Which of these three people would you rather hang out with: the one who is constantly begging for your attention by agreeing with everything you say and trying too hard to please, the one who is always shooting down everything you say and talking down to you dismissively, or the one who is always trying to one-up you because anything you can do, they can do better? Answer: none. They’re all low value people, and they’re all terrible.
The thing is, it’s easier to spot these low value behaviors in others than it is to see them in ourselves — but chances are pretty good you’ve exhibited supplicative, combative, or competitive low value behaviors at some point in your life. We all have. In this value toolbox episode, we dig into how we can identify and put a stop to these low value behaviors in order to stay the course toward becoming a high value individual.
More About This Show
Do you find yourself primarily surrounded by people who are a pleasure to be around, or do you look around at your circle of friends and wonder if maybe you’re the only one in the group who isn’t a jerk? While we often point to the famous Jim Rohn doctrine that says we’re the average of the five people with whom we spend the most time, perhaps the best place to begin is with ourselves — are we positively influential in the lives of the people who choose to spend time with us, or do we drag them down into a daily muck of our own design? In short: are we high value people, or are we low value people?
“Like attracts like,” says AJ. “High value individuals attract other high value individuals. So if we can start focusing on ourselves, becoming high value, and giving people value instead of taking value from them, we’re going to start attracting better people.
“Right now, low value behaviors will attract other low value people. And the key here is definitely vulnerability. This is not easy. What we’re preaching here is not a simple solution, but it’s through that vulnerability that we create amazing connections, we welcome awesome people into our lives, and we have these really deep relationships.”
What Is Value?
In order to understand the line between high value and low value, we should really explain what we mean by value. At The Art of Charm, we define value as three specific things:
Attention: Being of interest to others.
Approval: Being encouraged in our interests and endeavors.
Acceptance: Belonging to a certain tribe.
“They are the three cornerstone things that human beings needs as a species in order to feel good about ourselves,” says Johnny. “We know this because everything that we do is about collecting more of this for ourselves.”
With attention, a low value person might dive completely into narcissism and suffer whenever all eyes aren’t on them. A low value person on the other side of the spectrum might withdraw completely and shrink away from any scrap of attention that finds them. A high value person finds a balance somewhere in the middle — drawing attention by being the person others want to know better, and not being too shy to show appreciation for that attention.
Similarly, we can succumb to low value behaviors surrounding approval and acceptance, or we can find the healthier, high value approach that connects us to others rather than drives them away.
Three Low Value Behaviors (and One High)
“We want to talk about four different types of behaviors you’re going to encounter that are all ways to seek attention, approval, and acceptance,” says AJ.
The first three are low value behaviors, and the fourth is what we consider to be the goal — the high value behavior for which we should be striving.
Supplicative: This is when we’re practically begging to be liked. We cower in order to become smaller and nonthreatening to those we aim too hard to please, and we’re agreeable to a fault in order to qualify for scraps of attention, approval, and acceptance.
Combative: Almost the opposite of supplicative; this is when we’re overly aggressive and hostile toward others as a way to demand attention, approval, and acceptance.
Competitive: This conveys a judgmental angle from which we’re in a constant state of trying to one-up others. We compare our own achievements against those of others as a way to show we deserve their attention, approval, and acceptance.
Cooperative: In contrast to the first three behaviors — which are all focused on taking attention from others — being cooperative generates attention, approval, and acceptance by first giving it to others. Acknowledgement, genuine compliments, positivity, taking interest in others, active listening, vulnerability, responsibility, honesty and motivation, support, encouragement are all ways to demonstrate this high value behavior.
Listen to this episode of The Art of Charm to learn more about why attention, approval, and acceptance are so important to us as a species; which deficiency among these three is the number one killer of older men; the three areas of focus we need to develop to ensure personal well-being; why low value behaviors evolved with us to aid in survival but no longer serve us today; how the research teams at today’s top social media companies exploit our need for value to stay tuned in; and lots more.
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AJ Harbinger - author of 1111 posts on The Art of Charm
AJ Harbinger is one of the world’s top relationship development experts. His company, The Art of Charm, is a leading training facility for top performers that want to overcome social anxiety, develop social capital and build relationships of the highest quality.
Raised by a single father, AJ felt a strong desire to learn about relationships and the elements that make them successful. However, this interest went largely untapped for many years. Following the path set out for him by his family, AJ studied biology in college and went on to pursue a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology at the University of Michigan. It was at this time that he began to feel immense pressure from the cancer lab he worked in and began to explore other outlets for expression. It was at this point that The Art of Charm Podcast was born.
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