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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Force a Man To Like You More with this One Graceful Response

how to take a complimentDo you feel awkward when someone pays you a genuine complement?

Do you experience a sudden increase in self-consciousness?

Do you stammer or say nothing while averting your gaze?

Do you hit the person that complimented you and accuse him of lying (in a childish attempt to appear humble)?

Do you tell him to “shut up” or “save it” as if he is secretly poking fun at you instead of actually expressing admiration?

If you regularly engage in any of these types of responses, I have some highly sophisticated advice for you: STOP IT!!!

If you have already developed the social grace needed to receive a compliment well, please excuse me while I reach out a hand to those who never had the benefit of a good teacher in this particularly rare social skill.

To receive a compliment well, you need only do three things:

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My Friend Breathes Music

being in the presentDo you have this superpower? My friend is a social worker with a difficult job working on the inpatient unit of a mental health hospital. She has a forty-minute commute to work each day.

I was talking with her about an audiobook I was listening to while driving to my office one day. She seemed surprised that anyone would listen to a book while riding in the car. Her commentary was, “Music is like breathing for me. It’s life!”

That statement would not be so incredible if it were not for the fact that I could literally feel the joy emanating from her as she spoke those words. It was like happiness was dancing in her eyes, putting on a full Broadway production instead of the usual little sparkle that hints at joy.

She told me of some of the difficulties she faces at work and the way the music lifts her up, preparing her mind to embrace what good she can find during each workday. At least, that’s what I reflected back to her as I tried to practice good listening skills.

She corrected me by noting I had missed the point. “You’re close, James, but it’s a little deeper than that. I don’t use music as a tool to change my mental state. I become one with the music. I am the music. It’s my security and it’s my power.”

She went on to describe the way she rides the rhythms and the vibration of the music, experiencing it as a form of harmony or oneness. She explained how she rides that wave of power, security, and energy through the difficult interactions she faces during the course of each workday. All she has to do is let the fresh memory of the music play in her mind.

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