THE LAWS OF BEHAVIOR
WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE
These laws won’t stand up to academic scrutiny, but as we all know, there’s a massive difference between science-based and results-based techniques.
I created these four laws as a filter. If you’re able to practice seeing others in this way on a regular basis, and if this is the only thing you take away from this book, your entire life will change. I can promise you that.
With each of the laws of behavior, try to imagine as many scenarios as you can that prove the law and illustrate it to be real, because they are very real.
One thing you will begin to see on a daily basis after learning how to read behavior is that people tend to look more sad and scared. When I first learned how to read human behavior, I thought I was doing something wrong. Everyone seemed to be hiding sadness, and I remember seeking out guidance from my mentor. We sat down to lunch one afternoon in Hawaii at the Navy golf course clubhouse diner called Sam Snead’s Tavern. He quietly explained that in Buddhism, suffering is the universal condition of all creatures. It turns out to be true that everyone is hiding suffering from the world around them. This discovery changed my entire life, and I’d like to pass what I’ve learned on to you. This brings us to the first law of human behavior.
LAW 1: EVERYONE IS SUFFERING AND INSECURE
This might sound like doom and gloom, but it’s actually something you can keep in mind next time you feel like you’re faking it, or that other people really do live the way they portray themselves on social media.
People are fragile creatures. A few hundred thousand years ago, we had to worry a lot about being social. The average tribe or group of people was about 70-150 people. In this small group, if we were to appear unstable, unpredictable, weak, or even anti-social, we stood a chance of being outcast by the group. This hurts our chances of having sex and passing our genes on to the next generation.
Since NONE of your ancestors died a virgin, you did okay! They passed down these behavioral traits to you to help you survive. The brain in your head is no more evolved than it was a couple hundred thousand years ago, so it’s still running the exact same programs your ancestors did. The hard truth, however, is that we have no ability to go into our ‘settings menu’ and delete or stop some of these programs from running in the background of every aspect of our lives. We are frail creatures, and it’s okay.
LAW 2: EVERYONE IS WEARING A MASK
Some people call it a persona. We present an image to the world. We have a strong, primal desire to be socially accepted by groups and people. If you didn’t, you’d be outcast.
We all know people who think they don’t wear a mask, and we struggle to interact with them as they typically have the thickest mask of all. This innate need to be accepted and fit in, or be social at all, is programmed into our brains so deeply that it’s almost our default operating system, like a Windows or Mac OS.
Some masks are thin, some are thick, but we all have a face we present to the world. In this training you’ll not only learn how to identify the mask and remove it, I’ll show you how to see behind that mask without anyone knowing that you’re doing it.
LAW 3: EVERYONE PRETENDS NOT TO WEAR A MASK
It would be a silly interaction if we engaged with other people and spoke about our masks all the time. This thought of ‘the mask’ is usually enough to make people want to leave a conversation because it sets off a series of feelings in people that range from shame to anger.
We pretend not to wear a mask because if we acted otherwise, the entire purpose of presenting ourselves to the outside world would be meaningless. The mask is meant to stay private—we all wear one, but we don’t talk about it. Later in this book, I’ll show you how you can talk about it and how to do it in a way that makes someone start to peel theirs off a little bit.
As we all go about our days, the mask is with us, but we’d like the mask to look as much like our face as possible. We don’t want it to be visible.
LAW 4: EVERYONE IS A PRODUCT OF CHILDHOOD SUFFERING AND REWARD
We form a lot of our beliefs and behavioral patterns unconsciously. When we are about twelve, 90% of our behaviors toward other people are solidified. At the age of eighteen, it’s very unlikely that anything is going to change regarding our interpersonal behavioral habits.
Imagine you’ve just gotten off work. You’re driving along the highway home, and an asshole in a giant pickup truck cuts you off in traffic. After he jerks his vehicle in front of yours, he reaches out the window and flips you off.
Most of us would be upset about this. But what if you were able to actually see this person through the lens of the laws of behavior? What would they look like?
As you get more involved with the book, you’ll be able to see people through this lens. The guy in the truck won’t look like an asshole anymore. Instead, you’ll see who it really is. A little boy who grew up. When he was a child, something happened (or several things did) that made him cry—an emotional experience that changed his views of the world. That little boy, who’s now driving that big truck, stood in front of a mirror, or cried into a pillow, and somewhere in the recesses of his mind, a permanent belief about the world was formed. A promise was made. “I will never be hurt again. If people are scared of me, then they won’t hurt me.”
That little boy was hurt, and he still is. He’s reacting out of god knows what from his childhood. It could have been an alcoholic mother who made fun of him, a deadbeat dad who ignored or abused him, a school bully who hurt him in front of people. We don’t know what it was, but just imagining an event in your mind can help you to start seeing people through the lens of the laws of human behavior, even if you have to make it up in your imagination.
What about the person we all know who wants to show you how smart they are? No matter what you say, they respond with ‘Actually...’ or they want to tell you more about your own ideas. It’s an annoying behavior that can rightly make anyone mad. But what if you saw the little girl whose parents made her feel inferior and stupid? What if you saw her sitting in a classroom with a teacher who made fun of her in front of the class for screwing something up?
The whole world changes when the laws are placed in front of your eyes.
Did you meet a person who wants to take charge of everything? Try to see the kid who felt insignificant in their home when they were little.
Did you meet someone who wants to argue about everything? Try to see the child that felt they could never win anything and went through a phase where several kids in school were actually out to get him or her.
Those are the laws of behavior for 6MX. There are five laws, but I am saving the fifth law until we unearth a few more techniques of people reading. The fifth law sounds a bit unusual until you’ve been exposed to something called The Human Needs Map, which explains it.
THE FOUR LENSES TO SEEING PEOPLE
The Laws of Behavior are a lens to see people through. It changes everything.
The four ways of seeing people breaks down how we can start to see people differently as well, but this can also be used to identify how someone else sees the world. So, it’s not only a technique to change your perceptions, it’s also a profiling tool to read behavior.
Let’s take the example we used before about the person who cuts you off on your way home from work. I will illustrate the four ways of seeing people using this example. There are four phrases to identify the different lenses people have to view others.
1. People are broken
2. People are different
3. People are facts
4. People are reasons
PEOPLE ARE BROKEN
These people tend to see behaviors of others as being screwed up or stupid. They will get cut off by the guy in the truck and have an emotional response that they feel inclined to correct. They want to fix the situation so that they are back on ‘top’ of the person who cut them off. They might speed up and cut him off to show him he’s not powerful or try to somehow re-establish their power and control.
In this lens, the person is actively participating in the resistance against another person. They typically will also make an identity statement in their mind in response to the situation. Meaning that they will take the actions personally and treat it as though they have been personally chosen to be the target of this person’s actions.
PEOPLE ARE DIFFERENT
This group of people will still have an emotional reaction to events and negative behaviors from other people. The difference is that even though they may take it personally, they are more likely to decide against taking action to rectify the situation and ‘correct’ the other person’s behavior. Even though they may fantasize about the truck running off the road into a ditch, they aren’t going to make it happen.
PEOPLE ARE FACTS
We can’t correct facts. When something happens like a hurricane or a flood, we know internally that we have no ability to change them. This is the fundamental reason we humans don’t get mad at natural disasters. We may get mad at the results of it, or the consequences of something happening, but not the hurricane itself. When something is absolute and unchangeable, we don’t get mad.
One reason we do this is that when we feel anger, it’s also a secret desire for something to be different. Most times, it’s a secret desire to change something. These people view humans as facts: unchangeable and permanent. They don’t look at people in a negative way at all, they only default to assuming there’s nothing that will change the person.
These people are typically much happier in contrast to the previous two because of this.
PEOPLE ARE REASONS
This is the highest level.
As the truck swerves in front of them in their car, they slow down safely and increase their distance from the truck. While this happens, their mind automatically defaults to the laws of behavior. In particular, the first and fourth law.
They see actions of others as a product of mostly behaviors learned in childhood. Without a single negative thought about the other person, they know the behavior is something all humans are capable of.
Judgment disappears at this point. When we see through the lens of ‘reasons,’ everyone is human, and everyone is equally screwed up, just in different ways.
While you might have identified yourself on a lower level than you might like, that’s good news! We can’t manage what we don’t measure, and knowing about it is step one.
When we learn to see through the lens of psychology and behavior instead of logic or bias, all of our interactions change. People are all reasons. The moment you’re able to steer your thoughts back to this during interactions, the more you’ll be able to pull the curtain back, and see people in a light that might not be flattering, but it’s accurate.
In the coming chapter, we’re going to dissect behavior skills, and how to use a thing called The Behavioral Table of Elements © to profile anyone you ever meet in only minutes.