This article came from our forum, where a reader asked a question about telling stories about himself:
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Hey Ramparts, in regards to your question about Active Listening it really depends on where you are in the convo, what's being said, all that. There are a few general principals:
In the beginning of the conversation, you're likely going to be doing a bit more talking. Hopefully not too much, but enough to get the ball going and for you.
As the conversation progresses, you want it to be evening out. In a environment where you're still getting to know her (i.e. a bar) you don't want to be telling long-winded stories to attract women, but rather, just enough to get her comfortable opening up to you. I always tell clients that the bar isn't a.) a public speaking class b.) therapy hour
Also, regarding too ego-centric and too boring either of those can be avoided with good conversation/storytelling skills. Keeping your stories tight and on point, making eye contact, and turning the story around. I'll give you an example that I've found coming up again and again, usually on a first or second date (this is definitely deeper than I'd discuss in a bar):
Often, people in NYC discuss their move here, how their first year or two was, etc. So my first year here was pretty tough. Here are some high-level things
- I broke up with the girl I moved here to be with after two days
- I got in a fight with my business partner and left my company after two weeks
- Eight months later, I lost all my money in a business that didn't work, then my girlfriend broke up with me a week later, then my best friend went after her a week after that
So I could really dwell on all of the negatives in there as I'm telling the story. Instead though, I chunk those out into little individual stories.
So the first thing, about the girlfriend, I can talk about standing on the street at midnight on a saturday not knowing where to go.
The second one, I talk about why we disagreed, and how his business has since fallen apart.
The third one, I talk about how it caused me to really close off for awhile.
But that's about as deep as any of them get. And I make sure that I give her time to respond, ask questions, and tell stories of her own.
So this story continues on. That whole chunk above can be 15-30 minutes. Then I can talk about how I spent six months living on protein shakes and cereal, and conclude it by telling her that I now have two great businesses with worldwide staff, great friends, that I rediscovered old friendships, etc. That part can be another 15-30 minutes. And again, I'm trying to keep it tight and not get bogged down in details; just enough to keep the story real.
There's a LOT that gets left out. I don't make any judgments about the people who hurt me, I don't get into specifics of the bad parts, and I don't brag about the big accomplishments. When I'm telling of the recovery, I'm telling her how my buddy Nick Sparks was the first guy I met in years who had a really big heart and who helped me trust people again.
Now here's the key what I'm really trying to do is build a connection with a person by sharing this story. I do want them to appreciate it. And I want to learn about their lives too, so I don't continue on and on and on with the story if I don't need to. If a girl asks and wants to hear it through, I love it - it means she's genuinely interested in getting to know me, that's huge. But if she wants to start talking, fine, because I want to hear what she has to say.
So you notice there's a lot in this story where I can ask questions. For example:
-- what sort of adversity have you had to overcome?
-- was there ever something difficult that changed your life for better, but you didn't know it until you went through it?
-- have you ever had a relationship that worked long-distance, but didn't work in person?
-- when have you grown the most in your life?
There are countless others that have come up and that you can use to attract women - those are three that I know have come up recently with girls I've been dating. And as you could imagine, once I've shared a little bit about myself, it is easier for a woman to open up herself too.
Now, this is a pretty deep conversation, and it always interests me how the woman responds. It's my life and it's important to me that she wants to hear about it and understand it, but that's because I prefer to be in relationships This sort of conversation is unnecessary if you're just looking to pick up women and take them home. But I hope it gives you an example of how to take a big story and make it smaller, how to use it to get her talking, and how to make it interesting!
Maurice Alpheus Bigelow - Sex Education A Series Of Lectures
C Kellogg - Opening Lines For Conversation
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