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50 Status Symbolism (09) STATUS SOURCES
Descriptions: (1) any real or imaginary person, place, thing, thought, or circumstance that 301.81s believe supplies them with status quanta, appearing to give them a higher-status position relative to others, thereby soothing their shame-pain.
Story: In the break room at Hard Spring’s workplace, on a shelf just above the percolator, there is a wide assortment of mugs from various places the employees have visited: Yosemite, the Eiffel Tower, Niagara Falls, and the like. The healthy others who work there customarily pick a cup at random, but none of them dare use the white one with the red Harvard Crimson shield; that particular mug is Hard’s exclusively, and his colleagues generally give him wide berth when it comes to his status affectations. Hard has no actual connection with the college, apart from a brief visit to its campus in Cambridge. But the cup – picking it up and showing it off – serves as one of his many status sources. Unfortunately, the new employee Mike had not yet been informed of Hard’s claim of ownership. When Hard saw Mike holding his Harvard mug, he went ballistic (aggressive antisocial status assertion) – and on Mike’s first day, too!
Supplemental Observations: 301.81s frequently find or devise status “narcissist sources” (Vaknin) from any number of objects or situations. An obvious example might be the purchase of a loud Harley Davidson that essentially requires the attention of others. At a professional gathering, a 301.81 may take advantage of the assembly to make an unexpected and perhaps grand speech to display or gain status for themselves (or decrease it for others). Other people may also serve as a source, such as in the gathering of an entourage around themselves, or in the seduction of a higher status individual. In real life, it is not wise to get in between 301.81s and their perceived status sources, just as it is not wise to get in between a mother bear and her cubs – even inadvertently. And that’s the problem. Healthy others can be completely unaware of what 301.81s believe will serve them as status sources and how critically important it might be to them.
Thes. (Roget’s): assets 471.7/618.1, exploitation 387.8, headwaters 238.2, hoist 911.3, origin 885.5, motive 375.1, object 1050.4, pedestal 900.8, possessions 471.1, resource 386.4, source of supply 386.4, sustainment 900.1, trophy 411.1/549.12.