Don’t let your life become a series of pissing contests.

Don’t let your life become a series of pissing contests.

Living in the human tribe

Hey Google (or Siri),  define "pissing contest"... "A contest or rivalry in which the main concern of the parties involved is the conspicuous demonstration of superiority".

I know, that's pretty vulgar. But the point is that the status games we play in society can be rather vulgar. Often, we're not even aware of them.

Status is part of our social soup. Humans naturally read subtle clues to help us establish our position in the social hierarchy. You will typically be asked "what do you do" within the first minute of conversation when meeting someone at a dinner party. This question is not insidious but rather a conversational hand-me-down, an easy marker to place our conversational counterpart.

We tend to mostly indicate our status with what we put out into social media.

People show off their lavish consumption, posting photos of flashy cars or selfies from business-class flights to far-flung holiday destinations. We carefully craft our online professional personas. We've all seen this on LinkedIn, the home of the humblebrag and "ex-(insert prestigious institution here)" in the bio. D.H. Lawrence would roll in his grave.

I don't want to position myself as the "motive police" of what gets posted on social media. Many well-intentioned friends have posted examples like the above before. Instead, I am suggesting that we become conscious of what we are trying to achieve in our posting.

Don't get obliviously sucked into an unnecessary status game. It's an impossible ladder to climb, and your self-worth is not waiting for you at the top.

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