We seldom enjoy being made to feel figured out. An air of mysticism is often considered to be a beneficial trait to uphold. We tend to like having an ace of spades in our back pocket to use with discretion. We don’t want others to know about our every move. Being legitimately figured out and “read” by others places us in a powerless position. Though we’d likely not seek to deliver pain to those who’ve figured us out, we wouldn’t be able to even if we did.
Their act of figuring us out would entail being prepared for plans we may have to win against them. The opposite side of the same coin rings true as well. Those who figure us out can deliver pain which we may not be able to defend against. Since they’d know more information about us than we’d know about them, they’d have the upper hand in many forms of altercations.
There are however, benefits to confirming others’ attempts to figure you out. From a social relationship standpoint, this article will view the attempts of others to “figure us out” as opportunities to make them like us more than before. As people observe you and attempt to place labels on you, confirming the validity of those labels can be a great tool to exert your influence over those people.
We Like Those We Feel We Know
A person’s attempt to study you may include their attempts to voice the observations they make. A new friend may tell you that you sway side to side when ordering a meal at the local fast food joint. Another individual can notice a subtle behavior you thought nobody else noticed. They may notice that you’re not a fan of people who don’t give straight answers, and may figure out that you’re rather intense in business negotiations.
Sometimes, others’ observations of us are difficult to validate and confirm. We may not be proud of being a difficult individual to negotiate with during board meetings at work. We may feel as if someone’s observation of our tendencies or behavior exposes a weakness that we possess. Or we may simply be embarrassed of being associated with whatever trait that someone notices about our behavior.
It’s important to remember people’s tendency to like those they feel like they know. Akin to you liking to do things that you’re relatively good at, people like being around those they feel like they know well. Your act of validating others’ observations of your behavior will encourage them to feel like they know you more than they knew you prior to voicing their observation. Since they’d be successful in observing you, it would mean that they’ve been around you for a meaningful amount of time. It would also mean that they’ve given your behavior some thought, and performed analyses which made sense. Your confirmation of the culminated observation that they voice would give greater meaning to the time and effort they spent to be around you.
After confirming people’s valid observations of you, it seems that a stronger bond is formed between yourself and that individual. Though they’d likely place you in a vulnerable position of being figured out, they’ll notice that you don’t act defensively in the face of being figured out. Your confirmation of their observation will be recognized as a placement of trust in their ability to analyze your behavior. You’d unveil some of your vulnerability for them to notice, and you’d communicate the fact that you trust them with that knowledge.
We Deem Ourselves to Be More Objective Than Others
The second advantage of confirming people’s observations of you, lies around their desire to consider themselves to be operating objectively. Your validation of their observation will communicate the fact that you can look at yourself objectively. Even if an observation of theirs is biased, they’d be prepared for you to somehow refute it. In their mind, someone who wholeheartedly supports someone else’s observation will seem to be an objective individual. It’s difficult for individuals to step outside of their self and agree with a third person’s observation.
The advantage at hand, doesn’t lie in them thinking that you’re an objective individual. The advantage, lies in them inferring themselves to be an objective individual since you, as an objective individual, would have agreed with their seemingly objective observation. By adopting the label of being objective enough to agree with their observation, you’d label their observation to be objective in itself. You’d not only encourage honest, objective, feedback from them going forward, you’d also improve their perception of you as someone to talk to.
We like those who consider us to be objective individuals. If this article made an effort to label its readers to be objective individuals, the people reading this would be likelier to return to read more articles like this. Telling someone that they’re an objective thinker is therefore a meaningful compliment to give out. We love to be considered objective, and those who aren’t objective at all, seem to love saying that they’re objective more than the rest.
By inherently labeling the people who make observations about your behavior to be objective individuals, you’ll encourage them to be around you. They’ll want to continue to uphold that label by voluntarily offering constructive feedback on your state of being. You’d thereby be witness to the advantages of having someone want to be around you, and offer what they believe to be objective feedback.
Next in line: