The 10 Things You Need To Know About People To Make You More Successful In The World

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Photo: Samuel Scrimshaw @ Unsplash

When it comes to people there are some fundamental rules that will help you to boost your success in every area of your life. There are number of universal rules that influence us as humans, I’m going to teach you 10 of the very best to help you to become more successful, let’s dive in.

Presence and curiosity are captivating

People love attention. It’s a fact. Even the most introverted person enjoys someone paying true attention to them. We’re all social animals.

The thing is that most of us don’t get full attention from even one person never mind many people. As Simone Weil said: “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” People are either thinking about themselves or distracted most of the time. They’re on their phones even around friends, they’re not fully present and curious about the people with them.

Yet we all need attention and we all crave it deep down. That’s where learning to be fully present and curious about other people is your superpower.

When you practise being fully present and curious in another person or a group of people then you instantly have an edge over 95% of the world who are distracted busy thinking about boring things like what they want to eat later, or tapping away at their phones liking posts on social media.

Being curious and paying attention to people opens a lot of opportunities. People are naturally flattered when you pay attention to them and are curious about who they are and their lives. It endears them to you and makes them much more likely to want to include you in opportunities that will help you to be successful.

The law of reciprocity

We are all social animals and we’ve evolved to help each other as it serves as an evolutionary advantage that helps our species to survive and thrive. This is where the law of reciprocity originates from. The essence of this law is that people are more likely to give you something back in return once you have given something to them. It might be advice, time, opportunities, money, and/or emotional support.

Being generous with people around you will always lead to opportunities that can help to make you more successful. You never know how someone will reward you for your generosity.

The law of reciprocity also has its destructive side. If you are nasty to someone, or you hurt them somehow, they will want to do the same to you. If they have an opportunity to get payback for something that you’ve done that has hurt them then often people will do so. Try not to upset people as much as you can as the law of reciprocity can work against you just as much as it can work for you.

Confidence is key

We are all influenced by displays of confidence. Confidence shows that you’re in control of yourself, the people around you, and the situation you are in. It naturally draws people to you as it produces a sense of safety and excitement. It’s also an incredibly attractive quality for both sexes to have and will endear you to others for this reason too.

Building your confidence up is instantly going to make you more successful, for starters it will open up opportunities as you’ll be more likely to talk to people, but also it will make people like you more and actually give you more opportunities.

Many people have become wildly successful not because they were special in any way, not because they were the smartest, or the most beautiful/handsome, or the most well connected, but because they had confidence and used it to their advantage.

Most of the time people are doing boring everyday tasks…

Most people spend the majority of their lives doing boring tasks such as work, housework, and looking after their kids. They want and crave excitement or anything out of the ordinary.

When you can give people excitement they’ll love you. Most people are boring; they don’t know the latest new bar opening, they don’t experiment with wild new recipes, they don’t go skydiving. They do the same as most people: Work, watch TV, look after their children if they have any, and do any number of boring everyday things.

Don’t be like them.

Keep working on yourself and doing interesting things. By being interesting you instantly draw people to you. It might be with tales of your latest adventures, or with mutual experiences such as taking your friends or colleagues to the latest bar opening, or with a fun and unique skill you’ve learnt. Whatever it is keep learning and give people the excitement they crave. Trust me they’ll love you for it and you’ll be known as the go to person for fun who everyone always wants around and who they’ll happily give opportunities to help advance your life success.

Rely on facts and evidence only

Instincts and hope are unreliable when evaluating people. It’s incredibly easy to make wrong predictions about people due to a whole range of biases. Physical attractiveness is one of the biases that greatly effects how people think and evaluate others, research has shown that the more physically attractive a person is the more intelligent, friendly, and trustworthy people evaluate them as being. Whereas in reality physical attractiveness has nothing to do with how intelligent, kind, or trustworthy a person is.

Once you’re aware that every person alive has biases you can work to mitigate them in yourself. What you can rely on instead of your biased intuitions are facts and evidence. Facts and evidence are your best friends when it comes down to evaluating people, whether that’s the person who is a potential new business partner, or the person who you’re going on a date with.

One of the best ways to objectively test someone’s emotional resilience and true nature is to see how they’ll react under stress and in high pressure situations. People are far less able to keep up an act when they are in stressful situations. If you have to make a judgement about whether or not you can trust someone deliberately go into high pressure situations together and see how they react.

Talking to people who have had past experience with the person you are evaluating is also essential as they will have far more knowledge of them than you do. Look for the opinions of others around you and of others who have had experience with any important person that you need to evaluate.

Whatever you do when it comes to making important decisions about people rely on facts and evidence only, not your biased intuitions or whether or not you just “like” them when you meet them. Failing to evaluate your next new business partner or your date who you want to get serious with leaves you open for getting hurt financially and emotionally.

Stories are what make us human

Stories are how we learn and make sense of the world. They help us to process the strangeness and the mysteries of life while learning more about who we are. They are also an incredibly powerful tool:

Whoever controls the stories controls attention and power.

Everyone can get better at telling stories, the key is to practise. Even if you are terrible at telling stories now, you will get better with practise. Learning how to tell captivating stories gives you the edge when trying to persuade people to do something: To hire you, to give you an opportunity that you’re needing, or to choose you for a date.

Everyone loves a good story, make sure you’re the one telling it.

Everyone lies

Like it or not every human has been lying since language evolved. Lying about certain things gives people a clear advantage in certain situations. Every person in the world lies. Trusting people is great but don’t forget to make sure what people say to you is congruent and makes sense.

Believing what someone is telling you — especially when you have evidence that contradicts what they are saying — leaves you open to being deceived. It’s good to trust people, but better to make sure that trust is based on reality and not just your instincts or hopes.

Part of being successful is evaluating the people in your life well and making sure you only have people around you that you can trust to have your back instead of going behind it to cause you harm.

Everyone’s perception of the world is different

We all have a cognitive bias towards projecting our own ways of seeing the world onto others when we imagine how they are feeling and thinking.

Never assume anyone else is seeing the same situation in the same way as you, or in the way you imagine they might be thinking.

Making assumptions about how a person is thinking and perceiving the world can cost you opportunities, friendships, and money. Never make assumptions about people unless you have evidence to back them up.

People are primarily emotional and not logical

If you want to predict how a person will behave don’t look at what they would do if they were 100% calm and logical, look at how emotional they are and how they behave when emotional. People do irrational things all of the time. Emotions influence us way more than logic does or ever will.

Learning to keep your emotions under control will instantly help you become more successful. People with poor emotional control tend to make mistakes often especially when they’re emotional. By keeping your emotions under control you will be able to evaluate any situation more logically and make better choices for yourself.

Everyone has an agenda

Everyone wants something. That sounds obvious but it’s often overlooked in social interactions. In life every person alive wants something, whether that’s money, attention, food, sex, a new car… Everyone right now has something that they want. In fact they have multiple things that they want.

The problem for them is that if they had the thing they wanted they wouldn’t have that want anymore, but they don’t have it, and so they want it.

If you can figure out what one important person wants, or what a whole group of people want, and you can find a way to give them what they want, then you can use that to aid in your success. Help to give people what they want and reap the rewards when the law of generosity pays off.

Implementing these 10 rules will give you an edge in your career and personal life. Start putting them into practise today and reap the rewards.

Relationship Researcher & Coach: Creating Healthy Relationships @ www.simonsamuels.com

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