Directness (Or Finding Magical Connection)

Back in March 2012, I flirted with many girls to systematically desensitize my fear of talking and flirting with strangers I’m attracted to.

I reflected upon what I needed to improve.

The problem in those interactions was that I had a mental block. I didn’t allow myself to directly offer whatever I wanted. I would use context and converse with people extremely well but I would never state my intentions.

I never directly told them what I wanted, whether it was to be friends with them or date them. I never told them how long I’d stay around in the conversation and was unsure where I wanted to bring the successful interactions. This left a degree of ambiguity in the interactions.

Have you ever had that feeling of ambiguity in a certain situation? You feel as if the person is present with you and the conversation is going well but there is this nagging feeling that they are hiding something from you.

I knew that learning directness was the next step in my progress to become a risk-taker and somebody who could go into the uncharted lands outside of the comfort zone.

The first direct attempt

April 2nd 2012 3:00PM

I’ve been walking around nervously for half an hour trying to be brave enough to chat with a girl in a way that directly states my intention.

All of a sudden in front of me, a beautiful girl walked to her bike undoing her bike lock. I initially walked by her because I was too afraid.

Fear does not ever take a rest.

I took a deep breath and turned around and spoke up.

I said nervously, “Hi, you’re easily the prettiest girl I’ve seen all day. I’d like to talk to you for a few minutes.”

Mind you, I was incredibly nervous at this point, I could barely burt it out.

The girl blushed uncontrollably and smiled at me, “Wow thank you. I’m Claire, what’s your name?”

“I’m Matt”

“Anyways Matt, I have to get going and I have a boyfriend but thank you for making my day.”

I smiled back and went on my way.

Throughout that day, I had a few other attempts that were miserable, terrible, and downright awkward piles of hilarity.

I had a blonde girl look at me like I was a waste of existence through my nervousness and told me “Look I’m going to class, I have a boyfriend from LA, please go.” Another girl looked at me like I was messing around with her and she couldn’t believe what I was saying.

I also had a polite conversation with another girl for a few minutes before she told me, “I’m sorry. I don’t hand out my phone number to strangers outside of my dorm.”

It shocked me but some people need that systematic way to meet people, that’s fine for those who need it. We’re incompatible.

No problem.

——

The magical direct attempt

This would lead me to one of the most successful interactions I’ve ever had with a person to this date. This person made me learn a lot about myself and what I had to offer the world. She changed my idea of what it meant to approach the people that move you.

April 5th 2012 4:31PM

At this point I was feeling a little discouraged. I didn’t mind the rejection but I felt as though I wasn’t delivering my directness correctly.

I was walking towards the bus station to go back to my apartment when suddenly a stunning girl registered in the corner of my eye.

This was different. This was definitely different. I truly felt there was a magical vibe when she walked by for that split second. The feeling of wonderment and awe shook my soul into action. I had to talk to her and at least give myself a chance. I briskly walked towards the cafeteria to locate her. Luckily, she stopped at the cookie section in order to order a cookie.

I made eye contact with her and it was incredibly powerful. I could feel her welcoming gaze. I said to her absolutely confidently, “I saw you walk by and I found you way too interesting, so I had to come chat for a minute.” She smiled so wide and laughed with joy for many seconds. She couldn’t believe what just happened but I could sense her spirit woke up from the dreaded routine that washer day.

I asked her what she was listening to and she told me Flying Lotus. She took off one of her earphones and made me listen to it for a whole minute. She told me right off the bat she was allergic to peanuts so she obviously couldn’t get a cookie with that. I laughed and told her, “So you told me something right away that I could use against you?” We both laughed quite hard for a while.

That’s when I knew I finally found somebody I could really click with.

She ended up buying a snickerdoodle and halving it with me.

We walked toward her class that was about to start at 5PM while chatting about metaphysical ideas about the world like being able to give clean water to the rest of the world or being able to share mircochange into the world to make a difference. We both smiled, laughed, and had a magical connection.

After about five more minutes she had to get to class, so she put her number in my phone and told me we’d hang soon.

We did but we’ll get to that soon.

All this happened because I took the time and had the courage to say “I found you interesting.”

Why does directness work?

It forces the other person to polarize as a reaction. It increases their chance to be direct back towards you. There is no ambiguity because everything is truthful and upfront.

While it increases the chance for people to say no for any number of reasons, some in my control [like how I deliver myself and present myself], and others out of my control [boyfriend, not into my look, race, too short, bad mood], it enhances the intensity of interactions that are successful.

It makes them more magical.

——

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Rejection Therapy Saved My Soul

Back in 2011, I participated in the 30 day Rejection Therapy challenge. In the past couple of months, it has gotten publicity.

I wanted to write about it one final time because its incredible concept changed my life for good.

Before, I used to be like many frustrated people unsure of how to meet people. Should I go to house parties? Should I join a hobby group? Meeting people confused me.

I hope my story will help you find a way to care less about what others think of you and allows you to request things that you’d want from others whether that is a date from a beautiful person or a job offer from a networking acquaintance.

——

Around mid 2010, a defining moment absolutely shocked my world. For the rest of my life, I felt as if I had to live with regret.

My mood was in a regretful heap of lost hope.

Then I was introduced by to Rejection Therapy. For 30 days you’re forced to get rejected once a day. It is a form of exposure therapy by systematic desensitization to rejection.

The concept seemed simple enough. I promised myself that I would lift myself up by creating this blog and blogging about my daily rejections. It took me a couple of days to gain the courage to partake in any sort of social challenge but it finally clicked.

On the first day, I asked the post office at my university for a free stamp. The cashier replied with saying that I could use my credit card to pay for it. At this time I laughed because I didn’t have it on me. It was literally the one day I didn’t bring it. I said if I could have it for free. He shrugged and there it was. I got my first rejection.

I continued with these simple rejections for six days. They really humbled me and realized I could ask for whatever I chose to ask for.

The first major rejection that really changed my life

On the seventh day I was sitting on the bus going back to my apartment. A beautiful redhead walked into the bus and had to sit next to me because the bus was crowded. My vitals were going absolutely off the charts.

Nobody in the bus really noticed except me so I thought to myself that I might as well talk to her. I took out my notebook and wrote on a piece of paper, “cute girl next to me, would you want to get coffee? Write your # if yes, give the paper back if no.”

I mustered up all my courage and handed it to her. She looked at it, blushed profusely and handed it back to me because she had a boyfriend. In hindsight, I could tell she wasn’t interested but nothing really bad happened. She smiled and we ended up conversing on the bus for a good five minutes before my stop arrived.

The expression itself held all the joy

My soul was elated with joy. Finally, I expressed myself to somebody else and nothing really bad happened. I got rejected and it didn’t matter. I expressed myself. The joy was in expressing myself. It was one of the most gratifying moments of my life.

Once I realized that joy came from expression itself versus any external outcome, I focused more on expressing myself. If I expressed what I wanted to, that was what I could control. I cannot control other’s reactions because there are too many outside variables but I can control my expression.

Other challenges had me asking for gum, chatting with people in my classes, asking people to study with me, and asking for discounts from coffee shops. Some of them seemed very simple like asking an old lady for a pen to use for studying when I forgot to bring one.

Others were more difficult. For example, when a girl with a blank canvas was swiftly walking to her class, I respectfully asked her, “What’s going on with the blank canvas?”

She smiled, lit up, and talked to me about her art project for a minute. I told her it would be awesome to continue this later on but she said she had a boyfriend.

I would get better with conversation later on with my later experiments but for now, I was understanding that rejection wasn’t such a big deal.

Allowing myself to feel uncomfortable

If I felt my ego hurt from some particular outcome, I allowed myself to feel all the icky, awkward emotions in my brain. I would then find solace by thinking on how to improve which also helped my mood. By allowing myself to feel uncomfortable, I came to learn that opportunities were always around me. I only had to grow the courage to take those opportunities.

Once Rejection Therapy showed me that it was possible to talk to all sorts of people in most situations, I continued the blog to meet interesting people and learn how to take more risks socially.

My blog wants to reach out and do good outside the comfort zone. Some of that has to do with adding choice in my personal dating world but another aspect of it is to add good feelings and gestures out into the world.

I wouldn’t be where I am without Rejection Therapy, so it truly saved my soul.

[Disclosure: I made this post by my own free will and nothing monetary wise was given to me for this post. You can find more information here]

Your Best Friend is Vulnerability

The theme of 2013 will be vulnerability.

Vulnerability is your best friend because it’ll allow you to meet your best friend. When you allow yourself to freely express what you are, then it gets easier to meet your kind of people.

Expression is mandatory to make a connection with someone. Any sort of expression takes vulnerability because expression can be shot down. Of course, expression can also be related with or expanded upon.

Friendships and relationships begin once rapport builds into a systematic mutual respect of each other’s expressions.

Vulnerability is what gave me immense improvement over the past 18 months of my life.

It made me meet my best friend. It helped me recontact old friends.

It allowed me to establish interactions with people to talk to them for a few minutes.

Sometimes, it got me hangouts and dates after the initial interaction.

Vulnerability allows confidence to express yourself freely.

When that happens, life really opens up and becomes a true adventure.

The best part about it is you can choose any adventure you want. Of course, keep things safe for yourself and others. Besides that, there are no set rules to your adventure, as it is yours to partake in.

Vulnerability makes your inner adventure a reality.

On Gift Giving (Enhancing It)

Today is Christmas Eve and everyone is grabbing their last minute items for friends, family, and relatives. Christmas celebration is a time to unite together by enjoying the people closest to us.

However, it feels like we lost the interpretation of the Christmas spirit somewhere along the way.

It’s great to see people buying gifts for one another out of tradition. Unfortunately, it feels as though many people stress out over trying to find the “perfect” gift for each and every person.

Here are some ways we can reclaim the art of gift giving:

Accept the fact that you may get the wrong size or item for a particular person. This is why they made return and exchange receipts for a reason.

Enjoy the process. It’s fun to think in another person’s shoes to figure out what they enjoy.

Most importantly, we can give year round. During Valentine’s Day we hand out Valentine’s cards to those we want to date. On Halloween we hand out candy to strangers. On Christmas we share gifts with others.

Perhaps we can do way more. We can build new traditions.

Give gifts year round with these ideas. Give out high fives for an hour. Compliment strangers to brighten their day. Give monthly donations to charity. Share deep conversations with your close friends over coffee or beer. Hand out novels to people to help them acquire more knowledge. Send your favorite websites to those close to you.

Make gift giving a permanent part of your life instead of waiting for a particular day to do it out of obligation. Do it frequently and you’re making a difference in the world. Even if the difference is microscopic in relation to the world’s magnitude and scope, every gift is a blessing.

On Incompatibility

Roadblocks in the physical world are usually things that block a road like cones or fences.

Roadblocks in the metaphorical world include incompatibility.

There is a reason why people who differ in style, outlook in life, and other avenues don’t hang out with one another. They are incompatible.

About a week ago, I thought I reunited with an old friend. I thought of her as a really good person.

It seemed like the text conversation was going well as we were beginning to catch up. Then out of nowhere she wrote to me that, “Your strange is too strange for me.”

It was probably a couple of years later than I needed it. For the past couple of years, there was a lack of reciprocation with the friendship. It came down to incompatibility.

Perhaps my mission on this blog is incompatible with quite a few people. Maybe the artists that only want to talk to fellow artists. Maybe the quiet ones who want to be left quiet. Maybe the prejudice people who want to limit who is acceptable. Maybe the people who fear something different.

That’s perfectly fine because it takes being in the moment with a fellow speck of stardust to understand that some people do not match at all. This variety is what keeps people fascinating and fresh.

It’s worth it to chat with the incompatible ones to find the compatible ones. Chatting with all people to find my sort of people is a worthy task.