Most people don’t know what they want to do, where they want to eat or how they feel about things. Instead, they let mass media and the strong leaders in their lives decide for them.
As a man, you have the power and responsibility to be one of those leaders. Whether you want to help others or dominate them, this is an ability you naturally possess – and it’s easier to exercise than you think.
Let’s talk about why the people around you don’t know what they’re doing and what you should do about it.
Nobody Knows Anything
As a kid, I’d look at grown-ups and other children and think they have all the answers. This is natural – growing up, we learn “normal” behavior from peers and adults.
Unfortunately, we often get used to being led by others and keep looking for someone to follow when we grow up. This causes people to do crazy things – e.g. worship celebrities and letting mass media influence their values.
It finally hit me that nobody really knows anything a few years ago. By nature, I dislike leading and being lead – I believe in equal relationships. However, I noticed that many of my everyday conversations went like this:
Me: OK, so what do you guys wanna do?
Friend 1: I don’t know.. I could eat?
Friend 2: I don’t know about food, what else is there?
Me: Well, we could go watch a movie.
Friend 1: Alright, that sounds good. What movie should we see?
Friend 2: I don’t know…
Me: How about the new Aquaman movie?
Friend 1: OK, let’s go!
Friend 2: Yep, sounds good.
As much as I wanted to make decisions collectively, the people in my life rarely knew what they wanted. Unless I guided them towards a definite outcome, discussions would always drag on.
The same was true for debates. I realized that few had strong opinions or stuck to their guns in arguments. Even worse, they got their ideas from other people and mass media instead of forming them independently. In short, they weren’t sure of anything – ever.
Out of a desire to simplify my life, I decided to try something new – I became more assertive in my opinions and suggestions. That’s when interesting things started to happen.
The Power Of Conviction
Think of a kid getting picked on in school. He gets called “fat” or “ugly” and really starts to feel this way, simply because a child with a strong opinion called him those things. Adults aren’t much different.
When I made the choice to ask less questions and make more assertive suggestions, people would agree and obey. In fact, they enjoyed being lead because it removed the strain and responsibility of decision-making.
This was shocking to me, but that’s how social dynamics work. Humans prefer to take the path of least resistance, and you can create that path by creating scenarios where someone else simply has to say “Yes.”
This is especially true with women. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 20 years, you’ve heard that “girls like guys who can lead” millions of times. Well, the rabbit hole goes pretty deep on that one – the women in my life love letting me make the decisions in just about everything.
And no – there is nothing you have to change to “transform” into a leader. The people around you don’t know what the hell they’re doing; simply having a strong opinion will make them follow you.
Guiding People: The Blueprint
It sounds a bit creepy, but the vast majority of people prefer to be followers; not leaders. It is therefore your responsibility to guide them if you have the capacity and knowledge to do so.
To make people like you and convince them to take on your ideas, simply have strong opinions; suggest instead of asking; never flinch or waver. Don’t be a bully but don’t be shy about sharing your thoughts and desires.
To guide people towards specific actions or choices in conversation without being overbearing or rude, you can use these patterns:
- Why don’t we… [Go get a drink?]
- Are you cool to… [Have lunch at T.G.I. tomorrow?]
- Let’s … [go back to my place and cook something] … Alright?
- [Give me a backrub] … Please.
You’re not talking to household pets, so you shouldn’t give direct verbal orders. But suggesting an action that’s easy to say “Yes” to while being polite/leaving an exit strategy (Alright?, please, etc) will compel most people to do what you ask of them.
This is one of those things that doesn’t seem real until you experience it. That’s why it works – we all believe that other people know what they’re doing. This is why people will follow you if you act like an assertive leader.
Just remember that with great power comes great responsibility. When the people around you feel compelled to obey your suggestions, it’s tempting to take advantage of them.
But if you’re at the point in your life where you’ve decided to step up and apply the advice in this post, I’m sure you’re better than that. Now go out there and be an awesome leader to the people in your life.