COMPELLING PEOPLE – THE HIDDEN QUALITIES THAT MAKE US INFLUENTIAL BOOK REVIEW/SUMMARY
Let’s say that you are at a party and you are meeting a bunch of new people…Should you be super nice with them in order to make them like you? If you read the book called How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie, the main advice in the book is to be interested in the other person in order to make them love you…
Does it really work all the time though? I don’t think so…In some cases, being too friendly makes you seem desperate and weak. By showing too much interest, the other person might perceive you as desperate…
Should you instead try to project strength in order to let the other person that you are a high value person? Telling about how your business is doing great, how you know that famous person, etc? There is a good book on this topic called The Mystery Method, which is a book on how to seduce women, but I think everyone should read it because it will teach you a lot about social dynamics. The main premise of the book is that people are driven by a desire to survive and reproduce, and people that are highly popular are people that exhibits behaviours that makes them high value; Having a lot of money, lots of connections, being super smart etc…Basically, by hanging out with this person, you would increase your chances or survival by a lot and you would increase your chance of attracting a high quality sexual partner too. Inside of The Mystery Method book, the author teach you that in order to attract super beautiful girls, you need to exhibits high value qualities. To do this, the author uses stories in which he add elements that makes him look like a high value person. For example, he could tell a story about how his ex girlfriend was a model. By saying this, he is using pre-selection (read Influence by Dr Cialdini to learn more about this) to sub-communicate to the girl that he has enough value to attract high quality girls.
You get the idea?
Now, the whole point of the Mystery Method is to show strength. It is THE OPPOSITE of being interested in the other person to make them love you. Actually, in the Mystery Method, at the beginning of the interaction they would avoid giving too much compliments because it would make you look desperate and needy and the girl would lose attraction.
So what is the answer? What should you do? Is it better to be super nice and give compliments or is it better to tell people your accomplishments so they know you are a high value person?
This is what the book Compelling People: The Hidden Qualities That Make Us Influential wants to answer…
The Big Two
The two authors draw on cutting-edge social science experiments and their work with Nobel Prize winners, members of Congress, CEOs of Fortune 500 executives, etc, to teach people how to connect the right way with others.
After years of research, they came up with a basic framework we all use to judge each other. They discovered subtle but critical signals that make some people unforgettably engaging and others merely forgettable.
They came up with two main characteristics: strength and warmth. These are the two qualities character judgments revolve around:
Strength: The ability to affect the world around you…The root of respect.
Warmth: A sense of belonging and feeling cared for. This is the root of affection.
In order to make the best impression, you need to project BOTH strength and warmth. You cannot only have strength…To go from respect to admiration, you also need to be liked by using warmth. When you are able to project both strength and warmth, people will be drawn to you like a magnet.
There is a problem though…It is REALLY hard to project both at once. This is why super charismatic people are so rare.
Let’s go deeper into each one of these characteristics in order to understand them more…
Strength is basically a measure of how much a person can impose their will in the world. You don’t care much able people that are super weak because they lack the ability to affect your world positively. They are just not able to increase your happiness, wealth and relationships because they are not the kind of person to make things happen. They are low value people. Just think about a person that is super friendly with you all the time but for some reason you just don’t really want to hang out with them…Unconsciously, the reason is that this person cannot improve your quality of life in any ways….If tomorrow morning this person won the lottery or became a super influential person, you would probably want to hang out with that person…This is the harsh truth.
Now let’s talk about the biology of strength. Strength is all about assertiveness and dominance and these traits are related to certain hormones in your bloodstream…The most important one is called testosterone.
Biology of Strength: Assertiveness and dominance are tied directly to the presence of certain hormones in your bloodstream. Testosterone.
Biology of warmth: It is how people feel when they recognize you share their interests and concerns. This is what they feel when they think you and them are on the same team. The main hormone related to this is estrogen. Oxytocin plays a powerful role also when it comes to connectedness and belonging. Warmth is all about sharing feelings, good or bad.
The tension between the two.
What makes it difficult to project both strength and warmth at the same time is that there is a tension between the two. It all comes from biology…Testosterone is a potent inhibitor of oxytocin…So these hormones are basically in a battle against each other in your bloodstream. This is why we are so impressed by people that are able to project both at the same time…IT IS NOT EASY.
So which one to you project most of the time? Is it warmth and sometimes people don’t take you seriously or don’t see as someone of high value? Is it strength and sometimes find you too cocky or cold?
If you show too much strength and not enough warmth, the key is to demonstrate your intentions…If people see you as someone powerful but NOT on their team, they will unconsciously think you will try to hurt and steal from them. As long as the group see that you want what they want and you are not selfish (they will gain something by being with you, they will not lose something), you will be projecting warmth and they will love you.
If your problem is you are showing too much warmth and not enough strength, then you you have to understand this: Strength consists of the ability to affect the world, and the gumption to take action. You have to become someone who makes thing happen. Talk about what you have achieved in your conversations, talk about your successes, and people will start to respect you more.
When you projects these two characteristics at the same time, people will see you as someone willing (warm) and able (strong) to look for their interests and people will see you as a potential leader. They will feel good about you being in charge because they will know that you want to help them, that you are not there to hurt them (warmth).
Again, this is really hard to do and only a few people are masters at this…Strength and warmth are in direct tension with each other. When you think about it, most of the things we to in order to project strength like having a serious facial expression, tend to make us seem less warm…Likewise, pretty much all of the signals of warmth like smiling often and speaking softly can most likely make us seem submissive and weak.
I started this blog post by talking about the paradigm between showing interest in the other person in order to make them like you and raising your value by talking about stuff that makes you look valuable. Both can work, but in the end it depends of YOU and THE OTHER PERSON.
If you are someone that other people see as already strong, talking about your successes will just make them feel uncomfortable and they will start to dislike you. On the other hand, if you are someone other people see as super warm, showing too much interest in the other person without showing any strength will make them find you needy. They will think that you are too weak and they will unconsciously to someone who CANNOT make their life any better. In that case, you would have to talk more about your successes, be more assertive, etc.
This is truly an art and only a few people in the world are extremely good at this, but by becoming aware of which one of these two characteristics you display the most, you will definitely make a few changes and this will increase your charisma.
Please leave a comment below or let me know any questions you have. I’d love to hear what you think!