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Social Beast: High-Energy, Done Perfectly (The "David" Mode)

Before we get to the "David beast Mode", let's introduce it properly:

High energy and its limitations

This website has sometimes discouraged or cautioned against the common "high-energy" route to social self-improvement.

Be it to achieve social power, social success, dating success, or status within groups, it's very easy to do "high-energy" wrong (and ineffective).

The high-energy approach is inherently high-effort, and unless you're getting extra returns for that effort, then you can easily become the low-power jester (and that achieves little results beyond the high of getting people's reactions).

At the lowest power level of high-energy, people consider you a noisy nuisance that's better avoided.
At the low-intermediate level, people might laugh with you (or at you), but few people respect you (it's harder ot be taken seriously as the high-energy guy).

Ineffectively Great Looking

High-energy still holds sway in the self-help world because it can feel and look great and successful while actually being ineffective.

What many consider the pinnacle of the high-energy approach is to become" the life of the party".

That can easily end up being a rather empty pursuit if your goal was more practical -as it's often the case for those looking into self-help-.
Things like acquiring a mate (the more silent guy can connect with her or sexualize with her 1:1 and leave with her), making friends (the more silent guy can do a lot of 1:1 convo and make real friends), or getting status (the dominance hierarchies are rarely negotiated in high-energy party mode).

And if you do it really wrong, which is also possible, then the extra effort of the high-energy is like going 10x faster in the wrong direction.

HOWEVER...

There are ways of being high-energy and winning.

Let's explore:

Doing High-Energy Right: High-Power Energy

Doing high energy well well means reaping the rewards for the high effort you're expending.

That often means: you must add power and/or dominance to the energy.

Luckily, I got to experience two different examples of doing high-energy successfully.

They are:

  • Power-taking high energy
  • Value-giving high energy

As long as power-taking is not overly aggressive, then both are successful in the sense that they both can achieve life-relevant results such as status, mating opportunities, respect from others, etc.

There are actually some advantages to value-taking sometimes, but generally speaking, it's less effective.

Let's dig deeper with two real-life examples.

The High-Energy / High-Dominance / Low-Warmth (Asshole)

The example I have is from E., my former classmate.

In high school, E. gave me the opportunity to experience both high status in groups, and low(er) status.

Before high school I was high-status and well-liked in most groups I was part of, in and outside of school.
During high school outside of school, the same. Even those who were higher, I'd say that few if any were much higher, even including older, more socially aggressive, or "cooler" guys.

But I was quite low-status in high school compared to E.
E. was a force of nature and at another level, especially considering his age. He seemed to have everything going on for him and "more" than I had (including being more mentally mature).
And since for a large chunk of high school it was only two men in the class, there wasn't a "group". There was him, in charge, and then there was me, below him.

E. was very high-energy, but he was no jester.
He was high dominance, and reaped full results for his efforts (dating included).

We recently met again and it was an incredible opportunity to measure my progress:

He was a beast back then, and was even more of a beast today.

As soon as he arrived -late-, he didn't walk in.
He stopped a few meters away from the table and grabbed everyone's attention while staying silent, smiling, and heavily gesticulating as if to say "come on, can you believe this". And then dropped some jokes from afar.
He hadn't even walked into the group, and he was already leading.

Then he went around the table, hugged the organizer of the event, made her the butt of some jokes while addressing the table, kissed her on the head (affectionate dominance, that was great) and added: "but you know I love you" (push-pull, as in the "self-amusing" style, that was also great to rebuild goodwill and an improvement on his older self, but he did a lot more "pushing" on her during the night).

Later he sees some people he knows at the restaurant and even though he has no interest whatsoever in children, he picks up their baby:

Even the baby looks at him fondly 🙂

He talks to the husband who raptly listens to him while E, has his arm around his wife -wife who was all smiling and laughing with him-:

HOWEVER,

For all his success, he often failed to grow closer, connect, or truly bond with people.

Even today, when he told me to meet again on some other day, I took no steps to make it happen. And was not looking forward to it.
He said "I'd be happy to". But actions speak louder than words, and if your actions push people down, then that "you'd be happy to" means jack squat.

That's because his dominance was often power and value-taking.
His jokes were derisive and pushing others down. Yes, people laughed, but subconsciously they also knew that they could be the next target. That naturally keeps people at arms' length -including the ones who aren't competing hard for status and/or are thick-skinned enough not to take the jokes too personally-.

He improved a lot in that department as well, but still largely relied on social climbing and deriding to hold court.

David: High-Energy / High-Dominance, With Love

Now compare to Davide.

David is a truly unique blend of high-energy/high-dominance because he adds not just friendliness/warmth (as you'll see, we might even call it "love" in this case), but also lots of empathy and vulnerability.

David was equally high-energy and (almost) equally dominant as my former classmate.
But instead of the default mode being value-taking, he had a value-giving default mode.

He was like that as a kid.
And when I saw him again the other night, he got even better.

I took some clips yesterday night because it's great stuff for power dynamics:

He combined:

  • High-energy
  • Dominance
  • Warmth / love
  • Vulnerability
  • Social skills

While being the life of the party, Davide also:

  • Displays dominance with love and affection: look at how he enters the conversation at minute 1:04. He interrupts. BUT his foot forward is with love. He, a straight guy, takes and holds a straight guy's hand Oprah style. He does it seamlessly, while keeping the festive atmosphere. Even though my other friend might have wanted to keep his conversation going, how can you reject someone who's coming to you with that much love?
  • Makes friends and allies: Davide only made friends that night. His social smoothness is also superb:
  • Displays social skills: he likes people, he can connect with them, and people like him. Notice how he moves from subgroup to subgroup, independently of age or character of the people. He is the only one to do that so skillfully
  • Pull the group up: the stories he talks about are stories of us being great (including the "reminisce stories" of us as kids, all directly or indirectly saying "we're great")
  • Pull individuals up: everything he says either privately or publicly is good and uplifting about people. They say you are great.
  • Exudes joy for life and people: he's happy and cheerful. Notice how he looks at people in the eyes. Especially the very beginning, where he sees my friend for the first time. Direct, unwavering... And also "full of joy to see him" (actually, full of love). His nonverbals sub-communicates "I'm so happy to see you and be with you"
  • Vulnerable while still being dominant: notice how often he touches his heart. He said "my heart is racing" and "you guys made my heart swell up tonight". And he openly talked about his past issues with drugs or how he mended the relationship with a common and older friend who introduced him to heavy drugs
  • Connect with individuals as he addressed many: he sometimes talked to someone, then switched to addressing the group, but still talking about the individual (always sharing something positive or uplifting)
  • Connect 1:1 with more private conversation: ...

The last one blew me away.
He had been complimentary and uplifting all night.
But before leaving he made it lower energy, and more personal. He got close to me, and with his unwavering eye contact said: "ah Lu, you believe me? I look at you straight (pause) You know I love you right? Even though we don't see each other for a lifetime, you're the N.1. I am happy you're doing great".

Right after that, he went back to higher energy social again, bid farewell, and exited like a boss.

The loudest guy, was also the most dominant guy, the friendliest guy, and the guy who touched me the deepest (and, I bet, who also touched deep many other people in his life).
So much so, that I call this blend of high-energy, dominance, and love the "Davide style", in his honor.

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Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Looks like a fun party man!
Thanks a lot for sharing Davide style form of making friends and influencing people.
He doesn't come across like a jester or the aggressive person who pushes & pulls.
At least from my impression from the video. (I don't understand the Italian)

I think Vanessa Van Edwards is quite high energy as well.
She does it well except in a less dominant, more feminine style.

Short notes here from the top of my head:

As long as power-taking is not overly aggressive, then both are successful in the sense that they both can achieve life-relevant results such as status, mating opportunities, respect from others, etc.

There are actually some advantages to value-taking sometimes, but generally speaking, it's less effective.

The High-Energy / High-Dominance / Low-Warmth (Asshole)

That's because his dominance was often power and value-taking.
His jokes were derisive and pushing others down. Yes, people laughed, but subconsciously they also knew that they could be the next target. That naturally keeps people at arms' length -including the ones who aren't competing hard for status and/or are thick-skinned enough not to take the jokes too personally-.

He improved a lot in that department as well, but still largely relied on social climbing and deriding to hold court.

Won't you become a social outcast because you keep making value-taking remarks?

As Lucio outlines, I suppose that he uses socialised aggression.
He doesn't make outright aggressive remarks like

  • Fuck you
  • You are a stupid person

He makes a lot of "socially acceptable" value-taking jokes more on the microaggression and covert aggression side.

Something in between the Masters of the Universe and Flash & Confidence: Upcoming Young Gun Style of Dominance that Conor McGregor uses:

Whereas Davide style seems to be a hybrid of Flash & Confidence with the Charmer style.

But I was quite low-status in high school compared to E.
E. was a force of nature and at another level, especially considering his age. He seemed to have everything going on for him and "more" than I had (including being more mentally mature).
And since for a large chunk of high school it was only two men in the class, there wasn't a "group". There was him, in charge, and then there was me, below him.

I was thinking why would he be mature if he makes social climbing and value-taking remarks.
I suppose he's mature in the sense of being emotionally stable, detached and power-aware.

And, if one continues to keep making social climbing and value-taking remarks, doesn't that communicate that one is not at the top?
Maybe there was a lot of submissive people around so he could pull off this style of dominance.

1) Charismatic Conviction - High Energy, High Dominance

Taken from Power University, Power Words, How Power Sounds, I suppose another style of high energy and high dominance is the charismatic speaker like Benito Mussolini in his declaration of war speech:

2) Passionate Dominance - High Energy, High Dominance

Taken from Power University, High Dominance Frames, the speech by Sgarbi, a popular Italian art critic:

I think this is similar to charismatic conviction on some level.

Because of his unwavering conviction against boos from critics, he comes across as powerful and dominant.

Thoughts? High Energy Needs to have Conviction & Charm

I suppose the issue of high energy is when it's undirected and stated not really to make a point.
Also, when you entertain people instead of using high energy to express yourself, you are giving people the judge power as you are appeasing them.
So naturally, that becomes lower power.

In short, high energy is good when

  • Express yourself with unwavering conviction
  • Read people well and be warm & welcoming
  • Get people to come into your high energy frame rather than giving away your high energy to get people's reaction

Good high energy seems to mix charisma and charm.

Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCV1PP1Bq9o&feature=youtu.be

By the way, this is the kind of video I've been trying to find on YouTube!
It seems rather challenging to find impromptu videos of people talking at parties or events.
Maybe I should search TikTok, Snapchat or Instagram.

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Lucio Buffalmano

Some short and random notes from the top of my head as well:

Quote from Matthew Whitewood on October 10, 2021, 7:13 pm

Won't you become a social outcast because you keep making value-taking remarks?

Depends what types of value-taking remarks, as you say.

But generally speaking, rules differ for high-value people at the top of the hierarchy who pick on those below them.

This is why bullies don't necessarily become outcasts: they pick on low(er)-value folks.

It's also uncommon for lower status to get together and isolate, face, or attack a higher status individual (and that's why some of the more complex strategies we discuss here against value-taking leaders is to organize the revolt, or surface the hatred to the point where ostracization becomes possible).

Quote from Matthew Whitewood on October 10, 2021, 7:13 pm

I was thinking why would he be mature if he makes social climbing and value-taking remarks.
I suppose he's mature in the sense of being emotionally stable, detached and power-aware.

Maybe "mature" was not the best adjective.
But I'm not sure there is such a strong link between maturity and value-taking / value-giving.

When I said "mature" I meant more in terms of being "ahead of his age" and more "worldly" (he was from a bigger urban area on the coast, I was from the middle of nowhere in the countryside. That also tends to have a major impact on people's development).
He used to go out with 18YO+, car-driving friends when he was 14. I didn't.
I had typical 14/15 YO tastes like small-displacement motorbikes, motorbike racing, and playing football with my friends with some cones as goalposts.
Those are not the things more mature people are into, and not the type of things you could vibe with girls either.

Quote from Matthew Whitewood on October 10, 2021, 7:13 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCV1PP1Bq9o&feature=youtu.be

By the way, this is the kind of video I've been trying to find on YouTube!
It seems rather challenging to find impromptu videos of people talking at parties or events.
Maybe I should search TikTok, Snapchat or Instagram.

Cool!
Those are helpful indeed.
Next time I'll try to remember to keep the phone horizontal :).

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Turned it into a post:

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
Quote from Matthew Whitewood on October 10, 2021, 7:13 pm

Won't you become a social outcast because you keep making value-taking remarks?

Depends what types of value-taking remarks, as you say.

But generally speaking, rules differ for high-value people at the top of the hierarchy who pick on those below them.

This is why bullies don't necessarily become outcasts: they pick on low(er)-value folks.

I do see lots of dominant, aggressive individuals climbing the corporate ladder.
They often make lots of value-taking remarks like tasking, correcting mistakes, etc.
Acting leader-like in the peer group in short.

And since for a large chunk of high school it was only two men in the class, there wasn't a "group". There was him, in charge, and then there was me, below him.

I saw the photo and realised you meant "2 men" literally.
I thought you meant that there were only 2 real, alpha men in the class.
The gender ratio looks awesome.

Quote from Matthew Whitewood on October 10, 2021, 7:13 pm

I was thinking why would he be mature if he makes social climbing and value-taking remarks.
I suppose he's mature in the sense of being emotionally stable, detached and power-aware.

Maybe "mature" was not the best adjective.
But I'm not sure there is such a strong link between maturity and value-taking / value-giving.

When I said "mature" I meant more in terms of being "ahead of his age" and more "worldly" (he was from a bigger urban area on the coast, I was from the middle of nowhere in the countryside. That also tends to have a major impact on people's development).

I do see plenty of value-taking, experienced people in the corporate world.
I suppose maturity means that one understands how to navigate the world (a large part is the social aspect).

He used to go out with 18YO+, car-driving friends when he was 14. I didn't.
I had typical 14/15 YO tastes like small-displacement motorbikes, motorbike racing, and playing football with my friends with some cones as goalposts.
Those are not the things more mature people are into, and not the type of things you could vibe with girls either.

It must have taken some skill as a 14-year-old to hang out with the 18YO+.

I thought motorbikes are cool.
I suppose women do like cars more than motorcycles.

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