Wow. Over six hundred people responded to my social skills survey and gave really thoughtful and in-depth answers. In retrospect, I really wish that I had done this survey before I had written the book. I think it would have made the outline a lot easier, and I wouldn’t be making last-minute additions right before the book comes out.
But better late than never. I’ve skimmed all of the answers and ready many of them in detail. My main goal was to find patterns. I found some, but I was also struck by just how the diverse the set of goals, strengths, and weaknesses that we have is.
Just under 30% of people were satisfied or very satisfied with their social lives. The largest group was “Somewhat satisfied”, followed closely by “Somewhat unsatisfied”. That sounds about right to me. Social skills are difficult, but so important that we tend to push until we get right up to that “acceptable” level.
Before I jumped into social skills, sparked by my involvement in pickup, I think I would have answered either unsatisfied or somewhat unsatisfied, depending on how optimistic I was feeling. I was very satisfied with my friends, but not satisfied with myself. It felt like many people moved with a certain level of social ease that I couldn’t understand, let alone replicate.
One person’s answer to the question about how his life would improve with better social skills mirrored what mine probably would have been:
“I’d have a lot more opportunities thrown my way—I tend to close up a bit too much and I think this makes it harder for others to approach/like me.”
I always felt like I was missing out– that people who should like me didn’t get to know me, because I did a poor job of presenting myself. I could imagine the positive changes new friendships and better social skills would get me, and I even knew roughly what needed to improve, but I didn’t know how to improve.
As I’ve written a bunch of times before, getting into pickup really changed how I saw the world. It improved my social skills not just with potential dates, but with everyone. I began to understand the core principles and and underpinnings of social skills. That colored my experience for the past ten years as I’ve thought analytically about social skills and experimented in just about every way imaginable.
My favorite response in the entire survey was one of the last to be submitted:
“I still have certain friends that I’m in awe of. You know the type – they’re the happiest people you know and luck always seems to work their way. They get themselves into amazing situations on accident and the right things just seem to happen to them. But really it’s that they are incredibly adaptable, open and charismatic. To be able to harness that to talk to anyone at any time about any thing is an amazing skill. Right now I’m happy with my living situation, job and relationship status but developing that next level of confidence and ability sends positive ripples out into all aspects of your life.”
To me that’s exactly what this book is about. It’s why I use the word “Superhuman” in my book titles. You can learn a minimal set of basic skills, practice them to achieve some level of proficiency, and then your results take a quantum leap– what you’re doing is easy and automatic, but it appears supernatural.
I like that that reader understands how it works. He talks about how it looks like luck, but understands that it’s just the product of a learnable set of skills.
On Tuesday, September 29th, Superhuman Social Skills will be available on Kindle for free! It will also be available for purchase in paperback on Amazon, and will be available on Audible and iTunes in mid-October. I really appreciate all of the feedback on the survey, and I’m excited to be able to offer the book for free to all of the people who have supported me over the last ten years.
Photo is me writing the book on a cruise from Florida to London.
I booked another cruise for December, so I’m going to write another book. Thinking about doing a collection of fun/interesting/inspiring stories about people I’ve met while traveling.
Around 100 readers have been paid for the Free $36.50 Thing. The last day to do it is the 27th, so hurry if you’re interested!