Observe Your Surroundings

Most of you have probably heard about Neil Strauss’ book, “The Game”.

Or you might have heard about the VH1 show, “The Pick Up Artist”.

I hadn’t heard of either of these until about two months ago, when I had lunch with a client who is making a documentary on the pick up “arts”.

The client told me all about how it works: the approach (non-threatening), the “false time constraint” (“I’m in a hurry but I have to ask you this question…”), demonstrating value, and etc.

To get right into it, the pick up arts are like religion: you can interpret as you will and you can become your best or worst depending on your adoption.

The most valuable take away for me was feeling comfortable walking up to a group of people.

The pick up artist (PUA – there are many acronyms for this topic) has techniques for approaching “sets” (groups of people) and targeting a woman within that set.

But feeling at ease approaching a group of people in any situation is the superset skill from which the PUA derives technique.

We’ve all been in these situations before: an industry dinner, a reunion, a party to which we arrive early and don’t know anyone.  We find ourselves on the outside of a social function, awkwardly looking in.

The most valuable lesson I learned from the PUA’s is approaching a group of people I don’t know.

The trick to this is being super aware of your surroundings – almost to the degree of studying them.  With an insightful comment or question on your surroundings, you can approach any group of people and be received warmly.

I am in NYC right now, staying with my good friend Dave.

Last night we were out at dinner, and sitting at a table next to us were two women.   And I don’t say “two women” to mark them as targets, but rather because these were simply the bodies planted next to us.

And when Dave went to the bathroom, I started observing the restaurant: the paintings on the wall, the way the wine was racked behind the bar.  And then I noticed the two women sitting next to us – drinking champagne from flutes.  But there was something odd about the champagne…there were no bubbles.

“Sorry to bother you, but I have to just ask this one question…” I said.  And I was curious, but offered the false time constraint.

“There are no bubbles in your champagne”.

The women became excited.  They had ordered a unique kind of champagne that does not bubble, but does not taste flat.  And I noticed, and they were so thrilled to tell the story of why the champagne is like that.  They even offered me a taste.

The take away point for this posting is about observing your surroundings and sharing your best insights with those around you.  By doing so, you create the most of the moment and connect with those around you in a sincere way.

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