You Really ARE Better Than Average

You Really ARE Better Than AverageCan you ever really know how other people see you?

It would be great if you could.

Then you could see exactly what he sees when he looks at you.

You could see why he loves you, or why he turned away.

You could see whether that mole on your cheek is sexy or distracting.

You could see what you really look like in that dress your friend made you buy…

And whether those blond highlights really cover up the gray in your hair like your hairdresser claims.

You’d never have to guess what people think of you ever again.

And you’d regret it forevermore.

There’s a very good reason we don’t know what other people really think of us. It comes down to what’s known as the self-enhancement bias.

In short, we all tend to think we’re better than average.

  • Most people think they’re better drivers than everyone else.
  • Most people think they look younger than they really are.
  • Most people think they’re better looking than average.
  • Most young people think they’re wiser than their age.

Even really smart people, like college professors, fall for it. 94% of college professors think their work is above average.[1]

No one wants to be just average, even if they’re in really good company.

You’d think that this illusion of being better than other people would cause problems for us. What if you applied for a job on the basis that you were better than average at what you did, but your on-the-job performance showed otherwise?

It turns out that it’s not much of a problem. Here’s why it can actually be a good thing.

Many people apply for positions they’re not quite qualified for, only to learn on the job and rise to the occasion. Thinking of yourself as better than you are, can give you the confidence to strive higher.

Novices who think they have some innate talent work harder to master a skill. Given that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to master anything, beginners need that motivation to keep at it—even if it’s a false belief.

So how can you use the self-enhancement bias to do better at dating?

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How to Be More Likeable… by Admitting to Embarrassing Truths

How to Be More LikeableTwo people are on a first date. They barely know one another. They’re just feeling each other out.

Let’s listen in:

MAN: Yeah, I guess I like to keep active. My buddies do this flag football thing every weekend.

WOMAN: That means no tackling, right?

MAN: (laughs) Yeah, that’s exactly right. How about you? What kind of stuff do you do?

WOMAN: (shrugs) You know, I try to get to the gym. Try being the key term in that sentence.

MAN: I hear you.

WOMAN: I do yoga. There’s a mountain trail I run on when I can.

MAN: I love mountain trails. I ride my bike around Fryman Canyon every weekend if I can. Do you ride?

WOMAN: (pause) Not much. Did you see that new DiCaprio movie?

Why did she pause? Why did she change the subject?

Because she doesn’t know how to ride a bike. But she didn’t want to tell him.

She felt embarrassed. She was worried he’d think less of her.

We do things like this all the time. We feel awkward or embarrassed, so we skirt the question.

And we think we’re protecting ourselves. We think we’re making it more likely that others will like us.

But according to research studies, the opposite is true.

When people sense that you are withholding information or avoiding a question, they like you less. Which is probably pretty obvious. If you think someone isn’t being upfront with you, it’s hard to trust them

But the studies reveal even more…

People who did disclose sensitive information were liked more than those who did not disclose something. Even if the information was negative or unflattering!

In the study, this was even true for some pretty bad disclosures.

For example, participants answered a question about whether or not they had ever lied to a partner about having an STD.

Some refused to answer. Others admitted to lying.

People were significantly more willing to date participants who admitted to lying to previous partners. Crazy, right?

Here’s how to use this information to build your irresistible qualities…

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Discover What Jealousy Can Teach You

learning from jealousyImagine:

The world has blown up. There are only two people left on Earth:

You … and Mr. Dreamy.

There’s no one else left. No rivals. No one thinner, prettier, or sexier. No one who’ll steal him from you.

Do you fall in love and live happily ever after?

It’s tempting to think that’s what it would take.

To get the attention of a Mr. Dreamy, you’d have to rid the world of other women. Other women are the problem. They’re the reason men look the other way.

Sounds a bit extreme!

But have you ever had thoughts like:

If only she wasn’t here, he’d pay attention to me.
She stole him from me, even though she knew I was interested in him.
I can’t compete with her. I’m no swimsuit model.

Jealousy makes a lot of sense when you operate from a “scarcity” mindset.

Scarcity is the idea that the dating pool is limited and there aren’t enough guys to go around. You have to fight to get in front, and then you have to fight to keep your man.

You’ll find a lot of support for that belief. It’s a popular one.

But if you stretch that belief to its logical conclusion—that the best way to snag a man is to get rid of the competition—you realize there’s a problem with scarcity thinking.

If the world blew up tomorrow, leaving only you and your ideal man, would you be happy?

Maybe you would. Maybe love is all you need. Maybe you don’t need other people.

But maybe Mr. Dreamy isn’t all he’s cracked up to be. You’d be left until the end of time with no one but a man for company. Might get boring. You might end up wishing for another woman to talk to.

To be happy, we need more than love. We need our social network around us.

Without friends, who would we vent about our other half to? You can love someone to the moon and back, but still need your friends for heart-to-hearts.

As long as there are other women in the world, there’s a chance your dream man might shift his attention away from you. And that’s a chance worth taking.

Instead of eliminating the competition, a better strategy is to look at what you do when you start feeling jealous.

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When You Don’t Feel Loved Enough in Your Relationship

don't feel loved enough in the relationshipMost of us spend our entire lives looking for love.

Our youth is consumed by it. No matter how much our parents loved us, it’s not the kind of love we crave. Nothing can substitute for romantic love. Dating feels like heaven, except when it feels like hell.

And yet…

It’s never enough.

You fall in love, it’s amazing, and then it just flatlines. He acts like he loves you, but you’re never quite sure if he really loves you. You don’t feel completely loved from top to toe. You keep yourself braced for the day you’re sure will come, when he decides he’s bored with you and it’s all over.

Why is it so hard to feel loved, even when you’re in a committed relationship?

Two things could be happening.

  1. You’re better at giving love than receiving it.

True story:

Dr. Harville Hendrix and his wife, Dr. Helen LaKelly Hunt, made their living talking about what makes relationships last. They developed an influential theory about why we choose the partners we choose.  Then they designed a style of couples therapy based on that theory.

And they were on the verge of divorce.

Not only was it humbling for them, but it was humiliating. They were internationally renowned relationship experts! And they couldn’t make their own marriage last?

They decided to give it one more year. Putting all their professional expertise to bear on their relationship, they finally figured it out:

They didn’t feel loved.

A surprising conclusion, to say the least. They’d been together for decades. They were kind, thoughtful, and loving to one another.

But knowing they were loved wasn’t the same thing as feeling loved.
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