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 Eric Waisman, Jaunty's Founder
Maybe it’s that time of year, but more people seem stressed or nervous. There’s a word that keeps coming up in my social intelligence one-on-ones with folks, and that word is “jaded.” To me, jaded implies a certain cynicism, like you’ve done something so many times it doesn’t excite you anymore, or you think you know how something’s going to play out before it happens.
People tell me they want to make more friends, but they feel jaded and weary of small talk. They want to find love, but they’re exhausted of the cautious, predictable, getting-to-know-you dance of early dating.I think I have been feeling a bit jaded too, whether in relationships, work, travel, or exercise. (Shit, those are a lot of my favorite things!) I decided not to take any holiday vacations this year because going somewhere didn’t feel exciting.
First, I wanted to get rid of this feeling. What happened to my old enthusiasm? But as I read more and re-framed it, I saw it in another light. The best thing about feeling jaded is that you can think long-term. Your emotions can be more even-keeled and you’re not chasing the quick high of a new experience. In other words you won’t get temporarily fooled.
Let’s take romantic relationships for instance. Many mistakes happen in choosing a partner because of the high we get from that electric connection with a new person. Self-help author and blogger Mark Manson recently wrote about the difference between romantic love and true love. He says, “Romantic love is a trap designed to get two people to overlook each other’s faults long enough to get some babymaking done. It generally only lasts for a few years at most.” He sees true love on the other hand as a “deep, abiding love that is impervious to emotional whims or fancy” and “a choice.” Basically it’s the long-term commitment to someone regardless of the present circumstances and supporting each other emotionally for the long haul.
When the initial blaze of romantic love fade, and life challenges come up, a relationship is put to the test. A couple learns if their partnership is actually strong enough to weather the storm. If they were previously so intoxicated by romantic love that they were blind to each other’s personal challenges, they might be in for a shock.
But if you're a bit jaded, when you meet a new person, it’s easier to see how they may connect with you beyond the honeymoon phase. How aligned are your beliefs and life goals? How compatible are your communication styles? How strong is their emotional intelligence? Taking a step back and seeing something for what it really is, is a sobering process and might not be that fun. But it can lead to a happier and more fulfilling life. This can also work for scoping out new friends or even a job. (Would that job actually be a good fit for you? Or are you just super excited by the idea of working for that cool company?)
As Jaunty students know, there's a big high in meeting new people and it’s fun. Once you do it enough, you may get a bit jaded and learn to focus on things you are specifically looking for quicker. When you know you can strike up a conversation with anyone, you're coming from a place of abundance, and then can be more thoughtful about the kind of people you really want in your life. That’s why our goal at Jaunty is to get your people skills so second nature that you can concentrate on looking for what you really want long term.
As you look back at your 2016, ask yourself what short-term highs you may have chased versus what longer-term commitments you chose. Either is fine, but one is more fulfilling. Happy New Year.
This blog post was originally published in Jaunty's December newsletter.
Interview with Jaunty graduate Su Pang, by Fayette Fox, Jaunty's Writer and Community Manager
Su Pang is a graphic designer and traveler with a dry sense of humor. Though folks wouldn't have known it, she used to worry about what to say, if she'd gel with people, or if she'd be able to hold a conversation. After social interactions, she worried if she'd done the right thing and if people liked her.
She believes these insecurities stemmed from her family. Growing up in Singapore, her mom was always second-guessing her.
"She's very protective," Su explained. "It's like Asian culture times ten. She always told me not to do things because I was going to fail. Now I'm in my forties and she's still doing that! I grew up worrying people might not be very accepting or that things were bound to not work out."
But now she trusts her instinct and feels like things always work out.
Su realized she had been attracting a lot of toxic people into her life. She was in therapy to work out issues with her mother and boost her confidence, with the goal of creating a healthier social circle. More confident, and with more positive friends, Su discovered she still didn't have the social skills she needed. She wasn't sure how to work the group and couldn’t continue a conversation for more than twenty minutes. That's when anxieties kicked in.
Su found Jaunty one night when she was looking for something fun to do. She went to the free workshop with a friend and signed up for the six-week class.
"Jaunty really pushed me," Su said. It was hard for her going out and having to talk to people for homework. But the hard work has paid off and now she has more social skills to play with.
She used to start conversations with a negative slant. Now she's more aware of that tendency and starts with something positive. Also the class reminded her that you can be super friendly, but not everyone is going to accept you.
"But that's not about you," Su said. "If you're talking with someone and they're not really welcoming or warm, just move away and talk to someone else. I used to think about it for days and feel really bad about it." Now, she just moves on and doesn’t worry about it. "That's a big deal for me because I'm a thinker." These days she tries not to get too attached to the outcome of any one interaction.
Since discovering Jaunty, she's gotten a new job and started dating a passionate woman. Incredibly, she got the job within three weeks of being back from a two month vacation in Iceland. During the interview, she used high status humor and other Jaunty skills. Her honey has told her she was most attracted to Su's confidence. Su said she'd never heard that from anyone before and used to feel nervous dating.
"Especially when you have parents who don't reassure you, it means a lot to hear something like that," Su said. She knows she's worked hard to build that confidence and is proud of how far she's come.
"This class teaches you confidence but it also teaches you to love yourself," Su said. She believes Jaunty is helpful for everyone, even if they don't have social anxiety. "This could easily be a class for public speaking and leadership. It's a class to help you live the life you want to lead."
By Eric Waisman
"Most awkward date ever," my friend told me. On a first date she'd gone to see "Fifty Shades of Grey." She said they were both really uncomfortable and couldn't wait for the lights to come up.
We definitely advocate that you don't go to any movie on a first date, and maybe not early on either. After all it's hard to get to know each other if you're just sitting quietly in the dark.
But if there's one thing I like, it's testing boundaries and pushing limits, and maybe I was feeling lazy. Also, I hadn't been to a movie in a long time. I had a second date coming up and suggested we see Birdman or Fifty Shades.
We all know what she chose. We actually had an amazing time, and I kinda liked the movie. As soon as we met, we set a very comfortable frame. You can do this by putting yourself in the mindset that you're meeting up with an old friend. Take the pressure off them by talking a bit more early on instead of asking them a lot of questions. Create trust by opening up with stories and using touch. We are not acting...we're bringing out the part of ourselves that does feel this way.
It's only awkward if you make it awkward.
That's a golden rule here at Jaunty. Something we pride ourselves on is creating frame. Listen up because this shit is the most important thing in your life. Frame is how you see the world. We talk about this a lot because having the right frame changes everything.
Have you ever had a whole new world of possibilities opened up to you in a short amount of time?
Finance: If you won the Powerball and educated yourself on managing money, your frame on wealth, resources, business, and stress would change.
Health: Imagine you live in a fast food town where most people drive everywhere and spend their free time drinking beer in front of the TV. Then you move to a health conscious city, join a gym, and create healthy eating, drinking and sleeping habits. Your frame on what you can do physically would completely change.
Social: If you work on interpersonal skills and learn to manage your social anxiety, your relationships frame completely changes.
They key is seeing slow but sure progress and validating results. Before long, you get so good that you can make going to Fifty Shades of Grey with a newer friend the most normal thing in the world. And you can make it comfortable for you and the other person. As for things with me and my date, we totally connected and want to see each other again soon. Possibly tonight.
By Eric Waisman
You know, it's been a while since I wore my heart on my sleeve.
It's said that during jousting matches in the Middle Ages, knights wore the handkerchief of a lady in the king's court around their arms. "This one goes out to the one I love," in the words of R.E.M's Michael Stipe - basically dedicating the jousting match to a special lady. These days we post our affections on Facebook, and it's been a while since I've seen anyone joust. But the expression's still with us. Wearing your heart on your sleeve is all about being transparent and open with your emotions. That can be scary and a lot of us try to protect ourselves by being more guarded emotionally.
In the past decade or so I've worked hard to create a lifestyle of abundance. I've been surrounded by a lot of people, friends, and women, which has made it very natural to be busy and invited to a lot of stuff. I feel blessed. I genuinely have to schedule social stuff weeks in advance.
But somewhere along the way, it's become hard for me to wear my heart on my sleeve for anything. I may have come across as super independent. Looking back, I realize in my last two relationships I was a bit distant at times. When I was struggling with something emotionally, I often tried to work through it on my own instead of confiding or seeking support from the people closest to me. Now I wonder if I've closed myself off to deeper emotional connections with people by not letting myself be more vulnerable. I kinda miss a little bit of needy.
It feels really good to be desired and to desire others. Right now I'm working on finding that balance. I'm playing with being much more vulnerable in investing in people I genuinely like and love.
How can you do this?
You can straight up tell the person that they're important to you, ask them out, or even text them back immediately whenever possible. Yep, I said it. It's all about balance and opening up. Being a bit distant and independent can be very healthy and attractive, but make sure you're showing some love, and wear your heart on your sleeve as you joust through life too. Studies have actually shown a correlation between how long relationships last, and how responsive the two people are with each other.
Lately I've been getting lots of phone numbers from new people I'm meeting, and I'm realizing how great it is to establish a responsive behavior with someone. It actually feels contagious where I want to give back that great feeling of an immediate text or phone call. Getting a text back quickly may be a great sign of great things to come.
This Valentine's Day let the awesome people in your life know that you care about them. And remember, it takes real strength to show your weaknesses. Even social dynamos need help sometimes. In fact, "heart on your sleeve" is going to be my Halloween costume this year since it's pretty scary.