Our tribal instincts kick in, and our emotional brains light up on fire when someone else refutes our core beliefs.
Kurt Cobain sang, "I wish I was like you, easily amused" in the song "All Apologies". That line always had me thinking about my amusement level vs. others’. In my late teens, Kurt took up half a wall of posters and pictures in my room.
Almost 10 years ago I got hired by the Regional Director of Merrill Lynch. He was California's head guy at the company. A tall, skinny dude with a charming southern accent, he was extremely high status, internally and externally.
A great first step to making positive changes in our lives is taking an honest look at where we're at and figuring out what we want to change. Every New Year's Eve, the ball drops. Are you dropping the ball in your life? Remember, the ball is in your court.
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.
How are you doing at life? Where are you right now? Kicking some ass? Struggling a bit? Somewhere in between?
I used to be a professional social butterfly. When I worked in finance for Merrill Lynch, part of my job was to attend black tie events three times a week, and schmooze. From private penthouse parties, to rented-out museums, I honed my social intelligence skills, chatting with the city’s elite. I did this for two years straight, with my business partner, who happened to be the best wingman ever. At Jaunty we teach how to connect with anyone, anywhere. A lot of us can feel a bit intimidated by uber powerful people, but you know what? They’re just people.
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.
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...
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.
This too shall pass. 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.
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.
“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.
I had my birthday earlier this month and while I’ve still got a ways to go, I feel good about where I’m at and where I’m headed. But who knows where that is? It’s cool to look back on my life so far and and see how I’ve grown along the way.
We can choose these communities. The greater our social intelligence skills, the better able we are to consciously surround ourselves with people who help us thrive. How? Because the better your people skills, the more you realize you can approach and create meaningful connections with anyone. That gives you a powerful abundance mindset.
We can totally change our behaviors and environment. At Jaunty, the school for social intelligence, we teach people how to become more aware of their behaviors, explore new ways of interacting with others and build meaningful connections. We can overcome our fears and social anxieties. We can learn how to approach strangers, build rapport, play with humor, and feel confident in any social situation. We can learn to be more assertive.
2014 was a fucking epic year for me. Jaunty had its best year so far. I pushed my limits physically and emotionally. I’ve been in my best shape ever
Hopefully you’re looking forward to Thanksgiving. Amazing food, fun stories, catching up with good people, and some quirky and interesting traditions... Sound familiar? No? Okay.
A swarm of anxious people surrounded the woman with the clipboard in the darkened bedroom. She handed out applications and people hunched outside on the stairs, filing them out.
Look around you. Most people do their best to conform and fit in…like it’s a good thing.But when it comes to being memorable or attractive, blending in spells certain death.
"Meeting someone by chance feels like pure magic. There’s a thrill to meeting someone special on an airplane or during a lunch break at a park. And business deals made on the golf course often seem to work out better."
"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."
"I love the idea of creating the results you want by leading with your mindset. Had I fallen into the mindset that this woman wanted a confrontation, I probably would have done the passive thing and had a negative interaction with her."
"A lot of us feel social anxiety around approaching people we don’t know. (“What if they don’t want to talk to me?” “What if I don’t know what to say?”) At Jaunty we give our students homework to go out and practice the social intelligence skills they need to meet new people."
"This is a big part of Jaunty’s approach to our social intelligence course. Immerse yourself with accountability and accessibility until it becomes second nature, it might even become easy. Try it out."
"Of course the ultimate goal is not to lose relationships, but sometimes this can’t always be the case. So get out there and pay attention and dig up extra emotional elements in moments you have with people. These are things like added laughter, adrenaline, touch, and love. In case you lose a relationship, as hard as it may be, you really can also hedge it with positives from other relationships. "
"I was having a deep conversation with a new friend in the middle of a Nevada desert and he was telling me his life story, it was a story of success, and adventure and a life most people only dream of. Later on in our conversation he mentioned, very matter of fact like, that he overcame two dark periods of his life of alcohol abuse and a strained family relationship."
"But what happened next made me feel great. I saw my buddy and he gave me a warm hug and a loud hello and we all poured ourselves a drink from the rum concoction he made in a glass jug. It was delicious. He introduced my girlfriend and me to a group of his friends who I didn’t know. A minute or two later one of the women said loudly, “OHH this is the Eric I heard about.” We all laughed and exchanged some fun stories and the night really took off from there."
"For instance, a 25 year old can ask, “Do I want to be a 60 year old with or without offspring?,” which is different than the more difficult question like, “Do I want kids?” This person may realize they would love the last 30-40 years actually having kids and grandchildren come visit them."
"Thanks for really believing that social skills are learnable. This Jaunty journey is teaching me that no matter what personality type someone may have, our communication skills can always be enhanced and worked on."
"Approaches are hard, go reward and enjoy them. There is not enough of that in these days. It means someone found you valuable in some way, so celebrate it."
"So try creating a little cork board in your head where you can pin recent experiences so you can be open and vulnerable automatically, which will make it easier for the other person to do the same in your presence."
"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."
"As it’s useless to try to change our natural biological or emotional reactions there is something we can manage that will change the way you interact with people and the depth of your social wealth. It’s your care level."
"How can this person sustainably contribute to a bigger cause if they can’t have a normal office conversation?"
"The pandemic has changed dating. This includes the way in which we are getting to know each other. The courting process, conversations we are having on first dates, and the mediums we are using to connect (I’m looking at you Zoom!) would make our ancestors dizzy."
“The current situation made me realize that I need to reevaluate my romantic life.”
"Relationships can be made or strengthened faster than you think. At Jaunty we say it takes six weeks to arm yourself with the social skills tools needed. Then it takes six months to start seeing those relationships really blossom."