Navigating Your Network With Emotional Intelligence

As a Tribe member of Peak Prosperity, knowing what you know means you have to understand how to communicate with everyone around you, where they are. Family and friends may not be like-minded. They don’t enjoy the Tribe (the community) here. But whether it’s family at the dinner table or friends at a holiday party, difficult discussions are likely to come up.

Chris gives great advice on surviving and thriving with friends and family.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Know Thy Self

Great points. Think also in addition to building rapport, I have found being clear about my own thoughts and boundaries is very important because these intentions precede us like a hood ornament on a car. One is always broadcasting unconsciously, and everyone picks up on it before any words are ever spoken.
Have also found that by being sure and knowing what one is about acts as a silent magnet. If there is no pre-intention or agenda to recruit or change someone, then there’s no threat. Then a sense of synchronicity becomes a part of this process and one becomes like an interesting book on a shelf waiting to be opened by a curious person passing by.


You Can Lead A Horse To Water, But…

Great points all around. The most effective way for an idea to spread is for someone to think it was their own. A lot of people have ego wrapped up in their ideas, and admitting they might be wrong can be a challenge. Planting idea seeds and asking open ended questions is an effective non-invasive way to help people come to conclusions themselves.


Einsteins Principle

Einstein once said that you can’t solve a problem on the level it is created.
When talking to a hypnotized member of the covid cult (most of my family and the majority of the local population) I won’t initially talk about any aspect of covid. Instead I’ll kick it up a level and say something like “It used to be that science was primary but now it seems like the narrative is dominant” and perhaps give an example.
This is much less likely to generate a negative reaction as most people have noticed some degree of increased censorship and government lying. When you have a Prime Minister who comes out with statements like 'We will be your single source of truth" it is not too hard to sow some seeds of doubt


Ask How And Why A Lot?

I once learned (not sure if true) that technique that Ben Franklin used to do to persuade others was never give the direct answers or your opinion, but instead to continually ask probing questions that would get the other person to recognize in their own logic why some point was made. E.g. “Why do you think so many people are …?” Then “…Maybe, but what I don’t understand is how…” By asking the questions why and pointing out where you don’t understand, the other person is forced to explain their logic. This is much less threatening, and if the other person has a point you can even learn from it yourself.
I’ve tried this, but it is a lot harder than it looks. It requires practice to not give your opinion (e.g. I’m not doing it right in this post even - hypocritical me!), and even more practice to listen to their argument while keeping your own thinking strait to ask the next question without just blurting out what you think.
I find that this can also drive other people nuts if you push too long. People get frustrated when they contradict themselves. So one trick seems to be that you need to back off early, change the topic and give them breathing time. 1 or 2 questions only, then “hum… I’m not sure I understand yet, but let me think about that”. Then come back to the topic later when they will have a slightly less confusing answer.
Anybody else try this technique?


Socrates, the founder of western philosophy.


I agree, sound very much like Socratic dialogue

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The Penny May Drop Decades Later

Good conversation starter, very reasonably conveyed. Some related thoughts and thumbnails.
Best to lay off icing the cake. We may have been guilty of this one–certainly I have. I’m in a conversation, it’s going quite well, eyes and minds are opening (all around, myself included), but then, thinking we have come all the way together on this, I might say one or two things too many that the person is not yet ready to hear. The metal gates come down like a shop at closing time. Fair to say that less is more in this context. A few bites of the cake is enough–forget the whole cake and icing.
Calmness and humor. I tend to be most receptive to people who are not yelling at me (obviously) or too intense. Intensity can be self-blinding and, like a klieg light, is a little hard to look at without narrowing the eyes or turning aside. By contrast, someone making good points or asking questions in a reasonable, good-natured way is inviting me to join him or her in a mutual journey of discovery.
Zone of Proximal Development. Re the point about forwarding articles, I have tried that with mixed results. Most things I read will be kryptonite to many people I know, but occasionally I find things that appear right at the doorstep where someone might be. The zone of proximal development as they say in education theory. Sometimes I get a positive response, sometimes a hostile dismissal (“This article is full of sh*t”), and much of the time nothing at all. But it may be that the seeds we are dropping are finding fertile soil but we just don’t know it. I’ve had students write to me after 20 years to thank me for something I’d said ages ago that stuck with them and had just become useful in their life. (Other alumni must be jabbing voodoo dolls–how else to explain my chronic pins and needles…?)
Definitely true that it is best for people to reach their own conclusions – because then the thought process is theirs. It’s not just a matter of pride (though it is that too), but when people arrive at their own little lightbulb moments, the pleasurable and memory-building neural activity is theirs. Even if you cue up the 2 + 2, it is good for the “4” to drop like a penny in their own mental slot.


Free Speech And Inquiry Is Indeed Unsafe, But Only For …

Regarding links we might share with others, I’ll be forwarding links re the most recent Munk Debate, in which was argued, “Be it resolved: Don’t trust mainstream media.” While I haven’t seen the whole video yet, the articles below suggest a clear rout by Douglas Murray and Matt Taibbi over MSM-apologists Malcolm Gladwell and Michelle Goldberg of The NY Times.
A before-and-after poll of the Canadian audience shows a record-setting 39% shift in opinion towards the view that the MSM is untrustworthy.
Gladwell, who is used to having people kissing his ass, was apparently quite put out by having his ass handed to him.
Incidentally, the crushing results of the debate demonstrate why not a single doc, scientist, or gov’t official dares take up Steve Kirsch on his $1M offer to debate him (and Kory, Malone, CM, et al) on live video: the cowards know they will be annihilated. MG got spanked, and he’s probably lost some reputational luster as a result. Even though the The New Yorker and The Atlantic will not report on the Munk debate (it will be swiftly memory-holed), you might not see him debating the likes of Murray anytime soon. He’s better off taking the stage by himself and yucking it up w his acolytes.
This Munk slaughter shows precisely why authoritarians always want to shut down free and open debate. They disingenuously claim free speech is “unsafe”–and it is: but only for liars and frauds and stooges.


I use the Socratic method commonly and like you said, it drivers people nuts or even to tears in some cases. Its important to identify how emotionally sensitive the individual is because they might have a break down at their first cognitive dissonance. Those who tend to feel more do not like having to justify their own positions as they immedietly discover they cannot and will start to deflect, this is the point where I learned to slow down like you suggested. A lot of people you simply will have no success with because they are far too demoralized.


Important Creation Suggestion.

@cmartenson First of all thank you for this piece, as any conversation with someone who doesn’t already agree will fail if things like this are not understood.
Beyond that, I have a request and recommendation for you to create that I hope you will consider. Perhaps something for you to do in cooperation with other clear minded experts like yourself. I would like to see the creation of a compilation of the science evidence and all other information that exists to this date about covid and the vaccines. Accompanied by some short condensed orientation videos that help break down the information for people. This would need to be framed and presented in as clear and credible way as possible.
This would serve 3 purposes:

  1. A condensation of information that people like us could send others to who have not been fallowing along. I have watched nearly every video presentation you’ve given on Covid, but I can not easily convey that same information to someone else such that it will register for them how much this is not just fringe talk, but is a body of scientific as well as circumstantial evidence that continues to mount. The above suggestion would be something I and others could send someone to who’s willing to look.
  2. This would become the beginnings of the criminal case being built against the powers who have been perpetrating these ongoing crimes against humanity. I understand that we may never see justice but that is not a given. If it happens, people like you should be ready for it with robust information and your expertise ready to deploy. Also, even for lack of criminal prosecutions, ordinary citizens can always know what happened regardless, and this would help that.
  3. This would become the beginnings of a full accounting of the whole string of events for the annals of history. People like you who have so carefully documented these events will be the people who need to write the books that line up the whole story beginning to end as this thing ultimately becomes just another part of human history. Respectfully, I hope that you understand just how important that kind of role is, and that you are one of those people. Very few people can actually do this kind of thing.
    As someone who has fallowed you closely and respects the work you are doing, I wanted to take this opportunity to make this suggestion. Please take it into deep and careful consideration. I’m writing to you here because I am not aware if I can easily write to you directly. Thank you for your time, attention, and work.

Wow. And just like that every bit of respect I had built up for Malcolm Gladwell vanished.
From the National Review Article:

“I was struck, once again, in listening to our opponents by how much their arguments resemble the kind of classic structure of a conspiracy theory,” Gladwell said later on in the evening.

“This is a much milder more naive variant on the traditional conspiratorial model.” During the event, Gladwell also scoffed when Murray and Taibbi raised the issue of Hunter Biden’s laptop being censored by Big Tech ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
MG is an NPC. His brain is no longer useful to me as a conveyor of useful things. I may well have to reexamine any prior goodwill I had. At least partly because a normal, non-deranged person would notice that they were on the wrong side of the debate and reexamined things. Perhaps settled back while they puzzled out the situation. But the 'true believers' of the orthodoxy of lefty rightness? No, they just double down. They scoff and sneer as they dig in.

This reminds me of the ending of many episodes of the old detective series Colombo. He’d have the case all sorted out, have the criminal in front of him all smug at fooling this seeming doofus detective, then he’d say “Just one thing I can’t quite figure out…” Then the criminal would pretty much confess on the spot. Great writing.
It’s hard to set it up and to know just when to ask the question, but when it works it works. It’s a great technique, and I’m going to practice using it more often. I am rusty though.

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Likewise. The framing I learned from Gladwell’s The Tipping Point has been useful, but his subsequent books Blink and Outliers were little more than anecdote-logs with few unifying concepts. Pretty much gave up his books after that. I am sorry to see however that he has dropped to being yet another NYT NPC.


In an unfortunate bit of timing for the scoffing Mr Gladwell, his put-downs about “conspiracy theory” and Hunter’s laptop are about to explode in his face:
Elon Musk has just announced the imminent dropping of a trove on data re Twitter’s suppression of the laptop story.
Malcolm’s genius hair is about to become uncommonly ruffled.


Same for me. That said, I learned to never equate something what a person said or wrote with how that person actually thinks. I think that most people here agree with what Rousseau said. Most here will be disgusted by the fact that he left his newborn children at the side of a road… I really liked and like The tipping point, I threw away Blink and Outliers.


Distance Can Be A Necessary Tool

Great summary, Chris. I would add, certainly from my own experience, that we have to be comfortable with distancing from those who are adamantly not on the same page. I have said and continue to maintain that if the foundation of any given relationship is strong, it will survive the challenges. Distance does not have to be a bad thing. Sometimes it is necessary.
It is said time heals all wounds. In our fast paced world, with short attention spans and instant gratification, many are unprepared to use time as an effective tool - to reflect, ponder, sort through mixed emotions, identify exactly what one is feeling, and find ways to identify with what others are feeling.
Life is not like a 30 minute sitcom where big issues arise, but then everyone kisses and makes up after the last commercial break. Life and relationships are hard. Damn hard! Success takes tremendously hard work. Those who endure the hardship with a long term view, and who do the work, are more apt to recover from challenges such as what we are experiencing now.
Life and relationships are like gardens. They need lots of TLC, inputs, and at times, fallow periods. There are always weeds beside the produce. Some years are bountiful, others not so much. It is impossible to have a perfect productive garden year in and year out. Relationships are no different.


Hi Marrix,
While I can see merit in your idea, this would be an unimaginably huge undertaking. There is so, so much data that would need to be condensed that even after that it would still be like a book. And how to choose and/or include the innumerable credible, verifiable sources would be an immense task.
You might instead find what you are looking for here: under the tab
I would add that under the Covid Research tab on that same website there is an incredible library of information. Not necessarily what your average Joe or Jane is looking for, but still, an invaluable one stop shopping information source.


The Littles Need Help

This is a bit tangenial, but I have noticed that there are so many children 5 or 6 years old and under who are having trouble reading faces and reflecting emotion in their own faces. Instead of the soft, open, emotions-passing-over-like-little- breezes faces of small kids, their faces are kind of immobile and frozen. And much less eye contact. I think this may be an artifact of the pandemic and being masked and surrounded by the masked.
When around children now, I play a game of making faces. We all together make sleepy faces, surprised faces, mad faces, cold faces, scared faces, happy faces. Little kids love this game, and everyone laughs at the faces people make.
I worry about the littles who were little during the pandemic. They need some extra attention to their emotions and their ability to understand people’s facial expressions and to connect what they are feeling with expessions. I am having a hard time articulating this, but there is some learning that should have taken place that passed over them. In normal times, tiny babies stare very intently at faces, and what do adults do? They look back and smile at babies and speak to them in high-pitched singsong voices and tell them how smart and cute they are, and respond to the baby’s changing facial expressions. And the babies watch closely and then respond back. Some ancient primal way of communicating and bonding with babies and children was broken during the pandemic.


Nasim Taleb is another example of dramatic difference between written work and real-time discourse.