Like attracts like?

中国日报网 2015-09-18 11:58



Like attracts like?

Reader question:

Please explain sentence: “Always think about what you really want, not what you don’t want, because like attracts like.” What does “like attracts like” mean?

My comments:

This sounds esoteric because it addresses the metaphysical, i.e. our mind and thought.

Essentially it means if you think positive thoughts you will get positive results. If you focus on what you want and on how you can get it, then you’ll probably be able to get it because we often do get what we wish for.

On the other hand, if your thoughts are negative, the results will often be negative likewise. If you focus on what you don’t want, the chances are you’ll have it too. Focus on not having nightmares for example. Try as you may to remind yourself how you hate nightmares and must avoid having them tonight, chances are, sooner or later you’ll have one.

That’s why there is this advice: Beware what you (don’t) wish for – because you may get it.

Because, well, opposites attract, too.

You see, why do you hate nightmares if you don’t keep having them?

Kidding aside, the right thing to do is, perhaps, try to imagine having beautiful dreams instead.

Anyway, that’s the idea of like attracts like – positive thoughts beget positive results; negative begets negative.

Have you heard of the expression “birds of a feather flock together”?

That’s the idea. People of similar qualities, characters and temperament tend to play and work together.

Like, as in the idiom of like father, like son, refers to similarities.


All right. Now, media examples:

1. The old law of attraction, “like attracts like,” explains the psychology behind many of our daily decisions.

In the case of immigration fraud, it is used to explain why many scammers target immigrants belonging to the same ethnic or racial group as them.

Immigration fraud often consists of individuals who are not authorized to provide legal advice to immigrants charging for such advice. One common misconception among immigrants of Hispanic descent that enables these scams is that notary public, or notario publico, is an attorney.

The New York Attorney General's office warns:

“They seek to gain advantage over other providers by claiming to identify with the ethnic, racial, national origin or community-based affiliations of the immigrant group.”

These fraudulent immigration service providers often target their own communities and utilize “word-of-mouth” marketing in the community to lure immigrants into their practice.

“I consider this not just immigration fraud, but a robbery,” says Irina Matiychenko, director of immigration protection unit of the New York Legal Assistance Group. According to her, immigrants who earn very little money are often willing to spend it to begin or expedite their legalization process. The immigrants seeking legal assistance are more likely to trust someone who speaks their language or comes from the same background.

“People of Hispanic descent they will not go see a Russian attorney, they have enough of their own. And Russian people will go to Brighton Beach [to see a Russian attorney],” says Matiychenko. “[The fraudulent immigration service providers] live in those communities, they know their needs and they exploit it. This is exploitation of people’s dream.”

- This Sordid Trick Is Used To Scam Many New American Immigrants, Business Insider, March 7, 2012.

2. The title of today’s article is a very simple phrase — like attracts like — which is packed full of meaning. I guess it means in essence that “A” we usually mingle with people who are like us, who are on the same mental wavelength, so to speak as we are, and “B” it means that what we consistently think about, we will, maybe unwittingly attract into our life.

I remember very well hearing a beautiful female film star saying in a movie the following: “I don’t know why I keep on attracting the wrong type of people into my life.” Well once again, let me remind everyone in my reading audience of the universal law of attraction. This very important universal law states as follows, we attract towards us people, circumstances and events in accordance with our thinking. Wow, when you hear this universal law, it makes you watch your every thought real carefully, because with every single thought that you allow to enter and dwell in your fertile mind, you are attracting certain people and circumstances toward you. This is a fact!

So once again we see the absolute necessity, the need to very carefully monitor all of our thoughts throughout each and every day. When we notice any thoughts of a negative, destructive nature trying to gain entry into our mind, we simply stop them from entering as we banish them from our consciousness because we are fully aware, that as today’s title simply and succinctly states it, like attracts like.

- Like Attracts Like, by D. Paul Reilly, April 9, 2015.

3. A job interview is an essential screening device for hiring new employees. Most of the time the interview is effective and helps the employer select the most suitable candidate. But sometimes, when the interviewing process is flawed, the best candidate is overlooked. Care must be taken to avoid the potential weaknesses of interviews.


Some superb candidates find the interview situation too stressful to present themselves in a positive fashion. When the candidate is particularly eager, his nervousness might become exaggerated and prevent his excellent credentials, relevant experiences and great personality to shine through. The prospective boss never has the opportunity to really get to know the candidate because he was unable to demonstrate his strengths. Nerves can make an interviewee draw blanks on questions he could have easily answered or cause him to talk so much he sounds pompous.

False Positives

Although it’s a rare occurrence, sometimes an individual has such highly honed interview skills that she can ace the interview even though her education and work experiences fall short of the job requirements. This is likely to be true for candidates who are physically attractive, poised, well-groomed and gifted with eloquent speech. Although they don't really have much to say, they dazzle the interviewers with their charm and social skills and it's only after they are hired that their shortcomings become apparent.

False Negatives

More common than a false positive, a false negative result means a capable candidate is rejected based on his lackluster performance during an interview that didn’t accurately reflect his potential. Coming late to the interview, for example, usually annoys interviewers so much, the candidate might not be able to recover. Because interviewers usually form an initial impression at the beginning of the interview, a weak handshake or inappropriate attire can reflect so negatively that the candidate's chances of being offered the job drop to zero before he has had a chance to answer the first question.

Like Attracts Like

It’s essential that employers carefully construct the interview team. Because “like attracts like,” a sole interviewer might gravitate toward a candidate who resembles herself and rule out the ones who may be better qualified, because she can’t relate to them. It’s a good idea to include a gender mix on the team and have interviewers who represent varying personalities, philosophies, and points of view. When a divergent team agrees on a prospective candidate, the odds are that person is more likely to be suitable.

- 5 Weaknesses of an Interview,, undated.


About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at:, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.

(作者:张欣 编辑:丹妮)

上一篇 : Zombie company?
下一篇 : Blow by blow?



















关于我们 | 联系方式 | 招聘信息

Copyright by All rights reserved. None of this material may be used for any commercial or public use. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. 版权声明:本网站所刊登的中国日报网英语点津内容,版权属中国日报网所有,未经协议授权,禁止下载使用。 欢迎愿意与本网站合作的单位或个人与我们联系。