Monthly Archives: August 2011

Wayne Dyer’s Top 8 Tips for Building a Better Social Life

1. Your relationships are in your mind.
 
“As you think so shall you be! Since you cannot physically experience another person, you can only experience them in your mind. Conclusion: All of the other people in your life are simply thoughts in your mind. Not physical beings to you, but thoughts. Your relationships are all in how you think about the other people of your life. Your experience of all those people is only in your mind. Your feelings about your lovers come from your thoughts. For example, they may in fact behave in ways that you find offensive. However, your relationship to them when they behave offensively is not determined by their behavior, it is determined only by how you choose to relate to that behavior. Their actions are theirs, you cannot own them, you cannot be them, you can only process them in your mind.”
 
“Loving people live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. Same world.”
 
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
 
How you choose to interpret people and your relationships makes a huge difference. So much of our relationships may be perceived to happen out there somewhere.
 
But your underlying frame of mind – for instance an open one or a protective and closed up one – will determine much about your interactions with new people and people you know.
 
So you really have to go inside. You have to realize that your interpretations from the past are interpretations. Not reality. You have to take a look at your assumptions and expectations and thought habits. Find patterns that may be hurting you (and others). This isn’t easy. Or always pleasant. You may discover that you have had some negative underlying habits of thought for many years.
 
But to change you have to do it. Instead of just keep looking at yourself as some sort of unmoving and objective observer of the world and reality. A change in you could – over time – change your whole world.
 
2. Let go of the need for approval.
 
“People who want the most approval get the least and the people who need approval the least get the most.”
 
A lot of the actions you take – or do not take – may be because you need approval from other people. When we are young we get grades in school that tells us that we are “good”. This makes it very easy to create a life where you always go looking for the world to give you the next hit of approval. It may be from your family, boss, friends, co-workers and so on.
 
But this need creates neediness. And the stronger the need the stronger the neediness. And so other people will sense this. And approval may be withheld or used to manipulate you. Or they may just not like your neediness.
 
The people on the other hand that do not care that much about getting approval often do more of what they want deep inside. They may be considered courageous for instance. So the way they live their lives will gain appreciation and approval from the people around them. It’s a bit counter-intuitive.
 
But it seems to me like this is how things work. If you really want approval in your life try letting go of that need – as best as you can of course, this is not easy – for a while. See what happens. You’ll probably be surprised by how much better you feel inside and the reactions you may get from the outside world.
 
3. Let go of judgement.
 
“When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.”
 
“Real magic in relationships means an absence of judgment of others.”
 
“Judgement prevents us from seeing the good that lies beyond appearances.”
 
Judging can have a sense of fun to it and make you feel better about yourself as you put someone else down. So why give it up? Here are three reasons:
  • People don’t like judgemental people. People don’t like to be judged. So there will be a resistance towards someone who is judgemental.
  • Waste of time. You can spend your time doing more fun, constructive and positive things.
  • The more you judge people, the more judge yourself. What you see in other people is often what you see in yourself. So if you judge them all the time for their looks or intelligence then you probably judge yourself often about these things too. To let go of judging others can lead you to letting go of judging yourself too. As you lift the limitations you put on others, you lift the limitations you put on yourself.
4. Enjoy the moment.
 
“When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.”
 
One technique that can help you improve your social skills is assuming rapport.
 
Basically, instead of going into a conversation or meeting nervously and thinking “how will this go?” you take different approach. You assume that you and the person(s) will establish a good connection (rapport).
 
How do you do that? You simply pretend that you are meeting one of your best friends. Then you start the interaction in that frame of mind instead of the nervous one.
 
But why does it work? Well, I’d say it works because it puts you in the same mental state as when you are with your friends. When you’re with your friends you are relaxed, positive, in the present moment and without many cares in the world. 

This is a great place to be socially. You are just enjoying yourself and your moments with your friends without much thought of the past or future. You are just there. The more you can bring yourself into this mental headspace the more fun you will have with people. And the more fun they will have with you.
 
5. People like positive people.
 
“Unhappiness is within.”
 
“Simply put, you believe that things or people make you unhappy, but this is not accurate. You make yourself unhappy.”
 
Now we are back in the same territory as in the first tip in this article. How you feel is up to you. You do to a large degree control you.
 
This is important to understand to be able to create and keep a more stable positive attitude. If you let what other people do control – or at least control you too much – then you are on a mental rollercoaster where your thoughts and feelings go up and down all the time. You have to look within to find a great stability to how you think and feel.
 
I’d say that one of the most attractive qualities a person can have is a positive attitude and energy. It is attractive to people at your job/school, family, friends or just that cute girl/guy in the bar. I think that one of the big things people want in any relationship is positive emotions.
 
People simply want to create a flow back and forth with people where all of you exchange positive emotions and feel good.
 
Building yourself a more positive attitude will of course not only make you more likeable. It can also improve every other part of your life.
 
6. You teach them.
 
“Maxim for life: You get treated in life the way you teach people to treat you.”
 
This is a very important point and something I think is perhaps often missed by people who want to improve their social lives and make it more positive. They may think “well, I have been so nice towards everyone for the last few months but it doesn’t seem to have changed their behaviour towards me much”.
 
This is the “nice guy/girl” problem. S/he is very nice but there is no assertiveness. There is no changed feeling within about how you feel you deserve to be treated. You may still be nice just to get approval from other people. You feel the craving need. And as point # 2 explains, you won’t get the approval.
 
We do to a large extent choose how we want to be treated. How you expect people to treat you can have a big effect on how you allow yourself to act and how people around you view and treat you. If you start creating a role for yourself where you always let people do what they want to you then you may create some pretty destructive and negative things.
  • You may create an identity for yourself where you get used to always taking whatever anyone doles out. You create a kind of victim identity where you may look happy on the outside but don’t feel so good on the inside. But since you have gotten used to it after a while you may accept it and think that: this is just who I am.
  • You may create a concept in the minds of the people around you that it’s OK to treat you this way. Either because you seem so positive despite what they are doing so they think it’s OK. Or just because you aren’t saying no and some people may take advantage of that.
Look, you can’t please everyone. I think both Eleanor Roosevelt and Buddha have mentioned something along the lines that whatever you do there will always be people who don’t like what you are doing. And that’s OK. That’s normal.
 
Going around trying to please everyone at your own expense isn’t healthy though. Or even a realistic thing to attempt. It eats away at you both mentally and physically.
 
So be nice. Be positive. But make sure you set your own standards, rules and limits too. And remember that you might as well do what you want because there will always be critics.
 
7. Take responsibility for your social life.
 
“Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.”
 
I really like this quote from Nathaniel Branden’s excellent The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem: “No one is coming”.
 
You can look for the next big thing that will fix you. Read more blog articles. Read more personal development books. Look for people to help. And yes, some articles or books or people will give you insights that resonate deeply with you. But in the end, if you are an adult then no one is coming. No one is coming to save you. You have to take responsibility for your own life and what happens in it. Other things and people can certainly aid you quite a bit. But you are responsible.
 
You can go around blaming society or some people for your problems in your social life (or finances or health). You can always find scapegoats to judge and thought that feel better about yourself. For a while. You can look for people that will “fix you”. You can do this for the rest of your life if you like. It won’t change much. Whatever has to be done, it’s you who have to take responsibility and do it.
 
Yeah, things might always not go your way and you will probably have bad luck from time to time. But you still have to focus on yourself and doing what you can do in whatever situation may arise in your world.
 
8. Like yourself.
 
“You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.”
 
Liking yourself is vital to live a happy life. If you like yourself people will of course like hanging out with your more too. A person who likes him/herself, who is positive but also assertive is a lot better than the opposite.
 
Obvious, yes. But the hard thing is how to go about liking yourself more. This is a topic that has filled many books but here are a few tips that have helped me.
  • Follow the rest of the tips above. For example, taking more personal responsibility, working on your attitude and being more assertive consistently will make you feel better about yourself.
  • Do the right thing as much as you can. When you do the right thing you lift your own self-esteem. When you don’t do the right thing you tend to stay at the same self-esteem level that you are at the moment (or you may perhaps even lower it).

How to Bounce Back When Life Gets Hard

Lesson 1: Materialistic Goals Aren’t All that Matter

The thought of selling everything and starting over was, in a tiny way, liberating.  I hear of people that after losing their homes and selling most everything feel free in a way they had never known. My biggest fear was losing my remaining two pets if I had to couch surf for a while.

I was so embarrassed that I held my secrets and pain inside for the most part.  I would meet friends for dinner and pretend that I wasn’t hungry, since I had no money to spend.  When the hormonal imbalance would kick in and I would tear up, I would pretend that my contacts were bothering me and run to the bathroom.

Finally, I realized that nothing material mattered.

Lesson 2: Angels Exist in Human Form

While passing through the tunnel of hell during my recovery to bounce back, I figured which people truly cared and were in tune with my subtle changes.  Luckily for me, a friend handed me some cash—unsolicited– to help me get by while I got my head on straight. The generosity of this person rocked my world in a way that left me forever changed.

I realized the phrase “While you may only be one person in this world, you may be the world to one person” personally. In other words, I revived my belief in humanity.

Lesson 3: Miracles Are All Around

On a business level, I’m required to be clear and strong as I coach high-leveled executives on the next step in their career and life—ironic eh?

You can’t be broken and effective at the same time; yet I did take the phrase “fake it till you make it” by heart. By faking my strength, even my smile, I slowly felt both again.

I witnessed the miracle of the universe all around me.  Suddenly those cereal boxes that came free in my Sunday paper were valuable.  Toothpaste samples at the grocery store were cherished and I learned to turn the shampoo bottle upside down to get every last drop. I would go to the pet food store just to “look around” and grab a few of the free samples for my dog.

Lesson 4: Learned Minimalism

With that cash in hand from my friend, I was able to cover my rent long enough to start billing in my business again; but extras weren’t available.  Gone were the monthly hair salon trips, out with the extras like cable, Internet, and dog treats.

I slowly learned how wasteful I had been in my life with food, clothing, and coffee shop stops.  There was no money for anything other than college-grade food.

I rode my bike a lot that summer not having the money for gas. I reasoned with the bank’s car loan and my insurance agent for reduced monthly payments.

I taught myself to negotiate payments for utilities and witnessed the kindness of customer service agents when you admit your defeat.  Most of all, I gathered that if you’re willing to work with them in some way, people will help you get by on your payments and your life.

Lesson 5: Learned Positivity

Each morning I forced myself to think of three things I was grateful for before letting my feet hit the carpet next to my bed.  If I didn’t do this, I would begin my day in the depressed way I had ended the day before.

Soon I started doing this before bed and found that my days got easier.  When the magnitude of my situation would hit midday and I would start to crash; I would force myself to get outside, go for a walk and notice something beautiful.  When life is bleak, even the smallest things like the song of a bird or the color of the sky can jar you up a notch.

Every morning before starting my work day, I would force myself to listen to or read something inspirational.  I couldn’t control the world around me, but I could direct my emotions.

Yes I cried a lot, but I would balance those moments with what I was grateful for and kept moving towards what I wanted—to bounce back to some stability again.

Lesson 6: Clarity from Self-Observation

I learned to watch my emotional state like a hawk.

If I felt desperate and scared, I would imagine my worst-case scenario…worst case I would loan my dog and my cat to people I trusted and couch surf.  Worst case I would go on meds.  Worst case I would ask a friend if I could share dinner with them.

Once I knew my worst-case scenario, I was able to relax a tiny bit and then I would focus on what I was grateful for… When life blows up there is a crystal clarity that occurs.

All of the issues that you’ve been hiding behind with your job or your money or your relationship are out there in the open.  I have clients who lose their jobs and realize that their marriage has been broken for years; knowledge that was just hidden behind frequent business trips.

Lesson 7: Focus on the Now

I also learned that once the blow-up occurs and you share it with those close to you, it’s important to not keep telling your sad story.

If you do, that’s what you end up focusing on and it’s easy to feel like a victim.  Much better to focus on where you’re going and put your energy into moving forward.  This is the biggest mistake I see clients make—telling the same sad story, over and over.

For me the hardest part was laying in bed, alone, during the middle of the night, drenched in fear.  As I laid awake in terror, I learned to pray for help and learned to meditate so I could hear the answer. I tried to be as much in the now as possible.

Most of all, I learned that when we’re broken, we’re really just broken open.  We are a seed that sits in the dark, damp earth waiting for spring. We alone decide in which direction to send our sprout once the season has turned.


Dale Carnegie’s Top 9 Tips for Improving Your Social Skills

1. Create your own emotions.
 
“If you want to be enthusiastic, act enthusiastic.”
 
Emotions work backwards too. You can use that to your advantage. If you are stuck in a negative emotion then you can often shake it off. Change your body – how you move, sit and stand – and act as you would like to feel. Enthusiasm and other positive emotions are much more useful and pleasurable for everyone in an interaction. Because…
 
2. It’s not so much about the logical stuff.
 
“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.”
 
This is so key. Logic is good but in the end, in interactions and in life, we are emotional creatures. We send and receive emotions from other people. That is one reason why body language and voice tonality is often said be up to 93% of communication. Now, those numbers were for some specific situations but I still believe that these two ways of communication are very, very important.
 
The body language and the voice tonality is a bit like the rest of the iceberg, the great mass below the tip of the words we use. Those two things communicate how we are feeling and give indication to what we are thinking. And that’s why it’s important to be able to change how you feel. To be in a positive mood while interacting. Because that will have a great impact on how you say something and how you use your body. And those two things will have a big impact on your results and relationships.
 
3. Three things you are better off avoiding.
 
“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.”
 
Now these things may not be easy to avoid all together. Much of our interactions and perhaps even bonds are created and maintained through those three negative C’s. There is a sort of twisted pleasure in criticising, condemning and complaining. It might make you feel more important and like a better person as you see yourself as a victim or as you condemn other people’s behaviour.
 
But in the end these three C’s are negative and limiting to your life. Bringing up negative stuff and wallowing in it will lower your mood, motivation and general levels of wellbeing. And this can trap you in a negative spiral of complaining, complaining with other complainers and always finding faults in your reality.
 
You will also be broadcasting and receiving negative emotions. And people in general want to feel good. So this can really put an obstacle in the way for your interactions or relationships.
 
4. What is most important?
 
“The royal road to a man’s heart is to talk to him about the things he treasures most.”
 
Classic advice. Don’t talk too much about yourself and your life. Listen to other people instead. However, if they ramble on and on, if they don’t reciprocate and show and interest in your life then you don’t have to stay.
 
Some things people may treasure the most include ideas, children, a special hobby and the job. And…
 
5. Focus outward, not inward.
 
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
 
A lot of people use the second, far less effective way. It is appealing because it’s about instant gratification and about ME, ME, ME! The first way – to become interested in people – perhaps works better because it make you a pleasant exception and because the law of reciprocity is strong in people. As you treat people, they will treat you. Be interested in them and they will be interested in you.
 
I would like to add that one hard thing about this can be to be genuinely interested in the other person. Your genuine interest is projected though your body language and tonality. So, just waiting for the other person to stop talking so you can talk again isn’t really genuine interest. And that may shine through. And so your interactions will suffer.
 
6. Take control of your emotions.
 
“The person who seeks all their applause from outside has their happiness in another’s keeping.”
 
This problem basically consist of being too reliant or dependent on external validation from other people. External validation is something someone communicates to you that tells you that you are person of value. That you, for example, are pretty, smart or successful. 
 
This leaves much of your emotions in the hands of other people. It becomes an emotional rollercoaster. One day you feel great. The next day you feel like just staying in bed.
  
But if you fill that inner cup of validation for yourself instead- a practical tip to do so is to write down five positive things about yourself in a journal every day – then you take over the wheel. Now you’re driving, now you control how you feel. You can still appreciate compliments of course, but you aren’t dependent on them.
 
This will make you more emotionally stable and enables you to cultivate and build your emotional muscles in a more controlled way. You can for instance help yourself to become more optimistic or enthusiastic more of the time. This stability and growth can be big help in your relationships.
 
7. No, they are not holding you back.
 
“Instead of worrying about what people say of you, why not spend time trying to accomplish something they will admire.”
 
Caring too much about what people think will create and feed imaginary monsters within your mind. You may for instance think that people will condemn you if you try something. Maybe they will. But most of the time people are thinking about their own challenges and ups and downs. They just don’t care that much about what you do.
 
This may feel disappointing. It can also be liberating. It helps you remove inner obstacles that are you holding yourself back.
 
As you, bit by bit or in one big swoop, release those inner brakes you become more of yourself. You become more confident, you have a better chance at success, and you will feel more positive feelings and less negative ones. All these things can give a big boost to your interactions and help you sharpen those social skills.
 
8. So, what’s in it for me?
 
“There is only one way… to get anybody to do anything. And that is by making the other person want to do it.”
 
If you want someone to do something then will they care about your motivation for getting this thing done? Perhaps. Often they will not have that great of an interest in what you want out of something.
 
They want to know what they will get out of it. So, for the both of you to get what you want out of something tell that person what’s in it for him/her. And try to be genuine and positive about it. A reason for them to do it delivered in a lame, half-assed manner may not be so persuasive. And so you both lose.
 
9. How to win an argument.
 
“The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.”
 
Getting two egos wrapped up in an argument, having two sides defending their positions desperately, will not improve relationships. You are more likely to feel negative feelings towards each other long after the argument is over. And so you both wallow in negativity and you both lose. When possible, just avoiding unnecessary arguments is a win-win situation.
 

The State

1. Get Excited

It is easiest when you are truly excited
about the place you are going. But no matter
where you are headed, search your mind for
every conceivable reason why you are going
to have the best night of your life.
Pump yourself up. Think of the limitless
possibilities that every night offers. Who will
you meet? Where will you wind up? What
stories will you have to tell tomorrow?
2. Do a Social Pre Game
When most people think of pre-gaming they
think of pounding down beers so they can
show up at the venue with a buzz. This is
not what I am talking about here. What I
am suggesting is that you get social way
before you head out to a bar or club.
Don’t take a nap right before you leave to go
out. Don’t sit on the computer until you’re
ready to head out. Begin socializing long before
you get to the bar. Meet your friends an hour
If there is no one around, then call a friend
on the phone that who you know will jump start
your social energy.
3. Positive People
At some point you will come to the realization
that certain people do more harm than good.
These people you must eliminate from your life,
or seriously limit their influence over you.
Instead, surround yourself with the people you
find yourself most often in state around.
If you pay attention, you will notice that
certain people trigger “state” in you more
than others. These are the people you want
to be around.
4. Dress to Impress
I am talking about impressing yourself. If
you’re wearing clothes you don’t feel
comfortable in, or are conscious of the fact
that you haven’t shaved, or smell bad, you
will find it near impossible to get into state.
How you present yourself, is a direct
reflection of the state you are feeling. If
you leave the house well dressed, your
physical image will be in congruence with
your mental image of yourself.
This makes getting into state much easier.
5. Anchor Music
It is possible to anchor certain feelings to
particular songs. You’ve probably already
experienced this. Are there certain songs
that remind you of an ex girlfriend? A certain
period of your life?
You can manipulate this to work to your
benefit.
I have a play list of songs that I almost always
play as I am running on the treadmill at the gym.
As my heart rate increases as I run, I turn the
music louder and louder. I continue this cycle,
until my adrenaline is at a peak. At that point,
I am running on air. And music is pumping
through my veins.
I’ve found that I am able to reactivate that
adrenaline rush simply by playing that same
play list on my way to a bar or club. While
I’m playing the song in my car, I also need to
move physically to activate the natural
endorphins.
6. Exercise
As I stated in the previous example, exercise is
a great way to get into state. You will find
that the more active you are, the more
energetic you will be.
Exercise releases those natural enorphins
I mentioned. Have you ever heard of “the
runner’s high?”

With exercise, it is best to start a routine.
You will notice the results after about a month
of continuous, strenuous, training

7. Nutrition
Their is an entire book called “Enter The
Zone” written about the role food plays
in getting you into “state.”
Even on a simple basis, you can drastically
see how nutrition effects state. Have you
ever tried to go out and game after eating
Chinese food? Or a Whopper? It is near
impossible to get into state with that bloated,
greasy feeling.
Everyone’s body is different. Start paying
attention to which foods stimulate state most
often. And pay attention to which foods leave
you lethargic and unmotivated. Adjust your
diet accordingly.
8. Drop All Game Talk
Once you get to a bar or club, you must
never NEVER spend your time talking about
elements of game. You will never be able to
get into state if you’re using terminology and
pickup lingo. These are not topics that lend
themselves to friendly conversations.
Your goal is to be having fun and being social.
If you’re talking game, you’re not being social.
Period. Drop the game talk the minute you leave
for the venue.
9. Get Goofy
Yes goofy. Being goofy puts you in a good mood.
It also causes you to have some fun. This will help put
you into state.
An example from my life:
My friends and I love to imitate Vince Vaughn’s
annoying laugh. Some nights when we get to the bar,
we’ll walk up to random girls and bust into Vince’s
laugh. The girls will look at us like we’re crazy, but it
puts us in such a good mood.
It also becomes a competition between us,
we’ll try to out due each other. This gets us all
social. And eliminates our approach anxiety.
10. Get Social Quickly
Even if acting goofy is not your thing, you
must immediately do something that is both fun
and social. Interact with people immediately.
Get your juices flowing. Get the endorphins pumping.
Get comfortable being social.
The tone of the night is usually set pretty quickly.
That is why it is essential to create the right vibe for
the night immediately.
11. Don’t Wait for Your Wingman’s Permission
to Approach
I actually learned this solid piece of advice
listening to Moxie’s interview on State. I think this
advice is brilliant, as I know I’ve been guilty of
this in the past.
When you see a girl you want to talk to, do not talk
about it with your wing. There is no reason to say
“I want to talk to that girl”
Just do it. He will follow. And if he doesn’t, go in
alone. Once you start talking about the girl you want
to talk to, you take your self out of the moment.
This will break state.
12. Stay Out of Your Head
The best way to get into state is to live in the
moment. Stay out of your head. Don’t think
about the past. Don’t think about the future.
Look around and make every effort to make
this moment as enjoyable as possible.
Remember, look around and immediately make
every effort to make this moment as enjoyable
as possible.
Source: Rio Bobby