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Discussion #36 - Popularity

This is one of the most misunderstood subjects in the world, and yet one of the most important to many people. I must start by saying that I personally am not a naturally popular person, I have to work much harder at it than many others who make it seem effortless. My wife dances circles around me in this department, as she is a natural extrovert who is extremely gifted socially. Being married to a social superstar definitely has it's challenges, but it's not without it's rewards either.

There is a huge genetic component to human popularity that is largely beyond our control, but this does not mean that we are off the hook completely. Like in most areas of life, we still have a ton of control. It's just that it's very wise to be aware of our genetic strengths and weaknesses before trying to figure out the best way to play the cards we were dealt.

After all, much of life is still about survival, and this is something that is commonly forgotten in our modern day society. We have certainly advanced a lot since the caveman days, but competition for survival will never disappear completely. One of the favorite modern forms of this basic instinct of competition is human popularity. We can chastise the bullies of the world 'till the cows come home, but human beings will always continue to marginalize each other, almost for sport.

There is no scientific formula for popularity, but there are a few key things that people are subconsciously looking for. The first is confidence, as this indicates inner strength. Another is the sense that we are enjoying our life, as this feeling is contagious and will rub off on those around you. It's not necessary to be an all out party animal, as this is only a big deal to other party animals. The third key trait is that of being extroverted, which is genetic and thus largely out of our control. Here it's best to just be yourself, as faking it generally does not work very well.

The same logic applies to conforming or behaving like the people around you just to fit in. It may work for a while, but eventually they see right through the act. A better idea would be to find a social circle that actually gets you for real, no acting required. Introverted people also have qualities to their personalities that extroverts do not generally possess (to the same degree), but these are not generally advantageous for the purposes of popularity, unless those involved actually recognize and value them.

People are drawn to extroverts like bees are to honey, as their personalities are extremely entertaining (and we all love to be entertained). Introverts have an advantage in the health department, as we are generally not as concerned about the intense approval of others. A leopard should never try and change their spots. In youth we often fight them, but as we mature it becomes pretty obvious they are not going to change.

Other qualities which enhance popularity include humility, showing respect/interest, listening more/talking less, compassion, generosity (be careful with this one), perceived significance and many others. Although paying attention to these traits will almost definitely improve your relationships, we human beings are complicated creatures. What works for one will not necessarily work for others. I suggest experimenting to see what works for you, and this is assuming you actually care about popularity, as not everyone does.

Some of us have a large appetite for social interaction, and some a smaller one. Neither way is right or wrong, just different. We have only one healthy mortal lifespan, it's probably not a good idea to fill it up with too much stuff we do not really enjoy or care about. Many in life believe that everyone should be a social butterfly, and this attitude works out great for those who are biologically wired for it, but not so great for those who are not. At the end of the day, we are all different people who deserve to have the potential for a rich and fulfilling life, and this will look different for everyone.

Extroverts virtually always have a much larger social appetite, as socializing feeds their soul with energy in a major way. With introverts, it's basically the opposite, and it tends to drain our energy, whereas solitude tends to pump us up. Most of us are somewhere in between these two extremes, & at times enjoy both. Being extroverted is generally a huge advantage in the areas of success & popularity, and being introverted is generally a huge advantage in the areas of health & overall happiness.

The main reason for this last point, is that introverts are normally far more introspective & in tune with what's really going on in their subconscious mind. Also, extroverts tend to require far more external "turbo-charged stimulation" than introverts do, to get and remain happy in life. This obviously includes appetite for drama, which of course is basically just another form of stimulation.

Another large personality factor that greatly affects human popularity is the jocks vs. the geeks factor. Every society in the world is affected by this. Many countries are addressing bullying in recent years, but few people stop to think about the far more broad and subtle effects this personality trait has on societies and individuals. There is a strong correlation between this trait and human sexuality, as it is as well a spectrum. We all have a bit of geek and a bit of jock in us, it's just a question of to what degree in each.

This may sound trivial, but it's actually a very big deal, as most people tend to get fairly religious about this one. It permeates every form of human relationship we have, and greatly affects our popularity. Again, mainly genetic, so best not to fake being something you are not, but definitely something to pay attention to. Sports is not just about teams, games, players & winning, it's actually become a cultural religion in The West. Especially in smaller communities, where there is less cultural variety to choose from. For a straight guy to not be a member of this club, unfortunately can have large social implications, depending on the intellectual and/or creative levels of the social circle(s) involved. As a result, many do just fake it to fit in. The genetic thirst for intense competition varies a lot from person to person.

It's interesting that the youth of today seem fairly obsessed with the image of being "cool", and yet the word "cool" isn't even considered cool any more. Even the definition of what it means to be cool keeps changing. If it's your natural personality then great, but if it's not, then who cares? It's just a trend anyway. It's not wise to care too much about this sort of thing in life. Most people are too busy being heavily absorbed into how others perceive them anyway, so why sweat it? Caring too much about this actually contributes to coming off as being "uncool".

The geeks of the world (of which I am a member), have made some great progress in recent years, thanks mainly to technology and the information age. It is now far cooler to be a geek than ever before in history (think Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, The Big Bang Theory (show), etc.). Even so, it's my personal opinion that it's very wise to pay attention to and not be in denial of this trait, as it is a very powerful one. Many who are hard extreme on either end of this spectrum will try to use it to pump up their own perceived significance, as it is a very big part of the human ego to think that our own personality type is dramatically superior. One tip though; If you are a geek, try injecting a little more jock into your lifestyle, as it's far healthier for your body than constant geek activities.

Another interesting personality trait that greatly influences popularity is that of the "alpha male" (a very chauvinistic term as it's very present in many females as well). A big issue in the animal kingdom, this trait is also a fairly big deal in the human world as well. This term encompasses many sub-traits, but can be summarized by the general headings of genetic leadership abilities and pack protection instincts. Although "alpha" is generally wrapped in a thick blanket of ego, it is very real, and very attractive to many other humans.

This is mainly due to our basic primal instinct for survival, and our subconscious knowledge of how important it is. This partially explains why jocks and geeks have historically had such a strong difference in popularity. This entire situation is evolving however, with the challenge of survival now becoming more financial, and less hand-to-hand combat. As intelligence becomes more valuable in our world financially, it's becoming more attractive (and sexy) to people (of both sexes) as we evolve.

How much you crave the classic modern obsession of drinking and watching sports is probably the best test around for measuring the degree of jock you have in your personality. This test obviously looks a little different for females (without trying to sound too chauvinistic). We are, however, very different creatures (men & women). How we socialize is also very different, with many men not nearly as concerned with constant social interaction, & therefore popularity (as much). Men are commonly far more independent, and tend to value our "alone" time a fair bit more.

There should almost be a third category in this discussion for the artistic folks, but generally we're perceived as geeks too (maybe not rock stars or rappers). There's always a big danger in over-labelling people, as every individual is completely unique and complex. The reason for it is simply to analyze and better understand basic human differences. The most common & effective method for improving one's own popularity in this life, is basically to just be less intense or aggressive, & more outgoing & assertive. Also, whatever your basic personality type, try injecting a little more "alpha" into it. You'll be amazed at the difference it makes to your overall popularity.
Discussion #36 - Popularity

This is one of the most misunderstood subjects in the world, and yet one of the most important to many people. I must start by saying that I personally am not a naturally popular person, I have to work much harder at it than many others who make it seem effortless. My wife dances circles around me in this department, as she is a natural extrovert who is extremely gifted socially. Being married to a social superstar definitely has it's challenges, but it's not without it's rewards either.

There is a huge genetic component to human popularity that is largely beyond our control, but this does not mean that we are off the hook completely. Like in most areas of life, we still have a ton of control. It's just that it's very wise to be aware of our genetic strengths and weaknesses before trying to figure out the best way to play the cards we were dealt.

After all, much of life is still about survival, and this is something that is commonly forgotten in our modern day society. We have certainly advanced a lot since the caveman days, but competition for survival will never disappear completely. One of the favorite modern forms of this basic instinct of competition is human popularity. We can chastise the bullies of the world 'till the cows come home, but human beings will always continue to marginalize each other, almost for sport.

There is no scientific formula for popularity, but there are a few key things that people are subconsciously looking for. The first is confidence, as this indicates inner strength. Another is the sense that we are enjoying our life, as this feeling is contagious and will rub off on those around you. It's not necessary to be an all out party animal, as this is only a big deal to other party animals. The third key trait is that of being extroverted, which is genetic and thus largely out of our control. Here it's best to just be yourself, as faking it generally does not work very well.

The same logic applies to conforming or behaving like the people around you just to fit in. It may work for a while, but eventually they see right through the act. A better idea would be to find a social circle that actually gets you for real, no acting required. Introverted people also have qualities to their personalities that extroverts do not generally possess (to the same degree), but these are not generally advantageous for the purposes of popularity, unless those involved actually recognize and value them.

People are drawn to extroverts like bees are to honey, as their personalities are extremely entertaining (and we all love to be entertained). Introverts have an advantage in the health department, as we are generally not as concerned about the intense approval of others. A leopard should never try and change their spots. In youth we often fight them, but as we mature it becomes pretty obvious they are not going to change.

Other qualities which enhance popularity include humility, showing respect/interest, listening more/talking less, compassion, generosity (be careful with this one), perceived significance and many others. Although paying attention to these traits will almost definitely improve your relationships, we human beings are complicated creatures. What works for one will not necessarily work for others. I suggest experimenting to see what works for you, and this is assuming you actually care about popularity, as not everyone does.

Some of us have a large appetite for social interaction, and some a smaller one. Neither way is right or wrong, just different. We have only one healthy mortal lifespan, it's probably not a good idea to fill it up with too much stuff we do not really enjoy or care about. Many in life believe that everyone should be a social butterfly, and this attitude works out great for those who are biologically wired for it, but not so great for those who are not. At the end of the day, we are all different people who deserve to have the potential for a rich and fulfilling life, and this will look different for everyone.

Extroverts virtually always have a much larger social appetite, as socializing feeds their soul with energy in a major way. With introverts, it's basically the opposite, and it tends to drain our energy, whereas solitude tends to pump us up. Most of us are somewhere in between these two extremes, & at times enjoy both. Being extroverted is generally a huge advantage in the areas of success & popularity, and being introverted is generally a huge advantage in the areas of health & overall happiness.

The main reason for this last point, is that introverts are normally far more introspective & in tune with what's really going on in their subconscious mind. Also, extroverts tend to require far more external "turbo-charged stimulation" than introverts do, to get and remain happy in life. This obviously includes appetite for drama, which of course is basically just another form of stimulation.

Another large personality factor that greatly affects human popularity is the jocks vs. the geeks factor. Every society in the world is affected by this. Many countries are addressing bullying in recent years, but few people stop to think about the far more broad and subtle effects this personality trait has on societies and individuals. There is a strong correlation between this trait and human sexuality, as it is as well a spectrum. We all have a bit of geek and a bit of jock in us, it's just a question of to what degree in each.

This may sound trivial, but it's actually a very big deal, as most people tend to get fairly religious about this one. It permeates every form of human relationship we have, and greatly affects our popularity. Again, mainly genetic, so best not to fake being something you are not, but definitely something to pay attention to. Sports is not just about teams, games, players & winning, it's actually become a cultural religion in The West. Especially in smaller communities, where there is less cultural variety to choose from. For a straight guy to not be a member of this club, unfortunately can have large social implications, depending on the intellectual and/or creative levels of the social circle(s) involved. As a result, many do just fake it to fit in. The genetic thirst for intense competition varies a lot from person to person.

It's interesting that the youth of today seem fairly obsessed with the image of being "cool", and yet the word "cool" isn't even considered cool any more. Even the definition of what it means to be cool keeps changing. If it's your natural personality then great, but if it's not, then who cares? It's just a trend anyway. It's not wise to care too much about this sort of thing in life. Most people are too busy being heavily absorbed into how others perceive them anyway, so why sweat it? Caring too much about this actually contributes to coming off as being "uncool".

The geeks of the world (of which I am a member), have made some great progress in recent years, thanks mainly to technology and the information age. It is now far cooler to be a geek than ever before in history (think Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, The Big Bang Theory (show), etc.). Even so, it's my personal opinion that it's very wise to pay attention to and not be in denial of this trait, as it is a very powerful one. Many who are hard extreme on either end of this spectrum will try to use it to pump up their own perceived significance, as it is a very big part of the human ego to think that our own personality type is dramatically superior. One tip though; If you are a geek, try injecting a little more jock into your lifestyle, as it's far healthier for your body than constant geek activities.

Another interesting personality trait that greatly influences popularity is that of the "alpha male" (a very chauvinistic term as it's very present in many females as well). A big issue in the animal kingdom, this trait is also a fairly big deal in the human world as well. This term encompasses many sub-traits, but can be summarized by the general headings of genetic leadership abilities and pack protection instincts. Although "alpha" is generally wrapped in a thick blanket of ego, it is very real, and very attractive to many other humans.

This is mainly due to our basic primal instinct for survival, and our subconscious knowledge of how important it is. This partially explains why jocks and geeks have historically had such a strong difference in popularity. This entire situation is evolving however, with the challenge of survival now becoming more financial, and less hand-to-hand combat. As intelligence becomes more valuable in our world financially, it's becoming more attractive (and sexy) to people (of both sexes) as we evolve.

How much you crave the classic modern obsession of drinking and watching sports is probably the best test around for measuring the degree of jock you have in your personality. This test obviously looks a little different for females (without trying to sound too chauvinistic). We are, however, very different creatures (men & women). How we socialize is also very different, with many men not nearly as concerned with constant social interaction, & therefore popularity (as much). Men are commonly far more independent, and tend to value our "alone" time a fair bit more.

There should almost be a third category in this discussion for the artistic folks, but generally we're perceived as geeks too (maybe not rock stars or rappers). There's always a big danger in over-labelling people, as every individual is completely unique and complex. The reason for it is simply to analyze and better understand basic human differences. The most common & effective method for improving one's own popularity in this life, is basically to just be less intense or aggressive, & more outgoing & assertive. Also, whatever your basic personality type, try injecting a little more "alpha" into it. You'll be amazed at the difference it makes to your overall popularity.