Acting, Dating, And Being Authentic -An Interview

I recently did an interview Betterfly Journalist Beatta Aldridge.  In this interview I discus the core of being connected to onesself so that you can easily connect to others in an authentic, moment to moment way.

Interview with a Betterist: Dating Coach John Keegan

Here at Betterfly, we recently got the chance to sit down with real-life dating coach John Keegan, and pick his brain a bit about what exactly he does.  Before he was a dating coach, John studied psychology and worked as an actor, so he is aware of and interested in the ways humans interact with each other.

When asked how he thinks his acting experience has affected his current career path, he replied,”[In] acting, like in life, being fake doesn’t connect with people.  It repels them.  Acting taught me tap into my authentic self.  How to connect with myself, and my feelings, and how to get [outside] of myself and connect with others in a truthful way.  In acting the instrument is you.  In life your instrument is you.  So the more you practice being you and the more you develop yourself as a person, the more attractive you become.”

His approach to dating (and life in general) is that we all need to make meaningful connections with other people.

“I’m teaching [my clients] to be themselves… how to live life…  Be open. Be yourself.  And I have found through experience that this is a good way to make connections with other people.”

He has a simple formula to help build up the confidence needed in order to reach out.

“Know your goals, or your highest priorities.” What do you value most?  Where do you want to go?

“Know your limiting beliefs.” These are the things you tell yourself that keep you from positive action.  For example, “I haven’t achieved enough,” or, “Women find me boring.”

Rediscover your empowering beliefs. Remind yourself of all the good things about yourself that you already knew, such as, “I am a kind person, a good listener, or a hard worker.”

You should also know what you value in another person. For example, (pay attention ladies) John values creativity, kindness, and a fun disposition.  Know these values well, so that you “invite” the right kind of people into your life.

Food for thought: When you approach someone or strike up a conversation, you are inviting them to participate in your life.  This can be a very empowering notion.

John also teaches his clients how to work on affirming others in a genuine manner. You could do this by telling another person, “I like that you’re creative.”  According to him, “When the other person knows it to be true about themselves, it forms a connection.”

He also let us in on a little secret- “Men are wondering what to talk about.” They are trying to find topics they think will be interesting to women, so they spend hours talking about feelings and relationships, instead of talking about the things they actually like.

Of course we asked, “What if a guy only likes talking about excel spreadsheets?” To which John deftly replied that he would tell that client to “broaden his horizons.”

A large part of his dating philosophy centers on being playful and spontaneous.  He asks clients to ask themselves if they are nurturing their other interests.  Maybe a businessman has a creative side, or a scientist wants to go run a marathon.  John tries to help them get away from the “left-brain” stuff for a minute and focus on the “right-brain” side of themselves.

In one segment of the NYTimes interview, John is quoted as referring to his practice as “Buddha-like.”  When we asked him about this, he said that it’s more about “connecting others and [doing] things for their own internal sake rather than a worldly value.  Rather than focusing on the end goal, just initiate the conversation for its own sake [as opposed to] looking at it as a success-failure paradigm.”

After all that talk about encouraging his clients to step out of their shells and connect with others, we wanted to know how John reacted nowadays in the face of rejection.  “It will sting for a second…But the best way to deal with that is just move on.  Either I’m nurturing my values and passions or I’m not.”  It’s important to remind yourself that the only validation you need is your own.

Sounds like a healthy approach.

So what exactly is a day in the life of a dating coach like?

John says that sometimes there are large influxes of clients and then there are dry spots.  He works with them mainly in packages of 8, 12, or 16 two-hour sessions.  “Sometimes you’ll take phone calls from various places in the world, or Skype calls.”  He often helps people deal with self-esteem issues, feeling inadequate in social situations, or status anxiety- feeling like you haven’t achieved enough, or you aren’t good enough to be accepted by a certain kind of people.

We were curious as to where John pictured himself down the line- a new job? Wife, kids?

John says that career-wise, he hopes that he will be able to eventually publish a book about connecting people, and family-wise, he only wants one kid.  “More than that would be a lot of work.”  But that’s six or seven years down the line.  A wife, however, he would like sooner.  He was reticent to talk about his current relationship status, only saying that he’s “working on it.

John Keegan can be found on Betterfly.com as a dating coaching Betterist, or on his website, The Awakened Lifestyle.

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