“Social currencies” motivate us.
In this story, I define 5 types, explain how they’re relevant to well-being/motivation, and share practical insights on how to achieve them.
1. SOCIAL CURRENCY
Social currency is intrinsic value gained by being responsible (able to respond), likable, and empathetic.
Ultimately, it’s your reputation.
A person without social currency lacks influence or fails to establish credibility across social domains.
Typically, they struggle to water medium to long-term relationships because they lack ability to think, speak, or listen — or some combination of all 3.
If you can’t communicate, you struggle socially, which is not good. If a person never learns to socialize, they’re likely to become lonely, apathetic, and resentful overtime.
On the other hand, a sociable person connects within multiple networks.
They’re integrated because they know how to find common ground, they’re loyal, trustworthy, and genuinely care about people. Typically, they’re agreeable and open, which is why they’re so easy to get along with.
In turn, a socially-able individual builds more relationships, which creates more friends, which generates more invitations to participate and play.
They afford themselves new experiences/opportunities — which leads to even more.
Social currency moves us to cultivate useful social skills, so we can develop meaningful relationships.
How does this work in theory and practice?
In theory, social currency is a matter of reciprocity.
In practice, asking questions is the most basic form of reciprocity.