Updated: Aug 7, 2021
12 Rules for Life is a book written by Jordan Peterson. In this article I will be summarizing three of the rules that can help you build better relationships. The rules are: make friends with people who want the best for you, tell the truth -- or at least don’t lie, and assume the person you are talking to knows something you don’t. These rules can help you build better relationships and help you become a more influential person. These three rules help you choose the right friends, avoid being in a relationship where you aren’t truthful in your communication, and to build a more engaging and deep relationship where you find yourself in engrossing conversations often.
Rule number three is to make friends with people who want the best for you. Usually, this isn’t something you usually hear. However finding friends who want the best for you is harder than you might think. Two rules Jordan Peterson said he almost put in his book are “be careful who you share good news with” and “be careful with who you share bad news with.” Friends who do not want the best for you will encourage you when you’re doing something bad. You should be careful who you let into your mental space because if you let the wrong person in, they can drag you down tremendously.
Rule number eight is to tell the truth, or, at least, don’t lie. This may seem cliche, but it holds a meaning that can help you build trusting and deep relationships with people. Truth will never fail you, whereas you can build yourself up on a pillar of lies, and have it easily collapse beneath you. By telling the truth about how you think and feel with friends and family you can build much deeper and trusting relationships. By telling people the truth you imply that you trust them with the truth. Not only that, but they will understand you better instead of trying to get to know you based on lies you’ve told them about yourself.
Rule nine is to assume that the person you are talking to knows something you don’t. Most of the time you would rather be right than wrong, but oftentimes what you don’t know is more important than what you know. This is why you should be happy when someone points out that you’re wrong. Most everybody needs to talk to think properly and in order to talk you need someone to listen. When you listen it allows them to sort things out, and you are able to learn more about them and perhaps they might say something insightful. Not only can it help others to think but if you internalize how much you don’t know and the humility that comes along with it, you can learn from people more effectively because you are curious about what you don’t know.
Building better relationships with your friends and family can start with you. Finding people who want the best for you can help you avoid unnecessary complications with relationships. Telling the truth develops trust within relationships and eradicates the possibility of your compounding lies to crumble beneath you. Assuming the person you are talking to knows something you don’t develops curiosity that allows you to quickly learn from the person you are talking to. Relationships are extremely important, and are something you should develop before you desperately need them. I would recommend the book “12 Rules for Life” and the talk Jordan Peterson did on How to Academy about his book.