What does the word status mean to you? For most of us, it probably brings up ideas of wealth, celebrity or material possessions. But could it be something much more meaningful and central to who we are as humans? Today’s guest believes status is simply about being of value, and it underpins so much of what we choose to do in life, impacting the way that we feel but also having significant implications for our health.
Will Storr is an award-winning journalist whose writings have appeared in The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The New Yorker and the New York Times. He’s also the author of 6 critically acclaimed books including Selfie, The Science of Storytelling and his latest book, The Status Game, which is all about our social position and how we use it.
In this conversation, Will argues that as humans, we’re programmed to compare ourselves to others – and to care about how we stack up. He explains that status is actually our social standing, based upon how valuable we are to those around us.
Will also shares the 3 types of status game we all play; the 3 ways in which we try to be of value to those around us. I think that throughout this conversation, you will start to identify which of those status games you have previously played and which ones you are currently playing in your own life.
We also discuss the relationship between status and health, the link between growing rates of perfectionism and rising rates of mental health problems like anxiety, depression, self-harm and eating disorders - and Will also talks about the importance of having multiple sources of status and how becoming aware of this, led to him becoming a volunteer for Samaritans - something which has enhanced his life immeasurably.
Ultimately, Will explains that we are not supposed to win the status game, just to play it. And he makes the powerful case, that simply knowing this fact, can make life feel a lot easier.
This really is a thought-provoking conversation and one that I am hopeful will have you reflecting on your life and viewing it through a different lens. I hope you enjoy listening.
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Show notes https://drchatterjee.com/354
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