Most of us know that people act and react differently depending on how we treat them, but few of us actually understand that how we think about others will ALSO subconsciously affect how they treat us. While manipulation with flattery and gifts (bribes) can sometimes work, that kind of fakery can backfire as people can sense it. If we want to improve how other people treat us, then here’s a valuable psychology lesson that we have to learn.
Once upon a time, in ancient Greece…
…on the island of Cyprus, there lived its king named Pygmalion, who was an extremely talented sculptor. One day, he decided to sculpt an ivory statue of a woman representing his ideal of womanhood. Upon completing his masterpiece, the statue that King Pygmalion made was so beautiful that he himself fell in love with it. He cared for it daily, as if it was a real woman.
One day, on the festival of Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, King Pygmalion secretly made a wish—to have a wife, just like his ivory girl. As he went home, he kissed his statue and felt that its lips were warm. As he kissed it again, the statue was now soft like human flesh. The Goddess Aphrodite had given it life, and it had become his perfect woman. They soon got married and started a family. That woman later became known as Galatea.
Modern psychologists have used this legend as an inspiration for naming two psychological concepts on self-fulfilling prophecies: The Pygmalion Effect, and the Galatea Effect. Here’s how they’re defined according to Oxford:[Read more…]