Social Skills – Social Signalling – Introduction

by pre., Friday, April 3rd, 2009.

In the first loop around the spiral we talked about social perception. The many and varied social signals which people are sending, mostly unconsciously, all the time. We talked about tells and the way the social hierarchy is encoded within the posture, gait, tone, speech patterns and actions of the people of the world. We mentioned how these signals are not only transmitted directly by observation but also indirectly through an entire network of people. Finally we presented the guided meditation designed to help you to pay better attention to these signals and so learn to interpret them more easily.

Of course social signalling goes both ways. While you have been learning to consciously notice other’s signals, you’ve also been (mostly unconsciously) sending signals for others to read. This, then, is social signalling and this lap around the spiral we aim to help you increase your conscious control over the signals you, yourself, are sending out.

The unconscious signals you are sending to other people are essentially similar to the ones you’ve been learning to recognise in others: micro-expressions, eye contact and direction, the gestures you make with your hands and feet, the set of your shoulders, the way you stand and move, the tone and content of your speech, the extent to which your signals match or mirror those of the people around you etc.

Self Signalling

The signals that you send out in this way aren’t just interpreted by the people you interact with. Perhaps the most important recipient of these subconsciously transmitted and interpreted social signals is in fact you, yourself. For you don’t simply passively send these signals and wait for others to receive them. Your posture, movement patterns, expressions and gestures physiologically affect your body and mind. Your subconscious interpretation of these signals effects your own belief of your intention, motives and power.

Improving your social signalling abilities will change your own opinion of yourself as you subconsciously interpret those signals. It will change the opinions of others as they interact with you, subconsciously following your signalling lead.

Furthermore, though social networking effects it will change your position in the social hierarchy. As others come to believe your newly controlled and directed social signals they’ll reflect that changed belief back at you, and at others in your social group, feeding back into the changes you’ve made.


Next week we’ll discuss ways to increase your awareness of the signals you are sending out, to notice and understand the messages that you are subconsciously sending to the people you interact with.

After that you’ll learn how to increase your conscious control of those messages, to actually direct and change them to project an integrated set of signals sending the message that you want to send.

Finally, at the end of the month, we’ll present a guided meditation to increase your social signalling skills, helping you to improve and take conscious control of your own social signalling.

Social Skills – Social Signalling – Awareness

by pre., Friday, April 10th, 2009.

In the Social Perception section during the last lap around the Transcendence Spiral, you learned that most of the signals people give out during an interaction are unconscious signals. That while people may have a good idea what words they’re saying, they don’t always know exactly how they’re saying it, and the non verbal parts of a conversation may make up the majority of the communication.

People are good at paying attention to and remembering their words, their intentions. They’re good at manipulating the conscious signals which they are sending to each other. They can deceive, manipulate and hide their true intentions.

Yet their deception, manipulation and true intention are often given away by their inability to consciously control, or even notice, every aspect of their total communication. They forget parts of their body language, their tone, the subtle signals of their mood. In short, they are not aware of all the signals they are giving out.

The same is, of course, true of you. As you sit reading these words you’re no doubt fidgeting, letting your attention (and thus the direction of your eyes) fade in and out. You’re being distracted by memory and the things around you. You’re likely also unintentionally signalling these things to those around you. Even if there is nobody around you!

Increasing Your Awareness Of Your Social Signalling

Obviously becoming more aware of the unconscious signals you’re constantly sending to others can only increase your self awareness, self understanding and facilitate better communication with others.

Assuming you have been practising our meditations, learning to increase your transcendence skills, you will have already become more aware of your social signalling than you were before you started (though you may not yet be aware of your increased abilities).

From the begining of this loop around the spiral, and for each meditation during this lap, you have been improving your body awareness. Learning to be more conscious of the set of your shoulders, your gait, the way you walk and move and slide. You’ve been improving the feedback from your muscles, increasing your proprioception and your kinaesthetic sense. All this is valuable information when trying to increase your awareness of the signals you’re sending. Before you were as keenly aware of the position of your arms, feet, shoulders, neck and head, it’s hardly surprising you were unaware of the signals those positions were sending to the people you came into contact with.

The study of Social Perception mentioned at the beginning of this article, and during our last lap, will have helped you to become aware of the types of movement and expression which others are using which unconsciously signal their intent, emotions and states of mind. The tells they use, the patterns of movement which are used for these signals. They are, of course, exactly the same patterns and movement which you are using to show those same intentions. Otherwise communication couldn’t work. Combining these two improvements — being more aware of your own body, and the meanings of a body’s movement — already means you’ve improved your awareness of your own social signalling no end.

When learning to pay more attention to your own self awareness, you’ll have learned to notice more easily the internal states which these unconscious signals are communicating. This increased awareness of the current state of your being will automatically have been included in the intuitions you’re constantly building about yourself, the way you behave, what those behaviours mean.

Finally, simply reading about the connections mentioned in this article, considering them and recognising them, will have helped to bridge the gap between those skills so that in future you’ll notice yourself learning to understand your own social signalling more thoroughly.

However, you will want to spend some time deliberately focusing on nothing but improving your awareness of your social signalling

This month’s meditation

In this month’s meditation you’ll use pre-visualisation techniques (that is, imagining a future event) to influence your behaviour during that event.

You’ll spend time focusing your brain on the same social signals you’ve previously, in the last lap, tried to focus on from other people. You’ll ponder what those signals mean, and in doing so learn to recognise them when they happen in your life. Thus, you’re awareness will increase, your consciousness be raised and your transcendence be more complete.

Social Skills – Social Signalling – Control

by pre., Friday, April 17th, 2009.

Last week we looked into ways to become more aware of the signals you’re constantly sending to the people you interact with, the subconscious and subliminal messages that you send through your posture, gait, voice, tone and expressions (both verbal and facial). As you become more aware of these signals, you’ll likely find more and more that they are not what you intended. This week we will examine how to not only become more conscious of those signals, but to take conscious control of them. To actually improve.

How Improved Control Will Help

Improved control over your social signalling will primarily help by reducing miscommunication, by ensuring that you less often appear to be saying one thing with words and another through action. It will help you to stay ‘in sync’, so that your meaning is conveyed less ambiguously and more precisely. People will understand your intent more often, and more clearly.

Building relationships will become more straight forward when your aren’t signalling your every doubt and worry to the people you are communicating with. When your communication is more coherent, you’ll appear more trust worthy, more likeable.

Finally, while the Transcendence Institute isn’t really in favour of deception in general, there will inevitably be times in life when deception is necessary — if only when organizing surprise parties and the like. Having better control over your social signalling will help in these few occasions when it’s necessary to lie. The victim of your deceit will more likely fall for it if you can avoid tells, and fake sincerity.

How To Improve Control

In truth you have likely already improved your control of your social signalling no end simply by observing others. Last lap around the spiral you concentrated on improving your perception of social signalling, and you’ll have therefore been paying attention to the way others do it. You have been learning by example the best ways to convey the desired messages without any extra prompting or encouragement from the Transcendence Institute.

Your own awareness of your social signalling, discussed last week, will also inevitably lead to better control of it. Anything in your environment which you pay more attention to, which you focus your awareness on, your brain learns to understand more completely. This understanding will, in turn, produce better control. So just by paying more attention to your social signalling you’ll certainly become more competent at it.

As usual though, the best way to improve any skill you wish to master is through practice. We encourage you, during your social encounters, to deliberately experiment. To see what people think when you stand up straighter, or slouch more. When you shape your face and body differently. Eventually to consciously try to convey an emotion or intent without using words, and to test: To see if your conversational partner picked up on that intent. Try simply walking up to a friend, with intent on your mind, and ask if they can read it: “Do you know what I want to talk about?” When they do, you’ll know you’ve improved immeasurably.

This month’s meditation

You’ll use pre-visualisation to prime your mind to better control the signals you’re sending during a social encounter. You’ll imagine an encounter you’re expecting, or just a random happenstance meeting and practice and concentrate your mind on social signalling issues.

The meditation will also, of course, include lots of suggestion to ensure that you think about these things more, so that your attention is on them during your social encounters, ensuring that you learn more quickly and more deeply while the social interaction is actually taking place.

Social Skills – Social Signalling – The Meditation

by pre., Friday, April 24th, 2009.

Introducing the social signalling meditation

Our meditation this month is designed to focus your attention on your social signalling, and thus help you to learn to understand it and thereby improve those social signalling skills.

The meditation should be practised in the hours before some social gathering or event, perhaps a party, a date, a job interview, a hospital appointment, or if you can’t think of a future event perhaps a chance meeting with a random stranger at a bus stop. Any place and time where you expect to encounter others. You will have that event in mind when you listen to the meditation, pre-visualising it as strongly as you can, in as much detail as you can. The meditation will prime you to pay particular attention to your social signalling during the coming event, and as you attend more closely to those signals you will understand them more and thus become a more effective communicator during all future interactions too.


Like all the meditations in this lap around the spiral, our Social Signalling meditation is based around our now standard low-impact light excercise routine. This routine should help you to focus on keeping your core muscles engaged and your arms and shoulders relaxed, improving your posture and body awareness. These things are of course key in effective non-verbal social signalling.


As you imagine, pre-visualising the expected social encounter, your attention will be drawn to some typical elements of social communication. You’ll be encouraged to think about them in turn, which will prime you to pay more attention to them during the encounter itself.

You will spend time imagining the pitch, rhythm and timbre of your voice. Which syllables you are putting stress on, the way your facial expressions shape the sound. Of course you’ll also pay attention to the words you’re using, looking out for hidden subliminal dual meanings, entendre, and how emotionally and visually evocative the language you are using is.

You’ll be primed to think about your eyes. Their blink-rate, which can signal excitement (or dirt in the eye). The direction they’re pointing in, the object of focus. Probably most important, you’ll think about eye-contact. You’ll be primed to use eye contact to both read the signals sent by your conversational partners and to send your own signals in reply.

You’ll think about the expression on your face, how it reacts to the words you hear and how it gives inflection to the words you speak. You’ll think about tiny micro expressions, priming you to notice them and the mask you quickly cover them up with.

You’ll be primed to spend some time with your attention on your limbs. On the gestures you make and the things you point at and touch, in particular if you touch the person you’re talking with. You’ll also put some attention into your legs, how you’re sat or stood, which direction your feet are pointed in, if you seem restless or relaxed.

You’ll be encouraged to focus for a while on your stance, or your gait if moving. On the set of your shoulders, the angle of your chin, how you’re leaning or how tall you are standing.

You’ll also learn to focus on synching your movements with your conversational partner, increasing rapport and emotional empathy though getting your bodies, and so your minds, closer together through mirroring.

As you pay more attention to all of these signals you are giving out, you will learn to control them more, to ensure your words and your non verbal communication are matching, coherent. You will become a better and more effective communicator, so people will understand you more clearly.

Self Signalling

Of course these more effective signals are not only being interpreted by those you are communicating with. You are also constantly and subconsciously analysing your own signalling behaviour, especially as you become more conscious of it. As your skills improve, so your own opinion of yourself will improve.

These self signalling effects work not only through subliminal analysis of the signals themselves, but actually physiologically. It’s been shown that as you smile more, your dopamine levels increase. As your posture signals higher social dominance your body will react, producing more testosterone or oestrogen, changing the way your mind works. The more time you spend getting close up with people, bonding with them the more oxytocin your body will create, improving the bonding process effectively.


As usual, the meditation is phrased suggestively. It will implicitly suggest that you’ll pay attention to the right things in the right context. Not just “How are your shoulders positioned” but “Are your shoulders showing that you’re relaxed?”, implicitly suggesting that your shoulders should be relaxed, encoding the ideal state within the question that you’re learning to ask yourself.

The meditation contains implicit suggestions that you’ll find reduced amounts of miscommunication, that people will see your intent more often. That you’ll appear more trustworthy and likeable. Many of these placed subliminally in the implications of the text of the meditation rather than explicitly where they may provoke a disbeliving reactance from your mind.

Download The Meditation:

Guided Meditation File 15 – Social Skills – Social Signalling
Backing Music “Memphis Rain” By Cordovan
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