Summary: Captivate by Vanessa Van Edwards
Summary: Captivate by Vanessa Van Edwards

Summary: Captivate by Vanessa Van Edwards

Win the social game

There’s no definition of charisma. There’re many flavors of social influence – and that’s a good thing.

The world would be incredibly boring (and loud) if everyone were introvert. We need introverts.

Use my social game plan, show up on my terms, and interact with people who matter to me. Your confidence is contagious.

  • Stop forcing yourself to socialize in ways that drained me.
  • Go where You thrive, avoid where You survive.
  • Say no so You have the energy to say yes.


Make a killer first impression

You only have a few seconds to make a killer first impression.

  • Confirm trust by showing your hands.
  • Be a winner with your launch stance (shoulders back, chest up, chins neutral, shoulder width stance)
  • Use the right amount of eye contact.


Have a dazzling conversation

We don’t like, remember, or enjoy being around boring people. The best way to hack into stimulating conversations and create memorable connections is to ignite conversational sparks.

We’re attracted to people who give us mental pleasure, who push our hot buttons, keep us mentally alert, and learn our names.

  • Abandon social scripts to change your small talk to big talk.
  • Find topics that turn people on.
  • Create sparks by using their names, asking unique questions and brining up novel topics.


Be a memorable person

We remember people who make us feel good and who make us want to be the best version of ourselves. We can optimize an interaction by expecting optimal outcomes. Elevate people by hacking listening, highlighting, and expecting best in those around us.

Being a highlighter helps you be the highlight.

  • Listen with purpose – always search for the good in people.
  • Be the high point of every interaction by giving people a reason to remember you.
  • When you expect the worst, that’s exactly what you will get.


Be ridiculously likable

The more you have in common with someone, the more likable you become. We like people like us. The Thread Theory is an easy way to captivate attraction by simply searching for shared interests, asking why, and then offering to help.

Always be on the lookout for ways to say, “Me Too!” and “Teach Me!”

  • Don’t overthink what you’re going to say, just search for commonalities.
  • Go deeper by asking the Five Whys.
  • Tie yourself to someone by making their problems your own.


Uncover hidden emotions

There’re 7 universal facial micro expressions that humans display. Once you know how to read them, you can spot hidden emotions behind words. The Decoder is the ultimate hack for speeding up connection by getting to the truth and understanding emotional needs.

  • Always look for 7 micro-expressions as you listen.
  • Don’t confuse eyebrow raises or facial punctuators for universal emotions.
  • If you don’t recognize an expression, mimic it and see how it makes you feel.


7 micro-expressions


Crack someone’s personality

First honestly examine your own’s personality. Then learn to decode others’ by asking the right question and observing their behaviors. Lastly, make sure you optimize or compromise for differences.

  • Don’t impose your personality trait on others.
  • Learn to speed-read each of the Big 5 personality traits.
  • Endeavor to combine your personalities so they work with each other not against each other.


5 Personality Traits

  1. Openness
  2. Agreeableness
  3. Conscientiousness
  4. Extroversion
  5. Neuroticism


Get the best from people

You can hack connection by using 5 appreciation languages. Know what you need, learn what people around you need, and find ways to show them you care.

  • Learn and stand up for my primary and secondary appreciation languages.
  • Decode others’ appreciation languages.
  • Honor and engage appreciation languages of the important people in your life.


5 Appreciation Languages

  1. Personal Touch
  2. Tangible gifts
  3. Words of affirmation (complements)
  4. Quality time
  5. Acts of service (help)


Get along with anyone

There’re 6 categories of resources that we give and take with each other. We’re driven by one main category, also known as my primary value. Each of us have a primary value that drives our behaviors, actions and decisions. Hacking into someone’s primary value is the final step to decoding them.

  • Understand how you give and take resources.
  • Know what your primary value is.
  • Know the primary value of others.


6 Categories of Values

  1. Love (desire to feel accepted)
  2. Service (desire to feel supported)
  3. Status (desire feel in charge and respected)
  4. Money (desire to be financially stable)
  5. Goods (desire to collect things and preserve sentiments)
  6. Information (desire to feel informed)


Speak so people listen

Stories are shortcut to connection. Stories spark our attention and synchronize the listener’s brain patterns with those of mine.

  • Stories light up and sync up our brains.
  • Find stories for common trigger topics that come up in conversations, then ask people to share their own stories.
  • Not all stories are created equal. Every story should have a hook, a struggle, and vivid words.


Lead people

  • Share your mission and tie it to mutual interests as much as possible.
  • Figure out how to use each person’s unique skill set.
  • Step back and let others take control of the process (use IKEA effect).


Build long-lasting relationships

Impressing people with fake flawlessness is both impossible and exhausting. Vulnerability is what truly elevates relationships.

  • People don’t notice your perceived weaknesses as much as you think.
  • Even if they do, your vulnerabilities are connection points.
  • Ask for advice to harness the power of Franklin Effect.


Deal with difficult people

Everyone has social fears. When you address someone’s fear by seeking to understand it, you can transform a problem into a solution.

  • Know how your social fears dress up.
  • Use the NUT job (name the fear, understand the emotions and transform into a solution).
  • Just say no… to toxic people.


Turn people on

Don’t impress people, engage them. Turn people on by showing them you’re turned on by them. Attunement is about allowing people to be themselves with you. And the more people you truly like, the more people will truly like you.

  • Engage the reciprocity effect by showing people you enjoy being with them.
  • Help people feel like they belong.
  • Let curiosity drive my interactions.