How To Keep Friends

Neil StraussNeil76 Comments

Do you think it’s possible that with one post, I can improve the way the people you’re closest to in your life see you?

Let’s find out.

Because over the course of my life, from experience, I’ve learned a hard-won lesson I want to share today. As the New Year approaches, it’s also something to think about for making yourself a better person in 2012.

It can can change your personal and professional relationships–and thus the course of your life–and is very easy to implement:

Start a list right now on your cell phone, iPad, journal, the back of a receipt, or wherever you keep notes. (It must be something you carry with you–not a desktop computer, for example.)

The list should be titled MY WORD.

And…

  • Every time you tell someone you’ll send them a link or let them borrow something
  • Every time you tell someone you’ll introduce them to a person or send them that person’s contact information
  • Every time you promise to help someone or accompany them anywhere
  • Every time you tell someone you will do anything for them, no matter how great or small

…write it down on your MY WORD list.

Then refer to that list at least once a week and follow through on each item.

Because the fact is, most people make promises that they really mean in the moment, but then minutes or hours later–because we can only hold seven pieces of information in our short-term memory–they completely forget having given their word to a friend or someone they work with.

But that other person, the one who was given the promise, doesn’t forget it. Because it’s something they really want or need help with, they store it in their long-term memory. And though you may have completely forgotten having mentioned it, they haven’t. And do you know what occurs after this happens once or twice or three times? You lose one of the most important things a friend or colleague or potential career connection needs: Trust.

And without trust, there can be no real relationship.

You may be reading this thinking that you don’t do this, but I can pretty much guarantee you that unless you have a system in place for keeping track of the promises you make people, you are forgetting some of them and damaging, even in a subtle way, important relationships.

In some cases, the person will remind you, and you may then follow through. But in more cases, the person whose trust you damaged will never even tell you this, because they don’t want to seem petty. After all, you were doing them a favor out of the goodness of your heart.

Conversely, because everyone does this to some degree, by being someone who FOLLOWS THROUGH on what they tell someone, you will stand out in their minds as exceptional, and gain not just trust but something even more rare: Integrity. And from that relationship, all kinds of great things will grow and blossom. You will get so much more back than you ever gave.

Before we wind this up, there’s a second step to add to being a person of integrity: Don’t make promises you don’t intend to or have time to keep. A lot of people, with the best of intentions, make promises to help others out. They do this often from a sincere need to gain the other person’s respect or approval (or avoid disappointing them). And in the moment, that’s what they get. But when they don’t deliver on that promise, they end up with the opposite outcome.

So start your list now. To help you out, here’s a simple template I gave the guys in The Society to help them keep their promises within the group when it comes to helping out each others’ careers, game, and networks. And they’ve been filling these up rapidly:

http://www.neilstrauss.com/myword.pdf (right-click to download)

You may recall that Madonna in Everyone Loves you When You’re Dead mentioned the book The Four Agreements, and that one of them was “be impeccable with your word.” I still haven’t read the book, and am not sure if it recommends similar steps, but if it does, then let this be a reinforcement of the message.

Finally, sometimes circumstances outside of your control prevent you from fulfilling a promise, so the solution is to let the person you’re talking to know this upfront so they understand the situation and are then doubly excited if you follow through and not disappointed if you can’t (and let them know you tried).

76 Comments on “How To Keep Friends”

  1. Neil,

    Doing just exactly what you say you are GOING to do is called PERSONAL INTEGRITY.

    This personal integrity trait is closely associated with SPECIAL FORCES PARATROOPERS.

    PARATROOPERS don’t give a SHIT about keeping their friends close and they CANNOT use something so frivolous for MOTIVATING them to do the kind of EXTREMELY RISKY maneuvers they have dedicated their lives to DOING.

    It John Rambo keeps his friends, then it is simply an unavoidable side-effect of BEING JOHN RAMBO.

    For paratroopers, and champions alike, The Process which is built around a SOLID-CORE of PERSONAL INTEGRITY must NECESSARILY be its OWN REWARD. One has to literally embrace THE DAILY GRIND.

    If your PRIMARY motivation for PERSONAL INTEGRITY is for “Keeping Friends”, then you are a LOSER out of the gate, you will NECESSARILY FAIL, and you are DEAD ON ARRIVAL. Your motivation is a DEEP neediness for being popular. It’s a losing formula as you well KNOW.

    Writing things down and keeping records is, in THE BIG PICTURE, just common sense GOOD ADVICE, but on the PERSONAL-INTEGRITY circuit, it is about as useful as having a short bald asshole show up at your private disco party.

    FUCK taking notes on the BULLSHIT PROMISES you make. Instead, keep detailed records of your daily existence to KEEP YOU ON TRACK.

    You don’t look like Schwarzenegger by riding your couch, and you sure as shit DON’T live like a paratrooper by writing shit on SCRAP PAPER. Buy a proper JOURNAL – NO BULLSHIT FUCKING CONSUMER ELECTRONICS. It has to be a tangible and irreplaceable document of scripture on its way to the Smithsonian after you collect your second post-humus Nobel prize for one of the Natural Sciences.

    All the very best,

    JohnPaul Adamovsky

    PS – I want to meet you, to see if you really are the hypocritical fairy that I have measured you up to be. And trust me… I am the kind of guy that YOU want to keep around as a GOOD FRIEND of yours, and I just don’t really give a shit either way. My motivation for being an awesome person to hang with goes far beyond keeping my friends.

    1. Paratroopers, Rambo, capital letters… Why are you SHOUTING?

      You sound like an absolute moron. He’s just telling you to remember to keep your word.

      “tangible and irreplaceable document of scripture”. You f**king moron! You sound like the last person on the planet that anyone would want to be friends with.

      I hope you read this, but “I just don’t really give a shit either way”

      MUCH LOVE JOHNPAUL ADAMOVSKY!!
      x

      1. Oh Boy,

        You don’t have a lot of friends do you?

        Ya see, I’m one of the cool kids, and I enjoy writing, and I need you for NOTHING.

        I am NOT here to “Make Friends”, I am here to provoke meaningful discussion that doesn’t involve Peter Puffing, and marketing trickery.

        I use capital letters to draw EMPHASIS to particular words. If I was shouting at you, you would crumble to the ground trembling and paralyzed with fear.

        There is no malice or ill-will in what I say. I am not violent, but I am NEVER to be fucked with under any circumstances.

        By releasing all of the writing I have contributed to this web page into the public domain, Neil Strauss is “Fucking With Me”, and I am very politely asking him to stop doing that.

        All the very best,

        JohnPaul Adamovsky

        1. “If I was shouting at you, you would crumble to the ground trembling and paralyzed with fear.”

          Have you ever noticed that the guys that truly do possess these desirable qualities that we all strive for don’t have to shout, defend themselves and above all, they do not brag about them?

          If you were truly special forces, you would also know how to talk to others with dignity and respect — as that is also part of the concept of personal integrity, as you so knowingly preach.

          Can anyone point out the ‘Alfaux Male of the Group?’

          Well, there’s another time honored tradition called “policing your own.” I have my serious doubts, given your displayed behavior, but if you are in fact in the military: You are a non-rate classess asshole, and you embarrass those of us who serve honorably as gentlemen.

        2. Hi JPA,

          I’ve been reading a lot of your posts and you make a lot of interesting points. You do however seem ‘upset’ at Neil for some reason and I was just wondering why?

        3. suave88,

          I read his book, liked it.

          His society thing sounded interesting, so applied.

          Got ZERO valid feedback, and as far as I can tell, the whole motherfucking thing doesn’t even exist. He is allegedly asking these geeks to pay for membership fees, meeting with them ONLY ONCE, and he has miraculously convinced these perfect strangers to all be completely QUIET? I just don’t buy it. Does anybody who contributes to this web site actually believe that this society thing is the REAL DEAL?

          Like everybody else here, I want to know what is going on with this society… Am I right?

          Everybody here wants to know the truth about his failed endgame with Lisa, which might contain some DIRT, and the hypocrite stays away from the issue like a coward, and then makes a post about how the only meaningful interviews he has are with people who are not afraid to get into their DIRT.

          The WORST thing is that “Inner-Circle” is by its very nature and NAME for fuck sake, supposed to be a private fucking web site where discussions can be had without the added concern of public exposure…

          THIS IS A PUBLIC WEB SITE – Neil fucked up. I demand an open, public, and personal apology for this outrageous transgression.

          All the very best,

          JohnPaul Adamovsky

          PS – I am sorry that I couldn’t make my beefs with Neil more clear to the readers of this web site, because that motherfucker deletes half of the posts that I write. So much for free speech without censorship.

          PPS – I literally have to make a backup copy of all my posts now, so that I don’t lose my work. I cannot trust a guy who deletes half of what I write on a pseudo-private web site.

          PPPS – I hope you can understand my disappointments after you read this, that is if it makes it through the Thought-Police screening process… Fucking socialists.

  2. A very valid point. My new years resolution for 2011 was taken with inspiration from the ‘NIKE’ advertisement – “Just Do It”. For the majority of the year I kept this in place. Though I became tired of some new things, and so I feel as though I failed this resolution.

    I think one of the problems I had was actually a relationship. A ‘Oneitus’ as its otherwise known as. I was constantly just thinking about myself and her. Forgetting to allow time for others.

    2012 will bring an opportunity for a new resolution, though I think I need to nail this one first, and by taking your advice with a ‘My Word’ list, it might just happen.

    Wish me luck!

    1. FantaBanta,

      Listen dood, I hear what you’re saying about resolutions and what have you, but here is something that is not a topic of debate, but rather an indisputable FACT:

      RIGHT NOW is the very BEST time to start… Period.

      Why the fuck are you waiting for 2012?

      All the very best,

      JohnPaul Adamovsky

      1. Very true. But I have other goals right now. If I work on too many achievements in one go, I’ll slack on some, and fail. One step at a time for me. That’s why I’m going to leave this for a new years resolution.

        Otherwise, yes, i’d start right away. 🙂

      2. Style of Man, I agree with you on that 1…I do not believe in 2012 either…The year is and has always been NowthousendandNow…

    2. First of all, a oneitis is for someone you’re NOT in a relationship with or sleeping with. If it’s your girlfriend, then it’s either a healthy relationship or an unhealthy one. Anyway, good luck on nailing this. Keeping your word not just to others, but to yourself will help for sure!

      1. Oh right! I thought it was someone you got too emotionally attached to whilst playing The Game. Someone that got in your way from improving. But I suppose this actually makes a lot of sense now. Thanks for clearing that up for me!

        Also thanks for your support on these topics. I appreciate your active feedback. Speaking to a friend today, whom is also participating in learning The Game, he could definitely see an improvement in my confidence on a recent night out. I hope one day I can return the favour with things that I find work. =]

  3. It’s a fact that writing, anything will take more mental capacity then just a verbal response. This is just one the key ways that the human mind has evolved. I have always been taught to learn anything is to repeat, write and memorize.

    In the case you have presented Neil the fact you take a moment to write something down, like a promise to a friend, shows that you have genuine interest with following through with your favor. The extra step of writing causes different parts of the brain to activate. Through the stimulation of different senses this allows for an easier ability to recall information. In fact, you may never have to refer to the note. Information is sometimes internalized just from the extra effort.

    I find the brain so fascinating because different mediums recording use different neurons. For example: Writing about a subject by typing. Then write about it again with pen and paper. You’ll find that what you were writing about took on a new context. New vocabulary come to mind. Sometimes even a new perspective comes to light. (AH-maz-ing)

    Thanks Neil, this is MOST EXCELLENT advice!

    1. midnite,

      I am fairly certain that you missed the point:

      You can write the same sentence down 77 times every day of your life:

      “I am going to train 6 days a week for 3 hours a day, with the intensity of a pro-athlete, so that every day is the BEST DAY of my life.”

      That will be completely INSUFFICIENT for you to follow through with such a grand assertion. Your fingers will start to ache, and then you will crash in front of you HDTV.

      What I have come to know is that saying something, or writing it down means NOTHING if you are unwilling to make the kind of SACRIFICES a man can ONLY make if he KNOWS that he is doing what is RIGHT and PROPER.

      Keeping your friends is simply insufficient motivation to avoid the lure of immediate gratification which meets the modern urban citizen around every corner.

      “Do the bare minimum to get the most VALUE” Is a tremendous resignation from living the FULL HUMAN EXPERIENCE. It is WRONG, and Neil certainly does NOT live like that for himself.

      Here is a sobering thought for all you pseudo-scientific biology EXPERTS:

      If you thoroughly believe in the merit of evolutionary biology as it applies to the structure and capacity of the brain, then most of you will do nothing of significance with yourselves. You were born ill-equipped, and there is NOTHING you can do about it. The statistics don’t lie.

      Neil says to use a pen and paper to write things down: He is a fucking genius giving everybody just the greatest advice of all time, so get him to donate his brain to science like Einstein did. Perhaps he might use that genius to get his busted web-site FIXED UP.

      All the very best,

      JohnPaul Adamovsky

      PS – Watch the John Malkovich film: “Color Me Kubrick”, where “They wanted something for nothing, and he gave them nothing for something.”

      1. you sound like a walking punch bag. You say your a paratrooper, more like clowntrooper. Poeple arent laughing with you but at you. If you were half as great as you say you are, or a quarter as great as you think you are we would all be reading your website and not you begging Neil to make you.

        I did also wonder if you were Neil using an alter ego just to guage peoples responses as research for a book cause surely a nob as big as you can never really exist.

    2. psychonaut,

      These are my claims:

      I am a MAN.
      When I say I will do something, I do it.
      I have a conscience and I listen to it.
      I believe in the Triune God.
      I do NOT hide my identity.
      I train 6 days a week, 3 hours a day.
      Neil is an OUTRAGEOUS HYPOCRITE.
      I want Neil to change his ways and inspire me again.
      Programming computers, I am a MASTER EXPERT.
      Neil falls short of being a MAN.

      Now, why are you so offended by these declarations, and yet you persist in NOT investigating them?

      My conscience does NOT tell me to be polite and courteous to miserable dissenters who conduct NO valid research before they bad-mouth me.

      Maybe you don’t get this, but I am being VERY POSITIVE in all my writings on this web-site. The day anybody convinces me to abandon my positive stance and belief structure is the day I turn into Keyser Soze. “Collect it up and watch it burn.”

      “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” – Burke

      I am still DOING things, and you would prefer if I did, what was it?… NOTHING? Easy there, Tinkerbell.

      All the very best,

      JohnPaul Adamovsky

      PS – Neil, please get your web-site FIXED. That is literally the very least that you MUST do.

      1. Thanks for film recommendation JPA. I’m a huge fan of both John Malkovich and Stanley Kubrick.

        However, you should review your knowledge about Einstein and the donation of his brain. There is still controversy surrounding circumstances in which it was acquired and stored. I sure a legitimately acquired genius brain would not be kept in a mason jar for decades.

      2. Who are you trying to scare, your mother?

        You know if you argue with a fool you have two fools.

      3. If you don’t like Neil, and you don’t like the site, why don’t you reinsert your head back up your ass and let the adults have a conversation here. In your case, silence is golden. It’s the best contribution you can make.

      4. harlot,

        Let me get this straight:

        You are trying to fuck with a 236.6 lb trained aerospace science engineer who is quick to use his Nobel Laureate mind to humiliate people who base their opinions on bullshit anecdotes?

        Here is my reply to your reactionary bitching: “GO FUCK YOURSELF”.

        As far as you should be concerned, this WEB-SITE belongs to ME now. My name is all over it, and it is fully searchable in the public domain, and I have put much more effort into it than Neil Strauss, the crafty little marketeer.

        Fucking with ME leads to a shit-storm of consequences that will have your head spinning faster than the wheels on your Schwinn bicycle.

        You message is INERT, and you lack the confidence to voice any manner of original content.

        All the very best,

        JohnPaul Adamovsky

        PS – I really enjoyed reading “The Game”, I want him to tie up some open loops that he left hanging, and I want him to drop his “Self-Help” perversions and write a second book about something important and meaningful that will inspire me once again.

        PPS – I don’t hate Neil. I simply DEMAND more from him, because I know what he is capable of, and you are NOTHING.

        1. Best I can tell is that you’ve got about 2 brain cells left in your head and they are fighting to see which one can kill itself first.

          To reference a very useful lyric from Jay-Z:

          “You got a mouth as loud as a motor bike, but when it comes down to it you couldn’t bust a grape in a fruit fight”.

          I’m sure you are nothing more than some skinny little ass clown sitting in your mother’s basement with too much time on your hands.

          I hope Neil gets fed up with your bullshit soon enough and cans you off the site.

          1. I’m traditionally against feeding the trolls, but I’m starting to think he isn’t one. This may just be another guy on the internet who needs to make some good friends and a therapist.

  4. I’ve found that if you sincerely care about your friends then you need no pen or paper to keep promises. This was something I learned way back in the 10th grade. If you are thinking about making a promise that you cant follow through with, man up and say that you cannot up front. A true friend will understand. If you make one and something happens where you forget (disaster, financial problems, personal injury, etc…) : A true friend will remind you without being angry. Fact of the matter is that it is just as much your responsibility to be a friend as it is for your friend to understand. If they fail to understand these simple rules. Fuck um. They are not worthy of being friends anyway.

    On the terms of remembering things I must concur that writing things helps to solidify what you need to remember.

    I only make promises that I keep. If I fail nail me to the cross.

  5. Interesting comments to this post. My take-away is that Neil is using the “my word” list to actually help his followers build relationships of trust by following through on promises to become men of high integrity – nothing wrong with that… Just think, trust, genuine relationships, integrity — and still got Game. Perfect!

    Two books that may be helpful for those interested, which have helped my Game with building trusting relationships and to keep track of my commitments are listed below. Yes, I’m sure StyleofMan will find weakness in the books listed, or flaws with the authors, but not all of us are legends in our own minds. If it helps any other readers, then it is worth listing:

    The Checklist Manifesto – Atul Gawande
    The Speed of Trust – Stephen M. R. Covey

  6. Neil, or Phoebe, or Aaron,

    I demand an explanation of why my recent posts are part of the public domain now… Had I known at the time I wrote them, I would have been even more harsh and more thorough as I subjected your idle ramblings to the scrutiny of a superior intellect.

    This issue is NOT over until you FIX IT:

    Google_Search_Problem.png

    All the very best,

    JohnPaul Adamovsky

    1. You’re either a troll or a raging delusional alcoholic.

      Happy Holidays from all of us on planet Earth.

    1. StyleofMan,
      YOU are a douche. Notice where I put the emphasis.

      I say that as a current military officer who lives and dies by his word. Real men inspire by actions, not ranting on some comment board.

      Learn to package your message a little better – that’s one key to leadership (of many). If you piss people off enough saying that 2+2=4, they won’t care if you’re right. In fact, they’ll do everything they can to undermine your message just to see you fail.

      It’s called tact. Learn it and you’ll be far more successful in life.

      1. Haha Style of Man

        We live for cuts, bruises and not just talking about it.

        Sounds like an uptight kid who hasn’t been laid in a while .. Shame.

  7. Hi All,

    What Neil is saying is very true you do treat friends with more respect who don`t let you down and help you when you need help.
    But one thing that rubs people up the wrong way is friends who borrow thing off you and never return them unless you ask for them back. uhh.

    Trust and integrity are so important in relationships with friends or partners you just cannot say one thing and then do another without losing face.

    There is simply too much greed, selfishness and corruption in this world.
    It is not called the human race for nothing but you can find peace in your own life by being the opposite.

    A good and relaxing christmas to all, and no arguing…x

  8. The concept of keeping ones word to a fellow human being is found as far back as 1,400 years ago in the Quran. Amazing concept, yet so simple.

    1. That’s super. You’ve heard of the Chinese and Indian civilizations too. Well I know you know about India. Anyway it’s a people thing, you might say. The idea of keeping promises. Why, I’ll bet ya cavemen used to be pretty big on it.

  9. Hi all,

    Thanks for this. I had a A-HA moment. I have a friend. He asked me 2 months ago to help him go get his things out of storage unit. I was going to do it about 6-7 times so far and have given him my word. It didnt bother me much at first. I just want to go do it, even though its NOT my things. But i gave my word. I was disappointed when he says he going on this day. And then hes “BUSY”. It seems like i care more then he does. Thanks for the article. This is a very true emotion and can affect people… I will work on this. And that is MY word.

  10. Humm…I can’t seem to get your PDF to download. I understand the basics of this list. getting to work on making one right now.

  11. Hilariously i get criticism for doing just that – keeping my word – as apparently it’s annoying to be around someone who then wonders why other people can’t!

  12. Wow. I guess not being a famous person and Hollywood guy I already knew bullshitting people is wrong. And I knew that not keeping promises sucks.

  13. This is so true. Whether it be with a friend, or a romantic interest, or whoever. The importance of keeping your word is SO huge. It’s even sweeter and more appreciated when you’re NOT expected to do so. Even something really small and simple that the person who you told may have forgotten is all the more meaningful if YOU remember and do it. Trust is usually built on little day to day things, not outrageous things. Keeping your word is a matter of trust and consistency, it says that you’re reliable, and overall a good person. I approve 🙂

    1. Yes,

      Keeping your word means keeping your friends, but keeping your friends simply doesn’t have enough motive force to inconvenience you into a life of INTEGRITY.

      It is a GIGANTIC INCONVENIENCE to keep your word.

      You also forget that a great number of people on this web site have NO friends to speak of. That is why they have come here.

      All the very best,

      JohnPaul Adamovsky

      1. Aww! That’s not nice! Even if people don’t HAVE friends, keeping your word with an acquaintance is a good way to MAKE friends, isn’t it? If it’s so inconvenient to keep your word, then just don’t make promises in the first place, right? I mean, I have TONS of friends, I come here because as a woman I think it’s really interesting to take a little peek at the things you guys are talking about. I know that a REAL friend will be fine if you don’t make a promise that will be broken. If I felt that keeping my word would be inconvenient, then I wouldn’t make a promise in the first place.

        I understand that perhaps living a life of “integrity” can be tiresome, but don’t we all really want to be good people, even if it may be hard at times? Truly as adults we know that taking the easy way out of things is, well- easy. Still, at the end of the day to feel like you’ve done something that’s genuinely GOOD really helps the soul.

      2. Kristinanitsirk,

        I must say that I do admire your attitude. You have a childlike enthusiasm, the sort of stance that we are instructed to have when it is our time to approach the pearly gates of the Kingdom.

        “don’t we all really want to be good people, even if it may be hard at times?”… NO, not in my experience.

        Within, even ME, there is a deep-rooted instinct to take every possible SHORT-CUT to make things easy and convenient, because there are terrible inconveniences in this life that we cannot avoid.

        It requires ABSOLUTE focus and an unwavering belief in a reality we cannot see or measure, beyond the material universe that we can manipulate, in order to banish the “Short-Cut Instinct” to the void of mediocrity where it belongs.

        Paratroopers are NOT born, it really takes an admirable level of restraint, bordering on HEROIC, to dedicate you whole existence to protect people who call you a bully, and treat you like a drifter when you get back from the jungle.

        You have a lot of friends, because you are COOL. You’ve probably spent a great deal of time seeking out what it means to be cool, and then doing what you can to be just exactly that, so good for you. I’m sure that keeping some promises is a small part of it for you.

        You speak of “REAL” friends… In my experience, friends are friends… There is NO SUCH THING as an unconditional friend, the way that a mother has unconditional love for her children.

        “Good” friends are the kind of people that you will necessarily make big promises to, and then follow through with them, suffering through the inconvenience so that when you find yourself in a jam and ready for war, these people will step forward and go to bat for you.

        The die hard materialists, and even worse, those who believe in scientific determinism, would label you as an “ignorant, brainwashed, sheep” for even speaking of a “soul”, because they don’t believe in it. They would never tell you this, because they don’t believe in integrity. They would just run the cube on you, pour some sugar into your ears, bed you, and then chase the next poon where the grass looks greener, when you start to cling.

        Being an adult, and being an honorable MAN are two very different things.

        I happen to know of a very tragic case, where a friend of my is so afraid of making promises that he is unsure about keeping, so his solution is to make NO promises. This is the WORST CASE of all scenarios, and not the best.

        Making 10 promises and keeping 1, is INFINITELY better than making 0 promises and keeping 0 of them. Making 11 promises and keeping 11 of them is the “Champion Due Process”, and a lifestyle closely associated with Special Forces Paratroopers.

        Hold fast to childhood enthusiasm,

        JohnPaul Adamovsky

        1. I’m sorry that you’re so pessimistic. I don’t make friends because I’m “cool” I make friends because I’m a genuinely good and kind person, whether you want to believe that or not.

          I really do see where you’re coming from, but I think that your philosophy is a very exaggerated and negative view on the world.

          Maybe I’m childish, and maybe I’m ignorant, and maybe my friends aren’t unconditional; but I can honestly tell you that while you’re living in a way that you feel is “convenient,” I’m living in a way that makes me very happy to wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night. I don’t know you, and I don’t know what it means to be a man, because I’m not a man, and we’ve barely even spoken. But, you don’t seem very HAPPY with what you’re saying.

          I know it’s juvenile to think this way, but if I’m living and thinking in a way that makes me HAPPY and isn’t harming anyone else… can it really be so bad? Stupid maybe, but bad enough to argue against? What do either of us gain?

          When I think of a good friend- I mean a really GOOD friend, it’s not about someone who I’ve bargained with through kept promises in order to gain some sort of alliance; it’s someone who I know is there standing beside me for the good the bad and the ugly, and if I don’t keep my word to anyone other than those good friends, how will I ever make more of them?

          I’m not trying to be any kind of champion, and I’m not saying that my way of thinking is perfect. What I’m saying is that I agree with Neil because I know from personal experience that his advice is good and true and honest.

          1. It’s ok Kristinanitsirk, StyleOfMan is really cool!

            Can’t you tell?

            PS. I wouldn’t bother trying to make a point with him. The world is wrong and he is right, obviously.

    2. Palindrome,

      Hey Kristinanitsirk, I found a really clever sketch of the word “Ambiguity” that I want you to look at:

      http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/File:Ambiguity.gif

      You have literally gotten it all WRONG. I am on your side from the perspective of a MAN who can tell you how it actually works on the other side of the merrygoround. Try to stabilize that analogy.

      I am a HUGE advocate of writing things down. I keep meticulous daily records, which include the promises I make, even to myself. Hell, I write a lot of things down on this very web-site, and it is a valuable exercise in the proper thinking process. It is one of the pronounced ways that Humanity has risen above the animal kingdom.

      I don’t look for excuses about why I shouldn’t make promises, rather I make all kinds of promised, and then INCONVENIENCE myself to KEEP them. Guess what kind of person that makes me?…

      I am HAPPY. I am very POSITIVE. I am a MAN of conscience and INTEGRITY, and for those reasons, among many others, my existence is extremely INCONVENIENT.

      I am able to KEEP the promises that I make, because I REFUSE to use Neil’s guaranteed-FAILURE method of “Keeping Your Friends” motivation. At my own expense, I stand for what is true, what is right, what is proper, because everything else, though indispensable, is DUST in the wind.

      “Keeping Your Friends” is NOT enough motivation to do very much of anything. Write things down, but do it for a much better reason.

      You don’t like my stance, because I am not a naive disenfranchised horny teenager anymore. I DON’T give a FUCK if you pretend to be NICE to me. I will always give you the chance to impress me, and further, I will give you the benefit of every doubt, but at the end of EVERY DAY, I will NOT renounce the TRUTH to “Friendship” my way into your pants.

      FantaBanta is hoping that you are HOT, and disregarding everything he tried to learn in “The Game”, he is trying to score “Nice Guy” points with you. Just keep in mind that he still has testicles, and as soon as a younger specimen with bigger tits shows up, he will stop calling you. How can I speculate this? Because I used to be like that… When I was 14 years old.

      Me? Who am I? I am a 30 year old aerospace science engineer, and you can’t plow through 5 years of arcane math-science-design unless you’ve found a successful reason for embracing the daily grind, and it sure as shit isn’t “Keeping Your Friends”, or “I Was Made That Way”.

      I am sure you probably think that you have Platonic male friends, but they must NECESSARILY disappear just as soon as you are in a serious relationship. If you keep talking and hanging out with other men when you are in a committed relationship, then you are a TERRIBLE sexual partner. You might as well commit to being a CUNT, and push for a long-distance marriage.

      Pardon my forthright style, but I am NOT running game on you, I am simply trying to provoke meaningful discussion with people that maybe I USED to be like.

      I understand that any feedback you give me on this topic will be uncomfortable for you, and I will take that into account as I do the very best ever to return the favor. I am not easily offended, so feel free to let it all hang out.

      All the very best,

      JohnPaul Adamovsky

      PS – You have confused “Childlike”, with “childish”. One is very GOOD, and the other is bad.

      PPS – I am not better than you because I am smarter than you are. I am better than you because I live the daily grind of the “Champion Due Process”.

      PPPS – My claims are hard to believe, I get that. So step up your game, give me the benefit of the doubt and interact with me until you have some real evidence to test their validity. Anecdotes about writing style are a retreat into deliberate IGNORANCE. Avoid that like the plague.

        1. Haha. Well, FantaBanta, I guess I WILL give you your nice guy points, but only if you promise that it’s not only cus you’re hoping that i’m hot 🙂

          1. Really? You should have higher aspirations than THAT! Having more NGP (Acronym I just made up for “nice guy points”) Than StyleofMan is a pretty easy accomplishment, don’t you think?

  14. Simple Advice for Being a Civilian Paratrooper:

    Train hard for 6 days a week, and at least 3 hours each of those 6 days… And do it with clockwork consistency, keeping meticulous records.

    * Simple != Easy

    * “!=” Means “Not equal to”.

    PS – FantaBanta, I appreciate that you at least have the stones to say something. Next time, just work towards making it sound COOL.

    1. You’re quite the piece of work, sir. But, I shall not give up on talking to you! I have a psychologist friend who I let read over this and he wants to meet you. Let me know next time you’re in the DC area! Anyways, there is no need to attack FantaBanta. I’m sure that no one here means you any harm, so there is no need to put on your big boy boots and try to act intimidating. I myself think you’re pretty interesting, and I’m not the type that gets angry or offended easily either so I guess we’ll be tied up here not offending each other or getting angry for quite some time, huh?

      Looking forward to your reply!

      ~Kristina

      1. Kristinanitsirk,

        Acting? What the FUCK! I am not John Malkovich, and this is not performance art. Mind you, I do aim to entertain when I’ve got an audience, but my angle of attack reads “Funny Kuz It’s True”. For all my relentless sermonizing, I hope to get one or two smiles.

        Hell, I like to talk to people, but DC is not high on my Travel-Destination wish list. I’m first planning on doing an endless summer tour of Hawaii, and then showering myself in the Cultural and Historical splendors of the Vatican in Italy.

        Even before that, I have an enormous amount of work to do on the massive projects I have endeavored to complete. If I ever end up meeting one of the numerous guys who are trying to Friendship their way into your pants, then I will probably have the home-field advantage, unless they happen to be the technical director and head administrator of a NASA research facility. Seriously, hook me up. I’d even settle for Ken Thompson or Dennis Ritchie.

        The glass always being half-full, I do have an email address, but it comes attached with a caveat; I consider the social sciences a dangerous practice, where too often, especially in my case, soft statistical correlation is used as justification for summary dismissal without even a modicum of the due-process investigation. It may seem to you like harmless indifference.

        logarithm69@hotmail.com

        Once again, I need to thank you for hanging tough and serving me with some valid feedback, but as far as the people around here are concerned, I firmly believe that “Listless Indifference” is MUCH more harmful than “Deliberate Evil”, because it gives me NOTHING to attack with extreme prejudice, but leads straight to the same VOID.

        All the very best,

        JohnPaul Adamovsky

        PS – I am intrigued by your new avatar photo, maybe consider adding me on Facebook, so I can get a better look at your Face… That, and we can have a private discussion that doesn’t find its way into the public domain, available for everybody to skim over and misunderstand as they see fit.

        PPS – The problem is not Anger, the problem is the injustice which caused the legitimate Anger response.

        PPPS – Your motives seem both transparent and harmless, so I really have NOTHING to be Angry about.

          1. Yeah, StyleofMan, I’m afraid I’m not gonna give you my facebook. Go through the 45 thousand people who’ve “liked” Neil Strauss and see if you can tell which one is me. 😉

        1. Listen Kristina,

          I am sure you are afraid of a great number of things, but if you’ve read posts on this site, there is NO WAY that you should be afraid of ME.

          You and I both know that the list of people who “liked” on a Facebook page (unlike a wall post) is NOT available to the public, partly because that web-site, unlike this one, is run with a consistent privacy policy. Or maybe you are like Neil Strauss and have no idea how the internet works.

          Maybe stop sending mixed signals. If you are still curious about who I am, then add me on Facebook, and if NOT, then keep the discussions on this page confined to THIS PAGE, and don’t add me on Facebook.

          I DON’T want to talk your your “psychologist friend”, I’d rather just talk to YOU.

          When you challenge me to accomplish something, don’t be surprised when I deliver to you just exactly that.

          All the very best,

          JohnPaul Adamovsky

          PS – This is all in good fun. 45,000 people but 100 women? Maybe you’re a guy, and then yes, if I had the list, it might take me an hour or two to find you. Try not to forget what I studied in the days of my youth. Recently, I found the 10 best 5×5 Boggle board configurations out of 26^25, which is MANY MANY MANY times bigger than 4.5×10^4.

    2. Dear JhonPaul Adamovsky:

      I have been reading this bunch of posts and replys and debates that your contributions has caused.

      I am now mostly interested in hear what you have to say and impressed in how you have been keeping here replying , making aportationsa and recomending movies. Its like you have put a lot of atention and actually dedicated some of your time to this writing.

      There are various things that you say that i would may like to argue, mostly subjective things that i dont truly agree because of my belives, moralities or capabilities.

      But i think theres is no universal thruth, at least not one of humans.

      Its great to cuestion Style and to claim him to do better, because he can, we all can.

      I can see your “toughness” as being sure of your self and not caring what other people think.. but also i can see it as having to much ego.

      May be you should tell us what is admirable aboiut paratroopers so that we all want to be like them.

      Its great that theres someone that have knowlege about the subject and of other things and share his own conclusions and make debate….

      Best wishes

      JPMV

  15. Plinio,

    Did you just ask me for reasons why young guys should want to be like heroic prototypical MEN? A Special Forces Paratrooper represents EVERYTHING a young man should want to be like; a one MAN army dropped out of an aircraft into the jungle, behind enemy lines, and willing to make the massive sacrifices necessary to accomplish his mission objectives, while the whole time knowing that his very life is in grave danger, and the people back home are going to treat him like a bully either way.

    Play these YouTube clips to establish the right tone while reading the rest of this post:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0w6Bqma4qM&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CS3ErDN50Qk

    There is NOBODY in the world more qualified to do what High Command has just ordered him to do, because he has spent every waking moment of his life training his mind and physical capabilities to do THIS job without blinking. 100% Focus, fully engaged in LIVING, with an unwavering belief that he is doing the RIGHT THING. He is living a meaningful life.

    Who is to say that this type of existence should be reserved for soldiers, who function as Ministers of Death for the enemy? You don’t need to qualify for the Olympics to train with the intensity of an Olympic Champion.

    UNIVERSAL TRUTH… Think again.

    The very universe itself does not function with an ever-changing set of arbitrary physical laws, depending on spacial and temporal variables.

    The great edifice of Scientific Progress and Technological advancement is based on a deep-rooted and unblemished belief that the LAWS of PHYSICS govern the physical universe everywhere and at all times, THE SAME. The Airbus A380 with its KMs of wiring and millions of precision engineered parts would be a sunk fifteen billion dollar investment otherwise.

    GOOD Simply means performing a good act, with good intentions, under good circumstances. And though you may never have the full information to confirm these elements, what you do have is a mind capable of free-will, tools for analysis and observation, and a strong BELIEF that the full universal-truth information does, in fact, EXIST, and it is held on record by an omnipresent PERSON, who cares about you a great deal.

    The alternative is CHAOS and DESPAIR. The kind of reality that Keyser Soze is eager to INCINERATE. This is a reality which I currently refuse to live in, because in me, the potential for destruction is infinitely greater than my power to create, as is the same for all humanity, only I am NOT going to be a squared away INERT little stiff bad-guy if I ever lose my enthusiasm for the GOOD-LIFE. That being said, we do have a significant power to create, and as an unmerited gift, we should embrace it and express gratitude for the privilege of creative freedom, no matter how limited it may be.

    My movie recommendation for you guys today is a classic among classics, which details the daily lives and tragedy associated with even the experience of regular General Infantry as they progress through Basic Training and then are deployed into a land where people would rather be alive than be free. Stanley Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket”. You’ve seen it already, so watch it again and we can discuss the social function of a modern day “Animal Mother”.

    Too Much Ego? How dare you suggest that? I am busting my ass to reach out to you people so that I can simultaneously be your Sovereign Leader, and Humble Servant.

    My personal writing style is what happens when at age 25, you decide that it’s YOUR TIME, so you go into the Jungle; going to the Dark-Side, to where no man should go, and at age 29 you come out of that Jungle, and by God, I was RICH.

    All the very best,

    JohnPaul Adamovsky

    PS – Thank you for the encouragement. Though I’m not desperate to have it, and I certainly don’t NEED it, I absolutely do appreciate it.

    1. John Paul: (By the way that is also my name but in spanish)

      So you are saying GOD is a PERSON??

      When i said universal thruth i more wanted to say ABSOLUTE thruth, and by that i mean that what seems right for some people is wrong for other pepole. So by that i say that living like a paratrooper maybe is not for averyone.

      Hey, what is good for some is bad for others, it is relative to whom it benefits.
      Altought here we are triyng to be better as individuals so we should say:

      better to our selves = better to society

      So what are te good values I understand paratroopers have: COMITMENT, SACRIFICE, CONCENTRATION, BRAVERY…

      So what is the right motivation to do great thing that comes with great sacrifice?
      I used to think that the motivation was the reguard you see in future, but now i think that the motivation has to come from inside one.

      I am still loking for that inner strenght. So to be sure that what i am doing is the rigt thing and is what is gona make me happy.

      Me, a 26 year old biologis that is only now starting to make mistakes to learn, and learning that i didint need to make them. Someone who is tring to figure out what his existense is about and who wants to have as much experiencies as posible and take away fears and let me live… who dont want to suffer but sometimes think its necesarry…

      Me.. I sent you kind regards hoping this bring more heated discution.

      JPMV

      1. Plinio,

        My understanding is that the triune God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of Christianity has a NAME… El, Elohim, Yahweh, Abba, or Jesus. For a person, a name is a name for other persons to call out to. In the case of God, this is known as prayer.

        ABSOLUTE TRUTH exists – Different people should most certainly be doing different things, but the PROCESS that 2 different champions live by is the exact same DUE-PROCESS. 2 Nobel laureate scientists may study very different fields, but they both subscribe to the SAME scientific method, and they can recognize and respect each others work even though they do different things.

        I don’t respect what Neil is involved with here because his METHOD is wanting.

        Have you ever felt within you that you are doing just EXACTLY what you are suppose to be doing? Imagine having that feeling every day. Welcome to the champion DUE-PROCESS.

        If your motivation is limited to future rewards, then you are setting yourself up for FAILURE. Like I have said many times on this site, there are many factors beyond your control that contribute to tangible results, and the only person who NEVER loses is the person who NEVER plays the game. The champion ALWAYS plays the game, and the champion knows that once in a while, he WILL LOSE.

        Why do you love yourself? Why do you love society? What is your reason for doing anything? You’ve gotta figure that out before you start making coherent decisions about what’s RIGHT, and what’s WRONG. Right and wrong are not arbitrary and relative.

        All the very best,

        JohnPaul Adamovsky

        1. Jon, or Style 2.0 if you will, I can’t begin to explain how everything you’re doing to exert social influence right now is backfiring horribly. From the perspective of just scanning 8 or 9 replies, it’s clear you’ve aligned yourself against the people you want to help out. This is exactly how soldiers and the police are taught to think.

          Since you are clearly confident in what you’re saying, and are one persistent SOB, something you’re doing is definitely right. But think, if the first thing you do when talking with someone whom you want to sell an idea or product to is to antagonize them, aren’t they just going to tune out everything else you say from then on? This is what Neil is talking about: Trust. It’s a currency, and you’re bankrupting yourself.

          I’m not say blindly follow and agree with everybody, but try listening twice as much as you say, and not the reverse. It takes a big man (not just physically big) to let go of that ego and have the theory of mind to realise, no, people don’t know you are trying to help them, no, they don’t have the experience or life you have, no they are not just like you.

          1. Also, most of your posts are TL;DR, so whether I trusted you or not, I’m just not going to read rambling musings all day, and neither will most.

  16. 4,015 Words and counting.

    There are many valid ways to analyze a body of written text, but they all include READING every single word.

    The concept of RELATIVITY is just about as widely misunderstood as the concept of PRIDE.

  17. This will definitely help me out. Not following up is something I’ve guilty of many times, I think writing it down will be a great motivator.

  18. Neil,
    If you still haven’t read the Four Agreements, might as well just skip it and read the fifth agreement – it basically rehashes the original book and covers a ‘new agreement’.

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