Psychology

Books

The 5 love languages | Gary Chapman


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Published in: 1992

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According to Chapman, there are five different “love languages”; (1) Words of affirmation, (2) Quality time, (3) Receiving gifts, (4) Acts of service and (5) Physical touch. Not knowing a close one’s language, can cause situations similar to if one person speaks Chinese and another English. Like all human theory, however, it is not quite that simple – there are a variety of dialects and combinations. One way to identify your partner’s love language – in addition to asking – is to pay attention to what it is complained about. If you speak different languages, you may still have a good relationship if you actively speak each other’s.

“We can receive love through all five, but if we don’t receive our primary love language, we will not feel loved even though the person is speaking the other four. However, if they speak our primary love language sufficiently, then the other four provide icing on the cake”

THE LOVE TANK. According to Chapman, people – much like a car have a fuel tank – have a love tank that feels best when it is full. If we do not regularly re-fill, a feeling of emptiness arises. Chapman discusses how children who do not receive closeness, love and appreciation often grow up and become confused and unhappy as adults.

“Psychologists, psychiatrists, sociologists, anthropologists and educators have suggested in countless studies and numerous research papers that love is a “learned response, a learned emotion”.. most of us continue to behave as though love is not learned but lies dormant in each human being and simply awaits some mystical age of awareness to emerge in full bloom. We seem to refuse to face the obvious fact that most of us spend our lives trying to find love, trying to live in it and dying without ever truly discovering it”

THE TWO-YEAR RULE. Studies have shown that the period when a couple is newly in love rarely lasts longer than two years. During this period, one cannot see shortcomings, and have irrational thoughts that nothing else in life matters. The tank is well stocked without effort. The next step may be passionate, but it must be fed and nurtured. If you do not speak each other’s love language, the relationship does not reach its full potential. You must be aware that you have slipped into a new phase and adjust accordingly.

“The choice to live is the choice to take initiative. It is the choice to do or say something for the other person’s benefit, something that would help make them a better person, something that would enrich their lives or make life more meaningful for them. We can’t make other people to change, but we can influence people to make changes”

WORDS OF AFFIRMATION. This language is for those who need hear praise and confirmation. Lack of verbal affirmation is interpreted as lack of love. To these you can call and say something encouraging and that you appreciate everything they have done over the years – the answer does not matter much.

GIFTS. Anthropologists have not found a culture where gifts (without reservation) are not a sign of love. If there is an ulterior motive, it is not a gift but a deal. It should be a genuine expression of love. Listen to what they are interested in and come up with great gifts to give.

ACTS OF SERVICE. Someone who appreciate classic services such as helping at home or something similar. If someone says “no, I’d rather do it myself” it is not a rejection. This means that you do not want to speak that language at the moment.

QUALITY TIME. Quality time with each other is not the same as just being in the same room. “We do not serve each other by avoiding one another’s weaknesses. Often, we help them simply by listening as they share their struggles. Empathetic listening is an awesome medication for the hurting heart”.

PHYSICAL TOUCH. If a person’s primary love language is physical closeness, then closeness will speak louder than words. A hug or a pat on the shoulder can mean more than words.

PARENTAL RELATIONSHIP. Improving the relationship with parents can have a positive effect on a person’s emotional well-being. Chapman writes: “When there is mutual love and honor between parents and adult children, both experience a positive state of emotional health, which in turn positively affects their physical health, which results in longer, more fulfilling lives. Love breaks down barriers, leaps over walls and seeks the well-being of another”.

Books

Influence | Robert Cialdini


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Published in: 1984

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Robert Cialdini is regarded by many as a guru on influence. In this book he introduces various tactics used by salespeople, car dealers, and fundraisers to influence us into saying yes. He referred to these tactics as six weapons of influence: Reciprocity, Social validation, Commitment/consistency, Scarcity,  Liking, and authority. These tendencies are very powerful on their own, but when they are used together, they cause a so-called lollapalooza effect. Tupperware parties, for example, use four of these six tendencies.

CLICK, WHIRR. These behaviors occur in virtually the same fashion and the same order every time (nothing in human social interactions works always but often enough that behavioral scientists have labelled these as tendencies). It is almost as if the patterns were recorded on tapes. Click and the appropriate tape is activated, and whirr and out rolls the standard sequence of behaviors. For customers, for example, price alone can become a trigger feature for quality, and a dramatic increase in price alone can lead to a dramatic increase in sales among the quality-hungry buyers. Click, whirr.   

RECIPROCITY. We say yes to those we owe and will often go to great lengths to avoid being seen as someone who make no effort to reciprocate. We even end up complying with someone’s request even if we do not like them. For example, Hare Krishna’s members would forcefully give a flower to a passerby before asking for donations.

SOCIAL PROOF. People are influenced by what others do. At an unfamiliar event or situation, we look to others for the correct etiquette. The more the people doing it, the more we believe that the behavior is correct. This is why it is effective for bartenders to seed their tip jars with a few dollars to give the impression that tipping is the norm.

COMMITMENT & CONSISTENCY. We want to be (and to be seen) as consistent since it is a socially attractive trait – it signals trustworthiness. That is why we stand a greater chance of sticking to goals we have written down or verbally stated. Also, stubborn consistency also allows us to avoid thinking. The same tendency can be exploited by salespeople by agreeing to small requests that may appear inconsequential in the beginning, but with the effect of altering one’s self-image (we are more consistent if we believe that we did it for our own purpose).

“When a person has signed an order for your merchandise, even though the profit is small, he is no longer a prospect – he is a customer”

SCARCITY. On the “pyramid” of availability we like to top. Opportunities seem more valuable when their availability is limited. Marketers take advantage of this tendency when they launch a “limited edition”. We make the worst decision when a timer clock ticks (limited with time). That is why auctions are so seductive.

LIKING. The strength of a social bond is twice as likely to produce a sale than the preference for the product (i.e., Tupperware). One of the subgroups of Liking is “Similarity” – we like people who are like us or customized to us. Take a group photo and show it to the group and notice that everybody will first look at themselves. Information about yourself is a strong “magnet of attraction” – we like it, and we want it customized for it. Liking is also caused by Physical attractiveness (the halo effect), Compliments (we are suckers of flattery), Contact and cooperation (familiarity with someone), and Conditioning and association (“kill the messenger” and vice-versa, and the assumption that we have the same personality traits as our friends).

AUTHORITY. The famous Stanley Milgram experiments has showed that the greater the perceived authority of a person, the more likely people are to comply. The sense of responsibility disappears when we do as a leader says.  We are vulnerable to symbols of authority such as titles and clothes. In marketing, as often seen in commercials, this tactic is used by letting authorities convey the message.

UNITY – (FROM THE BOOK PRE-SUASATION). In his book Pre-Suasion, released in 2017, Cialdini added Unity as a 7th principle. The idea of being a team of greatest credibility, and that is why true win-wins are so strong. If there is one quality we want to see in those we interact with, it is trust. In his annual reports, Warren Buffett establishes his credibility early. He describes a mistake he has made or problems the company has encountered and examines the consequences for future outcomes. Rather than burying, minimizing or wallpapering difficulties, Buffett first shows that he is fully aware of the problems and partly fully willing to expose them. When he then describes the strength of Berkshire, readers trust him. The feeling of unity can be interpreted from below:

“With that warning, I will tell you what I would say to my family if they asked me about Berkshires future” – Warren Buffett

Books

Attached | Amir Levine & Rachel Heller


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Published in: 2012

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Finding a partner to pass on our genes is often regarded as a biological necessity. It is not based on the idea that man should be picky or try to find “the right one”. This objective has emerged in today’s modern world where choices are endless. Too much pickiness can create problems, nobody is perfect. However, the authors means that there are help to get in the new science of adult attachment when it comes to find – and keep – love. This book addresses three types of relationship types; Secure, Anxious and Avoidant. In short, humans are quite rigid in their personality.

”Relationships should not be left to chance. Relationships are one of the most rewarding of human experiences, above and beyond other gifts that life has to offer”.

ATTACHED. Studies have shown that once “attached”, two people create a psychological unit. You begin to have the same blood pressure, heart rate and breathe in the same way. You know what the other person should say before he or she has said it. The Attached phenomenon is a survival mechanism – if one person in a couple became upset or are scared, the other would be in sync to help. Studies have shown that the brain reacts in the same way when a relationship ends as when we break a bone. The psychological unit has disintegrated.

SECURE. A person of the type called “Secure” feels safe with intimacy. Usually he or she are warm, loving, stable and secure in themselves. About 50% of all people in this category are characterized by the fact that they: (1) resolve conflicts fairly quickly and cleanly, (2) do not play games, (3) are comfortable with proximity, but do not demand it, (4) forgive easily and (5) treats its partner like royalty.

ANXIOUS. A person of the “anxious” type is dependent on intimacy and a very large focus is placed on the relationship. They are constantly worried that their partner will no longer love them or be unfaithful. About 20% of all people fall into this category. They often play games to try to keep their partner’s interest up.

AVOIDANT. A person of the “aviodant” type is afraid of getting too close to someone and sees intimacy as a loss of independence. They try to keep people at a reasonable distance but occasionally let their partner get close. About 25% are of this category and as a group they are usually less happy in long-term conditions. Studies have shown that a strong belief in independence is closely linked to a low convenience for intimacy, which means that they: (1) send out mixed signals, (2) desperately look for “the right one”, (3) think that their partner demands too much intimacy or are too sensitive and (4) is the personality type most often unfaithful.

MATCHING. A person who is secure can usually be with anyone, but has the most stable relationship with someone who is also secure. Anxious and Avoidant do not fit very well together but are often drawn to each other. The one who is anxious may find the avoidant a bit exciting. The one who is avoidant can quickly have needs met by someone who is extra “on” to then withdraw. The result is a game where they pull each other in different directions and when the flame goes out, the chance is small to hold together.

A RIGGED GAME. People of the type anxious and avoidant may try to find people who are secure. But despite the fact that 50% of all people are secure, most are already in long-term relationships, which means that the majority of participants in the dating market are anxious or avoidant. Unfortunately, they are attracted to each other in the short term. Both types think that the other is more exciting. Also, they usually think that those who are secure are a little too unexciting.

BE STRAIGHT FORWARD. If you want to find a long-term stable relationship and have children within three years, it may be wise to say so from the beginning. Although this may scare away a bunch of speculators, you do not have to sacrifice a few years in a relationship that could have been avoided. You should go out early with what you want and what you do not want.

HEALTH EFFECTS. Studies have shown that people in good and safe conditions have better blood and heart values – and vice versa. Just as two perfect legs and a bad leg are not enough to support a table, it does not matter how much you exercise and eat a good diet if you have something that weighs on you mentally.

“So choose wisely when you are getting involved with someone, because the stakes are high: Your happiness depends on it!”

Books

Never Eat Alone | Keith Ferrazzi


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Published in: 2014

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Keith Ferrazzi believes that the most valuable currency is social capital – defined information, expertise, trust and other value that exists in our relationships. Success in life is the people you meet and what you create together. “Networking” does not create magic – it is maximizing generosity and then letting your social seeds that you have planted grow. For example, a study of MBA students found no correlation between high grades and a successful life. However, they found a strong correlation between social skills and a successful life. The more successful someone is at using language – both speaking and writing – the greater the chances.

MENTORSStudies have shown that those we associate with have a major impact on our lives. At every step of his career, Ferrazzi has looked for successful people to ask for help and guidance. You should not be afraid to ask stupid questions. It is important to be able to ask for help but also to dare to take help.

TANGIBLE AND INTANGIBLE ASSETS. We should be open to working for free if required. Many entrepreneurs work “for free” for a while and then reap the rewards afterwards. It is more important to build up assets than to strive for a high income. An asset can, for example, be shares in a company or ownership of a property – these are tangible. But knowledge and contacts are also assets. However, these the returns from these assets are more unclear. You build the strongest base for success if you have both a lot of tangible as well as intangible assets.

”In your twenties you learn, in your thirties you earn”.

FREE AGENTS. People no longer get a job when they are 20 and have it for the rest of their lives. Today, everyone is a “free agent” and the social currency is very valuable for free agents. We are all “Me Inc.” and, according to Ferrazzi, must nurture our brands and constantly work with them. We do this by focusing on what we can do that creates value for others.

WEAK TIES AND STRONG TIES. “Weak ties ”are often more valuable than“ strong ties”. Those closest to each other within an area know what they can do for each other. It is the “weak ties” that can surprise us with interesting life changes.

A GOAL IS A DREAM WITH A DEADLINE. Almost every successful person Ferrazzi knows is good at setting goals. When goal setting is a part of our lives, the ball is rolling. To find out what you yourself are good at, Ferrazzi thinks you should ask your surroundings. They often know you very well. The goals must also be written down.

BUILD RELATIONS LIKE BILL CLINTON. Bill Clinton basically knew everyone he met, not just names but also their interests. Before he meets new people, he does a quick research on what they are for people, what they have for businesses, what they are proud of, what they have for problems, etc. In this way, he creates strong relationships.

CAREER KARMA. Ferrazzi writes “You can be more successful in two months by becoming really interested in other people’s success than you can in two years trying to get other people interested in your own success”. If you help someone with health, their children or their financial life, this is something that will be remembered for a very long time.

FEEDBACK. After a nice meeting, you should get in touch and give feedback (a follow-up takes place best 12-24 hours after you have met someone). Good follow-ups alone elevates you above 95% of your peers. Ferrazzi talks about the process of “pinging” – sending out a quick contact signal to your acquaintances. A relationship is like a fire that you sometimes need to refill with new wood. Get in touch on birthdays or if something else special happens.

VULNERABILITY. At a dinner with new friends, Ferrazzi and his girlfriend had just broke up so he was a bit absent. It was stiff at the table. He apologized for being a little off and told his story. Everyone’s attention increased and there was a deep and rewarding discussion. Everyone told about similar situations they had been in. He showed weakness and the situation changed completely. He noticed that a good icebreaker is to tell something personal from the heart. People feel chosen when they hear something like this which creates strong bonds: “vulnerability is one of the most underappreciated assets in business today”.

Books

Thinking in bets | Annie Duke


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Annie Duke is an American who for most of her life has been a professional poker player. She has won several major tournaments and has an estimated net worth of $8m. The book is partly a biography and partly a “how to guide” on how to think better and make more rational decisions. Duke left poker in 2012 and has since then been a lecturer and strategy consultant.

A brief of the book can be found here.

Books

The Power of Habit | Charles Duhigg


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Each chapter of the book revolves around a central argument: Habits can be changed, if we understand how they work. It focuses on habits as they are technically defined: the choices that all of us deliberately make at some point, and then stop thinking about but continue doing, often every day. Habits is a formula our brain automatically follows: when I see CUE, I will do ROUTINE in order to get REWARD. To re-engineer that formula, we need to begin making choices again. And the easiest way to do this, according to many studies, is to have a plan to trick the brain from sending us on an unwanted path.  

A summary of the book can be read here.