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Value-takers

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Hello guys,

I thought about this today. Why are value-taker so damaging? Why is it so necessary to keep them as far as humanly possible?

Lucio, I remember in a post you talked about mental health, self-confidence, etc. but could not find it anymore. Anyway here is my take on it:

First, I think the value-taker can take external things from you: money, etc.

However, this is not the most damaging. The most damage they can do is to hurt your self-esteem, your self-respect, your self-confidence. That is why these attacks on your personality/identity are damaging. They are attacking:

  1. Your sense of self: are you good or bad? So your inner value. Activating feelings of shame, guilt, inferiority, etc.
  2. Your social status: from now on I will call this social value.

So, it's not that they take some of your money or some of your time. Which is already bad enough. It's that they can damage your inner self and your social value. And this is why these people are so damaging in my opinion.

Lucio talked about mental health as well and I agree. Techniques such as gaslighting, etc.

Something else I want to add that is the most damaging is your own self-image. When they attack your self-image, they make you internalize a negative image about yourself. This is already bad enough as it is. However the worst part is that they can re-activate it at will and expand the thread of it.

  • Example: "Well, it's better than you don't come to close today" (joke?!?
  • Frame: "you stink"
  • Next time: "Is your shower not working?" and so on and so forth. Now they framed you as somebody with no hygiene.

It doesn't matter if it's true or not. If we let it slip too many times, we are dead.

A huge mistake to avoid: do not try to befriend them. As Lucio said: "It's an attitude towards Life". You can have a good relationship with them, but do not bring them closer. Keep them as far as possible from you. There are benefits to get from these people but only on the short term and in controlled situations. Once you recognize a value-taker: run! You can have good moments and fun with them but the price is just too high. You can also have good moments and fun with high-quality people. Which one will it be?

I'm quoting Lucio here because this mindset is very important to internalize:

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on January 11, 2021, 9:41 pm

You know, sometimes in life YOU REALIZE PEOPLE EITHER GIVE, OR TAKE (just making it shorter)
And I decided to be around people who give to OTHERS (make it more impersonal, more powerful) instead of taking. Sometimes it takes time to recognize it and it's very sad when YOU do BECAUSE WHEN YOU'RE NOT LIKE THAT, IT HITS YOU EVEN HARDER (indirectly says "I'm not like that"). It might sound harsh, but I decided some time ago to only choose people who bring OTHERS up and not down (again, scrap me for more impersonal form, which are more relevant to those you're speaking to, and a higher charge of "WIIFT")

Quite deep.
If you get asked what do you mean, then you can say something:

You know, taking or giving are attitude towards others and towards life.
Sometimes you see it in the smaller things before you see in the bigger things.
Like I can make a joke about you now for example, but am I teasing, or am I making fun of you? Am I laughing with you, or am I laughing at you? Am I making a joke, or I am hiding a personal attack behind a joke?
And today it's a joke, tomorrow it might be something bigger. Maybe they lie to your partner about you cheating, or spread rumors about you to ruin your reputaiton. Because the value-taker is about the attitude.
And I don't need those people.
Do you know what I mean?

I might quote it again in the future. This is something to be remembered at all times.

As I said, the concept of the attitude of a value-taker above hit me like a mental punch.

I thought about it and here is what I'm proposing:

They are not value-takers, they are value-thieves.

My frenemy A., the chief physician, the nasty nurses, they're all value-thieves.

Why do I think that?

Because taking could be understand as neutral (even though the Cambridge dictionary points out otherwise) while stealing is taking without permission.

I would like to have your opinion on this thought, guys. I think the better we understand this concept and behavior, the easier it will be to identify it and defend against it.

So, we will not give them permission to take our social value.

As I'm deconstructing "Social status" and "value-taking", I'm getting down to the root event. It's helpful for me, I hope it will be for you.

I repeat: Let us not give them permission to take our social value. We put too much work into it.

Hey John,

Yeah, the thief concept might describe the dynamics even better for some people and situations.

The advantage of the more neutral "taker" is that it provides a larger semantic footprint, so to speak, and it covers more situations.

For example, the value thieves you describe take value because of their actions -active value taker-.
And some of them have value-taking mindsets and approaches to life, which makes some of them the "POS" we sometimes refer to here -value taking values and mindsets-.

The value-taker as a concept is larger though, and also includes involuntary and inactive value-takers.

For example, the socially clueless guy who makes one mistake after the other.
He is taking value from you inadvertently, he might not have any value-taking values or mindsets (so, not a "POS"), and he might otherwise be a good guy.

Or the homeless guy who takes value simply by standing next to you because he hasn't taken a shower in the last 5 years -unfortunate to say, but not less true-.
In that case, he is taking value without doing anything, by inaction -inaction on basic personal grooming-.
He is a "passive value taker".

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Hello Lucio,

I agree. So there would be:

  • Passive takers (bums): people engaged in involuntary taking
  • Active takers (stealers): people engaged in voluntary taking

I read years ago "Give and Take" and it's a great book, I learned a lot in it. However, now I'm really engaged in this dynamics since I now know about these power dynamics. Before, I was not aware of them as much.

Here is a video on the topic:

Based on this video, we also have:

  • Agreeable takers (fakers)
  • Disagreeable takers

The fakers are the hardest to recognize.

I see that Lucio also did the work of categorizing these people here:

Value Takers: Profiling The Pariahs

There are countless ways of being a value taker.

Some of them include:

  • Nasty Social Climbers: value-taking social climbers push others down
  • Complainers: they are value-taking with the go-getters of this world, who ruthlessly cut them out
  • Nervous & Insecure: states are contagious, and social interactions become unpleasurable
  • Party poopers / mood dampeners: they take value by making people sadder
  • Socially Oblivious: have no idea of how social dynamics and power dynamics work (one example below)

Being socially oblivious is particularly dangerous, since low-value and socially oblivious people don’t even realize they enter relationships by asking without giving.

I also found this thread now:

Nasty social climbers. 

I’m aware that there might be some duplicates but I think it’s also a good thing to cross-reference posts. Some high quality posts like this one sometime fall in the depths  of a forum only because of recency effect.

This system is very usable:

Today, I found out that one of the executives I was cautious with is actually a disagreeable giver. I also found out that one of my supervisor is an agreeable taker. This is really usable. Because the two mistakes that we are prone is to confuse a disagreeable person with a taker and confuse an agreeable person with a giver. I understood that actually most of my team are givers. There are actually only 3 takers in our core group: 2 agreeable and 1 disagreeable.

He's right, the best strategy is to flush out the takers. A team without takers will always perform better than a team with takers. By definition. So you don't need to be surrounded by givers. To optimize your life, you only need to remove the takers. Then if you're surrounded by matchers or givers do not really matter. If you're surrounded by matchers: be a giver and you'll be surrounded by givers. If you're surrounded by givers, well, you're surrounded by givers.

I encourage you to test this system out: sort the people at your job in this matrix. Let me know it is working for you if you try it!

Thanks for sharing, John! Your post definitely got my like :).

Where did you find that system?

Yes, geat one, John.

This is a very important distinction, I think.

Looking at the actual "bottom line", so to speak, rather than the external shell, since the external shell can not only hide the truth, but actually be actively misleading in some cases.
I added this difference to the dictionary, under "value taker". Latter I'll do the same for "value giver", thank you!

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
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