What exactly is the meaning or definition of social status and why is it so important? it’s everywhere and it’s important to understand if you want to improve yours.
We may not consciously think about social status very much, yet it’s a huge deal! it can make a dramatic difference to the quality of our lives. Most people (Particularly Men) are either consciously or unconsciously seeking higher social status, it’s a strong motivator behind many people’s actions and words.
Social Status Definition
The definition of social status, it’s simply our position and rank within society, relative to others.
How is status assigned to us?
There are a few different ways in which we determine status. Social status can simply be inherited, for example royalty or the child of somebody with a great deal of social status, such as the rich and famous.
Status can also be earned by being competent, achieving success and recognition by developing skills. Physical characteristics can also result in high status including looks, height, build and overall physical capabilities.
Social skills, intelligence, sense of humor, the amount of friends we have, being well liked (popular) race (ethnic background), being in a relationship or married, the house we own, the car we drive and even the mobile phone that we use, to name a few examples of status triggers!
The trouble with many of these status indicators is that the status comes from popular perceptions. Therefore partly your sense of value or worth is determined by others, by what is mostly only shallow indicators such as owning a BMW or having the latest iPhone. Even having a large social circle can be a shallow indicator. See Socrates philosophy on happiness for related content.
How to increase social status
So what if you don’t have any of the above mentioned social status triggers? Fortunately there is still hope. There is another way to get status besides the commonly known examples. The thing about status is, it’s partly determined by societies popular perceptions on status, so other peoples social status is determined by us. So we have the power to assign low and high status to anybody, including ourselves.
The best and most effective way of increasing your social status is to become competent at something, or achieve competence in general. When you have competence and skills which get positive results, you will become more respected and naturally gain higher social status.
If you want high status, instead of trying to change other people’s perceptions of you, change your perception of yourself. If you are a good person, a person of integrity, of good morals and ethics, then that is enough to perceive yourself as having high status. If you can perceive yourself as having high status then you can influence others into believing the same, no matter your background, your job, where you are from or your life situation.
Status has a huge influence in our modern societies, it’s everywhere and even if people are not consciously aware of it, they are more than likely trying to achieve it in some fashion. Once you know what to look for you will be able to see it in others. Awareness is the first step in understanding, if you understand it, you have more chance of controlling it.
Good & Bad Status
To look for value by seeking shallow status indicators like owning a BMW or wearing Gold accessories is also to seek the approval from others. It’s to seek self-worth based on how others view you. For me it’s giving other people too much control over my self-worth. It can be very difficult to go against popular societal beliefs like how status is assigned, but to achieve it is true freedom and control over your self-worth.
Good status can be achieved and earned by working hard and becoming skilled and competent, which ultimately leads to life success and higher social status. This is the best and the only real way you can achieve high social status.