” in most every day conversations.

In our heads we’ve got these half baked ideas. Then we attach a bunch of random words onto these ideas and spit them out. And hope something works.

Trouble is, when EVERYBODY is doing that, you get a bunch of people talking about themselves with a LOT of “fillers.”

Sure, talking is natural. Walking is natural. Eating is natural. We don’t have to think about it. We just do it.

But you can also improve the way you walk, talk and eat.

In fact, ANYTHING you can do, you can improve upon. All you’ve got to do is elevate it to the conscious level, improve what works, get rid of what doesn’t and let it sink back down into your unconscious.

Your words are your most valuable tool. Your most effective skill. Your ability to take a thought from inside your head, put words to it, and put that SAME thought (and what you think about that thought) into the heads of others will open doors most don’t know exist.

The power of your words will take you farther than any degree, any amount of experience, and any connections (or lack thereof).

And when you combine these two ideas, that if increasing your ability with your words AND the fact that everybody is MOST worried about themselves, you can create anything you want.

Learn More: