Go Ahead & Use People. Here’s How…

In an article talking about his masterful networking skills, Scot Cohen’s social approach is described as being more than just spending time with people to get something out of them.

He goes out to enjoy himself and share experiences with folks at fun events. Simple as that.

I like that notion. Especially considering the antisocial, introvert trends (so tiring). It’s encouraging to know that people still genuinely want to be oot-n-aboot & spend time with others.

I have a friend who used to always be on the grind. We had a dynamite friendship, full of creative ideas and outright silliness.

When I went to law school to *get it*, he started down the entrepreneur track to get his – RESPECT. I thought we’d still have a fun time when I’d visit home, talk about the big things, but he was always doing something. And, after a few cases of being stood up or blown off, it started to feel as if I had to come up with a moneymaking scheme in order to spend time with him.

He was always working the angle, whether hanging out at certain places to meet certain types of people or taking advantage of girls’ emotional states to get some ass… there was always a good dose of self-servitude and wannabe con artistry.

Needless to say, that relationship became exhausting.

And, on the opposite end of the spectrum, is another friend who feels like the place where productivity and ambition go to die. Like, time wasted getting wasted. And, once I started working for myself, that felt untenable.

But it was interesting to see what I could take from each of those extremes – on one hand, I needed to understand the value of being on the grind, but to come back to myself and have a little fun. The empathy lessons were quick with these situations and friends in particular.

And it revealed one way to use people:

As teachers.

We all have something to teach the world.

And I know I could always learn a little bit more, understand things a bit more fully or clearly, or even just add another empathy wrinkle to my brain.

So, if you want a selfish restatement of how to use others (since selfishness CAN be a good thing), here it is:

To make yourself better.

We are all living in the same time and space yet have had completely different experiences. And learning about each other’s experiences can help us understand Life better, fully, and more objectively… and maybe even help us make things a bit better for everyone.

Kind of like The Guardian article that talks about how narrowing social circles create a more unequal world:

Research shows most social interactions are with people similar to ourselves, making us less sensitive to how people outside our social bubble live. This can lead to profound misperceptions about the state of society.

If we looked at each other with appreciation for what the other person brings, as far as knowledge and experience, and looked at each other with excitement and love and curiosity and… just, like, awe at all the things that had to conspire to make them (because just like with ourselves, the odds are AMAZING that everyone else is who they are), everything could be much better.

Also read:
Perspective from a Rubik’s Cube

Or as I’ve come to think of it, and I surmise that Ryan Cropper who wrote the book Everybody’s A Schizophrenic might agree: We are all different parts of the same one consciousness. We are the entire universe, split into different bodies, trying to understand itself.

I love, love, love thinking of us all like that. And like this:

A post shared by “H” (@heather.marcus)