Tuesday, July 08, 2008

"I'm Not Here to Make Friends"

In frustration, many people say 'I'm not here to make friends', as if to provide a logical though unsympathetic rationale for their behavior. The YouTube clip below highlights just how cliche this statement is, and given the demographics of these TV shows, this is not a group you would want to join.

The statement is counterproductive, and not because it's a cliche (many cliches are tired, yet still true and important), but rather because it lowers your odds of succeeding. It makes explicit that you look at the people around you as competitors or tools, not human beings that are also trying to improve their position in various ways. Everyone needs friends, people who help promote their ideas, or at least don't actively trash your reputation. If you state you are just in a zero-sum game with all the others, they will at best not help you, and those you are trying to impress with your brilliance are rarely indifferent to your lack of sociability (if everyone hates you, you are probably a shmendrik).

This is where indifference is so tactically useful, because it is impossible for someone to know if your indifference is because you dislike them or are merely preoccupied, and it is impolite to press the point. Indifference can be cruel, but there are worse things (eg, litigation).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kudos to the guy that put this together, that is serious devotion to reality TV.