*the Cover photo has had adjustments made but all credit goes to Paxson Woebler
“As Soon as you stop Wanting Something, You Get It” -Andy Warhol
Outcome Dependency destroys so many interactions in my opinion. It makes things feel forced, uncomfortable and shallow. It makes feel desperate in out skin and we begin to unravel at the seams. One of the biggest frustrations is the fact that it’s so prevalent in our culture and yet there’s so little information or coverage on the topic. In my personal experience I’ve watched almost every single person I know work through it as a concept, and yet while I watched it happening for the longest time I had no idea what exactly was holding people back, until i found two different pieces of information regarding the subject.
I first became aware of Outcome Dependency in this book called the Tao of Badass (If you’ve been following my blog for any amount of time, you’ve probably notice that I mention it on occasion) by Josh Pellicier. The second place that I noticed it in was in an article by the attraction institute. I’d begun to notice all these poor individuals that just throw themselves into conversation without the proper intention behind what they’re doing, and it’s all just falling apart in front of them! So naturally, encountering a topic that’s so prevalent but has so little coverage, I spent some time discovering exactly how to go through such and occurrence. Yet, for all my nonsensical and vague wordplay through this entire opening sequence, I haven’t even mentioned WHAT outcome dependency is.
Outcome dependency is both a mindset and a complication. It’s not the easiest thing to work through and yet neither the hardest. You see, intention is an extremely powerful force, so much so that when we go into some conversations it overpowers everything we’re trying to say to the point where we either come on way too strong, or we become a puddle of goo. People spend so much time trying to accomplish their intention behind what they’re doing that they lose sight of accomplishing things well. To make things simple, Outcome Dependency is the act of NEEDING an outcome to occur from an interaction. To be so fixed on a probability that it comes out in your conversation. In other words, you become so focused on making this person likes you that you project too much energy, or stumble over your words more then normal, or become crazy in-congruent in your words and actions.
An easier way to explain what I mean may be through an example. Picture yourself walking in a mall, and you see a cool group of people that you immediately decide to approach and speak with. You become DETERMINED to get these people to enjoy your company and become good friends with you even before you say hello. As a result of you needing them to be your friend, you start suggesting times to hangout a little too soon, you trip over your words and start to get red-faced and embarrassed before entirely shutting down and stumbling over a hesitant goodbye. As you walk away you realize that you probably won’t hear from those people that you were SO determined to make you friends.
It’s an innocent enough mistake, one that plagues a lot of people, including those who’ve been doing this for YEARS! It happens, yes, and it can have disastrous effects on how you communicate with individuals. The more frustrating part however isn’t just the fact that it derails the conversation, but that it also the actual things that it does to you. Think on the man stuck in the friend zone or crushing on a girl. He always says, next time I’m going to get her.
She’ll be mine and we’ll fall in love forever and have ten kids and a house…and they fall deeper and deeper into this outcome and build up this amazing world. But he hasn’t even spoken to her. So then every time he sees her he either can’t get together the testicular fortitude to go speak to her, or if he does he basically becomes a pile of goo where he can’t speak to her at all without stuttering like piglet. He becomes way too invested into a relationship that hasn’t been formed and eventually he gets his heart broken and it SUCKS.
Aside from becoming too hesitant because you need this woman to fall in love with you, you also risk coming on way too strong! Imagine being out, and someone comes up to you and is way too intent on trying to get your phone number. You might cave and give it to them, but at the same time even if you do so you’ll probably be a lot less keen at actually hangout with them! If they’re constantly future projecting in the first conversation to the point where you’re their best friend already, it can make for an odd conversation.
The big issue here isn’t even that people are doing something weird. We all daydream, we all want what’s best, and as a result we daydream about having these people in our lives when all we do is shoot ourselves in the foot when it comes down to it. Once again, you aren’t doing something totally insane, but your intentions (while sounding nice) are misplaced. Your changing your intention too much for that conversation, what you need to really do is change what your looking for in a conversation. Instead of trying to force a long term outcome that could get derailed at any moment and becoming fixated on that, it’s far more beneficial for you to create a short term growth mindset, one that is easily accomplished. A mindset that either takes out the necessity of an outcome or makes the outcome almost a non-issue entirely.
So when you’re going out (and in the next section I’m going to be explaining two mindsets that I use that can get you started) I make sure that my mindset is loose, that I’m beholden to anything, and that I’m having a good time doing what I do. Because in the end joy is way more important then trying to make a stranger fall in love with you.
Two New Mindsets To Use
I’m currently reading this book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. I’m planning on writing a post about it eventually because it’s amazing, but it as a book has really helped me figure out the distance between mindsets. In the book it states that there are two kinds of mindsets, you have Growth Mindsets, and Fixed mindsets. In this case, we want to re-wire your brain from a place of fixation to a place of growth. Remember that when you get down to it things are better when your willing to adapt to a situation, focusing on making ONE long term goal happen right out of the gate doesn’t really work. So instead of doing it over and over and over again (which I’m sure has happened to use a lot), you have to first be willing to try something else!
One of the biggest frustrations of people everywhere is listening to some say the want to try something different and never do! If you want to change, you need to be willing to do a bunch of different techniques and see what works for you. Luckily however I’ve done a lot of the legwork on all this already. When I go out and practice my social skills, I use one of two mindsets, sure I through in my other techniques as thing do IN the conversation. But I focus on completing the outcome of the conversation first so that when it’s done, I can proceed and use my techniques to help the conversation flow naturally.
#1 – I’m Just Out to Meet People and Have a Good Time
This mindset is crazy effective! Think about the outcome of it, all I’m looking to do is go out and meet people? Simple as pie in my opinion! The effectiveness behind this mindset lies in it’s simplicity, if you’re going out to meet people first and foremost then as soon as you say hello and start to talk to somebody, YOU’VE ALREADY COMPLETED YOUR OUTCOME! Now you can proceed through your conversation without any fear of needing to focus on an outcome.
The second half of this, just having a good time, comes from that natural desire that we all have to be around other people (and yes that includes all the introverts we have among us, you wouldn’t be looking up articles on social skills if you didn’t want to get better with people now would you?). Basically you can sit there and laugh, banter, crack jokes, and work on some of the techniques your focusing on without fear. Marcus Oakey teaches this theory about interactions, that there are two ways for interactions to end. I know you’re thinking good and bad right? WRONG!
There’s Good, and Funny. Either your interaction is going to go very well and you’ll do amazingly, or you’ll get a funny story out of it that you can tell people about later, either way, your interactions with people don’t end badly. So as a result, you’ll have a good time with it all! So while you’re working in this mindset, you don’t need to fear any negative repercussions (unless your being a jackass to someone, in which case you might get slapped or something and it WILL be your fault). So remember when you’re going out, if you need to put together an outcome for yourself, this outcome usually does the trick fairly well.
#2 – I’m Practicing My Social Skills
If you need to develop an outcome for yourself, you could do worse then to use this one. Just like going out and meeting people, rather than trying to develop some long term goal with people you simply go out with the intention of practicing your social skills. Guess what, as soon as you enter the conversation, YOU’VE ALREADY COMPLETED YOUR OUTCOME! Well to be more specific, the entire time you’re in that conversation, using the techniques you’ve learned from here or other places you’re completing it. When you’re out working on this stuff, it also gives you the most valid reason to ignore your excuse generators and speak to people, because all you’re doing is practicing being friendly and talkative.
When you think in terms of just practice, you also aren’t coming from a place of “they need to like me” and transferring it to a place “I’m still a rookie at this, and i’m getting better so they don’t HAVE to like, because I’m learning”! It’s easily changes up the game and while doing so you’ll find yourself being much more relaxed and comfortable in the conversation, to the point where it’s way to easier to have people like you. After all, who doesn’t like someone who’s comfortable where he is (even if you aren’t entirely comfortable where you are). Just having the feeling that your accomplishing what you did set out to do is a heart-warming experience and you’ll become more comfortable much more quickly.
I’m sure you noticed to big similarities behind the mindsets, the first is obviously that they’re much more simple. It helps people everywhere to simplify process instead of dragging them into long arduous goals. The second is that is after you accomplish your goals (which both happen immediately after entering the conversation) it allows you to just handle situations in a way that feels natural. Basically when you’re giving yourself short term goals in conversation, it quickly helps you get over your dependency. A huge part of everything related to social skills comes from repetition, the more you do, the easier it becomes. It’s good to have an idea of how good you want to get with all this yes but when you’re facing down Outcome Dependency, Short Term Goals > Long Term Goals as there’s no way to actually know if you will accomplish that long term goal in the moment.
The Final Word
One of the biggest things I wanted to make clear here is about your intention behind a conversation. I always try my hardest to align my intentions with my mindset. What’s the difference you might ask? Your mindset is easily controlled, when your out and about, you could have the best mindset on the planet but have negative intentions behind it. I know a lot of people (very negatively influenced people) who go out everyday to manipulate people. It also doesn’t work as well as having a positive intention, as the people that go out with the intent of making themselves better instead of bringing other people down.
The best part of having a positive intention behind your mindset is the fact that you don’t become in-congruent. In-congruency is what happens when your your actions, body language and mindset don’t line up. No matter how hard you try and hide your intentions, you’ll still show off micro-signs that tune people into the fact that you’re after something different then what you’re saying. So one of the big things to face when you’re working through outcome dependency is that you need to be coming from a positive intention! As stated above, the one I use is that I focus on improving myself and get better at conversing with people.
I’ve already discussed the benefits of using short term goals, but I’d like to step back into it real quick. The reason why you work with short term goals in this area of development is the fact that normally when you stop wanting something from somebody, you get it (Thank you Andy Warhol). Have you ever noticed those people who are desperate to get into a relationship, it could go on for days, weeks, months, even years. Yet as soon as they decide screw I’m not going to try they meet their next significant other?
The same theory applies here, the basis behind is the fact that we become comfortable in our own skin, that we are no longer focused on making a specific outcome happen. You become relaxed, confident where you are, and maybe even a little bit unconcerned with it. Then when the opportunity comes to you, you suddenly aren’t worried about it, you calm cool and collected and things seem t just “happen in your favor”. The real trick isn’t to not give a crap about it, but it’s to become comfortable and work on who YOU are as an individual rather then worrying about everyone!
Focus on yourself, and the planets will align for you friends, this is something that every coach in every field in the industry will tell you. No matter what it is in life that you want, it’ll happen in it’s time so long as you are happy with who you are first!
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