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Kaizen: Building spectacular social skills by taking ridiculously tiny steps.

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  • Kaizen: Building spectacular social skills by taking ridiculously tiny steps.

    The only tools this requires is a pocket notepad and a willingness to exert yourself. It can be modified to overcome Approach Anxiety as well, but for that I would strongly recommend the book "One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way". It does an excellent job of explaining how and why ridiculously tiny steps work so well to overcome anxiety.
    Additionally, this post was originally written for a non-PUA, so it just focuses on the social aspect of interaction. It can probably be expanded to a sexual focus easily, but that's not where the focus is here.

    Start by deciding specifically what a successful interaction would look like. The best, most positive outcome in terms of how the other person reacts. Include specific behavior you would want to see. For example, perhaps the best possible outcome is that the person smiles often during your interactions, orients their body to you, asks you questions about yourself, and decides to accompany you as you walk somewhere else.

    Then, decide what would be one small indicator of that outcome. Building on the previous example, a small indicator might be the person smiling once during the interaction, or the person asking you a question in general, or the other person taking a few steps to follow you as you go to a specific place (take a nearby chair, for example). Only pick one of these to pay attention to for now. If you try to focus on several, you can get overwhelmed and lose track of all of them.

    Then, after you're done talking to the other person or people, whip out your pocket notebook and record the following: how long you talked, what the general quality of the interaction was, and how many times you observed the target small indicator. If talking to other people is too nerve-wracking, make the target behavior simply talking to other people.

    Don't target negative behavior. In a situation like this it can cause a negative feedback loop that makes you too insecure to do anything.
    Instead, focus on competing behavior: positive behavior that makes the negative behavior impossible to perform at the same time. For example, if your problem is that you stumble or stutter, don't track how many times you stuttered. Instead, track how many times you said something smooth, or that you're really proud of. See? Competing behavior. Or if people usually walk away from you, mark how often somebody stayed talking to you for more than a few seconds.

    Every time you achieve your target behavior, make sure to reward yourself for it. I cannot stress enough how important it is that you do so. Rewarding yourself immediately after performing positive behavior is the absolute best way to teach your subconscious mind to perform that behavior more often.
    Find something that you enjoy and use it to reward yourself. Write down as many ideas for a reward as you can think of, and when you achieve your goal pick the one that appeals the most to you.

    My rewards are: playing DDR, buying myself any one food item from any fast food joint, listening to music I enjoy, getting myself a massage.

    Don't make it a large reward, though. In the example I gave, I only allow myself one fast food item for every positive behavior. Smaller, more consistent rewards are MUCH better than the larger ones. Don't ask me why this is, 'cuz I have no clue. It just works like that.

    Reward yourself as quickly as you can after accomplishing the target behavior. If that's not possible, set up a token economy where you immediately reward yourself with a token (gold star, special mark in notebook, whatever), to be redeemed when you can. If you wait to reward yourself, your mind won't make the connection between the positive behavior and the reward.

  • #2
    I'm going to give this a go. Although I've come a long way in most things I think I haven't really fixed a few of my core problems, maybe this will help.

    Comment


    • #3
      I think general conversation is too dynamic to have your "speechcraft" improved with this 'science-esque' method.

      I mean, does one really need 'small indicators' like smiling or laughing or whatever to judge how well a conversation is going? It's just obvious. You get a vibe from it.


      I think conversation is best improved with experience. But it's mostly the general principles, the HUGE ideas, the overarching philosophy and mindset and attitude, and not the nitty-gritty details like did you tell joke A or B, or approach from a 35 degree angle.


      One giant leap me for me, in terms of conversational skills, is letting go of the 'filter' and hesitation, and just speaking what's on your mind. You'll find you have much more to talk about, and even the mundane is interesting, when you remove your 'filter' - stop trying to impress, stop trying to speak 'politically' --- and --- get this --- actually have FUN talking as a result.

      I'm not talking about completely removing the filter --- like calling people fat or telling your coworkers you hate the company --- but you'll find many things where your 'honesty' and real experience doesn't offend anyone.

      Also, as well as talking about your own thoughts, opinions, and happenings ---- people love talking about their own shit obviously, so you can delve and direct conversation into that direction, and even if the other person talks 80% of the time, they'll feel the conversation was awesome.


      Another basic tactic is the old-age parsing idea where when someone says "yesterday on the train, some kid was screaming his head off over a balloon" --- you basically can leap off of any of the nouns in that sentence, to put it basically. Transportation, kids, trains, traveling, commute, annoyances of that day --- you get the idea I don't need to spell it out.

      Other than that --- if we're just talking social and not seduction --- qualify people. Compliment on this and that. GIVE value and praise; don't try to take it. Obviously, people like that.


      Mostly though, turn off your filter. Speak freely, as if talking to a dear old friend. Actually try to COMMUNICATE, to understand the other person. Most people only know many others superficially. Most humans are very interesting if you get down to their core.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Bigslick2 View Post
        I think general conversation is too dynamic to have your "speechcraft" improved with this 'science-esque' method.
        I agree that conversations are dynamic, but I don't see how that means the method wouldn't work.

        And just FYI, the method is based on the theories of Classical conditioning and Operant conditioning. These are scientific theories that go all the way back to Pavlov's work in 1901 and B.F. Skinner's work in 1937. They have been tested and confirmed repeatedly in that time and, to my knowledge, have never been overturned.

        If I have seen further, it is only because I stand on the shoulders of giants.

        I mean, does one really need 'small indicators' like smiling or laughing or whatever to judge how well a conversation is going? It's just obvious. You get a vibe from it.
        You're talking about is intuition: the subconscious noticing of these indicators to come to a conclusion without consciously knowing how you got there. It's fine for coming to conclusions, but it's useless when it comes to knowing how you arrived at those conclusions.

        The problem is, if you don't know specifically what indicators add up to a positive experience (the indicators), then you can't work to improve your behavior by increasing the frequency or duration of those indicators.

        I think conversation is best improved with experience. But it's mostly the general principles, the HUGE ideas, the overarching philosophy and mindset and attitude, and not the nitty-gritty details like did you tell joke A or B, or approach from a 35 degree angle.
        I'm not talking about micro-managing your own behavior. I'm just talking about improving one small facet of your interaction at a time. I'd be willing to bet that when you were learning the pick-up arts you didn't learn everything you needed to know all at the same time.

        Here, I'll quote the Kaizen book:

        Originally posted by One Small Step Can Change Your Life
        I applaud making huge changes, when it works. Turning your life around on a dime can be a source of confidence and self-respect.

        However, I have observed that many people are crippled by the belief that innovation is the only way to change. We ignore a problem or challenge for as long as possible then, when we are forced to by circumstances or duress, we attempt to make a large leap to improvement. If the leap lands us on greener territory we congratulate ourselves, and rightly so. But if we slip and fall, the resulting pain and embarrassment can be devastating.

        Even if you are a highly disciplined and successful person, I'll bet you can remember many times that you have tried innovation and failed. Perhaps it was a crash diet that crashed or an expensive relationship "cure" (like a spontaneous trip to Paris) that left your romance in the same ill health.

        That's the problem with innovation: too often, you meet with success in the short term, only to find yourself falling back into your old ways when your initial burst of enthusiasm fades away.

        Radical change is like charging up a steep hill. You may run out of wind before you reach the crest, or the thought of all the work ahead may make you give up as soon as you begin.

        There is an alternative to innovation. It is another path altogether, one that winds so gently up the hill that you hardly notice the climb. It is pleasant to negotiate and soft to tread. And all it requires is that you place one foot in front of the other.
        Originally posted by Bigslick2
        One giant leap me for me, in terms of conversational skills, is letting go of the 'filter' and hesitation, and just speaking what's on your mind.
        Everything after this line, while possibly good advice, isn't actually relevant to anything I posted.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by abcd_z View Post
          The only tools this requires is a pocket notepad and a willingness to exert yourself. It can be modified to overcome Approach Anxiety as well, but for that I would strongly recommend the book "One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way". It does an excellent job of explaining how and why ridiculously tiny steps work so well to overcome anxiety.
          Additionally, this post was originally written for a non-PUA, so it just focuses on the social aspect of interaction. It can probably be expanded to a sexual focus easily, but that's not where the focus is here.

          Start by deciding specifically what a successful interaction would look like. The best, most positive outcome in terms of how the other person reacts. Include specific behavior you would want to see. For example, perhaps the best possible outcome is that the person smiles often during your interactions, orients their body to you, asks you questions about yourself, and decides to accompany you as you walk somewhere else.

          Then, decide what would be one small indicator of that outcome. Building on the previous example, a small indicator might be the person smiling once during the interaction, or the person asking you a question in general, or the other person taking a few steps to follow you as you go to a specific place (take a nearby chair, for example). Only pick one of these to pay attention to for now. If you try to focus on several, you can get overwhelmed and lose track of all of them.

          Then, after you're done talking to the other person or people, whip out your pocket notebook and record the following: how long you talked, what the general quality of the interaction was, and how many times you observed the target small indicator. If talking to other people is too nerve-wracking, make the target behavior simply talking to other people.

          Don't target negative behavior. In a situation like this it can cause a negative feedback loop that makes you too insecure to do anything.
          Instead, focus on competing behavior: positive behavior that makes the negative behavior impossible to perform at the same time. For example, if your problem is that you stumble or stutter, don't track how many times you stuttered. Instead, track how many times you said something smooth, or that you're really proud of. See? Competing behavior. Or if people usually walk away from you, mark how often somebody stayed talking to you for more than a few seconds.

          Every time you achieve your target behavior, make sure to reward yourself for it. I cannot stress enough how important it is that you do so. Rewarding yourself immediately after performing positive behavior is the absolute best way to teach your subconscious mind to perform that behavior more often.
          Find something that you enjoy and use it to reward yourself. Write down as many ideas for a reward as you can think of, and when you achieve your goal pick the one that appeals the most to you.

          My rewards are: playing DDR, buying myself any one food item from any fast food joint, listening to music I enjoy, getting myself a massage.

          Don't make it a large reward, though. In the example I gave, I only allow myself one fast food item for every positive behavior. Smaller, more consistent rewards are MUCH better than the larger ones. Don't ask me why this is, 'cuz I have no clue. It just works like that.

          Reward yourself as quickly as you can after accomplishing the target behavior. If that's not possible, set up a token economy where you immediately reward yourself with a token (gold star, special mark in notebook, whatever), to be redeemed when you can. If you wait to reward yourself, your mind won't make the connection between the positive behavior and the reward.
          This is true, effective Behavior Modification. If the issues you're having are mostly behavioral in nature, take this man's advice. The ideas discussed in the quoted post are grounded in decades of research and practice.

          The "token economy" is a tried-and-true method, and hasn't changed much since its conception.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ChitownMaverick View Post
            This is true, effective Behavior Modification. If the issues you're having are mostly behavioral in nature, take this man's advice. The ideas discussed in the quoted post are grounded in decades of research and practice.

            The "token economy" is a tried-and-true method, and hasn't changed much since its conception.
            Thanks for the backup, and you bring up a good point: this advice is mostly geared towards behavioral problems. If your problem is cognitive in nature (limiting beliefs, negative automatic thoughts, etc.), then behavioral modification will have limited success.

            For such problems, cognitive therapy would probably be more appropriate.

            Cognitive therapy for cognitive-based problems? Shocking!

            Comment


            • #7
              Ihave actually used this method in the past when working on EC, BL and IOIs in that I minutely analysed everything for a while. While I didn't exactly reward myself, the rewards were coming from a different source (the target). I then completely 'forgot about' doing these things consiously so much now theyre part of an autonomic 'natural' process.

              Now my intuition wasnt bad to begin with, but it's right off the scale now. My EC is rock steady and BL Iis way better (albeit limited by physical constraints). As I say I'm going to have a go with a few core (but non physical things). I've no doubt it'll help.

              Comment


              • #8
                One of my majors was psychology and I wasn't arguing against the idea of operant conditioning (or classical conditioning, which isn't involved in your method).

                However, it is a little unusual for the subject to be rewarding/ punishing oneself, but I'm sure there's research out there finding it just as valid.



                I'm not arguing against the operant conditioning. I'm just stating that I question whether such conditioning is necessarily useful in ALL facets of life. You are trying to subconsciously encourage yourself to repeat a behavior ---- and actually you aren't even rewarding a behavior, you are rewarding a RESULT (getting the person to smile or laugh) --- which is another departure from operant conditioning.


                Such conditioning might be far more useful for tasks of simpler cognitive complexity. I'm just not seeing where it fits into dynamic conversation.



                Now if the idea is merely to parse out various small elements of 'social interaction' and work on them one at a time, then I agree with you on that, and you are right in that a lot of this stuff is best learned one step at a time rather than a complete everything new rework.

                But I don't see how a 'reward system' is necessary to improving your social skills.

                Great social interactions --- as well as getting laid --- are their own rewards. Sex is perhaps the greatest motivator, or one of the greatest motivators, in all of mankind. A man does not need any further reward encouraging him to repeat behaviors that lead to great social interactions.

                Perhaps you could give us a few examples of small elements to focus on one-at-a-time in social interactions? That might be a more interesting discussion.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bigslick2 View Post
                  One of my majors was psychology and I wasn't arguing against the idea of operant conditioning (or classical conditioning, which isn't involved in your method).

                  However, it is a little unusual for the subject to be rewarding/ punishing oneself, but I'm sure there's research out there finding it just as valid.



                  I'm not arguing against the operant conditioning. I'm just stating that I question whether such conditioning is necessarily useful in ALL facets of life. You are trying to subconsciously encourage yourself to repeat a behavior ---- and actually you aren't even rewarding a behavior, you are rewarding a RESULT (getting the person to smile or laugh) --- which is another departure from operant conditioning.
                  Hm. You raise a good point. I didn't notice I was having them reward themselves for somebody else's behavior.

                  Such conditioning might be far more useful for tasks of simpler cognitive complexity. I'm just not seeing where it fits into dynamic conversation.
                  Regardless of how dynamic or static a conversation is, there are still specific behaviors that a person would want to exhibit (smiling, positive body language, etc.). Those behaviors are what this is supposed to target.

                  Now if the idea is merely to parse out various small elements of 'social interaction' and work on them one at a time, then I agree with you on that, and you are right in that a lot of this stuff is best learned one step at a time rather than a complete everything new rework.

                  But I don't see how a 'reward system' is necessary to improving your social skills.

                  Great social interactions --- as well as getting laid --- are their own rewards.
                  Not necessarily. For someone like you who has already overcome their anxieties, that's true. However, nervousness, anxieties and bad associations can cause socializing to be uncomfortable and a chore for some people. Somebody who has already overcome their issues and is interacting with every woman he wishes to in exactly the way he wishes to has no need for this method.
                  Of course, if we were all like that, there would be no need for this website in the first place.

                  Sex is perhaps the greatest motivator, or one of the greatest motivators, in all of mankind. A man does not need any further reward encouraging him to repeat behaviors that lead to great social interactions.
                  Sex is a large, infrequent reward. Large infrequent rewards don't work nearly as well to modify behavior as small, frequent rewards do.

                  Perhaps you could give us a few examples of small elements to focus on one-at-a-time in social interactions? That might be a more interesting discussion.
                  I thought I had, but... positive body language, smiling, asking questions, telling personal stories, free-associating... the sky's really the limit here. Basically, anything you read about and say "hey, that looks like it might help my interactions." This method is just meant as a way to easily incorporate new behaviors.

                  To expand on my example: if your goal were to free-associate more often, then you could make your small goal "change the subject of the conversation to something unrelated one time".

                  Comment

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