1. The fastest way to get anybody to like you is to be interested in them. “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
2. Everyone thinks their politics are reasonable. Everyone thinks that the farther left is too naive and the farther right is too selfish (or whatever the case may be). If they didn’t think that way, they’d place themselves there.
3. Social cues are often painfully obvious. We complicate interpretations of them when our feelings are threatened, but ultimately: if someone loves you, they will show it. If they want to speak with you, they will do so. If they like you, you will be able to tell.
4. In terms of the more subtle, subconscious signs someone likes you: watch for mimicking. People who take interest in you want you to take interest back, and start to behave in a way that will make you see them as “one of your own.” Watch for posture, hand gestures, accents, etc.
5. If any answer to something large and complex seems so obvious that it would infuriate you, you don’t understand the question.
6. “I think” and “I feel” are not interchangable terms.
7. There are two things that determine whether a conversation will be civil and productive, or erupt into an argument: tone and defensiveness. You cannot be open to new ideas if you think that new ideas threaten your sense of self, or security in the world; others cannot hear clearly when it sounds as though you’re attacking them.
8. If you want to know the most important things about yourself, observe what you love and hate in others. At either of those extreme emotions you are recognizing what you appreciate about yourself, and what you cannot yet see in yourself.
9. All people are “good” people. The argument that someone is a “good person deep down” is pointless. It’s conditioning, illness or circumstance that influences “bad” behavior, particularly when it’s conditioning, illness or circumstance that counter your personal interests or beliefs.
10. … So if you think you’re above that “bad” behavior, consider deindividuation, or why violence tends to emerge in groups. We easily lose our identities to the whole, as when anonymity is an option, and responsibility is no longer solely ours, we are free to do what feels best, which is be a part of something that feels bigger than us, and affirmed by those around us.
11. We tend to think we’re better than other people only because we understand our own circumstances. When rationalizing our own lives, we attribute our fortune to internal factors, and misfortune to external forces. When rationalizing other people’s lives, we attribute their behavior to internal characteristics.
12. A fact is something that is objectively true. An opinion is something you feel is true, without necessarily having evidence. Develop opinions from the facts you have, not the feelings you have.
13. The spotlight effect will have you believing that everyone is thinking about you, judging you, etc. and will induce a lot of anxiety until you realize everyone is thinking the same way.
14. When choosing a romantic partner, we seek comfort, not love. Comfort = relationships we are familiar with. This is why people who are wrong for us are so addicting, why children of addicts often marry them, and so on. We are more driven by comfort than we are anything else.
15. People tend to prefer the default option, which is why so many settle in love, career, etc. It’s because they confuse the comfort of being excused from making a difficult decision with the belief that something is the best option just because it already seems chosen for them.
16. People can basically convince themselves of anything. If you want to think someone is your soul mate, you will be able to find evidence that they are. Be careful of what you want to believe.
17. You teach people how to treat you by what you tolerate, and how you respond. In other words, you teach people how to treat you by how you treat yourself.
18. Honesty without empathy is cruelty.
19. There’s a difference between what our eyes see and what our brains see. Because of the sheer volume of sensory information coming into your mind at any given moment, your brain has to make sense of it by interpretation. What you perceive is heavily influenced by your knowledge, background, familiarity, etc. This is why you want to expand your consciousness: the more you understand, the more you can experience.
20. Just be nice. People operate under the idea that being attractive or successful will “earn” them love from people, but really, it’s just being nice that will. People don’t care how accomplished you are, they care how you treat others. The idea that accomplishment can get you love is something that emerges when being kind does not get you love (aka, you are trying to seek it from the wrong people). So just be nice. You can’t “earn” love either way.