How David and I became friends and what I learned about it

Hello, Viktor here.

So I wanted to let you know about a different side of David today. I want to tell you about how he and I became friends about 7 years ago and what I learned from him because of it.

He did 3 things I think most people neglect when they want to make new friends.

1: Take initiative (repeatedly)

When David and I first met, I wasn’t really that interested in making new friends for many reasons.

The first time we met, we talked a little bit. We seemed to have a few things in common. Later on we exchanged numbers to keep in touch, but I didn’t think much of it. But David saw an opportunity for friendship and he took it. He invited me to a philosophy evening, where some mutual friends of ours met up and discussed philosophy.

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This is Terrible Advice

Over the years I’ve read so much terrible advice on how to improve socially.

It’s not just that it doesn’t help – it can even make you worse off and hurt your social life.

Here are some of the worst ones:

“Just be more social”

This one is so stupid it’s almost funny. But instead of me ranting about it, enjoy this strip:

Here’s another one:

“When you’re in a social setting, just remember to A, B, C, D, E. Also, you need to avoid to F, G, H, I…”

Do you know what the most surefire way is to become more self-conscious and nervous in social settings? Answer: Trying to remember a bunch of things you should and shouldn’t do.

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How Can You See if Someone Wants to Continue Talking?

I’ve gotten a bunch of questions from you like the ones below. So today, I want to talk about how to know if someone wants to keep talking – or end the conversation.

“How would I know whether the person in front or on my device is really interested in talking to me? Is it just for the sake of being a good person they talk or do they really mean it?”

– Kapil B

“…how can I read the other person better? I am terrible at reading in between the lines”

– Raj P

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My Number 1 Technique to Never Run Out of Things to Say

Imagine you are talking to someone, and the topic you’re on slowly dies out… Awkward silence is approaching and it is like the conversation just hit a wall!

Luckily – there’s a simple mindset we can use to look at conversations in a different way. When we think of conversations this way, knowing what to say gets much easier.

You’ll be able to walk into almost any conversation and know that you won’t run out of things to say.

This mindset, or method, is called “conversational threading”. In this email, I’ll show you footage from real conversations where people used this method.

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How Your Looks Affect Your Social Life

I often see statements like

“Looks don’t matter”

“It’s the inside that counts”

This frustrates me because it’s not true.

In reality, looks do matter (and everyone knows it). The first moment, the first second when we meet someone, our looks are all that matters. After all, that’s the only way people can perceive someone they just met.

But already seconds into a meeting with a new person other things start to matter. How’s our body language? Do we act in a way that’s warm or hostile?

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How to Improve Socially Without Doing “Out of Your Comfort Zone-Exercises”

You’ve probably seen this picture before:

It creates the impression that we need to be somewhere we’re not. So, we try to follow the advice we hear in self-help books.

“Escape your comfort zone”

“Approach ten strangers at a bar”

This is so far from where most of us are, that we won’t even be able to try it.

Then, we feel that we’ve failed. But in reality, it’s the self-help books and “break your comfort zone”-mantra that’s wrong. There’s actually a better way that doesn’t need weird and extreme changes in your behavior.

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When Life Gives You Shitty Cards – Do This

This guy made a life-changing realization, right here:

“I spent years in therapy “because” I was too ugly to get a girlfriend. My therapist insisted I was using that as an excuse. I balked. Why would I make up a painful excuse? Did she think I enjoyed being ugly? But it was an excuse. My looks were relatively out of my control. I let myself off the hook by deciding the Universe dealt me shitty cards, which meant I was free to complain without doing any hard work.“

(From Quora, here’s the full post)

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The Fastest Way to Come Off as Self Confident (Video + Analysis)

A few days ago I told you about how I read books on self-confidence and thought everything would change. But then, when push came to shove, my brain froze. Nothing had changed. I basically got a really strong irrational feeling that people just wouldn’t like me, and my courage disappeared.

So today, I want to talk about what I then did to finally find my confidence.

After all, a strong confidence solves so much in life.

  • It makes it easier to bond with people (that might one day become your future best friends)
  • You’ll make a better impression (both with friends and at work, or say, at the job interview)
  • You can make effortless small talk throughout life
  • Be more successful at dating
  • Other’s respect you more
  • It’s easier to be authentic and stand for your beliefs

Confident people are more attractive

Personally, I’m not much for being the center of attention, but it’s nice to know that you’re able to take a room or take the initiative at the table. That ability to be able to walk into any situation and be in charge of it great to have, even if you don’t use it all the time.

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Research: Setting up Goals Won't Help Change Your Life, You Need a Daily “System”

I had just started my journey on “self-improvement” and had a very clear goal if who I wanted to be. My goal felt so real I could almost touch it.

I was super motivated. I read books on the topic.

So one day I had to attend one of those business mingles.

I felt pumped and excited. After all, a change was about to happen.

Well. As soon as I saw people my brain stopped. What were those books about now again? Couldn’t remember a word in them. I made some awkward conversation, then decided to go to the bathroom. I ended up standing in there, frozen for minutes (at least that’s what it felt like), contemplating what was wrong with me.

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Should You “Be Yourself”? (What Does That Even MEAN?)

I sometimes get this urge to strangle people who’s go-to advice is “Just be yourself”.

  • Should I just be myself even if that puts people off?
  • Should I be honest all the time, even if that makes people upset?
  • What if I become a different person around different people? Which “me” is the right one?

So, where do I find the balance between being “within the norm” and “being myself”?

When I read books on social success, I got the feeling that I was being molded into some generic person just to fit in. Luckily, there’s a better way than having to “put on a mask” and abandon your integrity.

What people really mean when they say “be yourself” is that you should act as natural as you are around close friends.

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Research Shows Self Affirmations Don’t Work – Here’s What to do Instead

Have you ever had thoughts like these:

  • “People will think [insert negative thing] about me”
  • “No matter what advice I get, there’s just… something in me that’s not enough”
  • “I don’t feel important enough to people”
  • “Everything would be better if I just had the right looks”

What we really want is to just stop caring what other’s think of us. Why is that so hard?

There are thousands of self-help books promising to help, and I’ve read a lot of them. 90% of the advice is terrible.

Luckily, there’s been a lot of research the recent years on what ACTUALLY works to increase your self-esteem.

Just had the most interesting talk with Viktor Sander. He’s the guy making sure everything you read on SocialPro is scientifically based and not just some random guy’s opinion.

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This Guy is Proof You Don't Need an "Interesting Life Story" To Be Interesting

I know a guy who’s not the traditional social type… at all.

He doesn’t care much about his looks or what others think of him.

He isn’t even that interested in making new friends. He just wants to relax and hang out with his girlfriend and close social circle.

Still, people seem to gravitate towards him.

As an example, he ran into a well-known TV-comedian a few weeks ago here in Sweden. Guess what happens? The comedian wants to meet up again and soon they’re hanging out.

He shows how you don’t have to be like everyone else to have a great social life.

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