Tag Archives: Steve Doocy

Why People Like Me

I was listening to a lecture on love by Yale President Peter Solovey and he mentioned a psychological effect that explains why people like me.

Some of us wandering this world struggle with chronic amazingness.  Indeed, it is onerous.  Being good at everything annoys people.  Empirical stuff says so!  It’s objectively unlikeable.

Yet people do like me!  How can this be?  Shouldn’t the awesome oozing from my pores be driving them away?  The answer, it turns out, has nothing to do with seriously-mega-rock-solid assumptions, but with something called the “Pratfall Effect.”  Apparently, psychologists have observed that, for highly competent people, it helps to have major visible screw-ups that you can take responsibility for that shows you are just human.  Scientists see it over and over.  Not having it all together allows people to love you.

I suspect lots of people already know about the Pratfall Effect.  Maybe it’s another of those things that never quite made it to Taiwan growing up.  When I heard about it today I instantly realized something.  For years I’ve been saying that my stuttering has a strange effect on people.  Its not such a bad stutter that it substantially frustrates communication, but its just bad enough to let people know that I am struggling and don’t have it all together.  I guess its endearing to say smart things while looking like an idiot.

So now I broadcast wise counsel across the blogosphere to all those who, like me, struggle with chronic amazingness.  Acquire a speech impediment.  Despite occasionally confusing phone conversations, there is nothing finer for lubricating any social occasion.  Some people go with the lazy eye, a few try the periodic facial spasm, still others psychotic nervous laughter.  Don’t be fooled!  Stuttering gets the girls (which so happens to be the title of a collection of short stories that I am trying to publish which you should help me publish by becoming a publisher immediately or if you are one already writing me and telling me “hey we would love to publish your stories”) and stuttering may get boys as well (I am less informed in this particular area).

Stuttering is the wave of the future for overly awesome people everywhere and you are in luck.  For a limited time only, I am offering certified stuttering lessons.  Contact me before all slots are taken!  My talent in this area is legendary and your happiness is only a few elongated syllables away.

 
The Pratfall Effect while talking with Steve Doocy on Fox & Friends.  Risking your life to rescue strangers is just piss-poor career planning if you don’t have a stutter to go along with it.
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Fox&Friends

Seriously, who is making these decisions to allow stutterers on the air? : )


If you had 5 minutes in front of 2 million people, what would you say?

Since Thursday, it looked like life was getting back to normal and things were calming down.  Life lied.  This afternoon I was contacted by a producer at Fox&Friends, and I am scheduled to be on their show Tuesday morning 6:30ish (they should give me details tomorrow).

Fox & Friends is the highest rated morning news show in the nation with almost 2 million viewers a day.  As a firm believer in the transformative power of ideas, this is an incredible opportunity, and it gets me thinking: If you had five minutes in front of 2 million people, what would you say?  Your thoughts and advice is welcome.

Who knows what will happen?  Maybe I’ll stutter on my name the entire time.  But I am leaning away from any personal plugs like finding work, a publisher, etc.  Clearly, I will talk about the event itself, but I hope to get through that fairly quickly.  What I really want to talk about is the broader meaning for this entire category of events–what these sorts of stories say about each other, what they say about our national dialogue, how they point to a common love and compassion which undergirds our society and entreats us to hold each other in high regard, to respect each other, even our enemies.

Ok, maybe I won’t change the world with this interview, but maybe maybe I might help one person esteem their spouse more.  If so, I win.