The Conversation Skill Gap

Many people walk away from conversations worrying whether the other person liked them or not. That seems like a sensible thing to be concerned about. You want people to like you because we hang out with people we like, and assist them when they need help. It can be hard to know if you are improving in that area. I’d like to show you what I know because it works so well.

My experience is that sometime around childhood I noticed other kids were getting further and further ahead socially. They had large groups of friends and, outwardly at least, seemed sure that others liked them. I lived in a different world where I walked away from most encounters feeling uncertain about whether the person liked me. But I knew that I could learn to improve in this regard because conversation is a skill.

Around the end of highschool I found some books which were meant to help with this problem. I did a deep dive into whatever I could find about interacting with people. I read about everything from mirroring to something called hypnosis. I was skeptical of most of it.

The one book that stuck out in my memory is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. But I was 17 and knew nothing about the world, so I didn’t understand how credible this book was. And if you don’t know what good conversation looks like, how can you tell if the advice you’re getting is good or not? So I ignored it.

Years passed. My interest in the subject stuck around, and I remembered what I learned, but vaguely. Then around summer of 2015, my attention was drawn to something like light to a black hole. Enter the Master Persuader.

Watching the Master Persuader, who you might be aware of, I recognized quickly that he was using at least some of the skills I learned way-back-when. And using them well. Somehow, it was hard to look away.

It was also a perfect opportunity for me to learn from afar, as I still do to this day. The process is simple: I enjoy his work, which is public for all to see, and examine it carefully. Sometimes it is hard to see behind the curtain, but there’s always something there. I’ve learned lots.

Thankfully, there was no credibility problem because he never made it into one. Without being given direct lessons, like a book does, I had to examine for myself whether the skills were real or not. I figured that the only way to find out for sure was to test it for myself and see if I got the result I expected. So I started talking persuasively.

I was floored.

Talking to people feels way better when you have confidence in what you are saying. I don’t think everyone likes me, but I know more people like me than before.

Now I want to pass these skills on to you because you might enjoy the results as much as I do. But the problem is that you won’t believe me immediately. So I’ll just ask you:

What do you remember from this story?


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