How To SEDUCE & INFLUENCE Anyone With Psychology - TRY THIS & SEE RESULTS | Vanessa Van Edwards | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "How To SEDUCE & INFLUENCE Anyone With Psychology - TRY THIS & SEE RESULTS | Vanessa Van Edwards".
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we find lower lid flexes super attractive. And I don't mean like physically attractive. I mean, we want people who want to deeply listen to us. That's why when you look at really hot actors or models or blue steel, they're always... Listen, I always would have hard truth over ignorant bliss, right? If she's ready for it, I'd rather teach it to her. I also think like it allows you to choose if you're going to respond. You don't always have to respond to a cue. So for example, this study really changed the way I think about cues. And I talked about it in the book a little bit, but it really had a major impact in my life, which is a study very simply where if you see a cue of social rejection, okay, so cues of social rejection. Or you are being rejected.
Understanding Non-Verbal Communication And Physical Gestures
Lift the lid (& see better) (00:38)
So if you see or decode a cue of social rejection on someone else, which is why we're very aware of cues without realizing it. So cues of social rejection are eye rolls, scoffs, even a social rejection tone of voice. Like, yeah, I don't really like that. We know that's a social rejection tone of voice. Okay. When we see a cue of social rejection, our own field of vision widens. We literally see more. Our pupils change when we spot in less than a second a cue of social rejection. This is really helpful to know because it means if you see a negative cue, your body knows you have to look out for more. You have to see and why do we take any more? We have to see, is anyone else sending a cue of social rejection? Is everyone else okay? Do I have an escape route? What's my plan of action? So if your body is already doing this, if my daughter at three and a half already is doing that, why not give her a name for what that is? So then she can decide, I want to address that social cue of rejection, or I'm good, I don't need their approval.
The Lower Lid Flex (01:40)
Talk to me about addressing it. Okay. So let's, I really like addressing cues. I like addressing them in the room. So one cue, this is not a typical cue of social rejection, but I think it's an important one to know is a lower lid flex. We're going to talk about the weird cues. Let's just go right into the weird ones. So lower lid flex. So we're trying to see something from far away. So if for example. - I'm steel. - Blue steel, right. Give me blue steel. Right. It's like the heart and the lower lid. If you're right now, try to see something across the room, try to see the detail on the wall. He'll, you'll harden your lower lids to see it. Okay. This is a universal response. When we want to see more, we widen our eyes and fear our surprise. We're trying to see detail or scrutinize something. We harden our lower lid. It lowers the amount of light that can come into our eye. So we can see more detail. This is not a typical cue of social rejection. However, if you're talking to someone and all of a sudden they lower lid flex you. - I do it all the time. - Right. It means that someone just went into deep listening mode. - Correct. At least that's how I intended it. - That is, it's literally, when you said intense, way in the interview, I thought, that explains Tom's lower lid flex. Because that's what you do in your interviews. You'll nod, which is high warmth. - Oh my God. I nod too much though. - No, you don't nod too much. - We probably cut some of it out. - Oh, okay. - Sometimes I do feel like a bobblehead with you mentioned. Don't be a bobblehead. - Okay. So nodding is a warmth cue. You typically, I don't even know if you realize you do this. You will bounce out. You're nodding with a competence cue with it, which is a lid flex. - Mm-hmm. - So when you're- - So we don't do it on purpose, but- - Right. But that is your intensity. So like, right, you're deeply listening to me. What is she saying? What was that? What was that study? And I can see you are deeply listening. And then you'll balance it out with a warmth cue. That is how very highly charismatic people, and I would put you on that bucket, whether you would or not. - Very generous. - I would put you on that bucket of highly charismatic people, is you are naturally balancing out that warmth and competence. We find lower lid flexes super attractive. And I don't mean like physically attractive. I mean, we want people who want to deeply listen to us. And so that's why when you look at really hot actors or models or blue steel, they're always- - Smizing or lower lid flexing or flinty eyes. Because it shows intensity. And we like people who are intensely into us. So the reason I bring this up as a social rejection cue is because it can show scrutiny. It can show that someone is reevaluating or judging what you're going to say. And so when you're talking to a group of people or one person, and all of a sudden they're lower lid flexing and you're on a positive grade, but if you're making a point or you're challenging something, addressing it would sound like, does that make sense? All good? Any questions right there? When I'm teaching- - So you wouldn't like call it out specifically like- - Lower lid flex. - Yeah, exactly. - No. - That's the kind of thing I would do for sure. I mean, listen, if you read this as a team, you want to do it. I have teams that do that. Cool.
How To Clarify Innate Questions (04:47)
But I like the soft like, are we good? Does that make sense? All good? - Yeah. - I like a verbal. It also can be a nonverbal. - What do you do though, if you see the- and you talk in the book, you want a cluster. So let's say you're seeing a cluster of responses, any one thing in isolation could be meaningless. - Yes. - But you see that cluster, they're really giving you cues. You say, we good? Any questions there? And they're like, yeah, we're good. But you know there's something going on. - Okay, so- - What do you do at that point? - So I usually will follow up with some kind of confirmation, depending on how hard it is. So if all good, yeah, we're all good. I'm like, okay. Mental note that there was something that was going on there. So I will typically, this is like advanced level. But if something is really like, I know I saw that cluster. I know I saw a couple of red flags in a row that I don't like. And this matters. I will typically change the mode of communication. So if we were in person, I will ask an email, just confirming. You were all good on point, point, point. If we were in email and I noticed some suspicious verbal things, I will switch to in person. If we're on video, I'll try to switch to phone. Because I find that if you give someone a minute and you try a different mode of communication, usually you can get a little bit more information. So when it really matters to me, I will ask in a different way in a different mode. - That's interesting. What do you think about my technique, which is I won't say that I do it every time, because I do try to be deaf, I try to read the room and what my relationship is with the person. But I am very likely to say, something like, "Are we all good?" "Yeah, yeah, we're fine." You made a facial expression, help me understand, because it definitely read like you're upset or whatever, and I just want to make sure that whatever. - Love it. So that works.
Variation with Mode or Verbage (06:29)
You can also say, "You're saying all good, but you don't look like it's all good." And that's what you can also do with your partner. If they're like, "I'm fine." - Yeah, no, that would be-- - It doesn't sound fine. I want it to be fine. It doesn't sound fine. So yes, I think that you can also verbally vary, and that's not an aggressive way of doing it. Are you sure you're good? You don't look good. And then they can explain, "Oh yeah, no, I'm just nervous about something else." Or, "You know what you're right, I do have some hesitations." Or, "No, no, I really am good." I like that if you're brave enough to do it. That's the socialest sort of way to do it. I like it. I like it. - With your partner, do you have a code word? So Lisa and I, if I can see on her face, or there's something wrong, and I use this very sparingly, because I actually want Lisa to be able to take an exit ramp, if she doesn't want to talk about it, or whatever. But if I really need to know, I'll be like, "You promise you're okay?" Now, in our marriage, if somebody says, "Do you promise?" That whatever is about to come out of your mouth, better be the truth, no matter how brutal it is. Do you have anything like that?
Physical Cues (07:31)
- So, yes, we have a physical one that we do. - Tell me more. - So, if I think he's not good or not telling me something, I'll take his face in my hand like this, and I'll be like, "Are you sure, babe?" So it's like a deep, it's like a touch, like a very intimate touch. And I'll like, "Are you sure?" And so for me, he'll often touch my shoulder, touch my arm or my lower back. Are you sure? That anchor touch? - Did you guys discuss that? Like, would he be surprised here when you say this now? - I think he would be a little bit, no, no, I think he would be like, "Oh yeah, we do do that. We haven't discussed it." - Interesting. - But when it's like, it's like it's like, close the outside world around. Are we good? That, or like, are you, are babe, are you sure? That's like a physical touch thing. He's also a physical touch, love language. - Okay. - So I think that that's where it came from, as we discussed that he was physical touch. - That's interesting. It, going back to warmth and high fives and stuff, you talk about in the book, even like on a Zoom call saying like, "Hey, I'm sending you a high five." And that even things like that can cue people into feeling something. - Yes. So this was a hypothesis I had. Right at the beginning of the pandemic, we're all going on video. And I, I, I missed the, the social tradition of a high five or a handshake. And I wondered, do we need to replace it? Do we even need to? And Kenney. And so I partnered with Dr. Paul Zach, who runs immersion neuroscience. He's like the oxytocin guy. Whenever we talk about oxytocin, we're actually piggybacking on his original research. He's absolutely brilliant. He's like, he wrote the moral molecule. - And so- - Have you ever taken exogenous oxytocin?
Mixed Oxytocin & Ketamine (09:01)
- Even nose. - Yeah. - Never, but I really want to. Have you done it? - I have, but mixed with ketamine. - Oh, I've never, and I didn't like the ketamine. I'd like to try just the nasal spray. - Just oxytocin. - I got so hyped about it. I was like, babe, like we're going to do it together. It's going to be amazing. She's like, no, I don't want anything artificial. I'm like- - Oxytocin is very, I mean, is very close to our chemicals. You know, his lab is like really close. We could all go do it. - Dude, I would do an nasal spray of oxytocin- - All day. - All day. This is by the way, Dr. Zach is the guy who did the vampire wedding. - The vampire wedding. - The vampire wedding. - Like they got married as vampires? - No, he talks, he calls it the vampire wedding. He's the one who, he went to a wedding. I don't know how. Dr. Zach is super charismatic. And so I, he convinced anyone of anything. He's probably giving us all oxytocin. - That's good strategy. - So here's what he did. He convinced a wedding to go to the wedding and take everyone's blood at the wedding. - Whoa. - I know. So he took the brides blood, the groom's blood, everyone in the wedding, he took their blood. And what he found was, is that you could predict how close people were to the bride based on how much oxytocin was in their blood. - Whoa. - Right. - So that's cool. - It's super cool. So the more people felt bonded to the bride, the closer they were, the more oxytocin they had in their blood. I believe there was one exception. And for giving me this one, I think it was, the mother-in-law was even higher than the groom. I think it was something funny like that. The mother-in-law was so oxytocin-filled for her daughter. - Wow. - Sorry, not the mother-in-law. The mother of the bride was even higher than the groom because she was so happy with her daughter. - Wow. - I have to check that one. - That is really interesting. - Yes. So oxytocin is real and it's very nuanced. So I feel like a nose shot of oxytocin would make us do all kinds of interesting, like open our brain up in a connection kind of a way. - It's a fascinating molecule that has huge implications in trust. - Yes. - Which is, when I first started reading about it, I was like, "Ooh, this is really interesting." Like if you have a group and you need to develop more trust, it could be a really interesting way. It could also though potentially get you into trouble if it's creating trust with somebody that you shouldn't trust. - Oh, that is how Kahn then worked. I will tell you my biggest concern with this book is it will get in the wrong hands. Like a question that I get that is the question, which is like, what's the difference between this and manipulation? - Mm-hmm. And I think there is a terrifying line for me and it was something that caused me some writer's block. I'll be honest while I was writing, where I'm so terrified that these cues will be used for evil, not good. And they can be. And they are. I mean, that's how Kahn men work. And that is one of the reasons what I can convince myself of is I would rather acquit people to know these cues. You said that when one was touching you and you knew she was touching you and it was working, I would rather you be aware of the cues that are being sent to you to know, I want this or I don't, because they are that powerful that if someone has bad intentions, they can still produce trust. And that makes me nervous.
The Nervousness (12:05)
- Yeah, I don't think you will ever be able to control stuff like this. But it would be a bit like, oh, I'm not going to teach mixed martial arts because the person might use it to beat somebody up. - That's true. - So it's like, I'd rather have the people that can use it to either like you have done overcome awkwardness and use it. I mean, even the book reads very much like a manual for somebody who wants to improve their life, take it to the next level. I think the subheadnarr on the back of the book, it says like, if you're tired of being overlooked. - Under estimated. - Exactly. - Or interrupted. - Yeah, and underestimated. That was the one that really hit me was giving people the tools. In fact, we've already talked about this, but being able to give people subtle cues that you want to interject. - Yeah. - And a lot of people, I think, end up getting steamrolled and they get angry at the other person instead of going, I'm going to take control here to your point and be able to signal people. And you give this progression of, well, you can start subtle, you can do the fish, whatever. But then we get to the point where it's like, yo, stop. But being able to give people the tools so that they can be better equipped to do this stuff. And then I definitely like in relationships, it is so easy to be inside your own head, to have a paranoia about, like, I want to make sure that I'm following this or that I'm coming across well, or whatever, that you actually stop reading the cues and then you can get blindsided. I think about this a lot as an employer. It's like you're constantly trying to make sure that everybody's okay and that you actually know what's going on inside people's lives. And when somebody will end up hitting a breaking point that you didn't see coming, it's like, ah, did I ignore something? Mm-hmm. And so, yeah, reading nonverbal cues, I think, is about as close to a superpower as you're going to get. And also, vocal cues. You know, we talked about nonverbal, we talked a little about verbal. But I also think that we hear tension. You know, I think that's something that we, is an underestimated cue that we don't talk about enough. But our voice gives away a lot of our personality and our mental state. It's the other thing that, like, trust your gut on what you're hearing. So-- Ooh, talk about the gut. Yes, okay. So I think that we know this instinctively, but if we're not listening for it, we ignore it. And that is-- I have so been in that place that you just mentioned where you're like, did I miss something? Like, is someone burned out?
How Does the Gut Work in Your Mind (14:25)
And I didn't even see these cues coming. And so if you're listening to your gut and your intuition more and you know what you're hearing, I think you're like, ah, I just heard that. How does the gut work in your mind? So I think that we have this amazing muscle, right? This amazing-- whatever you want to call the brain, this amazing piece of anatomy that is constantly reading all these thousands of cues that are being sent to us. And it gives us a spidey sense. It gives us an intuitive hit of like, something is off. And we tend to think as we go into productivity mode. Do we meet the deadline? Do we get it done? Was she late? Was she on time? She's been slow to respond to that email, right? Like, when I get that spidey sense, I typically go-- I used to go to task, right? Like, is there something off in performance or behavior and task? I actually want you to go the other way.
Does She Sound Okay (15:10)
I want you to go to communication. I want you to be like, does she sound okay? And let's talk about what does it mean to sound okay? So what research has found is that we hold a lot of tension in our vocal cords, right? So when we don't take up a lot of space, like for example, if I were to do this interview with my shoulders rolled in and my chin down, you already hear a kind of tightness in my voice. And so when someone's on a video call or on a phone call, they're like, yeah, so I'm just going to give over my weekly updates. And you can hear that tension because it sounds different than when there's space. When you're listening for tension, I think that it can give away that fatigue that's coming, that smallness that someone is literally playing small. So you're listening for one is smallness. So as I take up less space, I begin to create less volume. You're also listening for vocal fry. So vocal fry, I don't think we don't talk about enough. Have you talked about a dress vocal fry on the show? No, only I never had a name for it until I read this book. And I realized that I actually have somebody here at Impact Theory that has vocal fry. And I was like, every time I hear it, I'm like, it seems like she's anxious. And when you describe it, I was like, uh-huh. Uh-huh. Okay, so vocal fry is when it sounds gross, but when our vocal cords rattle together, because there isn't enough air that is coming through them. So right now I'm working really hard to give enough air enough.
Vocal fry (16:30)
I'm actually not working that hard. We're having a conversation. But if I were nervous, if you were to ask me a very hard question, or if I was feeling burnt out, tired, dismissed, I would lose my volume and then I would go into vocal fry. Yeah, okay. So vocal fry is when we're talking like this, and we're sort of not enough breath is coming through. And so you can hear that rattle on the back of my throat. Now, if I were to give my entire interview like this, it would drive you absolutely crazy. Right. That's good. Yeah. So vocal fry is very simple. It's when we're, don't have enough breath to give our voice. So one, and this is double. You have to hear, when are you hearing it? Is it because someone literally hasn't been talking all day, and they just need to get themselves revved up? Is it because they're actually anxious or nervous? Like all of a sudden they went from, hey everyone, good to see you. Oh, this is going to be great. So my announcement is like really basic, and then all of a sudden they go into it, and then how do you want to address it? So do you want to address the emotion or the cue? This is the challenge we have as cue readers. Are you going to address the emotion or the cue? So do you want to say afterwards, are we all good on that? And I just want to make sure that you're feeling good, or follow up in an email. Hey, I just want to double check on you, Lindsay. Make sure you're feeling good about that. So that's addressing what you think might be happening. Or do you want to address the cue? If you want to get rid of vocal fry, all you have to do is ask someone to speak up. That's fascinating. That's it. If you ask someone to speak up, they have to use my breath. They go, oh yeah, sure. And they force more air out of their breath, and they immediately get out of vocal fry. I've been in presentations before, where someone is giving away their power with vocal fry. They have amazing content, but they're literally giving the entire presentation like this. And so it's really hard to listen to, and it sounds like they just don't believe in what they're saying. And so I will say to them, hey, in the back, we can't quite hear you. Can you hear in the back? And they'll immediately speak up and get out of it. So that's also a gift. You can give someone.
Doubt and cues (18:19)
If you hear someone who's giving away their power, and they're doing it accidentally, gift them the breath. Why is it giving away your power? I think that people who doubt their ideas, and they doubt themselves, that leaks in their cues, right? So they might have the best presentation, or they might be the best candidate. I want to put my finger on that for a second, because that feels like a core thing in the book is to understand that you're leaking. Whether you're leaking warmth, or whether you're leaking competence, or whether you're leaking insecurity, anxiety, you are leaking these things. There is no mute button. I think professionals who are nervous, they hope they could just go mute or stoic. They're like, I don't know what I want to send, so I'm going to send nothing. There is no mute button. In fact, going mute in itself is a cue, and it is a danger zone cue, right? Talk about poker, because that was such a great example. Man, I love looking at poker studies. So you already know the answer to this, but we can play with everyone at home. Okay, so let's say that I played a little game with you, and I said that you could watch poker players playing poker. You have three choices of the kind of videos you could watch. A, the full body. Head, hands, feet. B, just the head. So as they're playing, all you see is the facial expressions and head movement, or C, just the hands. So just how they're playing and dealing the cards, but would you choose A, B, or C? You are, I'm not going to answer this. Yeah, but I know what my real answer is, and I would have said the face 100%. Okay, so the first answer actually people usually give is the full body, because they're like, more information is better. The second most popular answer is the face. I want to see their facial expressions and their tells and their head movement. The actual answer, the people who were the most accurate at predicting how good someone's hand was, was just looking at the hands. And that is because we try to control our leaks. So if someone has a bad hand, they're trying to control their face and go really stoic. They're trying to not move a lot. And we actually notice that. We notice if they're going stoic or going mute, we notice if they have all of a sudden kind of jerky, weird movement, but our hands are really hard to control. So people with really good hands have fluidity of movement. They have really sure playing. Their hands are really smooth. And what's amazing is we know this, instinctively. When we just look at someone's hands and we take away the other cues, we can spot the good hand by looking at the smoothness of a player's hand. So interesting.
Poker example (20:39)
And in the book, I sometimes get lost between what's in the book and what I heard in an interview, but I think it's in the book. That there was a woman who one year after deciding she was going to play poker, ends up winning this incredible tournament. And wasn't she looking at hands? That's what she learned. So this is a great book. And what she did is she taught herself to play poker in one year. She entered these major tournaments. And the way she was able to climb from table to table to be at the winner's table was she stopped looking at the cues on the face and on the feet. And she really, really focused on the hands because that's when she could see if someone actually had a good hand or not. That jerky motion means you're leaking nervousness because think about it. If you're nervous or anxious, A, you can't control as much. And B, you're expending energy in all kinds of weird spaces. Very highly charismatic people, leaders don't waste energy. All their movements are purposeful and smooth. That's one of the reasons I said, don't touch your face. Don't touch your stomach. It's because that's a wasted energetic movement. We like people who are only saying, I'm going to make a movement with this gesture or this gesture. And so yeah, she was able to climb to the top of the tables simply by looking at fluidity of hands. She also did a lot of training and mentoring, but that's how she was able to go so quickly. It's because she was looking for leaks.
Interpreting Emotional Cues And Interpersonal Connections
Smell Test for Gut Instincts (21:55)
Yeah, I didn't see that one coming. I thought that zooming in on the face would be better. For the same reason that zooming in on the hands works is that you're not getting all this extraneous information. Yes. And the reason that I was asking about gut instinct is, you know, your subconscious is able to take in so much more data than you can process consciously. Yes. And I also heard you talk about the smell test that they did where they had people jumping out of an airplane versus, I don't know if it was running or whatever. Yes. Yes. So yes, exactly as you said it exactly right is, our subconscious is this amazing Q reading machine. And so it is constantly trying to tell your gut, listen, that wasn't good. We should be nervous or this person is great. It's constantly trying to speak to us. We just have to listen to it. So yes, in this study, what they did is they had two groups of people wear sweat pads and run on the treadmill. And the second group, they had them wear sweat pads and jump out of airplanes. Obviously, the one on the treadmill were very sweaty, but they weren't afraid. The people jumping out of the airplane had a lot of adrenaline and a lot of cortisol. And they had people smell those sweat pads kind of gross, really gross. And people who didn't know what they were smelling, people who smelled the sky diving sweat pads began to feel anxious. They actually caught the fear. What's incredible about this is it means that there's these loops happening all over our life that we don't realize that when we walk into a room and we're like, why am I in a funk? Why am I in a bad mood? Why am I angry? A lot of the time it's because you caught some kind of cue that your intuition was going, you got to be on protection mode or you got to be defensive or the opposite. When you walk into a room or be with someone and be like, yeah, I love this feeling. And this is why I think that before you walk into a room, before you walk on a date, before you walk a networking event, if you can get yourself right, if you can show up as your most confident, competent self, if you know that you have all these cues in your back pocket, you know your stuff, you really have good intention to be warm and trustworthy, that makes you super contagious in a good way. 92% of people that set a New Year's goal fail to achieve it, which is why I've created a 90-day challenge designed specifically to ensure that you hit your goals. You really can radically transform yourself. Just click the link below to join me and the entire Impact Theory University community to kick off 2023 right with the Impact 90 challenge. All right guys, now back to the episode. Let's bring this all together for people. There's part of the book that I really liked is choosing better words, really being engaging with people. And I actually thought about opening the interview with this because I do this in real life with a different question, but cutting past the BS and in an interview you threw off, the person didn't follow up on it and I was sad. And you were giving examples of things you could open with at like a party or something. And you said, what's your deepest fear? And I was like, word. Word. So Vanessa Van Edwards, what's your deepest fear? And help us understand why it's so meaningful to find like that to me. Yeah. Maybe one of the most fascinating parts about Q's is bringing this all together to really like not incrementally improve your ability to connect, but like to use that to go to a whole new place. So I both want to understand actually what your biggest fear is and then why something like that is. So it brings us together in a far more interesting way. I think I really want to answer because I think the answers in this has changed over the years.
What I am Terrified of (25:38)
Right now I think my deepest fear is actually that underestimated word on the back of the book. Now are you worried other people will underestimate you or that you'll underestimate you? I think both. I have this like opportunity FOMO. So I constantly have this fear that I'm like missing opportunities. I think that's one of the reasons I wrote this book and one of the reasons I'm obsessed with Q's is because I am terrified that I am missing things. I feel like I missed the memo on social interactions. Right? Like that's my entire career is trying to write up that memo again. And that really hurt me. It really slowed me down for so many years. It destroyed my confidence. It made me have bad relationships. It made me ignore Q's. I think for a long time I had really toxic people in my life and I didn't spot the Q's. I didn't. I saw my gut spot at the Q's and I didn't listen. And so I think I don't want to have that anymore. I am terrified of having toxic people who I miss. I miss those Q's. And on the positive side, I'm terrified of seeing good people and good opportunities and missing them. Like I have regrets about people who I let go. Who I'm like, what was I thinking? I miss that. And so I think I'm terrified of underestimating others. I'm terrified of missing things that I shouldn't have missed or not listening to my gut. And why is something like that to me was really, really interesting. And if there were no cameras on and I didn't have to think about the thumbnail headline for the YouTube video, I would have started the interview there. Yeah. Why? Why is that so fascinating? This actually isn't in the book, but I want to, it's something that I think about a lot. So I read this research. I believe it was by Dan McAdams. And he talks about three levels of intimacy. You ever heard this concept? It is why I suggested that question. What's your deepest fear? What he found is we get stuck in these levels. And so he found there are three levels of intimacy between people. This isn't even in Q's. It's just what I use. The first level is called general traits. He calls it general traits. It's like why we get stuck in like, so what do you do? Where are you from? Right? It's occupation age gender. We get stuck there. We can't get out of it. That's why you have people who are like gender. Yeah. Didn't see that coming. Yeah, that's why I think that if people are, that's why a lot of now we're saying like he/she, we're like, we're saying our pronouns actually helps us get past level one in a weird way. It's like actually answering that. It's called, I call it the hierarchy of facts. Our brain actually has to learn the basics before it can go deep. And so those are some of the basics. The second level is what he calls personal concerns. Personal concern. This is the level I like to live at. This is like motivations, values. It's like what gets you up in the morning? What drives you? What excites you? It's why the questions I often suggest are working on anything exciting recently. Or what's your hobby these days? It's why I asked you about the marketplace. Right? Like, it's values, it's motivations, what drives you? The last level, the level that we don't even get to with some people who are closest in our life is called self-narrative. And self-narrative is the story that you tell yourself about yourself. And so that, if you know someone's story about themselves, the story they're telling themselves about themselves, that's what helps you predict behavior, understand them deeply. And so I think that when you ask someone, what's your deepest fear? And they're willing to try to answer it for you. They are giving you a clue into level one, two, and three. Right? So like, I don't even know, and the hours that we've spent together on camera and off camera, if I've ever shared anything like that with you, that I've allowed toxic people into my life, and that, you know, almost destroyed me. And that held me back for a real long time. And I didn't, I didn't stand up for myself. I don't know if that's ever come out, but that question unlocked it. And that is part of my self-narrative. And that's the story I tell myself when I'm driving to this interview, when I leave today, when I'm thinking about an Instagram story, is like it all goes back to that story. So like, that's my goal in a lot of my interactions, is okay, yeah, let's get, let's blow through level one. I don't care what you do. Let's go to level two at least. What do you value what motivates you? And if I can, like what drives you, what's the story you tell yourself? That I think is a really important lesson. And what the one that I ask people, which I think falls into number two is, well, maybe number three, is what's your deepest passion?
What's your deepest passion? (30:00)
Try to keep it positive. I would be reticent to ask somebody that I didn't know or didn't have, you know, on a show like this, what their deepest fear is. One, if they don't trust me, they're going to lie anyway. But getting to something positive, skipping past all the BS. I have another one I can give you. This one like, it's a secret, it's a secret level three question. And by the way, I feel I'm like a scared to say it because I'm like, oh, my friends are going to be like, so that's why you've been asking that question. Here's my secret level three question. It's a sneaker. It's, so who's your role model? Who's your hero? The reason why this one's such a good one is because it tells you what they think their own hero is. You talk a lot about heroes, Lisa talks a lot about heroes. The reason why that's interesting is I ask one of my very long friends. So like, who's your hero? Who's your role model? Or even what TV or movie character do you think you're most similar to? And in my head, she's a great mom, she's a homemaker, she's so kind, I thought she was going to pick an amazing like mom, like Laurel, I Gilmore or something. She goes, oh, Katniss Everdeen. I was like, Katniss Everdeen, do you feel like you're in the Hunger Games? And she's like, oh yeah, I'm surviving every day. Whoa. And I was like, I don't know you. And this is someone who I've been friends with for years. And we had this whole discussion about how she feels like she's fighting for time and fighting for love and fighting for her day. And she's like, head above water. And I had no idea. My wife will just set her hand on me. For me, my hand has to be moving to show attention. Oh. Which is partly why I think I do the pat on the back thing. But then I've seen that made fun of so. Well, the thing is, is so padding from a nonverbal perspective, it's an interesting nonverbal move. So I don't know if you, yeah. I'm a little tense now. I know. Well, I should tell you, you should know. So padding, if it's done from above, it's often a dominance gesture. So think about a dog, right? What do we do? We pat a dog's head, think about a child. We say, good job, good boy. So if it's done equally, like, you know, oh, wow, it's good to see you. It's not so bad. But just be careful. You're not like the. Not that I don't do. Right. So and you'll notice that it's actually quite a demeaning gesture. There are certain politicians you might have seen out there that will, yeah, just a few and they will pat. They will pat on the upper shoulders or on the upper back.
The Bro Hug (32:22)
It's a way of saying good boy or good girl. It's a very subtle nonverbal cue, but usually the equal pat, which I think, I don't know. What do you think about patty cake? Oh, that's not man enough. Yeah, I don't. Your facial expression doesn't look so good about it. Yeah, I've never had the instinct to do that. But like the one-handed, like I would say 90% of my hugs incorporate the word. Incorporate a pat. Yeah. So maybe that's the bro hug? Yeah. The brug? The brug. Well said. Let's just, I like naming everything. I name, I name car turns, I name hugs.
Can Anyone Learn To Be a People Person? (32:54)
I like creating words. Let's get into that because it's actually pretty fascinating. So what I love is that, so my core belief about human existence is that you can learn virtually anything. Yeah. You've come a long way from being the awkward person. Do you think people can learn anything? I think people can learn anything. I think, however, you have a spectrum of how much you can improve. So like let's say, for example, a sport's the easiest way to think about this. So let's say, for example, you are a very lightweight compact male under five foot. You would make a great jockey, right? Like you'd be a great at riding horses if you're small and compact. Could you learn to be a basketball player? 100%. But your ability or your percent improvement is going to is only going to be able to improve so much. And you're going to have to work much harder for that compared to say a six foot seven man who's going to have to work a little bit less hard to be able to dunk shots because he just is closer to the closer than in. I think if you think about it that way, it's how much work do you have to do to get there? So do you think that part of why you've been able to get as good as you have with breaking this stuff down because you had to learn it? Or do you think there's some another innate skill that you have that's allowed for that? I think it's because maybe other recovering awkward people out there will feel this way. If you are a recovering awkward person, and I don't mean introvert because not, you know, introverts do not have to be awkward. Although I am introverted, we are very good at observing. And what happens is we see interactions in very black or white ways. If you are naturally charismatic or naturally good with people, you can walk into a room. You don't even have to think about a conversation charter. Whereas if you're awkward, a room looks like either a battlefield or a playground, depending on your mentality. And so if you see a room like a battle gun or a playground, you're instantly looking for who's on your team, you're looking for patterns, you're looking for verbal weapons, you're looking for different kinds of things than someone who will just walk into a room and naturally have it. So I think that what's helped is that I tend to see every interaction that way, which has helped me study it in a formulaic way. It's a little different. What drew you to like the science, the study? I mean, not a lot of people start their own research lab. So I was a journalist, so I was just writing stories, and I loved science. I, for from a very young age, my parents encouraged the academic side, the book smarts, the IQ. And I think I totally forgot about the people smart side, the PQ thing. So I had all this ability to read 20 page academic studies and find some usable nugget. So I started to write about that for different blogs and journals out there. And I realized that the one thing that could differentiate me, anyone could write an article about science. But one thing that could change what I was writing is if I tested things on myself, so I either became a human guinea pig, or I was able to actually do research in the real world. Because most studies are based on 20 college seniors who want academic credit for a psychology class. They're not representative of the whole population. So I thought if there was one thing that could differentiate this article from every other journalist, it would be adding my own take on it. So it was actually a differentiator. It came from a place of trying to differentiate my work from other journalists out there. And then of course, a personal need that I had to try to solve people, which I don't know if it's possible, but I'm certainly still trying. It's interesting to solve people. What do you mean by that?
Cracking the Code of People (36:14)
I loved in math class where you'd be working on a math problem and the teacher would be like, okay, here's a formula for you. It was like being given a cipher. It was like the most powerful thing. And I thought, what if there was a cipher for people? What if there was a way a formula for people? And so I have something that I called a matrix. It was a little bit different in the Keanu Reeves matrix, which I believe that every person has a cipher. They have a set of values you can solve about them, that if you turn it in the right ways, you can figure out how to figure out their motivations, how to figure out their values, how to speak to them so they'll listen, how to make them feel loved. And so that's the closest I've come to actually solving people. And it's the only way that I have found to interact successfully. And when you say solve, though, you're saying to be able to have like a useful interaction or... To not be so baffled by people's choices. So I don't know if this is a pain point for you, but I was constantly feeling like I didn't understand where people were coming from, or they would be making choices and I didn't understand why, especially with friendships. And so I found that if I can figure out how they're coded, how they're wired, no longer do their decisions and their actions become baffling. Right. So give us some of those things. So in fact, let me... You and I were talking about this, but let me break it down for you at home. Hi. So the way that I normally prepare for an interview is very different than the way that I will go through a book for a book review and started the book on an international flight. So I had plenty of time and started it just to read it as part of my interview prep for this interview. And then man, like really fast, I was like, "Whoa, that was a cool insight." And then that was another one. And then rapidly it just turned into a book review. And I just like went in like all the different points and how they add up and just like all the things I wanted in my own life and started because you... And this is what I'd really like you talk about now. You start breaking down like what motivates people, what's their love language, what's their primary value, that kind of stuff. And so I started going, "Oh my god, what's mine?" Like first of all, I didn't even know mine. And I found it very weird because I consider myself super self-aware. I found it so much easier to identify my wife's than to identify my own. So what are the sort of key things to understanding someone else or yourself? Yeah. So I like to think of people a little bit like an onion in that, you know, there's different layers. Exactly. But tastes delicious once it's fixed. Okay. So the outside layer, I think, is the easiest one to solve. That's when we start with. So this is the Big Five personality traits. And there's a lot of personality research out there. The only personality science that's actually backed used by academic institutions is called Ocean or the Big Five. So this is someone's openness. So how adventurous they are. Someone's conscientiousness, how organized they are. Someone's extroversion. That's the one that we all know. How they like being around people. Agreeableness. So how they work on teams, if they default to yes or default to no. We can talk about them when if you want. And then neuroticism, which is the one that no one wants to talk about. Neuroticism is my favorite. It's how someone approaches worry. So that's sort of the first, that those are the easiest to solve. And actually, research has found that I could look in your wallet, for example, or I could open your bedside table and probably solve a lot of your personality traits. I wish I could do that. Don't have it. Not on me. What would you be looking for? Because I would give it to you in a heartbeat. That would be so fun. So we're doing a study right now, actually, of the science people where I want people to take pictures of a couple different assets in their life. One, their car trunk. And by the way, if anyone watching wants to send me pictures of these things, I'm happy to analyze them. So their car trunk. Do you want me to tell you what mine looks like? Yeah. It's empty only because my wife's pressure is unending. Otherwise, it would be a filthy mess. So that tells me that you are a little higher in agreeableness because you want to make your wife happy. You were so right. I am like extremely high in agreeableness. Yes. Absolutely. And that's so the fact that that was your first reason. I didn't even mean to let that slip out, by the way. Yes. I'm just trying to be honest about the fact that it's clean. Oh, now the center of me is there. Only because of my wife. Yes. Okay. So that's so that because that's your motivation, right? That was your motivation there. So your trunk, your medicine cabinet, and doesn't have, you can to hide your prescriptions. I just want to see how it's organized and how it's laid out. What's in there? I really have a medicine cabinet, but it's like stuffed in a drawer. Stuffed in a drawer. Then maybe medium and conscientiousness. So conscientiousness is how organized or how much you like routine. Okay. So it's like people who are really high in conscientiousness, this is me.
Emotional Intelligence And Relationship Building
What is Love Language? (40:47)
I find making a to-do list like a sport. If I was an Olympic athlete, I could make to-do list. That could be a champion in this. Wow. I will put things on my to-do list just for the pleasure of checking them off. Nice. Someone's high in conscientiousness. We got someone over there. I got you. We are the same. Yeah. Like alphabetizing gives me an adrenaline rush. Wow. Some people jump out of airplanes. You alphabetizing like a bunch of books by color and by author name. Oh my goodness. So anyway, so that's high in conscientiousness. Low in conscientiousness means you're much more easy going. You're much more spontaneous. You feel that the creative process is going with the flow and actually routine sort of boxes you in. So if your medicine drawer or medicine cabinet is like a little bit more haphazard, you don't really have a system to it. I would guess you're either medium, low in conscientiousness. Well, what's interesting is so I'm very low. I'm about as low as you can get on the conscientiousness scale. It is only because my wife is muddling your ability to read because she forces me to hide it in a drawer. Otherwise it would just be like everywhere. Everywhere. Yeah. Okay. So low in conscientiousness. And then we're- Would you hate that name by the way? Because that's what made me feel weird about being low. I feel like I'm a conscientious person. I think about other people and what their needs are. Yeah. So conscientiousness. It's funny that you mentioned language. So language is a serious issue. So for example, the book has now gotten picked up in 10 other languages. And it's a problem. Thank you. But it's we're trying to figure out words. And for example, in Western cultures, there is an ideal personality type. And you will notice that every romantic comedy, the woman is the ideal personality type for women. And the man is usually the ideal personality type for man. So in Western cultures, for women, it is high in conscientiousness. So that sort of her funny quirk, she's really organized. It doesn't like to be spontaneous. A high in agreeableness. So yeah, whatever you want, sweetie. Either medium or high in neuroticism. So kind of a warrior, but it's cute and endearing. Very spontaneous and extroverted and bubbly. And high in openness, adventurous and imaginative.
What Is Neuroticism? (42:47)
That's like the perfect diode. So the problem is, when you talk about neuroticism, neuroticism should not be a negative word. But it is considered negative because then you're called A-type or controlling. And so it's funny. Language is actually a huge issue. So conscientiousness does not mean that you don't care about people. It just means that routine is not your love. Like some people. So anyway, at the lab, we're trying to figure out if we can guess people's personality types or solve their matrix based on their different assets in their house. Good. So far. Yeah. So we're going to ask people for that. And then the funny one is what's on your walls. So we've got the Michael Jordan Flu Game, which is probably my most meaningful piece of art. It's all art. So I guess we'll start with that. Okay. And then mostly movies. So Matrix has like three or four appearances in the house. And then that's pretty much it. So what they say is, this is a research according to Sam Gosling. He wrote a great book called Snoop, which is, if you're a snooper, this is the book for you. So Sam Gosling found that high neurotics use more motivational quotes. So I am a high neurotic. I'm definitely a warrior. And by the way, you know, if you're high neurotic or low neurotic, if you're really good at what if scenarios. So high neurotics, we love pros and cons lists. We can think through every worst case scenario ever. Whereas low neurotics, they say things like, it'll all be fine, which to a low neurotic is like the worst thing that you can say, because we believe that worrying is like an investment account. You know what I mean? So like the more that I worry, the less likelihood it will happen. So high neurotics, I love motivational quotes, because it's like an external regulator for their internal world. So I have a lot of motivational quotes in my office. You didn't have any, which makes me think that you're not very high neurotic. I'm super low neurotic. But I'm insanely chemically impacted by motivational stuff. So like I keep a list of quotes that I find motivational or empowering. I follow a bunch of Instagram accounts that are all motivational. Your list of quotes, is it in a book? Is it covered or is it for display? It's in Evernote. Okay. So that means that you are medium or low neurotic, because high neurotics, we, so can I get a little science? Okay. So high neurotics carry a special form of a certain gene. It's called the serotonin transporter gene. So serotonin is a really important chemical in our body. It's what keeps us calm. It's what keeps us nice and stable. So for example, if you're driving and all of a sudden someone almost hits you, they don't hit you, but they almost hit you. Your adrenaline goes, your cortisol goes, and you're like, huh, we almost got a Croxin. A low neurotic like you will begin to produce serotonin. So your body goes, whew, we're okay. Everything's fine. And then a few minutes later, you're back to your music. Everything's fine. A high neurotic like me has a harder time producing serotonin. We have a longer form of this transporter gene. So we produce less serotonin and more slowly, which means that my adrenaline cortisol are pumping for longer than yours. So if I'm in the car with you and I'm like, gosh, that driver, you're like, well, he didn't hit us. We're good now. I'm still an adrenaline cortisol, but you're calm. So what happens is, is that we as high neurotics are not as good at self-soothing. So we tend to have reminders, external reminders, to tell us to calm down. Whereas you as a low neurotic, you don't need to see it. You can look at it when you feel like it, when you're curious. You pop up on Instagram or Twitter when you feel like it. Whereas I want to have them everywhere to remind me I'm okay. Wow, that that is really interesting. One of the things that I found so awesome about your book was one, it was teaching me about myself, but two, it was teaching me about Lisa. So and in the relationship, the ones where you were like, okay, this is probably where you want to be in agreement where you're both like the same. And then these are ones where you want to balance. And you had talked about neuroticism and wanting to balance each other out. And we balance each other out. So I'm really low neurotic. And she's very high neurotic, not in the Woody Allen way, but like the way you're talking about it. Where she's just like, I get it. I know what you're saying. She'll like go through like the thousand ways that this could go wrong and just be like have a much harder time like self-soothing.
The Waiting Game (47:19)
And when you said self-soothing, that's what's really interesting. So why it's important to balance? You don't have to, but there's actually studies that show that certain personality traits are better when they're matching versus opposite. So high neurotics get a bad rap, right? Everyone's like, oh, they're the warrior, they're the one who's always like, you know, overthinking things. But you actually need to have both. And the reason for this is because your low neurotic, you, Tom, are wonderful in a crisis. So if there's something bad happening or you need to get things done, you're the one with the level head, you know, it's all going to be okay. You can stay steady the course. High neurotics prevent crises from happening in the first place. And what's funny is so high neurotics need external reminders to keep them calm. So we like to see our to-do lists or pros and cons. We like to have our rock near bias at our side. Whereas low neurotics like to have external reminders of things they need to take care of, right? Because they don't have the internal alarm clock that's constantly screaming at them. I joke that the piles scream at me, you know, from the floor because I can, I like want to get them, whereas you might not see them. I literally don't see them. I know. I keep my regular day to day stuff in my travel case because if I know if I don't and I travel, it'll never, it'll never make it. I just won't remember it. Yeah. Yeah. So that's a work around for you. And I think this is what we're talking about here is knowing how you are wired instead of fighting it. That's interesting because I'm a big believer in fighting anything that doesn't work for you. But you talk about- What if we talk about optimize? So I think what I see a lot, and this is with personal development, and I'm a self-help addict, right? Like I love every person's development book. I love like self-help and transformation. The problem is is that if we feel like we can change everything, we also might not optimize for how we are naturally wired. That's interesting. So the way that I like to think about it is every step in the book, you know, I teach a scientific principle, I tell a story, he's a scientific principle, then I give you three steps. Almost always step number one is you, right? It's figure out how you're wired before you work on someone else. It's like in a flight, they always tell you put your oxygen mask on before you fix someone else. It's the same thing, like figure out your own wiring first. So you figured out that you will not remember. So by packing in that day pack, you've now taken out that worry, fixed that problem, and now you don't have to worry about it, as opposed to trying to take 15 different classes on how to be more of a warrior. So I think that figuring out how your spouse is wired and not trying to change them, but rather trying to set up systems in your home or systems for your business partner or things for your friends to know how they're wired. Another example is my good friend, Anna Lauren, if she's watching. So she is a warrior also. But if I give her too many choices, she'll get choice paralysis. So instead of trying to teach her how to make choices for herself and go through a whole, what's paradox of choice, lesson plan for her, I know that if I want to go out to dinner with her, I'm better off giving her one time and only two restaurant choices. I know that she likes to see the menu because she's high conscientious. So if I wanted a dinner, usually I will, as an active service, say, "Hey, Al, you want to go out for dinner on Monday at 7?"
Demonstrating Radical Honesty (50:16)
I think we could do tie, here's the menu, link, or we could do sushi, here's the menu, link. And she will get back to me really fast. If not, what happens is every day she goes, "Oh yeah, but I'm not sure about this, but what about this restaurant?" And we ended up rushing on the plans last minute. Is this a two-way street with your friends? Like they know, I mean, obviously they know you, they know what you do, so they know they're in the matrix. They know they're in the matrix, yeah. But do you walk them through? Here's how you rate on ocean and do you show them us? Yeah, so my closest friends, first of all my closest friends know, it's to be my friend, you know that every time you hang out with me, it might be an experiment. So you have a quote that I love, "I would rather live in hard truth than ignorant bliss." Yeah. And you're really into radical honesty. I am. How does that play out in your marriage? How does that play out in your friendships? Yeah. So in my marriage, I got very lucky. I married the most honest man I ever met. So he is very direct already. So he actually has helped me in that just very directness. With friends, it's hard. I had to make the choice a long time ago when I first started this work, especially with lie detection. Lie detection is a skill that is a blessing and a curse a little bit. Just because you see inconvenient things, right? You see things that you didn't expect to see about yourself or... No, usually about other people. I think you see in the personality matrix, you see things about yourself you might not like as much. But with lie detection, you're trying to see things about other people that you might not find as convenient. So I... Yes. Find as convenient. Yes. Because what happens is, and this is what happened at the very beginning, of sort of honing the skill and leveraging it, is I started to see friends who were not only lying to me but lying to themselves. And I had to make a choice without either going to have fewer high quality friends or less quality but more quantity friends. And this was right at that stage where I was trying to figure out what kind of friendships that I want to have on social media. And it's the same, I think, question that we all have to ask ourselves. I think of social media friendships like Cotton Candy. And I call these Cotton Candy friendships. So Cotton Candy friendships are great. These are the people that you love seeing at a party, right? You see them, you're like, "Oh, you do a squiggle. You're so excited to see them." You know, they're also the woo girls, you know? Woo! You see them. And I get excited. You tell them, "I don't know." With that? I have zero. That's okay. I'm sure you've seen it before. And they're really fun to hang out with. There's a lot of substance there. There's a lot of nutrition. You wouldn't text them if you were going through something hard. You wouldn't call them if something happened to them. But it's a fun, exciting friendship. The thing is, is you eventually need to have a meal, right? Like Cotton Candy is okay every once in a while. But if you have too much of it, your teeth begin to like rot from it. You know, they ache from the sugar and they give you a sugar headache. And so I think that it's about, what are the friends that give you nutrition? Like the brisket friends. And then which of those friends that are kind of the surface ones? And that was a big decision I had to make.
Sculpting Friendships (53:31)
You've talked about breaking up with friends. So how do you sculpt that garden of friendship? It's so hard. So I think that adult friendships is, you know, when you're a teenager, everyone's talking about like bullying and cyberbullying. I think that as adults, this adult friendship issue is the next sort of frontier of talking about how do we court friends? How do we build a friendship when it's not romantic? How do we break up with a friendship when it's been too long? And the biggest thing that happens with friendships is they do go stale. And it's a very weird thing to say. But there are people, I'm sure you could think of someone in your life where every time their number pops up on a text message, you're like, "Oh, it's been a while. I better call them." Or, you know, you see them out of convenience or out of location. And I think those are the kind of friendships that really drain you. There's actually a study that was done on ambivalent relationships. This is so interesting. Yeah, I'm thinking about ambivalence a lot. So toxic people, we get it, right? We all understand that we want to get rid of toxic people. That's more obvious. The real danger, I think, is ambivalent relationships. So these ambivalent relationships are the people where either you don't know how you stand with them. So you don't know if they like you or not. And they're also the people where you don't know if you really enjoy hanging out with them or not. Have you ever had that? Yes. And you're like, is this going to be fun? Was that fun? Is this fun? And I think those are the ones that take the more energy. There are also the more dangerous ones because they tend to creep in and stay in. Tell me, what is charisma? Charisma is the perfect blend of being likable and powerful. That was really cool.
Break It Down (55:07)
Boom, homie. We rock that in very few words. Words or something. So likable and powerful. So now break those two elements down for me. So likability. Okay, so I think that what there's a mistake that happens with very smart people. This is the one that we see the most often is really smart intelligent people. They want to hit you with their smarts. They want to be impressive. And so they come into interaction or on a video call and they're like, I want to blow you away. So they mention accolades and numbers and fancy facts and rehearsed answers. And people will see them as impressive, capable, powerful, but cold, intimidating, hard to talk to. And so, and this is what the research found. Competence without warmth leaves people feeling suspicious. Suspicious, why suspicious? This is from Dr. Susan Fisk that is a direct quote. I memorized it because it took my breath away when I read it because I realized for so long, as you know, I'm a recovering awkward person, I would try to impress people and make sure that they liked me. And so I would try to blow them away with smarts. And the problem is, is that when you do that, it leaves people feeling suspicious. And that's because when we don't have likability, likability softens our power. When we add the warmth plus competence, so likable, friendly, compassionate, trustworthy, plus capable, powerful, impressive, that's the sweet spot. And the study, what they did is they had participants look at short clips of politicians. They didn't know these politicians. They had them walk to clips of politicians. And they asked them two different questions. Who is warm, likable, and trustworthy, and who is dominant, powerful, and capable? The politicians who had only one of those were not rated as charismatic. They were not as successful. They weren't as successful in real life or just in the study. In the study, they were ranked very low on the charisma skills. They could be seen as trustworthy, but if they weren't also powerful, they were not seen as compelling. They were not seen as convincing. They weren't seen as memorable. So the biggest challenge I think we have to be charismatic is to show up as our warmest, most competent self, but it has to be that balance. Of course. And that's why it's amazing. But it's like, talk about feeling like you're being pulled in two opposite directions. And I find it, I don't want to use the wrong word here. I find it easy to be warm. And I find it easy to be intense. I find it difficult to be warm and intense. I thought you didn't use the word intense. Use powerful, but I guess I don't like doing that monocor at myself. But yes, so warm and intense, I find extraordinarily difficult. Yes. Warm or intense. That's a lot easier. I'm going to make you feel better. Please. Actually, the research finds they can be chronological. Okay. And this is extremely helpful. Like, well, this is like next level. Yes. Which should come first. Warmth. Okay.
Cognitive Social Skills And Interpersonal Reactions
The Input We Want (58:00)
Why? As humans, when we first meet another human, the very first question we ask about them is, can I trust you? Right? So like from across the room on a video call, in an email, we are looking, can I trust you? Are you on my side? Are you a threat? Can I make sure that I'm not going to be at harm? Not just physical harm, but even like emotional harm. Are you on my side? The next question we answer, and it is the next question is, can I rely on you? So let's take an email, for example, because that's the easy, we can control all the elements. In a really good email, we do this sometimes naturally, but not always. The subject and the opener should be warm. Maybe the opening line is also warm, and the content, the body of the email is competent, competent, competent, and the sign off is your choice. So for example, when we look at words, I love power of word choice. What research finds is when we read words like collaborate, we are more likely to be collaborative. When we read words like power, we are more likely to be powerful. Here's a specific study. It's a little complicated. Can I go? Can I go to eat? Yeah, yeah, please. The study like blew my mind. So here's what they did. They had participants come into the lab, and they gave them like a quiz, like a math test they had to solve. One set of participants got a set of directions that was very simple. It said, please take this test, take your time, answer all the questions correctly. The second group got a set of directions, but they sprinkled in a couple of high achievement words or achievement-oriented words. So achievement-oriented words are like win, succeed, master, achieve. We love those words. They like give us the tingles. They just sprinkled them in. They wanted to know if just adding in a couple of achievement-oriented words would change participants' behavior. Just those achievement-oriented words made them get more answers right. So it actually changed their performance. In other words, reading the word win makes you think more like a winner. It changes your physiology to be more like a winner. Second, this is where I think it gets more interesting. It doubled, doubled their desire to work on the task. So it made them work on the quiz longer, and it made them enjoy working on the quiz. And lastly, it actually changed their physiology. So when we read- What were they measuring? So how many questions I got right? But when you say it changed their physiology, how do we know? Yes. They are measuring the amount of testosterone or dopamine or oxytocin on this setting. They took their blood levels? I believe it was either blood or saliva. Wow. To see if their physiology would change. So when we read words like this, it actually changes how we think and how we feel. So I share this because I think we send emails or we have a LinkedIn profile and we throw it in. Hey everyone, today we have to get a lot of things done. It's going to be really busy week. Let's make sure that we overcome all those challenges. When you write words like busy, people are literally primed to be busier. When you write words like challenge, they're more likely to be challenged. So going back to warmth and competence is a challenge for everyone. If you open up your last five cent emails to important people, only the important ones, and you count the number of warm words you're using and the number of competent words you're using, you will see exactly how you're coming across to others. But the best thing you can do is open with warmth, hit them with competence, and end with purpose. The truth is hitting your career goals is not easy. You have to be willing to go the extra mile to stand out and do hard things better than anybody else. But there are 10 steps I want to take you through that will 100 X your efficiency so you can crush your goals and get back more time into your day. You'll not only get control of your time, you'll learn how to use that momentum to take on your next big goal. To help you do this, I've created a list of the 10 most impactful things that any high achiever needs to dominate. And you can download it for free by clicking the link in today's description. All right, my friend, back to today's episode. The number of times that I've written an email where I'm like, okay, let's do this. We're literally the first word is, let's do this, or text, even worse. And then I'm about to hit send. And I'm like, let me just quick go back to this. And I'm like, oh my God, hi, good morning, you know, like to add something. Although after reading the book, I realized I'm adding sort of the lamest, most boring, easy to tune out words, humanly possible. But are you usually adding warmth or competence? Oh, I don't think of it. I'm always trying to add warmth. I never think about the competence. I'm always just goal oriented. So the thought that triggers in my head is always there is something very specific in concrete I'm trying to accomplish.
Warmth or Competence (01:02:22)
Yes. And I go right to it. Yes. And I find so every every time I read your books or we get to sit down together, we're on camera or off camera, I become hyper aware in a good way. Because I think that too often I'm not thinking through, like I'm in my head, I know what I'm trying to do. But I forget that you really do have to do the emotional management, the relationship management, especially when you have employees. It's, you've that every time you touch somebody, it's like accumulating into their perception of who you are. And so if all I'm ever doing is goal oriented and I'm not taking the time to connect with them as a human, it gets weird. So anyway, I don't think about warmth or competence in the first pass, because I'm just in the task. Then I go back and I do a warmth pass. Yes. Usually. I'm sure I forget.
Isolation in Iron Curtain (01:03:20)
Yeah. Yes. But it is, it's very interesting how your default mode doesn't take any of that into consideration. Right. And I think that that's why we're so burnt out. What do you mean by that? I think the reason why we're all like, I'm in this malaise, like the days are so long, why we're so burnt out is because our way that we communicate has changed and we're trying to get things done. We've become a very task. Is this specific to COVID? No. I think this is what's already brewing. You said the way that we work has changed. I think the way that we work has changed. I think since video calls, emails and digital communication has been easy and then it got exacerbated by COVID because what's happening is our way of communication is changing. So we're putting more out, right? Our output for communication. I don't know, quadruple 10x. Think about the days where we didn't have email or text, just phone. We maybe had an in-person conversation with a colleague and in-person conversation with our partner. We maybe picked up the phone and called someone. What is that? At the maximum, you could have 20 or 30 interactions in a day at the max. But that's only if you're isolated because so recently we started having people, if they wanted to, come back to the house, you have to test every day, blah, blah, blah. Yes. And yesterday was the first day, we're like, there were quite a few people here. Yes. And we were all sitting around the table and I was like, wow, this is so the amount of communication I would have said is way higher, but it was all informal. So it was like, it wasn't a meeting. It wasn't like, if I send a text, it has a really specific agenda. I'm trying to get to this. It was goofing around. It was being more playful. It was quick like things about, hey, have you talked to this person, that kind of thing? And I was like, whoa. Because I've said to people, hey, I'm a little worried about working from home because I love it as a sort of, I will say I'm introverted. I'm an ambivert to your point, and you could talk about you go into that in the book. But I'm also almost isolationist when I'm in introvert mode, where it's like, I don't want to see or talk to anybody. I put over the ear headphones. I don't want people interrupting me or talking to me. But I began to like, I'm a little worried on the creative side. That's where I've always focused on the creative side that we're losing energy. And it's hard to get people excited about something when it's like, you know, this asynchronous communication. And yesterday when people were in the room, I was like, oh my God, like just the human connection and the fun. Yes, and the flood of chemicals. Right. So I think that when we're in person, and there was what maybe five or 10 people, those are five or 10 connections that you're having all day or during a meeting. In a digital world or we're having online connection, we could have hundreds, right? Like every text we send is its own unique communication. And that burns us out because it's giving us all the same information without the chemicals. Right. So in person. So with you, the timing of this conversation is so on point for what's going on in my life. We have to manage that, right? Like, I want you to be aware that, okay, if people come over, I'm getting way more chemicals. I'm getting the oxytocin of the handshake. I'm getting oxytocin from the eye context. I'm getting dopamine because we're smiling and laughing together. And I'm getting the information I've been getting for the last, you know, couple months in a text or an email or even a video call, it shrinks. We're getting way less of the good chemicals, way less of the dopamine and oxytocin, but the same amount of information. I think that is why we're so burnt out. So I think the more that we can take control of our cues. So, you know, I've always struggled with confidence. I've always tried to grasp that, you know, that amazing spirit. The only way to do it is control for me. But I think that con- Controling the environment? Controlling my cues. Okay. So I think that the only way that I feel confident is if I know, okay, I had this important email, I have to send to a team member. And here's the information I get across. I do the same thing as you. I think most people do. I get the information out first, typically, right? Like, here's what has to get done. And then I add in the warmth, typically in the first 10 words. And this is a really easy way to do it for yourself. This is only when it's important. It doesn't have to be every email. I think, okay, what is the person? What do I want this person to feel? If I were with them in person, what would I want to gift them? When I want to give them excitement? Like, get excited about them. Gift. I think it's a gift. I think that we can prevent burnout by gifting the right chemicals. Right? Like it takes effort. Like a gift. So I'm like, okay, I want this person to be excited about this project. I'm going to use words that cue for excitement. And this is literally what the research shows that when we say things like, what are you excited about? Or I can't wait for this project or I'm looking forward to this? Those are excitement words. Or do I want to gift strategy? Do I want to gift efficiency? Do I know that we are pushed for time and I want to gift streamline, collaborate, brainstorm, credible? The more I use those words, the more I am literally gifting that testosterone, that chemical. So I think that that's how we can next level. It's like next level. We can gift those chemicals to people in our in-person interactions, but also in our emails and our videos.
Gifting the right social cue (01:08:22)
I find really interesting about that is that you're queuing not only to other people, but to yourself, even selecting the word gift, which is an interesting reframe for me as I think about that. Think about the different interactions and what I want to communicate. But even choosing that word feels very different than communicate or even give. That's really powerful. Getting the framing device right so that whatever your emotional goal is there. You just queued me that you want to talk. This is so interesting and you go into detail about this like the cues that people will do. Walk me through what just happened in the last nine seconds. I really wanted to reframe you because you were wanting to get it done, which was good. We were talking about how do we make it better, how do we get it done? The reframe I wanted to give was this is like a gift. And how did you interrupt me though without saying a word? So first I was using the word gift, which I think already was like, like your brain was like, oh, that's something different. And then also I leaned into you, right? And I widened my eyebrows a little bit just to show like we're open, like we're getting into this. So like those were two high warmth cues. So when we think about nonverbal, I was trying to queue you for warmth, right? So I leaned a little bit more. And by the way, this changes our brain. So the study that I share in the book, which is just try anyone, just try leaning in a little bit. It will actually activate a different area of your brain. So when I lean in a little bit, you lean in a little bit more like your head actually in a bit, which activates your motivation. And then even just taking a breath and slightly opening your mouth, I was like, up, I know it is so interesting. I knew exactly that you had something to say. And I think we all take it for granted how you can use that in the book.
Assertiveness for Introverts (01:10:03)
You walk people through, hey, if there's somebody that's talking too much and you need to interrupt them, but you don't want to like, please. Okay, okay. So this is like a superpower. So if I have anyone who's an introvert, anyone who's awkward, anyone who lacks social assertiveness, I think social assertiveness is actually like a hidden trait that everyone should learn because to be socially assertive, it means you're putting your needs forward, but you're being polite about it, right? So you're not you're not people pleasing, you're not betting over. Okay. So this is if you have an interruptor. So you have someone who constantly interrupts you, you have a couple techniques. First is the open mouth, which I just did to you. So the open mouth, I call up the fish. So if you want to say something you, right? And the bigger the open, the more they'll notice this works on video calls, this works in person. So if someone's talking to you, you're like, Oh, she didn't say something and you'll bookmark it. They'll literally go wait, she has to say something. So try opening the mouth. The second one is we are very cute that a hand raise or even a finger raise means one moment. Can I say something? And so if you have someone who's talking or who interrupted you, you can literally that little bookmark or a little like it's like a pupil raising your hands. And the next level is you actually reach out and touch them. And that's like my least favorite, but if you really have a favorite, because in this world, if we're six feet apart, right, it's really hard to cross that space boundary. And also some people aren't comfortable with touch. So I reserve that one. If you're only like, I really need to get their attention, touches like the nuclear weapon or maybe plutonium is the right word. It's the plutonium of communication. It can be used to create nuclear power or an atomic bomb. I don't think we talked about this in the last time they were together, but I went out on a business evening with a woman who touched so much that I was almost laughing to myself. And I know, and it actually wasn't awkward. And what made it so interesting was how hyper aware of it I was and that it still worked. And I was like, how is this possible? Like it was working. Yeah, like forearm, hand, oh my god, laughing shoulder.
How Magicians Acclimate Touch in Tricks (01:12:09)
I was like, what is happening right now? I felt like I was at a magic show. So this is a this is a thing that magicians do. They acclimate you to being touched. So when they pick your pocket, you've just been so used to them touching. You don't even notice. Wait, I asked you where did she touch you arm arm shoulder? Okay, so yeah. So this is for if you want to be a toucher, if you want to like use this plutonium, I like that word, keep in mind that the further up the arm you go, the more intimate the touch. So like if you want to start with a touch, like a hand touch is the least intimate, the most safe, right? So if someone's like talking like this, you could reach out and touch their hand. That's the most. I'm so like germphobic now. If somebody's if you touch my arm, I'm fine. If you touch my hands, like, yo, those are fighting words. I wonder if that's changed it like now because our hands can certainly be weird about it. Okay, so for the beyond and back is usually okay. Like, but the more the lower we go, the more intimate the touch becomes. I was curious if it was all here. It was and it broke down like every barrier that I had it was so interesting because I would I am so weird about that. I would never reach out and touch somebody that I did not know extraordinarily well. No, no, no, no, yeah, like it was really, it was working. It so well, I was like, I know this is a thing. I can't bring myself to do it. Yeah. And yet, as somebody's doing it to me and it was so frequent, she must have touched me. You're gonna think I'm kidding. 42 times in the night. I mean, it was hilarious and effective.
Touch Communication And Self-Comfort
The Science of Touch Communication (01:13:36)
Okay, so let's talk about touch. So the reason why touch works is because it produces oxytocin. We also can self produce oxytocin. So that's why like, if you rub your hands whenever I have students who are really nervous, I say self touch. And the reason for this is because you can literally keep it clean boys and girls. Yeah, I knew I had to forgive me. I was like, do I do it or I let him do it? I was like, softball. Thank you. Okay. So yeah. I'm practicing being warm. You see, I love it. I love it. Self touch PG, right? So you can like rub your arms like this will literally produce oxytocin. Justin Bieber does a havening. Have you heard of havening? Because of you. Yes. Okay. So havening is when we like try to stimulate our senses, you'll notice you'll often like rub this and I'm not going to do it because my hair looks cute today. So I'm not going to do it today. But you can rub your arms to literally trigger that oxytocin. I saw in you were talking about Justin Bieber and you did a self hug. I do. And you started doing it on camera and you actually got lost. I'm not going to do it right now because I'm worried it's going to lose me. So interesting.
A Self Hug for a Da Dopamine (01:14:34)
I'm going to do it. Okay. I'm doing it too. Just do it. This feels better. Do it and then take a deep breath. Yeah, that does feel nice. I don't know if I'm getting it from the touch or I really, when I close my eyes and breathe deeply, I actually did get full body chills. But like what? Yeah. What? Did that just happen? Like don't you feel like we're good? I don't know if it for me if it was the hug or the deep breath closing my eyes and deep breathing. That alters my neurochemistry so fast. Yeah. And so getting into self soothing for me in a way is I touch my face. So the little tickles that that gives me just feels awesome. Yes. But meditative breathing with my eyes closed. And I remember being so excited to gift Lisa the power of meditation and being like, Oh my God, sit comfortably close your eyes over the ear headphones, sound of nature and just breathe from your diaphragm. And the first breath I ever took like that was life changing because it changed my neurochemistry so rapidly. Yes. And Lisa was like, this is bullshit. Like I don't feel anything. And I was like, what? I was utterly shocked. Okay. So let's talk about self soothing for a second because this is a, this is like a powerful kind of back pocket tool. If you've ever been in a meeting and you blanked out, you want to give yourself a distancing behavior or gift your self a distancing behavior.
Use a Distancing Behavior (01:15:54)
The problem is, is when you're in it, right? So you're in a presentation, you're on stage or on a video call, you're in a day and you blank out, you're in it. Usually you're like leaned in, you're lean forward, you want to do it. And what people make the mistake of doing is they go further in, they go, um, um, um, um, um, have you ever seen people like on stage? I've been that person. Yes. Yes. They're like, they're literally like, where is it? And they're trying to get it. That is actually the worst thing you can do. You're actually overloading your prefrontal cortex by trying to get more. What I want you to actually do is back up. So I want you to give yourself physical and emotional distance. So if you're in that, just take a step back, either sit back or take a step back, try to angle your head back.
The Super Notch (01:16:34)
And if you can't, even if it's subtle, just that changes the nature of your brain. When you take a step back, research has found that when you literally take a step back, you are able to get more perspective. So if you ever blank out, don't lean in, lean back, take a step back, take a breath back, grab your water, right? Right. I'm back with you. Here's what I was saying. That's how I want you to do it. It's super smooth and it actually helps that reset. That's what we're actually doing for ourselves. And if you're alone, of course, you can do the self touch. Your super journal notch. It's a little notch right here between your two collarbones. Between between the two collarbones. I don't find myself touching there, but I am obsessed with where like here. Yeah, I don't know why. Same. As I was reading in the book, I'm like, is this a blocking behavior? Am I doing something subconsciously? This is an absolutely a self soothing behavior. The reason why that feels so good. And so when we touch even anywhere in this area, including like our neck, it reminds us of like calm down, calm down. So like a very subtle thing. This stuff is so weird. It's so weird that we have like, we're doing a weird one. We're talking about weird one. I don't know why we picked all the weird ones. But like if I'm going to fiddle with anything, I will fiddle with my neck and I will touch whatever this part of the level is. Feels so good. Because it feels so good. Yeah. Because you know that instinctively that's giving you a nice physiological response of staying calm anywhere in here is that now touching your face. Something important I just want to talk about is research finds that when we self touch, especially our face and our stomach.
When We Self-Touch (01:18:02)
And these, I don't know how we're talking about all the weird ones. People people perceive that as closer to deception or nervousness. The sept... nervousness I get, but why deception? Deception. I think it's because... And I obsessively palpate my adipose tissue around my stomach. So basically, another way I pinch my fat. So I do it all the time to see like how far under the skin is my muscle tone. You have to. Otherwise you can get out of control. Because I don't weigh myself. So that's my way of knowing like, am I in check where I'm at? And so, but I never thought of it as a soothing behavior, which may be another reason why I said consciously I'm doing. But when I say I do it, I do it 60 times a day. Have you talked about this before? I did not notice that. I... well, I'm never going to do it on camera. And if I'm... Yeah, if you hung around me long enough, you would see me do it a lot. Well, now I know why though. Yeah. Okay, so let's talk about it. So, I think the reason why this internally our brain is like, ooh, deception is because liars want to hold things back. And liars are typically very nervous. Which in the book, by the way, you do some awesome breakdowns of like, here's this famous person, Lance Armstrong, Bill Clinton, A. Rod, and like, you give the moments and like, it's really interesting to watch back that stuff. And like, you watch after like, oh, I didn't see that cue. I like cues hiding in plain sight. That's like my favorite. So liars, yes, like, like, Lance Armstrong, for example, when he was on Larry King Live saying he wasn't doping, spoiler alert, he doped, right? He lip-pursed. He presses lips together because he wanted to like withhold the lie. So liars often want to withhold because they know lying gets them into trouble. They also are very nervous as they're trying to self-soothe. So they typically touch their face and there are three areas of the face that they touch, eyes, nose and mouth. Research has found this so, it's to maximize getting sick. It's wonderful. True. And liars will get sick more often, right? I don't know about that. That's not research claims. That's not really just fact. But why? So like, for example, they found there's like a Pinocchio's nose effect that when we lie, our nose, the tissue in our nose gets a little bit itchy. They found that when we are lying, we want to like block out the lie. So we eye block. So when liars are lying, they'll be like, yeah, it's just been really hard and they'll fuss at their eyes because they also have, they want to block it out with a high blink rate. So Britney Spears, some of her early interviews, when she's asked really hard questions, all of a sudden she'll, I mean, I just really want to, I don't know, I just want to talk about that. But the reason that I'm talking about it, and she has this like, rapid blink rate. And that is because we were trying to block it out. And the last one is mouth touch. Liars, like when I asked my daughter, did you take the cookie? She'll go, no, she covers her mouth. Are you going to teach her about the strategies? And if so, what age? So I've already started teaching the facial expressions. I've already started to use them or what you're looking at to spot them. So like, for example, she's three and a half. Wow. Oh, yeah. Oh, and it's so helpful to her because, again, control, right? Like, I didn't get confidence naturally, but the more that I've been in control of the cues I'm sending to others and also seeing the cues that are being sent to me, the more confident I feel. So we're on the playground and she'll say, I want to play with her or should I go ask them to play, I'll say, well, look at their face. Do they look happy? Or do they look sad? And if they look happy, I say, well, she looks happy. Why don't you go over and ask her? And then I say, look at her face. If she says she's happy and she wants to play with you, she wants to play with you. Or does she look sad? So we practice the facial expressions and she knows them. Like, she knows and we were watching a Spanish movie and she doesn't speak Spanish one day, hopefully. And she could say, oh, why? She said, why is he sad, mama? Because he didn't even the cartoon character was showing classic sadness. So sadness is an upside down you. So we pull our mouth down and then we pinch the corner of our eyebrows and we droop our lids. Like that. Even the cartoon character was showing that face and she could see he was sad. So I think as young as possible. The whole notion of frenemies, I find really, really intriguing.
And this is something certainly that I've dealt with in my life. And it was weird to me how until I read that, that it didn't register why that would be so insidious. So what the study, what the science says, they did a research study with police officers. And they asked police officers to identify the amount of toxic people in their workplace and the amount of ambivalent people. And they found that the police officers who had more ambivalent relationships were sick more often, had less happiness at work and didn't like their job as much. Then police officers who had toxic people. Just think about that for a second. And the reason for this is because if you have a toxic person, boundaries are easy. They ask you to go out to lunch and you're like, no thanks. Like you know it's a no thanks. Where's the benevolent person ask you out to lunch or ask you to their birthday party or ask you to work on something. It takes this mental energy where you have this thing where you're like, like will it be good? Would I rather eat alone at my desk or would I rather have lunch with this person. And when it's not always easy, that's an incredible drain on our emotional energy. And if you are an introvert or an ambivert, an ambivert is someone who is kind of splits between extra version and introversion, your energy is finite and our mental space is finite. And this is something that I did not realize until much more recently. I thought that mental space was sort of endless. Right? You could learn forever. You could think about things forever. But actually we only have a certain amount of mental time every day. And if we're dedicating that to trying to figure out if someone likes us or not, which is a very important thing we all like to be liked whether we admit it or not, that I think is a waste of mental energy. Why would we want to spend it towards that?
Self-Insight And Honest Emotional Expression
The biggest question to ask yourself: Are they ever doubting they're happy for you? (01:23:56)
That's why I think ambivalent people are more dangerous. Do you have a checklist? Because I'm like thinking back to the people that managed to become frenemies in my own life. It's kind of scary how long it took me to be able to put that label on them to like sort of wake up to the fact that either they always were or the relationship had evolved to that. Like years, right? Years. I know. So I don't have a checklist. It's actually just one simple question. All right. Sarah. Are you ever doubting that they're really happy for you? Wow. That cuts right to the heart of it. I mean, that's it. And that happens actually quite often. Like there are these people who make these very passive, aggressive comments. We're like, was that nice or was that mean? If you're ever questioning that, that means they are not truly happy for you. Or if you have a piece of really good news, they are really true good friend will mirror and match that excitement with you. Someone who's not as happy for you will come in with dream killer questions. You know dream killers? Oh, yeah. Yeah. Dream killer questions are when they question your success, they doubt the success, they think of all the negatives. And dream killers are not always bad. I have dream killers in my life and I call them when I need someone to poke holes in a business idea, right? Like I'll pitch them because they're great practice. But I know they are not the people that I go to when I have something I'm truly excited about. So that's the only question you have to ask yourself. And it might be an inconvenient truth. Like don't answer it off the cuff. Like don't answer it really quickly. Like try to think of all the times in the last six months that you've seen them and shared something. Did you feel like they were as happy as you were about your happiness? Yeah. And this is this is one of those things that has made a big impact in my life because you can very slowly, especially in business, find yourself in a situation where you don't know who to trust. And I find and maybe it's the psychic energy like you were talking about emotional energy. For me, it became a question of emotional safety where when I know you're my enemy, I don't feel emotionally vulnerable, oddly enough, even though I know you may actively be out to get me. Like I can handle that. Yeah. It's when I'm like giving you my neck, if you will, enough. And every now and then you actually take a swipe at it. And so I'm just like, oh, yeah, that's when you lose sleep. Yeah. Like, yes, literally. And you and you sit in bed and you rerun all the things they've said or you've said, you worry about all the things that could potentially happen. You know, we talk about psychic energy. I actually think that we are, this is going to sound so weird, I actually think that we pick up on more chemically than we realize.
You had talked to me about that. Okay. So I don't believe in psychics. I don't believe in psychic energy. But I do believe that things happen beyond our conscious awareness in this sense. So there was a study that was done that looked at fear. So what they did is they took participants, they had them wear sweat pads, absorbent sweat pads and run on the treadmill. And the, they collected sweat from these people running on the treadmill. Then they had participants wear sweat pads and jump out of an airplane for our first time skydiving experience. Okay. So they had sweat pads that were just treadmill sweat pads and they had first skydiving sweat pads. Okay. Same sweat, but is it really? Then they had participants in a lab sit in an fMRI machine. Their brain was being scanned and smell kind of gross, both pads. They did not know what they were smelling. They had no idea what they were smelling. They found that when participants smelled the fear sweat pads, the skydiving sweat pads, their own fear response activated in their brain. So that means that somehow I think that we can smell emotions. So if you are with someone and they are either they do not mean well for you or they are planning on taking a swipe at your neck, you somehow smell that threat. And even though consciously your brain is going, they didn't say anything, they didn't do anything, their body language is okay. It seems all okay. The other part of your brain, the animal part of your brain, which is firing in fear response or threat response is going, no, watch out. And that's what keeps you up at night. Is your conscious brain wrestling with the unconscious part of your brain? I think that's when we talk about being psychic or having premonitions. I think that that's actually what's happening. We're smelling or picking up on things that we don't even realize. Yeah, that's crazy. And just for clarity's sake, when I said psychic energy, it does not mean psychic like a psychic. I also think it's nuts. That's, yeah, that is incredibly interesting. I was going to add the other aspect of this is facial structure. There was a part in the book that had- I'm obsessed with this stuff.
6. Make your turtle face (01:28:24)
Were you able to sort of see the faces? Were you able to see them? Yes. And I like to think that I'm like Jedi level at the slicing. Cool. Okay. Just from the amount of interviewing that I've done, I'm totally obsessed with this question of how much, and it scares me because I think I definitely have resting bitch face. So let's start with that. And then on top of that, like when I would explain to people, like what then slicing is, hey, you're walking in a dark alley and you turn around and you see like this little old lady and she seems so sweet, like you thin slice immediately, not a threat. My brain immediately used the example, but if you turn around and see me, you're going to get freaked out. And I thought, I have like a face that like I would thin slice poorly. Like I would not thin slice myself. Like what a loving, kind individual. Okay. Okay. So I don't think you're wrong. See? I don't think you're wrong. And you're like, this is what you do. I'm so sorry. I know. I'm not inconvenient truth, but let me explain why. Please. Okay. So there is some evidence. And again, there's a lot of research that's going to be done on this, but I find it fascinating about in the womb, babies are exposed to mother's hormones. So that could be testosterone, that could be estrogen, that could be any, any different variety of things. And those change or turn on different genes in the baby. So for example, if a baby was exposed to a lot of testosterone prenatally, they are going to develop more masculinized feature, both men and women. So we know a face is very masculine. If they have a very, very square jaw, if they have the presence of stubble, if they have flat eyebrows and or slightly hooded eyebrows, that's your face. Okay. So it's wonderful. No, no, no. It's a good thing. It's a good thing. Because it's a very masculinized face. So what you that is 100% right. So in the book, I have computer graphics of incompetent faces to competent faces, dominant, not dominant faces to dominant, not competent to competent. And then I think it's trustworthy, not trustworthy. So you fall very high on the dominance scale. So if someone turned around and you were in a back alley, you look very masculinized, which means that you have a lot of testosterone and people who we met with more testosterone are going to be more powerful, have shorter temper, all these things. So it's about the shape of your jaw. It's about the hooding of your eyebrows, and then the presence of stubble and you wear stubble. Yeah. Yeah. So this is, I think this is a good thing. And this is a good thing. Does it help that if the little old lady turns around and I actually worry about it? Like I distance my, like if I find myself and I know this woman is kind of a heart attack, she turns around. Like, so I'll start slowing down or I'll walk like over to the side and fast so she can see how I try to do my neutral goofy face. Which, let me see it. How is it? It's like the arched eyebrows, like I try to like half smile and I feel like such a dumb ass. No, no, but I'm like, I have seen so I used to do speech and debate in high school. Oh, yeah. And one time like I had crushed it. I was so excited and I got the review back and it was like, dude, what is wrong? Try not to look so angry. And I was like, what? Like I literally, and so I read it to someone and they're like, yeah, dude, you like put your head down and then look up. You look like a serial killer. And I was like, what? So literally I go, I go in the bathroom. I took my head down and I look up. Yo, yeah. Oh, I thought. Oh, I was like, what the hell? We do that to a camera because that is it that is. Yeah, that's when I realized that I'm like, it's fine. Yeah. So, yeah. And but now you know why, right? You know, it's the shape of your jaw and your face. So you, what you did is perfect. You optimized how you were naturally wired, right? Okay, right. So it's to show me your, what did you call it? Your goofy silly face? My goofy neutral face. Can I see your goofy neutral face again? Okay. Okay. Perfect. Okay. Can I explain why this works from a scientific perspective? Okay. So when we raise our eyebrows up, it is the universal sign of interest or engagement. For example, if I were in a bar and go, you would know what I meant. Or if I were to be listening and be like, Oh, you would know that means I'm like literally trying to see more, right? It's a the invocation of that. So with your eyebrows up, it changes the shape of that hooded look, right? So when you're like this, this is a very high testosterone when you're when your eyebrows are hooded. So when you push them up, not only does it show openness, engagement, curiosity, say, hi, it also takes away the hooding. And then you also slightly open your mouth a little bit. That also softens your jaw. So in a way that takes your face and just makes it more open. I think this is something, I mean, this is actually a very good thing because I think it's part of the reasons why you were so successful. We like people who are very powerful, who have high testosterone. We like it for both men and women. So your look shows intensity. It shows strength. It shows power. So never be angry at how you are wired, your genetics, how your face looks, because that is, I think, a huge contributor to your success. I feel that way with everyone. We all have things about our face, about our personality, about our body, about that we don't like. But I think that if we can frame it as this has been an aspect or it can be an aspect of our success, that's extremely important. For example, I also have resting bitch face. So I was critiquing you. So I should critiquing myself as well. So I have resting bitch face. And the reason for this is because my features angled downwards. So at rest, this is me at rest. And I just look like terrible. I'm just like, oh, I'm bored. I'm upset. And that is because my lips when I when they're at rest angle slightly downwards and my eyes also angle slightly downwards. Even if I'm totally neutral, I angle down. So I know that I can look very, very serious, but it's also helped me because I am a science researcher. It's very important for me to look like I'm taking things seriously as I am. So when I want to be more on or engaged, you'll notice that I actually do my makeup a very specific way. I don't know if you can see my makeup. So I angle up. And I also put my shadow a little bit above my brow bone, a little bit above my eye to bring my eyes up. That is because I know that's going to make me look a little happier, a little less sad, a little less intense. So this is something that I know about myself, but I don't think that that's a bad thing. It's just something that I know I have to counteract a little bit. All right. So I want to go back to radical honesty. So what does that look like?
7. Use radical honesty (01:35:17)
Like what are you actually saying to your friends in particular? So this means that instead of making up an excuse, I will just tell them the real reason I don't want to do something. So for example, a good friend of mine was like, "Hey, I have this networking event that I'm throwing. It's with a bunch of women in Oregon. I live in Portland. You should definitely come and do a little speaking thing. And it'll be really great." Instead of me saying, "Oh, I'm really busy or I don't have time for it right now," I was like, "Hey, I do terribly at really big, loud networking events. You don't want me there. I get really anxious. It's really hard for me. Is there any way that we could do a luncheon instead where we're like around a table where we can talk in a more quiet environment?" So instead of making up some excuse, I actually will tell them the real reason why I do or don't want to do something.
Personality matrix (01:36:04)
And then we try to work around it. And what does that look like at work? At work. So we have a wonderful team. So we're about six people in our lab and then we have 120 science people trainers. So our trainers are body language trainers and they do my curriculum and they're different cities around the world. So basically what this means is we have a very direct task management system. So I think that is incredibly important with your team to A, know their personality matrix. So I know everyone on my team, their personality matrix, and also how they like to receive feedback and how they like to brainstorm. So for example, let's say that I have an idea and I want to do a big brainstorming session. I like to brainstorm out loud, but I know that two of my team members do not. So they might say to me, "If we're in a big brainstorming session, I'm like, 'Any ideas? Any ideas?" And it's like crickets. They would say to me and they would have complete permission to do so, "Hey Vanessa, would there be any way that you could write down these ideas? Give us about a week to kind of prepare something and then we could get back together next Friday? I'm not really ready to brainstorm right now." Instead of having a really lame drawn out 50-minute session work, no one's really throwing around any ideas. So it's a much faster way to speak to our natural orientations in the workplace around our team. Talk to me about identifying primary values and what they are so that you know how to better deal with people. Yeah. So I was always fascinated by motivation in the workplace especially. How do you motivate a partner? How do you motivate a colleague? How do you appeal to their interests? I talk about this in the book a little bit. I always thought that with colleagues, the biggest motivation was money. Salary, perks, bonuses. I thought that was sort of most the reason why you work. You hopefully work for a little bit of passion as well, but you're getting sort of just trying to pay the bills. And so I had one of my employees who was doing an amazing job and I was like, "You know what? I'm going to give her a raise and a bonus. She's been doing such a good job." So I had to move around some things budget wise, but I really wanted to show her how appreciative I was. We get together and I say, "I'm so excited. I'm in. I would love to give you a raise and a bonus." And she was like, "Thanks." And I was like, "That's it? That's all?" And then I discovered this research on resource theory. And so resource theory says that every interaction, every relationship, is a transaction. I know that sounds really terrible, but actually it's a very honest, very radically honest way of looking at relationships. And there are six different resources that we all give and take. And these are different in the love languages. This is resources. One of them is money. And that's the one that we think about a lot. We talk about it a lot. But what I found out is this particular employee, her primary value was actually status. How do you find that out? So when I realized she was kind of like a lackluster response, she was like, "Oh, literally, you do the thing, lackluster response. You're feeling a little bit." I feel terrible. I actually feel terrible because I went out of the way to make budget for her. And I also really wanted to thank her for her amazing work. And so when she was not happy, I was like... But you had to read through not the lie, but like she was saying, "Thank you." Yay. Negative nonverbal. I was seeing... So when we're talking about nonverbal, there's either micro advantages or micro negatives. Micro advantages? Micro advantages or micro negatives. So give me an example. Yeah. So like a micro advantage is if you ask a good question, I would be like nodding you. I'd like smile. I'd be like, "Oh, that's great. I'd widen my eyebrows." Those are all micro advantages. I'm giving you to say, "I love that question." A micro negative. This is what you probably pick up on without realizing it. Are all the things people do when they don't like a question. So maybe they lean back. Maybe they make a face. Maybe they pinch their eyebrows together. Maybe they crinkle their nose up at you. They might turn their head away and bite their nails. Those are all micro negatives. So I noticed that she wasn't showing any micro advantages and a couple of micro negatives, which is the exact opposite of what you would expect. And you just told someone that they got a raise. So I felt terrible. I felt terrible also because I was worried that she was unhappy. And did you notice it right there? Right there and then. Right in the moment. And now that I hopefully just taught that to you guys, I'm very curious if you now start seeing them right away. The nice thing about body language is it doesn't take a long time. Once you know what to look for, you see it all the time. So I noticed it right away. And I was like, "Oh, okay. Well, um, you know, it will be in your next month's paycheck. And you know, I'm just so grateful.
Micro advantages vs micro negatives (01:40:30)
Thank you so much for all your hard work. I've really appreciated your work." And she's like, "Oh, yeah, it was my pleasure. I love the science people. Okay, we're good." But I felt terrible because I was worried that she didn't like her job. Because I was like, "What else could be the reason? What else could be the reason?" I was like, "Oh my gosh, she's thinking about quitting. My minor autism went crazy. My minor autism was like, "She's gonna quit. She hates me. She hates science people." Right? Like I went all the way down that route. And so when I stumbled upon this study that maybe I was looking into motivation, I was like reading a white paper on employee engagement and employee motivation because I was worried about losing her. I found this resource theory and I was like, "Wait a minute. Status." And I started to think back to the times when she showed a lot of micro advantages. And one of the times was when we created an about our team page and I put pictures of each person on the page. She was so excited. She was like, "Oh, I'm gonna get a new headshot. I can't wait." Like she showed me like 15 headshots. She's like, "Which one has the best body language?" She was so excited. And I didn't think much of it at the time. But I was like, "I wonder if that's that is." So I had a meeting with her and I said, "Radically honest." I was like, "You know, I offered you a raise last month because I'm so appreciative of your work." I don't know if that was what you wanted. Is that what you wanted? Is that if I want to show you how grateful I am for you, what way can I do that for you here at work? And she said, "Actually, I really have been wanting a director role." I was like, "Great. Let's talk about a director role. Let's get you on a plan." And we look at titles. So I didn't realize that there was all these other things like putting her name on the website, putting her in more YouTube videos with me. I didn't realize that that was actually a huge give and so easy for me to give because I am so grateful for her. And so for me, like it was like, I was so thankful that we were able to get very quickly, very honestly, to what her value was. And I think this is the big challenge is figuring out yours and then also trying to figure out every single person that you work with, including your friends and family. So what's interesting though is the biggest shock for me from your book was how I felt like I had never categorized myself in such a clearer way.
Self-Knowledge And Emotional Health Management
How Sasha helps people who have no idea about themselves (01:42:26)
So what do you do when the person doesn't know? Yeah. So you are their decoder. And I think that is the most fun role that we can play in life. So if you have someone who is not as self-aware, right, like they don't know, they hadn't thought about it that way, you get this amazing gift of being able to unlock for and with them. I think, and that's a lot of responsibility, but I think that is one of the most amazing gifts we can give our fellow human beings. What I would do if I were you is I would go through the series of Arthur Aronson 34 questions every couple should answer. So this is a really interesting study that this researcher wanted to find out how we get to love. And he found that there are three different tiers of relationships. So in the first phase of a relationship, we're just trying to figure out interests. So it's like, you know, do you like that? I like that too. What's your hobby? And personality traits. That's the first level. That's also why I built the first level, the matrix to personality. The second level are values, which is why the next levels are around appreciation levels and values. So you're trying to figure out, you know, where does this person, what do they mean, what do they stand for. And the last one is how you relate to them, like how their how your relationships can match up. So he developed a set of 34 questions to ask to take you through all three levels through just these questions alone. So we actually have a list of them. I can send you a list of them. You can we can do them together if you want one day. And you actually go through each of these conversations, your questions, and they will take you through, not only you getting to yourself, but also them doing a self-explanatory exercise. It is the most amazing two, three, five hours you will ever spend with someone going through these questions. And that's I think how we guide someone to self-know themselves. And if you can, it's it's amazing to do them all in one session, but it's a lot, especially if you have someone who's more introverted. So I think it's very important to respect people's natural orientations. So if someone is an introvert, that means they're going to use less words in the average day. It means they're more private and it means they like to think through their answers before saying them. Extroverts usually don't want don't need any thinking time before they for they share. In fact, they tend to verbalize out loud. So they verbalize outwardly. So if you have an introvert, I would highly recommend sending the questions ahead of time so they can think about them. It's a nice way to respect their personality and or doing a few at a time. I love that. Yeah.
Why identifying your method of self-soothe is so important (01:44:56)
What's one thing that people typically don't know about themselves that you think everybody should know about themselves? Actually, it's something we briefly touched on earlier. We didn't get to talk about how you self-soothe. So everyone should know two aspects of self-soothing. The first is when you are in anxiety, whether you're a hynrotic or a lone erotic, do you like to do you like to worry outward? Do you verbalize your worry or do you shut down and close down? So when I'm very worried, I like to be alone with my journal. Like I don't want to talk to anyone. I just want to like think about it myself. Where other people like to worry with others, right? Like they like to talk through their worry and that makes them feel calm. So that's the first thing is how do you worry? Do you worry alone or do you worry with others? That's going to be very important. So if you're in one of those really terrible low points, we all hit those points, you know exactly which direction you need to do. Is it out to drinks with friends? Do you have your your brigade that you call or is it home with a journal and a big glass of wine? Those are two very different paths. That's the first thing. And the second thing is how can the people in your life help you self-soothe? I think that I don't, I think this might be more of a gender thing. I don't know. A lot of females, a lot of women in my life, when they're very, very anxious, they don't know how to ask for help. Both logistically and emotionally. What do you mean? How do you logist? So there's two ways of asking for help. And maybe my women in the room will kind of, this feels familiar. It looks so intriguing. Yeah. Okay. So when a woman is upset about something and some men too, usually there's a logistical issue, right? Like let's say that it's in-laws coming for the weekend and they get very stressed out. There's logistical issues, but there's also emotional issues. They are different. They're very different. So they're coming, that's the logistical. The emotional is, my other law is to deal with this one. Actually, we'll break it down even more closely. So logistical. Got to get the guest room ready. Got to do all the sheets. Got to prep the towels. Got to clean the house so my father-in-law doesn't critique it. Okay. Those are, those are logistical worries. I'll think about once he starts critiquing it and they're already in the house. So yeah, but I'm with you. Yeah, yeah. And women are all thinking about that way ahead of time. So right. And then the four emotional worries might be how to make sure that they actually like the house, how to make sure that we're all going to get along this weekend, how to make sure that we bring up that issue about health that we really need to talk about, and how to make sure that we actually have a relaxing weekend and it's actually a good time. Okay. Those are eight issues that usually come up around everything. There's all different issues, but they're totally different ways that we self-soothe. So logistical, how do you, who do you ask for help and how do you ask for help? Right. Like, is it going to your husband or your kids or your best friend? And for emotional issues, do you want to sort of take a few moments, take a few hours, meditate, do your thing, go for a run, you know, eat really healthy that day to get yourself in the right mind space? Or do you want to go out with friends, have a really blow out night and like kind of work out all your anxiety before they come? If you don't know that, you are going to set yourself up for failure. And you're also setting up the people in your life for failure. So the biggest mistake that I think couples fight about, they have the same fight to over and over again, is they need to ask for help, but they have no idea how to ask for it. By the way, if you don't go through this, that's how you get complete breakdowns. Because they've been, it's just bottling it out. They don't know where to go. Right. And that's how you get someone who's like yelling and running around before everyone shows up to try to get things fixed when actually they're really worried about the emotional stuff. And the questions that you just walked us through are the questions they should be asking themselves.
How to Start Worrying(01:48:31)
Yes. So very specifically, whatever it is, and you do this when you're in a point of calm, right? Not when you're already in the worry. So how do I worry? Right? Do I worry out loud? Do I worry by myself? Who can help me and how can they help? And what are the differences between my emotional and logistical worries? Because they are different. I'd be in if we know that about ourselves, we can then ask for help in better ways. And it sets up everyone in our life for a much more harmonious relationships. Oh, yeah. That's fantastic. So most of what we've talked about today is in your book, which is amazing read this book.
But there's one thing that I've heard you mention, which is a two year study you're doing on happiness, which you didn't talk about in the book. Didn't. Yeah. Do you have any nuggets that you're ready to talk about? Yeah. So I have been researching happiness for a long time. And that is because I have always been intrigued by my own happiness levels. And I felt like I always had a base point. Like, I always felt like, you know, I was sort of at a set point, and I couldn't go two points above or two points below that set point. And I wanted to note there was ways to hack happiness. So we've been setting happiness for the past two or three years at our lab. So then the most important thing that I have learned so far, and I'm going to put out more research on this, is this idea of learned helplessness. So there's this horrible study. It was done by Martin Seligman. It's horrible. Can I share it? Yeah. Okay. Okay. Okay. Yeah. So this study took dogs and they put the dogs into a cage with a mat that just very lightly shocked them. And so the dogs would get on the mat and it would how to shock them. Very unpleasant experience. They put them in these cages with these shocking mats. And then they changed the cage so that there was a space next to the mat. The dog could move off the mat. The problem is the dogs who had been on a shocking mat for a long time just gave up. They never went off the mat. In fact, they just sat and took the shocks, even though they could move off the mat. Whereas the dogs that didn't ever see the mat before immediately jumped off the mat and went to the place that didn't get the shocks. The idea of this is that we end up learning about our helplessness. So when it comes to happiness, we might have learned a pattern in college or in childhood or in our 20s or when we were broke or when we were out of a job or whatever that was. And even though the mat's not there anymore, even though the shocks aren't there anymore, we stay in the same position because that's how we've always learned to be. And so when it comes to happiness, way more than personality, way more than decoding people, I think that we can absolutely change our entire happiness orientation.
The Chart Of Happiness (01:50:55)
I think we can unlearn our helplessness to learn to help ourselves. That sounds amazing. When are you going to start putting stuff out on that? So I have one course on that already. It's called the power of happiness. And it's like a it's 10 different steps that we've just started learning about. But I will give you one just to start off with right now. And it's this. It's called I call it the skill the chart of happiness. So we end up thinking that happiness comes with the big vacation once a year or the big blow out things once every month. We don't realize that actually happiness comes in these very, very small moments every day. And actually that is those are the happiness moments we have to savor. So I highly recommend for the next few days, sit down and make a chart of everything that you do in your life. Down to making a steaming hot cup of coffee, down to going for a run, down to doing laundry. And then I want you to rank each of those things on how happy they make you. I don't mean like happiness like euphoric. I mean like happiness like content with your life. Like I am content doing this. I think this sounds crazy, but even like laundry or cooking, something we often think of as a chore can provide a certain amount of contentiveness if you look at that look at it that way. So I had to rate all of those skills. And then I want you to count up the number of hours you spend on each of those skills every day. What you'll end up finding is you end up doing what I call happy math. Happy math is basically looking at the fact that we end up spending the majority of our week, you know 90% of our week doing tasks that rank as a one or two or three. Not very happy on the happy scale. And we end up having these really small once a week moments where we're actually happy. But really they're these small little moments. It's having that amazing cup of coffee or taking in your view from your window or whatever these little small things. Those minutes add up, and I think it's about slowly hacking. How can you add in more and more of those minutes?
Gratitude Totems (01:52:59)
Here's another kind of tip on the happiness stuff that I just realized would be a really easy one to try. So I talked about these little moments of happiness. There's also these little moments of unhappiness that as humans we cannot help but infect our entire life. So you know how when you're sitting in a red light and you literally question your entire existence, is that anyone? Does that ever happen anyway? Yeah. So you're sitting in a red light and you're like, why do I sit in traffic? Why do I drive to work? Why do I do what I work? Why am I doing this? Maybe I should quit my job. Maybe I should move to Hawaii. Maybe I should have a car. Like that's like what happens, you know? So one of the hacks that I have found works really well is taking those small moments and turning them into what I call gratitude totems. So a totem is like a symbol or something to remind you of something. So I have a red light by my house that I get stopped at every single day. It doesn't even matter what time of day and I used to yell at this red light. I would curse at it and then I realized, wait a minute, like this light causes me so much unhappiness. I have such a hard time being grateful. Like every open magazine, every says, be more grateful. Who has time to be grateful? Right? Like no one has time to do that. But now I have time. So whenever I am stopped at that red light for the entire red light, I think about every single thing I'm grateful for.
Dealing With Envy
And now I get upset if I do not hit it. Because I know that every time I pull up to that red light, I have a minute and a half. Just think about all the things I'm grateful for. Check I got my gratitude off. I feel nice and good. I flipped a very unhappy moment for me that makes me question driving and cars and my life and turned it into something that actually makes me very appreciative. That is brilliant. Your envy is always kind of exaggerated because you're beginning from a place of insecurity. You're beginning from a place of inferiority where you're primed to feel envious of people like that. So it's almost starting with you. You're almost projecting onto them. They're superior qualities.