Whether you’re having a casual conversation, interviewing for a new position or trying to get laid, people’s opinion of you and your worth is shaped in a large part by the way you communicate.
While body language and actions are anything but trivial, the words you use, and the words you don’t, are paramount for forming the perception of your personality.
While it’s impossible to fake an extensive vocabulary, the good news is your vernacular isn’t the most important part of this process. Despite this fact you should find time to read novels regularly. They will make you a better writer, speaker and reader. Reading will make you more knowledgeable and if you find the right book for your mood it’s incredibly entertaining and rewarding.
The larger your vocabulary the more tools you have at your disposal, but having all the tools in the world is useless if you don’t pick the best one for the job, and then get to work. Some of the best handy work in the world has been done with little more than a hammer and duct tape. It’s not about what you have, but about how you use what you do.
Don’t Qualify your Statements
“Let me just say this one thing”, “I have to ask” and “I wanted to tell you” are all common ways we qualify the things we’re about to say. If you have something that needs to be said, don’t make apologies for saying it.
You are a man, not a boy. You don’t need permission to speak and you don’t need warn people before you do. If you have a question, ask it. If you have an opinion to give or statement to make, make it and forgo the preamble.
Often these qualifications are done in an effort to snare the target’s attention, and to make sure they’re listening to you before you get to the meat of your message. While this isn’t incorrect in itself, you can accomplish the same feats without simultaniously ruining her impression of your confidence.
Less is More
Strong, confident, men use no more words than needed to make their point. The strong silent type may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s not far from the truth. Do not use eight words when three will do. Speaking accurately, with conviction, will portray great confidence and authority.
Confident people say what needs to be said, and then they wait. Nervous people abhor silence, and feel the need to rush what they’re saying and fill every lull with ums and ahhs. You umm would never even ahhhh consider writing with umm you know, a lot of umms… right?
If it sounds this stupid to read it on a page, it sounds nearly as stupid when hearing it spoken. These nervous umms and ahhs do not add anything to your message. People interpret pauses as the speaker taking the time to collect their thoughts, and speak accurately. They trust you know what you’re saying, it’s time you do the same.
Poetry as a Weapon
When most boys read the word “poetry” they immediately think of flowery ballads and pretty poems they don’t really understand or enjoy. This is, unfortunately, what happens when the public school system tries to force children to learn about something the majority of teachers don’t understand themselves.
The truth is, poetry is any form of writing which instills an intended emotion in the reader. Any song, speech or book you’ve ever experienced and enjoyed by either laughing, crying, screaming or dreaming was poetry.
Texting “good morning, beautiful” to your girlfriend is a form of poetry. If you want people to have emotional reactions to your words, you are wanting to write (or dictate) poetry. The words you use and the order you use them will determine just how your message is received, or felt.
For example, which of these do you think a girl would rather receive after a good first date:
Hey, I had a good time. C u again soon?
I’ve been going over the night’s highlights ever since I left, and my face is starting to hurt from smiling. I look very forward to getting to know you better.
You’ve said the exact same thing, only one of them will have ten times the impact as the other. You’ll also notice in the first message you’re asking her whether or not she will see you again soon. If your date went well, and you know the girl is into you, you already know she’s going to see you again as soon as she is available to do so. Never ask a question you already know the answer to, instead share something personal with her, and make a strong, confident (but not demanding or aggressive) statement.
No girl will ever be upset, offended or put off by hearing “I look very forward to getting to know you better.”
This is the essence of poetry. If you’re going to give a compliment, take a second to think what you actually want to say. If you can’t think of some poetic way to say “you look hot” try talking about what you’re experiencing, instead of just how she looks. “I can’t take my eyes off of you. You look terrific in that dress.” No fancy words, or anything tricky. All you’re doing is taking something broad “you look hot” and making it more personal, to yourself and her. Why did you just think to compliment her? Because you were looking at her and thinking “wow, she looks so fucking hot right now.” So to tell her that, start with honesty. You can’t (or don’t want to) stop looking at her, because she looks terrific.
It’s always better to be specific with a compliment than broad. Anyone can say “you look beautiful,” but if they mean it they won’t have a problem saying why she looks beautiful. Eliminate all doubt and do it up front. What has inspired you to compliment her? If it was her figure, talk about her dress. If it’s her face, be specific: is it her eyes, her smile… her dimples?
If you’re specific (and honest) compliments will carry more weight and will be more likely to be heard and accepted.
Choose your words wisely, and speak with purpose. Every interaction you have with another human being is a negotiation. The more accurately, poetically and confidently you can converse, the more likely you are to succeed and be taken seriously.
Two of the most sought after traits women look for in men are intelligence and confidence. Speaking well is the easiest and more direct route to accomplish both of these at once.
How to Put this Advice into Action
- Before you speak, or write, take a second to pause and reflect on what your goal is.
- Try to choose the most direct way to say what needs to be said.
- Refuse to say umm or ahh at any point. Take as much time as you need, just own every second you take.
- If writing, read what you wrote before sending it. If it doesn’t flow easily when reading it, it needs to be re-written.
- Read books and pay attention. When you hear something that sounds good to your ear, take note of it.
- Take things one step at a time. Your goal is not to be a new man by tomorrow morning, it’s to become a bit of a better writer (or speaker) every day.
Be vigilant my friends, and don’t hesitate to drop comments if you’re looking for advice on how I would have worded things, had I been in your situation.