Chris Lakin

Polarize: How do you find people you’ll like? Be polarizing.

I quite enjoy being alone, so I often prefer to be alone than in the company of most people. Because of this, when trying to make friends I don’t mind filtering through the vast majority of people in search of the few I really like.

I know I can’t be close friends with everyone around me, so I’m not looking to satisfy everyone with my thoughts, opinions, and behavior.

How do you find people that you really like?

Share your thoughts, opinions, and beliefs strongly, without restraint, and always. Be polarizing.

After practicing this consistently, you’ll be left with a concentrated dose of people who really like you at your rawest and truest— just the people that you’re likely to like quite a lot.

Note that the objective of this isn’t to necessarily select for people that merely believe the same specific beliefs you do, but the objective is to select, on a meta level, for people who find strong beliefs interesting, even if your specific beliefs are different than their own.

For example, I’m active in the Effective Altruism community, where the majority do not eat meat to try to limit harm to animals. Now, I don’t eat plants for health reasons (carnivore diet). The most interesting and curious people tend to find my beliefs interesting because they’re unusual. I’m not looking for other carnivores—I’m looking for open-minded individuals.

And if someone sees my strange beliefs and wants to rationally debate them, then that’s all the better signal that they’re an interesting person.

When meeting someone else in the Effective Altruism community I don’t shove this in their face, and it’s not what I say first, but I feel free to bring it up.

Sing your own song. Be (almost) raw. Be polarizing to attract the best and filter the rest.

Do you disagree with this essay’s claim? I’d love to hear what you think!


Posted 2020 August 2, updated 2021 February 7.

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