What People Are Really Interested In & How to Win Friends

by : Peter Murphy

A lot of your people problems and concerns about what other people think will fade into the background when you understand one crucial reality.

Most people are interested in you only to the extent they can get something from you.

I know this sounds harsh. Bear with me a moment while I explain.

Apart from your family and closest friends most other people see you as either a hindrance or as a means to getting what they want.

If you can help them get what they want they will smile at you, say you are wonderful and do whatever they can to keep you happy and available in the future.

On the other hand if you stop being a means to the fulfillment of their needs these very same people may well shun you, insult you and have nothing to do with you.

Let me give you an example. You meet someone special and you date. Things progress and a few weeks later you are both in love and life has never been better. You are the center of the universe for that person and whatever you desire is immediately granted with a smile.

Fast forward three months and the same person is screaming down the phone at you, saying how useless you are and never to call again! What happened? How could something so good go so wrong?

In very simple terms you went from satisfying the other persons emotional needs to not satisfying them. And the extreme change in how they treat you is because of what I said at the beginning of this article:

Most people are interested in you only to the extent they can get something from you.

Whereas in the early days of the relationship you attended to all of the other persons needs as time passed you grew complacent and things slipped to the point that key needs went unsatisfied.

At one point you were the answer to this persons prayers but now you serve no purpose in this persons life hence the anger and annoyance.

How can you use this insight?

1. Be alert to the unspoken demands the people in you life place on you. And understand that your relationships depend on the meeting of these underlying needs.

2. If you want to be free of a relationship that is limiting you then stop offering the demanded input whether that be advice, time, acceptance or any other resource or support.

Be ready for fireworks though since your input will often be taken for granted until you withdraw it.

3. Realize that when you feel self conscious there is no need to be since most people are preoccupied being self conscious themselves!

And as far as they are concerned you are a means to an end. If John Friend phones you to go to the cinema it is so he will enjoy your company and to avoid looking silly going there alone.

Of course the same applies to you and I. And it is the mutual filling of needs that underpins interactions, friendships and business relationships.

To sum up. We all want something from each other usually we are looking to fill emotional needs and this is the way the world is. Once you accept this you can use this understanding to look for what people want from you and then meet their needs.

If you do this effectively you will never be short of friends and people keen to spend time with you.