Negan is one of the most ruthless leaders in the world of The Walking Dead and perhaps what’s most scary about him is that people like him are not just dominant in social interactions but they oftentimes do become leaders in our own world especially in times where security is so hard to find. In this video, we’ll break down what traits make Negan such a dominant force, why those traits make him a natural leader, and how you can handle those traits when you encounter them in real life without the baseball bat, obviously. By the way, spoilers through mid season 6 and some graphic images because we’re talking about Negan here. First off, let’s take a look at Negan’s body language. Notice how he invades other people’s space. Same goes for everyone. Right? I don’t know Rick, how about a thank you? You think that might be in order — is that too much to ask? You also notice that Negan’s eye contact is almost always sustained while others are compelled to look down or away. Thank you. Don’t be ridiculous. Thank you. In fact, he goes a long way to make sure that Rick looks at him only with subservience. Right, careful. Be careful how you’re looking at me, Rick. That is the look I wanted to see. Negan has an acute sense of how to exert dominance using just his body language. And he knows how to read when others are challenging him with their body language. This might seem like a minor point but it is actually huge. Humans are animals and we evolved from a long line of mammals that did not have the power of language so a lot of the ways that our predecessors solve disputes without resorting to direct violence was by invading each other’s space and seeing who cracked and it wasn’t always the most physically capable who won these disputes. …charge begin and I think, and I’m sure, if I would have even flinched once… So Negan makes it a point to win these body language invasions and stare downs in order to keep people in line without always having to resort to violence. You see the same thing in the schoolyard, in the bar, and even corporate disputes. People, especially men, vie for dominance in these non-verbal battles. Who can invade whose space? Who looks away? Who feels more uncomfortable? These are the non-verbal threats that established the pecking order even in human society. The good news is that we don’t live in a world where you’re going to get murdered for disagreeing with your boss. So how do you react to these non-verbal threats — invading of your space, menacing eye contact? A simple way that will work, especially well in professional situations, is to just call it out. You can say, “Hey, I don’t know if you realize but you’re standing really close to my face right now.” In our society, that is often enough to get people to back down through shame and though I wouldn’t recommend it for dealing with Negan. You can breathe, you can blink, you can cry — yeah, you’re all gonna be doing that. The next huge thing that Negan does is that he makes the rules clear so that everyone knows what gets them punished and what gets them rewarded. It’s very much on purpose that Negan starts with violence early in his interactions with new groups. This is to establish that the punishment is real and he repeats consistently that he wants people to understand. …he made a lot of demands, even more threats, and they kill one of us. Rory, he was 16 years old, he beat him to death right in front of us. He said we needed to understand right off the bat. And he repeats his rules. The first one is free, then it gets shut down. I already told you people — first one’s free. And then what I say? I say, “I will shut that shit down.” No exceptions. I need you to know me. And when Darrell punches him after the first free one, Negan implements the most effective punishment that someone as brazen as Darrell could suffer. He kills one of Darrell’s friends. …back to it. At the same time, punishment can only go so far if you’re a leader. There must be positive reinforcement for people to do what you want them to do and Negan is excellent at setting up reward systems for those loyal to him. He gives his wives access to everything and he gives his closest generals access to his wives. …since you’re doing such an awesome job, you want a little blast from the past with you-know-who? Plus, Negan sways strong enemies to his cause by offering huge benefits to contrast with the punishment of fighting him. …three choices — one, you wind up on the spike and you work for me as a dead man; two, you get out of your cell, you work for points but you’re gonna wish you were dead; or three, you work for me and you get yourself a brand new pair of shoes and you live like a king. And while Negan is extreme as the world of The Walking Dead demands, these lessons apply to anyone in a position of power whether you’re a parent, a boss, or even a dog trainer. You need to have clear consequences and you can’t just punish, you must reward too. I see this mistake all the time. For instance, in parents who reward their children regardless of their behavior or, potentially even worse, parents who only punish bad behavior like getting bad grades but don’t know that they must also immediately reward good behavior like studying. Negan ups the ante still because his goal is to build total compliance and his rules are more than they appear. They’re an elaborate game where he gets you to give an inch and then takes more and more and more until you can imagine not giving him everything. That’s how he starts with taking half and winds up taking whatever he wants. He’s taking all of our medicine — they said only half our stuff. …so I don’t want to go hard proven a point here. You don’t want that — I said half your shit and half is what I say it is. And it’s also why his initial offer to daryl is so absurd. Simply say your name is Negan and you have everything that you want. This? Well, it can all be yours. All you gotta do is answer one simple question. Who are you? This is because Negan knows that altering someone’s identity is one of the strongest ways to permanently alter their behavior which brings me to my last point — Negan is building a cult of personality like some of the most ruthless and effective dictators of the 20th century. It’s not just obedience, it’s complete identification with Negan. Check it out. Who are you? Negan. Who are you? Negan. Who are you? Negan. This kind of behavior is not that far-fetched. Charles Manson was able to totally control his followers to the point of ordering them to commit a gruesome murder which they followed through on and it began with simple mirroring games intended to get them to act as if they were Charles Manson. Listen as one of his followers explains. …the family became one with Manson. One of his things was to stop you during the day and you put your palms up to his and then he’d moved them in any direction that he could or he would make a series of faces and then you were supposed to try to keep up with them and the whole thing was geared towards just complete mirroring of of him. This is the genius of Negan. Some leaders would raise armies of peasants who went to war because they’d be shot if they turned around. Those peasants deserted as soon as the opportunity arose but because Negan technically gives the people around him choices like work for me or live in squalor, people are more likely to identify with their decisions. Yes, they were coerced and hungry but they chose their path which is when the identity starts to kick in. People start thinking, “If I chose to do this thing, this must be the kind of person I am,” and Negan reinforces increasingly bizarre behavior until you’re acting exactly as he would want you to without him even being there. Was Negan in that building last night or was he here? Both. I’m Negan, shithead. If you want to know how to defend yourself from this in today’s world, just stop and pause when you get that feeling that you’re doing something outside of your identity and ask yourself, “Is this right?” I know it sounds simplistic but it is incredible how insightful our moral compasses are when we give them room to speak. You really do know the answer more than you think and sometimes that answer will be “no” like when your boss pressures you to stay in a job that you really don’t want. Sometimes the answer will be “yes” like when your friends pressure you to finally ask your crush out on a date. The point is to let your moral compass speak uninhibited from all your fears when you find yourself confused as to what to do. Also, I’ll keep this brief because Negan doesn’t make a great first impression. Who are you? Oh, you’re better be jokin’. Negan Lucille. I know I had to make a pretty strong first impression. But if you want to learn the for motions that actually make a good first impression, go ahead and click the button here, submit your email on the following page, and check out the video on how to make a great first impression on anyone that you meet or at least make an impression better than Negan’s. If you like this video and want more, definitely subscribe to this channel. We cover the best ways to become your most confident charismatic self in the moments that count the most and you’re gonna get more of that every single week. So if you want to make sure that you never miss a chance to improve or video of ours, click the subscribe button now. I’m also considering making next week’s episode, our next week’s video — I guess these are episodes at this point, a follow-up to this one. I’ve never watched The Walking Dead prior to your, guys, suggestions in the comments that I do Negan and now I have and I’m kind of addicted so know that I take these suggestions very seriously. I would love to hear what you think in the comments about doing another one on the topic of Negan and leadership or on The Walking Dead or any other topic that you like. Anyways, I hope that you enjoyed this video and I will see you in the next one.