How to Use Captivate to Deepen Relationships, with Vanessa Van Edwards

By Mo Bunnell

Mo asks Vanessa Van Edwards: How can people deepen their relationships?

  • Vanessa had a lot of surface relationships in her life but she found some research that completely changed the way she interacts with people.
  • There are three different levels of intimacy in a relationship. The first level is called general traits. At this stage, we are just trying to understand their basic personality traits. Level two is personal concerns. This level involves additional questions revolving around a person’s origin and emotions. The third level is called self-narrative and for many people, they don’t have any relationships at this stage.
  • The self-narrative is the story someone tells themselves about themselves. Unlocking someone’s self-narrative is the most critical part of understanding someone’s motivations and why they act the way they do.
  • If you want to deepen your relationship you have to structure your interactions around these levels of intimacy.
  • If you’re curious about the third level, you have to start by identifying your own self-narrative. Do you see yourself as a martyr or a hero? Unlucky or lucky?
  • A powerful yet risky question to ask if you want to dive deeper into a level 3 relationship is “So what’s your story?” If you’re going to ask it, make sure that you have a good answer yourself.
  • Radical transparency is key. If you want to get to know someone, tell them that’s what you want to do and get them to buy in first.

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