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Social Mastery (How To Stop Being So God Damn Awkward)
The Mastery Letter #19
Read time: ~9 minutes
Let’s get real here.
Most people absolutely suck socially.
They are either:
Awkward and anxious
Terrible listeners and talk about themselves 24/7
Get tribal about stupid shit and find anything to argue about
Not to mention that 33% of men these days are either virgins or haven’t had sex in a year.
Things ain’t looking good.
No need to worry, I’ve got you covered.
Here is everything you need to know to be successful with that cute girl, a new group of friends, or making a sale in your (future) business.
The good ol’ I will scratch your back and you’ll scratch mine.
You pay for lunch this time; I pay it next time.
Ever had someone do you a favor for FREE and you felt guilt after?
That is reciprocity at work. We do not like feeling like we owe someone anything, and we typically will pay them back a favor even larger if they do us a small favor.
It is deeply ingrained in humans and animals.
Countries will help other countries years later that helped them during war.
Our ancestors thousands of years ago needed this to survive. You need food? Sure. At some point I will not have food also.
This enabled a network of tribes to survive and thrive.
No one wants to feel like a moocher, so they will always pay it back at some point.
I used to give 4+ mints with the check when I worked at Olive Garden and my tips would increase by at least 15%.
If I gave 1 mint with the check, 3 more after they paid, my tip would increase even MORE.
This is cool and all, but there is a blind spot where it can be used to exploit you.
Watch out for people giving you small gifts and gestures because they are likely teeing up for a request out of you.
I was in NYC once and this dude in a goofy costume took my photo randomly and then kept asking me for payment. He was leveraging exploitative reciprocity at the highest levels.
I kindly told him to fuck off, and you should too.
A good strategy is just kindly rejecting the gifts up front if you smell bullshit.
It will often not be so obvious as the above example, so keep your eye out for people doing this.
There is the reason why The Rock, Kim Kardashian and Connor Mcgregor can literally slap a label on ANY product, and they will sell millions.
Millions of people have already vouched for them.
Their status speaks for itself, so it MUST be good.
If you see 10 people on the street looking up at the sky at a UFO, you will start to look too.. because social proof.
Sitcoms use this.
They will add fake laughter in the background, and it causes it to seem funnier because others are laughing.
If you have 5 different brands of products at the store, and 4 are fully stocked and 1 has only 1 item left, you are more likely to grab the one that has fewer.
Because if other people are buying it, it must be good.
When high status men go to the clubs, they pay for a section with bottle service.
This creates “social proof”, and all of the young beautiful women will flock to these areas because it assumes resources and status.
It is not uncommon to find 1-5% of the men at the club (high status) with 50%+ of the women in that section or trying to get into it.
Clubs are extreme examples of sexual dynamics, but it works similar outside. 10% of men on dating apps get 80% of the women.
If a man walks around with 2-3 beautiful women by his side, he is automatically assumed high value by both men AND women. This is probably the most known display of social proof at work.
If you know a girl and she trust you, she will vouch for you to her friends.
This is powerful social proof because if her friend approves you, that means she likely would too.
A woman’s first concerns about a man are if she is safe with him.
When she sees other women comfortable around him, they automatically let their guard down and know he is high value, likable and trustworthy.
I leveraged social proof to get my girlfriend 6 years ago. I ran into my buddy’s ex-girlfriend who was with a girl I thought was cute.
I always treated my buddy’s ex with respect, and she paid me back with reciprocity of putting in a good word for me to her friend.
Same goes with social media. If a guy with 100 followers posts something, no one cares, because there is no authority or social proof.
If a guy with 50,000 followers posts the same exact thing, he will get thousands of likes, comments etc. simply because he is socially proofed by 50,000 other people, so what he says must be important.
This can work in the reverse, if there are 100 people around and someone is getting strangled in broad daylight, it is possible that EVERYONE assumes the other 99 will definitely do something, and no one helps.
Everyone looks at everyone else to guide their own behavior, and everyone is doing nothing.. so nothing happens and the person is strangled in broad daylight.
Someone could have a literal heart attack in a NYC and thousands would walk by and do nothing, because no one else is acting, they mimic that, and think that person must be fine.
You’ve seen this in fight videos where no one intervenes, people just follow the crowd watching violence.
This is called “The bystander effect” which is incredibly dangerous.
Typically, if its 4-5 people, or even 1, they will help IMMEDIATELY.
The larger the group gets, the more dangerous the effect is.
What should you do?
Level up your social proof by leveraging reciprocity
Do hard shit to have cool experiences to talk about
Increasing your income
Increase your impact on others
This is simple.
We are more likely to be friends with, listen, and comply with requests from people that we know and like.
This is why salespeople will often figure out your neighbor’s name and say “Your friend X recommended that I call you or come here.”
If you say fuck off, it seems like you’re saying fuck off to your friend.
It is called the “Endless Chain Technique”
The lowest hanging fruit strategy to get people to like you, is to just literally say the persons NAME when you talk to them.
It is the most important word in any language to them. Use it as much as possible and respect it.
Angry people often just want to be heard. Show sympathy and they often calm down.
Show genuine interest in the other person.
Smile as much as you can.
Listen WELL. No one cares what you have to say, they just want to talk about themselves.
When it is your turn, mention COOL, RELATABLE SHIT.
Don’t say “Yeah I work at X”.
Bring up as many cool points that give them an opportunity to relate their interests or experiences to what you’re talking about.
Example: ”I studied Marketing in Brazil and then I decided I hated that, so I took a year off during Covid and lived in Thailand for a month where I learned Muay Thai. Now I work in Miami” blah blah blah.
This creates 4-5 possibilities that they could related one of THEIR experiences too. Maybe they have been to Brazil, maybe they went to college too, maybe they have heard of UFC.. maybe they have always wanted to go to Thailand.
Talk about THEIR interests.
Use praise and appreciation rather than criticize or complain. This will avoid people getting defensive and opens them up for feedback.
Make them feel important af:
Mimic their mannerisms
People love people that look or act like them
They love similarity
This is why people date people who look like them often.
People will also try to shoot the messenger.
Most weather forecasters have likely received hostile threats over predicting severe weather. They get blamed because they are the one delivering the bad news.
It is the way it is.
The last thing is attractiveness.
Being attractive will ALWAYS give you an edge.
This is called the “halo effect”:
This is why people assume that if you are attractive then you have positive traits such as trustworthiness and charisma, regardless of evidence
This is why attractive and tall Politian’s get 2.5x more votes
Its why good-looking people make more and get away with more shit
This doesn’t mean to black pill yourself and make excuses.
What should you do?
LET PEOPLE TALK ABOUT THEMSELVES
Call people by their names
Listen and remember shit people tell you about them
Start lifting weights
Don’t smell like shit
Get a legit haircut
Have some style in your clothing
Being attractive isn’t hard as man.
Humans are hard-wired to comply to requests that come from any source of authority.
Think doctors, police, judges, well dressed businessman, professors, etc.
This is one of the most powerful principles of them all.
They all exert a strong influence over us.
This is built into us because there have always been hierarchies in a developed society.
There always has always been someone leading a society, if not, chaos ensues.
Throughout our entire lives we have authorities:
God if you’re religious
There was a study conducted that had actors fake being electrocuted from different levels of voltage administered by a group of people.
Every time they got a question wrong, they were sent progressing levels of voltage.
The people administering the shocks had a “authority” figure (Researcher) in the lab telling them what to do.
Even when the actors were showing extreme levels of pain from the shocks, the people administering the shocks listened to the authority figure to continue shocking them.
The more authority you have, the more influence you have over others.
Watch out for con artists and always ask for proof of credentials if you your bullshit sensor is going off.
What should you do?
Get more competent at skills than other people = automatic authority
Travel and do hard shit to gain experiences
This one is the most obvious.
We want what we can’t have.
It’s supply and demand. When gold is scarce, the price goes up.
Scarcity is when something IS rare, just became rare, or there some competition that made it seem rare.
This is why professional athletes and celebrities are so sought after by women. They make up .0001% of the population in terms of resources, genetics etc.
The average man in America:
Has a salary of $42k/year
Is socially awkward
Because of this, it’s easier than ever to win.
make over 100k/year
have an impressive physique
Use the social principles in this letter
you are statistically scarce, because 95% of men don’t have those 3 things.
They conducted a study with two cookie jars, one that was full of 10 cookies, and one that had 2 cookies.
People ALWAYS choose the jar with less cookies and they ALWAYS say it tastes better.
The “terrible twos” exist because of scarcity principle. When a toddler reaches self-actualization, they realize they can say no to things.
They love this autonomy.
Then it’s taken away with nap time, bed time, don’t touch that, don’t eat that etc.
They see their autonomy is now scarce.
What do they do?
They refuse everything and become defiant.
Take away: Make sure that when you buy something it’s because of the actual utility the item, the experience. or some type of actual benefit, not the fact that its scarce.
What should you do?
BE LESS AVAILABLE (Stop saying “I’m free all day” and instead “Does 6pm Tuesday work for you?”)
STOP DOUBLE TEXTING
Value your time and say “no” more often
Stop being average
Chase mastery in skills to increase income
This is a fun one. Humans love sticking to their guns.
Once we go all in on something, whether that be an action, belief, bet, sports team, etc. we typically stick with that commitment at all costs.
We do mental jiu jitsu to trick ourselves into thinking that our current behavior aligns to our past beliefs.
Imagine you made a bet on Connor Mcgregor vs Khabib.
Days before the fight, you are truly worried about his performance, and uncertainty is HIGH.
But once he is out there, in real time, you are WAY more confident and hyped about your choice.
This principle basically is forcing you to fully commit and align your current beliefs to your past beliefs.
If we put this into practice, we could get someone to commit to something SMALL, then you can get them to commit to larger and larger.
This is how those sales dudes get you at your front door.
They have you sign some BS saying you like X thing, and then they use that against you to buy x thing because you already said you “liked the thing” on paper.
Companies will first sell you a small product/serivce for $5, and then start pitching you how you’re missing out on x, y and z with $10 product/service.
Their end goal is to then sell you a course for $1000.
Knowing this is advantageous because you can get what you want from others, and you can identify when you’re being swindled much easier.
The last sneaky component of reciprocity is simply throwing out a very high offer or request that is meant to be rejected.
By doing this, your follow up request seems relatively small and highly reasonable now.
They think they “won” since you’ve gone lower/smaller.
This is called “rejection then retreat”
What should you do?
If you want something from someone, start small
Make them comfortable
Leverage these principles to max out your social skills and influence others:
As always, none of this information really matters if you never take action and practice.
So, get out there and use these tactics to level up your speech to 100.
Your expectations should be failure at first.
But you will get better.
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