Your plans and schemes are most powerful when they catch others by surprise.
Unpredictability helps draw attention to the positive actions you commit, if they’re not expected by those who look on.
Unpredictability can mean allowing others to hear you sing beautifully for the first time, and may govern the act of solving a Rubik’s cube when someone hands you one by chance. You can take advantage of the positive attention you garner by surprising people in your social interactions.
This short article is about establishing unpredictability and using it to your advantage in social situations.
Why Unpredictable People Have the Upper Hand
The people you speak with anticipate the words you’re about to utter. We consistently try to predict what the reactions of those we interact with will be, and try to plan around those predictions. We send inquiries, messages, and signs to others, then, our minds wander prior to receiving a response. If someone goes on to act in ways which we completely fail to anticipate, they have an upper hand until further analysis allows us to understand their motivations.
In being unpredictable, their reaction cannot be effectively responded to until we study its mechanics. Why did they react the way they did? What is the most appropriate response to their reaction? These questions must first be answered prior to responding to someone who acts in unpredictable ways.
Your unpredictability should result in a positive interpretation by those who analyze you. It is easy to be unpredictable to a point of hurting your social standing in the eyes of others. To be unpredictable enough to be respected however, is a trickier undertaking. This article aims to encourage you to be unpredictable by not doing things that are easy or desirable. Staying away from these two traits will encourage unpredictability in your words and actions and is a simple, practical, guiding principle to operate by.
What Is Easy
People have a sensitive radar for what is easy. If you are faced with picking one of two paths which differ in difficulty, those who look on will expect you to pick the easier one to travel on. If you make it a habit of picking the difficult path in life, onlookers will be surprised, and their respect will be garnered. Our respect is commanded by those who do things we find difficult to do. Those who acknowledge your tendency to tackle difficult tasks will respect you. They will seek advice, and they will follow your lead in the things you find interest in.
The act of taking a difficult path can be completed within social interactions too. Honestly apologizing for a mistake is more difficult than trying to find excuses for your behavior. Saying, “I’ll miss you,” is more difficult than merely saying goodbye to a friend who’s flying off to another country for a while. Practice saying what’s difficult for you to say, and placing yourself in positions which are difficult for you to be in, socially. If you practice acting and speaking in a positive manner which most would tend to shy away from, you will be memorable in the mind of your listener.
If you’re evaluating options of next steps – whether physically or cognitively – try veering toward the path which is the more difficult one once in a while. You will be unpredictable in your habit of doing so, and people will be caught pleasantly off-guard when you volunteer yourself to bear the responsibility that taking difficult paths in life entails.
What Is Desirable
On a similar note, desire is something humans are bad at ignoring. The cheesecake often looks too good pass by, and another drink often seems too seductive to turn down. Those who consistently fall victim to desire are not respected by the ones around them. A person who falls victim to the desires of the world around him/her is weak in spirit, and unhealthy in body. Practice ignoring your desires to be unpredictable in life. Practice saying no to what most would say yes to based on its attractive properties. Practice overcoming sexual thoughts and mammalian urges, not indulging in sugary foods for mere oral pleasure, and not allowing anger to drive your being into a dark existence.
People have a good sense of when someone’s falling victim to desire. Seeing your friend keep reaching for another beer educates you on how well they cope with desire. The same goes for someone who cannot walk down the street without commenting on their desire to fondle the attractive people that they see. People who fall victim to desire, let desire control their thoughts and actions. They are not respected by the people who are in control of their desires.
Practice ignoring, and overcoming the tendency to indulge in the desirable fruits of the life you live. Be respected for your ability to take ownership of your actions rather than allowing desire to steer you through the life you live. People will be pleasantly surprised if you are successful in this domain, and will be naturally drawn to you for your traits of mental fortitude.