Ready to troubleshoot your social intelligence skills?
Here are some tips…
1. Learn to Learn.
The most important skill you can have, in the social intelligence and in life, is to know how to learn.
If you are going out every day and doing the same thing over and over, just hoping one day that it will start working, then you need to work on this skill. It’s like bashing your head against a brick wall, over and over, hoping that eventually, it will give way.
Guess what? It won’t.
Instead, take a step back, look at the wall, look at the environment around the wall, and then either climb over it or walk around it.
In terms of social dynamics, if you go out, approach, assess the results, and then figure out what you did right and wrong – and then actually improve next time –you’re doing it right. You’ll be well on your way to mastery.
2. Timing, Not Speed
There is no specific amount of time it’s going to take you to level up your social intelligence.
The reason is that everyone is starting from a different place. For some people, it may be a few months; for others, a few years.
In addition, because you are breaking down the way you socially interact and rebuilding it, it’s likely that for some of you, your skills may get worse before it gets better. It’s like cleaning a house: at some point in the process, your house is messier than it was before you started cleaning. But in the end, your house will be immaculate.
For me, it took me three or four months before I was consistently approaching and getting to the hook point; it took another three months until I was able to go for the kiss; and another six months before I felt truly comfortable. Overall, it was probably a year and a half before I was operating at my peak.
So, don’t be impatient. This is not a productive way of thinking. As long as you’re learning and improving, you’re doing fine. You are learning a new skill that has a long learning curve, and there are no shortcuts.
3. Know Thyself
Ancient wisdom from the Oracle of Delphi: Know Thyself.
This is another one of the most valuable skills you can possess.
Those who are overly confident in their own perfection and believe that they are right all the time don’t learn.
Those who beat themselves up every time something goes wrong and take things personally are just as bad.
One of the best assets you can have is the ability to look at yourself objectively and absorb any feedback or constructive criticism. It is essential not to react defensively. The demons that are the cause of most of our problems are fear and insecurity. Work to abolish them at all times. The other secret to being light and carefree in this world is to not take things personally.
Once you’ve been given advice or feedback, you must process to it with an open mind – free of the traps mentioned above. Then you will be able to accurately filter it. There are three categories to file the advice and feedback in:
Yes: Does it apply to you? Could it help? If so, incorporate the lesson and see what happens.
Maybe: Are you not sure about the feedback? Perhaps it’s worth trying. Test out the new behavior or idea, see if it fits and works for you.
No: Be very sure before discarding advice, but if it’s a bad idea coming from a bad source that shows little understanding, you’re free to ignore it. However, if the same advice keeps coming at you from sources, you may want to reconsider the idea as well as your own view of yourself and your responses to others.
The more you filter, the better your instincts become, until one day your instincts will be better than most people’s advice. For most of us, that day is a long way away. Others who are not doing the work you are will never get there. The key is to enjoy the journey.
4. Use The Instant Replay
When I first started practicing, Neil told me I had one trait that most people didn’t use.
This was the ability to replay events in my head, identify the sticking points and trouble areas, and then come up with a solution for next time — without taking it personally.
Every time you make an approach, and the interaction doesn’t go according to plan, you are responding with Insecurity if you blame it on the other person.
My attitude is: If someone else has done it or can do it, then it must be possible.
So, every time an approach doesn’t end up with the outcome you’d like, it’s movie time. At some point, at your leisure, replay the entire event in your head. Then figure out what you could have done to make the outcome more successful. If you can’t figure it out for yourself, write out the details and do some research.
That’s why we emphasize keeping a social intelligence journal. Then the next time you find yourself in a similar situation, you’ll know exactly what to test.
Don’t forget that knowing is different than doing. It’s easy to know what to do, but it takes practice to do it right.
5. Where Did It Go Wrong?
If something goes wrong during a stage in the interaction, it generally means you made a mistake in the previous stage of the interaction. That is, assuming you are following the structure and material you’ve been given.
For example, if someone gives you their number and doesn’t end up on a date with you. It usually means that you didn’t create enough value. The solution is not to work on better text/phone skills. Instead, learn to create more value early on in the interaction.
Kobo Abe, the Japanese writer, once said that all his work is about the same thing: It’s that one of the biggest problems of modern living is that we are made for a tribal existence, and people are still not used to the idea of encountering a stranger who is not an enemy.
While this may be both truth and exaggeration, what this means for you is that when you meet a stranger, it can only take as little as one warning sign or error, and they may back away from a future interaction.
If you give off one “creepy” or “desperate” signal, it is often enough to turn off someone who is well socially calibrated. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that if you can figure out what those negative or warning signs are that you’re giving off, you can eradicate them from your behavior and nearly all of your interactions will be successful.
Here’s the secret to eradicating bad behaviors: Become self-correcting.
Know what you’re looking to change or excise, then whenever you catch yourself doing it, fix it or stop it.
But how do you know what to change if you can’t figure out for yourself during the interaction or during movie time after?
This is one of the reasons it’s important to have friends who can give you honest feedback: it’s not always easy to see yourself as others see you.
Another way to do this is to talk to the people you’re dating. When I was learning, after nearly every interaction with someone, whether we became friends or lovers, I would ask them to honestly explain their mental process and reasoning for their decisions. This way I received feedback that I could then filter and use, if applicable, to improve myself.
Other times I’d go out purposely to experiment with a new idea or way of behaving, to see if it worked better than what I was typically doing.
You’re not failing if you’re learning.
So, remember: Learn to learn, know thyself, learn from your successes as well as your mistakes, and, whatever may happen, don’t take it personally.
One great way to break through your inner barriers, improve your communication skills and jump the social hurdles you keep running into is to start adding some NLP training to your practice.
Neil’s NLP Mind Masters course is one of our longest and most in-depth courses. Neil’s world-famous NLP coach will teach you every bit of knowledge you’ll need to start employing it right away. Check it out here: