Every philosopher has some schema in the back of their head about the best way to live a good life. People like Marx focused a lot on economic power in a society. Some ancient philosophers thought pure thought and reason would pave the way for a good life. My approach is contemporary with our culture today and I believe social revenue is the key to living a good life. People strive for being known and well liked, think of the primary uses of social media in the technology age. People of fame literally get paid to be well known in the world. Being socially involved is a desire humans have, some even take their own lives when they are unable to be a part of a collective whole. There must be some value in the best way to interact with the world to shape your good life accordingly.
A key principle is friendliness. Friendliness is going to be the best way to connect with people because open arms get more guests. It is even to the extent of being friendly to complete strangers for moments at a time if it means that they will have a better day. Friendliness is not to be used in malice or strategic manners for personal gain. That would not be being friendly so much as being false to the world around you. A practical value of being friendly is that you can easily break the ice and tension with others. Due to the reliance of technology, people have become shy and do not like to strike conversation if it seems unnecessary. Always taking the first move and engaging others will make them think better of you.
To keep people engaged, it is better to go about in an approach of asking questions. Questions require the other people to engage positively with you and it keeps them talking about stuff they enjoy talking about. Socratic method was something like this but Socrates used his method for a subtle mockery. This method is to bring about discussion on both parties. People enjoy speaking about their passions and will more than gladly tell you theirs.
The more collective knowledge one has, the wider the variety of groups one can mingle into. Everything in the world is connected in one way or another and having just fragments of knowledge pertaining to it could be enough to give you the credibility to stay engaged and the credibility for the other party to believe your sincere interest. Even groups of people that have nothing in common with you will appreciate if you engage in their topics in a sincere and respectful manner.
When it comes to finding groups that you do not normally fit with, contextual knowledge of blending in will be your tool. Blending in is a method of using inferences about the space you are in to conjure credibility (social revenue) within that space. If you are new to a space with groups of people whom you have no knowledge of, the ability to take inferences about the community and space you’re in will allow for you to have some knowledge to work a conversation with. When people later speak about the things they enjoy within that realm, you will have collected enough knowledge to continue conversation with other members in that group. It works best to think of this method as extroverted learning.
Like how all knowledge is collected, all groups are connected in one way or another. Within every group there is some underground beliefs or assumptions about that group that will overlap with others. Once you’ve managed social revenue in one group, it will be easier to use that knowledge to apply it to groups similar and blend in once again. Once blended, an individual will have an easier time being credible, well-liked, and friendlier to those around them.
This method of being is not shifting your beliefs to fit the scenarios you are in. That way would presume that your beliefs are inconsistent and you can be molded by the world around you. Instead, it is a way of using the knowledge you have about the spaces and groups around you to maximize the amount of connections you have with others. The more knowledge you collect about the groups around you, the more you can apply that knowledge to other groups to gain credibility there. When the time comes and you need alliances, you will have them by the dozen.
Some people reject this way of being. They believe that being connected to everyone has more cons than pros and being connected will diminish the sincerity of the connections around you. Some ancient thinkers even went to lengths to coin the phrase, “A friend to all is a friend to none”. I believe that is just the phrase you’d expect to hear from someone who has not been a friend to all.