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Happy Sunday, and welcome to Day 12 of 30 Days of Dating Advice for Intellectual Badasses! Here’s a recap of what we’ve covered so far, with links…

In this segment of the 30-Day campaign, we’re talking about Badass Social Skills, those “people skills” that make others like you and feel comfortable around you. In several of these articles, I’ve mentioned that people care LESS about your IQ, your accomplishments, and your knowledge, and MORE about how you make them FEEL. If you can make people feel good in your presence, you’re far more likely to get a date, or more. So the question is:


How Do You Make People Feel Good?

There are many ways, but let’s start with one good one: acknowledgement.

If you’ve ever read How To Win Friends and Influence People – and I STRONGLY recommend you do if you want to increase your Social Skills Quotient by leaps and bounds and see the results show up in your dating life – you know that most people simply want to feel important. They want to feel valued. And one way to accomplish this is to acknowledge them.

How does this apply to dating? When you’re chatting with that cute girl or guy, or sitting on a coffee meet-and-greet with some stranger you met online, look for ways to acknowledge them, to show them you can see what makes them interesting or special. Here are a few examples:


  • Compliments. Compliments are a very direct form of acknowledgment and appreciation. Compliment a woman’s shoes or necklace, or a man’s shirt or haircut. This is especially effective with men, who are usually unaccustomed to receiving compliments.
  • Show you’re impressed. If someone mentions having gotten a promotion, run a 10K, gotten into graduate school, or accomplished anything, acknowledge it. Say, “That’s impressive” or “That’s cool” or “Nice.” Ask them more about it.
  • Show you’re listening. Listening is more than simply shutting your mouth. If you really want someone to feel heard (i.e. acknowledged), occasionally respond to what they say by nodding or throwing out a “Hmmm” or “No way” once in a while.

When you do these things, people find that they “like” you. You suddenly seem more impressive, more interesting. Why? Because you made them feel valued.


A Couple of Warnings

First, these gestures must be genuine. If you’re fake, they’ll know it. It’s okay if they come out a bit awkward – they’ll recognize that you’re trying. And don’t overdo it – too much flattery comes off fake and makes people uncomfortable.

Some of you might be wondering if this is manipulative. Not if it’s genuine. After all, if you have to fake acknowledging other people’s awesomeness, you probably shouldn’t be dating them.

Second, if you’re talking to (or dating) a fellow Intellectual Badass – especially a male IB – you may feel your efforts are in vain because they don’t seem to respond or care about your efforts. Don’t worry, it’s working. It’s just that many IBs are difficult to read; you may not see the fruits of your efforts until they want to spend more time with you or, in many cases, wait until you’ve earned their trust and they tell you how great they think you are.

Try it, and report back on what happens!