"Status", "Respect", and "Hierarchy" According To ...

What is it that humans use to create "Hierarchies"?

What is the CRITERIA that humans use to determine who deserves "RESPECT" and who does not?

We all like to say that "respect" is about character, about intelligence, and about wisdom.

But... is it?

We all like to say those things, but most of us know better... human beings tend to replace genuine respect with FEAR, especially in groups and cultures where bullying is present and common.

So... Philip weighs 120 lbs (54 kg) and stand at 5' 4" (1.63 m).
John and Mike stand at 5' 9" and both weight around 175 lbs.
John and Mike tend to treat Philip like he's a "kid brother", like he's less experienced and less grown-up, and not as "tough", based solely on his smaller size. John and Mike find this kind of funny, Philip finds it annoying and aggravating because they're always bossing him around, making jokes, and treating him like he's a weakling or a child, but when he stands up to them they make fun of him even more. When he complains about it to other friends, they tell him he's being "too sensitive". No one else says anything at all about it, not even Philip's relatives.
John and Mike literally treat Philip as if he is not as much of a "real adult" as they are, based solely on their size differences.
This dynamic of disrespect might have been cute when they were all younger, but as adults, this dynamic gives others the impression that Philip actually IS less capable, less experienced, and weak.
When John, Mike and Philip go together to apply for a job in a construction company to make money for college, John and Mike get hired, but Philip does not. The employer saw their social dynamic and bought into the display of John and Mike being "superior" and Philip being "inferior".

REALITY, however, is that John and Mike have ZERO experience in construction, except for fetching tools for John's older cousin once, but Philip has years of experience helping his Aunt and Uncle in their development and remodeling business. He wrote that down on the application, but the employer didn't take it seriously because he ALSO likes to feel "powerful" when he's around people who are shorter or thinner than he is. He bought into John and Mike's treatment of Philip because HE thinks the same way.

Now, when John and Mike get on their "crew", there are three people who are taller than they are. One of them is a woman with 25 years of experience. John and Mike treat the three taller people with something they believe to be "respect", but it's really FEAR. Fear of being on the RECEIVING END of the disrespect that they give to Philip.

After a couple of months, John and Mike start trying to treat the woman with disrespect; they interrupt her, talk over her, behave as if she isn't in the room when they're talking to other men. They pretend not to hear her instructions, or to not hear them correctly. They make fun of her behind her back, and try to make her look stupid in front of other people, questioning and doubting her in front of others.

John and Mike picked the wrong crew. After about a week and a half of treating their female coworker/supervisor with disrespect, they get fired.

However... that's not the whole story. When they get fired, another pair of workers get hired to replace them. The new hirees are a man and a woman, each with about fifteen years of experience. They're both shorter than John and Mike were, and shorter than the rest of the crew.

After a few weeks, the crew starts showing disrespect to both of them, similar to what John and Mike had been doing. But THEY don't get fired for it, or even disciplined. The two new hirees actually get "spoken to" by the boss instead when they begin to stand up for themselves. The boss also happens to be taller than they are. After a couple of months, the two new hirees quit, and open their own business (which quickly grows to a huge success).

In the meantime Philip has started working in an office with both male and female coworkers. There are others there who are the same height as he is, and they treat him pretty well, like peers. However, there are three coworkers who are shorter than he is, one male and two female. Soon Philip starts to join in with his coworkers in treating the smaller coworkers as if they are less capable, physically fragile and weak, and like they don't really "fit in" with the rest of the group. REALITY is that the smallest coworker is literally the most experienced, and the second smallest has the highest IQ in the entire company.

Eventually, the three smallest workers leave, because they get sick of the childish treatment from their coworkers. Two of them start their own business, one of them earns their second PhD and gets hired by a competitor for a huge salary. Philip, however, stays with the company, making the same mediocre pay.

Status and Hierarchy among human beings is RARELY about intelligence, experience, wisdom, or ability. It's almost always based on extremely superficial VISUAL differences, such as height, shoulder width, weight, sex, hair color, and even the SIZE OF A PERSON'S HEAD compared to another.
Humans will often readily listen to and believe anything that a taller, larger person says over a smaller person, REGARDLESS of intelligence, experience, or actual knowledge;
they will even disregard their OWN KNOWLEDGE about each person and ignore the person whom they know for a fact has experience or expertise just because of their physical appearance and body compared to another person (or compared to themselves).

It's truly amazing, albeit disturbing, to observe.

Selective Amnesia? Did He/She Really Forget Saying Those Awful Things?

 Imagine speaking, but not hearing or listening to your words, your tone, or your volume. Kind of like when you're wearing headphones and trying to talk to someone, and you shout but don't realize it. What if the words themselves that you are saying are also outside of your awareness, in the same way as the volume of your voice.
 You speak the words but don't have awareness or recall of what they were, or how they were spoken.
 This is the kind of processing many people with apparent narcissism have.
 The human brain is miraculous, but it's also limited, and it "kicks out" information that doesn't FIT with the "picture" of the world it has created and feels comfortable with. The normal human brain deletes information it doesn't "like" or agree with on a regular basis, as if it's just too much processing work to deal with the NEW information.
 This deleting process in people who are afflicted with Narcissism seems to be 'cranked up', so that they delete MORE information than people who don't have Narcissism. Their brain seems to simply rewrite the "story" to match how they want it to look and sound.
 So when a person with severe Narcissism is finished raging at a target, if and when the target expresses anger, sadness, or fear, the person with Narcissism often acts shocked or humiliated that the target is "IMPLYING" that their behavior and speech was not exemplary, well-mannered and logical.

This kind of deletion process can occur in people who have other issues such as severe stress or PTSD (or brain injury) and it can appear as Narcissism. It can also occur as a result of drug influence; as a brief example, most adults can recall a time where either they or someone they knew didn't remember clearly what they said or did (or at all) after having too much alcohol.

Since it seems that this deletion process is actually a brain "malfunction", this is yet another trait/behavior that appears to be neurological, not simply psychiatric, and therefore needs to be studied much more closely, and treated accordingly by health professionals.

Self Improvement

Self-improvement of any kind is often uncomfortable, even painful, because it requires looking at ourselves in a direct light, and looking right at our mistakes, flaws, avoidance and ego issues.

This is why we all seem to have a such a hard time really doing it; as individuals, in friendships, as couples, as families, as communities, as organizations, and as cultures and nations.

Looking at ourselves and reviewing what we keep screwing up can hurt, especially in a non-supportive environment. In a bullying environment, it can even be dangerous, so we may avoid it altogether.

We can make more progress with any kind of self-improvement if we feel safe and secure, and if we're in a safe and trusted support network, with people who will remain supportive and not try to sabotage our efforts, or try to take the opportunity to control and judge.

Strangely, happiness and fulfillment itself can actually be painful for some people, for various reasons, and therefore they may subconsciously sabotage themselves when they try to focus on improving their own lives and selves. As a brief example, a person who was very happy as a young child, but "lost everything" in their later youth due to tragedy or abuse, may experience real pain when they approach the feeling of happiness they once had, because it reminds them of the loss they experienced which was very painful. This can be overcome, with work and effort.

Who Is "Allowed" To Be Logical, Analytical, Straightforward and Non-submissive?

Playing character roles that are created and assigned by someone else is typical for people who live in a community or family that has a large amount of control issues, narcissism, and/or a lack of mature leadership.

One person is "allowed" to be Logical and Analytical, but another person is not; their character role is supposed to played as emotional, self-deprecating, and less experienced or knowledgeable.

These roles, again, have been assigned to certain individuals according to SOMEONE ELSE'S stereotype issues, racism issues, gender issues, and class issues.

Any kind of physical trait will "land you a certain role" in such an environment. And your original role will be "tweaked" according to the different traits you apparently have.

For example if you are a male, you will be assigned a certain character role that all males are assigned. But then, your assigned character role will be tweaked according to your other physical traits (and the assumptions others make about them);
such as your:

Skin Color
Hair Cut
Facial Features
Shoulder Width
Bone thickness
Voice Tone
Speech Pattern
Words Said Out Loud
Body Language
Facial Expressions

and then of course you can add to the stereotyping with the clothing and other appearance attributes you choose, and the vehicle you drive. Many males BUY INTO, GO ALONG WITH the character roles that others have created for them and put on them, and will try to make their IMAGE FIT a certain stereotype role. For example, buying a pick up truck, especially a large one, is a common behavior that males who want to be seen as "masculine" can often be seen doing. Your employment will also enter into the equation, as well as your academic record. Even your facial hair will play into the character role that others (controllers) will try to place on you.

This is GOING TO HAPPEN, whether you think it's fair or not, whether it's "right" or not, because there are SO MANY people who are either Controllers, who try to MAKE other people follow certain roles according to their sex, race, etc., etc., AND because there are SO MANY people who BUY INTO these character roles, and go along with it; both for themselves and toward others.

We all have a choice when we become self-aware, and that choice is about going along and conforming to the expectations of those around us (including our families, some people we thought were nice, and including the "cool" crowd who we thought were non-conformists...)
being true to ourselves, who we really are, and learning the difference between PERSONALITY and BEHAVIOR.

Conforming and fitting in with others is not being a "good person" or a "cool person", it's just conforming.

Acting "bad-ass" is not being a "good person" or a "cool person" either, it's just acting "bad-ass".

It's just ACTING.

Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better...

There is a funny old song that makes fun of immaturity and Narcissism. It's supposed to be sung with two people, and it goes:

Person A: "Anything you can do, I can do better! I can do anything better than you."
Person B: "No you can't!"
Person A: "Yes I can."
Person B: "No you can't!"
Person A: "Yes I can."
Person B: "No you can't!"
Person A: "Yes I can, yes I can....!"

In understanding Narcissism, this song is important and can be used to put one's self in both the shoes of a NON-Narcissist, and the point of view of a person who is afflicted with Narcissism.
~(A child who has a "Narcissistic point of view" is simply immature, and needs more time, guidance, and positive behavior modeling from respectful, mature adults.).

From the point of view of a NON-Narcissist, a relatively mature person who is in sound mind and spirit, this song is a light-hearted, humorous game that pokes fun at human immaturity, selfishness, and ego.
It's FUNNY! And FUN! And cute! It makes one giggle, at least smile, when singing it, especially when sung with another person.

But from the point of view of a person who is afflicted with Narcissism, this song hits very close to home, and is more like a theme song of how they view the world.
It can ALSO be experienced by a Narcissist as MAKING FUN OF THEM, PERSONALLY, because this really is how they feel.

To a person with Narcissism, everyone is either "better than" or "not as good as" others or themselves. Everything is a comparison. The things they do, the way they look, the skills they've learned, their friendship ties, their achievements, their gender, their ancestry, their height and weight, etc etc. Everything for the average Narcissist is an indication of being a better person or a worse person.

This song represents how a person with Narcissism thinks, in a simplified but pretty accurate way. If they can't do something BETTER than you, they take it as a blow to their own ego. They feel "humbled", or they feel CHALLENGED in a negative way, as if you are BRAGGING about yourself by doing something well, or knowing about something, and TRYING TO MAKE THEM LOOK or FEEL BAD.

Narcissists take other people's abilities, assets, and recognitions as an INSULT to THEMSELVES.

Even if the person is a family member, a child, or a "friend".

Because, everything is about them, even another person's skills and abilities.

Narcissists tend to take other people's confidence in themselves as either ARROGANCE or DELUSION.
This is because they don't know the difference between confidence and arrogance, so they see other people's healthy confidence as haughtiness (and are inclined to identify with arrogant people as if they're down-to-earth or more intelligent).
And also because, if they don't believe a person is capable of being "good at" or knowledgeable about something, (usually due to superficial physical appearances), then they see the person as being delusional when they exhibit confidence in themselves, and confidence in their ability.

Child Bullying, Preventing Future Narcissistic Abusers and Targets

"Eyes On Bullying" is a well-built website about bullying, and with advice on teaching children how to deal with bullies in their environment as well as teaching them better social skills so they know better than to bully others.

Adults who are bullies and Narcissists, however, will eschew, twist, or reject this kind of information.
Bullies typically teach children TO BULLY, and will ASSIST children who bully in targeting others, as well as "protect" children who bully from accountability. So, if you are in a childcare environment and you would like to implement some of the excellent advice on "Eyes On Bullying" (or similar sites), do remember that other adults who have Narcissism traits will probably do the opposite, fight it, counter it, counter you, and also may pretend to follow the advice to make themselves look good to others, but won't actually be doing it. Assuming that other adults in a childcare/school setting are following guidelines for childcare and social skill/behavior teaching can actually make an environment worse, because no one is watching to see if they're really following the implementation or not, and children who get bullied won't be believed or protected because everyone is assuming that the guideline are being "correctly followed". So it must be the child's "fault"...
Victim-blaming is a number-one Narcissism behavior.

Do go over the information, and implement it with the awareness that Narcissistic adults often pretend to be the perfect model of caregiving, compassion, and compliance to those who they think are watching them, and to those they think "matter".

Mastery Of Skill And Subject: Effects Of Narcissistic Abuse

What is one of the main things that people with Codependency, Borderline Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, general anxiety, and general PTSD/CPTSD have in common?

Boundary-health issues. The person's natural boundaries are not healthy and strong, they are weakened from trauma, abuse, neglect, assault, ostracism, humiliation, exhaustion, fear, domination, survival; basically from a list of things that has happened to them in the past or are still going on, many which may have been inflicted on them by other humans.
Healing one's boundaries is tantamount to recovery, which means learning the difference between "walls" and "boundaries".

Another thing that many or most people referred to above have in common is a result of dealing with different kinds of human Controllers throughout their lives:

The burying, forgetting, or pushing aside one's belief in one's OWN ABILITY TO MASTER SKILLS and knowledge.

Other people who have bully, ego, and/or sex and race role issues can and do often convince another person that they are not capable of a certain task, of LEARNING a certain task, of PERFORMING a certain task after they've learned it, of REMEMBERING how to do a certain task, or retaining the knowledge required.

After a while, the tactic of convincing a person they can't learn or perform a task is repeated so many times that a target person can also be convinced that simply the ACT OF MASTERING SOMETHING is NOT something that they, personally, are capable of.

To put it starkly: Bullying and abuse can convince a person with the same IQ and capability as Albert Einstein that he/she would be UNABLE to learn how to build a shelf, drive a car, or balance their checkbook. That is not an exaggeration, it actually happens.

That's how deep and severe bullying and narcissistic abuse can go, and often does.


One may become avoidant of learning new things, of taking classes, of taking in information and remembering it. One can become DISTRUSTFUL of their own memory, even if it was "photographic". One may "forget" how to do math, even if they used to enjoy "higher math". One may become overwhelmed with anxiety when they think about general maintenance of their house or car.

One can buy into the belief that has been projected onto them that they are not capable of MASTERY, and therefore should just avoid trying and learning altogether.

REALITY IS that ALL HUMANS are capable of MASTERY.

There is no skill, there is no subject, there is no knowledge that is "only for some" and "not for others" on this Earth.
Every human can learn about every subject and every skill.
Every human has the potential to MASTER the skill that they put their focus on.
From balancing and understanding finances, to playing the piano, to human psychology, to driving a race car, to knitting, to master craftsmanship, to child care, to communication, to electronics, to zoology, to painting, to piloting a plane or a boat; the list is infinite.

Mastery is something that most children ENJOY.