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Tension-Release Conversational Strategy


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It's a common idea that men shouldn't express their emotions.

That men should be tough, and resilient.

The leaders that others follow.

This is kind of true.

It's also like many, many other "truisms."

The are far too vague to be of any help.

It's a harsh truth about male-female relationships that if men are always "weak" then they will lose attraction.

This is absolutely true.

If a lady thinks her guy has it in him to get a promotion at work, but he's too scared to ask for one, that will decrease her attraction for him.

But when people say men shouldn't be "emotional" what they really mean is they shouldn't be "stuck" in weak emotions.

When it comes to emotions, there are three very critical ideas.

One is the strength with which you feel and express emotions.

If you feel and express a "weak" emotion, but just enough to show you're not a robot, that's good.

If you feel that same "weak" emotion but wallow in it, that's bad.

So the first critical idea is to CONTROL your emotions, rather than suppress them.

Two is even more important.

And that is to think in terms of emotional chains.

Instead of getting to a "weak" emotion, and getting stuck, think in terms of music.

Some of the most beautiful music ever written invokes some very sad feelings.

But those sad feelings are ALWAYS followed by stronger, happier, positive feelings.

Music and to a large extent, all art is all about emotional flow.

Sadness, happiness, despair, triumph.

There IS a reason why musicians get plenty of action.

It's not a problem AT ALL to express a "negative" emotion, so long as you RESOLVE it later on in the conversation.

"I just got fired from my job and I've only got a couple weeks left before I get kicked out. But I've got six interviews lined up and I usually do pretty good when my back is up against the wall like this so I'm actually kind of excited."

A third and very powerful idea is that if YOU feel your emotions strongly and congruently, people will follow you.

If you spot a negative emotion in your friend, lover or conversational partner, they might get stuck, but you don't have to.

This requires you follow the law of "show don't tell."

Pace their emotions.

Look inside for a similar experience that has a similar emotion.

Tell THAT story, but be sure to follow it up with some resolution.

Another story that shows a much better resolution.

This is a very, very rare skill.

But people that can MOVE the emotions in others are very, very attractive.

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