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Becoming a high-quality man

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Hello guys,

Some time ago, Lucio wrote this great article about the 10 traits of High-Value(Quality) Man. In summary (better to read the article):

  1. He Is Emotionally Intelligent
  2. He Has A Purpose
  3. He Takes Care Of Himself
  4. He Has High Self-Esteem
  5. He Generates His Own Self-Esteem
  6. He Is Assertive
  7. He Has a Secure Attachment Style
  8. He Knows Power Dynamics
  9. He Is Honest To His Own Value System
  10. He Has A Growth Mindset
  11. He Takes Responsibility

I think it would be good if we can use our common brains (mastermind), to expand on it. The reason is that I use this in my file "High-Quality Man Identity" as a sheet of paper I display in my bathroom to embody those traits. It's still this theme of self-positive-brainwashing. As I said in the past, I don't have evidence yet of the anti-fragile nature of this identity. However, I think it's a positive identity to aspire to. So, it's useful I think.

Here is my contribution to a high-quality man mindset/traits:

Don't be a dick: I'm aware it's phrased in the negative. However, I think it's important not to harm other people intentionally or not. This is also part of emotional intelligence. By not hurting people, you're not drawing negative in people's emotional bank account and you don't make enemies.

He adds value: your life improves by being around this person.

Do you guys have more mindsets/behaviors/traits?

Cheers!

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood

A trait that I have not yet understood is vulnerability.

Vulnerability is the courage of showing up and being yourself, without a mask, and with all your flaws.

Linking to this relevant article
Vulnerability is NOT Power
and this post
Vulnerability module takeaway
And the Power University module
10.4 Vulnerability: How to Do It Right (& When to Avoid)

Sometimes, it is possible to come across as high-powered and vulnerable.
This can be when you admit and own your dark side in a savvy, high-powered manner.

Lucio advises that life effectiveness is a good rule of thumb.
If being vulnerable damages the perception of your life effectiveness, it is riskier to portray your flaws.
If it does not link to your life effectiveness, it is safer to portray a more vulnerable side.

How does a high-quality man showcase vulnerability?
And what is the high-quality mindset towards viewing vulnerability?

For example, in this forum, I have a learner's mindset. I am here to learn.
So I am much more vulnerable and honest.
This would allow a much more fruitful, productive, and efficient discussion.
Rather than trying to extract answers indirectly.
Additionally, people on this forum are less likely to take advantage of my vulnerability due to our shared interest in learning and our high-quality mindsets.
For example, John's mindset of "don't be a dick" and "adding value".

In the workplace/business, it is unwise to show too much vulnerability.
This reduces your credibility and takes away from your good points.
There are many more Machiavellian people at work who will take advantage of your vulnerability.

Maybe this discussion on vulnerability should be added to this thread rather than here:
Vulnerability module takeaway
So that this can be a more general discussion on different traits of a high-quality man.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

For example, in this forum, I have a learner's mindset. I am here to learn.

That's great. Now do it in every aspect of your life and watch it transform before your eyes.

The whole problem is about the brainwashing we've been under from all kinds of sources. One of the most prominent being the self-help industry.

People are vulnerable. You and I are not invulnerable. So it's a hallmark of maturity to first recognize it. Sorry, but we're all going to die. We're going to get sick, to have sad events, failures, etc. That's Life. It does not mean you're not effective. It means you're alive.

So, going back to vulnerability. It's a big topic. As I said earlier, the first step is to recognize it for yourself. It's the step from teenagehood to adulthood. You find out you're not immortal, you are not invulnerable.

Now, wether to display it or not depends on the context.

However, all people have flaws. And one of the ways we connect is through our flaws.

The more personal, the more universal is a saying that says that if you think you're the only one to have experienced something, it means you're surely not. Examples: first kiss, having diarrhea in your pants, vomiting after drinking too much, being a dick to someone who did not deserved it, etc.

All these experiences almost everybody had them. However, in a productivist/western society, it's mostly about doing. So we must "do" right or we are not right. And at this step, here comes the shame.

What is shame? It's when we feel we are not good enough. It's the opposite of self-esteem. We think we don't deserve to be.

So going back to your question: let's say you feel shame for stealing pencils at work. Now, you must look at this shame and deal with it internally (not talking about guilt here). Because now it's here. To me, it's a form of poop. Inner poop if you will. So either you keep it (enjoy it!) or you experience and release it, like any other emotion.

So when you are vulnerable, it allows you to release shameful experiences. It's the "I'm Ok" part. You're ok. You're another person on this planet learning and making mistakes. It does not make you bad (see the definition of bad in another post).

  1. Step 1: Acknowledge that what you said or did is not who you want to be.
  2. Step 2: Now you can acknowledge it with another person if you want. It does not have to be close friends, etc. Travels and therapy are good opportunities to acknowledge these things.

This helps you to get rid of shame -> you feel better about yourself -> people feel better around you.

I hope this helps. There are many angles to this and I'm sure other members have valuable insights on this topic.

That is one: Shame <-> Hiding weaknesses/mistakes

The other one is when to display your weaknesses/mistakes and how to display it. I would encourage you to open a topic to ask specific questions on it. Otherwise it will not be helpful for you in a general discussion.

Here is a good article on the topic by Mark Manson.

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood

Also Matthew,

here is a good example of vulnerability from both fighters (watch whole video). Does it look weak to you?

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood

John, thank you for the perspectives and the article by Mark Manson.
Our discussion seems to lead to further explorations on a few traits of high-quality men. (linking back to top of page)

Trait 10 of a High-Quality Man: He Has A Growth Mindset

That's great. Now do it in every aspect of your life and watch it transform before your eyes.

Having a growth mindset and anti-fragile ego overall will naturally spark curiousity and a thirst to learn.
There are some areas of life that I have to put on other hats in addition to the mindset of learning and growing.
If the environment is cut-throat, I may need to put on a more Machiavellian hat.

So what lays the foundation to learn is having a growth mindset.
Mindsets seem to be not enough though.
We need to understand how to learn as written by Lucio in this article.
Also, depending on whether the community is more collaborative or competitive, we need to be less or more cynical.
But people with a growth mindset naturally learn how to learn better.

Our discussion adds on to trait 10 of a high-quality man, having a growth mindset.
The skills for learning like critical thinking, critical analysis, understanding the scientific method are important for learning.
But do these skills fall under the growth mindset?
Or can you have a growth mindset but be poor at learning effectively?

How Shame, Guilt and Embarrassment Ties In With Traits 4, 5 & 9?

These are the traits the header is referring to

4. He Has High Self-Esteem
5. He Generates His Own Self-Esteem
9. He Is Honest To His Own Value System

Here are my thoughts.
I have yet to understand this in sufficient detail but drafting it out here for everyone to discuss.

What we feel shame, guilt and embarrassment about ties in closely with our self-esteem and value systems.

I read about the differences between shame, guilt and embarrassment in some articles a while ago.
I found these emotions important to discern to understand myself and others emotionally.

Definition of Embarrassment from Psychology Today [1]:

Embarrassment is the feeling of discomfort experienced when some aspect of ourselves is, or threatens to be, witnessed by or otherwise revealed to others, and we think that this revelation is likely to undermine the image of ourselves that we seek to project to those others.

Embarrassment can happen when our self-image feels threatened but is morally neutral.
For example, having diarrhea in your pants as an example given by John.
You did not do anything wrong or anything morally reprehensible.

Having an anti-fragile ego will prevent us from depending on external validations of our self-image.
This will substantially reduce our fear of embarrassment because our self-esteem is not built upon external validation.
We do care a lot about how people perceive us, but that does not mean we build our internal self-esteem upon this external perception.

From the same article [1],

Shame arises from measuring our actions against moral standards and discovering that they fall short.
If our actions fall short and we fail to notice, we can ‘be shamed’ or made to notice.

There is a judge frame here whether you are measuring your moral or ethical standards from your own standards, someone else's standards or society's standards.
For example, in John's example of stealing pencils at work, you feel shame because you believe stealing in general is a value-taking behaviour, and you build your self-esteem from doing your best to add value to other people's lives. (your ethical standard)

Shame has a more inward feeling [2].
And we view our entire selves in a negative light [2].

Quote from ThePowerMoves Article on Anti-Fragile

If the ego is the sense of self, self-esteem is the measure of how you think of yourself.

People with low self-esteem feel shame more often as well (lack of trait 4 of a high-quality man) because they feel that they do not measure up to their own standards or society's standards.

Building your sense of self through values more independent from external sources will help alleviate this issue.
And also building your ego away from achievements and outcomes.
More on whether you did your best, but, at the same time, having self-compassion and acknowledge that you will slip up from time to time.
This is what crafting an anti-fragile ego entails.

Now onto guilt,

Quote from Psychology Today: The Psychology of Embarrassment, Shame and Guilt

Guilt pertains to an action or actions, and to blame and remorse: Shame says, “I am bad.” Guilt says, “I did something bad.”

Quote from The Scientific Underpinnings and Impacts of Shame

Feelings of guilt, in contrast, result from a concrete action for which we accept responsibility. Guilt causes us to focus our attention on the feelings of others.

We can use the same example of stealing pencils from the office.
You can feel both shame and guilt.
Shame for falling short of a moral standard.
Guilt for your wrongdoing of stealing. "You did something bad."

Having a strong value system and being honest to your own value system will allow you understand whether your feelings of guilt are justified.
Did you do something wrong?
An anti-fragile ego will prevent the negative feeling of guilt because you have self-compassion and acknowledge that you may slip up from time to time.
Trait 8, knowing power dynamics, will also allow you to discern whether people are intentionally inducing guilt on you, guilt-tripping.

Summary

Anytime feelings of embarrassment, shame, and guilt arise, it is a good time to look at what your ego is built upon.

Is your ego too dependent on external sources?
For shame, what are you building your ethical standards upon? Are they defined by you or by society?
Do you give yourself enough compassion knowing that it is impossible to meet any standard 100% of the time, even if it is set by yourself?

For guilt, are you being too harsh on yourself? Everyone makes mistakes from time to time.
By your own value system, would you consider your actions a mistake?
Or is someone else telling you a mistake judging from their own value system?
Also, is the person intentionally guilt-tripping you?

References

[1] Psychology Today: The Psychology of Embarrassment, Shame and Guilt
[2] The Scientific Underpinnings and Impacts of Shame
[3] Dealing With Shame When You Have BPD

There are some areas of life that I have to put on other hats in addition to the mindset of learning and growing.
If the environment is cut-throat, I may need to put on a more Machiavellian hat.

I kind of agree but I don't agree. Topic of another post! Can you have growth mindset in all aspects of your life?

The skills for learning like critical thinking, critical analysis, understanding the scientific method are important for learning.
But do these skills fall under the growth mindset?

I think they do.

Or can you have a growth mindset but be poor at learning effectively?

That is not the growth mindset. Each time you see a measurement, here "effectively" it's not a growth mindset. Because you don't compare yourself to others. All you care about is learning. Here is Tom talking about it.

Actually, I disagree with him on the topic when he says "than anybody else". That he cannot control. So there's a mistake. However, if you remove that it's powerful. He's right. The idea (stoicism) is to focus only on the things you can control. Because by definition you don't control the things you don't control. However, because of our minds we can project ourselves being in control of things we are not in control of. Magic Thinking. That's the trap.

So you take the learner mindset + stoic philosophy = boom.

Definition of Embarrassment from Psychology Today [1]:

Embarrassment is the feeling of discomfort experienced when some aspect of ourselves is, or threatens to be, witnessed by or otherwise revealed to others, and we think that this revelation is likely to undermine the image of ourselves that we seek to project to those others.

I did not know this definition. Great! Thanks!

Having an anti-fragile ego will prevent us from depending on external validations of our self-image.
This will substantially reduce our fear of embarrassment because our self-esteem is not built upon external validation.
We do care a lot about how people perceive us, but that does not mean we build our internal self-esteem upon this external perception

EXACTLY!!! However, this is does not mean you don't care. It means you can control what you care about. So it's not like everybody can judge you. But you leave open to certain people to judge you about certain things. I mean emotionally speaking. I hope I'm clear but I think I'm not.

You did not do anything wrong or anything morally reprehensible.

Laughing my ass off. No I did not. You never had diarrhea in your pants? Come on!

Having a strong value system and being honest to your own value system will allow you understand whether your feelings of guilt are justified.
Did you do something wrong?

Exactly!

Summary

Anytime feelings of embarrassment, shame, and guilt arise, it is a good time to look at what your ego is built upon.

Is your ego too dependent on external sources?
For shame, what are you building your ethical standards upon? Are they defined by you or by society?
Do you give yourself enough compassion knowing that it is impossible to meet any standard 100% of the time, even if it is set by yourself?

For guilt, are you being too harsh on yourself? Everyone makes mistakes from time to time.
By your own value system, would you consider your actions a mistake?
Or is someone else telling you a mistake judging from their own value system?
Also, is the person intentionally guilt-tripping you?

I like it and want to make some comments below about 2 lines:

For shame, what are you building your ethical standards upon? Are they defined by you or by society?

I think this question is not valid. I'm sorry. My argument is that we always exist within a group. We are society. So if your ethical standards do not fit your group, then by definition, it's not ethical (within this group). This is context dependent. What I mean is that it's a continuum. Well you see what I mean. (Burp, Rick).

Do you give yourself enough compassion knowing that it is impossible to meet any standard 100% of the time, even if it is set by yourself?

This is perfectionism. The false self. Ego-based. No one does that. It's a fake image. Whatever the TV says. We all fuck up. That's what is fun. Otherwise, it would be very boring. What's funny? Our fuck-ups.

The other questions are pure gold. I think you could refine them and make a sticky post or something with them.

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood

You did not do anything wrong or anything morally reprehensible.

Laughing my ass off. No I did not. You never had diarrhea in your pants? Come on!

This is a miscommunication.
"You" refers to an arbitrary person in second-person.

I had diarrhea in my pants before.
I meant that I would feel embarrassed having diarrhea in my pants.
But I would not feel shame because I did not do anything wrong or anything morally reprehensible.

There are some areas of life that I have to put on other hats in addition to the mindset of learning and growing.
If the environment is cut-throat, I may need to put on a more Machiavellian hat.

I kind of agree but I don't agree. Topic of another post! Can you have growth mindset in all aspects of your life?

Yes, we definitely can have a growth mindset in all aspects of our life.
I am saying that some environments are more distracting towards learning because my brain has to focus on countering power moves for example.
On this forum, for example, I can be less cautious of power moves and focus almost 100% on learning.
In the workplace, I spend some time focusing on learning, some time on politics, some time on delivering results.
Maybe another thread as you say!

For shame, what are you building your ethical standards upon? Are they defined by you or by society?

I think this question is not valid. I'm sorry. My argument is that we always exist within a group. We are society. So if your ethical standards do not fit your group, then by definition, it's not ethical (within this group). This is context dependent. What I mean is that it's a continuum. Well you see what I mean. (Burp, Rick).

I need to clarify this point further as well.
I'm not saying that we define our ethical standards independent of society.

What I meant was that we take into account all the factors, external and internal, and make the final decision of our ethical standards for ourselves.
We construct our set of ethics and decide how to tackle grey areas & ethical dilemmas.

Yes, it is very challenging to say something is ethical if everyone else says it is unethical.
During tough times, a leader may make a decision he thinks is best and ethical for the long-term of a group, but the group may deem it to be unethical.
This is because people may suffer in the short-term but benefit in the long-term.
Or sometimes there is no way that you can add value to everyone in the crisis.

I meant that I would feel embarrassed having diarrhea in my pants.
But I would not feel shame because I did not do anything wrong or anything morally reprehensible.

Hahaha. I got it. Funny still.

I am saying that some environments are more distracting towards learning because my brain has to focus on countering power moves for example.

Gotcha.

What I meant was that we take into account all the factors, external and internal, and make the final decision of our ethical standards for ourselves.
We construct our set of ethics and decide how to tackle grey areas & ethical dilemmas

Got it. I agree.

Yes, it is very challenging to say something is ethical if everyone else says it is unethical.
During tough times, a leader may make a decision he thinks is best and ethical for the long-term of a group, but the group may deem it to be unethical.
This is because people may suffer in the short-term but benefit in the long-term.
Or sometimes there is no way that you can add value to everyone in the crisis.

Important points. And last one is a leadership bomb.

 

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood

He Is Honest To His Own Value System

I think this the quality of Integrity, right?

With this post comes this idea, because the goal is change:

It doesn’t matter who you are today. It only matters who you want to become and how hard you are willing to work to become that person. - T. Bilyeu

As said in the thank yous post, I noticed this week the following things:

  1. I learned from my social taker ex-friend A. that it is key to surround oneself with high quality people. That means: honest, positive, generous, humble, authentic, kind. These are my criteria.
  2. As I was organizing my week-end I was going through my whole address book and I could not believe it: there were very few people whom I wanted to actually see. This is when I realized that these were low-quality people. I think that due to low self-esteem I was setting the bar low and accepting all kinds of people in my life. Choosing quality over quantity was one of the best decisions in my social life.
  3. As it is clearer to me what is high quality, I now use it in my conversations with people as a way to separate "us" from "them". Not in the sense of high-quality vs low-quality, but more in the taker vs non-taker. I do not hesitate now to speak about bad mental health in my profession with people who have a good mental health: I worked hard to improve mine BTW, so no judgment here but now I don't want to be around people with a bad mental health. I also speak about manipulation and takers with people who are not manipulative nor takers. That's the "us" vs "them". Some people are going to take advantage of us and we have to inform one another about these people. A sense of solidarity for people who want to have a positive and enjoyable life and want to be surrounded by people like that.
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Lucio Buffalmano
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