At the start of a seminar I was leading, I said to the audience:
“Everybody who likes feeling inferior to other people, raise your hands!”
The room was silent as everyone nervously glanced around. Not one person raised their hand, since obviously nobody enjoys feeling inferior.
Humans have a very strong desire to be admired. We love to be recognized and adored, it makes us feel important. That’s why most people feel more comfortable when those around them are less experienced, so they can feel superior. On the other hand, when they’re among a group of highly capable people, they feel nervous, afraid they can’t measure up.
Understand that just as you hate feeling inferior, everyone you deal with has the same feelings. So be aware that loudly trumpeting your skills, knowledge and abilities would be a big mistake.
Never try to make somebody feel like you’re smarter than he is, because instead of gaining his respect and admiration, you’ll make him jealous and you’ll have made an enemy.
Acting stronger, more capable and superior comes across like a kick in the stomach! People that are always rushing to prove their own superiority generally don’t have many friends, and people talk about them behind their backs.
To get what you want, whether it’s from your boss, your teacher, your partner, a co-worker or even your mother, the best strategy is to make the other person feel important. This strategy is most effective when you do it sincerely, humbly, and respectfully. Never insult anybody else’s intelligence.
To have anybody eating out of your hand, make them believe they’re smarter than you, even if they’re not! And sometimes, if necessary, put on a smile and play the fool!
There’s an old saying, “If you want to catch a wolf, dress in sheep’s clothing.”
Remember: if you want someone to walk all over you, make them feel inferior, but if you want them at your feet, make them feel important.
Maria Marin is a motivational speaker and the author of “Pide más, espera más, y obtendrás más”.