The top third of a recent Chateau post detailed a study showing the benefits of active listening. Researchers found repeating the spoken ideas of another will form a stronger, quicker connection.
Boss: We have to tighten up operations around here. Overhead is too high, we need to make some cuts.
You: I agree, sir. One leak can sink a ship. It would be prudent to cut unnecessary expenses.
Unless your pay or performance is based off managing expenses, you could likely care less about the efficiency of your employer. Agree with your boss’s sentiment and he feels you understand his vision.
Girl: That new Kate Hudson movie was so good. Have you seen it?
You: No, I haven’t, but she’s a great actress.
Arguing that Hudson is a cookie-cutter actress apt to only play specific roles isn’t the point. Mirroring her values is the point.
Friend: My girlfriend is so cool. She takes care of me.
You: It shows. You two have a good thing going on.
Maybe your friend’s girl is the cat’s pajamas or maybe she’s one emotional wound away from slashing his tires. Regardless, criticizing his choice in lovers will only drive a wedge between you two. Vehemently arguing his choice is only smart when his emotional or physical health is in danger. Raise the alert level to DEFCON 5 if he laments her poking holes in his rubbers.
By echoing others’ values, we’re placing importance upon what they consider important. Take this notion a step further and see life through their eyes. Step into their shoes and gain a deeper understanding of what makes them tick. Robert Greene calls this “entering their spirit”. In business, seduction and life, people gravitate towards those who share similar views. As stated in a previous post, playing it safe socially requires limiting expression of one’s own values. Not everyone is Tucker Max, rebelliously throwing social norms aside and still winning.
There’s an underlying psychological concept driving this connection. The name escapes me but if person A likes person B and person B likes Cinnamon Toast Crunch, person A is more likely to enjoy Cinnamon Toast Crunch because the alignment with person B will influence their tastes. I’d appreciate anyone that can recall this theory’s name or at least explain why Cinnamon Toast Crunch is so damn good. I would trade my first-born for a lifetime’s supply.
Some things in life are worth expending breath and convictions until blue in the face. The majority are not. I offended a friend this weekend citing my views on political and socioeconomic issues. I heard him say “I disagree with everything you’ve just said” multiple times. An idealist would applaud my strength of convictions. A realist would understand I’ve potentially damaged a long-term friendship. Consider your audience.