I went to a hypnosis show over the weekend. I’d never seen a hypnotist show before, and in fact, I wasn’t really in the mood to even leave the house. On a whim, though, I brushed my hair and told my friend I was in. Off we went, into the mysterious land of card tricks, mind reading, and people falling asleep in unexpected places.
Very early on in the show, it became apparent that if I didn’t participate I would get annoyed by the peanut gallery of drunk guys in the back. So when the hypnotist asked for a bunch of volunteers, I bee-lined it for the stage. We started out as a group of about 30. She took us through a meditation into hypnosis*. Along the way, she filtered out those who weren’t quite as “entranced” as the rest of us. When all was said and done, nine of us were left on stage to entertain the audience for the rest of the evening.
*Side note: On believing. Hypnosis is really about cultivating a mind state where you’re open to the power of suggestion. You would never do anything you don’t want to do, but you’re given suggestions for how to behave. I don’t really know if I was hypnotized, nor do I care. I felt like I had permission to do whatever I wanted, and for me, the hypnotist’s suggestions were met with very little internal resistance.
I’m just gonna take quick stock of some of the things she had us do, so you have an idea of how this went:
- We were told that the people onstage with us were pillows, not people. And we were instructed to find a pillow and squeeze it really tightly and fluff it.
- It was suggested that we were each Beyonce, and we individually had a turn to perform.
- There was a body-building competition. (Seriously, I killed this part. You guys should see my biceps.)
- We told we were having the most powerful orgasm of our lives (apparently we were at the R-rated version of the show!)
- And what hypnosis show is complete without having your victims, um, volunteers, act like chickens?
It was fun. There were moments when I’d wished I’d gotten to see things from the audience perspective, but I really enjoyed myself.
The experience of party-goer is different than that of party-thrower
When you go to a party, there are the people who stroll past the food, grab a drink at the bar, then find some friends to catch up with. Those are the party-goers.
On the other hand, a party-thrower is someone who knows that if EVERYONE is having a good time, the party will be better than if just that person themselves were having a good time. So that person invests in connecting people, in sharing themselves to create an experience that all the attendees enjoy, regardless of whether they are the actual host of the party or not.
Wait, I thought we were talking about a hypnosis show? How’d we get to talking about a party?
Well, now that you’ve got the analogy of party-goer vs. party-thrower nailed, let’s take it back to the hypnosis show.
So, I’m already convinced that I had more fun because I’d spent my evening on stage instead of from a chair in the audience. But, the best part of the evening is when my friend and I were walking out of the theater and people WANTED to talk to us.
They wanted to know if we were conscious about our actions. They wanted to tell us how funny it was. They wanted to show us their admiration for our lack of filter.
They also wanted to be connected to us. To soak up some of the “permission” to be whoever you are, or whoever you want to be in any given moment.
We left the theater feeling like we knew everyone in the place, and like we had shared an experience, and were now connected in some way.
This is how relationships start. Sharing an experience together where we get to see each other, even if just for a moment. I guarantee you that the audience members did not have the same sense of connection with each other that they did for the people they watched be uninhibited onstage.
They were drawn in by us sharing ourselves first.
Throw the best damn party ever on a date.
Some of you probably date as a passive activity. “Hello, Mr. Potential Right, please do the exact song and dance I’d like to see (without me telling you what it is) while I sit back and decide if it meets my standards or not.”
While I understand there are some vulnerable and sensitive issues that feed this dynamic, it simply doesn’t work. Nobody gets what they want when both people are only focused on how enjoyable it is for them. And when both people on a date are waiting for the other to invest energy, nobody ends up investing energy, and a potentially amazing connection is completely missed.
And it rarely has to do with him just not being the right guy.
Focusing on enjoying yourself because you like to enjoy yourself, and you are happy to share that with others if they want to enjoy it as well, however, is a freaking gold mine.
When you put yourself into something, whether that’s a date, or a project at work, or a social gathering, the energy is different than if you sit back and watch it unfold.
I say this a lot, and I’m sure I can come up with another 800 ways to say it, but…JUST. GO. FIRST.
Bring what you have to bring.
Give what you have to give.
With no expectations, except for to have fun while doing it.
Are you a party-goer or party-thrower? Can you throw a party anywhere you please?
Your turn! What kind of party guest are you? Let me know in the comments! And – tell me once place you’re going to focus on being a party-thrower in your life this week! I can’t wait to hear how it goes!