On an article where I talked about having to write a report where I talked about what I learned reading a book by a Zulu witchdoctor for a high school essay, a reader asked if I was just making things up and says he used to do the same, thinking he had to “be like Chase, making things up” but it didn’t work with girls so he stopped:
Chase, I swear you're making up your backstories. you always have GC stories that go like this "When I was in high school, I had an assignment to write an essay about a foreign culture." Honestly, I really don't care. But I'd like to know if you "exaggerate" stories about your past like this when you talk to women? when I was a newb and reading GC, learning about storytelling here I made the mistake of thinking I had to make up stories like you. It never worked, now I just don't do it.
Every time I read a comment like this, I realize just how far apart some of the readers and I are (not saying you, fellow who is reading this right now… but, some are). It’s like we are in two different worlds, speaking mutually unintelligible languages, and the experience of life itself is for the both of us just diametrically different.
First off, the logic of our commenter here is… well I don’t think I could call this logic:
Our reader assumes (presumably because he cannot relate to what I’m saying) that I must be making stuff up or exaggerating.
He then assumes he should ALSO make stuff up or exaggerate (even though everything I can ever recall having written about stories states that your stories should be true! And I do not say to exaggerate!).
It doesn’t work out when he makes stuff up and exaggerates, so he quits it.
Then he wonders why if making stuff up and exaggerating doesn’t work Chase would be out there making stuff up or exaggerating.
So he ignores what I tell people to do, draws separate conclusions totally on his own, tests out his self-drawn conclusions, they fail, then he concludes I must be doing something wrong. Because when he ignored me and did his own thing it didn’t work.
This is the kind of stuff that makes me want to quit self-help altogether sometimes.
Second off… well I guess I should be flattered my stories strike people as incredible. It’s like being a character in one of those stories where the protagonist thinks the guy is telling a bunch of tall tales, only to find out it’s actually all true, and actually even wilder than the protagonist suspects due to all the other stuff he DOESN’T know.
(maybe I should start prefacing my stories the way early 20th Century sci-fi and weird tales fiction used to be prefaced… “This may strike you as rather unbelievable, and indeed, had it happened to anyone other than myself, I, too, would have dismissed it out-of-hand… but for the reader willing to entertain remarkable suggestions of blah blah blah”)
So… I could address the “how to properly learn” element of this. The core message would be: “Until you know what you are doing, don’t draw your own conclusions from the air then go test those out while mentally ascribing them to some instructor who never told you to do anything remotely like that. Instead just do what the guy says. Then once you are getting results, if you want to try wacky creative things, go try wacky creative things.”
But I feel like I’ve already done that article… oh about a half dozen times already.
On the other hand, there’s an interesting question in here (aside from the one about my credibility): should you ever make up stories to tell women, and if so, when and why?