The science of persuasion is rightfully seen as an important modern skill. Whether it’s convincing your boss on a certain course of action or sleeping with a woman, persuasion is needed to get what you want from other people.
Persuasion techniques are best used on one-off transactions that don’t require your target to make a long-term commitment. For example:
- getting a girl to come back to your apartment for a drink
- selling a used car to a reluctant buyer
- asking a restaurant manager for freebies or a refund
- convincing your parent to buy you a large birthday gift
- selling an ebook to a new customer
In the above cases, persuasion can overcome mild interest to complete the transaction in your favor (any buyer’s remorse that results is unlikely to cause a reversal). You only had to be persuasive enough to get the target to say yes the one time.
But persuasion should not be used in situations that require multiple transactions or strenuous effort for your target over a prolonged period of time. For example:
- encouraging a man to learn game
- convincing a man to work for your company
- pushing someone into starting a blog or writing a book
- giving a gym membership as a gift
- persuading a girl to stay in a relationship with you
Persuasion is enough to hijack the brain for a short amount of time, but once its power wears off, your target will enter a new emotional state, lose motivation, and quit. In other words, you can not get someone to do a sustained behavior unless that person has true desire and will. Any attempt on your part to push them will only cause completion of one or two initial steps before they drop out.
When I want someone to embark on a particular journey, I make it a point to be flat, unemotional, and nearly forgetful of stating the endeavor’s benefits, because I know any convincing on my part will temporarily distort their desire and cause them to agree, only to quit well before the journey’s end. Yet when it comes to a transaction, the first no just gets me warmed up. In fact, I expect it, and then pursue the matter like a good salesman would. I’ll convince a girl to bang me, but not to commit to me. I’ll convince my brother to do one approach on a girl he likes, but not to learn game. I’ll convince a guy to do an extra set at the gym, but not to adopt a new training program. Mold a person’s desire for one day or one transaction, never more.
This is a reason why motivation doesn’t work. Going to a seminar just pushes you to the next step of your action item list, but after you complete it and realize there is still a long way to go, you revert back to your de-motivated state. Without a guru constantly yelling in your ear, you don’t press forward. Therefore the problem with idleness and procrastination is not motivation, but one of inner desire. In order to work hard for a goal, you must greatly want it.
If you need motivation to do something, you must stop and re-examine your desire instead of seeking a further injection of motivation that will wear off in short time. When it comes to true accomplishment and success, persuading yourself or others is a strategy that simply does not work.
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