5th of March 2015

Helping Joe, Episode 4


In week 4 of Helping Joe, Tucker and Charlie start off talking about Joe’s first improv class, going out to a bar with Charlie, and feedback from girls at that bar. They then dive into having better and more fun conversations, giving a ton of tips, tricks, and ways to re-frame how you look at making small talk or talking with women at bars or on dates. Also, Joe recorded his last date so Charlie and Tucker could listen to it (not on the podcast). They give specific and sometimes hilarious feedback on what Joe did right and wrong on this date. It was better than his last date (see Helping Joe, Episode 3), but there is still a lot of room for improvement. They wrap up by talking about how being in the moment and being a little vulnerable is how people really connect with each other.


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Joe’s Thoughts and Takeaways From This Episode:

Hey this is a running commentary of random thoughts, notes, and takeaways I had during or after this episode. – Joe


  • My 3rd Tinder date, I recorded it (not on the podcast) but they listened to it, have fun with it (make fun of me), and give great specific feedback.
  • How to ask a girl out on a 2nd date before the 1st is over (I did this well.) 
  • Conversation tricks and reframing from Tucker and Charlie
  • How to connect with others by sharing and being a little vulnerable  (and not over-sharing)
  • How the perception of yourself is different others’ perceptions of you
  • The one situation where “fake it ‘til you make it” works
  • Why being in the moment, staying present, is so important to connecting with a girl 
  • If a class is sold out or full, just show up anyways. You can probably still get in. 

@0:45 – Starts off strong with them giving me shit about funny word choice.

This was the first time I said “fuck you” to Tucker. Not in an angry or mad way but as a funny “hey go fuck yourself” kind of way to a friend.

@1:30 – “That is a fantastic life lesson.” Show up!

The only beginner improv class that week was sold out, I tried to call and ask them about it but no answer. I just showed up anyways and they were totally cool with it. Now I’m a part of that group. Life Lesson, even if it’s sold out or somebody says no, just go anyways and ask the teacher or the person who’s in charge and actually running the thing if it’s cool if you join or sign up or buy in. A lot of times this stuff is negotiable, they don’t give a shit. And if they did say no, I just wasted 15 minutes going there and showing up. Not a big deal at all.

For the first class it seemed like the instructor’s only goal was to get us to have fun, to get out of our heads, and to have us make silly mistakes for 3 hours. There were so many games.

Even when you fucked up or didn’t know what to say or just said something stupid, it was quickly forgotten because the class was already moving on to the next dumb thing that someone else did. Some games moved really fast you didn’t have time to think about anything, just react, failures were forgotten because you were moving on to something else. Other times I realized that someone else messed up just as bad as I did and that helped to stop the anxiety or nervousness I had when worried about how I would do this next scene or topic or whatever.

Worrying about performance or how I’m doing or how I compare to others around me is a problem I have. Even in improv where the goal is to just fuck around and have fun. And in no way does anything you are saying or performing in that class actually matter. Everything just happens in that room and everybody forgets 90% of it when they leave. But I still feel a little anxiety and get too much in my head.

@3:00 – Went drinking with Charlie

His friends were cool, nice girls, but being at a loud bar with a bunch of new people was awkward. I think I get too nervous or anxious at a bar to have fun. Charlie said it didn’t show which was cool.

Something I do when I’m nervous, meeting someone new, especially a cute girl, and I don’t know what to do: I go into interview mode and just ask her questions so I don’t have to be talking and as a way to fill this uncomfortable space. Boring, weird, not fun. And it’s my fault.

Asking questions to fill space makes for boring conversation because you’re not connecting with someone. I have a big problem with this when I get nervous and don’t know what to say, just asking questions so I don’t have to talk. It’s weird.

@4:15 – “Then why didn’t you just be fun and talk to her?” – Tucker

Because I have rarely had fun at a bar with a new group of people or a group of people at a bar that I didn’t know very well. I don’t know how to have fun at bars with people I don’t know.

@5:30 – Tucker’s conversation trick … asking “Why?”

He started having better conversations when he made it his goal to figure out something about the person he was talking to, something that they don’t realize about themselves. How the fuck do you do this? he said something about a “social mask” answer, I kind of have an idea of what this is but not sure.
OR just learning something interesting about the other person and keep asking why.

Keep digging until you find something really interesting. “If you look at conversation as a way to find out interesting things about people and then engage them on those interesting things, conversation becomes lubricant for social connection.”

@9:00 – Charlie’s version of this …

Mindset: This person I’m talking to (or on a date with) is probably a fascinating person, I just don’t know yet what is fascinating about them. And his goal is to bring that out of them:
What is fun for them? What do they get excited about?

Don’t copy Tucker or Charlie but to find your own version of this that fits your personality. This is probably going to take some practice. This is something I really want to focus on and get better at. And I think doing improv will definitely helping with this.

@11:00 – I’m being honest here about how I suck at this and it’s funny.

This was pretty funny when they were making fun of me but I was being real. I know doing this is stupid, can’t explain it, just it just happens. I go on autopilot and have this bad habit. Idk. I think I’m so worried about performance that I just try to get through a conversation or small talk without fucking up or making mistakes.

@12:15 – Your perception of yourself is very different from what the girls thought.

Haha, this is so true not just for me but for any guy. I could write and ramble on a lot about this but you should go read Confidence (the section or chapter on reputation).

The main idea is that others around you or your mating market is always better at evaluating you than you are at evaluating yourself. We suck at guessing what other people think of us. That’s why honest feedback from others is critical to improving.

Anyways Charlie talked to the girls we were with (his friends) about me after I left. They gave some great feedback on my Tinder pictures and me in person. And I am not ugly, lol.

@15:00 – I don’t internalize this positive feedback

That’s another stupid thing I do. Sometimes when I get positive feedback or compliments, I disqualify it (“Oh those are just Charlie’s friends being nice.”) and I don’t take it as seriously as I should. Don’t know why I do this.

@16:00 – The one situation where “fake it ‘til you make it” works

If you have more competence than confidence and are self-calibrating too low (I do this), “faking it” can work.

Tucker was the opposite of me when he was in his early 20s. He had higher confidence than competence and it turned a lot of women off until he actually got better.

I still have doubts about this working, probably because I have not had enough success (demonstrated performance and small wins) in bars. Or I am not registering those wins when I do have them, disqualifying the positives for no good reason.

@17:00 – Tucker hits nail on head here.

1. You can’t fake humor.

2. For whatever reason, I am more self-critical than I should be and have imposter syndrome. Faking it will help even this out.

@20:30 – Tinder date this week + positive & negative feedback from them

I recorded the date, they listened to it, and they were able to give great, specific feedback. I learned so much from them here and they had a lot of good things to say.

One criticism I have with advice they gave this week: I wish they took these somewhat abstract or or high level concepts (at times) and broke them down into more specific small, low-risk, practice exercises or actions that I can then go do to get practice, work on, try out, etc. Give me some type of HW or something I can go do today to practice this in a low risk way, instead of “just go do it” Or we should have spent time together figuring this out. I could brainstorm and come up with ideas for how to specifically apply or practice all this stuff and they could have given feedback on them.

I thought the date went too long. This was a wrong assumption and is a symptom of not being in the moment (another big issue I have on 1st dates, meeting new people). I was already thinking, this date is too long and I have to set up a 2nd date, etc. while still in the first date. That’s kinda dumb. Just stay in the moment and connect with the person in front of you.

@22:00 – This was a joke. Sex is one part of what I’m looking for.

@25:30 – Sharing, being vulnerable, not over-sharing

Sharing is how you connect with humans. Each person is a little bit vulnerable piece by piece. You move along together. Over-sharing creates a disconnect.

This is also something I’ve had trouble with most of my life, but it’s something I’m getting better at. I used to be awful at this when I was a teenager. I just kept everything inside, didn’t share with anyone, and was one reason why I got depressed sometimes.

I think a good takeaway going forward is that whatever she gives you, match that by sharing something of your own that is also just as vulnerable, on the same level OR test the waters be sharing a little bit of yourself and see how that goes. I don’t think I have to worry about over-sharing because I have a tendency to be more private and keep things close to the vest, kind of like a poker player except nobody else is playing poker and they probably don’t care what my cards are anyways.

Being on this podcast and opening up is definitely helping with that.

@27:45 – “This dude is laboring through a job interview at a company he doesn’t want to be at.”

I got some critical feedback from Tucker and Charlie here that was very helpful but it did sting.

Basically I sucked for the first 10 minutes of the date, and that’s what they dive into here.
Now, it got better obviously because she wanted to go out with me again (OH YEA), but for her it was probably like pulling teeth for those first few minutes. I was just out of it or nervous, idk.

She gave me a lot of good stuff to latch on to and ask her more about and I was just so in my head that I was oblivious or not paying attention to interesting things about here.

@29:00 – “It was 8 minutes before he asked her a question and it was, ‘So you grew up Hispanic right?’”

So I went back, reviewed the audio, and Charlie threw me under the bus here. I did not say “So you grew up Hispanic right?” … what I asked was “So you grew up with Spanish right?”

We were talking about languages and I was asking her if she grew up speaking Spanish or if she learned it later. It was still a dumb question because I knew she spent a lot of time in Mexico and the answer should have been obvious.

Critical feedback and things I need to improve on:

“It felt like a girl playing tennis with a wall.” Tucker
“It sounds like you are not actively listening to them. You are just filling silence.” Charlie
“Use her as a model for the way you be on the first date. She was great.”

  • Come in warm, accepting, nice, and playful.
  • She found out something interesting about me (traveling) then mined it and went into it and got me talking about something fun.
  • She was leading me into questions to ask her. There were many times I could have asked her things and engaged her on different topics and just blew those opportunities.

“The biggest room is always the room for improvement.” joke from Tucker

@35:00 – The way Charlie looks at dates before he goes into them

“This person could potentially be someone I date for a long time. And they might be really interesting and fun and cool. Be excited about that. Expect them to be great.”
Then he talks about This Boy’s Life
, and how one of the characters expects the best out of people and they give it to her.

If you go in worried about screwing up and focused on yourself and how you do, then you are going to screw it up and you will be too focused on yourself.

A better mindset is to go in expecting her to be fascinating (until she proves otherwise) and figure out how to draw that out of her.

Those thoughts and expectations change your energy and your body language. This is the same thing The Charisma Myth is all about.

@37:00 – How the date ended

It was still a good date because she wanted to go out with me again. She was fun and I got better.

@40:00 – Asking a girl out on a 2nd date while you are still on the 1st date

This was something I did right! Being assertive about going out again, “ok cool, let’s go on [specific date/time]”

She’s not going to sit there for 2 hours if she’s not into you. The start was disastrous, but I turned it around during the date and it went really well.

Tucker’s advice: “There’s no reason you can’t start where you end.” True charisma (not fake movie bravado or tv bullshit) is warmness, openness, and competence. The book lays it out as warmth, presence, and power.

@43:30 – Again I was not in the moment here. Couldn’t focus on the conversation in front of me.

Tucker was giving me some great advice and positive feedback, but I was still stuck on a stupid thing I may have said in the past.

I am not in the moment and missing out on what he is saying about charisma.

@46:30 – Tucker talks about my energy level here when talking with girls

“With almost any interaction with girls, it feels like you are cooking dinner” (same energy level of making a sandwich). And I think what he was getting at was that I’m just not excited when talking about dates or the women I’m seeing. This could be for a number of reasons:

  • It reflects something you are feeling. Tucker mentioned this. Not sure what that could be.
  • I’m on a podcast and nervous when talking about this stuff out in the open. I have this irrational fear that the women or somebody else is going to hear this and I’m going to get shit for it.
  • I suck at story-telling and remembering key details or emotions.
  • I’m just a low-energy, boring dude.
  • Or maybe it is a burden. I am excited about these dates but also nervous and in my head.
  • Idk

My energy levels are different and I haven’t enjoyed or had as much fun as I have had in the past with women. So I think Tucker was right, something is off here.

@48:30 – Being in the moment

This is a big problem I have and something I have trouble with and we talk more about in the next episode.

Charlie tells a great story here about playing basketball. One of his teammates was worried about losing even though it was the first fucking quarter and they were winning!

@50:00 – The All Blacks (Rugby) Red/Green story

Tucker tells a story about the All Blacks, New Zealand’s rugby team, and a technique they use to stay in the moment when they are on the field. It’s actually Red/Blue but who cares. You can read more about this in this article, the Talent Code
, or Legacy

Tucker also talks about staying in the moment in the podcast room with Charlie and I. He has like a million things going on (true, I’ve been around him enough and seen his calendar, the dude has a lot going on), but when we’re doing the podcasts, he’s totally focused on that.

He’s even more focused on staying in the moment for these podcasts than I am (see @43:30) and the fucking podcast is about me.

@51:30 – Meditation

They talk about how meditation may help with this, the benefits of meditation, and how to start with just 5 minutes. Tucker talks about how he does it and how it helps you stay in the moment and deal with emotions.

@57:00 – Great archery metaphor

If you want the trophy and stare at that, you will miss the target and never get a trophy. If you focus on the target (what’s in front of you), you will get the trophy. Just go listen to it, it’s eloquent when Tucker says it but not when I write it.

@59:00 – Being vulnerable and sharing things

This is one way to connect deeply with people, but it takes time. You share a little bit at a time. Your best friends know more and you can talk more about things with them than you can with people you just met.

Start with tiny pieces (no guy does this) and women will give you much more back. You have to put yourself out there to give someone else a chance to connect with you.

@1:02:00 – Changing the way you think about conversation

Because I am a little more introverted and reserved I do sometimes look at conversation as a burden and this is fucked up. Never get good at something when you look at it as a burden.

The solution is to reframe it (see how Charlie does this @9:00 and @35:00)

You reframe it by having a goal in mind that you can focus on instead of, “I hope this goes well” or “I hope I don’t fuck this up.” which is the mindset I probably had for past dates.

@1:04:00 – The consequences of a date going bad.

They are small. I just waste time and we both leave disappointed but that’s just a crappy feeling that’s gone before the next date.

Having insecurities or fears of a fucking up on a date or it not going well, these are not logical so explaining it like we did here on the podcast doesn’t really help. They explain it any way they want and it helps but it’s still there. I know it’s stupid to feel this way but I still feel it.

@1:05:30 – Growth mindset

I have to set reminders for myself to look at what happens (the results) and life as a learning process, a step towards growth, instead of winning or losing or as a direct reflection of who I am.

“This date was a huge win for you. Even if she said no.” – Tucker
This was actually nice to hear and a good way to end the podcast.

With each date you learn new things, what works, what doesn’t work, mistakes and how to learn from them, you take what you learn from each date and bring that into the next date.

@1:07:30 – Funny bit at the end of the podcast

@1:09:00 – My conversation goals going into the next date.

Conversation is the lubricant of connection. That is how we connect with people
Last Week’s Goals

  • Keep going on Tinder dates. I went on another date (see above)
  • First goal of first date: make her comfortable, be normal. I did this!
  • Record next date for Tucker and Charlie to listen to and give feedback. Won’t play on the podcast. I did this and it was great for feedback from them. I learned so much from them here and they had a lot of great things to say.
  • Sign up for 1 Sports and Social OR improv class. I crashed an improv class, now doing it every Monday. Still haven’t signed up for sports group.
  • Talk to Veronica, Tucker’s wife who’s a nurse, and figure out what you’re doing wrong, make a plan. She said I’m not eating enough meat and eggs. I should return to lifting weights, and get more fucking sleep.

Next Week’s Goals

  • Reframe the first date and the conversation
  • Figure out what’s interesting about her
  • Share more things, be a little vulnerable, piece by piece
  • Read The Charisma Myth
  • Go on more Tinder dates
  • Start meditating, 5 minutes a day (Tucker later recommended 10% Happier by Dan Harris)
  • Have a growth mindset, set reminders to think of yourself as a work in progress instead of a failure

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