“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and most fools do”

How a good mood helps to smoothen things

In the post tips before lunch to get more followers, I provided information on being likable.

Cognitive ease

But how are these methods successful? Whether we communicate with other people verbally or non-verbally, our brain processes any sensory input of our senses.

We perceive the singular input, like the smell of familiar food or the noise in our favorite bar, as a cue.
If this cue is familiar to us, then we have a feeling of cognitive ease. We are happy to recognize something familiar. The same applies to abstract things like events, speech, or thoughts. The more we can rely on existing cues, the less alien something feels.

What influences cognitive ease in communication

Most people know that the clothes you wear must fit the occasion. Nobody comes in his holiday shorts to a job interview as a bank teller. Visual appearance, manners, and speaking style add to this equation. We perceive someone as likable if he dresses the same way as us and if he has the same values. And because he is likable, he seems more trustworthy. This halo effect relies on a feeling of cognitive ease.

In contrast, somebody unfamiliar to us will face the full force of our intellect. We analyze all his arguments with a lot more scrutiny. We observe and analyze more rationally.

Remember the feeling you have when you enter a new group. You are first aware of the differences or do not perceive any familiar cues. As a result, you experience neural stress. As soon as you get acquainted with the new situation, you start to relax.

How to fit in

You have undoubtedly encountered situations where some people seemed more equal than others. Be it at the selection for group contests or a work promotion. Rarely are people actively discriminated against. Instead, the choice was done because their message seemed easier to understand. And because it is easier, it looks better and more authentic.

If you do not fit in the system 100%, be it by gender, skin color, dress style, or attitude, then you must work extra hard to replace the missing cognitive ease with other factors that can smooth the way.

How a good mood helps to smoothen things

The other factor is mood. The mood is like the perceived safety of our surroundings. If an environment is not safe, we have a bad mood as we constantly need to watch our back. This is why office politics affects a workforce’s long-term happiness. Inversely, showing a good attitude can provide an image of safety to other people. This “artificial” good mood can act as a balance to the missing familiarity.

Therefore it is always good to show your bright side towards strangers and only complain towards your friends.

Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and most fools do.

Dale Carnegie