I know what it’s like to be the stinking bad smell in a room.
People didn’t want to be around me because I purposely made them feel terrible about themselves. It was my way of hiding mental illness so I could pretend to myself I was okay. I wasn’t okay at all.
Competitive behavior was a way to beat people and show them up. Making people feel dumb by proving them wrong was a way to feel smart. Earning more money than another person and flashing it around was a way to make a person feel poor so they’d look up to me.
I had every trick in the book to make people feel bad about themselves. It took me years to figure out why nobody wanted to be around me; why no woman could stay in a relationship with me for more than a year.
Who wants to hang around a selfish person that only cares about themselves?
Selfishness is the seed of all evil. Generosity is the start of new relationships that can change your trajectory in life.
The Way to Deploy Emotion Effectively
My problem was I always used negative emotions. If you had a conversation with me it was mostly about what was wrong with people, situations, or businesses.
You psychologically want to be around people who bring out positive emotions in you.
When you communicate, focus on positive emotions.
Make people feel joy, happiness, delight, generosity, positivity and you’ll be the sort of person they want to hang around. Don’t be fake about it either. Ask yourself this question: Is what I’m about to say negative or positive? If it’s deeply negative then stop yourself. Use discipline to have more conversations that don’t focus on everything wrong with the world.
The Awesome Power of Remembering a Name
I was terrible with names. Charan Ranganath, the director of the Memory and Plasticity Program at the University of California, says you forget names because “you’re just not that interested.”
People are better at remembering things that they’re motivated to learn. Sometimes you are motivated to learn people’s names, and other times it’s more of a passing thing, and you don’t at the time think it’s important.
When you’re selfish you only focus on yourself and what you can extract from people.
When you’re the sort of person people want to be around you focus on other people. You ask them about their hopes, dreams, goals, struggles and favorite things. The first step in caring about someone is remembering their name.
The Human Side You Leave Out
Nobody you want to interact with is always winning. They’re losing a lot. When you unconsciously only share the good parts about your life you’re forcing yourself to be unrelatable.
People love to say in their heads “I feel like that too” when they’re talking with you. Imperfection is what binds us all together.
All of us are shitshows after hours.
You may as well let people see the real you. They’ll like you better for it and understand from a different vantage point. When a person understands you they mentally decide in their mind whether they want to be around you. Imperfection becomes an opportunity to bring people towards you or have them self-select to stay clear of you.
Let imperfection be your human glue.
Go Headfirst into the Conversation
Tim Ferriss does this on his podcast. If he wants a person to interact with him at a deeper level then he’ll share something uncomfortable first.
I’ve met many writers over the past month. I start by telling them how hard writing has been for me over the last twelve months. I tell them how on some days it has really knocked me on my ass. This gives them permission to drop the world-class writer facade and be upfront about how writing has been for them. This has led to many new writer friends.
Having a headfirst approach just means sharing what is uncomfortable to you that you’d typically only acknowledge in your head.
What if your inside thoughts became your outside thoughts?
Drop All the Fakery
Much of the advice about forming better human relationships revolves around pretending to like someone. Here is one piece of advice from a hugely popular article:
So even if you’re not sure how a person you’re interacting with feels about you, act like you like them and they’ll probably like you back.
I think this is terrible advice. Pretending to like people is exhausting. If you don’t like someone then move on. No need to hold grudges. You weren’t made to be liked and to like everybody you meet.
It’s okay to be on two different planets.
The sort of person people want to be around is someone who is bold enough to make a decision and either add or subtract someone from their network of relationships.
There’s no need to collect contacts.
Real friends are better.
Less is Infinitely More
Too many people fall into the trap of thinking they’re better than they really are in life. Think less of yourself and what you’ve accomplished.
Add a quiet tone to your achievements.
Dial down the desire for your ego to take center stage. Name drop less. Insert brand names like BMW and Gucci less in your stories. Think to yourself “I’m not that special.”
Think this superpower thought: “I’m just like you.”
Minimalists who buy less stuff retire earlier. Minimalism when it comes to your ego is the next viral trend.
You are more when you appear to be less.