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Author Topic: The Cornerstone of Good Social Skills: Comfort  (Read 4290 times)  Share 

Illuminatus

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The Cornerstone of Good Social Skills: Comfort
« on: August 24, 2010, 08:50:15 PM »
I just sent this text to Radiance from this board whom I felt needed to be shown this and really understand it to get what he wants socially.

Ultimately, good, universal social skills come from the comfort YOU bring to any social situation. But you CANNOT bring comfort unless you, yourself are comfortable in that situation. So the goal is simple: learn to become comfortable in as many social situations as possible.

What is comfort? Comfort is not feeling emotional dinks, overwhelm or shock in response to the actions of others (or, more accurately, your perceptions of those actions). Signs of social discomfort:

1. Finding yourself qualifying your achievements to others
2. Grasping to be liked
3. Grasping for social outcomes
4. Feeling nervous
5. Feeling hostile towards others
6. Wanting to leave
7. Feeling like you're not good enough
8. Feeling others are somehow "higher" on a "ladder", then making observations which seem to provide evidence for that viewpoint
9. Conversely, feeling others are "below" you on a "ladder", then maintaining that viewpoint through your actions towards them in order to maintain your comfort

Some are more subtle than others. Many people aren't aware that they feel like this while others don't. Or they think those that don't are somehow special and have "the gift of the gab" or they're just "cool", "chill" or "confident" (these things are all metaphysical and don't really exist in any quantifiable form - we all experience being like this at some time or other, and "those other people" all experience times of "not being cool" too).

Most people do not have a high level of comfort in most social situations. It's a spectrum. Some have a higher baseline however, and will find it easier to get the good stuff out of socializing. Generally people feel something like 80% comfortable with their friends. Increase that situation to include some people they don't know, and it will drop to 60% (or lower depending on your baseline; read: your past experiences and how they shape your social comfort in situations today). When a person doesn't feel comfortable, they will generally either:

a) Drink or take other sedatives to mask the discomfort
b) Take "upper" drugs to barrel through and be able to operate at a high level despite background anxiety (rare, since they're mostly illegal OR taboo in our current society - this method also has the danger of making you look like a MANIAC if you are not able to control yourself during this - think of the stereotypical "coked-up" image, or the societal image of someone "crazed on drugs" - these states do exist if you are not used to controlling yourself under the effects of drugs, hence why drug-taking for personal development is somewhat of an art)
c) Avoid those situations like the plague (not seeing certain people, or going to certain places, due to this discomfort)
d) Create situations which distort reality to protect the ego from their own self-knowledge of discomfort, such as: 1) Creating drama to put the problem on other people, 2) Self-effacing or otherwise changing their own or other people's perceptions of the truth in order to let the ego off the hook in its efforts to gain comfort by feeling as though you are "liked", 3) Supplicating to what they perceive other people as wanting in order to relieve the discomfort by finding grace with other people, which attempts to avoid the possibility of further hostile discomfort being created towards you by those people.

These are to name but a few.

Over years of exposure to particular discomforts, you tend to develop less reaction to them. This is known as MATURING.

Individuals however who choose to willingly enter these situations and simply accept discomfort from a perspective of MINDFULNESS of discomfort and EQUANIMITY towards discomfort obviously have a massive advantage as they will reduce their time spent getting used to it and seeing it for what it is. In this way they move past discomfort and learn to build their own comfort in many different types of situations, purely through experience, and not muddying up their perceptions of those situations with lies and half-truths about how they really performed. This is what we are aiming for.

Notice how I am putting the entire focus on your own comfort here as the cornerstone of good, universal social skills, instead of attempting to provide techniques for manipulating people into giving you what you want. The reason for that is simple: When you feel comfortable, other people will feel comfortable too. When everyone's comfortable, everyone gets along and works towards common goals of mutual enjoyment. Your own comfort is the single biggest factor deciding whether you will or won't get what you want from people.

Now this does not negate the idea of sexual tension, and making girls feel "uncomfortable" in that way in order to create a sexual emotional pull towards you as a man. We are not talking about comfort in that sense. In fact, if you try generating sexual tension when you yourself are NOT comfortable internally, THAT is when your advances will be seen as "creepy". In this instance you are not only bringing a sexual intent into the mix, you are also bringing discomfort - the feeling that you are not comfortable generally with going after what you want. This will be perceived as you being predatory. The single biggest reason why guys get called "creepy" is because they are not comfortable being sexual. Unfortunately there is not really any shortcut for this, other than gaining sexual experiences with the women you desire, and also by consistently being sexual anyway and choosing not to give a fuck if anyone thinks you are creepy. Via this latter method, you build comfort by not allowing your perceptions of other people's views about you being creepy to stop you trying. In other words, when you realize you can get away with many things seen as socially taboo, the idea of doing them no longer generates discomfort, therefore your comfort levels just went up. So the two sides of the same coin are:

1) Getting more comfort from positive experiences
2) Cultivating a thick skin to discomfort by doing things in spite of it

#2 is the main deterrent preventing people from growing socially.

Let's take a non-sexual interaction and also treat that as taking place without comfort. If someone is making an effort to be liked by others, that betrays that he is not comfortable NOT being liked. Therefore that discomfort manifests as a NEEDINESS for being liked. If, through experience, that individual also knows he often does not achieve "being liked", he will attempt to run interference on his own discomfort by doing things to blow himself out intentionally. Result: ego is spared the knowledge of discomfort by engineering situations whereby discomfort is never allowed to fully be experienced.

Ultimately comfort comes from a lot of experience coupled with an open mind plus self-knowledge of your own possible future discomfort but choosing to enter those situations anyway.

Your own comfort is the most attractive social trait because most people never really develop it in social situations on a larger scale than, say, hanging out with close friends or family. If you can enter a larger social situation where most people there are operating on 20% or 40% comfort, and you yourself be experiencing something like 60% or 80% comfort (it's rarely 100% but it can be done - with DRUGS mainly ;)) you will be a beacon of enjoyment for everyone there. This is because we mainly communicate non-verbally, and the mechanism of transmission is mirror neurons in current scientific theory. If you are comfortable, everyone state-matches that. If you are the source of comfort, people will want you around - seemingly for NO REASON, to those who don't understand comfort.

If you start off with very low comfort, it shows some unfortunate socialization that has taken place in your early life. That unfortunately will take more time and experience to correct than, say, someone who is generally on 60% comfort due to a positive social past. However, your complete metamorphosis is at your fingertips - as long as you put in the time and effort to get the experiences that will foster social comfort, and do not give up. It has taken me 5 years of diligence to get to a level whereby I am now REALLY enjoying life. I still have much to do (it is a lifelong endeavour), but at least I'm extremely enjoying the process now. :)

The standard drug to shortcut this process by providing many socially comfortable experiences in a short time is of course MDMA. There are comparable drugs available however, which are also LEGAL, and which I will be writing about in my upcoming nootropics series of posts.

For the meditative (non-drug) equivalent, look into BLISS STATES involving the relaxation response. I have posts up here about these states and how to cultivate them - do a search.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2010, 10:51:41 AM by Illuminatus »

ryanh

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Re: The Cornerstone of Good Social Skills: Comfort
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2010, 11:37:59 PM »
Epic post!!



I don't want to do any keyboard jockeying so I don't have much to add...  It's all true though, a good model and seems like it will be good to keep in mind for the future.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2010, 11:46:23 PM by ryanh »

Radiance

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Re: The Cornerstone of Good Social Skills: Comfort
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2010, 01:12:29 PM »
Thanks Illuminatus, I always appreciate the time and sincerity you put into your posts.

Also, Ryanh, although you only wrote one sentence, the last part of that was interesting to me "seems like it will be good to keep in mind". I have being working on my personal development for a good few years (and often I forget how far I've come), and because of this there was nothing particularly earth-shattering in your post Illuminatus, but it's so damn easy to 'forget'. What I suppose I mean is I understand the points you have made, but applying them and making them part of your personality is the real challenge and something I don't feel I put enough effort into.

The next bit i'm going to talk about there is no particular point to make as such, but I appreciate any comments.

I was driving home from work yesterday feeling really happy and looking forward to a 3 day weekend, because for once I hadn't got anything planned; I normally travel to see friends & family etc. When I got home and sat down I then realised I had nothing planned for the weekend and not really anyone I could think of to call to do something with. This started to really depress me and I felt alone. I thought "well, I do know some people at the squash club, but they don't really invite me to things" and so I started to feel sorry for myself.

At this point it was coming towards 9pm and I realised "well pal you're not going to get anything sorted sitting here on your own". I jumped on the next train (still not feeling very confident about myself) and headed to the squash club. I got there and it was quite busy, there were some people I know so I started chatting to them (Telling myself "they're your friends don't forget, so you should be totally comfortable").
I did then feel totally comfortable and indeed was pleased with myself that I made the effort to something about my 'terrible situation of having nothing to do for the weekend'. What d'ya know, within 5 minutes I got invited to something for Saturday night and then something for Sunday too!

Onto drugs for a minute...

I do believe there is value in using a drug if it can give you a new perspective on things, a way of thinking that is sometimes very difficult to do with all of the programmed constraints from the millions of imprints that we have all acquired.

Problem:

You don't know how you will be on the drug when you first take it, which creates uncertainty for me. I know how I am going to be on alcohol (generally) and not only that, the behaviour that comes with it is pretty much 'accepted' in today's society.
Due to the fear of not knowing what my behaviour would be and whether this behaviour would be deemed as 'inappropriate' to the outside world is the reason why I have tried a very limited set of drugs. (I was going to put the world 'Illegal' in there, but then realised that for me it's actually any drug, legal or otherwise)

Any ideas on how I open my mind to this and reduce the fear?

Illuminatus

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Re: The Cornerstone of Good Social Skills: Comfort
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2010, 01:41:11 PM »
Thanks Illuminatus, I always appreciate the time and sincerity you put into your posts.

Also, Ryanh, although you only wrote one sentence, the last part of that was interesting to me "seems like it will be good to keep in mind". I have being working on my personal development for a good few years (and often I forget how far I've come), and because of this there was nothing particularly earth-shattering in your post Illuminatus, but it's so damn easy to 'forget'. What I suppose I mean is I understand the points you have made, but applying them and making them part of your personality is the real challenge and something I don't feel I put enough effort into.

The next bit i'm going to talk about there is no particular point to make as such, but I appreciate any comments.

I was driving home from work yesterday feeling really happy and looking forward to a 3 day weekend, because for once I hadn't got anything planned; I normally travel to see friends & family etc. When I got home and sat down I then realised I had nothing planned for the weekend and not really anyone I could think of to call to do something with. This started to really depress me and I felt alone. I thought "well, I do know some people at the squash club, but they don't really invite me to things" and so I started to feel sorry for myself.

At this point it was coming towards 9pm and I realised "well pal you're not going to get anything sorted sitting here on your own". I jumped on the next train (still not feeling very confident about myself) and headed to the squash club. I got there and it was quite busy, there were some people I know so I started chatting to them (Telling myself "they're your friends don't forget, so you should be totally comfortable").
I did then feel totally comfortable and indeed was pleased with myself that I made the effort to something about my 'terrible situation of having nothing to do for the weekend'. What d'ya know, within 5 minutes I got invited to something for Saturday night and then something for Sunday too!

It's great that you are able to motivate yourself in this way and get stuff done - instead of entertaining the depression that could have been allowed to grow. I know many people would have chosen to wallow, so thumbs up for being able to haul your ass out of the house and change your reality.

I have something important here to think about however:

Quote
When I got home and sat down I then realised I had nothing planned for the weekend and not really anyone I could think of to call to do something with. This started to really depress me and I felt alone. I thought "well, I do know some people at the squash club, but they don't really invite me to things" and so I started to feel sorry for myself.

What's happened is, you have isolated the "problem" (loneliness). However, the solution you have then implemented is to "not be lonely", so you've gone out to meet people with the goal of not being lonely. That is ultimately the motive behind your actions.

Now the problem here is the solution is always going to be attached to the problem. If you fail to meet up with anyone, you still feel lonely. If you do meet up with people, it's just a temporary fix. Also, you are putting the power into other people's hands. You are putting control of your reality into external factors. Basically you are allowing your mood to be determined by external events.

Now this might seem like a niggling point, and I guarantee most people would do the same as what you did - phone someone, or meet up with someone, to relieve the boredom and loneliness. That's the normal thing to do.

What I would have done however is, at the point you reached in the quote above, immediately STOPPED thinking and begun MEDITATING. I would have quieted my mind, however long that would've taken, and begun attending to my own needs by observing the feelings of boredom/loneliness. When you do this, those feelings eventually transmute into a bliss state. I know for a fact, having done this many times, and practised it diligently, that I can put myself into a bliss state whenever I like. This represents you attending to your own internal feelings of wanting and needing first and foremost. When you reach the bliss state, you no longer want or need anything. At THIS point, you can then choose what you want to do. You might find you just want to stay in. Staying in, in a bliss state, is better than going out NOT in a bliss state. However usually I would go out, because in a bliss state, you are in a mood of GIVING. Instead of clawing at social interactions to get your needs met (loneliness/boredom), instead you will be completely fulfilled internally. It moves you from a position of taking to one of being able to give. Most people are running around trying to take, to fill that hole. You fill up your own hole, then you have that energy to GIVE to others instead. This is the difference between walking up to people and asking questions, trying to get an interaction going, and walking up and simply talking, telling them about whatever interests you, calm and collected, and basking in an energy of lightness, playfulness and fun - your interactions will always be congruent with your internal state. Always. That is the #1 rule of The Matrix (life). So by choosing to enter bliss states BEFORE socializing, you can come in with the right energy that people are going to adore you for. Your interactions will be a lot CLEANER and more natural as well. When I developed this ability, I found that spontaneously no negativity would be allowed in my interactions. I wouldn't generate it, and I wouldn't tag on to anyone else's negativity.

I've told you the story about when I first discovered bliss states, and when I first went out completely sober, in a bliss state. I made some off-the-cuff remark to a hot girl from a position of giving fun and she ended up sitting down with me and pulling my hands down her top to feel her nipple piercings. It was at that point, when I was fondling the perfect breasts of a gorgeous 18-year-old girl, within 2 minutes of talking to her, that I realized this whole thing is as easy or as hard as you make it. Make it easy. Learn bliss states. Apply EVERY TIME before going out. Eventually you start to BECOME the bliss state.

Quote
Onto drugs for a minute...

I do believe there is value in using a drug if it can give you a new perspective on things, a way of thinking that is sometimes very difficult to do with all of the programmed constraints from the millions of imprints that we have all acquired.

Problem:

You don't know how you will be on the drug when you first take it, which creates uncertainty for me. I know how I am going to be on alcohol (generally) and not only that, the behaviour that comes with it is pretty much 'accepted' in today's society.
Due to the fear of not knowing what my behaviour would be and whether this behaviour would be deemed as 'inappropriate' to the outside world is the reason why I have tried a very limited set of drugs. (I was going to put the world 'Illegal' in there, but then realised that for me it's actually any drug, legal or otherwise)

Any ideas on how I open my mind to this and reduce the fear?

All I'll say is that your behaviour couldn't get much worse than it was two weekends ago. And that was on way too much alcohol. A serotonin drug would have completely eradicated all of that.

If you are intrigued by drugs you just have to bite the bullet and take them.

I'm not trying to make people into drug addicts. I'm trying to show them different realities. It is not something that can be understood on an intellectual level - you have to experience it.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2010, 01:45:25 PM by Illuminatus »

zorba

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Re: The Cornerstone of Good Social Skills: Comfort
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2010, 09:15:15 PM »
Awesome post. I did a search on bliss states and couldn't come up with anything concrete, other than the guide to neuro-somatic turn on. Is this what you were referring to, Illuminatus? I'm interested in pursuing it further.

Illuminatus

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Re: The Cornerstone of Good Social Skills: Comfort
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2010, 04:47:11 AM »
Awesome post. I did a search on bliss states and couldn't come up with anything concrete, other than the guide to neuro-somatic turn on. Is this what you were referring to, Illuminatus? I'm interested in pursuing it further.

Basically Zorba I'm writing the book and it's covering bliss states, what I do from start to finish. It's taking ages to write because I have a full-time job and have trouble finding the time. Guides to bliss states aren't really out there IMO. The pranayama stuff is the closest it gets. This is mainly because the act is so personal. I'm worried I'll write my book on this and it'll end up looking like the ravings of a mad man, and no one will be able to actually apply it. I talk about things like "scanning for dark spots" in your mind-body, and filling them in using your awareness to create bliss states. I don't know whether other people will understand any of that. I'm having to meditate to find out exactly what it is I "do", then try and write that in English. Since the whole thing is emotive and based on feelings (literal proprioception within your own mind-body) it is proving extremely hard to explain.

Basically doing advanced stuff with meditation is entirely about figuring out what works best for you. All my tricks, I found out by trial and error. I literally set seemingly ridiculous tasks for myself, like trying to move a pen with my mind, and seeing what the various stuff I "do" in my own brain ends up doing. You find out a lot of stuff by accident this way. Remember I discovered Integration whilst high on weed, learning how to hallucinate at will - just because I thought, as a human with my own mind, I should be able to control that mind. Nearly all of my stuff starts with the assumption that as the owner and creator of a mind, you should be able to program that mind however you see fit. I have ZERO limiting beliefs on that front. That is the driving force behind my innovation in always coming up with new stuff, which isn't just theory on paper, but which leads to real life tangible results. Such as having a hot girlfriend. Having very few negative thoughts. Never arguing or having negative interactions with people. Nearly all the "negative" is gone from my life. And it's from experimenting, figuring out how to use my mind to create the reality I'll most enjoy. It's everyone's basic right but no one seems to realize it.

Will

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Re: The Cornerstone of Good Social Skills: Comfort
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2010, 06:12:56 AM »
Awesome post. I did a search on bliss states and couldn't come up with anything concrete, other than the guide to neuro-somatic turn on. Is this what you were referring to, Illuminatus? I'm interested in pursuing it further.

In my experience, MEDITATE MEDITATE MEDITATE.  There aren't any long-term shortcuts...  Like, pranayama or drugs or sleep deprivation will help, but you won't really be able to make yourself blissful on command until you really understand your mind and you body in a way that comes through familiarity (which comes from meditation).  Once you've reached the point in meditation where "bliss states" are possible, you won't need any instruction, and (as Illuminatus has already said) you'll be able to figure it out for yourself.  But you WILL reach that point, with enough practice, entirely on your own.

Kiyvme

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Re: The Cornerstone of Good Social Skills: Comfort
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2010, 06:56:11 PM »
[...]your complete metamorphosis is at your fingertips - as long as you put in the time and effort to get the experiences that will foster social comfort, and do not give up. It has taken me 5 years of diligence to get to a level whereby I am now REALLY enjoying life. I still have much to do (it is a lifelong endeavour), but at least I'm extremely enjoying the process now. :)

This. Emphasis on 5 years of diligence. Sometimes I forget that everything takes time and am dismayed by the percieved lack of progress. Reading about other peoples' problems and your replies resets my expectations, removing self-imposed barriers from the path. It is so easy to give up and be pulled by the current, to allow yourself to wallow in self pity because it's "safe".

joviaal

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Re: The Cornerstone of Good Social Skills: Comfort
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2010, 07:55:45 PM »






However usually I would go out, because in a bliss state, you are in a mood of GIVING. Instead of clawing at social interactions to get your needs met (loneliness/boredom), instead you will be completely fulfilled internally. It moves you from a position of taking to one of being able to give. Most people are running around trying to take, to fill that hole. You fill up your own hole, then you have that energy to GIVE to others instead. This is the difference between walking up to people and asking questions, trying to get an interaction going, and walking up and simply talking, telling them about whatever interests you, calm and collected, and basking in an energy of lightness, playfulness and fun - your interactions will always be congruent with your internal state. Always. That is the #1 rule of The Matrix (life). So by choosing to enter bliss states BEFORE socializing, you can come in with the right energy that people are going to adore you for. Your interactions will be a lot CLEANER and more natural as well. When I developed this ability, I found that spontaneously no negativity would be allowed in my interactions. I wouldn't generate it, and I wouldn't tag on to anyone else's negativity

That's an awesome description! I can relate to that:
When I am going out after I have reached a good state by meditating there is no "I HAVE TO" in your mind. You walk around calmly and aren't affected by all the input from your environment. It always makes me realize every little rationalization I have is based on my internal state. How I interpret people and how I interpret myself etc etc etc...

Also when I have meditated and still feel good from it, people treat me very friendly. If the case appears someone drops something negative toward me I am really unbothered -> you cannot fake this! When I am in a bad mood and someone tries to put me down in any way, I can 'act unbothered' but I won't feel like that. I still think about what is said and give it energy. My body will feel bothered. In good states you don't even pay attention to the meaning and just let it slip. It doesn't change my internal state and I focus on what ever I want. You cannot fake this: It's not like you someone tests you and RATIONALLY decide to 'look away' because that will make you look unbothered. I think most people don't understand this will reading pick-up material. It's not about doing X and Y, those are just some tricks. When you feel good those work way better. I am not even sure if it's because of the 'tricks' during a good state or because you just felt good and had natural attractive behaviour.

Illuminatus

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Re: The Cornerstone of Good Social Skills: Comfort
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2010, 11:18:15 PM »
However usually I would go out, because in a bliss state, you are in a mood of GIVING. Instead of clawing at social interactions to get your needs met (loneliness/boredom), instead you will be completely fulfilled internally. It moves you from a position of taking to one of being able to give. Most people are running around trying to take, to fill that hole. You fill up your own hole, then you have that energy to GIVE to others instead. This is the difference between walking up to people and asking questions, trying to get an interaction going, and walking up and simply talking, telling them about whatever interests you, calm and collected, and basking in an energy of lightness, playfulness and fun - your interactions will always be congruent with your internal state. Always. That is the #1 rule of The Matrix (life). So by choosing to enter bliss states BEFORE socializing, you can come in with the right energy that people are going to adore you for. Your interactions will be a lot CLEANER and more natural as well. When I developed this ability, I found that spontaneously no negativity would be allowed in my interactions. I wouldn't generate it, and I wouldn't tag on to anyone else's negativity

That's an awesome description! I can relate to that:
When I am going out after I have reached a good state by meditating there is no "I HAVE TO" in your mind. You walk around calmly and aren't affected by all the input from your environment. It always makes me realize every little rationalization I have is based on my internal state. How I interpret people and how I interpret myself etc etc etc...

Also when I have meditated and still feel good from it, people treat me very friendly. If the case appears someone drops something negative toward me I am really unbothered -> you cannot fake this! When I am in a bad mood and someone tries to put me down in any way, I can 'act unbothered' but I won't feel like that. I still think about what is said and give it energy. My body will feel bothered. In good states you don't even pay attention to the meaning and just let it slip. It doesn't change my internal state and I focus on what ever I want. You cannot fake this: It's not like you someone tests you and RATIONALLY decide to 'look away' because that will make you look unbothered. I think most people don't understand this will reading pick-up material. It's not about doing X and Y, those are just some tricks. When you feel good those work way better. I am not even sure if it's because of the 'tricks' during a good state or because you just felt good and had natural attractive behaviour.


Yes! This is exactly my experience too.


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