How Do You Elicit Emotion with Storytelling?
by Nick Hoss
Emotive storytellers attract women. They create a feeling and draw others around them into it. They become influential and powerful in that moment. This week’s question breaks down how to be one, with a personal example of mine…
Are emotions the undercurrent of comfort? And if they are, how do you go about eliciting them? For example, does a guy and a girl have to see a scary movie together or something before she’s comfortable with him?
I’m always up for other book recommendations as well (I’ve read all of them). Maybe one that helped you better grasp eliciting emotions…
Basics of Emotion
Hi Sock Bird,
This was one of the major points of my award-winning effort at the 2011 PUA Super Conference where I actually spoke on comfort. It’s one of my specialities, so I’ll give you the good stuff…
To start with, every phase of the Emotional Progression Model has the undercurrent of emotions. Attraction arouses interest, qualification spurts praise and comfort should span an array. These can be happy, fearful, moderately angry, horny, etc. A girl wants to see the whole spectrum your capability so she can get an idea of you at your best and at your worst. If she can figure out how you tick, she’ll know how you tock, so to speak.
The basic, face to face way of doing this is through storytelling. Being a good storyteller involves two keys:
Emotion over Logic
Speak from an emotional perspective, not a factual one. Back in the barrens of Canada where I grew up, it’s hunting season right now. If I was to describe to a woman how hunting goes, I wouldn’t say “You walk through the snow in the bush for about five hours and then you shoot at a deer when it pops out.” That doesn’t have much emotional cache.
However, if I say…
“A lot of people think hunting is just shooting a gun, but there is so much more to it. Last week, we were pushing bush (1), and God, we had to trudge through the snow forever. Seriously, I thought (2) my feet were going to freeze off. I couldn’t feel them. Anyway, we finally stopped at this little creaky warm-up shake, like the kind where you expect an chainsaw murder to pop out from behind the door (3), so we got all undressed and fired up the stove and all. Anyway, my buddy looks up and goes, ‘Hey, did you just see that?’ And sure as shit (4), we looked out the window and there was this dark, blotch standing against the trees. The thing is that we can’t see if it has a rack or not–you can only shoot so many deer each season, so sometimes you don’t want to shoot a girl deer too early because you want horns right (5). We were both undressed already, but I couldn’t let this chance go by, so I’m like to Jeremy (6), “Fuck it! Let’s get it.” So I open the window on the shack, but I’m really slow about it because I’m scared to scare off the deer, eh. I stick out my gun and have it clutched against my shoulder, and I’m timing it to my heart beat (7), so I can get the shot off between beats. Then… BOOM! I fire it, and we just looked at each other like (8)…”
(1) This saying draws a person into the story. It’s not, “We were walking through the forest.” It will get a little laugh and engage her.
(2) If I say, “My feet were really cold,” it won’t resonate emotionally. When you say, I thought, I felt, I believed, you’re injecting character into the story because the listener can get inside the head of the hero (you).
(3) The listener can relate to the feeling of the cabin through this relatable phrase. They get a feeling for the cabin.
(4) Another regional saying. I’m being real with here and if I say this right, I’m really into the story. When trying to elicit emotion, this will draw her in. So far we’ve gone from a light-hearted start to eerie to dramatic.
(5) Providing clarification. A person needs to understand the terrain of the story in order to navigate it. If I give her context for what I’m saying, I set its level of importance.
(6) Spiking emotion back up. Instead of saying, “We went after the deer.” I put her in the cabin with me and say this to her like she was hunting with me.
(7) Slowing down the pace of the story. Controlling the pace controls the emotional spikes, which keeps the listener on their toes, which draws them in more. Also would be a good chance to touch in this instance.
(8) Giving her a certain look here will resonate more emotionally than saying, “We looked at each other funny.” Body language over words. It’s also building character and emotion, not jumping to the facts.
You get the picture. Everything you say will play in her mind like it’s on a movie screen. If you want to let her know what hunting is like, tell her a story about hunting. Don’t read her the facts like you’re a talking Wiki.
If you want it to be more of a heart-melter, steer the emotions and characters toward that. If you want it to spike attraction, shorten the story up and focus on the excitement. My story above isn’t super deep.
Characters over Plot
Let’s keep my story from above and look at how I develop the characters. People relate to emotions, and in order to experience emotions they have to be in the shoes of the person in the story. They don’t know how the story plays out until you say the next sentence, so by telling what the character thinks or how they feel, in real-time, you put them in the story. This elicits the emotion.
If you just giving plot, it’s tantamount to just giving facts. “Nick and Jeremy went hunting. Nick got cold. Jeremy said to go into the shack. The boys saw a deer. They shot at the deer.” Pretty dull, no emotional hook. Adding the characters feeling, diction, etc. makes the story come alive.
Anyway, I realize this is a true hillbilly bush story, but it’s also a REAL story. The storyteller can’t fake it. In attraction, you can drop a quip about going to the Playboy Mansion or how you know the door girl who let you all in the club for free, but in comfort that’s not what she wants to know. She’s seen the flash; she wants something real. It’s all in how you tell that real stuff. You bring the ‘you’ to life.
To harken back to your question about taking a girl to a scary movie. Yes, that will build comfort. You are sharing time together and having a sensual experience. It’s passive comfort. You’re not framing it into action. Storytelling is active comfort since you are creating the emotions by your own doing. If you can harmonize the two, you will nail time, emotions and experiences much sooner.
This has been fun,
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