Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Wisdom of Jim Cornette

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Dan's musings on shyness and relationships can be found at hotchicksandstrangers.blogspot.com

(I was originally going to post this exclusively on the hotchicksandstrangers blog, but it occurred to me that this applies to more than just romantic partners. It also applies to stand-up comedy, sales, personal lives, or pretty much any aspect of dealing with other human beings)

This is going to sound weird, but a lot of what I learned about romance (and stand-up comedy for that matter) came from learning about the psychology of pro-wrestling. While a lot of what I picked up came from picking the brains of experienced wrestlers, I got some stuff off some DVDs. My favorites are Behind Closed Doors with Jake Roberts and Secrets of the Ring with Jim Cornette.

Both DVDs are awesome, but today I want to paraphrase something Cornette said. He was talking about wrestling fans, but I think it applies equally well to potential romantic partners (or--as stated above--pretty much anything else--db).

Picture your pool of potential partners as one of those circular targets used for archery or darts. Each ring represents a group of people

· The smallest, inner-most ring is the people who are going to like you no matter what you do. For whatever reason, they will dig you no matter what.

· The second ring, is a slightly larger group. They’re the people who are going to like you when you’re at your best. They’ll show up as long as you meet their standards, but if you mess up, they’re gone.

· An even larger group is in the third ring. They are people who will like you if you’re “somebody.” They‘ll like your rich or famous or because other people like you.

· The fourth and final group, is everyone else in the world. They either don’t like you, don’t give a shit about you one way or the other, or have no idea who you are and never will.

Here’s what struck me about Cornette‘s Circle.

1 - You have no control over which circle someone falls into. Some people will like you no matter what. Some people will like you if you’re good. Some people will like you if you’re lucky enough to hit the big time. And some people are going to dislike you no matter what, and there’s no way you can change their mind.

But it’s not in your power to ‘assign’ people into a circle. All you can do is make the choices that feel right to you, shoot for your potential and people will either come along or they won’t.

2 - You can’t tell by looking which people fall into which category. A lot of people I know just assume people won’t like them and don’t even make the effort to get to know them (And on a personal level, this used to be one of my biggest problems…and it still is sometimes).

Once I started looking at things in this way, it took a lot of stress off me. It also gave me the freedom to stop trying to impress people and instead focusing on expressing myself and trusting that the people who are into my romantic type (or comedy audience, or whatever) would find me.

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