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  • Writer's pictureRyan Wilson

Why am I surrounded by Jerks?!? Social currency

“I am surrounded by people telling me I don’t matter- they can’t all be wrong!”

We have talked in the past about the importance of Tribe and how the people we surround ourselves with can make us or break us, so to speak. (See The 5 Things We Need to Be Well- The STAMP Wellness model for more information on this).

So how do we end up surrounded by people sending us the message that we don’t matter?

Social Currency

Imagine we go to a foreign country and the only currency we have is Canadian dollars. We will try to get all of our needs met with that currency – food, water, shelter, help, etc.. The only people who will accept our currency will be people who also use Canadian dollars.

Similarly, we all learn certain patterns or ways of being in relationship with others. We may people please, or fix things, or we may dominate. Whatever our pattern, our survival map (for more on survival maps watch the video about it on our home page or on Youtube or see The 5 Things We Need to Be Well- The STAMP Wellness model), we put out non-verbal and unconscious “bids” or cues to other people about what we have on offer.

In all of the previous examples, we are offering an unequal relationship. That is our currency. Only other people who want and use unequal relationships will stop and interact with us. If someone was looking for a healthy and equal relationship, when someone asks if they take our currency (that of unequal relationships), healthy people will decline.

This is how we end up surrounded by people who reinforce unhealthy habits or beliefs. It isn’t that we don’t matter. It is that we are not in the right tribe and are likely putting out the signal we are up for an unequal relationship.

Take a moment to reflect on your social currency- what it was? What it is? And if you are happy with what you are putting out there?

See you next time!

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