Hide and Seek

People like to hide from one another. They may have grown out of hide and seek, but they still unintentionally try and conceal their real selves in their interactions. This is because people are afraid of being intimate with one another; yet it is exactly this intimacy that everyone craves.

Want to make a connection with someone? Then you need to learn how to seek out their true selves in your conversations.

Time: We are not the same person that we were 5 years ago, 5 weeks ago or 5 hours ago. What is interesting in an interaction is what is happening between two people in that moment. To have a highly charged interaction both people need to be invested in that moment and be reacting to one another.

To avoid this people often talk about what their lives were like years ago. They are hiding their feelings of the present by talking about a time that has passed.

Swapping anecdotes of your first day at school can be fun, but bring the interaction back to the present. Talk about how you feel in that moment, and if they don’t follow suit, be direct and ask “How does that affect you now?” This will engage them to start thinking in the present, and telling you something that is relevant to them that day.

Tense: An exciting interaction is one that is focused on what the people think, feel and plan to do in the present. It’s the difference between relating old dates, speculating about ones you might get in the future, or having a great date then and there.

Always think about how what the person is saying relates back to them in the present. If you don’t you’ll only ever grasp the image they choose to present of themselves in the past, or the person they imagine they’re going to be in the future. The present is the real individual and the one who can connect with you.

If they are talking about the restaurant they want to open in the future, ask them about what they are doing now to accomplish that.

If they say they were such a geeky child ask if that is how they still see themselves.

Challenge people to think about how they feel in the moment, this is much more intimate than speculating about the past or the future.

Tell them what you want to do with them right now. The present is the most powerful and sexy tense.

Topic: Most films and books you truly love will be because of the character. People fall in love with characters and subjects, never topics and contexts.

To connect with someone you need to know something real about them as a person: a thought, a feeling or an experience. This is the important stuff.  The topic, whether it be music, travel or what ‘Sex and the City’ character they’d like to be is unimportant. The topic is just the vessel that enables a person to express themselves.

You shouldn’t become too invested in a topic as they can be interchanged rapidly. How often have you exhausted all your conversation on one point of discussion and then felt lost for words?

This will not happen if you engage with the real subject, the character that is in the story. If you learn that they’re the kind of person that falls in love quickly, gets angry at least three times a day, or thinks pink is a sexy colour on a guy, then you have a way to navigate and understand every other topic they talk about in a much more intimate way.

People do like to hide from one another.

But they like it better when they’re discovered. Make a person be in the moment, the present, and their true character with you. It is only then that you will start to make great connections.

To learn more about how to find the real person in your interactions, take our Conversation Camp with Wayne Elise and start making the real connections that lead to hot dates, lifelong friends and great business deals.

Mr. Darcy Game

Mr. Darcy is a famous literary character.

He is also a world famous lover.

He doesn't just get any girl, but he gets the girl he wants. Getting what you want and not just what you can get is fundamental to our philosophy at Charisma Arts, and I'm going to use Mr. Darcy's dashing example to explain how you can achieve this too.

For about 200 hundred years Darcy’s been making women go weak at the knees, and making all other male attempts at seduction look bad. You may not be into Georgian Romance novels but we can all learn a few tricks to success, and mistakes, from what he did.

He may have screwed up a few times (don’t we all) in his journey to getting the girl of his dreams, but he did it with so much style that he’s been a hero of romance ever since. His unique ‘Darcy’ seduction style even rivals that of our own Wayne Elise...

To save you reading all 400 exciting pages of ‘Pride and Prejudice’, I’m going to have a go at condensing Darcy Theory into a few key principles... and make them relevant to helping you overcome your dating dilemmas.

Darcy’s Mistakes:

How not to introduce yourself to the girl: Even if you’re not a dashing, loaded, member of the landed gentry and likely to make everyone around you feel inadequate, an insult as a way to open a conversation can still go badly wrong. When asked if he would like to dance with his ‘target’ Darcy says ‘she is not handsome enough to tempt me’, just loud enough so that she could hear.

That’s a pretty big insult in the Regency period.

Insulting your target didn’t work 200 hundred years ago for Darcy (all the women in the novel essentially think he’s a jerk after he says that) and often it doesn’t work that brilliantly now either. I once had a guy ask me if I was going to have the mole on my face removed. Was I mystified by his confidence and disarmed of my female sexy powers? Yes. I ran away crying and asked my friend to punch him... I’m sure this wasn’t the desired effect.

So next time how about forget all this value stuff (as Darcy eventually has to) and meet people on a level. Work on your preamble to engage them in conversation, and then start talking about the important stuff: thoughts, feelings and experiences. Not cheesy or insulting one-liners. Even if the latter works short term, the former is a much better way to sustain attraction... and not come across like a total dick.

Instead follow Wayne Elise and learn how to be a Conversation Man.

Over Investing: To give Darcy credit he does his best to avoid making all the effort in terms of arranging to meet the girl he likes or even speaking to her at the start of the novel... then at about page 150 he blows it with a surprise marriage proposal that no one was expecting.

Now whilst no one these days is likely to go proposing to a girl that they’ve only met three times, there are plenty of other ways you can over invest in a relationship before the time is right. This doesn’t need to be anything extreme like stalking them on Facebook; you can over invest just in your conversations. By asking lots of questions about a person (and telling them nothing about you), not being comfortable with ‘conversational vacuums’ (silences or natural pauses) and trying too hard to DHV, you may end up with you dominating the whole conversation.  If you don’t give them the opportunity to offer any value by filling a conversational gap, or responding naturally to a statement you make with a personal preference or experience, then you may miss any value they’re trying to offer you.

Another problem with asking too many questions, and not making enough statements, is that any response you get will be less of a genuine response, than if someone had chosen to respond to a statement. You could also end up finding out a lot about their job, their favorite color, why they like this restaurant and absolutely nothing of real value about themselves. Women like to know that you have a reason to like them, other than the obvious. Tell a girl directly why you like her, and don’t do a Darcy and surprise her too much by plunging right in to trying to date her when the only thing you’ve shared is small talk. To learn more about how to say 'I' instead of asking 'you' check out our latest blog posts on conversational bridge building.

What Darcy did right

Tension: Darcy and his lady’s route to domestic bliss may not have been all plain sailing but my God that’s better than if it had been boring. There is no great novel in ‘guy meets girl, guy befriends girl’ or even ‘guy meets girl who wants a steady relationship, guy never disagrees with girl, guy and girl have a terrible sex life’ and so on. It is better that your interactions become weird, uncomfortable and awkward rather than boring. Obviously we’d prefer if they were exciting, engaging and stimulating but if you have to pick one or the other avoid boring.

Darcy is well remembered for his brutal honesty, annoyance in small talk, and constant tension in his relationship with his target. He is, if anything, a master of changing the pace of their interaction and escalating. A change is an escalation and an escalation creates tension. Tension creates at least questions within the woman’s mind and often leads to sexual tension.

If she asks you ‘what do you do for a living?’ and you say ‘do you really care?’ she is going to be taken aback, but she will respect you. No one will have interrupted her small talk, and attempts to avoid intimacy, before. Similarly if you’re not sure where the interaction is going, consider having the courage to ask ‘do you find me attractive?’ This may not always be appropriate but not only does it immediately remove you from the dreaded friend-zone, and creates a meteoric rise in tension; it also leads me nicely on to my next point...

Courage: Whatever way you slice it ‘I admire and I love you’ takes a lot of balls to come out and say. Now, you may not want to go quite that far, but even asking ‘do you find me attractive’ is pretty nerve-wracking. But you know what, that’s OK. It is okay to fear escalation, and no matter what anyone says, when you put yourself out there it is scary. Mr. Darcy with every self respecting gold-digger in England after him still showed he was nervous. The thing is you are not supposed to conquer fear, but learn to approach it. Because in approaching it you’ve demonstrated not only your vulnerability but also your courage. And courage is sexier than if you’d simply had the confidence to not be afraid at all. To learn more about facing your fear check out our blog on how to be a conversational lion tamer.

No retraction: It’s counter intuitive but when his target rejects him for the first time Darcy doesn’t retract his affection, and this is one of his main reasons for success. We’re not talking about being persistent but rather not ending your interaction instantly if you’re initially rejected. If you get knocked back maybe say ‘that’s fine if you don’t want to right now, but I still feel the same’. By not retracting all your affection at lightning speed the girl may have reason to suspect that you like her for something other than instant gratification, whether that is the truth or not. Also by managing the situation in a mature manner she’ll have a chance to admire your good qualities and it will leave a question in her mind whether she was right to reject you in the first place. Also if you remain open then it leaves a much smaller obstruction for her to remove for you to get together. Remember that great relationships often spring out of great timing.

And it worked for Darcy; by page 350 his ‘wishes are unchanged’, (that’s ‘I still want to push you up against the wall and kiss your neck’ in modern English) but his targets have, she now wants to be Mrs. Darcy... although he did have one last ace in his pack to help with this one.

Visualization:

Jane Austen was right when she wrote, ‘A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love’.

Create a powerful visualization of what you will do with a girl on a date, or in the bedroom (if the interaction is at that stage), and it will give her an image to buy into and be tempted by.

In ‘Pride and Prejudice’  Darcy’s girl starts to really desire him when she gets thinking about what life in a stately home set in the Derbyshire moors with pots of money would be like. In fact the moment she starts to love Darcy is when she sees his crib. Yet it isn’t the material goods that really attract Lizzie, but the idea that is created for her of what her life could be like.

You may not have Pemberley Manor as your love nest but you can work this magic on a much smaller scale.

Instead of focusing on the logistics of a date (the when/where) specifically tell your date what you want to do ‘I want to take you out to this little tapas bar I know that has the best red wine, spend the evening telling you my bad jokes, and then hopefully kiss underneath the moonlight’. This not only allows her to have a clear plan for the evening, which should offset the panic that a ‘what you up to next Friday?’ text will cause. It will also create a powerful visualization of the experience she could have with you which can then develop in her mind like a photo. Do this right and she’ll want to pay a visit to the romantic date or sexual scenario you’ve created for her in your mind.

Take it from a girl - this really works.

For a more detailed explanation of everything in this article you can grab a degree in English Literature and start annotating ‘Pride and Prejudice’...

Video: Building Bridges


Who knew that the Golden Gate Bridge provided such a good metaphor for two people building a relationship? Wayne ‘metaphor maker’ Elise obviously...

Much like any worthwhile interaction, a bridge isn’t built from one side but works when both sides put in effort and meet in the middle.

Building a relationship ‘bridge’ with someone from your side only is never going to work.  You become overly invested in the interaction. If the other person hasn’t made any effort, then it is much easier for them to walk away. Investing is committing so if you do too much of it, and the other person not enough, then you’ll end up with one person who wants to build the Golden Gate bridge of relationships - and another who is happier just sharing a few stepping stones with you.

How do you stop being too invested?

Stop thinking about demonstrating higher value - you may leave no space for the other person to naturally offer you their value. Learn something about them so you have a basis for your attraction and a genuine interest in their conversation.

Be comfortable with silences and use them to your advantage: give the other person a chance to fill the conversational vacuum.

Make statements - don’t ask questions: questions demand a response, show some courage and individuality in a statement instead. If a person responds to a statement it is a more genuinely invested response, and is the first step in getting them to commit to being more intimate with you on every level.

For more about how to make statements instead of asking questions read our new post ‘How to Say I Instead of Asking You’.

Until then get conversational bridge building.