After last week’s unscheduled detour with my not-worth-reading post, (Still Untitled…), I’m now back on track to create some (semi-)decent content.
This week, I want to talk about status; what it means, and how it impacts every decision and movement that you make.
So, pop the kettle on and meet me back here with a hot cup of [insert beverage of choice], and we’ll get going.
What is status?
Status refers to the position that you hold within society.
How is status measured?
The interesting thing about status is that it’s measured on an invisible scale and everyone’s scale is slightly different.
Some people measure status purely on material possessions, such as big houses and flash cars. Others may measure staus on how big someone’s networking circle is (i.e. the number of followers/friends you have on social media), or the position someone holds within a company’s hierarchy.
What puts you high on one person’s status scale, might put you at the bottom of another person’s status scale.
For example, for many people, owning a Ferrari or some other type of supercar is the ultimate status symbol. However, driving a gas-guzzling vehicle that is harmful to the environment will lower your status in other circles, particularly those who are fighting hard to reduce their carbon footprint. In such cases, a greener car will instead raise your status.
The status ladder that you wish to climb will be based on your own goals and ideologies, and how you would like to be perceived by society.
Why do we chase status?
It’s completely natural for us to chase status. We have evolved to do so.
A higher status provided our caveman relatives with better protection, more options for food, and greater respect amongst the rest of the tribe.
So, however much you may claim that you don’t care what people think of you, you do, and you always will.
Because not only do you need to constantly prove your current status to yourself (because a lower perceived status can affect mental health and general wellbeing), you also need other people to recognize your position in order to receive the benefits that a higher status can provide you.
How does status impact your decisions?
Right now, you hold a position within society that is linked to your identity.
You may be the teenager founder of a start-up, a 30-year old executive who is also a new dad, or a free-spirited world-traveling pilates instructor.
Whatever position you hold, you will play your role to perfection.
Playing your current status role
Your purchases and behavior will reflect your current perceived status.
For example, people of your status may drive BMWs, Mercedes, or Land Rovers. They do not drive Renaults, Mazdas, Kias, or cars over 5-years old. So, when the time comes to purchase your new motor, you will purchase one that reflects your perceived status.
It’s important that you, at the very least, maintain your current status.
A high status can provide you with better career options, a higher quality of health (both mentally and physically), and more options for sex and intimate relationships.
You will do everything possible to prevent lowering your status.
Trying to increase your status
Gary Vaynerchuk sums this up perfectly when he says that “people buy shit that they don’t need, with money that they don’t have, to impress people that they don’t like.”
According to a really cool infographic on this page, “39% of millennials spent money they didn’t have in order to keep up with their friends.”
People go into debt every single day trying to keep up with the Joneses, even though they know that their finances do not allow that level of lifestyle.
Using the same example above, in an effort to try and increase your status, instead of buying a BMW, you may opt for a Bentley.
In the same way that you will avoid lowering your status, you will be constantly chasing a higher status.
Other life choices
It’s important to note that status impacts more than your material purchases.
In our natural quest to climb the status ladder, we are also prepared to change our diets, behavior, location, habits, opinions, and beliefs in order to mimic those of a higher status which we desire to obtain.
The topic of status is a gigantic subject, and much more complex than what I am able to cover in one short blog post.
But from now on, I suggest that you pay attention to people’s behaviors and choices, including your own, and notice how they all relate to status.
The results may shock you!
Almost everything that someone does is either to play up to their current status role (and therefore maintain their status), or to help them increase their status in some way.
It’s kinda spooky!
P.S. There’s a new book out which I believe covers this topic in more depth. It’s called The Status Game by Will Storr if you would like to check it out – https://amzn.to/2VraiQA
P.P.S. I’ve personally not read that book so I can’t comment on if it’s any good or not, but it does have some positive Amazon reviews at the time of writing this post.
P.P.P.S. …and no, this is not a sponsored post. It’s just a coincidence that the book was released a week before I created this post.
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