There’s something funny about the phenomenon of rapport. Once we have rapport, we tend to want to follow what other people are doing, and they in turn follow us. The stronger the rapport, the greater the degree of the effect.
With me, I have a strong group of friends. And my friends tend to pick up trends together.
A couple years ago, I was getting heavy into multiple blog-marketing, because a friend of mine had made a lot of money in that arena. It never panned out long term for me, but I invested a lot of time and energy into it. I bought lots of different types of programs to run the stuff automatically, I tried out several different web hosts and types of hosting.
I also have a lot of friends who are hypnotists. As a result, once in a while I’ll be studying hypnosis constantly for a week just because that’s what we’re all doing at that time. We’ll get together and that’s all we talk about.
Right now for me, the trend is the stock market. It’s this cool new thing. We are all getting brokerage accounts, talking about banking and the latest news all day, and we do stock picks and find out what is going up and what is going down. We talk about getting overseas accounts, and storing our money in Euros instead of Dollars, and lots of technical mumbo jumbo.
Of course this is particularly fun because I just took out about 10 grand from my shares in AIG. For a couple weekends I was really sweating because I wasn’t sure if they were going to go bankrupt or not. Everytime I sweat though, I remember that Warren Buffet said: “When others are fearful, get greedy.”
I could go through my entire life and talk about how I picked up different hobbies or activities one way or another, through the influence of rapport. But the content – all of the particulars and specifics – is not important. The process is what you have to pay attention to. How do we become addicted to these things?
And I realized that it’s like a game for me. It’s this whole social thing, where all of your close friends are doing this thing, and so you end up doing the same thing.
This is why I have emphasized so many times the importance of spending your time around powerful and successful people. Not only do they give you good ideas, but they “wear off” on you. Just like you can’t walk into a printing factory without getting ink all over you, you can’t walk out of a conversation with these people without being changed for the better.
But the problem comes when you have a good friend that you’ve had for a while, but they’re just not motivated, they’re just not “there” with you. You really only have two choices – to bring them up to your level, or to sink down to theirs. Inaction only produces the second choice.
And so I’ve spent lots of time getting my friends excited about things, because I want to keep them around me.
What trends have -you- noticed in your social circle? What’s the newest thing to do, and what is the range or spread of the types of things that change? With me and my friends, it’s usually some sort of activity. What we’re spending our time doing.
With other groups of friends it’s clothes, or the newest TV show. It’s a new sex technique shared by girls in Cosmo, or a new urban word of the day that everybody tries to use.
It’s very interesting to me how we adopt and use these patterns. It’s very hypnotic. It happens unconsciously, and it’s every where. From the way you walk down the street, to the way you either make or don’t make eye contact, from the types of people you feel close to, and the various ways that you categorize where you are (how do you know you are where you are right now?).
These things affect all of us. So your homework assignment is to go look for the ways you are being influenced by your friends and by rapport.
You’ll find out some amazing things.