The Power of Silly
Dave walks to the elevator on his floor, presses the DOWN button, steps back about six feet, relaxes into his comfortable asymmetrical posture and waits. Again he thinks of Joanne laughing on the Spanish coast and feels his face reflexively pull into his good Dominant Face. He thinks of the words Money Memory and he starts to break into a smile, but he suppresses it.
The elevator door opens revealing two boys and a girl, all in their late teens. They move to the left side of the elevator. Dave quickly looks from one to the other as he gets on. “I appreciate you three coming by to get me. I hope it wasn’t very far out of your way.”
The teenagers look at Dave. They’re not quite sure if he’s being funny or if he’s crazy. The boys are wearing t-shirts, torn jeans and expensive sneakers. The girl is wearing an oversized sweater, a stylish skirt and strappy, red, high heels.
“Wow. I’m glad I decided to wear these wingtips,” Dave says as the door closes. The kids look down at his shoes. He looks at the strappy, high heels. “I was gonna’ wear some high heels just like those – same color,” then he looks at the guys, “but then she and I both would have both been embarrassed – you know, wearing the same shoes and all. So I’m glad I wore these.” He looks at the girl “Aren’t you?” She’s suppressing a giggle, but not her smile. “Yeah,” she says nodding.
The elevator drops down a couple of floors. “I’m really not even sure they’d be right with this suit. What’d’ya’ think?”
One of the boys is gutsy, and long ago discovered the power of comediantics. “I guess it depends on what business you’re in.”
“Life Insurance sales.”
“Better stick with the wingtips,” the kid says. Dave nods.
Then the girl pipes up. “Now if you were wearing a red tie, that might pull the whole outfit together.”
“Yep,” Dave says, “that would do it.”
The elevator reaches the lobby. Dave motions for the kids to exit. They do. He holds the elevator door for a woman entering the elevator. “Thank you,” she says. “It’s my pleasure,” Dave replies and walks into the lobby.
The kids have joined their dad in the lobby. Dave walks by them. “You guys have a great day – and thanks for the fashion tips.” They all smile. He looks at Dad. “You’ve got some fun kids there.” Dad smiles and nods.
Dave walks toward the front desk knowing that the kids are now explaining the exchange to Dad. Dave stops at the front desk and is greeted with a warm smile and a “Good morning. How may I help you?”
Dave leans over and squints slightly as he looks at her nametag. In a serious tone he says, “Julie, I’m Dave Bodin. I’m in room 3311. This morning when I was about to take a shower, I discovered that someone here at the hotel had filled my bathtub with… $100 bills. Now I appreciate the gesture, but tomorrow if you could have housekeeping just bundle them – like at a bank, and stack them on the counter, that would be more convenient for me. Is that something you can take care of?”
Since the words “one-hundred dollar bills,” Julie has been smiling. Now she matches Dave’s serious tone and says, “Yes sir, Mr. Bodin. It is of course our policy to bundle and stack those bills in your bathroom, so I apologize for the inconvenience and let me assure you I’ll take care of this immediately.” Then she smiles. “Is there anything else I could help you with this morning?”
“Nope that’s it. You have a great day, Julie.”
“Yes sir, I will.”
They smile at each other and the construction of the neural bridge between their brains is complete. Their limbic systems are lighting up all of the pleasure centers of their brains.
The precise way Dave conducted this bit of comediantics added to Julie’s pleasure. Remember (as we noted before) the research and findings of Dr. Gregory S. Berns, “…the brain finds unexpected pleasures more rewarding than expected ones.” Therefore by making Julie think that he was going to complain about something, before revealing that his words and serious tone were actually set-ups for a joke, Dave’s surprise stimulated Julie’s nucleus accumbens,(23) creating a more pleasurable experience than if he had made it clear from the beginning of their conversation that his intention was to make a silly joke.
As Julie and Dave part, his comediantics have likely sent a touch of dopamine from their ventral tegmentals(24) through their caudates(25) propelling them – like a thrust of a booster rocket, toward their next encounter on planet Earth.
The next time Julie sees Dave, because he so expertly stimulated her caudate nucleus(25) she’ll (most likely) instantly recall who he is and that neural bridge will link her emotions to his before she has time to blink or say hello.
Sure Dave is an insurance salesman, but more than that, he’s a bridge builder. All day long he uses the Katas of Charisma to build neural bridges between himself and everyone he meets – or even simply meets eyes with.
But don’t confuse what Dave does all day long, with the business term, “Networking.” Dave isn’t relying one anyone to introduce him to potential customers. What Dave is doing is using the Katas of Charisma to create a biological Neural Network(26) between himself and everyone he comes in contact with. Everywhere he goes, Dave leaves a biological trail of chemicals in the brains of everyone he meets – chemicals that attract those people (and others observing his interactions) to Dave – on an instinctual, neurological level. And all he has to do to create that trail is to practice his Katas every day, all day long.
Now the caveat of course, is that Dave had to overcome his atelophobia, atychiphobia, catagelophobia, cenophobia, metathesiophobia, neophobia, tropophobia, and his Jerrylewisaphobia.
This might be a good time for you to go back to the phobia list to figure out which ones you need to overcome in order to practice your katas in public. While you are back there, reread the Mencken and FDR quotes for a bit of inspiration.
The good news is that the five most basic Katas of Charisma: Korography, Dominant Face, Performance Face, Consumption, and What You Are Looking For, are by far the most important ones. And on a cognitive level, no one will really notice that you are doing anything out of the ordinary. If you normally have a bad Dominant Face (for example), if you show up at work with a good Dominant Face, people will just assume that you are in a good mood that day or that something really good just happened to you. In fact both will be true. Start using the good Dominate Face Kata today. Then add asymmetrical Korography tomorrow, SPMs the next day, a good Performance Face the next, and Looking for Attraction the next.
Then watch. Watch how the people around you begin to respond to you – and see how that makes you feel. Practicing your katas allows you (in a way) to move into another dimension during your daily life. You’re going about your daily routine, except that you are adding a new layer of neurological complexity to all of your communications and all of your interactions.
And you know what?
Practicing charismatic katas, is just plain fun.