Episode #126 The Selfish Advantage

Is it possible that our self-centered tendencies may actually serve a greater purpose? This week, Dr. Michael Brown and author of A Book About Friendship, Sammy Adebiyi, introduce a powerful paradox that could transform our relationships.

Show Notes

I had this lightbulb moment where I realized I don’t do the things for my friends that I want my friends to do for me.
Sammy Adebiyi

Three Problems

  • On the rare occasions that we think about others, we typically only think about them in relation to ourselves.
  • We are remarkably in tune with our own desires and equally out of tune with others’ desires.
  • If we pursue relationships with the goal of getting something out of them, we will often be disappointed.

Five Principles

  • We have so many more great ideas about how to be good friends than we realize.
  • If we redirect even a fraction of our selfish creativity to benefit others, we will become exceptionally thoughtful friends.
  • Expressing words of appreciation and affection to others actually brings as much joy to ourselves as it brings to those we encourage.
  • When it comes to friendships, joy is often found on the other side of awkwardness.
  • It is better to give than receive, and our lives become fuller when they are emptied for others.

Three Practices

  • Enter each environment with the goal of being more interested in others than interesting to others.
  • Refuse to think a single positive thought about someone without sharing it verbally within 24 hours.
  • Make a list of every way your friends have left you with unmet expectations, then take action to meet those same expectations for others.