“However, you can cheapen this and send the wrong signal by being overly emotional about everything.
If every topic that that person brings up is met with this highly visceral emotional reaction, then you cheapen your emotional reaction. It makes you look like a fool because it would seem that you get emotionally worked up about everything. Instead of making the person you are talking to feel special and valued, it would not be unexpected for them to feel used and manipulated .
When you throw out a metaphor, you communicate with the person you are talking to that you are both emotionally and intellectually engaged .
For you to come up with a metaphor it means that you really thought about what they said and you relate it to the big things in life. It also just makes you appear witty and clever to link unrelated elements together like metaphors usually do.
The metaphor doesn’t really have to be good, or make much sense. It just has to sound interesting – people will draw their own conclusions if there is any sort of link.
Again, using the example where someone loses a pair of sunglasses after riding a rollercoaster, you can reply something like the following: “Rollercoasters are like charities, I donate so many things because I lose something every time I ride one!”
Or, “Losing things is like when you have a rock in your shoe, it’s so annoying.”
Or, “Sunglasses are my savior on most days, I would be lost without them.”
This communicates to the person that you are a deep thinker and it also communicates to the person that what they said resonated with you enough for you to draw these connections.
Of course, in an improv comedy setting, the whole point is to get laughs.
In a personal conversation setting, when you throw out a very deep and heavy metaphor, it cannot help but get the listener to bond with you on a deep and personal level.
This person feels that you appreciate their ideas enough to create a metaphor that plays on their main message.
The drawback to the metaphor angle is just like the drawback to the philosophy angle. You cheapen it if you overuse it. You cheapen it when you make connections that are very shallow and cast a bad light on the experience your conversation partner had.
When you use HPM correctly, you will never run out of things to say, ever .
But you don’t need to use it just as a last resort. HPM works because it is universal – everyone has beliefs and thoughts on daily occurrences, and everyone has stories about their daily lives that they enjoy sharing.
HPM is a framework for sharing relatable topics that become the low hanging fruit for conversations to begin and go deeper.
Try this exercise:
This is best done through text or instant messaging. Look over the transcript of one of your recent digital exchanges.
Write down a list of 5 topics or subtopics. You can even just write down a few statements that you replied to.
Now time to practice HPM. For each topic or statement, come up with 4 personal stories, 4 ways to demonstrate how you feel about it, and 3 metaphors that show a deeper understanding of the topic at hand.
This will be difficult at first, but deep connections aren’t built by small talking about the weather. Deep connections are built with shared values, beliefs, and opinions – HPM cuts to the core and addresses all of those at once.
It should be abundantly clear at this point that improv comedy functions almost completely parallel to memorable conversations.
When you think about it, even on a shallow level, they have so much in common.
They have the same premise – an interaction that has the potential to be great and memorable, if the two parties can interact with each other to create enough flow.
They have the same path to greatness and memorability – rules and techniques to make sure that there is maximum flow, collaboration, and adaptability.
They even have the same end goal – an interaction that is greatly enjoyed by both parts with the potential to lead to deeper connections.”