One of the most popular features of the Leverage Program is that guys post writeups of social experiences and interactions they have, and they get feedback from other members and experts in the group.
The best way to get systematic step-by-step advice based on what we know works is to be objective. Both when you’re looking at your own life and your own interactions, you need to get specific about behaviors.
Here’s an excerpt from a writeup of a Leverage Program member recalling an interaction while out at a bar:
“She then gets mad at me over something stupid (I went out to check on her while she was smoking, she literally was mean mugging me for 10 minutes afterwards cuz she wanted me to keep her friend company).”
Why does this writeup prevent the group from helping him?
1. It’s emotional instead of objective (“Gets mad”)
So what did she say? What did she do? How did you know she was “mad”? Is there a chance your assessment is inaccurate?
2. It’s too vague (“Went out to check on her”)
What did you actually do? Checking on someone can mean a million things.
3. It isn’t factually accurate (“Literally was mean mugging me”)
Sigh, improper use of “literally”. That aside, this doesn’t paint a picture of what actually happened, and “mean mugging,” while a socially acceptable term, isn’t clear enough in this context.
4. It’s attempting to read the intentions of others instead of their behavior (“She wanted me to keep her friend company”)
What happened that made you think this? If she said that, tell us what words she said, not what you think she meant.
This isn’t just something that guys in the Leverage Program do when recalling the events that happened while out at a bar. It’s a pattern that we all do when we tell ourselves stories about our lives.
We all have blind spots, but it’s important to be objective about these blind spots by getting specific about behaviors. Whether you tell yourself “that interaction went well” or “that didn’t go well,” you’re not being objective or accurate about the situation. You’re letting your emotional interpretation control your view of what happened, rather than the events themselves.
Focus on the situation, not your interpretation of the situation.
Assess your progress from the facts, not how you feel.
And most importantly, bounce your stories off others so they can keep your emotional interpretations in check and help you improve.