I admit it. I played Dungeons and Dragons and read fantasy novels in my youth. I'm an imaginative person at heart. Maybe you're like me. Maybe in your formative years you went into your imagination and not outside into the social world. Personally I'm glad that happened to me. Being able to leverage a strong imagination is more important to socializing in adulthood than almost anything else I've discovered. I'd like to thank my old neighborhood bully Mike. I could not have done it without you. I'm sorry I thought ill of you. You did the right thing sitting on my head in front of all those girls. I just didn't realize your foresightful wisdom until years later.
Seriously, when I'm taking a client out into the 'field' they are always surprised by how much 'fantasy' I use in my conversations with people. Very rarely do I talk about reality. I just don't want to be tied down by it. Reality sucks. And that's coming from a guy who's done a reality show, so I know. Fantasy is better.
As an example, I often enter a clothing store when I'm teaching and flirt with the staff. By the way, that is the first thing you should do when meeting people in a store. Seduce the staff and then you can seduce the customers. Or just seduce the staff. That's actually the way I met my wife.
Me: "Hi there."
Greeter girl: "Hi, just so you know our sweaters are all 25% off."
Me: "Great. Thanks. When I want a sweater I'm coming back here for sure. You have so got my sweater business. So what's it like to be the greeter?"
Greeter girl: "It's good. I like it."
Me: "I think I would like it. But I imagine it would be tough for me to stand in one spot for so long. I don't know how you do it. I might get some sort of stool."
Greeter girl: "I wish I could do that, but they want us to stand."
Me: "In that case I would be the greeter's assistant who gets to sit down sometime."
Greeter girl: ha ha
Me: "Can I give it a try?"
Greeter girl: "Sure."
Me: (to incoming shoppers) "We have sweaters 25% off."
Shoppers: "Okay thanks."
Me: "And our socks are two for one.
Me: "And our underwear is free."
Greeter girl laughs.
Me: "Am I going to get you in trouble?"
Greeter girl: "No, don't worry about it. I get so bored just standing here."
Me: "Oh, I see. So I'm just a tad above boring."
Greeter girl: "I didn't mean it that way."
Me: "No, it's okay. I can take it. Sniff sniff. Oh wait, here we got some more."
Me: (to shoppers) "Our sweaters are half off and the left side of the store is off limits to people wearing red."
Me: "Of course. I'm the greeter's assistant after all."
Greeter girl laughs.
Me: "I like your smile. It's kinda cute to me."
Greeter girl: "What do you mean kinda?"
Me: "I don't know. I got to get to know you better before I can answer that type of question. Where's your boyfriend?
Greeter girl: "I don't really have one."
Me: "In that case I'll flirt with you mercilessly. Or better yet, let's pretend we are already going out."
Greeter girl: "Okay. When are you picking me up later?"
Me: "After I drop off those sniveling kids of ours to your mothers."
And so it goes.
Life is just so normal and safe these days. It used to be, when there weren't safety railings and government oversight, the world was an undiscovered, dangerous and more involved place. People used to sing on the bus, create their own games and make out with random strangers. But that spontaneity has been regulated out of existence, "Just take your 40 channels of pre-programmed entertainment and behave. Don't try to think or act different."
People these days are cattle just yearning for something magical and unexpected to unlock their power of imagination. If you can be the person to deliver that to them they will love you. I will love you. You could rule the world.
Tips to incorporate more fantasy into your conversations:
* Don't worry about being right. So many of us, especially men, are concerned with appearing knowledgeable and correct that we are afraid to be wrong. Be okay with being wrong. Fantasy is built on untruths. Loosen up and enjoy an interesting lie.
* Cut down on the amount of television you watch. The boob tube is an input device that destroys our natural habit of entertaining ourselves with our own self-created stories. I personally have not owned a television for over ten years now and can attest to the benefits to my imagination.
* Go to public places to people watch and make up stories about the people who you see around you. Try to imagine who they are, where they are going and what they are thinking about.
* Don't be afraid to share your fantasy with other people. Just make up an entertaining lie and ask them to play along.