July 2, 2013 David Morin

The 4 Secrets of People With a High Social Value

We’ve all seen those people – you know who I’m talking about – those that seemingly have a special aura around them. As soon as they enter a room, everyone turns their heads. Because it’s hard to see exactly how they get everyone’s immediate respect and attention, it seems a bit like they’ve got some magical secret formula for their success. Luckily, high-value people consciously or unconsciously follow a set of principles that anyone can learn.

These Are the Secrets behind High Social Value

Most often, it’s movie stars and sports superstars who have a very high social value. A short-cut to assuming the persona of someone with a high social value is to simply pretend that you’re James Bond, Angelina Jolie or the hottest football, baseball or basketball star at the moment. Silly as it may sound, doing this gets your brain into the right mode to make you aware of how you behave differently than normal. It can be useful for being more conscious of your behavior. However, you need to have a deeper understanding of social value to be able to implement it as a permanent part of your personality. High social value is most often attractive, but not always. In this text, I will explain why.

1. You Are Non-Reactive

Being non-reactive means not reacting emotionally to how others interact with you. If someone yells at you or accuses you of something, you remain emotionally indifferent. Not only are you non-reactive to other people, but also to the situation. If you are in a stressful environment, you stay calm. If problems occur, you do not become bitter or angry. I go more in depth about how to have the upper hand if someone tries to dominate you here.

An example would be if you were accused of spending too much time at work. A low-value person would grow angry or defensive. A very high-status person may perhaps say something very low-key, like a simple “okay.” There is a danger in showing too much of a high social value this way. Instead of being attractive, some will perceive you as a douche bag. We’ll cover this further down in the guide.

2. You Solve Problems Instead of Complaining About Them

Related to being non-reactive, rather than merely complaining about problems that occur, you accept and solve them. For instance, let’s say you’re traveling and it turns out you just missed your flight home. A common reaction would be to become frustrated or sad, perhaps hoping some kind of miracle might take place so that everything turns out well. A high-value person, on the other hand, shows no reaction to what has happened. This person takes the lead in a group in a natural way. He or she approaches the problem in a non-emotional way and proactively does whatever it takes to solve it.

3. You are a Leader

High social value people are the leaders of their group. They obtain this position naturally and easily. This means you can’t and shouldn’t try to force yourself into having a certain position in the group. Becoming a leader is a process that should take place naturally – If you act in the right way, people will want you to lead them. A good way to become a leader is to stay non-reactive. Following evolutionary examples, a non-reactive person is perceived as a safe choice as a leader, because their behavior won’t be unpredictable.

4. You act Self-Confident

High-value people don’t appear nervous, but instead, have a high level of self-confidence. This can be accomplished in different ways. One method is to build up a confidence over years of life experience. Another way is to act in a way that appears relaxed and calm. Again, we have a lot to learn from celebrities. One primary reason movie stars become so attractive and famous is that they often portray characters with high social value roles in their films. Screenwriters, directors, and producers know that we are hardwired to like high social value people, and movies with these types of characters become more popular and sell more tickets at the box office.

Luckily, there’s a shortcut to self-confidence.  Research has shown that we actually become more self-confident if we first appear that way through our actions. The American psychologist Amy Cuddy at Harvard Business School found out that our posture affects self-confidence. If you improve your posture, you’ll actually feel more self-confident almost immediately.  When you pull your shoulders slightly backward, lift your chin a bit and stretch so that your spinal cord straightens, testosterone levels are increased and cortisol levels are decreased – and that makes you feel more confident in just a few minutes. If there’s one step you should remember from this guide, remember to implement and maintain good posture.

The Mistakes Most People Make when Increasing Their Social Value

There is a big danger involved with trying to increase social value. High-value people risk being perceived as arrogant or obnoxious. Therefore, the more high value you become the more kind towards others you must become as well. A kind, high-value person easily becomes popular, such as George Clooney or Paul Newman. A less kind and considerate high-value person can instead become disliked by many because they’re perceived as selfish and self-serving. One example of this is Donald Trump. Your social value amplifies your behavior. Read more about this in our post about becoming more popular.

Practicing high value and kindness is a win/win. You will enjoy becoming more popular among others, and others will enjoy being around you as well.

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Comments (4)

  1. ivan99

    Is it really unreactive to act confident? It just seems a bit fake to me. Very interesting nonetheless..

  2. Steve

    Stoicism in a nutshell.

  3. Joanne_jinx

    I got doubtful until the last part with the thing about being nicer. Great post =)

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David has really done his homework on this site - much of the content is derived from psychological studies, and he takes care to explain concepts in a way that makes them easy to apply. Plus, his content is ethical and scrupulously avoids shady tricks or manipulative techniques.

Dan Wendler Creator of the 260.000+ subreddit /socialskills