I came to the conclusion that I don’t like most people a very long time ago. In fact I’ll go as far as to say I never like anyone before I meet them. Sure, I could go the other way and say “I’ll give every person I meet the benefit of the doubt until I see otherwise.” But that’s just not how I operate. I say “I give no one the benefit of the doubt until I see otherwise.” I just assume everyone is either a moron or has a really crappy agenda right from the start. The only time I don’t think this is if I know quite a bit about the person beforehand going in. That or the person I’m meeting is a strong recommendation of someone I respect and admire. The funny thing is that most people would probably call me a pessimist. Hardly so. It’s just pure math. I’m using nothing but numbers to come to this conclusion. Think about it:
Why most people suck
Do the math. No, seriously, do the math. How many people have you met or spoken to in your entire life? 10,000? More? Let’s just say on average that you meet or encounter one new person a day for 40 years of your life. That’s close to 15,000 people. Now, how many of those people have you liked or stayed in touch with? How many real friends do you have? I’m not talking about Facebook friends. I’m talking about real, true, honest friends that you interact with or at least see more than once a year. Is it in the hundreds? Doubtful. I know that my real friend count has got to be under 50 if I’m even being generous. But let’s just say that most people have a legitimate 150 friends. Using that number of 15,000, that’s 1%. 1% of the people in your life are worth hanging out with. And believe you me, I’m being extremely generous here. But let’s just say that for every 100 people in your life, you will choose approximately 1 to remain in your life. Does that mean that all 99 people you didn’t choose suck? No, definitely not. But I can say this with certainty. You definitely thought more than half of them did. Hence why I say that we don’t like most people. Because plainly said, we don’t. It’s no one’s fault. It’s simply that most people won’t relate to us or fit into our worlds. And that’s completely OK. Remember, I never said I was a pessimist.
Call me a cautiously optimistic realist
So what does that even mean? You see, I’m actually quite glad that most people suck to me. Unlike many people who would consider that a bad thing, I don’t see it that way at all. In fact, I think it’s a great thing. Here’s how I see it. I look at it like cold calling. When you are cold calling, the chances of finding prospects are extremely low. For every 100 calls you might get one or two people interested in your product or service. And the chances of them even signing up or buying is extremely low. So there are a few ways you can look at this. You can say “man this sucks, why bother?” And you can decide that cold calling isn’t for you and that you should do something else. That’s perfectly fine. But what about looking at it this way? Each time you make a phone call you are one step closer to someone buying your product or signing up for your service. Without those 99 calls you may have never hit that one direct hit. By that rationale cold calling looks like an extremely effective tool to get customers.
To me it’s the exact same thing with people. The reason I said I’m a cautiously optimistic realist is because in reality I know that most people I meet are going to suck according to my own standards. I will likely not want to see or hear from these people ever again. But that’s a good thing. Because I know that for every single crappy person I meet, I’m one step closer to meeting a person who could potentially be a very important and influential person in my life. So yeah, I’m a realist because I know most people suck. But I’m 100% optimistic because there’s always hope that the next person I meet could change my life.
But here’s the rub
Here’s the hardest part. When you’re young, it’s not so hard. As a young person you have less obligations in life and thus are more free to meet people in a number of circumstances. As you get older that becomes way more difficult. So the issue becomes effort. If you truly want to build an amazing community of people with whom you can relate to and share amazing experiences with, it’s gonna require effort. Amazingly, not a ton of effort. It just feels like a ton of effort. Otherwise you’re just stuck with the same people in your life. That can be a great thing or a really crappy thing. You see, if you’re me and you automatically know you don’t like most people, it’s very easy to just say, “well then I’m not going to try and meet anyone.” But if you take that attitude you’re screwed. Inevitably you’re going to wind up bored. I’m telling you that this is fact. You WILL get bored and life will get stagnant.
So how do you do it?
Simple. A very very tiny thing. Contact one person a day, 5 days a week. That’s it. It’s that simple. Over the course of the year you’re talking about 261 people. Remember my odds at the beginning of this article? If the numbers work out, you’re looking at 2.6 extra awesome people in your life per year. Me personally? I’d be happy with less than one. You really don’t need a whole bunch of people in life to have a fulfilling time. But here’s the thing. You can’t have zero. You just can’t. Lonely is the worst. It just is. So get out there and barely do the work. Contact one person a day, 5 days a week. Watch what happens in the span of 2 weeks. Game changer.