Personality Shapes How We View, and Are Influenced By, People

I think personality drastically shapes how we view people. I was thinking about this in regards to Robert Murphy. He and Nassim Taleb are probably my favorite living thinkers/philosophers. Plenty of people would look at Nassim Taleb and think that makes a lot of sense, but most people that read Robert Murphy’s work wouldn’t think the same thing.

Robert Murphy presents himself like a regular guy with a quirky sense of humor. He’s very lighthearted, he likes making jokes relating to childlike things, he sings Karaoke and doesn’t present his ideas with a sense of awe. Due to this, people wouldn’t describe him as a great philosopher and profound thinker … rather, he is a smart guy who you want to like.

Nassim Taleb fits the role of philosopher much better. He takes himself very seriously, he has a more stoic personality, he doesn’t use goofy anecdotes. Of course, from an actual qualitative stance … all of that stuff doesn’t matter.

I first ran across this years ago I made a video critiquing Ayn Rands philosophy on judgment. I ended up being persuasive to another fellow YouTuber who agreed with me and he made his own video outlining similar points (but with his personality attached). A funny thing happened when I had another friend who watched both videos … he talked to me how thoughtful and brilliant my YouTube friends criticisms were and that I should watch it. I remember thinking, “WTF? I know you watched the video I made outlining the same exact points.” It got me thinking about how I had a casual demeanor, while my YouTube friend had a much more philosophical and thoughtful demeanor.

I obviously think people are too guided by demeanor and emotions to see great ideas.

Save as PDFPrint

Written by 

Aaron White, married to a swell girl, is a business owner and unschooling father of two, going on three. His hobbies are music and poker. He resides in Southern California.

Notify of

1 Comment
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
H. Rearden
H. Rearden
5 years ago

I think many people would rather watch a video of someone who they can relate to. I believe that people are more likely to be persuaded by someone they can relate to and more likely to feel intimidated by someone who appears to them to be more educated than they are. If you want to reach a lot of people sounding really intellectual and using jargon and words that most people don’t use probably is the best approach. Talking down to people and talking to them like they are idiots is not a good thing either. Just don’t talk to… Read more »