Survival of the Fittest

“You see pal, that’s who I am, and you’re nothing.”

Blake (Glengarry Glen Ross)

Remember when Alec Baldwin came in to convince the stale old real estate salesmen that performing well was in their best interest?  He was relentless and an a-hole – but he knew it.

He was mean and selfish and a top salesman as a result.  He famously used colorful language while he rubbed in his success to motivate the older, less accomplished salesmen to not be losers.

His point was that they should have no consideration for other people – only for themselves.  By thinking about themselves and working for themselves they would be making the company better.

What if we did that?  Not on the sales floor but in our daily lives?  What if we acted in a totally self-serving manner?

Would our lives be better?  I say “yes” – they would be much better.

Sure – we’re not quite acting like the polite, apologetic person that we try to be, but where has that gotten us?!

“No one gives it to you. You have to take it.”

– Frank Costello (The Departed)

We are getting what we need, though, and not harming anybody in the process.  All of this while making it less of a burden for our loved ones and creating a better environment for them.

Maybe we should be thinking in the longer-term.  About training people to respond in a certain way.

That’s the whole point, isn’t it?  We don’t really get results by softening the blow.  To get big changes we have to act in a big way.

In an extreme way.

We can be nice after the dust has settled.

It’s not unlike social media and phones for kids.  My teenage son can’t put his phone down – but he won’t make a call.  He can’t stop texting and looking at it.  Social skills are completely gone!

He’s as dependent on that as I am on a wheelchair.

So how do you break the cycle?  You force it!

Don’t let them take the path of least resistance – if given the choice; most people won’t even act in their own best interest if the results aren’t tangible.

For example – we need to be happy to be healthy.  There is scientific proof that being forced to interact -even when we don’t want to – changes our mood and the way we feel about events.  Even if we try to avoid it!  (Click here)

But we are being removed from society – and the younger generation was never a part of it.  They have been trained that society doesn’t care about their rudeness and they don’t care about their lack of interest and personal lives.

Avoidance is easy.  Non-verbal communication is vanishing.

So, adapt!  Force it.  Just say what we mean and don’t give it a second thought.

Train them.  Maybe if we all were to do that, it would just be expected.

The younger generations, the ones that are completely dependent on smart phones, tablets, and computers, care less about rudeness.

They’re used to it.  There is no emotion in writing. There is no interpretation other than face value for what they receive.

The response to emotion has been programmed out of them.  We need to just ask for what we want and not worry about hurt feelings.

So like Ricky Roma said – “Your life is your own” (Glengarry Glen Ross).   Just ask for what you want and worry about you.

You’re making your life a lot better and everyone else by default.  They’re doing what they probably would have already, and if not, they should be.  You’re just training them and skipping over the big psychological dilemma.

Just be an egocentric a-hole.  Fake it till you make it.

It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You might just find that the people around you are more responsive and nicer as a result.


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