Superhuman Social Skills: A Guide to Being Likeable, Winning Friends, & Building Your Social Circle
Updated: Oct 6
'Your name is the least interesting thing about who you are, and yet it's disproportionately flattering when someone remembers it.' This quote from the book was an enlightening moment for me and a key takeaway.
Want to dig deeper than the core principles? Check out my notes in Roam Research and see how the principles from this book connect with other books I've read.
I have summarized 'Superhuman Social Skills', distilling the book into 16 core principles:
Convey as quickly as possible what makes you interesting and worth being friends with
Let them infer things about you, don't tell people directly. Eg. That you are wealthy/intelligent.
Be a net positive in social situations. Being neutral is often a negative, as you are taking up a space.
Don't ask questions that aim to impress, ask a question that: (1) Informs (2) Entertains (3) Engages
Show status by: (1) Making eye contact. (2) Taking up a lot of body space. (3) Speaking with clarity. (4) Speaking loudly.
Notice when people do not ask clarifying questions.
Incorporate as many hooks into your stories and descriptions as possible, allowing the audience to bite on one (or more).
Notice when people ask you to continue telling your story, this is a good indication that it is interesting. Do the same for other people. Allow them to tell even a boring story because by doing so you are letting them enjoy themselves and you are learning about them. They will feel good if you ask them to carry on telling the story if the conversation got distracted.
By pleasantly disagreeable, it shows that you are a safe person to be around. For example: "I've always thought the opposite, but that's fascinating'
Crossing the Line: In social situations we are walking a line between what's polite and what's too intimate. Most people are too conservative and err on the side of caution. Friendships strengthen through disclosures of intimacy. Test the line with small steps.
Disclose something personal, such as a struggle or something embarrassing to form deeper connections with people.
Teasing can be used to bring you closer, and it gives permission to the person to tease you also.
Involve everyone. Increase engagement and make feel important by asking: "David, you always have an interesting perspective, what do you think?"
Friendship increases through shared experiences, not time.
Don't Use the Front Door, Use the Side Door: Everyone uses the front door so there will be a line and it will be busy. Look for side doors for meeting interesting people (but also for life in general).
'Your name is the least interesting thing about who you are, and yet it's disproportionately flattering when someone remembers it.' It is easy to forget someone's name when they first introduce themselves. Ask again a few minutes later, it will help you to remember and the person will be flattered.
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