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?

1. Think of yourself as more attractive than average – you’re better than average.

better than averageDo you really want to know how attractive you are on a scale of 1 to 10?

Don’t bother.

More important is how attractive you perceive yourself to be.

If you think you’re a 7 (as most people do), you won’t think twice about approaching a guy who’s above average in attractiveness. Your confidence alone can get you the guy.

2. Think of yourself as a more desirable dating prospect, you’re better than average.

If you’ve ever looked at your competition on a dating site, it can bring your hopes down to reality with a thud.

There are so many other women out there. And some of them have amazing profiles.

How would a man ever pick your profile from this crowd of competition?

Reading too many dating statistics also has this same effect on your confidence.

A famous 1986 cover story in Newsweek sparked outrage when the paper claimed that the chances of a 40-year-old woman marrying were less than the chances of being killed by a terrorist.

In light of that information, why bother dating at all?

It’s too hard, the chances of meeting anyone are too low, and there’s no point wasting all that time if you’re never going to find someone.

Thankfully, the self-enhancement bias rides to the rescue.

If you think of yourself as unique and distinct from the crowd, then you don’t have to worry about statistics. You’re not like other women. Those numbers don’t apply to you.

Feeling unique can give you the courage and confidence to put yourself out there, even in highly crowded scenes like Match.com or PlentyOfFish.com.

As the old saying goes, “You can’t win if you don’t play.”

3. Thinking highly of yourself makes you feel good, and better than average.

It’s nice to think of oneself as better than average. In a world where everyone strives to be above average, our self-esteem depends on it.

The self-enhancement bias supports your sense of well-being. When you feel good about yourself and your abilities, you’re more likely to try for your dreams, even if they seem difficult or impossible to achieve.

So would it help you to know exactly what everyone in your life really thinks of you?

Probably not. After all, research shows that depressed people are more realistic than everyone else.  But it saps their motivation.  It makes them more likely to give up instead of pressing on.

Discovering how other’s see you may not be that useful.  But here’s something that is: looking more closely at what you believe.

Believe the best of yourself, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s completely true. All that matters is the courage it gives you. Courage to strive for the best life possible, the best version of yourself, and the most enjoyment of your life and relationships along the way

[1] http://persweb.wabash.edu/facstaff/hortonr/articles%20for%20class/Dunning%20heath%20and%20suls%20flawed.pdf


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One thought on “You Really ARE Better Than Average

  1. myrna said:

    Thank you! It was motivating reading the info. I have some hope now. A little is better than none which is how I felt before reading this.

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