The art of conversation – something most guys struggle with.
As a guy, I know the insecurities that most of us guys feel. We want to be recognised for our talents. We want people to think we are interesting, intelligent, attractive, fun and funny. We want people to think we are successful. But most of all, it boils down to the same thing – we want to feel significant.
But what’s all this got to do with conversation?
Here’s the rub – most guys are desperate to be noticed, and to gain credit from people all day long. So they are always trying to drop into conversation details of impressive things they’ve done, money they’ve earned, places they’ve been, girls they’ve slept with, people who they’ve put in their place…you get the idea.
So it’s impossible for them to be able to vibe.
Vibing is where you are sharing a feeling in conversation. It’s a shared understanding of a topic, where you both feel the same way. When both parties feel the other one gets their point of view, and really understands where they are coming from, rapport is felt, and a connection sprouts.
When two people feel this way about another over a whole range of topics, this is where you have a firm, long lasting friendship. When attraction is there too – boom – that’s when you have a strong relationship.
Here’s an example of where most guys screw up. Let’s say someone is talking to them about a recent vacation:
Oh yeah man, I went to Thailand recently – the beaches were awesome.
Your average man at this point will feel a pang of insecurity – this person he’s talking to thinks he’s good because he’s been there? I’ve been better places than that – I need to show him!
And he responds with:
Yeah those beaches are cool, but you should check out Mauritius! Those beaches totally kick ass on Thailand!
And then the first person feels slightly bad. All he wanted was to share his excitement at a recent holiday, but the average man thought it was a competition that he had to win.
He may have ‘won’, but he killed the vibe of the conversation.
The best way to vibe is to share similar experiences, without competing. Validate the other person’s experience, and use your own experience as a way of proving their point. So in this way they feel that you understand them, and that you agree with them, rather than trying to beat them in some imaginary competition.
Here’s an example of a good reply:
Yeah, I remember I went to the Maldives once, and I remember how shocked I was at the difference between the white sandy beaches there, and your average beaches in other places. There’s a feeling you get when you just feel so chilled, and relaxed in a place like that – it’s like your worries just float away, you know? Anyway, tell me more about the beaches in Thailand, they sound amazing.
See what you’re doing here. You’re sharing your personal experience. This does a couple of things – it shows you get where they are coming from, which makes them feel more connected to you, and relaxed in conversation (the more the other person thinks ‘wow, he’s just like me’, the more relaxed they will be with you. Plus you are sharing something of yourself – when you open yourself up, it makes others want to do the same – the law of reciprocation.
And you’re not competing with the other person – you are not at any point invalidating their experience by suggesting yours was better. You are comparing a shared experience to gain rapport, then putting the spotlight back on them again to let them tell some more about their story.
Try this technique next time you are in conversation. Basic steps:
1) Person says something to you about something they did
2) You respond with a story or similar that shows you understand and have a shared experience. Do not suggest for any second that your experience is better than theirs. It’s about sharing a vibe, remember.
3) Put the focus back on the other person and encourage them to tell you more
This is a technique I use time and time again. Girls very often tell me ‘I just feel so comfortable with you’ – this is part of the reason why.