by Umar Hameed, founder of Productivity Cubed
The best deal I ever negotiated wasn’t even for me. I was helping a friend buy a new car and I was fearless. My friend was ecstatic with the deal and in awe of my negotiating abilities. Six months later it turned out to be a lie!
Six months later I was buying my car and I caved in at every opportunity. I was putty in the salesperson’s hands, he could have sold me undercoating. The deal I negotiated was great for the dealership but not for me. .
Why did the “power negotiator” in me abandon me in my hour of need?
It turns out there is a psychological reason why you behave differently in social or business settings. The phenomenon is called Social Inhibition. Your concern for what people think of you changes your behavior. For most people it causes them to pull back into a safer more conservative mode.
There are three parameters that influence our level of Social Inhibition:
Self-image – We all have a self-image of who we think we are. Our self assessment is seldom accurate because our self-image is too flattering or too jaded. This results in people having the illusion that they are more capable than they actually are or they dupe themselves into thinking they are a failure respectively.
Projected-image – We have a concept of how we want others to perceive us. We act differently when we are with strangers or people we are trying to impress compared to hanging out with our friends. Most people know how their self-image is different than their projected-image.
Actual-image – This is the reality of who we actually are. This is your true identity which you aspire to be. Your life experiences (good and bad) change your self-image and the image you project to others obscuring the authentic you.
The fastest way to breakthrough the bondage of Social Inhibition
Since ancient times we have used masks to change the way we interact with others. The mask gives you the power to decide how you want to behave in any situation. Costume parties are a great example of people being freer because the mask gives you permission through anonymity to act differently. The mask allows you to be the authentic you in any situation.
Pick your mask carefully
In any situation you will know what attributes that would be most useful. Lets say being outspoken would serve you best. Think of the person that exemplifies that attribute and put on their mask and watch your behavior change immediately.