Philip Guo (Phil Guo, Philip J. Guo, Philip Jia Guo, pgbovine)

Why Trying To Impress People Is Pointless

As I've gotten older, I've come to realize that trying to impress people is pointless. Here's an argument similar to the one that I made in Why Acting Arrogant Is Pointless ...

In any social situation, you're either:

  • the most competent or highest-status person in the room,
  • or you're not.

In either case, trying to impress other people is pointless because:

  • If you're the most competent or highest-status person in the room, then there's no point in trying to impress anyone. You have nothing to prove. Showing off only makes you appear insecure about your skills.

  • If you're not the most competent or highest-status person in the room, then if you try to impress people, those with higher competence or status will immediately notice and think that you're a schmuck. They won't be at all impressed, since they're more impressive than you are!

Either way, you lose.

Instead, engaging with people is a much better strategy. Either engage them about their interests, or get them excited about yours ... not by trying to impress them, but rather by conveying genuine enthusiasm about what you're doing.

Created: 2015-01-09
Last modified: 2015-01-09