Tuesday, February 8, 2011



I thought I should take a moment and discuss books that I've read that help me with understanding people. I've recommended these God knows how many times. My guess is about 5% of the people I've recommended them to actually follow up but since we've got several hundred hits a month on this blog from close to a dozen countries, hell, who knows? It may help someone out there.

This book tells you what personality type a person (and yourself, for that matter) is. Once you know that, you know the best way to communicate with them. Some people might think it's a bit over the top to use a 'strategy' when dealing with someone else but it really does help. If the personality type is 'laid back' and you attempt to talk to them in a 'in your face lets get excited way', they will pull back. But there is another personality type that you should talk to in just that way. You pretty much have a choice - become a social chameleon or limit yourself to the quarter of people who fit into your personality type. In my opinion, that would waste way too many potential friendships with interesting people. The book is a quick read and entertaining.

This book is a long, often painful read. But it does have some very good information in it. A lot of people say things like "Oh, yes, of course I knew that." if you mention things like "Learning people's names is one of the most important things you can do.", however their actions show you that they are full of shit. This book first came out in 1937. The fact that it has kept getting reprinted over seventy years later should tell you something.

Hard to get straight men to seriously read a book like this with a cover like that. It's not only useful for loved ones but for friends. By learning what they call the 'love languages', it teaches you how to bond closer with people. Recommended - and it's a quick easy read.

This book is the one I can never remember the title of. If you are interested in starting a business of any kind, it is suppose to be a good book. One guy I met within the last couple months did show me that not everyone who reads it is helped by it, however. The guy I met owned his own computer repair business. At that time, I had no idea that I'd be taking off to go around the world and asked if I could have his business card. I figured that if I knew where a local computer repair business was, I wouldn't have to bug my buddy Bert if something needed fixing. The man with the computer business looked a bit blank and said "Oh - yeah, I have been meaning to get cards." I said "Sir, you have no idea at all how much potential business you could have just lost." It is baffling to me how much people enjoy self sabotage but I guess I am not an exception to that rule.

This isn't a new phenomena however as it seemed to be around even in the 1700's:
"Common sense is not so common."
* Voltaire, Dictionnaire Philosophique (1764)

The reason that I recommend the first three books is because I figure thusly - for as long as you're going to be on this planet, there is a high probability you will have to deal with humans. Knowing what they are like and how to easily make friends with them will directly impact the quality of your life and many your life touches.

Note that even if a person is so extraordinary they read these three books (probably won't happen with most of you - sorry - but you'll make excuses or express disinterest) that isn't the end of the education. It will form a good basis of your learning. Things like microexpressions and body language will need to be learned as well. [Yes - if you don't read these books, you are not 'exceptional'. Sorry. Don't fucking write me about it. Just deal with your mediocrity and make an excuse.]

Note that it is usually not wise to tell anyone that you have learned these things as it's usually seen as an effort to spy on them rather than try to understand them better. Human nature, I guess.

I have found that most people are so engaged with internal monologue that it hampers their ability to really listen to what the other person is saying on any more than the most superficial of levels.

Disclaimer! I am not the clever guy who came up with what books to read. That was a bunch of financially independent people and millionaires.


Diplomacy is the ability to tell someone to "get lost" in such a way that they look forward to the trip.

Diplomacy is the art of letting someone else have your way.

[I apologize for not being able to give the credit to the original person who made the quote - these were gotten off of the internet and it is unknown.]


The best scene of the movie:

T.E. Lawrence: "I killed two people. One was... yesterday? He was just a boy and I led him into quicksand. The other was... well, before Aqaba. I had to execute him with my pistol, and there was something about it that I didn't like."
General Allenby: "That's to be expected."
T.E. Lawrence: "No, something else."
General Allenby: "Well, then let it be a warning."
T.E. Lawrence: "No... something else."
General Allenby: "What then?"
T.E. Lawrence: "I enjoyed it."

Who among us hasn't been there? This scene happens approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes into this three hour and forty one minute movie.

This movie also has the dubious distinction of being the longest movie in which there is no female dialogue. To the ungracious of you, no, that isn't why I enjoyed the movie. I will say I think it is about the longest movie I enjoy.


  1. I'm glad you suggested those books, Logan! Hopefully someone will look into reading one or all of them, and actually apply what can be learned from them.

    Tim Klima

  2. Thanks Tim! I figured it couldn't hurt to pass on the suggestions we'd gotten. Who knows, it may even help someone out!



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