The Ultimate Guide to Social Self-Mastery
10 Social Habits Destined to UP Your Interpersonal Game
Habit 6: Initiating conversations from a 45 degree angle of separation.
To recap quickly: we have learned to check in periodically with ourselves and how not choosing to do so affects our perceived presence; how acknowledging with gestures is a peaceful way of respecting and recognizing others, which happens to come with all of the associated benefits of that treatment; the reasons for and against carrying objects: with the left hands or not and how effective use of this habit impacts your interpersonal projection; the value behind choosing to walk faster; and, by looking into people’s left eye, we are choosing the right way effectively to connect with them, heart-to-heart.
Now that you are in the process of incorporating these daily habits into your lives, you may have begun to experience some interpersonal benefits. Perhaps you are feeling better: more alive and full of zest, happier, more responsive to and with others, and are having deeper connections with the important people in your life. Very likely, your posture has improved, as you are being more open, feeling more important, and are beginning to experience life as someone with a greater sense of purpose. People are noticing; I know this for certain!
Let me interject with a few questions: have you noticed how you are approaching persons with whom you are needing to communicate in some way? How have you been aligning your body? Do you notice what you are doing with your feet? What are they doing with their feet? Are you squaring up to their hips? Also, how would you interrupt a group conversation to communicate with someone who was actively engaged in that group’s discussion?
The answers to these questions are found in the depths of understanding this daily habit. So, what does it mean “to initiate conversations from a 45-degree angle of separation”? Delightful! Please, if I may …
This habit correlates to the information we have briefly discussed about intentionally keeping our body language in an open state for attracting others. We become much more approachable to others if we are surely expressing our open mindedness through our well-coordinated body language. A similar concept will apply to this principle. Let’s understand:
To start, you imagine a right angle? Are you noticing how the lines converge like the capital letter “L”? Perfect! Now you know that by transforming that image into an interactional concept, you will see yourself in a room with two other people. For this example, everyone who is talking is standing; you and both people are talking while standing. If you are all conversing with each other in equal proportions, which way are you all facing? If you make an “L” with both your left and right hands, using both index fingers and thumbs, and then merge together the two: you get the shape of a triangle. This is exactly how the energy is displaced in an equally-weighted, equally proportioned or valued three-person conversation. Half of your attention is divided toward the person on your left, so your body language would also be reflecting this truth. The other half of your attention is focused on the person to your right. In essence, you are neither standing directly face-to-face with another person nor aligned shoulder-to-shoulder with him/her; you are likely in an in-between state.
This in-between state is the exactly the way in which it is best to approach someone for conversation. Always assume there is, or will be, a third person, and position yourself as if there is, even in the instances when no such person is currently around or exists.
How does this work? By nature, men associate the sense of hostility with a person who approaches them head-on; you will notice, this is typical masculine fighting procedure. To anticipate this unconscious reaction in others, you can consciously shift realities by energetically deflecting that potentiality away from yourself by opening your body into a position much that in the above third-person-and-ghost scenario. You are now approaching them at 45 degrees: you are initiating conversations from a 45 degree of separation. You are shifting the energy from one-one-one, head-on-head, “fight me,” to a 45-degree openness: “hey man, we got buddies coming” energy.
Women naturally associate hostility with being approached from directly behind. If a woman cannot see you and yet she can feel your presence, you are immediately classified as a potential threat; this will happen unconsciously. This, of course, can be potentially limiting to you if you are seeking an intimate relationship with a woman. Biologically speaking, women are superior peripheral seers: they have more receptors located on the periphery of their retina. This is why women are so much better at detecting body language than men, not only because they carry the brain capacity to interpret this behavior, but also because they have better peripheral vision, making it much easier to detect subtle signs of movement, which is exactly the purpose of our peripheral vision. This also explains why women get caught far less frequently for checking out other people when on a date: it is because they don’t have to look at you directly to see you.
To avoid throwing yourself into the ‘creep’ pile, approach women from 45 degrees on either side, left or right, to ensure you are being seen in some way. If you are a man looking for an intimate connection with a woman, absolutely make sure you do not scare her on your first impression. If you do, you are automatically a creep and are dismissed.
Moreover, I am not expressing that you must always face people in 45-degree body language throughout the span of discourse because that behavior would be an example of an extreme. It is necessary or required to hold this angle once you have established yourself in immediate conversation and are engaged with the other person. You may, then, allow your body language to loosen and you may continue the conversation as you would so naturally.
Homework Preceding Day Seven
Please consider for contemplation: how have you been approaching people? Are you feeling any emotional discomfort in the ways you are currently approaching people?
Next, choose to take this habit and make it an exercise. Go about your day, and anytime you need to ask someone about something, make it your intention to approach them from this open-language, 45-degree angle, posture. After several initiations, ask yourself the following: how are they now responding to me? What differences am I noticing, either emotional or otherwise?