When was the last time you had a really good schmooze?
A really great schmoozer, such as myself, has always found it easy to schmooze, but I recognize it as an art and not something that everybody is gifted at.
Being a good schmoozer is not the same as being a great conversationalist. While not everybody has great stories originating from a great episodic life, the schmoozer has the ability to go one step further and conveys a feeling of intimacy and true interest in what you are saying. He becomes the consummate psyche lover. And that is really sexy.
This was what Don Juan was really about; it wasn’t his lovemaking. Are you kidding? After while even that got repetitive. As he entered that psychic cavern of yours by listening with genuine interest in you, your resistance just melted away, a genuine aphrodisiac.
Only a very few people are good at this; most of them probably psychologists who love to schmooze and probably find it very difficult to have to listen and not say a few things about their own lives. But they have the ability to sniff out a good schmoozer; as a result I have given psychologists some great advice for which I had to pay. Something unfair about that.
The schmoozer always gets invited to his friends’ parties, boring though they may be. In that case, make sure there’s good food.
I have also found throughout the years that a great schmoozing partner is not necessarily someone who has had a long, fascinating life. What they do have is the ability to transmit something special other than conversation.
My friend Caroline, a very simple woman who candidly admitted that she had a pretty uninteresting life, is an example. What I receive however is not in the sauce, but in the warmth, simplicity, honesty and kindness she conveys. One of the great listeners of all time, she is truly interested in what anybody has to say. Now my dear friend Caroline is dying and just like her, she would be surprised to know that her dying is just as compelling as her life has been.
My friend Martha is actually a very interesting person, but she tells her daily story as if she were reciting a catechism. Her own ennui at what she says and monotone overlay when she speaks, make me want to scream and get out of Dodge.
Can schmoozing be taught? I don’t know. Not everybody has the talent or the desire. But when people start talking about abilities, I think the art of schmoozing is one that should be considered, along with piano playing, tennis and surfing.
Editor: Hayley Samuelson.