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I can’t tell you how much I used to HATE banter.
In high school, I used to wince at all the guys (mostly jocks) who were complete smartasses. I thought they were arrogant and overconfident, and their jokes usually came at the expense of someone else.
Yet they were always surrounded by girls – and girls wanted to be with them no matter how rude and inappropriate they were.
In fact, it seemed like the more inappropriate they behaved, the more attractive they were to the young ladies. It just didn’t seem fair that they were doing whatever they wanted and saying whatever they wanted, and on top of all that, they could date any girl they wanted!
Fast-forward to college where I started to understand the value of banter just a little better. I found I could use it a little bit to start conversations, and I could even use it to start building attraction with some women.
But there was still a secret loathing deep down inside me that made me feel like I was being forced to use banter against my will.
I mean after all, these were college women, right? Weren’t they supposed to be a little more evolved than high school girls? Didn’t they want a guy who could be serious and focus on his career, and maybe a family?
That may have been true for some women, but the vast majority seemed to enjoy banter even more than the girls in high school did! To make matters worse, their banter was more intelligent and sophisticated. They had taken it to a whole new level, and that left me at an extreme disadvantage because they were speaking a language that I didn’t even understand.
It wasn’t until my late twenties that I started to really get the true value of banter.
I became friends with a guy who I would later define as a Modern Alpha Male. He wasn’t a traditional Alpha Male who made people do whatever he wanted through sheer force of will. Instead, he was a natural leader who people wanted to follow thanks to his tremendous charisma and confidence. He could walk into any room and immediately become the focus of everyone’s attention.
But here’s the thing: He always made people feel good about themselves, even long after he had parted ways. I spent many, many nights hanging out with him trying to figure out what exactly made him so magnetic to both women and men.
The answer was very simple. He was a master at using banter to create positive feelings and positive connections with people.
I talked to him about it for years and, slowly, I became an expert at using banter in social situations just like him, and that’s when everything changed for me.
Suddenly women were spending more time talking to me. In fact, they would sometimes spend all night talking to me – and they even wanted to hang out the next day. A whole new world had opened up for me.
I began to realize that all the perceptions I’d had about banter were totally wrong. Banter wasn’t just a clever tool that arrogant jerks used to trick women into dating them. It actually played a very important role in almost every social interaction, including online dating and text messaging.
So now I want to share with you 4 HUGE myths about banter that, as it turns out, are completely false:
MONSTER MYTH #1: Banter is shallow and meaningless.
In my younger days I believed that banter served absolutely no purpose whatsoever. I thought, “You can’t really get to know someone by bantering with them. It’s just meaningless drivel.”
Not true. In fact, bantering serves a very important purpose in every phase of a relationship:
- When you first meet someone, bantering helps to put them at ease and demonstrates that you have a high level of social intelligence.
- As you get to know someone better, bantering is a sign that you enjoy having fun and that you don’t take yourself too seriously.
- Finally, later on in a relationship, bantering helps keep things light and spontaneous, offsetting the challenges that always come up as a relationship grows.
MONSTER MYTH #2: Banter is just a waste of time.
False. As I learned the nuances of banter, I realized that becoming good at it meant that I had to have a very high level of present moment awareness. In other words, I had to pay close attention to what other people were saying and allow myself to respond without censorship or hesitation.
And being intensely present in this way is the exact opposite of wasting time.
In fact, many of the most memorable and important moments I’ve had with both friends and girlfriends happened while we were bantering.
MONSTER MYTH #3: Only certain people are good at banter.
Clearly, I used to have a love-hate relationship with people who were good at bantering. It was frustrating to watch other guys connect with women (and men) so easily, and I also secretly wished I had the same superpower to attract women so effortlessly.
What made it even more frustrating was that I believed bantering was a natural gift that some guys had and some guys didn’t. That turned out to be completely wrong.
Believe me when I tell you that if I can learn to be good at banter, ANYONE can – and that includes YOU.
I am definitely not the most socially gifted person on the planet. In fact, I would say I started out somewhere between awful and hopeless. But I practiced and practiced week after week until I finally broke through and became pretty damn good at bantering.
All it takes is a little effort.
MONSTER MYTH #4: Banter doesn’t work with online dating apps and text messaging.
Completely false! In fact, for some guys it’s easier to banter over text messaging than it is to banter in person. After all, a little bit of anonymity can go a long way.
For you guys who are already good at digital banter, I challenge you to banter IRL. You already have the skills and you’ll soon see there’s not that much difference.
For you guys who aren’t so good at bantering either online or off, I encourage you to try it with your next online match because it really can feel safer in the virtual world (just don’t get stuck there!)
I’ve talked to a lot of women over the years about what “works” online and what doesn’t, and many have said they won’t even respond to a guy if he appears too serious or doesn’t seem to have a sense of humor.
Remember, it doesn’t matter to women that you’re not the funniest guy in the world. As long as you TRY to show your funny, bantering side, they may just give you a chance.