In our previous post, we saw that the Inner and Outer Image is shaped from a young age based on life experience. And, depending on the nature of our social environment and Outer Image, people will respond to us in different ways. Today we will look at the two fundamental messages that your Outer Image broadcasts to others.
To Like or Not To Like
Within your social environment, there are three basic qualities interaction:
- People like you.
- People are neutral or indifferent to you.
- People dislike you.
Basing your entire life around whether other people like you is a stressful way to live. But as we have already discussed, if you want to build a life in this world, you've got to get some people to like you at least some of the time. This means that your Outer Image has to communicate a message in your social world that is agreeable, desirable and meaningful to the audience you are appealing to.
Leaders and Followers
There are two basic messages that you can convey to your audience. How you communicate that message can vary, but the fundamental message is the same. The two messages are:
- I am a Leader: Communicates confidence, power, and value.
- I am a Follower: Communicates insecurity, submission, and need.
In any given moment, in any social situation, a person can be seen as having more power (the Leader) or as having less power (the Follower). Another way of saying this is that a Leader receives attention, and a Follower gives attention. Like a dance, the roles can be exchanged multiple times in an interaction among various people. The two roles are mutually dependent since the Leader provides for the needs of Followers by providing some form of safety, security, direction, resources and entertainment. The Follower enables the Leader to exercise their creativity and power by providing attention and a willingness to obey the leader's direction. In a balanced life, a person is a Leader sometimes, and a Follower at others, with some people more consistently seen as "Leaders" and others more consistently seen as "Followers".
The Business World
Within the business world, the main goal of people is to feel good about exchanging money and gain more money through the exchanges. The main reason you enter the business world is to get money so you can gain a sense of security and opportunity in your day-to-day life. If people feel uncertain about giving you their money, then you won't get very much of it, but if they like you, then you will have more opportunities to get money. So the most important messages that you can communicate in the business world are confidence and capability: the messages of a Leader. People in the business world need to trust that you will get the job done and return value of their investment in you. On the other hand, the message of the Follower is insecurity and uncertainty. When people don't believe they can rely on your ability to get things done, your responsibilities will be restricted or revoked, making it hard to get ahead in the business world.
The Social World
Within the social world, the main goal of people is to feel good - period. So the most important messages that you can communicate are confident, relaxed, and fun. The Leader in a social environment helps everyone else relax and have a good time. These are the people that easily make new friends and leave people smiling. On the other hand, the message of the Follower is insecure, anxious, and boring. The Follower needs the Leader (or find the Leader in themselves) to bring them up, or their uncomfortable feelings will spread to people around them causing others to avoid them or just not remember them.
Now that we've looked at the basic messages that can be communicated socially, we'll look at the role of clothes in life and how clothes are a part of the message you broadcast in your life.
Borrring! I'd rather talk about what clothes I need to wear to be The Man! Suggestions?