How to Behave (as a social issue)

Giving gifts

Good cheap gifts:
- A box of 200 earplugs
- A Leatherman Squirt / Micra
- A book the person is likely to read and enjoy, like How To Get Rich or Lone Survivor
- Paracord

  • 2016.11.08 - WashPo - The bad things that happen to annoyingly happy people4
    • Researchers at New York University, the University of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania recently performed a series of studies on the perception of extremely happy people and concluded that they are often assumed to be pushovers.
    • The experiments suggest that very happy people are perceived positively in several ways. They were thought to be as likeable as and even warmer than moderately happy people. However, they were also widely considered to be naive.
    • The researchers used several experiments to explore why this might be. They found that their test subjects assumed, rightly or wrongly, that very happy people maintained their positive outlook either by not processing information deeply, or by sheltering themselves from negative information in the world. And because of these beliefs, people were more likely to try to cheat those who seem very happy, the research showed.
    • According to the researchers, their conclusions are all about magnitude. Appearing moderately happy definitely greases the wheels of social interaction, but too much happiness may lead to a less favorable perception.

John T Reed on honesty [part-way down the page]: ... c-figures/

Your mom told you to be yourself. That’s easier said than done. Most private persons live their lives like the dun-colored animals of the forest (e.g., squirrels) who survive by blending into the background.

Private persons think the way to be popular is to filter everything they say or do to avoid anyone taking offense. Actually, that may be true on a percentage basis but not on raw numbers. If you avoid ever saying anything that will give offense to anyone, you will avoid being unpopular with anyone, but you will also avoid being known by more than your inner circle of friends and relatives.

To be a public figure, you have to be yourself. Famous people are not people who are loved by all. Rather, they are people who are loved by a lot of people, and that can only happen if you let a lot of people get to know you. The real you. The unique you. Private people spend their whole lives saying “I’m like you” to everyone to be accepted. Boring. Famous people say to the world,

This is who I really am. Take me or leave me.

Does that sort of being-true-to-yourself honesty—“doing it my way”—piss many people off?


But it also lets a whole lot of other people form an attachment to you.

A friend is someone who knows all about you and still likes you.

If you refuse to let anyone know all about you—by constantly filtering the real you out—you can never have any true friends, only superficial ones. (I am well aware that not all fans are true friends, although many would be if they knew you more completely.) It’s hard to get excited—one way or the other—about a human who only tries to blend into the background.

Q: When should you be honest and when should you hold your tongue?
A: not sure yet. ATM I think there's an element of trading short-term benefit for long-term benefit. I'm not sure if that's all there is to it, though.

It seems that there are times when being dishonest can seriously harm your reputation with others, and other times when it won't really harm your reputation.

It may be that the way to choose between honesty and dishonesty is based on the power of the person you're dealing with, and whether your dishonesty benefits that person or harms that person.

If you've messed up or done something wrong or wronged someone, and that person has any kind of power over you, it may be smarter to be totally honest and just try to explain in detail how it happened.

it also seems like there may be ways to walk a middle ground since you can tell the truth in different ways. for example, you can say "that man is lying" or you can say "it seems that he may possibly be misremembering some details". If you're a professor and asked to give your opinion of a student, you can be very blatant about the student's shortcomings or you can damn the student with faint praise.

there are MANY areas in life in which people have at least a short-term incentive to be dishonest or not share information as freely.
ex1: when displaying your strengths or accomplishments you have an incentive to hide or downplay the effort that you put into obtaining them. it makes it more impressive to people in the same way that people find magic tricks more impressive when they don't know how the trick was done.
ex2: if you visit a family and they're telling their kids about Santa, and one of the kids asks you if Santa is real, you'd probably really upset the kid's parents if you said, "Your parents are lying to you; he's not real."

- I want to have a checklist that will tell me exactly when to be honest, when to not say anything, and when to be dishonest.

- found this good article / book via Derek Sivers (founder of CD Baby)
Vanity Fair - I Think You're Fat
Radical Honesty by Brad Blanton (the focus of the Vanity Fair article)
Derek Sivers' summary of / notes on Blanton's book