A few years ago, while running through one of the ridiculously high amount of Psychology books I have eaten my way through - not literally, as that would just be stupid and bad for my health, I wandered across an idea in which all human beings are each driven by one solitary emotion. This emotion, whatever it may be, is the defining characteristic in which we feel the greatest sense of validation and contentment, when any form of reciprocation merits a stroking of it.
This is an important notion to be aware of when seeking rapport, especially with those who we do not yet attain it with. This idea resurfaced to me today during a conversation of about fifteen minutes or so with one of the coffee shop girls in Starbucks, where I do the majority of my writing and filter coffee drinking. She told me all about her religion - she was a Muslim, and spoke with a great sense of love and admiration over the ways and means she observes her belief system. A question I inquired about after her mentioning to me of the five times a day she would pray towards the direction of Mecca.
Besides learning about the reality where these five time periods are set throughout a day - I always thought you could pray anytime, so my knowledge is slightly better, I also was reminded that all religions are generally peaceful and positive, and that Islam is better off when spoken about by true practitioners of the faith, like Yusuf Islam, or practically anyone in the middle-east, as opposed to a bunch of middle-class, right-wing radicals who produce hate filled gutter trash spewed from pesudo-papers like The Sun or The Daily Mail.
Regardless, it was clear this girl felt a large portion of herself is defined by her faith... which is a pretty good choice of emotional drive. It was nice to hear not a single solitary word which never once sounded hostile or negative, and, even though I never took her up on an offer to visit the central London mosque anytime, without outwardly rejecting it - I am Agnostic, and am not looking to find God. If he finds me, that's cool, but much like the way I fell in love, if it happens, it will simply, happen.
The driven emotion can be either positive or negative to anybody. Some people generally feel validated through rejection, or anger geared towards them. The majority possess more positive traits, which can be anything from emotions of love, empathy, strength - emotional, not physical, courage, dignity, reverence, discipline, organization, peace, pride, honour, humour... the list is endless.
I started to consider my own process of the emotion which drives myself, and finally deduced that the feeling I find ingratiates myself to others more than any other trait; is intelligence.
Whenever I can connect with someone who feels an acceptance of me being a smart person, even though the definition of smart is far reaching, I feel content and satisfied. The strange irony is that once you know what it is, you find yourself not really needing to seek acceptance from it anymore. And, I imagine, a new emotion comes to the forefront.
So, next time you have a moment, ask yourself, which emotion drives you? When you find the answer, ask yourself why it drives you in the first place? After this is completed, begin to view the other people you meet in the random conversations of life. Quietly seek it in the other person you desire rapport with. You will see it, it is subtle, but a consistency tends to flow which begins to make sense.
Anyway, this is my rudimentary lesson in social anthropology for today. Have a ponder, realize the good of all religions, and the desire we all have to somehow connect and fit in - born from the reality of the primal dangers of the outcasted being, and next time you meet someone new, ask them about the things in life they love the most... unless they are a serial pervert. Then I would avoid them altogether. And, if you think this is all a bunch of mindless psychobabble, then I am glad you took the time to read my blog.