Practice Practice Practice or Get tig Good at The Rules

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H owdoe s one get good at The Rules? Unfortunately, the same way one gets good at playing the piano or tennis or anything else. Practice practice and more practice!

Once you're truly convinced you need "Die Rules, you should read this book over and over again until you've practically memorized it, then practice the principles as much as possible. Don't expect to get them right the first time or every time. We didn't. We broke rules, got hurt; and then eventually got serious and did The Rules as they

Don't be discouraged. Just keep practicing! Try The Rules on all men at all times. Don't even say hello first to your doorman or the butcher at the deli. Let them say hello to you first and then just smile. Don't ignore them or anyone else, just practice responding rather than starting any conversation. Then later, when a man says to you, "I can tell you were the prom queen," and you weren't even asked to go, you will instinctively smile and say nothing. If, however, you are so used to blabbering all the time then you might start explaining that you were thirty pounds heavier in high school and never really went out. If he is planning to marry you, you will eventually tell him all about your unpopular days, and by that time it won't really matter. We find that most women regret spilling their innermost feelings and thoughts on the first few dates. There will be less to regret if you learn to be quiet and mysterious more often. Reread Rules #19 and #20.

When the urge to call him comes, call a friend, your mother, the weather channel, walk the dog, write a letter, answer a personal ad, anything, until the urge passes, and it will. Call a friend who recently broke The Rules to remember how painful it is to chase a man. If you must call a man, better that you call a friendly ex-boyfriend than the current man of your dreams. The old relationship is over and there's not much to lose but your new flame may lose interest in you if you pursue him.

The good news, girls, is that the more you practice The Rules, the easier it gets. If it's painful, remember, none of us do them perfectly. But try to do the best you can.

Ending a phone conversation after ten minutes seemed cruel and impossible for us in the beginning, but the more we used a timer and did it anyway, the more natural it became to say, "It's been nice talking to you, but I really have to run."

It's not necessary to have a high IQ_to do The Rules, just a certain degree of determination. In fact; highly educated girls have the hardest time with The Rules. They tend to think all this is beneath them. They'll say, "I went to graduate school, Tm not playing these games" or "Fm in management. I believe in being up front with men about my needs, my opinions, and who I really am. I refuse to be demure and smile when I don't feel like it."

If you think you're too smart for The Rules, ask yourself, "Am I married?" If not; why not? Could it be that what you're doing isn't working? Think about it.

But even if you're not desperate to get married right away, you never know when you'll change your mind. We've all met women who are certain in their twenties that they don't want two kids and a house with a picket fence. They tell us that their career, friends, and assorted romantic relationships are fine with them. So they don't bother to play hard to get when they meet men. They treat men like women—as friends. Then one day they meet a handsome man with gorgeous eyes. Suddenly they not onlywanthimbutwanttoh ave his chi ldren. Th ese women either don't know about The Rules or have never practiced them. This is why you should always do The Rules. You never know when you'll want to get married.

Another reason to do The Rules is so that people—men, women, bosses, parents—treat us well. When we don't do The Rules, we inevitably get hurt. When we do The Rules, we find out who really loves us. The answer might be painful, but better to weed out the uninterested parties than to carry on unsatisfying relationships. For example you ask a man out and he says no, or he says yes to be polite and never calls again. You're hurt. But had you not initiated the date he would never have hurt you. You have no one to blame but yours el fl Or let's say your neighbor only comes by to borrow milk or when he's bored. You wish he would invite you to dinner. He doesn't. So you suggest dinner. He makes excuses. You're hurt. Again, situations of our own making! If someone is not asking you out; then they don't want to be with you. Go about your business and trust you will meet other people who genuinely like you and want to be with you. You might feel lonely and hurt for a while but better that than being rejected.

The Rules can be used in many life situations. For example if you love your sister too much, but she doesn't act particularly warm or nurturing toward you, don't call her every day. Just return her calls. Stop trying to "work things out" or go over childhood feelings. Just get a life so that your relationship with her is not the main thing on your mind. Be busy and when she finally calls you, be friendly. No one likes talking to someone who is angry or depressed.

You maybe thinking, "But without so-and-sq, I wouldn't have a friend to go to singles dances with or a summer house to visit." We know how you feel, but maybe you're supposed to go to dances by yourself or you're supposed to let go of so-and-so to make room for better friends. Just do The Rules. Don't think about the short-term results. Trust that you will find other ways to fill the emptiness. Maybe you'll take up running and meet someone on the track. Looking back, whenever we did The Rules and lost a relationship, we got a better one.

You see, whenever you love someone more than that person loves you, you are in a position to get hurt. The Rules way of thinking and acting protects you from unnecessary pain. It's a law of the universe that the more you try to get the love and attention of someone who doesn't naturally want you, the more frustrated and unhappy you will be. When we do The Ruks, we give up the struggle. We accept that some people don't want us and we go on to the next. We don't force people to love

We had to change our definition of gratifying relationships. A gratifying relationship is long lasting and mutual, not short term and hurtful!

When we do The Rules in life, whether or not we want to get married, we create boundaries with people. Some of us get so overly friendly with our secretary, baby-sitter, or cleaning lady that they take advantage of us and don't do their jobs. We should be friendly but always remain the boss. We say yes to last-minute dates or let men get off the phone first; and then we wonder why we feel so empty. At work, we try too hard to make our coworkers like us, but they sense our motives and find us annoying.

The Rules are even useful in the business world. If your boss ignores you or isn't particularly fond of you, don't try to ingratiate yourself by making unnecessary conversation, asking about his or her weekend, suggesting lunch or bringing in homemade cookies. If your boss doesn't take you out to lunch, he or she doesn't want to. If your desks are near each other, don't constantly stare at him or her to make eye contact. Keep your eyes glued to your computer screen or the papers on your desk.

Everyone hates a brownnoser, so be professional and businesslike. Just do your work quietly and efficiently. Don't tell him or her how hard you work; don't stay late at the office to impress people. Don't look haggard or disheveled from having come in to the office early or stayed late the night before. Coworkers and bosses are actually more impressed by well-rounded people who get their work done during business hours and have a healthy social life. Dress as if you have a date after work.

If you think of He Rules as a manual for life rather than simply as rules for getting married, you might do them more often. Then, when you meet the man of your dreams, you'll have had plenty of Rules practice.

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