It’s very common for humans to look for shortcuts.
We are hard wired to look for anything that will maximize our return, and minimize our efforts.
Paradoxically, this is the driving force that has been behind our path as humans from the days of ancient hunter-gathers to modern life.
All the inventions, creations and ideas were based on one simple concept.
“There’s GOT to be an easier way of doing this!”
Businesses and customers are forever locked in the same battle.
Business want to minimize costs and maximize profits.
Customers want to minimize purchase price and maximize what we get for that purchase.
When businesses compete for our money, it’s a wonderful thing.
Fast food wars, for example, force all businesses to come up with the cheapest menu items.
If you’re the kind of person who likes to stumble through your local fast food joint on the way home from your local bar, this is a wonderful thing.
Get a sack of burgers for a few bucks.
Other kind of competition is not so nice.
Especially when not everybody knows there’s a competition.
Sure, when you’ve got a street lined with shops, everybody knows what’s up.
Cheapest price, best product, best customer service, cutest waitresses, etc.
It’s all part of the game.
But when you go into a meeting, and you’re thinking it’s just to share ideas, but your coworker has decides he or she is competing, and he or she is competing against you, that’s when it gets dirty.
From the boss’ point of view they might even like the competition.
It saves them from having to make a decision.
Even within social groups, friendships and romantic relationships, there can be some “beneath the surface” competition going on.
It’s almost like covert Sumo wrestling.
Two huge guys rush each other and try to push the other guy off balance.
When both guys know what’s, it’s called sport.
But when one person is doing this conversationally and covertly, it can feel pretty crappy.
There you are trying to have a regular conversation, and they’re slipping in deadly blows that push you off balance and make you feel weak.
Many people unfortunately don’t feel strong unless they make others feel weak.
If it’s a schoolyard bully, you can punch him in the face, or kick him in the nuts.
But if it’s emotional, and covert?
How the heck do you defend against it?