Some Context #
I had recently read a book (based on a recommendation by Dan Appleman) called How to Win Friends and Influence People. While I recommend this book since it is quite well written and researched, it didn’t include anything major that I didn’t already figure out by myself. Still, it helped organize some of my thoughts.
Original, Unmodified Speech #
April 26th, 2017 #
A few weeks ago, I said that I’m going to stop welcoming new Alephs who come to events because I want you to know how to do it (I’m leaving soon). Since then, a few people have asked me how. How can they welcome new Alephs? Let me tell you what I’ve found out.
The easiest to follow, and perhaps most fundamental value to uphold is simply being genuine. Anytime you want to do something, and you don’t know if you should, think about if it’s genuine. Let me show you how it applies.
Mimicking is an easy way to lose genuinity. I’ve seen multiple people mimicking me, and while it is humbling, it’s not always effective. It’s not effective because it’s not genuine. What do I mean? I mean that doing something without knowing why it’s good, oftentimes fails. If someone sees me spouting complete nonsense to someone I don’t know, and then they magically fall in love with me, it’s easy to think that spouting complete nonsense is an effective tool. If you mimic something without knowing why its effective, you’ll end up spouting complete nonsense and looking like a disingenuous fool.
Does this mean you shouldn’t use someone else’s tools? No. If you see someone doing something, and you think, ‘Oh! That’s intelligent,’ and you get why they do it, go ahead and use it. If you don’t know why it’s effective, you can ask them. The point is, doing something without getting why is not genuine. This applies to mimicking specific people, people that you look up to, siblings, it can even be concepts—you can imagine an ideal Aleph and attempt to do what an ideal Aleph would do, be unconditionally kind, take initiative, etc., and still end up seeming disingenuous.
Something else about being genuine, is that genuine people don’t love all of the people they meet. It just doesn’t happen. What does this mean? If you go out, to 50 new Alephs, you will find some Alephs that you don’t click with, you don’t enjoy spending time with them. Now don’t take this as an excuse to be mean—you should still be kind, and helpful, and so on. But don’t act like you love them if you don’t. It doesn’t seem genuine. It’s not genuine. Nobody gets along with all the people they meet.
Now you still want them to be happy. Just because they don’t click with you, doesn’t mean they won’t click with anyone else. Ask people to be with them, get somebody else involved. Nobody is going to think of you as an evil human being if you don’t win them all.
I should mention that sometimes you get along with them, and they don’t get along with you, that’s happened to me many times, but I’ll talk about that in the next business meeting.
The main takeaway is: Don’t be fake. Don’t be someone else. Don’t attempt to live up to some expectation. Don’t act. Because people can tell. Be genuine. Next time, I’ll explain how to build a genuine connection with someone that you genuinely love. If you have any questions, ask away.
Next post #
In the next post, we talk about many small tactics that can be used to more effectively communicate with people, that are simultaneously defined in terms of very specific examples and apply to broader concepts.