So my mother keeps raving about this show on ABC called True Beauty. This past weekend without any football on television I accidentally watched an episode. I know, I know. I’m not proud of myself. However, as I watched it became clear to me that this reality show was all about social intelligence, or a lack there of. Here’s how the show works: a collection of hot dudes (more than likely douche nozzles) and smoking’ hot chicks (princesses) have been selected to compete in a contest in which they believe is solely about their physical beauty. However, unbenounced to the contestants the judges, through a series of hidden camera social challenges, are secretly judging them on their inner beauty as well as there outer beauty.
So how does social intelligence play into this mess of a prime time show? You see, social intelligence is all about understanding, being conscious and aware of other people’s emotions, feelings, thoughts, etc. through your daily interactions. People who are self absorbed and concerned with their own interests often fail at social interactions. Simply stated, self absorption kills social intelligence. We cannot afford to deny the social nature of our brains. By making the effort to genuinely understand others you can better bridge the gap in your social interactions. It’s like a great quote I read in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, “Seek first to understand, and then to be understood.”
The unique thing about True Beauty is that it to the contestants it is first and foremost a competition. And competition brings about our most primal urges to put ourselves before others. It’s no coincidence that the primal urge to be top dog is linked back to our old brain – the part of our brain that is primarily concerned with our own survival and well being. Competition has made the beautiful people on this show respond in overly self absorbent ways in the hidden camera social interactions and group challenges. At the end of each week the two contestants that act in the most self absorbed, rude manner are pitted against each other. The person with the least social intelligence and regard for others is then asked to leave the show. My guess is that the winner of True Beauty will be the person who will best balance being socially aware and responsive while remaining competitive in the hidden camera social interactions.
Let this be a lesson to everyone. No mater how competitive or heated the situation is, it’s important to remain emotionally attuned with others around you. It might just win you fame and fortune on a nationally televised reality show.