I have been studying the interactions between people for nearly 20 years. It fascinates me how people identify themselves and how they seek or go about getting approval from others.

Then when they don't get that approval they they become negative with themselves. Thinking something is wrong with them.
Okay besides criminals, most of us are fine.

My main interest is the interactions between men and women. We are so very different. We think different, feel different, interact different. So many things allude the opposite sex. Until you really pay attention.

Ask a woman what's on her mind right now, and you will probably get a list of things.
Ask a guy and you might get one or two items both connected to a plan.

I like watching how two people meet for the first time. No I'm not a sexual voyer. I just watch and I can pick up where the interaction is going. Where he messed up, or if she likes him or not. The ones that are real fun to watch are those that walk into a room and people automatically go to that person.
These people become the center of attention. I'm talking ordinary people, not stars.

Another thing I notice I can sense is when people are faking something. A husband and wife putting on a show like everything is great.
A girl who is acting like she enjoys a guys company.
A guy who really doesn't have it all together.

It's amazing to me that so many do such things to get approval from people they really do not like very much.
Instead of just being honest and upfront they put on a show. Why?
So we can get approval from a person we don't like or even want to be around?

I'm out of time and have to go. I'll work on this some more later. My job gets in the way of my fun sometimes.

A comment was made that I don't know everything, and that it's not always about seeking approval got me a bit concerned.
I don't claim to know everything and these are my observations.
I'm not a trained anything, just a guy taking in the world. The commenter was right though.

This, in my observation, just happens to be the most popular that I have observed.

I adopted a scale of personalities. Since I enjoy the company of women and I'm fascinated by how they interact it's based off the old rating scale of 1-10. This isn't meaning to be sexist or demean women.
Understand that no guy I know will admit to going out with a woman below a 5. So 1-4 on this scale doesn't exist. The lowest a person on this scale can be is a 5.

Now a 5 is the most disliked personality. Nobody likes that person. They avoid this person at all costs.
A 6 is a person who will do anything you ask just to try and be a member of your group. They want to be a member so bad they will do anything. Change their music tastes, change how they dress, go against their own morals, even commit a crime in some cases.
A 7 is a person who will try and one up you on everything. You have a story, they have a better one. You have a nice car, theirs is better. You have a hard job, theirs is harder. I ran into one of these yesterday. I'll put it at the end. It's actually kinda fun, and sad, watching two sevens go at it.
An 8 is a person who tries to bring everyone down to their level. You have a nice job and according to them it's the worst job ever. You have a nice car and it's the wrong model or you didn't get the right options. Your clothes went out of style last week. They tear you down to make themselves look better. A 9 is a person who doesn't need approval. They bring people up to their level. They are not phased by others. They are nice people but will not tolerate being stepped on. They distance themselves from those who refuse to move up the scale. The birds of a feather saying.
A 10 personality does not exist. This a perfect person. 9's strive to become a ten. A ten has no insecurities and is always in control as well as on top of everything. They are perfect.

Note that this is a fluid scale.

In some situations a 9 can become an 8 then return to 9.
A six can become a 7 then move to 8 then return 6 status. It depends on the group dynamic.
A group of 6's will have one 6 move up to a 7. The king or queen of 6's.
An 8 moves into the group and the 7 moves back to 6. It works like that in every group. The stronger the personality the higher up the scale. Until they encounter an even stronger personality.

That is until you hit a group of 9's. They just accept eachother and everyones flaws. A 9 who encounters a six that is trying to change and move up will help that person. A 9 will correct flaws in that 6 as they progress up through 7 and 8 status. A 9 won't put up with an 8 who is happy at 8 status though. Movies play on this dynamic a lot.

My encounter with a 7 was last night. I was talking with a woman on the common topic of kids. I pulled out my phone to show some apps that my wife and I use to keep in touch. Along with other fun and useful ones. This 7 jumps into the the conversation pulling his phone out saying how much better his apps were than mine.
A competition of the Apple iPhone versus the Verizon/Google Droid.
I like my iPhone by the way. I disengaged from the conversation. I wasn't going to play "one up". I acknowledged the fact that his apps were cool and left it at that. He kept comming at it though. I almost had to laugh. He was losing the interest of everyone to my phone which was now in my pocket. But he kept showing off his apps by demonstrating them and asking if my phone could do "whatever". I simply kept saying "Nope, but that's very cool."

Even when this woman and I continued on with our conversation. I knew he was seeking our attention but I consider myself a 9 on personality and I don't apologize for thinking that way. I wasn't going to fight him on who had the coolest toy. Since he wouldn't drop it I had no choice but to tune him out.

Since I travel everyday I meet lots of people from all over the country. I also read a lot which sets up this next story. I went into a restaurant and took a seat at the counter. I had my Kindle out and was reading. There were several others there as well all seated and chatting. A very cute waitress comes up and takes my order. A few guys at the counter make some comments that verged on being inappropriate or complained about something. It's a truck stop and unfortunately it comes with the industry (not an excuse for bad behavior).

I just glanced and gave my disapproval. When she brought out my order she asked what I was reading. I described it for her and she replied that she also reads a lot. I gave a smile and noticed she wasn't leaving, which is customary. She obviously wanted to talk. I asked what kind of books and made a joke about "please don't say romance." As it turns out she reads a lot of vampire themed books. I won't go into why for sake of brevity.

My point to that story is that not only do people slip into other styles of personality around other people but also by where they are. Social norm depicts lawyers as wearing suits and acting a certain way. So lawyers adopt that image. Truck drivers are supposed to look and act a certain way so they take that as a reason to think it's allowable. A bank teller, a doctor, fire fighter, Marine, construction worker, pick the trade. Every company and/or position has it's social norm.

Either defined by society or the immediate surroundings.

This applies also applies to where we live and go to school also. Harvard students are to act differently than Arizona State University.

Harvard is generally known to be acidemic and up tight.
Arizona State is generally known to be a party school.

So a student studying to be a doctor at ASU would put on 9 status while in med class. That student could change to 6 status at a frat party.
A football star could be a 9 at the frat party then switch an 8 in the med school dorms.

A student taking Harvard law could be a 9 while in class and change to a 7 when he leaves campus. Another student could be an 8 off campus and change to a 5 when in class.

I am painting with a very broad brush so no hate mail about how I degraded any job or educational degree.

These are not hard rules, and of course there are exceptions.

People tend to seek power, approval, attention, or affection depending on factors that surround them. We slip in and out of different personalities to make up for percieved flaws or insecurities. Instead of accepting who we are and being comfortable with ourselves.

No one will truly know you or accept you if you don't know or accept yourself.
Knighted Knighted
36-40, M
22 Responses Jul 9, 2010

I second this!

I found this very interesting and very true. I don't think we know anyone truly, much less ourselves. I feel that early childhood and adolescence is the training ground for our social development. I was raised by very Narcissistic parents so my training was reading others at a very young age and adapting accordingly. I don't know what normal is and that includes boundaries etc....I was an extension of my mother not viewed as an individual. I am also an Empath and that does not help when trying to distinguish energy in the room. I can walk into a room and feel either good or bad energy. I am either bubbly or quiet, all depends on the energy being received.

I think you are a nobody, less than a one for sure. where do you *** off with this psychobubble stuff Mr fake Freud. you have time to judge people and also offend the autistic in the same line. shame on you Mr Knight, shame on you indeed.

I too have been a people observor..for over 40 years...more and more over this time I has seen a transition to the "I am the only person in existence mode". Emapthy and apathy has almost been put out to pasture. Even parents reflect this mode while " spending" time with their time you are at a playgroung,observe how many parents are inter-acting/or even responsive to the children.Being we lead by example: what priorities are these types setting setting? So I say find /explore the beat of your own drum and go with might make a difference...great article love you # system....

This was a very interesting read. I'm very intrigued on how people have actually reacted to this article as I believe many would believe themselves to potentially be judged by yourself, who you've rated 9 on your own fluid scale. It allows the person reading this a moment for important introspection whilst most likely drawing their own personal conclusions on the subject matter. Very interesting, thank you for posting.

Very interesting observations! I too have noticed people who act like you described, just never put it in to scale form before. <br />
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I almost want to make your posting into a pocket 'behavior scale' and whip it out everytime I'm around large groups of people!

Ever take the myers-briggs test? I'm guessin you're an INTP. I say that because I'm an INTP, looked up what that meant and it was scary how accurate it was. Loads of people say they watch people's behavior, but I haven't met many people that do it like I do, except for probably you (of course there are probably plenty more, I just haven't met them or at least talked about it). I'm also not trained or anything, just someone who watches, observes, categorizes. I'm curious about what else you've noticed and kind of want to share what I've seen as well.

Ever take the myers-briggs test? I'm guessin you're an INTP. I say that because I'm an INTP, looked up what that meant and it was scary how accurate it was. Loads of people say they watch people's behavior, but I haven't met many people that do it like I do, except for probably you (of course there are probably plenty more, I just haven't met them or at least talked about it). I'm also not trained or anything, just someone who watches, observes, categorizes. I'm curious about what else you've noticed and kind of want to share what I've seen as well.

Hi Knighted,<br />
Just read bits and pieces of your story and I'd say I do not agree with your theory. Members of the 9 group - a self-sufficient resilient person with no need to feel liked or accepted - a superhuman with no need for approval - a superhuman - someone with unbreakable value system, insensitive to criticism? - Sounds either like Laura Craft or someone with autism. I doubt that group 5 exists either - a universal outcast? - there's someone for everyone.

This is a great story. I'll need to think about it to really know what my thoughts on it are. <br />
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I like your code numbers - I've met many a 7 in my time. <br />
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Not sure which number I would be. Will need to think about it some more.<br />
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Great ideas.

a lot of people seem to seek approval from others, what others think and say really doesnt matter, if you are a honest good person your life will travel a path, hopefully to your liking.

Just responding to the beginning of your post; <br />
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I believe people try so hard to get 'approval' from outside, because they are really looking for approval 'acceptance' of themself by themself (albeit going about it the long way round) <br />
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After all the 'self' is all there is, and the external world is a projection of them/from the internal. <br />
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By trying to get others to like us we are trying to like ourself, perhaps intuitively knowing that peace comes only from acceptance. <br />
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Typical,<br />
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I want to make sure I understand your question. Are you asking if a person shifts positions when 7's and 8's meet? Or do they remain the same regardless of who they are around?<br />
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I just want to make sure I clearly understand your question.<br />
There is an "x" factor that I didn't go into. It will be part of my next post. Being able to explain it clearly is difficult without straying to another topic.<br />
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I'm suprises you could make heads or tails out of the update. The format got messed up. I'll correct it Saturday when I have a computer and not on the phone.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your story; it was both insightful and entertaining. I would also like to commend you on your ability to facilitate your own thoughts for the sake of readability. I admire the way you touched on your recent personal encounter while explaining your reasoning for the various ranks, yet paused to finish your list and actually brought it back to the encounter. Brilliant style! I am curious to hear your take on the influences archetypes play in your system. For example, how would the dynamic of a group of type 7’s and 8’s be predictably altered given that they were all made up of the same archetype, as opposed to the archetypal structure being more diverse. Or, is your position that a person’s ranking on your scale is in direct relation to their archetype?

when people start to apcept themselves, they no longer need to so much approval of others, however to live in the real world it has to be taken into consideration. otherwise it would become a barrier to living amongst people. often we are encouraged to be ourselves to stand up for what we are, but usually it means. be as ive told you to be. like wear a pin through your nose. a bright hairdo, get blind drunk, all these things are held up as being yourself, when actually they are following the crowd and are props for not being yourself, we hide behind a thousand masks and we label them as being ourselves.

It is very interesting. It is interesting how far one would go to get approval from someone they admire or hate. It's important to be yourself. Most of the time I'm the "quiet" one and therefore listen a lot actually. It's amazing what you know from what you don't know and how that can change how you feel or act. good thoughts.. my mom has a tendency of talking loudly and "sarcastically" to us in public. I think it's lame. ha

I love your post and some of the responces you got,,,I want to know why people behave the way they do,,,mainly I would like to know where I fall as far as the psychological scale goes,,,because all my life I have been strange,,,and I know that I am a cumalation of all that I have experenced,,,,but its the reactions that I would like a better understanding of,,,Mary

well for 20 years worth u still need to watch and observe obviously u dont understand everything. Its not always about wanting approval.

When you can turn that interest and focus in on yourself, to your own behaviour, that's when the fun really begins.

I never got into survivor. Never watched big brother. I do like documentaries though and history shows. The other shows are filled with drama and backstabbing. That's not real life. Just a poorly written soap.

I realized this about myself recently, and since then have stopped this silly behavior. I think for me it was something automatic, something innately human. I think it is programmed into humans to create a stronger species, one that strives to cooperate instead of battle. But, I think it is inefficient, because as individuals we take this natural drive too literally with too many things. Like you said, as long as we are not hurting others, we are just fine as we are :)

Do you, by chance, like to watch shows like "Survivor" or "Big Brother" for this very reason? (Hey, maybe I'm really trying to seek approval for my own tendencies, lol...) ;)