Learn the Art of Social Intelligence: Do not let others use you

When we are getting ahead in life, we face people who are the opposite of their appearances; they approach us and make us emotional and get what they wanted from us via subtle maneuvers and deceptions. We need to observe people keenly and deeply. Friendly gestures, being too nice, and being humble and caring, are signs of ulterior motives.

“Often the greatest obstacle to our pursuit of mastery comes from the emotional drain we experience in dealing with the resistance and manipulations of the people around us. If we are not careful, our minds become absorbed in endless political intrigues and battles. The principal problem we face in the social arena is our naïve tendency to project onto people our emotional needs and desires of the moment. We misread their intentions and react in ways that cause confusion or conflict. Social intelligence is the ability to see people in the most realistic light possible. By moving past our usual self-absorption, we can learn to focus deeply on others, reading their behavior in the moment, seeing what motivates them, and discerning any possible manipulative tendencies. Navigating smoothly the social environment, we have more time and energy to focus on learning and acquiring skills. Success attained without this intelligence is not true mastery, and will not last.”

Key Points:

  • Getting emotional has a price that you will pay in the future.
  • Revealing your weakness is a sign of weakness that can destroy your life.
  • Looking at people through one angle makes you blind to read them from other angles.
  • It is better to look outward than look inward.

Do not get emotional:

Those who get emotional are easy targets for manipulators who look for such people. Emotional people are not able to think clearly since their thoughts are not clear, and they feel guilty and remorseful when they are targeted at their weak spots. Overcoming emotions not just free you from the trap that has been plotted against you, but also help you think clearly. When you are emotionally stable, you can focus on your goals and can effectively deal with distractions. Emotional balance is necessary when you enter into the real world since you will face different people in life, everyone will be different and has his own views and backgrounds. They will try to convince you and make you emotional to get what they want from you; they will persuade you to follow their footprints and be in their group due to political gains or other reasons that you need to explore and unearth. You should be smart to read people; you should not fall for appearances and friendly gestures. These are all tricks to attract you towards them and later use you for their benefit. Remember: Human is by nature selfish.

“Better to observe and accumulate knowledge on human nature, as one accumulates knowledge in the sciences.”

Hide your insecurities:

Everyone has a weakness that they hide from people, but there are people who need something from you and will find that weakness that makes you weak and vulnerable. All the great seductress and seducers seduce their prey on attacking their weaknesses. The victim was keenly observed first and then exploited on his weakness. Seducers do not need to be charming and good-looking; they need to be sharp and clever. Seductions are all about reading, once you read your victim, you enter into his mind, and now he is yours. The best way to avoid being used when you feel your insecurities will be revealed to that person and he will use your weakness against you is to not let that person get closer to you in the first place. We all have weaknesses, some need affection; some need love; some need attention and fame; some need kind words; some crave for beauty and lust. Everyone has his own flaws.

“And so Franklin went to work. He observed the man closely in the legislature, gathered information from insiders, and thought himself deeply into Norris’s mind. He came to the conclusion that Norris was a proud and somewhat emotional young man who harbored a few insecurities as well. He seemed impatient for attention, for being liked and admired by others; perhaps he envied Franklin’s popularity and achievements.”

Naïve Perspective:

When we enter real life, we do not have much exposure. We see people through our lens; we respect authority and look up to our bosses as our parents. We think we will be treated and loved as we were treated and loved by our parents. In real life, people compete for their own interests, no one cares about your needs and desires. Everyone is in a hustle and in need of honing their skills to thrive ahead. Our relationships with people are distorted with time due to our rigid thoughts and expectations of them which they hardly fulfill. We look inwards than outwards. In life, you need to be adaptable to get adjusted and live in harmony with people. The naïve perspective not just hurts you, but also makes you resentful and angry. It is better to accept the fact that people are not how we see them; people are the opposite of our thoughts.

“As he got older he came to believe, as many young people do, that getting along with others is a function of behaving charmingly and winning them over with a friendly manner. But as he engaged with the real world, he began to see his charm as the actual source of his problem. Being charming was a strategy he had developed out of childish need; it was a reflection of his narcissism, of the love he had of his own words and wit. It had no relation to other people and their needs. It did not prevent them from exploiting or attacking him. To be truly charming and socially effective you have to understand people, and to understand them you have to get outside yourself and immerse your mind in their world.”

Reviewing your past:

You should review your past carefully to know what mistakes you committed that led to your destruction and bad relationships with people. Whether you trust people easily or you revealed your weakness to people who did not care about your feelings. Past always teaches us great lessons, once you take a look at your past and unravel each part of it, you would understand what you need to do, what you need to do, and what you need to avoid in the future. People would not use you and take you for granted once you master your emotions and learn the art of reading faces.

“The most effective attitude to adopt is one of supreme acceptance. The world is full of people with different characters and temperaments. “

Attending more deeply to another person:

You tend to listen more to the other person in communication. People reveal a lot about themselves when they talk. When you are engaged in a conversation, do not look inward, rather look outward and listen to him, he will expose a lot about himself. To avoid problems in the future, it is better not to have a rigid mindset, a rather flexible mindset that gets adaptable according to circumstances and people. When you are more focused on other people and less on yourself, you take an edge over them in reading and observation and save yourself from the potential danger since you get an insight into his psyche.

“Most of us have had the sensation at some point in our lives of experiencing an uncanny connection with another person. In such moments we have an understanding that is hard to put into words; we even feel that we can anticipate the thoughts of the other person. Such communication generally occurs with close friends and partners, people whom we trust and feel attuned to on many levels. Because we trust them, we open up to their influence and vice versa. In our normal state we are often nervous, defensive, and self-absorbed, and our minds are turned inward. But in these moments of connection, the internal monologue is shut off, and we pick up more cues and signals from the other person than usual.”


Trusting people too early is foolish since we do know yet whom we are dealing with. Everyone is wearing a mask. People get hesitant to open up to strangers in the first meeting, and there are people who need something from you and will make you feel comfortable in their presence to know about your weakness and later exploit you on those weaknesses. It is better to look outward than look inward in new relationships and meetups. If you are not able to control your emotions, you are an easy target for manipulators.


  1. Greene, R. (2013). Mastery. Penguin.

Leave a Comment