To explore how social proof works within the social matrix, think back to high school and ponder, why were the popular kids popular?
Why were the nerdy kids outcasts?
The truth is: it was all just made up.
Kids based their opinions off of things they heard from other kids, from TV, from parents, and from all sorts of other cultural influences.
Maybe one day two students both decide that another student is the dreamiest person in school and they publicly feud over that person.
Suddenly, more people at school take a larger interest in that person too. They cannot resist. They’re subconsciously guided by the actions of their peers.
Now, the person being fought over has the status popularity bestows. This person’s actions carry even more weight than the two that unknowingly created the reputation.
Now, if this popular person takes an interest in you, you might become popular too.
Or, perhaps people will be jealous of this popular person’s interest and resent you for it. Now, you’re unpopular.
But wait, none of this had anything to do with you.
You were judged by the company you kept and what other people thought of you.
Doesn’t seem fair, but it’s real, and the good news is now that you’re older and wiser, you can use this phenomenon to your advantage.
Remember, it’s all made up.
By intentionally surrounding yourself with the right company, and encouraging others to think positively of you (which means adding value to every social situation), you take an active role in positioning yourself in a place of higher social standing.
When looking to strengthen your relationship with someone, ask yourself: who would they consider their peers?
And then, actively demonstrate that you’re well liked within that group.
For example, lets imagine I’m a sports agent and you’re an up and coming athlete.
You notice me finishing up a conversation with basketball legend Charles Barkley right before I approach you to begin our conversation. How do you feel about me? Have my chances of booking you as a client risen?
Of course they have.
You can’t resist the social proof that Charles Barkley has provided.
If you’re thinking, “wait, I’d have to first know Charles Barkley to pull that off,” you’re right…
This particular tool of the social matrix isn’t necessarily valuable to you early on in your training because it requires you to already have forged some powerful friendships and connections.
However, when you get to the point where you can apply these techniques, each connection supports the development of the next.
You don’t have to start with a literal celebrity. Everyone you meet likely has others who look up to them.
Honor and cherish each of your relationships and you will see they inevitably lead to others.
You never know who you might be connected to without even knowing it.
When your friends, loved ones, and allies support the bringing in and cultivation of new friends, loved ones, and new allies, then your network can continuously expand outward in exciting and remarkable ways.