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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Beautiful People vs Beautiful Relationships

comparing yourself to others“He was only a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes.

But I have made him my friend, and now he is unique in all the world.”

– Antoine De Saint Exupery, The Little Prince

 

It’s a bad idea to compare yourself to other women. Not just a little bad. Epically bad.

I once dated an identical twin. We were already a couple before I met her sister, and I was more than a little nervous.

What if I found her sister attractive, too? I mean, they looked the same. Would I feel the same kind of feelings for this other person? And if I did, would the woman I was dating be able to tell?

The whole thing ended up being fairly anti-climactic. I didn’t feel anything special toward her sister. She looked just like my girlfriend, but that was about it.

I learned something important. It’s your history together that makes someone special. Not the way you look. Not your sense of humor, your intelligence, or even your values.

Am I saying those deeper qualities don’t matter? Of course not. Those are the things that make you who you are. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that stuff is inconsequential. It defines you.

But it doesn’t define your relationship. Your history together does.

If the guy you’re with meets another girl with a similar sense of humor, or mirror-image values, that doesn’t mean he’s going to feel the kind of connection he feels with you.

Those qualities are important. They played a role in bringing the two of you together. But your relationship is built on something he doesn’t have with anyone else. Something he can’t have with anyone else. Time with you.

Maybe he met you at a gym. He likes a woman who takes care of her body. He tells you this all the time. So it makes sense if you feel a little insecure when a physical trainer starts chatting him up. Her legs are even more toned than yours! Will he feel attracted to her?

He may find her legs attractive. I won’t lie. So…does that mean you need to hit the gym more often? Do you need to compete?

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