Listening in to other people’s conversations can tell you a lot about human nature.
Now, I don’t mean sneaking over to your neighbor’s house and putting you ear to their door.
I mean when you’re hanging out with your friends.
It can be a lot of fun to take the “observer” position from time to time.
Keep in mind this is different than using that as an excuse for not getting involved.
But next time you’re hanging out with three or four people, keep quiet for a few minutes and just notice the exchange.
Notice how people “put their ideas out there,” notice people’s eye movements and facial expressions when they speak, and more importantly, when they finish speaking.
Some people quickly look around, hoping their idea is accepted, or hoping it’s not rejected.
Some people look away, like they can’t bear to see.
Some people stare at others, as if they are aggressively daring others to contradict them.
Now, this all happens subconsciously, and few people will EVER be aware that this is going on.
But it is.
Evolutionary scientists tell us that all human interaction is a kind of “frame war,” which is a remnant of our evolutionary past.
When we were hunter-gatherers, our social status was absolutely crucial.
Those that had MORE social status got more sex, and food. And then passed on those “get more social status genes” to more kids.
Amongst animals, there’s an idea of a “pecking order.” It literally comes from chickens, who are in a group with a certain hierarchy. The “dominant’ ones get to eat, or peck first when food shows up. Then on down the line.
Whenever a new member is introduced into the group, there’s a kind of “domination showdown” to establish the NEW pecking order.
Our human instincts are based on operating within a group of about 300 people.
Which means all the people you interact with are, on a caveman level, people who you are UNSURE about, with regards to THEIR level in the pecking order.
Which is why you see all these “frame wars” in conversations, even amongst friends.
Because part of our subconscious is ALWAYS trying to move up the social chain.
Now, if you point this out to people, they will deny it. Because admitting consciously that you want more social status sounds pretty shallow. And admitting this out loud will actually LOWER your social status.
Which is why EVERYBODY is hard wired to keep it on the down low.
Which is why watching people talk is so much fun. Like watching a boxing match.
Of course, there are plenty of ways to INCREASE your ability to carefully and COVERTLY move up the social chain, without anybody knowing.
They’ll just know there’s something different about YOU.
Something that makes them want to agree with you. Support you. Follow you.
Think that would be useful?