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Here's how 18 people got over being homophobic, proving there's hope for everyone

"I looked for logical reasons to be and couldn't find any."

lgbtq, homopbobia, overcoming homophobia

Homophobia? Get over it.

There are many different reasons why some people are homophobic. A lot of them are raised in religious households where homosexuality is seen as sinful and they never get over their indoctrination.

A study from 2018 found that people who foster homophobic attitudes are less intelligent than those who accept people regardless of their sexuality. For the study, researchers asked subjects if they agree or disagree with the following statement: “Homosexual couples should have the same rights as heterosexual couples do.”

After comparing data sets, researchers found that the lower a person's cognitive intelligence, the more likely they are to be homophobic.

An older study from 2016 using an eye-tracking device found that some homophobic men seem to have an impulsive, automatic attraction to other men.

Homophobic attitudes are more prevalent in people with authoritarian personality types. Authoritarians have “submissive attitudes toward strong leaders, a desire to punish all who violate conventional moral codes, and strong fear that conventional morality is breaking down.”


There are also some who believe that humans evolved to be homophobic because it favors the propagation of the species. "In its simplest form, parents who showed a concern for their child’s sexual orientation may have left more descendants than those who were indifferent,” Gordon Gallup, a human sexuality researcher, wrote.

(It should be noted that Gallup formulated his theory in the ‘80s.)

Regardless of how people become homophobic, the good news is that Americans are slowly becoming more accepting of LGBTQ people. A Reddit user by the name of aestheticbear wanted to prove that everyone is capable of losing their homophobic views by asking the subforum, “What happened that made you stop being homophobic?”

According to the posts, growing up and meeting people who are LGBTQ was one of the most effective ways for people to get over their homophobia. It also helped when they got away from religious parents and began to see the world with their own eyes.

Here are 18 of the best ways that people got over being homophobic.

1. 

"I met some gay people. As it turns out they were just people." — moolord

2. 

"Not homophobic, but I woke up at about 10 when my mom said my uncle was banned from coming to our vacation condo by my father because he was gay. Before then I kind of let the arguments and both sides bit wash over me, but that was a crystalization point where I started noticing it as pure bigotry. I'm sorry the nicest dude in the family full of domestic violence and white-collar drug abusers cant come to Christmas because he's gay? You're both cheating on each other, sanctity of what marriage now?" — Robin_Games

3. 

"My mom slapped me and told me everyone has a right to be happy. That was in 9th grade 13 years ago." — Bloodllust

4. 

"Homophobia was the norm when I was growing up, then I got older and the political landscape changed which made me question my belief and I came to the conclusion it just didn't make any sense to be homophobic." — LuciferIsFallen

5. 

"I came out as gay." — pethal

6

"Realised that, fundamentally, being gay is just 'what' you are. It’s not 'who' you are." — Alternative-Rain-718

7. 

"I wasn't super homophobic, just a 'love the sinner, hate the sin' kind of guy. On my last day in high school, someone said 'Why do I care? They're not hurting me.' Cured me in three seconds. I still remember how magical that moment was for me." — Dirgonite

8. 

"Stopped listening to my homophobic family and left their religion. Oh and also realized I myself was pretty gay." — Raidden

9. 

"There are 20 years between myself and my youngest brother. I (and my SO) was raised in an explicitly homophobic/biphobic/transphobic fundamentalist religion (that I left with my SO in my early 20s) so I had a lot of internalized, conditioned, toxic beliefs about the LGBTQ that needed to be deconstructed. My little brother was obviously either gay or bi and it was obvious from the time he was six imho. He came out to my sisters, SO, and I as bi when he was 11 and we were like "tell us something we don't know lol." I think watching him just grow up, it was obvious that he hadn't chosen to be that way, it was just how he was. This false narrative that LGBTQ are somehow defective or sinners became more disgusting to me over time.

I can't remember exactly when it happened but my SO and I were like 'if our future child happened to be LGBTQ, could we teach that child the things we were taught about the LGBTQ?" We were like "no, that would be evil.'

Now, we have an 18yo niece that recently came out as a lesbian and we feel honored to be the only family that she trusts enough to introduce to her first GF. Spending time with her just reaffirms the fact that there is nothing wrong with the LGBTQ, it was our upbringing that was defective." — Jormungandr91

10. 

"I was in the military during the repeal of don’t ask don’t tell. I wasn’t pro-gay whatever that might mean but sitting in those mandatory command meetings really opened my eyes. There were some legit homophobes trying every trick in the book to justify everything from moving sleeping arrangements to outright violence out in the open with gay people in the room.

I may not have been super sympathetic before that but after I realized just how difficult it was for a gay person just to go to work. Or how many precautions they were taking on a daily basis to keep in the closet. It pushed me from disinterested in the subject to siding with the obviously pragmatic stance of pro-gay marriage and gays in the military." — Pencilowner

11. 

"Went off to college, started meeting gay people, quickly realized that their awesomeness was no different than any straight person’s awesomeness, stopped bothering to “otherize” them as I had in high school." — hailnaux

12. 

"I became good friends with someone who came out to me a year or so after we got to know each other. Turns out he wasn't the abomination that my Christian parents/church had taught me all gays were. Indoctrination of children is a bitch." — Vefantur

13. 

"Honestly I think it was Lady Gaga. I was young and impressionable and she was cool and so LGBT+ friendly that I just started accepting people. And then it turned out I was a lil gay too so things worked out well lol." — plutoforprez

14. 

"I grew up and met some openly gay people." — polkavert

15. 

"I became an atheist. Through a painful experience of getting through serious depression, I came out the other side with a different worldview. As soon as I shed religion I began to question a lot of things including how I really feel about LGBTQIA people vs what I'd been indoctrinated to believe. They are just people trying to go about their normal routine like myself. There's no vast conspiracy or 'gay agenda.'

Years later, I suspect I'm one of them now. I might be asexual but I'm not sure yet." —HonestSummer

16. 

"As a teen I loved to make fun/bash gay people and listen to heavy metal. Then one day Rob Halford from Judas Priest came out as gay. Well, he is fucking Rob Halford and he can do whatever the fuck he wants. He is Rob Halford and being gay did not make him any less amazing in my eyes. After that I stopped caring about people being gay or not. Who am I to second guess or mock Rob Halford's life choices?" — cambeiu

17.

"I looked for logical reasons to be and couldn't find any." — theyellowmeteor

18. 

"I grew up." — jthomas287

Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

Image shared by Madalyn Parker

Madalyn shared with her colleagues about her own mental health.




Madalyn Parker wanted to take a couple days off work. She didn't have the flu, nor did she have plans to be on a beach somewhere, sipping mojitos under a palm tree.

Parker, a web developer from Michigan, wanted a few days away from work to focus on her mental health.


Parker lives with depression. And, she says, staying on top of her mental health is absolutely crucial.

"The bottom line is that mental health is health," she says over email. "My depression stops me from being productive at my job the same way a broken hand would slow me down since I wouldn't be able to type very well."

work emails, depression, office emails, community

Madalyn Parker was honest with her colleagues about her situation.

Photo courtesy Madalyn Parker.

She sent an email to her colleagues, telling them the honest reason why she was taking the time off.

"Hopefully," she wrote to them, "I'll be back next week refreshed and back to 100%."

Soon after the message was sent, the CEO of Parker's company wrote back:

"Hey Madalyn,

I just wanted to personally thank you for sending emails like this. Every time you do, I use it as a reminder of the importance of using sick days for mental health — I can't believe this is not standard practice at all organizations. You are an example to us all, and help cut through the stigma so we can all bring our whole selves to work."

Moved by her CEO's response, Parker posted the email exchange to Twitter.

The tweet, published on June 30, 2017, has since gone viral, amassing 45,000 likes and 16,000 retweets.

"It's nice to see some warm, fuzzy feelings pass around the internet for once," Parker says of the response to her tweet. "I've been absolutely blown away by the magnitude though. I didn't expect so much attention!"

Even more impressive than the tweet's reach, however, were the heartfelt responses it got.

"Thanks for giving me hope that I can find a job as I am," wrote one person, who opened up about living with panic attacks. "That is bloody incredible," chimed in another. "What a fantastic CEO you have."

Some users, however, questioned why there needs to be a difference between vacation time and sick days; after all, one asked, aren't vacations intended to improve our mental well-being?

That ignores an important distinction, Parker said — both in how we perceive sick days and vacation days and in how that time away from work is actually being spent.

"I took an entire month off to do partial hospitalization last summer and that was sick leave," she wrote back. "I still felt like I could use vacation time because I didn't use it and it's a separate concept."

Many users were astounded that a CEO would be that understanding of an employee's mental health needs.

They were even more surprised that the CEO thanked her for sharing her personal experience with caring for her mental health.

After all, there's still a great amount of stigma associated with mental illness in the workplace, which keeps many of us from speaking up to our colleagues when we need help or need a break to focus on ourselves. We fear being seen as "weak" or less committed to our work. We might even fear losing our job.

Ben Congleton, the CEO of Parker's company, Olark, even joined the conversation himself.

In a blog post on Medium, Congleton wrote about the need for more business leaders to prioritize paid sick leave, fight to curb the stigma surrounding mental illness in the workplace, and see their employees as people first.

"It's 2017. We are in a knowledge economy. Our jobs require us to execute at peak mental performance," Congleton wrote. "When an athlete is injured, they sit on the bench and recover. Let's get rid of the idea that somehow the brain is different."


This article originally appeared on 07.11.17

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

Hospice nurses reveal people's biggest regrets before death

Death and dying isn't a pleasant subject to talk about, though there's likely not one living person who has not been touched by death in some way. But the finality of death makes people wonder if people have any regrets from their life that they wish they could do over.

Author, Matthew Kelly decided to ask hospice nurses what they've heard patients reveal regretting before they died. The list was fairly long but also heartbreakingly simple. Many people spend their entire lives trying to figure out how to make more money in order to feel financially secure enough to vacation regularly or even retire.

Of course there would be some regrets around working too much, but that regret only made the list once. There are 23 other regrets people seemed to share and we'll get into them below.


One of the first ones on the list is, "I wish I had more courage to just be my self." Oof. That stings a bit. People spend so much time trying to make sure they're well liked by others that it seems that some people forget to focus on just being themselves. People may hide their true selves for a multitude of reasons such as safety or fear of abandonment depending on what part of their identity they were hiding.

Another common regret is, "I wish I had taken more risks." Risks can be hard when you have other people depending on you for survival. It makes sense that some people might look back on their life and think of all the risks they didn't take, whether it be due to anxiety or security.

Listen to the whole list below:

So many regrets on the list are things that people can start doing now. Like wishing to love more or taking better care of themselves. It's never too late to start caring for yourself or being outwardly more loving. In fact, nothing on the list is overly complex. They're all heartbreakingly simple things that people have the ability to do before their time comes.

Maybe this list will inspire others to make a few tweaks in their life to work towards doing these things while they still can. Maybe it will cause people to realize they're already well on their way to not having any of the regrets listed. Either way, it's serves as a reminder to live life in the best way that you can while still being true to yourself.

Teresa Kaye Newman thinks that Boomer parents were right about a few things.


Teresa Kaye Newman, a teacher about to have a son, knows a lot about how to deal with children. So she created a list of 11 things she agrees with Boomers on when it comes to raising kids.

Newman believes she has credibility on the issue because she has 13 years of experience dealing with “hundreds and hundreds” of other people’s kids and has seen what happens when her so-called “Boomer” parenting principles aren’t implemented.

Of course, Newman is using some broad stereotypes in calling for a return to Boomer parenting ideas when many Gen X, Millennial and Gen Z parents share the same values. But, as someone who deals with children every day, she has the right to point out that today’s kids are entitled and spend too much time staring at screens.


Here are the 11 things that Newman agrees with Boomers on when it comes to raising kids.

11 Things I agree with boomer parents on raising children

@teresakayenewman

11 Things I agree with boomer parents on raising children, as a #teacher and soon to be mom.

1. No iPads

“All I’m going to say is my kid has a whole world to explore and none of that has to do with being stuck in front of a tablet.”

2. No smartphone until high school

“Kids that are younger than that age do not know internet safety to a point where I feel comfortable letting them have free reign of the internet.”

3. Teaching the value of education

“What I’m going to teach them is [education] has nothing to do with how much money you’re making or how successful you’ll be professionally. But you will still value it, nonetheless. You will go with it as far as you possibly can, and then once you’re done with it, you can do whatever you want.”

4. Respect your teachers and treat them well

“This may be biased because I am a teacher, but everyone who has gone through a professional degree program and has put in the time and is there, giving you the quality education, deserves some type of attention and deserves to be treated well.”

5. Be kind to elderly folks

“If they’re on public transportation and they’re sitting down and there’s an old lady standing next to them and there are no other seats available, my child will know to stand up and give that lady his seat.”


6. Yes ma’am

Newman will teach her kid to use the terms sir and ma’am when speaking to adults. “It does not matter your age or status in society, as long as they are respecting their pronouns, that’s how we’re gonna be talking to other people.”

7. Greetings and gratitude

“Simple greetings and simple terms of gratitude are just not being taught like they used to. I think it’s really sad.”

8. Consequences for poor behavior

“If they’re neglecting their schoolwork and not doing what they’re supposed to do, they get their technology taken away. … Simple things like this are pretty common sense and I’m not sure why they’re not being done anymore.”

9. Respect adult conversations and spaces

“They don’t get to interrupt 2 adults speaking to each other. They don’t get to come and butt in at an inappropriate time when 2 people are talking to each other."

10. Clean your mess

“My child is going to put as much work in the house as we are regardless of whether he’s paying rent out of his own pocket or not. That’s because when my son becomes an adult, I want him to be a partner or a spouse or a roommate that someone is proud to have around.”

11. Bedtime

“I don’t care how old my kid is as long as he is living under my roof as a minor; he’s gonna have some sort of bedtime. But this staying up until 3 or 4 or 5 o’clock in the morning or pulling all-nighters like kids are used to … is absolutely not normal. And I’m not going to have a kid that’s staying up that late and then not waking up the next day.”


This article originally appeared on 12.20.23


Gen X invented the mix tape and we have the playlists to prove it.

Gen X is famous for being forgotten in most discussions of generations, which is hilarious because Gen X is totally awesome. Everybody says so (when they remember we exist).

Seriously, though, if you need proof that Gen X is fabulous, look no further than our playlists. The generation born between the mid-60s and the early 80s might just have the most varied and eclectic of all musical tastes. Our hippie/classic rocker parents passed down their 60s and 70s tunes, then we got the 80s in all its power ballad glory, then a brief 50s music revival during the 80s, then the rise of hip-hop, rap and grunge in the 90s.

A Gen X mom shared a video demonstrating the wide range of music she listens to ,and it's 100% familiar to those of us in our 40s and 50s.


As Word up with Jen points out, Gen X was "born in the 70s, raised in the 80s and partied in the 90s," cementing every decade's jams in our memory, from Anne Murray to Snoop Dog. Watch:

@wordup_withjen

Ya never know what you’re gonna get 🤷‍♀️ #genx #70sbaby #raisedinthe80s #partiedinthe90s #carjams

The comments confirm that Gen X really does have the bead on everyone's beats.

"I’m glad I’m not the only polyjamorous gen x out there."

"So I’m not the only one with a playlist that looks like it belongs to some with multiple personalities? This is a relief."

"Gen X is the only generation that covered so many genres of music AND decades of music. Don't give me the aux unless ur ready for a lesson in music."

"SO true!! You may get Metallica, you may get NWA, you may get Donny Osmond,you may get Duran Duran…who knows? 😂👏"

"I can relate 100%! It's not just one genre or decade. If you knew songs by NWA, Dre, Snoop, you also knew country songs by Shania, Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw and metal songs from Metallica to Pantera and so on. Even if you had a specific genre of music like me (90's hip hop/rap/pop) you also knew Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns n Roses by the very first riff and rocked the hell out of it lol. Love Gen X life!"

"I think Gen X hit the jackpot culturally. Signed, a Millennial."

Naturally, every individual has their own musical tastes, and people from other generations can certainly appreciate different music genres. But Gen X really has had the biggest exposure to a mix of musical styles during our formative. years. Our ingrained musical knowledge would make us excellent "Humm…ble" competitors, and we can sing along with pretty much anything pre-Y2K. (Some of us got Mom Brain in the 2000s that ruined us for memorizing lyrics to newer songs, but we can sing "Hotel California," "Sister Christian" and "Baby Got Back" in our sleep.)

The funniest thing about this is that the younger generations only know "playlists" as digital collections. Never will they know the hours of work that went into creating the "playlist" known as the mixed tape. Especially a mixed tape from the radio, where you curse the DJ for talking through the entire intro of the song. Even making mixed CDs took a lot of effort compared to few clicks it takes today to piece together a playlist.

Gen X may have its issues—all that angst didn't come out of nowhere—but when it comes to music, we are the unbeatable generation.

Former Secret Service Special agent Evy Poumpouras speaks at a Ted Talk.


In a revealing interview with Steven Bartlett on his “Dairy of a CEO” podcast, former Secret Service Special Agent Evy Poumpouras shared how to get people to do what you want them to do.

The key, according to Poumpouras, is to understand what motivates them. Once you know the psychological framework behind what makes them tick, you can persuade them to behave as you like.

Poumpouras is the co-host of Bravo TV’s “Spy Games” competition series and author of “Becoming Bulletproof: Protect Yourself, Read People, Influence Situations, Live Fearlessly.” She served in the Secret Service’s Presidential Protective Division for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama and protected George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush.


Poumpouras says that to get a “good read” on someone, it’s essential to listen.

Former U.S. Secret Service Special Agent Evy Poumpouras shares how to get someone to do what you want

@steven

Former U.S. Secret Service Special Agent Evy Poumpouras shares how to get someone to do what you want 👀 #podcast #podcastclips #stevenbartlett #diaryofaceo #specialagent #secretservice #security #evypoumpouras

The biggest mistake people make is they talk a lot,” Poumpouras said in the video clip. “Steven, if I'm doing all the talking and you're doing all the listening, you're learning everything about me. You're learning about what I care about, my values, my belief systems, getting a good read on me and I'm learning nothing about you.”

The former Secret Service Agent says that you should listen to determine the subject's motivational mindset. Are they motivated by money, sex, admiration, status, freedom, relationships, or safety?

“Everybody's motivated by something different. But I have to hear you and pay attention to you to understand what that is. Everybody's purpose is different,” she continued. “If you give people enough space, they will reveal themselves to you.”

It’s also a wonderful tactic because your subject will have no idea they are part of a manipulation because they are the ones doing the talking. It’s nearly impossible to give yourself away when you’re sitting in silence.

Understanding what motivates people is essential when protecting the safety of the nation’s most important assets and dealing with shady, dangerous people. However, it can also benefit the layperson by giving us a framework to understand people better. Knowing what motivates someone is very important, whether you’re on a date, in a business deal, or in a leadership role at work.

It’s also very important when raising children or training an animal.

Understanding your personal motivators is also essential for making the best choices in life. It helps us determine which actions will be genuinely beneficial. It’s also a great way to ensure that we are involved with people, organizations, and activities for the right reasons.

Productivity consultant Ashley Janssen says the key to understanding your motives is knowing your values.

"When you know what you value, you can identify how an activity or goal will support and foster those values," Janssen writes. "When you decide to try something, consider whether it’s what you think you should want to do or what someone else has said you should do. Those conditions are often not enough to sustain a behavior or activity. It’s hard to keep moving forward on something that you don’t really care about or are not invested in."