Have you ever watched an Animal Planet documentary?
The next time you happen to see one, just focus on the way animals communicate with each other.
Some of them have some basic form of verbal communication like screeching, roaring, etc. But if you take a closer look, you'll notice that the majority of this "communication" goes through subconscious non-verbal cues.
Body language and sub-communication methods (sub-coms for short) are most probably among the most powerful forms of communication since the first animals stepped on earth.
Humans could not be an exception to that. We are just a more advanced animal after all.
Often, people just try to get a message across to one or many other people, by talking for hours and hours. Sure this could work to some extent, but it's very limited.
Based on science, the most efficient way to getting most of your messages across is by "talking" to the other person's subconscious.
So today's article is all about sub-communicating power. We'll see what a man should do to sub-communicate that he's powerful enough to be considered the alpha male of his tribe or the context.
A few disclaimers before we begin.
Disclaimer #1: Given the circumstances, it's highly likely that you won't be able to radiate this alpha male status in all contexts. But our focus here isn't to steal the alpha position from anyone. The scope is to learn what you can do to make the halo effect work for you and capitalize on that, in almost every context.
Disclaimer #2: When I was beginning my long trip towards self-development, I had the shallow idea, that by using the "fake it until you make it" technique, I would conquer everything. In other words, I wanted to learn what I had to DO to look cool and successful. But very soon I realized, that your "do" ain't that important. Your BE is by far the most important factor here. The huge difference will be made by the subconscious idea you have of yourself. Unfortunately, this image can't be changed that fast or by reading a blog post. It needs years of work and practice to change. But luckily your "do" part can change relatively easy, and that's what I'm gonna teach you today.
Disclaimer #3: Some of the status symbols I'll mention below don't come cheap. Vanity is one of the most beloved sins out there, so I feel obliged to warn you beforehand. Under no circumstance, you should jeopardize your net worth or the growth of your company to acquire one or more status symbols. Wearing a $20k watch, paid in installments, and not having money to pay your business's debt is plainly stupid. You should only acquire these symbols if and only if, this doesn't have a significant impact on your net worth or your cash flow. Delayed gratification is one of the best qualities of a type A personality. If you're in your 20s or 30s, it's not the time for luxuries and YOLO. It's time to put your head down and work hard to accumulate wealth. You'll have all the time in the world for these indulgences, after becoming financially free.
Now that we got these points straight...
What is a status symbol?
Before I begin by naming these status symbols, let me explain what are they and why they're so important.
Since the first primates habituated the earth, social hierarchies started to form. The pecking order as we call it is an informal social ladder that forms in every society or micro-society. No matter if we talk about a village of a few thousand people, a small tribe of a few hundred or a team of ten people, this hierarchy is there.
I'm sure you've noticed many times before already. In every age and social context someone (or a few) lead, and some follow. We'd need thousands of words to explain why this happens and how to overcome, but that's beyond our scope for now.
So in every era, no matter how far back in time you go, the higher in the pecking order a man is, the more of these status symbols he has in his possession. In ancient tribes, alpha males, might decorate their necklaces with lion teeth, or wear bear skins.
In medieval times kings wear a crown. They didn't need to verbally declare all the time, "I'm the king", this was easily diplayed by wearing the golden crown.
It doesn't matter. The important thing is that these symbols, broadcast that this individual is more "important" than the guy next to him. This importance might mean, being more skillful, smarter, stronger, or more capable. But for sure it communicates some form of superiority.
Of course, in modern civilizations, men don't walk around wearing bear skins anymore to communicate this superiority. But these status symbols have evolved as well.
So if you're a male that you live in the twenty-first century and give a dime about your image, you should care about these status symbols as well.
Status symbol #1: Custom made clothing
When it comes to your sub-communication power, perhaps the most important factor after your body language and your social circle is your clothing.
Halo effect plays a huge role on this. 99% of the people out there will make a quick judgment on your success level based solely on your clothes.
So your clothing should follow, a few basic yet critical rules to work as a powerful status symbol.
Clothing rule 1: Make sure your clothes fit you like a glove. There's not a worse thing than looking at a man wearing a suit two sizes smaller or larger. It's just ridiculous. The perfect clothes should always fit you very well, and if you can afford it, you should order only custom made (bespoke) suits and shirts.
Clothing rule 2: Always dress for the occasion. I'm a big fan of nice suits. But every attire isn't for every occasion. Your wardrobe should be diversified enough so that you can use it on every occasion. You wouldn't wear an expensive Hugo Boss suit to go fishing, would you? Always dress for the context. But aim to belong in the top 5% of the people in there - even if it's about fishing.
Clothing rule 3: Have a basic understanding of the colors. No matter how beautiful your clothing fits you, or how well you're dressed for the occasion, your clothing combination should be as good as it gets. The best fitting suit in the world will look ridiculous if, for example, you wear a blue shirt with a black suit. It just won't match. Correct color combinations are more than a fashion trend. There are actual color patterns that based on our skin, hair and eye color, make us look better.
Status symbol #2: Good quality shoes
The same principles stand true here as well. Again, men don't have many pieces of clothing on them. At best case, their clothes and their shoes. Based on my experience both men and women, tend to take a quick judgment about other people's status (especially other men status) based on their shoes.
So the characteristics we look in a good shoe is to be made from fine quality leather, to fit us like a glove, and to look expensive. This doesn't necessarily mean it should be expensive. Although most times, it's hard to trick this part, and also you don't need to. I'd prefer to wait a few years until I can afford a good quality pair of shoes instead of buying cheap Chinese leather shoes that just look smart.
As always the solution to this problem comes from generating more revenue.
Even for the few people that will notice it, this will ruin your image. Based on your income level, always aim for the ideal balance between quality and cost. There's zero need to fake it, by spending $1000 on shoes just to look sharp if you barely make that much money in a month.
Trust me on this; there are shoes of fantastic quality in way lower price points than this.
Always make sure that your shoes are preserved in good condition, clean and polished. This will increase their perceived value by much (and yours as well).
Status symbol #3: A quality watch
Contrary to women, men usually can wear only a few jewelry pieces on them. So each piece matters a lot.
Watches beside telling the time, are among the most powerful status symbols for a man. Every piece you wear should communicate quality and elegance. Remember, what we wanna show is not only, that we make money, but that we have a good taste as well.
Also don't fall into the trap, that the more expensive a watch is, the better it'll look. There are some timepieces, like the old time classic Rolex Submariner, that they're not extremely expensive, yet they look timeless, and they are as quality as it gets.
Always have in mind that more expensive doesn't always equal better or bigger effect. We need everything in moderation. Also, my style of preference is to buy what looks nice on me. Not necessarily super expensive.
Status symbol #4: Your vehicle
Like the most bad ass cowboy in Texas used to have the best horse, in the same way, the higher in pecking order a man is, the best his car. It's a purely cosmetic and emotional thing but rolling in a Ferrari or a Lambo, tells a few things about you.
Like every other symbol, besides money, status, and power it also conveys skill, prowess, ability, and superiority. If a man can drive a $300.000 car that means that he's capable. As simple as that.
Capability = Survival = Attraction (both in the eyes of women and men).
But before making a mistake to sign for a gazillion installments remember disclaimer no. 3 from before. If you're in your 20s or even 30s and not yet financially free, there's zero need for such a powerful status symbol.
Most often than not, it could even backfire on you. Since if you're just a 21-year-old kid rolling around in a Lambo, shows no capability or skill. It just communicates that your dad is a catch :p
Be patient. Work hard, and when the time comes, you'll drive your dream car.
If you're already financially free and you're not jumping out of a very nice car, you just miss opportunities to score high with both men and women. Also, it doesn't make any sense from an evolutionary standpoint, and the only reason you prefer to use the bus or drive a 20-year-old Honda Civic is because you're brainwashed by the social conditioning and/or you're afraid to be accused as a rich prick. Take your pick.
Status symbol #5: Your physique
Believe it or not, the higher in the pecking order someone used to be, the healthier he should look. Under no circumstances, the tribal leader could be a couch potato. Ever. If not necessarily having the best physique in the tribe, at least he should be healthy enough, to fiercely hunt for long time periods and have a good enough stamina to provide his tribe and his family all the necessities.
In our subconscious mind, bad physical condition means bad health which means bad quality genes. No man with bad genes could lead in any tribe in the past. Of course, nowadays, things are not so strict. The media have done a good job in convincing us that we should love our body and feel proud of it, even if we look like hippos.
But forget about all this crap. Our subconscious mammalian brain is a lot wiser than that. It can easily tell when a man or a woman is fat and unhealthy. There's a reason we prefer having sex and kids with people with proper proportions you know. It's not by accident.
Even though you don't need to look like a male model, you should at least have proper proportions, be in your normal weight, with a good muscle tone and very healthy.
Status symbol #6: Your social circle
That's huge really. Also a bit tricky to explain. Again based on evolutionary principles, a man was considered very powerful, if he had powerful social allies.
This is big in both men's and women's eyes. High-ranking social allies meant increased chances of survival and prosperity.
So imagine this scenario. You walk into a gala, and you see a man surrounded by the prime minister, a few very well know entrepreneurs and a bunch of hot women. BOOM, his social value skyrockets, no matter if you're a man or a woman.
This guy must be so important since he's acquainted with all these other significant individuals. It's among the most powerful psychological mechanisms there are but difficult to master.
Well, because contrary to just buy an expensive suit or even an expensive car, being a friend with the prime minister, the best entrepreneurs in town and a few supermodels, requires a lot more than money.
It needs to give these people tons of value; it needs you to be excellent in social skills, it needs you to form a bond with each one of these people, etc.
Bottom line, it means that you need to be a person of tremendous value. Which takes time and effort to build. But like I've said before, if it were easy, everybody would have done it.
Status symbol #7: Your body language
Together with your social circle, this should be among the most important status symbols there are.
While not a status symbol in the strict definition, your body language, can tremendously change the perception of the people around you about yourself.
The more relaxed, and open a body language someone has, the higher his status seems to be. In essence, a relaxed male sub-communicates, that he feels 100% self-confident and ready to face any challenge.
On the contrary the more closed your body language, and the more stressed you are, the lower in the pecking order other people will place you.
Again this is not magic stuff. It's 100% evolution. The hard thing about that is that body lang, can't be faked. A man who doesn't feel confident and relaxed will show.
Self-confidence takes time to build, and it has to do with how many wins you score in your life in every major pillar.
The more wins you score, the higher you self-confidence will be and consequently the better your body language will become.
Both men and women want to associate with men who are self-confident. Think of yourself as being in an emergency. Would you rather be alone with a stressed man in panic when tragedy strikes or with a fearless man who seems to always be on top of the situation?
Self-confidence radiates spectacularly and can't be faked. You should aim to become important; then you'll feel important, and finally, you'll look important.
Haven't found a shortcut to that yet.
Of course, that's not to say you shouldn't value and respect yourself in your early steps. At any stage of your life, you should always strive to have the best in life. You should demand from other people to respect you like you should respect them back.
If you have a solid opinion based on facts, you shouldn't bend it just to be likable. It's better to respectfully disagree or the old time classic pace and deflect.
Belonging to the upper society levels is in evolutionary terms crucial. To help yourself towards this direction, you should raise your status as high as possible.
Fundamentally the best way to achieve that is by increasing your value and your value output. In parallel using these status symbols will tremendously help you to communicate power, confidence, and skill.
- Custom made clothing
- Good quality shoes
- A quality watch
- Your vehicle
- Your physique
- Your social circle
- Your body language
Some of them is just a matter of resources. Some others will take some time to develop, but trust me on this, it'll make a huge difference if you want to establish yourself high in the social ladder.