Lucas Brenner » Articles » Status Plays a Role Everywhere

The World Is Based on Status

All human organizational systems are based on hierarchies. Hierarchies, in turn, are determined by status. Status thinking is the most primal form of human cooperation.

Wealth, job titles, military ranks, clothing and other symbols can be converted into the status currency. People are able to grasp the status of others in a fraction of a second and behave accordingly. Through body language and charisma, we convey our position in the social hierarchy.

One could understand the struggle for status as a game in which everyone participates. This status game has various sub-disciplines in which groups compete for status in different areas.

Despite this diversity, we now perceive our world as “normal” and cannot understand why cultures have used or use different status symbols.

The Secret Language of Status

Humans emit a buzzing sound when speaking at about 500 hertz, which changes as we communicate with different people. Lower status people match the buzzing tone of the person they are talking to, while higher status people dictate the frequency. We don't hear this tone consciously, but we process it subconsciously.

The 3 Status Games

There are three games in which people can gain status: Dominance, Virtue, and Success.

In dominance games, status is achieved through strength, power, and fear. You intimidate others to increase your own status. This technique is used, for example, by the Mafia or in armies.

Virtue games, reward players who excel in a sense of duty, morality, and obedience. Religions and royal families play this status game.

Success games are the predominant game type today. In these games, status is gained through achievements, skills, talent, and knowledge, such as in business or sports competitions.

It is important to know these games in order to better understand humankind and our actions. It is not a matter of accusing ourselves of fighting for status. After all, that is how we have managed to survive and evolve.

Instead, we should become aware of why we do the things we would never have questioned before. Is that new car / watch / phone really necessary or do we just want to demonstrate our status?

Knowing the meaning of status allows for better introspection, which allows us to find out our own needs in order to become truly satisfied and happy.