Attaching ourselves to the outcome makes things more difficult. It is not good or bad.
Experience vs result. If you had to pick between experiencing these without ever knowing the result (like above). Or only knowing the result without having the experience, which would you choose? This can even be asked about watching the experience, like in a movie.
Most people I speak with seem to value the experience of it more.
We truly don’t know if the result (outcome) is even good or bad long term.
For example: A rejection for a raise could very well lead you to leaving that company for a better company where you end up learning unique skills that enables you to start an innovative startup.
Or an approach of a stranger could lead to a phone number, but then to a 5 year romantic relationship that ends horribly and you "wasted" 5 years.
These can switch back and forth to what we perceive as good or bad.
For instance, after that horrible 5 year relationship that person finds a soulmate in their ex’s coworker that they never would have met without that bad relationship which leads them to live happily ever after.
My point is a great outcome from an interaction doesn’t mean that it’s good long term and a bad outcome (getting rejected) may have saved you long term from a shitty situation.
Don’t worry too much about the outcome. That worry can enhance and put fuel on the fire on our natural anxiety, especially in those big moments. Then it becomes much more difficult to do in the first place.
I’m not saying to go to the extreme in always being wary about a good reaction and being relieved when something doesn’t move forward socially! But it could make socializing more easy if you can mitigate some of the emotions that are stopping you by using this outlook. Bad isn’t bad and good isn’t good, be open like a good scientist.
Social skills are learnable and you can get really good at them, as we have learned here at Jaunty, but the skills are there so you can enjoy and learn from the experience with other people. -Eric Waisman
By Alex De Carvalho, Jaunty Grad
When I heard about Jaunty, I thought: “Social intelligence? This is not for me, I don’t need this, I’m from France, it’s in my blood”. After all, I had never had any problems making new friends or getting dates wherever I lived (France, Spain, Portugal, the U.S.). I was extraverted and knew all about being social. Furthermore, professionally speaking, I had been very successful per our society’s definition as I had climbed the corporate ladder quite fast. I had directed teams and complex work with numerous prestigious Fortune 500 companies and provided business advisory to senior executives across the globe. I had also had gone to many presentations and corporate sales trainings that had talked about social intelligence to some degree. So, would you agree that I did not need any class on social intelligence skills? Well, on the contrary!
You see, despite all of this, I had reached a point in my life where I felt completely lost. I had recently moved from Minneapolis to San Francisco, and shortly after, lost my corporate job as being remote was not a long-term option for my employer. At that point, I felt like an outcast, like I did not fit as everything in SF was so tech-oriented and I had zero background or expertise in this field. I could not find another job and felt it was because my corporate background was not valued here. I thought that because I was not in tech, the tech world was rejecting me.
But the truth was that I did not know what to do next with my life anyway and was finding it very hard to connect with people for friendship or business. It’s like I had completely “lost” my social intelligence skills that had helped me be so successful my whole life. I’ll admit that at that moment, I had lost confidence in myself, in my abilities and got quite depressed. I did not recognize myself and was having probably what society would call a midlife crisis.
This is when I heard about Jaunty’s social intelligence class. After overcoming some initial cultural reluctance, I decided to sign up. And can I tell you something? It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
I started to gain back confidence and assertiveness with the first crazy homework. I had to ask complete strangers (people I had never talked to): “What do you think about me?” As you can imagine, I got quite nervous at first. People were going to think that I was crazy, needed to be medicated and put in a straitjacket. Then, I got excited because I had never done this before. To my surprise, the answers I got (e.g. confident, driven, loves fashion) helped me realize that I was just creating and projecting fears and thoughts that were not real. It was all in my mind! After this exercise came the theory in class around frames (my frame/reality versus other’s people’s frame). It all made so much sense!
When I look retrospectively, I got so much more out of this class than what was written on paper. First, I met some truly unique and special people that I’m now honored to call friends (and yes, some are in tech!). Second, there is truly a Jaunty “alumni spirit” that made me feel part of a community of people from all walks of life. They all came to take this training because, like me, they struggled at some point with social anxiety or self-worth for various reasons. Third, I did recover my social intelligence skills through various simple and effective frameworks and tools that were taught during the class.
I recently went on my own to an important business networking event where I did not know anybody. At first, my inner gremlin voice came up. But I was able to shut it down through 1) replacement thoughts and 2) by applying some of Jaunty’s framework. The result? I’m currently working on projects with three people I met at the event.
And most importantly, Jaunty was a lot about personal development if you were open to widening your perspective and see the bigger scheme of things. It really helped me re-wire my brain and shift my mindset by tearing down limiting (self)-beliefs and barriers that I had created. My key learning from all of this? Possibilities are limitless in this life! Anything is truly possible as we individually are the creators of our own path. And social intelligence is one of the most powerful skills to help just do that. Who would not want this?
With many on-going life projects (such as writing a book, building my company), I now look ahead with strong confidence, self-belief and a re-ignited fire. No matter where I go or what I do, I now have a secret weapon in my back pocket to help me (and others) thrive along the way. Yes, you guessed it right: social intelligence!
,By Eric Waisman, Jaunty's Founder
Big family meals, office holiday parties, and festive happy hours. There's this misconception that only introverts need alone time and extroverts can just keep going and going. Well guess, what? We all need time that's just for us. As we move into the holiday season it might seem counter-intuitive to think about alone time. But with all the awesome craziness that comes with the end of the year, it could be just what you need.
I love meeting new people, joking around with strangers, and connecting with people I care about. But as social as I am and as social as our students become, alone time is still vital. My close friends can attest to me freaking out and needing alone time after social binges.
Imagine you're lost in an underwater cave and then discover an air pocket. That's how Eric Time feels to me. Precious. Most of my best ideas, music and thoughts have come when I was alone. I think a lot. (Maybe too much, but I'll have to think about that.) Chilling out on my own, I've come up with unique ways to solve business challenges or handle relationship issues. These moments of insight come when we quiet our surroundings and our minds.
Blaise Pascal, the seventeenth century French philosopher, said, "All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone." So apparently we had a hard time just being on our own way before we had smart phones and the endless internet to distract the hell out of us.
Choosing to spend time alone is different from loneliness. Alone time can be really fun and you get to do exactly what you want. When I make time for myself, I love reading, playing the guitar, exploring, having adventures, and meditating (to quiet that monkey mind). I just booked a getaway for three days in beautiful Kenwood, up in Sonoma County. I'm bringing a laptop, two books and my guitar. I hope to get some good work done and plenty of relaxing, while throwing FOMO in the wind. Will I miss out on parties, brunches, and cool events in the city that weekend? Sure. But I'll be breathing in that sweet air of Eric Time and I know I'll come home feeling recharged and ready for more.
This holiday season, in-between time with family and friends, remember to take care of yourself and make time for you too.
By Eric Waisman, Jaunty's Founder
Raise your hand if you like people watching. I love people watching. I can't see you but you'd probably be raising your hand if I were there. Most people I meet like people watching.
Recently, I was at the Grove, a coffee shop in SF. While I was in line I checked out a young, tattooed woman working behind the counter. She laughed full heartedly with a couple of the other employees. It was intriguing watching her glide throughout the coffee shop and I was really curious about her life. I was happy to see her get in front of the register when it was my turn to order. We spoke, laughed, connected, and exchanged numbers. We now hang out. She keeps me curious.
Being curious about others is a hell of a motivator to meet new people.
I used to play a game with people, from old friends to first dates. We would create stories about the people in the environment and guess what their life was like. Sometimes we would go up and talk to them to try to confirm. At first I found myself way off the mark, but I later got a bit more consistently close to the truth. You should try this.
The top things I've always been most curious about are: people, romance, travel, history, finance, and music. People is by far the biggest one. How the hell did he or she do it? How did Marilyn Monroe seduce the world? How did Elon Musk reinvigorate space and energy? How the fuck did that guy get "Gangnam Style" to reach the top?! There is a story behind it all. The answer usually has something to do with Persistence, Preparation (skills), and Luck.
It all starts with curiosity though. Write down a list of the things you're most curious about. How can you welcome more of those things into your life this summer?
By Eric Waisman, Jaunty's Founder
These are the people in our neighborhood.
Summer camp was amazeballs. Camp Grounded, up in Mendocino, was four full days of campfires, workshops, jumping into rivers, ziplining, sneaking into camp crushes' camps, ropes courses, and deep conversations. At this summer camp for adults, we were unplugged for four days... yet fully connected to one another. What made it so powerful was no talk about work, no devices, no clocks, and only nicknames.
My personal revelation from camp was my emotional state. I've never gone from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other, and back again, all within a matter of hours. I went from getting choked up over a deep conversation or the love of people at camp, to laughing so hard I almost pissed my pants, to being scared out of my head 70 feet up in the air on a tightrope. (At Jaunty, we teach how to take people on this sort of emotional journey in our conversations to build a meaningful connection.) It was also great getting my hands dirty in the woods. At the end of the day, it's really about community. All I wanted to do was give. Give to others and myself, and to nature.
I believe amazing things can happen when we unplug and pay attention to our surroundings. Jason Bourne knew it took five steps to get to the fire escape, and Andy Warhol noticed the Campbell soup can on the counter.
Look around today. Right now. What do you see? How does it make you feel? Did you notice that person over there? They could be your future friend/colleague/lover, but only if you make the first move.
This month a few things have got me thinking about environmental awareness. I was in the gym locker room, after a workout, looking forward to relaxing in the steam room. It's my favorite part of working-out. I walked behind a guy who was headed the same way. He opened the steam room door just a crack, squeezed inside, and let the door close in front of me. Surprised, I grabbed the door and found a seat inside.
I asked myself: How often does someone in that situation a) notice others behind them b) understand how they can affect how others feel, and c) give a shit?
We're quick to only focus on C and judge them. But what if they really weren't aware of their surroundings or weren't thinking about it?
The other day, I saw a woman crying on the corner at a busy intersection on Market Street. Hundreds of people walked by and didn't notice her, or felt too uncomfortable to stop. She looked half homeless. Her friends were nearby waiting it out. I kneeled down and said hi, and asked her how I could help. She said she had just gotten her heart broken, and we spoke for a few minutes. Her friends came up to me and thanked me for supporting her. We are all in this together!
At camp, it was easy to see all those awesome people in the woods as my community. Out here in the big bad City, it can be harder to hold on to that mindset, but I think it's just as important. Let's pay attention to the people around us, give folks the benefit of the doubt if they lack awareness, and help where we can. I'd love for the Jaunty community to be a force for good in our larger community. Go get 'em!
By Eric Waisman, Jaunty's Founder
Ouch. That hurts. Okay, so what's your suffering? Mine are self criticism, health paranoia, and some insomnia/fatigue. These sometimes lead to bouts of depression, or maybe the bouts are isolated. I have no idea. Now let's be clear, these don't define me, or run my life, but are the bumps in my road. Sometimes however, these together can create a lot of stress and worry for me, and it's pretty unbearable.
For years I would battle my suffering flare ups. I would wage war on them by doubling down on "fun" people in my life, parties, more gym or travel, or making more money. These things can help, but not very much. Looking back, I think I was trying to distract myself instead of addressing what wasn't right in my life.
2008-2010 was tough. I was working in an industry I hated. Then I got laid off by Merrill Lynch during the financial crises, slipped a disc in my back, went through a crushing break up, and watched my first startup fail after years of hard work. I could barely walk for months; I was
suffering, and way more than I should have because of the above mentioned culprits. During that time I also became way more introspective. This triggered my deeper exploration of human behavior, which eventually brought me to Jaunty. Those challenging moments are so good at stripping away the things that are less important, and shining a light on what is. I found out much more about who I was when all I could focus on was my healing.
We continuously seek happiness. However, it is these challenging times of our lives that have the biggest and often most positive long-term impacts on us moving forward. Think back to a trying time in your life. I am speaking about deep internal changes. This is different from a serendipitous moment that changed your environment, though those are very important too. The periods I'm talking about are the ones that force you to go deep into your being, and soul. These struggles can create vocations, or callings. Listen to them! Take a step and trust it's the right direction. I know this from personal experience.
Many Greats have identified these periods of suffering as what ultimately lead them to truly come into their own. Abraham Lincoln, failed at businesses, lost many elections early on, and had a total mental breakdown before triumphing. Nelson Mandela suffered in prison for decades, an experience that shaped him in profound ways.
Pay attention to your suffering and use it as the catalyst for real change in your life.
By Eric Waisman
Does being around happy people make us happier? About half of our subjective happiness is influenced by circumstance and genetics. The other half is by behaviors and environment.
A huge part of your environment is the people that surround you. To someone who's just getting to know you, you probably look like a microcosm of the people in your life. Remember the old, "You are what you eat"? Well I think "You are who you hang out with" is even more true.
Since we're so affected by the people closest to use, it makes sense to choose our friends thoughtfully since they'll end up rubbing off on us! If you're around people who consistently prioritize work over everything else, then you may find yourself working longer hours and checking your work email at the weekend too. If you hang out with negative, cynical people then those aspects of your personality will probably become more pronounced.
At Jaunty we think a lot about consciously building a social circle that enlivens and nurtures us. Since we teach social intelligence skills to help people approach anyone and actively build the meaningful relationships they want, the sky is the limit for how you want your social life to look.
Besides becoming more like the people we spend a lot of time with, we learn so much from them too. We learn what to do in certain situations and what not to do. I'm a big fan of continuous education as a form of personal growth. My favorite thing to study is people. Right now I'm reading about Ida Eisenhower and Francis Perkins in David Brooks' inspiring book "The Road to Character". We also learn from people in the news. I was touched by how Kanye helped Kim accept her stepdad, Olympian Bruce Jenner coming out as transgender. We also learn from watching and learning from people's mistakes, including our own.
How would you respond if you were suddenly laid off from work? It's easy to imagine feeling scared, angry and frustrated. "How could they do this to me? After all I've done for the company, this is how they repay me?"
I've actually had two friends get laid off and it was wild to see how differently they responded. One friend reacted very emotionally. He got super angry at his boss and managers and totally burned that bridge. My other friend took it in stride. She reacted positively, feeling it wasn't a personal decision against her and seeing it as a great opportunity for bigger and better things. She ended up getting a great referral letter from her boss that helped her land her dream job.
She totally inspired me. And those two incidents helped teach me to put a wedge in my negative emotions and not respond habitually. Being more aware of the big picture and being thoughtful in our responses are an important part of emotional intelligence. My friend getting her dream job also taught me to be more patient in my own life. This has helped me with other relationships where I felt there was a strain, but realized that patience is king.
What's a social strategy you've learned from someone in your life?
By Fayette Fox, Jaunty's Writer and Community Manager
"I want to take my life to the next level," Daniel Evan Lee told Eric, after the free Jaunty workshop. "I feel like I'm plateauing." After college, he'd gotten a sales job at a start-up. Three years later he kept wondering if there was a better opportunity out there, somewhere that would be a better fit, where he could make more money.
Working in sales, he felt his social intelligence and relationship skills were directly related to the deals he could close. He thought, "If I can advance my awareness and interactions with others," then maybe he could up his whole game.
He signed up for Jaunty's six-week course with the intention of improving his business life and being ready when his big moment came.
"I'm glad I got to take a class with a range of people and not just business people." In college, Daniel pitched multiple business ideas that were all shot down by his peers and executives. He got comfortable with rejection and learning to manage social anxiety. At Jaunty, he says, "One of the bigger skills I've learned is how to make other people feel more comfortable when they're uncomfortable."
This past fall, six months after taking the course, Daniel was "killing it" at work. He felt confident and interviewed for jobs at three companies in different industries.
"There was this one I really wanted," Daniel says. "I put my all into it." He recalls the extreme disappointment when he wasn't hired.
Then, three weeks into the New Year, a direct competitor reached out to him. His big moment had come. He met up for a beer with the competitor's CEO.
"This guy made millions of dollars with his old company. He's very techie and aggressive. What I chose to wear that day was planned and precise. I've noticed when I wear a baseball hat people pre-judge me." So he wore his baseball hat. "He looks me up and down, kind of hesitant. I can feel it. I said, 'Dude, let's keep it transparent. Why did you reach out to me?'" They went right into the opportunity.
"I was that person they were looking for." Daniel didn't have to prove anything to them. "I felt like I was on fire. I was in the zone." Daniel kept a poker face and stayed focused on his moment even after the CEO offered him a job with a salary and commission that he couldn't refuse.
Thanks to Jaunty, Daniel says, "I noticed his body language, the speed of his delivery of words. It happened so fast but so slow. I vividly remember what's going on." Daniel feels all his social intelligence work went into that moment. Feeling high status and confident, he knew how to present himself.
Daniel really believes in his new company and feels supported in his new job.
"Twelve months ago I couldn't tell you that I'd be feeling this way about my life. That feeling of being excited and waking up before your alarm is amazing." He used to commute from the City to Berkeley every day and now that work is ten minutes away, he has an extra ten hours a week of free time. He enjoys going to the gym on his way home. He's looking forward to buying a house. "I can be my own true Jaunty and have fun with life."
"Jaunty has been incredible," Daniel says. "It gave me skills to lead a conversation, to guide the entire feeling of a conversation to where I'd like it to go. It's helped me slow down my life. I'm way quicker on my feet with jokes. We all have opportunities. Now I feel like I'm getting better and picking the best ones."