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Manliness Trait: Treat Ordinary People Extraordinary, Treat Extraordinary People Ordinary

1 July 2008 4 Comments

There is a wonderful compliment you can give just about anyone you ever come across (including the rich and famous) – Treat Ordinary People Extraordinary, and Treat Extraordinary People Ordinary. As a Manliness Trait, it is right near the top of my list since it is core to being seen as having the manly skills that turn us from being just a guy, to being genuine man.

I first heard this entire saying several years ago when someone was trying to explain what made Larry King, the reporter, so effective in his craft. The secret Mr. King grasped was that deep down, people almost always want to be treated like they were special in some way – and everyone has special qualities worth exploring. He was able to turn ANYONE into a great interview by being able to get to that very something that made them special. Likewise, he was able to make the folks our society consider extraordinary or amazing, seem very ordinary and very human-like.

There are many variants of this phrase people will cite from time to time, but the entire phrase put together is an embodiment worth exploring. Treating people good is a cornerstone to human interactivity. Being able to find ways to develop the craft of “relation” is a cornerstone to manly behavior.

Treat Ordinary People Extraordinary

Masculine, important, genuine men in every walk of life and from every generation have always found a way to relate with everyone they come in contact with. The Manliness Trait Try To Be Interesting, But ALWAYS Be Interested is a wonderful technique for us to relate to others. The core of that relating skill, though, is the need of people (not the want, but the human need) to be treated as if they were special. To be treated as what they have to say or do really indeed matters to the rest of us.

Oftentimes, this is not easy to implement, but the concept is very easy. Where men trying to have more manliness in their lives often fail in this endeavor is the incorrect assumption that men have to lead and being the dominant character in a setting is the way to achieve this. Here are some things to keep in mind when trying to Treat Ordinary People Extraordinary.

Be Mindful – Give your full attention to the person speaking. Engage in their feelings (as well as their thoughts) and try to truly understand why they are saying or doing what they are. People oftentimes go through the motions of listening or engaging, but don’t take an active role in it. Remember, that ALL people are interesting in their own way. We can learn so much from everyone we come into contact with, it is a shame to waste the moment and energy by not being mindful.

Replace Fear With Love – It is human nature for us to put up barriers and shields to protect ourselves. After all, :everyone is out to get us and people always want something from us.” This is a fear instilled by us (though, not always a bad fear to have) by our parents, friends, colleagues, and society in general. To help combat that fear, we have to find an emotion to replace it. To battle it away, replace that fear with love. Think of something that makes you happy and hold onto it in your head. This will allow your natural skills of relation to take over and focus on the other person. This will also allow you to find the good in what the other person has to offer. Once you find that, it becomes second nature to treat that person extraordinary in their own right.

Selflessness – Women do this SO much better than men, but we have to learn the skill. It can be difficult for men to take the back seat and put others needs and desires in front of their own, but remember, we are trying to learn a manliness trait that will help in every aspect of our lives. The act of being selfless is an act that will eventually give you way more than what you are giving up. It usually pays off tenfold if done genuinely.

The Physical World Is Transient – The things around us that distract us from human interaction is transient in nature. Things come and go. People come and go. What is left is the interaction and memories people create when they have a moment. Having a moment is not transient. The idea of treating the ordinary extra-ordinary is a way to create a moment that will stick with people as opposed to simply being forgotten as soon as the physical time has ended. When you come across someone who really understands this concept, that person leaves an defining mark in your memory. Be the man who leaves behind a feeling of “that gentlemen really made me feel special.”

Be a Servant – Serving others is not weak. It is not effeminate or unmanly-like. It is one of the manliest things a guy can do. It is often not expected and when a clearly strong, manly, masculine, forceful, commanding man who is a clear leader turns on his servant role, the altruism comes across as real and genuine. This is a manliness at its core.

Treat Extraordinary People Ordinary

We live in a world where people are put on pedestals. Oftentimes, they are put there by media and the like, and nobody really knows for sure why. In any event, they are seen as extraordinary. They don’t have their 15 minutes of fame – they have their 15 years. What makes these people special? Most of the time, unless we have been living on Mars, we know what makes them special in the eyes of society. Especially today, with 24 hour news channels, cameras on cell phones, and the internet all in play, people are well informed as to why people are seen as extraordinary.

What most forget though, is that they are humans. They have feelings; they have struggles; they have families; they have fears. They care about the same things we all do and are inundated with the same exposure to what people think about them. We are all looking at the same information.

A man can endear himself to extraordinary people by 1) acknowledging their extraordinariness and then 2) treating and speaking to them like everyone else. The best interview I have ever seen from Larry King is the one that he did with Kid Rock. He spent 50 minutes talking about his kids, his feelings, his thoughts on the mundane and the other 10 minutes on his extraordinary singing career. You could see the genuine connection that was made and the memory that will last a lifetime.

The idea here is to make certain you, as a man and a gentleman, are not overwhelmed by someone’s perceived greatness. You are equals and are on equal footing when it comes to life. You may share some experiences and have some very different ones as well.

In summary, at the end of the day, people will respect you more when you treat them with the respect they deserve. Treating people who come from ordinary backgrounds and ordinary experiences as extraordinary in nature, allows the potential of a memory for them that will last a lifetime. Treating people with extraordinary backgrounds and circumstances as ordinary also allows for the same potential memory. Both are unexpected and both display a level of manliness that will pay off in spades.


  • Mad Men's Pilot Episode Is Classic - Watch It Free Online | Return To Manliness said:

    […] can do more than hope, though.  We can make sure we never forget that how we treat other people is one of the most manly traits you could […]

  • banners said:

    hey Very Nice blog.
    quite interesting. i learnt so many things from this blog about manliness

  • Will said:

    Interesting. I’ve done this all my life with no thought of it being a manly trait. Yet, I’ve known that I do it since I am the man and I must lead my wife and children to be the one who establishes relationships for my family to follow. That is, I establish how we receive others and I set the tone of how we treat them. Our several sons who are now married also take the lead in how their families relate to others.

  • admin said:

    Great points…this is one of the best traits I know…

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