Archive: Ultimate Social Calibration: Stop Climbing the Social Ladder

I just read a fascinating article today that brings scientific research to bear on the topic of an old post I made that went on to be featured on some popular dating and seduction websites. The content still resonates and is still relevant today, and so I've reposted again here for you to see and read -- hope you enjoy.

19 December 2007

Every man who is good with women gets these areas handled: physical expression and communication (eye contact, body language, and voice); leadership and assertiveness in pursuing what he wants; and social calibration. The better a man gets at these areas, the better he will be received by others and the better his luck with women will become. These make up the bedrock upon which everything else, from the way he touches women to how he screens for qualities he likes to how he gets them to put in work and earn him, is built upon. This post is about achieving the pinnacle of social calibration.

What ultimate social calibration boils down to is a desire to build others up around yourself, and the lack of a social “agenda”. Men and women who are considered “weird” or “creepy” or just “off” are thought of as such because they are people who are socially uncalibrated. If a woman says a man is “creepy” it’s not because he’s a homicidal maniac (usually), but rather because he doesn’t know the proper way to behave in social situations. He is awkward, a little strange, and doesn’t “get it”.

Most folks tend to vie for rank in the social hierarchy. This is where one finds all manner of unpleasant behaviors: cutting others down, pointing out mistakes they make, delivering hurtful remarks veiled as humor, backstabbing, disloyalty, throwing people under the bus, social ladder climbing, etc. You will even find people near the top of the hierarchy, like some very beautiful women and some very successful men, who engage in advanced forms of this kind of behavior – theirs is more subtle, but present nonetheless. They use things like backhanded compliments and stories that take indirect shots at individuals similar to others in the group they want to attack, in order to lower the value of others and position themselves in the role of validater. As you look lower on the social ladder, unpleasant behavior becomes more blatant and awkward; the higher you go on that ladder, the more subtle and devious it is.

Until you reach the top. When you reach the top of the social hierarchy, you will see an interesting phenomenon. There you find people who break all the rules that everyone beneath them follows: they don’t cut others down, they build them up; they don’t have a hidden agenda of ladder climbing – they don’t need a ladder. They are inclusive and accepting and non-judgmental. There aren’t a whole lot of people like this, but the ones who are stand out like oases in the desert.

These are the people you meet who engage others with ease; the ones whom others trust and open up to because they know they can. They move through society with seemingly little effort, while everyone else fights for scraps. Not all people like this bother to maintain huge social circles – some of them have only a few close friends and a moderate circle of acquaintances. Nevertheless, whenever they do choose to mingle with others, they come in with instant high value, and everybody knows it.

It is so ultra important to be truly socially calibrated. It speaks volumes about you. Men who are socially calibrated are men with whom women feel most comfortable, because they are men who know how to navigate the social arena, make friends and allies, and get the things they want and need out of life. Social calibration is alluring to women, and the more calibrated and agenda-free you become, the more magnetic you will be.

Look at these differences between the behaviors of someone who is socially uncalibrated versus someone who is socially aware and comfortable:

Someone who is uncalibrated may:

  • Talk about negative topics frequently and in inappropriate situations
  • Try to tie unrelated jokes or humor into the conversation
  • Belittle others or try to make them look bad
  • Butt into others’ conversations
  • Not know when to leave
  • Try to force rapport
  • Brag or showboat

Meanwhile, someone who is socially calibrated will:

  • Build up others
  • Ignore minor faux pas
  • Keep conversations upbeat
  • Allow conversation to progress naturally
  • Enter and exit gracefully from conversation
  • Use humor that stems from the conversation

You can FEEL the difference between those two lists. They are very, very different. The first list is of needy traits – they are the traits of someone who seeks attention, reactions, and validation. That person is trying to raise his value relative to others by removing value from them – but everyone understands what he is doing subconsciously, and his value suffers the most in the end. The second list is of value-giving traits – the traits of someone who seeks to enhance the value of those around him. Others flock to be around people who provide value. That second list is where you want to be.

If you behave as someone who is high value, and you give value to those around you, you will be treated as a high value person. Value-giving behavior is a trait of very high value people, and it’s instantly recognizable. There are a few exceptions, such as those who give too much value to others who don’t deserve it, but even in those instances the individual laying on all the value goes overboard because he or she is trying / hoping to get something from others – and this is something that most people are unconsciously aware of, too. If you give value without seeking anything in return… if you give value for the sake of giving value and improving the lot of those around you… you will be seen as high value.

It takes some time and effort to change your behavior, especially if you have been trapped in the “ladder climbing” mentality for a while, vying to establish yourself as higher value than others. It’s the same as correcting your body language though – focus on it for a while, get it handled, and spend the rest of your life reaping the benefits. The rewards are immense: people will be comfortable around you, and they won’t feel threatened by you or feel a need to combat you – they know you aren’t going to take them out or cut them down. They’ll go out of their way to help you. And that’s a wonderful thing.

Chase Amante

For a little more in-depth analysis and a how-to on recognizing social calibration errors and moving into "elite" social territory, check out Faux Pas of the Sociaux Noveaux and Better Than Jerk.

Chase AmanteAbout the Author: Chase Amante

Chase woke up one day in 2004 tired of being alone. So, he set to work and read every book he could find, studied every teacher he could meet, and talked to every girl he could talk to to figure out dating. After four years, scads of lays, and many great girlfriends (plus plenty of failures along the way), he launched this website. He will teach you everything he knows about girls in one single program in his Mastery Package.


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Noaisr's picture

I was just wondering, what's the name of the theme you're using on your site? I really like it!

Chase Amante's picture

Hi Noaisr,

I'm using Drupal as my CMS. The theme I have up now is a modified Zen theme incorporating elements of Abarre.

It was a colossal pain learning to code Drupal themes though, and I haven't quite figured out how to get the kind of navigation buttons I want, admittedly... this was the best I could do for now!


Malcom's picture


Much love for the advice on how to move a girl with standards to a hotel/car, as usual you have all the answers--your the man, for real,keep on doing your thing! Now my problem, this is a crutch on my life and I'm sick and tired of dealing with this and fighting this, i know your no psychologist but I get the feeling that you can help as you really know the "game" of life. This isn't only about girls,its about my life, I have so much potential in this world and I KNOW it. This is strangling me internally and is holding me back from truly being a strong prescence in this world. I need help man.

In high school I was a star basketball player, was deemed by most girls as one of the top 3 good looking guys in school--girls always came to me, I even had girls who I didn't know offering to blow me--and I let them. I got hurt and lost an offer from a top D1 school and my career is over. Now I find myself on the intellectual side with lofty career goals and a GPA off the charts--I still look good and have an athletic muscular body(that I know how to use well, if you know what I mean) which I get a lot of attention for. However, I've realized that my life has been somewhat a LIE. I thought I was more socially gifted than I AM. All my life I've had *girls come to me*, in most cases I've got laid its because girls make it blatanly obvious that they're interested. But when it comes to me approaching them my heart just begins to pound and my speech slurs and I just straight pussy out and its frustrating. But here's the catch, I have days , sometimes weeks at a time, and moments where I feel confident as hell and will walk up to a smoking hot girl and my vibe, my speech, comments, humour, everything will just click--to the point where they laugh and say "your a sweet talker" or "you must have girls drooling all over you when you give that twinkle face." I hear this almost EVERYTIME I'm in this mindset.But MOST days I am not like this. MOST days I am deeply nervous, negative thoughts will FLOOD my mind, on the inside and I freeze up and don't have the right things to say, will feel as if I have to struggle to hold a convo, have weak eye contact, ect. This is so frustrating and I've become so concious of it that having a conversation with the garbage man is difficult now. I find myself feeling social pressure on the inside, not coming off natural, forcing conversation, and just not having a "natural" connection with whoever I am talking to. I might start to stutter or come off as a socially weak person--vibing is a big problem for me. I'm so inconsistent and I've tried SO many mental techniques to fix this, faking it on the outside just doesn't work and this is truly an internal issue--I try to pay attention to the days I feel the confidence and most times its when I really feel like I look good(shades, fly clothes, veins popping out, sharp hair doo ect) BUT I've also realized that I will feel like this even when I AM dressed like that--which is how I dress on a daily basis nowadays! So its not necessarily my good appearance that envokes the confident state, ugh. Also, I noticed that when I get down, I GET down, negativity comes into my head. So I actively try to envoke positive thoughts and push out the negative shit, which has helped a little bit by using upbeat music and just pure awareness but it hasn't solved my issue.
This is incredibly frustrating because it makes me feel antisocial at times but on different days I feel super outgoing, have powerful body language, a strong social presence, a FLUENT, slow and sexy talking, conversationalist with ALL the right things to say to the point where I feel a different energy, when I feel like this I feel like I'm LIVING and ALIVE, like I'm the fucking SHIT. I'll go to the club (sober) and make out with various hot girls--my problem isn't in the club really since much talking isn't going on. I have no problem attracting girls--and people for that matter--when I'm in this mental state and I can't figure out why I can't exude this confidence on a regular basis. When I don't feel confident--im very socially awkward, I stutter, my hands shake mildly from anxiety from within, come off weak, I feel inferior(not the shit!) and its amazing the reactions I get from people when Im in these contrasting states. One of them I'm the man and I can feel where my eye contact is great presence is intense--in a good way--on people, and the other I come off socially weak and antisocial. This is STRANGLING my life man, I feel like I cannot live my life, and it is DEPRESSING at times. I fight this so much but I just can't figure out how to have that confidence I feel on certain days everyday, because if I was ,my life would change DRASTICALLY in every way. People from the OUTSIDE THINK I am this ladies man, that I get so many girls. I do get girls, I think due to my good looks and from when I'm in that confident state, and I do get laid and am currently active with 3 girls. BUT I know that deep inside that I don't get laid as much as I should bc I dont have game--or better yet CONSISTENLY for that matter, I know that I am having these social problems. Chase, I want to feel that confidence everyday! I feel like being intelligent is a curse bc I know that I THINK alot, too much, but I can't stop, and it's killing me. Bc I know that this is a problem from within. What should I do? How can I be alive? It just FEELS better to have that confidence! I can be free, I hate feeling pressure and becoming a pussy on some days and the MAN on others it fucking sucks, ugh. Thanks for listening. P.s sorry if this poorly written ,I'm on a touch screen and this sucks so I didn't proofread.

- Malcom

Chase Amante's picture

Hey Malcom,

Yeah, that's tough man when you lose your source of status.

Going from high school to college was like that for me. I was used to constant attention and praise and all the cool kids trying to be my friend and all the pretty girls trying to date me in high school, and then I went to college and got a proverbial sucker punch when I realized no one knew who I was and nobody cared. It was a big sock in the face.

There aren't any shortcuts to improving from here. It's like learning basketball, if you can remember far enough back to when you just started out. You couldn't just get on the court and start making lay ups -- you slowly had to get better and better at it. Doing approaches is the same way -- you'll have to get accustomed to doing it more and more. The good news is, the more you do it, the better at it you're going to get, and the easier it's going to become.

Check out this post on beating your approach anxiety:

and this one on vanquishing negative thoughts:

Hopefully they'll get you started down the path to success.

Keep in mind though, man... approaching like you're doing is still better than 95% of guys out there, who meet girls only after sitting in class with them for like a couple of months or so. You're already in a place of doing quite better than the average guy -- so yes, push yourself for constant improvement, but do keep things in perspective -- you're closer than you think.


Walls's picture

Hey Chase,
I always thought your stuff on the social arts has been top notch. The whole "building up others"... I do this, and always have, but what's the difference between being a brown-noser and building up others with compliments? I tend to just compliment lightly, but what are good ways to build up others?

Harry's picture

I screw this up all the time. I end up feeling like I'm slipping into Dogville. It seems like it doesn't take much for people's heads to swell. Give 'em a little boost and suddenly you are beneath them from their delusional perspectives and there is no way they want to give up that sudden sense of superiority. Of course, you can rip them pretty good and hard if you want to but then there's that feeling that they've undermined your intention and now they are putting you in a position to react to them. I suppose my objective was to build repoire and they decided that I'd shown them no value as a strategic move, sometimes what they are up to is similar to autorejection and sometimes they actually imagine that they are superior while all they are actually engaging in is a dog eat dog struggle for dominance. I honestly don't believe they are aware of the fact that there is another way to go.

Anonymous's picture

Hey chase, just wanna let your know that your post on eyes that draws kicked ass! I've merged as part of my strategy for entering a new group, opening a girl (or sometimes a guy) who looks bored and disengaged and allows me into the group in a more smooth manner. My only question is, once I've arrived, and I've got attention, how do I soak it all up, creating social value with the girls and how do I make myself the leader, the alpha male from a nomad position?
Thanks chase!

Anonymous's picture


Philly's picture

Damn this article was eye opening for me. I didn't realize that even though, I'm socially awkward, I'm also highly socially calibrated. There's a lot more work I can put into tuning my social calibration and making it even better though. I realized I'm mainly awkward because I hold myself back and never really say what's on my mind. I hold myself back to the point where I don't fully express my genuine emotions.

My social calibration happened naturally because I'm an analytical and detail oriented person. I subconsciously analyze people in various social situations, and notice subtle details missed by most people.

It also explains why people are always drawn to me. I attract people's attention everywhere I go without doing anything. It's because the social ladder shit never interested me, and I never actively partook in that game. That automatically put me at the top of the social ladder without me realizing it. I never even realized people play so many mind games and do all this shit for status until I started reading these articles. Now I can use all this information to hone myself and actively sharpen my social calibration.

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