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Tynan is an author and adventurer who has written four books including Superhuman Social Skills and Superhuman by Habit. He is also the co-creator of the blogging platform SETT and has written extensively on his blog on subjects including social skills, relationships, his time as a pick-up artist as well as his experiences of living a nomadic life since 2006. In our conversation, we covered a range of topics including how to improve our social skills, the importance of storytelling, the value of travel and some secrets to becoming better at dating and relationships.
Here are some of the highlights from our discussion:
A cruise ship provides an ideal writing retreat. They provide a weird alternate reality where you’re so far removed from any real problem that there are so few external interruptions which means you can plan out projects and schedule your time.
We don’t generally consider social skills to be a ‘skill’ that we can improve BUT we can. Social skills are a skillset we can and should learn. We need to be the proactive one – we cannot wait for others to befriend us because that's probably not going to happen”.
Storytelling changes the way you communicate and interact with other people. One useful exercise to improve your social skills is to write a story for each of the letters A from Z. If you can go into a conversation with 26 stories that you could use, it makes you more confident and comfortable in social interactions, even if you don’t end up using them.
The value of travel is very hard to quantify. We can get some understanding of other cultures by visiting temples or sites but a lot of the value came from sitting in a coffee shop and getting to know local people and local cultures. Although there is value in a breadth of experience, we rarely stop to get the depth of experience that makes travel particularly valuable.
There is not one prescription for dating – everybody is different. However, one more concrete rule is that if you’ve been dating for years, you’re probably doing something wrong and you need to think about how you want to come across and communicate with the other person.
Personal blogs enable you to analyse and get more clarity over your experience and values. In the modern world, too many people are in the business of looking for their content elsewhere – there is much greater value in creating your own stuff.