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10 Things We Can Learn From Wes Anderson’s Movies

10 Things We Can Learn From Wes Anderson’s Movies

Wes Anderson is one of the greatest directors making movies right now and he has become renowned for his style and artistic interpretation throughout his career, but what are some of the greatest things we can learn from Wes Anderson and his movies?

1. It’s okay to take time to figure things out (Moonrise Kingdom)
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    Look, let’s face it, you’re probably a much more intelligent person than I am. In fact, I guarantee it. But even smart kids stick their finger in electrical sockets sometimes. It takes time to figure things out. It’s been proven by history. All mankind makes mistakes. It’s our job to try to protect you from making the dangerous ones, if we can.

    Sometimes we can’t plan how things are going to work out and we may feel completely lost without any sense of direction. Make some mistakes, learn from them and let it all figure itself out over time.

    2. Stick together with those who are closest to you (The Royal Tenenbaums)

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      All memory of the brilliance of the young Tenenbaums had been erased by two decades of betrayal, failure and disaster.

      Yes, the Tenebauns are a dysfunctional family and this tarnished their ‘legacy’. Everyone has their problems, but by sticking together with your family and friends things will get better. It’s important to respect those close to you and be there for them like you hope they’d be there for you too. The Royal Tenenbaums showed that whilst family can be the source of some problems, it can also be the solution.

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      3. Be proactive (Fantastic Mr. Fox)

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        Honey, I am seven fox years old. My father died at seven and a half. I don’t want to live in a hole anymore, and I’m going to do something about it.

        Life is short (even if you’re not a fox) so make the most out of it and be in charge of your own destiny. If there’s something you don’t like, be proactive and change it.

        4. Be true to yourself (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou)

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          Well, I was a little upset at first. I mean, obviously people are going to think I’m a showboat, and a little bit of a prick. But then I thought… that’s me. I said those things, I did those things. I can live with that.

          At the end of the day, people are going to think what they want to think. As long as you are able to stay true to yourself, and what you believe in then what everybody else thinks should soon enough become irrelevant to you.

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          5. Honesty is the best policy (Bottle Rocket)

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            One morning, over at Elizabeth’s beach house, she asked me if I’d rather go water-skiing or lay out. And I realized that not only did I not want to answer THAT question, but I never wanted to answer another water-sports question, or see any of these people again for the rest of my life.

            Truth hurts, but sometimes being honest with yourself and to those around you means you can move on with your life and life the life you want to live. Plus, you won’t have to answer another water-sports question again.

            6. Money can’t buy everything (Rushmore)

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              You guys have it real easy. I never had it like this where I grew up. But I send my kids here because the fact is you go to one of the best schools in the country: Rushmore. Now, for some of you it doesn’t matter. You were born rich and you’re going to stay rich. But here’s my advice to the rest of you: Take dead aim on the rich boys. Get them in the crosshairs and take them down. Just remember, they can buy anything but they can’t buy backbone. Don’t let them forget it. Thank you.

              Having money is not the be-all and end-all of everything. Whilst you might be able to buy expensive, luxurious things with money you can’t buy life experience and you definitely can’t buy ‘backbone’. Earn your right to be rich in life experience and ambition.

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              7. Never miss out an opportunity to show love (The Darjeeling Limited)

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                You’re the two most important people in the world to me. I’ve never said that before, but it’s true, and I want you both to know it. I love you, Peter.

                If you like someone, make it clear and tell them just how much they mean to you. You never know when the day might come that you won’t get the chance to tell them this again, and it’s always a nice feeling when someone realizes how much they’re appreciated.

                8. Show affection (Moonrise Kingdom)

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                  Wait. Just in case this is a suicide or they capture us and we never see each other again anymore, I just want to say: Thank you for marrying me. I’m glad I got to know you, Suzy.

                  Sam’s old-fashioned way of showing his affection for Suzy is a lesson we can all learn from. By complimenting and taking an interest in Suzy, we see that true love can conquer all.

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                  9. Being rude is a way of expressing fear (The Grand Budapest Hotel)

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                    Rudeness is merely an expression of fear. People fear they won’t get what they want. The most dreadful and unattractive person only needs to be loved, and they will open up like a flower.

                    It’s fair to say that anyone with a rude or mean attitude is just openly expressing their fear or anger at not getting what they want. By showing respect and being respectful, you can not only set a good example but also make sure you don’t let it slip that you’re scared.

                    10. It’s alright to feel good about yourself (Fantastic Mr. Fox)

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                      I think I have this thing where everybody has to think I’m the greatest, the quote unquote ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’, and if they aren’t completely knocked out and dazzled and slightly intimidated by me, I don’t feel good about myself.

                      We all have our own goals we want to achieve and an idea of what perceptions we want people to have of us. It’s not a bad thing to want to exceed what people already think of you and to aim high. It’s also totally fine to be able to feel good and believe in yourself. Knowing you can do something, as opposed to doubting yourself, might be the difference between being able to get it done or not.

                      Featured photo credit: Lucius Kwok via flickr.com

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                      1 Why Happiness is a Choice (And Why It’s a Smart One to Make) 2 How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward 3 What Is Self-Actualization? 13 Traits of Self-Actualized People 4 9 Powerful Techniques for Building Rapport with Anyone 5 Had a Bad Day? 6 Simple Steps to Rebound from It

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                      Last Updated on October 22, 2019

                      How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

                      How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

                      Many of us feel awkward to talk to strangers. What is it that makes us pause and become worried or anxious about talking to people we don’t know?

                      Numerous studies have shown that our levels of cortisol go up when we are around strangers.[1] Cortisol is the hormone inside of us which produces stress responses.[2]

                      A very interesting by-product of increased cortisol is that it makes us less empathetic. More than likely this can be traced to our evolution. The increase in the cortisol and the corresponding decrease in empathy makes us want to stay away from strangers. We are biologically wired to feel concern around strangers.

                      Another reason is that humans as a whole have spent a large chunk of their history banded together in small protective groups. We did this in order to help protect each other and maximize resources. When you think about it in this context, outsiders to our small groups or strangers are considered potential threats. Fear of strangers is common across almost all human cultures.

                      We can also thank our society for helping us feel uncomfortable and sometimes afraid of strangers. The term “stranger danger” is something most of us can relate to either growing up or raising kids. Or both.

                      I remember hearing this from my parents, mostly about not getting in someone’s car I didn’t know. And as the father of 2 teenage girls, you can be sure I’ve talked to them about this very concept more times that they want to hear.

                      The thought that strangers can be dangerous is built into us as it is. Toss in the amplification of the media on strangers doing things such as kidnapping kids and it takes it to an even higher level.

                      Now that we’ve reviewed some of the reasons why we are nervous, let’s look at some tips on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

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                      1. Say Hello

                      Putting “say hello” first may seem a bit obvious but let’s take a deeper look. Much of the social awkwardness when speaking to strangers is simply breaking the ice. The first words that will engage someone.

                      Most people will respond when someone says hello or hi to them. And those that don’t, you probably don’t want to talk to anyway.

                      Practice being the person that opens the door to a conversation. Say hello.

                      2. Ask About Them

                      Something that I have noticed over the years is that people love to talk about themselves. Even fairly private people tend to open up when asked about events in their lives.

                      You can ask leading questions that get people to talk about themselves and recent events. Things like recent movies watched or the summer vacation are great to get someone talking.

                      As a father, I also know that people love to talk about their kids. Asking about kids is a fairly easy topic to bring up and in general, most people will expound upon all the great things their kids do or are involved with.

                      3. Just Do It

                      One of the biggest reasons we don’t do things we want to or know we should is because we overthink it. Quit thinking about it so much and just do it.

                      When you give yourself the time to analyze every little angle about a situation, you also give plenty of time to talk yourself out of it. You’ll wind up thinking what if this happens or what if that happens.

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                      Try to force yourself to jump right in without thinking about it too much. Whenever I have done this, I always feel great about it afterwards, no matter how it turned out.

                      4. Don’t Take It Personal

                      One of the greatest lessons in life I ever learned was don’t take anything personally. We all go through life with our own sets of experiences and see things through our own lens. The way people react to different situations has almost nothing to do with us. It has to do with previous experiences and the way people feel about things other than us.

                      When someone’s reaction isn’t what you’d hoped or expected, chances are it has nothing to do with you. Remember that and keep it in context.

                      5. Get a Chuckle If Possible

                      I used the word chuckle purposely because it makes me laugh. In my opinion, it’s one of those funny words. We all like to laugh because it makes us feel good. And when someone makes us laugh, we typically remember those people in a positive light.

                      One of the best ways to make a conversation easy and free flowing is to get some laughter going. It doesn’t mean you have to be the master joke teller or anything. See if you can work in a way to make the person you are talking to get a smile or some laughter in. In fact, laughing at yourself maybe a nice try.

                      6. Detach

                      A great feeling is when you don’t mind which way something turns out, that you will be fine no matter what happens. Kind of like when I watch my two favorite football teams play against each other. I don’t really care who wins, I just want a fun game.

                      Treat talking to strangers the same way. You don’t really care how the conversation goes because you are detaching from the outcome. Make it a fun time with yourself and if the conversation goes well, awesome! If not then no big deal, move on.

                      7. Share Your Stories

                      Well, all like to feel connected to other people. And many times we wind up hanging out with people that we have things in common with. No surprise here.

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                      To help with how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward, tell stories that have commonalities with the person you are talking to. Kids are an easy one. I have a daughter who was a competitive cheerleader and now plays club volleyball. I have instant connection and stories with strangers I speak with who have kids that play sports. It’s easy to relate to.

                      So when you are speaking to a stranger and you have a story or mutual connection point, bring it up.

                      8. Give a Compliment

                      Almost everyone likes hearing a compliment, whether they admit to it or not. As a general rule, we don’t give out enough compliments. It’s amazing how one small remark someone tosses your way about how good you look can literally make your entire day.

                      When you are speaking with someone you don’t know, see if you can work a compliment in. Nothing creepy here. Not a good idea to tell someone you just met that they are the prettiest or handsomest person you ever met. However, if you can share how you like their tattoo or shoes or something like that, it will help put the conversation into an easy going, smiling place.

                      9. Relax Your Body Language

                      If you go into a situation all worried and nervous, it shows on your body. Your shoulders are tensed up, there’s a look of consternation on your face, things like that.

                      When you engage a stranger in conversation, make it a point to relax your body language. Take a deep breath before you engage the person, let your body relax, and put a smile on your face. This will help relax you and it has the added benefit of putting the other person more at ease.

                      If they see that you are relaxed, it helps them relax. Plus having open, engaging body language is very conducive to inviting someone to open up into a conversation with you.

                      10. Practice, Practice, Practice

                      Like everything else in life, talking to strangers gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

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                      Make it a point to talk to several strangers each week and it will definitely help you relax as you do it more and more.

                      After a while, it will become something you don’t even think about, you just do it. And that takes all of the awkwardness out of being in these type situations.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Now that you know the techniques to talk to strangers, moving forward, you’ll reap these many benefits of getting over the awkwardness:

                      • Broadens Your Network – After you talk to someone, you didn’t know previously they become someone you know at least a little bit. This alone helps broaden your network of people you know. This is helpful in many ways whether it is work related or socially related.
                      • Improves Your Communication Skills – I am a huge proponent of the value of solid communication skills and have written about it often. The more you talk to people, especially people you don’t know, the better your communication skills become. Interacting with a wider variety of people will bring the added benefit of improving your communication skills.
                      • Continually Learning – So many of us don’t actively seek to learn new things. This is one of the primary keys to staying engaged in life and our own personal self fulfillment. Almost every time I speak to someone I didn’t know previously, I’ve learned something new. When we speak to strangers, it pushes us out of our comfort zones and we tend to learn new things.
                      • Increases Self Confidence – Every time we learn to do something we were previously anxious about, we feel better about ourselves. Forcing ourselves to talk to strangers will lead to increased self confidence. As we get more and more comfortable doing something that previously made us feel awkward, our self confidence will go up and up.

                      As we have seen, it is perfectly natural to feel awkward talking to strangers. We are biologically built that way and we have our own society constantly warning us how dangerous it is. It’s no wonder we feel awkward talking to strangers!

                      There are numerous benefits to learning to be more comfortable talking to strangers. See if you can employ some of the techniques mentioned to learn how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

                      Once you start practicing speaking with strangers more often and utilizing some of the tips, you will become more comfortable doing so. This in turn will lead to a learned new skill and increased self confidence.

                      Remember, everyone you know was a stranger at one time. Now get out there and make some new friends.

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                      Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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