Witty banter and fun conversation is a staple of having a worthwhile time with a person. I believe that people crave it more than anything. Being competent at it is a key to success. This ability is the defining characteristic of charismatic and influential people.
It is often more desirable than money and looks. Especially when attracting women. Today’s women are often financially independent. While money can cover a multitude of sins when it comes to women, in order for them to like you for you (as opposed to your money), this skill must be developed. Looks and muscles can attract a woman at the onset, but personality is what keeps them.
Bad boys are often gifted with this ability which is really the reason why many women won’t choose the good guy over him. I’m not sure if good guys stay in line because they lack this ability or if it’s because they truly believe in good for goodness sake. Either way, being good and doing right doesn’t mean being attractive. That’s a huge misconception that we as men have to face. Today’s women (given a choice) would rather deal with a fun charismatic guy who cheats over a faithful good guy who can’t give them that experience consistently enough. Women are highly attracted to this ability. It is hands down the most valuable weapon to disarm women a man can possess.
The question is if this ability is inborn or if it can be learned. As someone who has this ability when I drink/do drugs, I decided to take this time to examine what it is exactly, give a few examples, and tackle the question. Hopefully this will offer some insights to people may be struggling with this.
Wit is the ability to articulate a situation in a way that not only describes it accurately, but also in a way that causes people to stop and think of it in a different way. It’s deeper than just agreeing with what someone says or saying what they want to hear. A huge component of it is humor. But it’s more than that.
It’s masterfully crafting your responses in real time in order to trap a person into agreeing with you. It’s very logical, but not serious. It’s like taking the seriousness and finding the ridiculous in it. Or taking the ridiculous and making it logical. Either way, it’s playful logic.
Playful is the key word here. It does show a level of intelligence. It’s social intelligence which often times is more important that book smarts. It’s reading or creating a situation and articulating it back with a twist. It’s like using language as an art form and not necessarily literally.
It taking what’s understood and saying it indirectly. For example, sarcasm is saying the opposite of what’s UNDERSTOOD in an interaction. Annoying people say it and we get it, but masters at it say it in an unoffensive (if the situation calls for it) way. There is a component reading the social situation correctly.
Another aspect is leading the interaction forward. Instead of staying on topic about a specific thing, you can’t dwell on a specific topic for too long. While deep/intellectual conversationalists like to dig in and deconstruct and reverse engineer ideas, the ability to move on to the next thing must also be mastered.
The improv formula of “yes…and….(add something new and relevant)” is a perfect example of this. The add something new part is often fuddled by “smart people” because they are often contrarians. We love to point out what’s wrong directly. We have to learn to be ok with letting the other person be right by figuring out what’s actually right about what they said and expanding on that.
You can make someone be wrong by saying what’s right or just following their line on reasoning down to a ridiculous level. Stephen Colbert is a master at this when he acts like a conservative. The latin term is reductio ad absurdum. It simply means reduction to absurdity. The key in this is taking what’s understood (usually the extremist viewpoint) and following that line of reasoning until the ridiculousness is exposed. Again, it’s taking what’s understood and not saying it directly (unless you’re using it to misdirect in the right direction).
Another example is the double entendre. They work effectively by articulating the situation, but the words used also have another meaning that applies to some other RELATED context. Switching topics quickly and relating a double entendre back to a previous one seems to be effective. But the double entendre can also work if you’re recalling a pop culture theme or meme. Especially current song or popular movie title.
Speaking directly can work if what you’re saying isn’t the politically correct thing to say. It takes a lot of social calibration to understand this. For example, if you’ve been direct with a woman all night, then suddenly say ” I want to have amazing intercourse with you.” It will probably fall flat. But if you’ve been flirting with the idea without saying anything directly, she’d expect you stay indirect. But if you say it jokingly (make sure she likes you already) as she’s flustered, then it will have a different response.
So direct or indirect really depends on being able to accurately read the social climate. It’s generally advisable to stay indirect though. But as with most things in life, there is that balance thing.
Pickup Artists generally tell men to never answer questions directly. They say that it’s the quickest way to bore women. We have to learn, as men to not use our language to communicate directly. It takes practice if you’re used to being a ‘straight shooter’.
On a side note, I wonder if most women not only speak indirectly, but also think indirectly to themselves. It might explain why it’s so hard for them to take responsibility for their actions and quite often seem to lie to themselves. Do they actually think in “bullshit” terms. But I digress.
At the end of the day, really, it seems that game is the art of bullshitting. Not always taking words literally, not saying what’s understood directly, reading social interactions accurately, and saying it without actually saying it.
I’m not if this is a nature vs nurture situation. I think a lot of it depends on who you’re around and your influences. But like certain sports, some people are more naturally ‘inclined’ than others. I think that everyone has the ability to perform at at least an acceptable level. Those who aren’t ‘inclined’ can learn the skills with practice. There may be some people who are ‘inclined’ but just haven’t conditioned their minds to go there.
Either way, knowing and doing are two different things. I just provided a few examples and even though I haven’t really studied it from others, I’m thinking that most people probably employ only a few techniques and get good at those.
A few other examples of humor are 1) taking people’s actual words and flipping them back on them. 2) Mimicking other people’s voices/microbehavoiurs/mannerisms 3)Storytelling 4)Standard Joke telling (setup/punchlines) 5)Playing the dozens 6)having a funny laugh 7)one liners 8)laughing hard without worrying about what others think. 9)change up pitch/tone/tonality while speaking. There are probably dozens of others.
There are many tools one can put in the toolbelt and many can be combined for added effect.
Wit is the abililty to use one or more of these tools in real time while accurately gauging the social situation to keep conversations/interactions fun, funny, and interesting.
I’d say work on and master a few. The more the better. Good luck.