Power Overdominates: How to Conquer Racism and Stereotypes
Sebastian, of Master the Vibe put out this good newsletter about some topics some of you may be dealing with.
Have Power by Sebastian Drake
Everyone sizes up everyone that meet in a split second. While the
most open-minded and enlightened people let their views of others
evolve, everything we see gets factored into decision making.
If you’re having problems with a negative stereotype about you, the
problem is that that stereotype is providing more information about
you than any other source.
I have clients of all races. Have had clients from every continent,
and very many countries. And I’ve noticed something time and time
again: Students who succeed have positive characteristics that
dominate your first impression of them.
Students who don’t are bland, which leaves people’s split second
judges of them to chance.
A characteristic is said to “dominate” another when it gets
factored before that characteristic. For instance, clothing
dominates race – what you’re wearing gets factored into how people
judge each other before your skin color. Put this way – if you see
a Brazilian guy in an Armani suit, you say –
“Rich Brazilian guy”, not “Brazilian rich guy”.
But the fact that he’s rich doesn’t make you forget that he’s a
Brazilian gentleman – so you’re going to factor in your past
experiences with people from Brazil when you size him up instantly.
So here’s the crux of it – if some characteristics about you aren’t
great for the area you’re in, or you don’t believe it works well
for you, you want to get other characteristics that dominate those
traits. Even if your stereotypical characteristics are advantageous
to you – tall, square-jawed Brazilian guy – you can still evolve
past that. If people’s SECOND impression of you is that you’re a
tall, square-jawed Brazilian, then you’re in really great shape.
Now the real deal – what if you’re the “wrong” type for whatever
you want to do? What if you’re applying for a job in a racist
country, what if you’re shorter than everyone around you in a place
that values height, what if you don’t have the same “pedigree” that
is expected of someone to enter a certain social circle?
The key is – overdomination.
Traits that dominate get consideration first, and then other traits
are looked at.
Traits that OVERDOMINATE are traits that make you forget about the
other characteristics of the person. The other traits become
irrelevant in light of such a large, dominating trait.
Power is a classical overdominating trait. If you see a very
powerful guy, it makes largely irrelevant what the rest of him is.
You see powerful men of all types. Even an ardent racist is going
to respect Samuel L. Jackson.
Charisma is a classical overdominating trait. If you see a very
charismatic guy, it makes largely irrelevant what the rest of him
is. Even though he’s only 5’6, Tom Cruise absolutely glows.
In the last month, I’ve had a mix of very interesting clients. One
was a gentleman who was truly insightful – he’s a world traveller,
a scholar, enlightened and brilliant and charming. He’s got wild
stories of his travels through North America and the Orient, and he
talks with rapture about dangerous attempts of criminals to trying
to rob or extort him. He laughs at the time that he got scammed
twice in the same night, and laughs with a sense of dignity – he
learned the lesson, and the anecdote was worth the few dollars.
He’ll make more money, and if he doesn’t, money won’t be an issue.
A renaissance man, if you will, that is knowledgeable about history
and art but dresses in sharp, tailored high fashion.
Oh yeah, and he’s a medium-built Chinese-Canadian guy that’s
average height and with a so-so physique.
It’s the last thing you notice – when he’s on, he combines power
and charm, and they overdominate his other characteristics. If you
met him, you’d like him.
I hear men worry about their height, race, nationality, accent,
age, and all sorts of other traits frequently.
I’ll tell you when you’re in trouble – when the first thing someone
notices about you is that you’re short, or that you’re young, or
that you’re a particular race. That happens to people who have no
characteristics more interesting than those traits.
Now, those traits will still stereotype you to people as a “second
impression” if you get some traits that dominate them. For
instance, looking “corporate” will get noticed before your
ethnicity. Your race will still be factored, but you’ll get all the
stereotypes about being corporate (doesn’t care about the
environment, really damn busy, resents poor people, is extremely
good in bed) before you get the ones about your race.
And if you really put yourself together extremely well, eventually
you come to stand for an idea, and an ideal. One of the most
successful clients I’ve ever had the blessing to teach was an
extremely successful professional who, without a college degree,
moved through various entrepreneurial endeavors and then worked his
way up the chain in the construction industry until he’s now making
piles of money.
He’s a short guy, with an unexceptional physique. His clothes
aren’t extremely high end, either – he usually wears Levi’s. But
he’s “got it” – characteristics that overdominate.
“Gets shit done”.
These characteristics can be built over time. A good place to start
is with your nonverbals – right now, we’re going to work on it.
From behind your monitor, indulge me for five minutes.
Push your shoulders as far back as you can, so that they’re even
Push your chest as far out as you can.
Suck your stomach in.
Tilt your head upwards – your chin should be slightly above
parallel to the ground.
Now take a deep breath… hold it…
…now exhale, and let your muscles relax and be not tense. Keep
your shoulders “back and broad”, your chest pushed out, stomach in,
and head up.
(The to remember this quickly and fix your bodylanguage in a
nightclub is to go through this order –
Back and broad, out, in, up, breathe – which stands for shoulders
back and broad, chest out, stomach in, head up, breathe)
When you make eye contact with people, look from your right eye to
their right eye, or to the bridge of their nose which makes you
look like you’re looking into both their eyes simultaneously.
When you walk, go S-Squared as instructor Morgan puts it.
S-Squared: Smooth and Slow. All your actions should be smooth and
slow, which entains thinking about everything before you do it. Be
the observed, not the observer.
That’s the start of developing some “power” about you.
If your first impression is excellent and unique, your “second
impression” – the stuff you can’t change – becomes less important.
And when you seem extremely powerful to random people who meet you,
or extremely charming, completely stylish, or like an amazing
leader – then secondary characteristics about you won’t even factor.
About Bobby Rio I'm Bobby Rio, one of the founders of TSB. I tend to write about what is on my mind so you'll find a mix of self development, social dynamics and dating articles/experiences. For a collection of some of my favorite articles check them out.