Category Archives: Evolutionary Psychology

I like judging people

on December 12, 2014 in Awareness, Evolutionary Psychology, Nature, Nonjudgment

I write a lot about judgment and non-judgmental behavior. I won’t lie. I like to judge people. I decide whom I consider valuable or not, whom I think looks good or not, or has taste or social skills and so on. People seem mortified after doing the exercise in “The most effective self-awareness exercise I know of.” Seeing their thoughts written out on paper and realize how much they judge[…] Keep reading →

Why do you freak out when you’re late?

on October 9, 2014 in Awareness, Evolutionary Psychology, Nature

You’re stuck in traffic, late for an important meeting. There’s nothing you can do. Each tick of the clock reminds you of how bad this will make you look. If the meeting is important enough your palms sweat and your breathing becomes affected. Your mind keeps going around in circles about how to explain your lateness and making up excuses. Have you ever wondered why you react this way? You[…] Keep reading →

What makes an emotion a passion?

on September 20, 2014 in Evolutionary Psychology, Models, Nature, Visualization

What’s the difference between emotions and passions? In a leadership context I look at emotions functionally, as motivations. In an art or music context, I think more about how emotions feel and how to express them. To distinguish them, I think the functional view helps more. A passion is something that motivates you strongly with strong feelings. In other words, a passion is a strong or intense emotion. A lot[…] Keep reading →

What you’re thinking

on July 14, 2014 in Awareness, Evolutionary Psychology

This post follows up “The most effective self-awareness exercise I know of” and the exercise in it, so I recommend reading it and doing it first. Besides making these posts personal, the exercise increases your self-awareness. When I talk to a client after doing that exercise, we cover six main points, which I’ll cover in detail below. The details of their results—that is, the content of their inner monologue and[…] Keep reading →

How to increase empathy, part 2: a model and strategy

on July 8, 2014 in Awareness, Evolutionary Psychology, Leadership, Tips

Yesterday’s post discussed how the world complicates understanding empathy with vague definitions and associating it with neediness and unwanted emotions. Today I’ll describe a simple model to understand empathy simply. A simple model for empathy The model you have for something determines how you understand it and how you use it. I’ll talk about emotions in general and then empathy in particular A simple model for emotions in general Many[…] Keep reading →

How to increase empathy, part 1: why it seems so hard to

on July 7, 2014 in Awareness, Evolutionary Psychology, Leadership, Tips, Visualization

You want to improve your empathy because you’ve heard it’s fundamental to leadership, influence, and motivation, but find it hard to define, measure, or see in use, making it hard to improve or learn from others. In other words, empathy is important for working with people, but hard to learn, all the more so for those who lack it most. While I don’t pretend to be the most empathetic person,[…] Keep reading →

How not to lose your composure: Rational Emotion

on July 3, 2014 in Evolutionary Psychology, Leadership, Tips

Context: Losing your composure hurts you When you lose your composure you don’t get promoted. People don’t follow you if you lose your composure. You lose your ability to motivate or influence them. If you debate or argue with someone and you lose your composure and they don’t—that is, if your emotions become more intense than theirs—you generally lose the argument. People feel emotional reward when someone else’s emotions get[…] Keep reading →

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