Humans are very selfish creatures; this is not exactly something new. My good friend Doug Obey wrote in his book “Money and the Human Condition” that capitalism works so well because it harnesses our selfish nature to better our society. As hard is it is to accept, this statement is true.
It is my personal belief that as our technological society advances, our selfish nature is showing itself more and more and there are far too many tools to help us become even more selfish.
It’s About Them
Typically, when I go to text someone, especially someone I communicate with regularly – I tend to (want to) blurt out whatever my question is. I am trying to change this etiquette to embrace a more altruistic perspective. For example, instead of just stating the first thing that is on MY mind “How do I get this to work?”, I try to preface it with “Hello [name], how are you? I hope all is well.” THEN I add my inquiry.
The very nature of email and text allows us to be much more informal than we otherwise might intend to be in a professional environment. And yes, I know what you’re going to say “But if I’m just texting my brother a question, why ask how he is?” etc. The answer; For the simple reason that it is more important to put their needs before yours. From a selfish point of view, being unselfish begets what you want faster. Seeing someone ask how you or stating their hopes for your well being before they ask you a question is more likely to grab your attention than an intrusive question that you would prefer to get back to later. Keep in mind, we send texts and emails because we know they are less invasive, but the fact is, someone is stopping whatever they are doing – even if for only a moment, to give you the attention you are asking. So we need to respect that time that they are taking and begin by asking how they are.