7 Truths About Human Beings, Friendships, and Relationships
Over the course of my life, I have been fortunate to learn an awful lot about why human beings do what they do and how it applies to people, friendships, and relationships. Here are 7 of those things I’ve learned.
1) People make time for what is important to them: When people really want to do something, they find a way to do it. There are human beings that put in 80-hour work weeks, that train for and run 100+ mile races, that give up their careers to be with their kids, and that donate organs to other people. In other words, no matter how big the task may be, if a person wants to do something bad enough, they will find a way.
Similarly, when people consistently aren’t doing things, it’s because it’s not that important to them or they just don’t want to do it. If it were important to them, they would have gotten it done. “Oh sorry, I don’t have time to do homework.” “Oooh, I wish I could have made some of our son’s baseball games, but I was too busy.” “I know we haven’t talked much in the last couple of months, but I haven’t had time.” That’s all bullsh*t. If you had put a gun to the head of the most important person in the life of all those people and said, “Either you make it happen this month or I pull the trigger,” guess what? They would have found the time. Why? Because people make time for what’s important to them.
2) People can change, but you can't change people: My father used to say, “One rat turd spoils a whole gallon of ice cream.” People are sometimes like that. You’ll run across someone who’s absolutely amazing except for that one “rat turd” that makes them intolerable. Maybe it’s a boyfriend who hits you if he gets really mad, a girl who’s a drug addict, a loving parent who’s a hopeless alcoholic – whatever it is – and you think, “If I could only help them get over that, they would be THE BEST.”
But that’s just the thing. If people change, they do it in their own time, for their own reasons. Maybe you can have some influence on them, but it’s unlikely. That means you shouldn’t try to change people, you should either decide whether you can live with eating around that rat turd or whether you need to toss all that ice cream in the garbage and move on.
3) With women, the medium is the message: I have to give a big hat tip to the “Godfather of the Red Pill,” Rollo Tomassi for this one. That’s where I got it from, and I do have to admit it was the final puzzle piece I needed to understand women. You see, most men find women to be a “riddle wrapped in a mystery wrapped in an enigma.” Granted, some of this can be chalked up to the fact that women are emotional creatures who can be a bit mercurial, but more critically, they’re also often very subtle compared to us men, who tend to be much more blunt and more straightforward.
What women say, particularly when it comes to dating and relationships, is often not what they mean. Any man who only listens to a woman’s words will frequently be confused and lost. So, how do you navigate this? By paying attention to what a woman does and how she does it, which imparts orders of magnitude more information than what she says.
She tells you she wishes she could, “Date a guy like you,” but when she had the chance, she said she wasn’t “ready.” She says she can’t wait to see you, but flakes on a date. She says she wants to have sex with you (her husband) but keeps giving increasingly lame excuses for why that’s not happening as the weeks stretch into months. The medium is the message. Over the long haul, if what she’s saying doesn’t correlate with her actions, her actions are the truth.
4) Almost all human beings are shockingly shallow: This one is going to be a tough nut to swallow because very few people think of themselves as shallow, but in fact, almost everyone is shallow. EXTREMELY shallow. Men tend to have an easier time accepting this than women because they understand how much a woman’s looks mean to them, but if anything, women are far shallower than men because they may be shallow not just about a man’s looks, but his profession, his height, how much money he has or even whether his belt matches his shoes.
I’d also add that very seldom is a human being ever going to go wrong by being rich, famous, powerful, or good-looking. You may be kind, funny, loyal, and charming, but the same people who will get offended over being called “shallow” will knock you out of the way running to try to get a selfie with someone famous. As a species, we very much do “judge a book by its cover” and all I can suggest is that you accept that fact and try to use it to your advantage as much as possible. Make that cover amazing because most people aren’t going to care what’s inside the book unless they like how the cover looks.
5) People’s small decisions tend to be consistent with their big decisions: A lot of people have been credited with saying, “The way you do one thing is the way you do everything.” Who actually said it? Who knows for sure, but there’s an awful lot of truth to it.
If you are lazy, meticulous, disordered, or careless at work, you’re probably the same way at home. If you are quick to anger, loving, or disrespectful with your parents, you’ll probably be the same way with your significant other. If you feel comfortable lying to your friends, then you’ll also lie to your boss. It goes on and on and on. Similarly, if you tend to be overly cautious, reckless, or rush through one thing, you’ll probably do the same with other things.
This is useful to know for two reasons. The first is if you learn a few things about how someone behaves in one or two areas, it will probably tell you a great deal about that person in a lot of areas. You shoplift things from stores? Well, does that mean you would steal at work? From your neighbors? From some friend’s house? Of course, it does. You’re a thief and thieves steal things. Do you not have any friends because you’re an argumentative contrarian? Then you’re probably going to be a pain at work and in relationships for exactly the same reason.
The second reason is that it means both excellence and mediocrity are habits that carry across multiple parts of your life. So, how do you want to live your life? At home? At work? At the gym? With friends? Choose excellence or choose mediocrity, but don’t expect to be able to compartmentalize it.
6) Whether a person is on the wielding or receiving end of the ax makes a lot of difference: Human beings have a natural tendency to underestimate the harm and damage they inflict on another person and to overestimate the harm and damage inflicted on them. You see this constantly in politics where some of the angriest most abusive bullies instantly claim to be victims if they get a tiny fraction of what they regularly dish out coming back their way, but it works that way everywhere. Someone cutting you off in traffic is a dangerous, irresponsible @sshole who could have caused a wreck, but when you do it, it’s, “Oooopsie! Who does this guy think he is flipping me off?” Your employee screws something up and it’s, “You are so irresponsible! I don’t know if you take this job seriously enough to continue working here,” but if you make the same mistake, it’s “No big deal! Anyone can have a bad day!” Once you start to recognize this tendency in yourself, it will make you more forgiving and patient with other people.
7) Character is destiny: People tend to have a fairy tale view of this subject that essentially goes something like, “Evil people won’t succeed, while good people will!” However, that’s not always true. Some good people don’t succeed. Some bad people prosper. That is life. That being said, the type of character a person has does tend to reverberate through their life in ways great and small.
People with bad character tend to do bad things that create blowback for themselves. They end up in more trouble with the law. They ruin friendships. They destroy relationships. They spend time worried that people will find out what they’re really like. They get caught in lies. They take shortcuts and pay the price. These people may thrive at first or even do well for a long time, but the type of person they are drags them down behind the scenes and eventually can even destroy their life. Think about Bill Cosby, Jeffrey Epstein, R. Kelly, Anthony Weiner, and Al Capone. By the standards of the world, these people may have appeared wildly successful for a long time, but I’d say it’s highly likely that their lives were far less idyllic than they seemed, and eventually, they all paid a big price for the type of person they became.
When you realize you’re dealing with a sociopath, a narcissist, a criminal, or just a rotten person, don’t latch your bootstraps to their anchor or you may end up at the bottom of the ocean when they sink the ship or worse yet, toss you overboard because that’s just what people like that do to those foolish enough to trust them.