– Post 1 of 12 explaining impacts from People, Culture and Technology.
– The one line summary: Actions and emotions have a collective existence. We must notice and manage them to stay on our game.

1. We feel and resonate with others, whether we want to or not.

This human-to-human orientation is built into the structure of our brains. In his book Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind, Yuval Noah Harari points out that six types of sapiens originally evolved, independent of each other.

Today, there’s only one. While sundry ideas exist about what happened to the other five, a prevailing theory says that they did not work together well in large groups. They failed to flexibly coordinate.

They may have lacked the innate skill we have today to feel each other deeply and instantaneously. This is one thing the succeeding human brain—that is, ours—is designed to do: To unite with others under our own skin.

It happens across our senses—touch, sight, hearing and scent. Let’s explain touch and sight.


From just a one-second touch to their forearm, a stranger can accurately determine an anonymous person’s emotions about 50 to 60 percent of the time. Yes, you read that right—one second.

In the mere blink of an eye, we absorb someone else’s fear, anger, love, gratitude, or compassion. The likelihood of guessing right in this study, done by Dacher Keltner at the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley, was 8 percent.

And we know, “thanks to neuroscientist Edmund Rolls, that touch activates the brain’s orbitofrontal cortex, which is linked to feelings of reward and compassion.” This means that we humans clearly and powerfully feel, in a second, what others are feeling, without seeing them.

It’s primal and inescapable. Since the emotion may knock us Off Our Game, we need to recognize and manage it to stay on our path of achievement.

Now for eye contact. When we’re in focused, eye-to-eye conversations with each other, we synchronize brainwave frequencies in a process called resonance. Our brains are functioning as one when this happens. In a study conducted in Japan, ninety-six strangers were paired. Researchers “had them maintain eye contact under various conditions while MRIs examined their brain activity.” Findings show that mutual eye contact binds two individuals into a “singular connected system.” A part of the brain called the inferior frontal gyrus was active, showing “inter-individual neural synchronization.” As researchers at Cornell University explain, “Eye contact produces a powerful, subconscious sense of connection that extends even to drawn or photographed eyes.”

Other people clearly influence us in a deep, often unconscious way. This is designed into the structure of our brains. We merge brainwave frequencies with others and feel what they are feeling, whether we want to or not. If it propels our motivation positively, we need to capitalize on it. If it negates our on-game performance, we need to minimize or dispense with it.

The key question are:

1. What types of social influences most strongly boost your focus and motivation?
2. How can you experience more of them?
3. Are the impacts you have on others what you want them to be?

See sister posts for more People-related Off-Game Impacts:

2. You’re influencing me. We adopt others’ behaviors, emotions, motivations, and goals.
3. Who impacted you? The influence of no interaction with people we don’t know.
4. Primed—I’m about to behave in a preplanned way, and I have no idea that it’s happening.

For a more thorough description, go to OnYourGame.Today.

Also see posts about how Culture and Technology can work to bump us of off our game.

As always, be in touch. We love to hear about your successes!

Send in game boards, stories or questions. Go to: OnYourGame.Today/Contact

SEE POST: #2 – You’re influencing me. We adopt others’ behaviors, emotions, motivations, and goals. (3 minute read)