Man Law #38 – ‘Man Talk’ – Cherry-Pick the Conversation.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines Cherry-pick as the following
Cherry Pick [v] – \ˈcher-ē pik \ – to select as being the best or most desirable
To a man, a woman’s mind is made up of countless details with no beginning or end. She may talk for 15-20 minutes straight without you really knowing what she really is talking about…
The Art of Cherry-Picking the conversation is this, you pick certain elements (usually nouns) in the conversation that you can repeat back to her at a later point. You can think of these as bookmarks that you want to remember to re-visit (for you IT geeks that ‘page‘) at a later time. This will re-assure her that you were listening.
If a woman gets the impression that you are not listening to her, she may purposely steer the conversation in a direction that she KNOWs you will not be interested in… For instance, If she knows that you are a slight homophobe, and suddenly she is describing in detail the sex life of her gay best friend, MAKE SURE you have bookmarked some cherry-picked conversations from earlier. This is one of her many “test” and the ones who pass, make it to the next level or at the very least, are not disqualified as soon as you leave her field of vision or hang up the phone.
When this Man Law was first posted, it was another law that received negative feedback from some women. Many women tried to say that this was too manipulative and why should a guy “fake” that he is listening…
If done correctly, Cherry-Picking is active listening where both parties are involved. While the man might not immediately respond to the fact that you attended Columbia University, or that you had a cat named “Milo” when you were a kid, he MIGHT remember that you went to an Ivy League school in New York, or that you had a cat growing up, and while the details of which might be lost (hey, there’s is only so much you can ask of us), he did LISTEN. A lot of women will say to themselves “We know they are dumb, but he passed with a C average”…Passing with a C is remembering that she went to a good school in New York. Passing with a “B” would be knowing that she went to Columbia University in New York and her cat was named “Milo”, and passing with an “A”, would be mentioning an interesting fact that you know about Columbia that she does NOT know such as knowing that the founder of the School of Social Work which she mentioned she had a degree from, was “Dean Jeanette Takamura” in 1898. This is heavy seductive stuff, so if you pass with an A, her next question just might be “You’re place or mine?”
Cherry-Picking the conversation typically surprises women as they write off 90% of men as not listening which ends up hurting the man in the long run as this communicates to her that you do not care…
Another example of Cherry-Picking might go like this – if she mentions that she did a semester abroad in Spain as an undergrad, make a mental note in your head (“Spain”, “Semester Abroad”) while continuing the conversation! Then 10 minutes later or even an entire conversation later, mention her trip to Spain and she will know you were listening in the first place…When it comes to listening, women do not really have high expectations of men so just re-calling one or two things from a previous conversation will set you leaps and bounds apart from 95% of the guys she meets. If you do it correctly she’ll have a noticeable SHOCK on her face and say “I didn’t think you were listening!”
Other resources for listening:
- Mind Tools – Active Listening – Hear What People Are Really Saying
- Video on Active Listening – Learning Active Listening Skills
- Quick Date/Conversational Tips