Bait the Hook to Suit the Fish

Greeting Barbarians! Long days and pleasant nights!

A few days ago, I was reading some online rage comments on social media. It involves my friend, who is a tattoo artist, declining work from a potential customer. The customer demanded too much while at the same time dictating what the price should be. He was low balling my friend; this causes my friend to decline to his offer politely. This, in turn made the customer insecure and throw a few nasty words towards my friend. If only he saw what my friend saw, this would all be avoided. All my friend wanted was reasonable compensation for his efforts.

But before we continue, I’d like to ask first for some help. As you all know blogging is a lot of hard work, not that I’m complaining, but I needed your help in maintaining it. No, I’m not going to ask you for some spare change (that would be too embarrassing), but I will tell you about Shopback.

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Now, back to my friend…

The customer spends his time talking about what he wants, without even considering my friend. He failed to realize the simple fact that my friend does this for a living…

You see, no one is interested in what you want but you. In cases where someone else wanted what you wanted, that’s their version of what you wanted. We, humans, are selfish in nature, we are driven by our desires and wants. There’s nothing wrong with that, but failure to accept that is a failure to accept being human. Even the act of selflessness is selfish, it was driven by your desire to be selfless.

It should become clear now what must be done to influence other people. Artisan bakers didn’t bake those pastries out of the goodness of their hearts. Thinking as such is the epitome of naivete, there’s always a core desire or want that propels actions. I wouldn’t be blogging if not for some intrinsic desire on my part to somehow put my thoughts into writing 

Learn how to appeal to other people’s self-interest. “But isn’t that being beta, Mr. A?”, you ask. My answer, Why, did you compromise yourself in doing so? “Isn’t that manipulative?”, you ask again. No, if you honor what they wanted to get yours; it becomes manipulative if you have no plan of keeping your word.

Most people these days, advocate brutal honesty and authenticity. People would rather say what’s on their mind instead of looking for common ground. Is it that bad when people try to see your point? Is it such dishonesty when other people try to agree with you? People are quick to call out prejudice when the basis of their principles are in fact, prejudiced.

Understanding people’s self-interest creates confidence in dealing with people. It allows you to enter arguments with levelheadedness and end it on a good note even if it’s not resolved.

Develop a genuine interest in other people, try to see things from their point of view. Avoid a lot of disagreement and conflict with a simple grasp of human behavior.


“We have always known that heedless self interest was bad morals, we now know that it is bad economics.”
― Franklin Delano Roosevelt

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