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DAN KOE

ALEX MATHERS

TAYLIN SIMMONDS

Founder, KorteX
3.5M followers

medium.com top writer
120K followers

BRAND CONSULTANT
79K followers

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★★

"If you want practical strategies to maximize your own well-being, then create a profitable internet business around your passions, interests and curiosities – Goldfield is your guy."

DAN KOE

In this newsletter I’m going to teach you how to make wonderful new social connections with zero effort.

You should want to learn this because everything great that humans have achieved has been achieved by teamwork. Even the solitary mathematician chewing on a problem for months on end is in collaboration. (Because she’s relying on the mathematicians who created the foundational principles.)

Unfortunately, most people struggle to unlock their true friend-making potential because of insecurity, doubt and anxiety.

Self-Consciousness (The Friend-Making Kryptonite)

It’s good to want what’s best for yourself. It’s good to be concerned with your own well-being. But when you’re facing another person, you might want to consider suspending that for a moment, because to do so is how you unlock benefit.

Of course, whilst you’re concerned with your needs, the person you’re talking to is concerned with their needs. So the simple hack for making friends is empathy.

If you can be more concerned with the person you’re talking to than you are with yourself, congratulations: you win the social game.

This is just how humans work. When we see that someone else is genuinely interested in our well-being, we open up. We begin to trust. And when we trust, we can invest without fear.

If you convince me through your genuineness that you care about me, now I know that I can care about you and my energy won’t be wasted. (In fact, it’ll be returned with interest!)

Sound good?

Good.

Because I’m about to tell you how to kick out insecurity and unlock your inner friend-making machine.

Step 1: Mindfulness

If you’ve spent any time with me at all you won’t be surprised to see mindfulness at the top of my list for improving your social skills—or anything else.

Mindfulness is a uniquely potent antidote for insecurity, doubt and anxiety. Just ask anyone who’s been meditating for a year how they’re doing with these 3 emotions. You’ll love what you hear.

Simple Meditation Instructions

  1. Get comfortable in a quiet spot
  2. Relax (accept things as they are), let go (stop wishing things were different), shut the fuck up (stop judging and describing)
  3. When you notice tension or distraction, acknowledge the noticing as successful mindfulness practice
  4. Repeat steps 2 & 3

As you do this, insecurity, doubt, anxiety and other afflictive emotions will start to look different. Where previously these things may have seemed solid—as if they had power over you—slowly you will see that they’re really just sensations, coming and going within awareness.

That sounds much less scary, doesn’t it?

And if at first you can see this in meditation, next you’ll be able to see it whilst in conversation. When you can see this in conversation, you create space to deploy empathy.

Empathy makes friends.

My Wife, The Introverted (Then Not-So-Introverted) Psychologist

When I met my wife she had 2 degrees in psychology and was working on her 3rd.

A lot of people think that someone with a psychology degree must have their mental landscape perfectly pruned. Actually, that’s rarely the case.

Most people who study psychology are looking to understand themselves. That tends to take a while.

But my wife discovered a shortcut when she and I met.

See, while my wife was growing up in the Eastern hemisphere and studying the mind theories of the West, I was here in the West studying the mind theories of the East.

Comparing notes was how we hit it off. What we found was that the West’s presentation was lacking one super-important thing that the East had already been nailing for millennia: practical application (i.e. mindfulness).

So Debbie started practising mindfulness every moment of every day, just as I had. And sure enough, she found that her introverted tendencies diminished.

Now she finds it much easier to make friends because social interactions don’t cost her so much energy (insecurity, doubt and anxiety are a lot of work!)

Step 2: Interact Genuinely

If you’re like everyone else then you’ve had the following experience:

🔹They talk, you listen
🔹They keep talking, you get distracted
🔹They ask a question, you feel a rush of anxiety as you realise you have no idea what the context is

We’ve all been there. It sucks. But why are we like this?

Self-centredness isn’t popular, but it does serve a purpose: it keeps us alive.

If you had no concern for your own needs you wouldn’t keep yourself hydrated, let alone keep your boss happy.

But there’s good news: we’re all pretty safe now, which means we don’t have to think about ourselves so much.

It usually takes time, but you can relax that old programming that kept your ancestors safe in the jungle. And when you do, you’ll have more mental space to be genuinely interested in what your conversation partner has to say.

Small Talk Meditation

To avoid that common problem of zoning out, turn your conversations into a meditation.

🔹Tune into the sound of their voice
🔹Tune into their facial expression
🔹Tune into their gesturing

And use these vivid clues to figure out how you can benefit them. Do they just need you to listen? Do they need advice? Do they need to hear a joke?

On the flip side, there’s almost always something you can gain from listening to someone. They don’t have to be an expert in your favourite subject: even hearing the most inaccurate point of view ever expressed can be insightful.

Consider questions like:

🔹What must be true in order for this person to say what they’re saying?
🔹What experiences has this person had that led them to this conclusion?
🔹What does this person’s angle tell me about my own?

Being with another person in this way is a tremendous gift to them. Most people just want to feel heard. And when you listen in this way you might surprise yourself with the quality of your responses.

Step 3: Ride The Upward Spiral of Mutual Benefit

Human collaboration is the single greatest force in the known universe. With it, we’ve been able to:

🔹Populate the planet (for better or worse!)
🔹Travel beyond the planet
🔹Improve our living standards far beyond what historical ruling classes thought possible

This—and all our achievements—began with simple communication. The better you get at it, the more you’ll spot opportunities to help others.

The more you help others, the more they’ll seek opportunities to help you. It’s just how we work.

Sure, there are selfish people in the world. But here’s a cool truth: those people aren’t interested in the kind of interaction I’ve illustrated in this newsletter. Selfish people are too busy seeking win/lose arrangements to even resonate with mutual benefit.

How to Find Your ‘Mutual Benefit Tribe’

I signed up for Twitter 3 months ago.

Since then I’ve made hundreds of beneficial connections with the strategies I’ve listed here.

If you’d told me 4 months ago that this would be my experience on Twitter I’d have called you a liar!

But I went out onto the digital frontier specifically to find my tribe and, sure enough, they were out there.

Yours are too. The internet is too big for you to not find like minds.

Good news: if you like what you’ve read here then my tribe is your tribe too.

Win/win for the win,
dg 💙

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