When Did We Start Referring To Our “Superpowers”

I hate when people talk about their “superpower.” I find the term so arrogant.

Now that I took a stand, allow me to be a hypocrite. I claim two superpowers in life. I don’t talk about them much because neither power serves any useful purpose.

My first power isn’t that unusual. A friend of mine has the same one. It makes for interesting dinner party conversation. That’s where the usefulness runs out.Whenever I go out to eat with a group of friends, I always remember what everyone orders.

Whenever I go out to eat with a group of friends, I always remember what everyone orders.

A few weeks ago, I recalled a time we went to dinner. It was a group of eight. Seven of us ordered the herb crusted salmon. One ordered the shrimp scampi.

The first time my wife and I went out for dinner after buying our house I ordered the braised lamb with cannelloni beans.

Like I said, it serves no useful purpose.

But if you think that power is useless, wait until you hear this one.

For some reason, I remember the name of almost all obscure musical artists of the 1980’s.

Yesterday, the song “I just died in your arms tonight” played in the background of some movie on television. I was upstairs at the time. I heard my wife tell my son that she forgot who sang it.

“It’s The Cutting Crew who sings it,” I yelled downstairs. Nobody heard me. I didn’t get the recognition.

The Superiority Effect

Here’s my confession.

Despite my superpowers’ lack of utility, I enjoy when someone recognizes me for it. We sometimes call this the superiority effect. We crave recognition for the skills which we feel superior.

It’s a form of validation.  It feels good when someone recognizes you for your awesomeness.

We all feel it to some degree and in various aspects. We also look kindly on people who recognize us in the areas we feel superior.

There’s a catch. Overt or fake praise backfires. They see where you’re coming from.

Subtlety Wins Out

Instead of writing or saying

You are so knowledgeable about xyz. Tell us what you think.”


“I’ll defer to your judgment for any question about xyz.”

It’s a way to recognize their superiority without being showy. The receiver of that communication appreciates the recognition and validation of her expertise.

This works whether you communicate to a market, coworker, prospect or friend. If you write to a group of financial advisors you should be able to find out what skills they value most. All it takes is a bit of research.

Win A Supporter For Life

Pay attention to what they write, what they say and the questions they ask. That kind of unsolicited communication reveals more about what they value and where they hold themselves in the highest regard.

If you see a Facebook profile that reads “I bring home the bacon for Company XYZ” – You can bet that person thinks he owns superior sales skills.

Use your observation skills to gather what’s important to them. With subtlety, recognize their superior skill. You’ll win a supporter for life.


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