Image Promoting Behavior

Image promoting behavior is the act of promoting a value believed to be valued by the public for the purpose of increasing one’s value to others. Image promotion as motivation can sometimes be deduced when the circumstances leave no other explanation for behavior. Usually you cannot know if behavior is motivated by image promotion definitively, but in consideration of the broader circumstances, the inconsistency between their words, explanations, and answers often reveals that motivation.

Image promoting behavior is motivated by an individual increasing his or her value to others. Whether the individual accomplishes the objective or not, this does not affect the value inherent in the effort. Image promotion is inherently satisfying because the individual in his or her efforts believes they’ve increased their value to others, and the perception of having done so, increases the individual’s value to himself which carries with it positive feelings. Image promoting behavior also derives value from the material purposes served by having an image in the perception of others that is consistent with their values. Lastly, image promoting behavior has value in its potential to create opportunities for social interaction which has inherent value and carries with it prospects of material opportunity.

I only engage in 1 form of image promoting behavior to advance material purposes. For example, I recently published two articles on my website and then I took them down. Although these articles provide explanations for behavior and insights into the development of value, if read in isolation they may leave negative impressions, leaving the reader less likely to read other articles, less likely to contribute, and impedes my general purposes of advancing liberty based ideas for my own benefit and the benefit of the species.  Both ideas produce inherently satisfying feelings.

Other image promoting purposes such as opportunities for interaction, or increasing self worth by projecting values I think are consistent with the values of others is not behavior that has inherent value to me.

My self worth is not based on how I perceive others perceiving me, but it is based on how I see myself. Expressing values that I do not possess because they are valued by others will produce a negative feeling, because I value my integrity and the completeness of the fundamental understanding it is based on.  If I have done something that offends my standards of morality or subjective value, it will come to mind, and I’ll reflect on the incident to understand why it happened because I do not want to feel the embarrassment or failure resulting from the conduct.  My opinion of myself is of greater importance to me than is the opinion of others. This isn’t to say I’m immune to the lenses I perceive.  Lenses that consist of emphasis on few details producing conclusions that are untrue because they’re incomplete fueling opinions that are invalid.    

For example, I sent an acquaintance who I had known for over 20 years a message about something I thought was funny and figured he would think it was funny. He sent me back a message that implied we were on different terms than he had led me to believe we were for the last 20 years and I returned a message, effectively ending being on anything but neutral terms with him.

A few months later we were at a BBQ being held for the death of a mutual acquaintance. When he saw me he said “whats up O”, as if we didn’t have the exchange we had. After a few moments I approached him just to establish that we’re not on those terms based on what he expressed in that message. It’s not as nice as I make it sound but that is an accurate summary of the details in function and purpose.

He ended up leaving shortly after which wasn’t necessary as I didn’t intend to say anything else to him. Afterwards, I provided evidence in the text and explanation for the action. Is this image promoting? No, because the explanation wasn’t intent on improving my image in the perception of the people who were around. The action was intent on ensuring whatever conclusion was drawn about the incident it was based on enough details to have a well informed opinion. I wasn’t trying to project values in accordance with what I believe are the values of the group to improve my image.

More importantly, I know the subconscious basis for the action.  At the time I have signatures in thoughts.  I do not remember my thoughts at that time but it was along the lines of reasoning that this mother fucker is going to shit on me in a message and then say what’s up like he didn’t do what he did, the way he did it.  Subconsciously, the motivation for the action is knowing I would have felt bad proceeding with the event and not establishing in person after he greeted me what was established in the message.  I’m not aware of this at the time.  My thoughts are not if I don’t say anything I’m going to feel bad.  I’m experiencing feelings and my thoughts are related to the details in the immediate setting, but these feelings and thoughts are a product of subconscious processes, which includes recognition of subjective standards that will affect my self worth and produce negative feelings.  Negative feelings in the moment as well as negative feelings later on if I fail to act.        

The value of social interaction has either entertaining or substantive purposes. While all purpose can be considered entertainment by way of positive feelings, entertainment is distinguished from substantive purposes in that the motivating feeling is derived from the purpose of the interaction aside from the feelings of interacting itself. To project values I do not possess or in exaggeration where there is no material interest at stake serves no positive purpose because I damage my opinion of myself even if I believe it improves my value to those who are entertaining to associate with.  For substantive purposes is the promotion of truth and liberty, to project false values contradicts the purposes for which substantive interaction is taking place.  

Image promotion in others can be quite apparent through events. A somewhat recent example of mass image promoting behavior occurred after the death of Kobe Bryant. There were people all over the internet and even at gatherings, crying and expressing their sadness in his passing. While what I’m about to explain applies to a lot of celebrity deaths, Kobe’s death is a better example than most since the entertainment Kobe provided that caused him to be a household name he was no longer performing. This relates to loss, where if a musician dies or an active athlete dies it could be argued that loss does occur because what they did that was uniquely entertaining ceases with death. Retired athletes are finished entertaining in any seriously relevant capacity.

The lives of people who were mourning Kobe are unaffected whether Kobe is alive or dead. He isn’t contributing anything to their lives. No matter the level of appreciation for him as a basketball player, or even as a person, they haven’t lost the ability to interact with that which they couldn’t interact with prior to his death.  Kobe isn’t doing anything that is contributing to their lives. There is no loss to grieve because these people have not been separated from anything.

Is grief a natural response to death for some people?  An individual imagines the grief of those he is survived by, and typically insert themselves in that scenario imagining it as if it were their family or them grieving the loss of a father, daughter, husband or sister. The feeling is fleeting. It doesn’t serve as motivation to gather outside the Staples Center and cry to grieve the loss of a person that doesn’t constitute any loss to these people’s lives.

If death itself served as the basis for grief, people would be in a constant state of morning because death is occurring all the time and they are made aware of it. The difference is, when someone who is unknown dies people don’t make a spectacle of it because their grief doesn’t have the benefit of being for a person who people like. Where if you’re expressing grief for a person who is popular, the value of the person to others has image enhancing and social benefits.  Morning itself can become an activity that serves the purpose of social interaction.  

People work themselves into grief.  Initial thoughts typically relate to how they should respond, and considerations of how they are expected to respond and how that response will be received by others. They focus on the details of the event and consider from the perspective of affected people. They play the event in their head but from their perspective, with their loved one’s instead of Kobe and his daughter. What we imagine causes us to experience the feelings we anticipate we’d feel if we were in that situation. The grief may be real, but it’s manufactured.

The mind is always set to an objective that produces positive feelings. In addition to the positive feelings caused by the perception of increasing your value to others, which increases the value you have of yourself, by asserting qualities of compassion that is valued by the collective, there are other inherent benefits to the grief.  In causing yourself to feel sad, you feel good because you associate the act of expressing grief for someone’s loss with compassion, and it boosts your self worth, even if the grief was contrived, but you’re not conscious of it beyond perhaps a few thoughts in the beginning which are suppressed and forgotten.

Another reason we can experience genuine grief is the manner in which a person died.  We experience grief when there is some injustice, when a person dies as the result of another person’s actions unprovoked. In this case the manner of death produces grief in recognizing that the person was imposed on. Even then, the feelings are fleeting, and Kobe’s death was an accident so there is no grief rooted in moral feelings.

There is a video showing athletes’ reaction to Kobe’s death, and some of the athletes’ grief may be more authentic having known him and having a relationship with him. In the video as mentioned it showed people outside of the Staples Center crying, but the comments were even more revealing. I have the screenshots to verify the comments, but the most popular comments began with imagine and insert details of scenarios of Kobe’s last moments, or people bragging that they cried about the incident. These are the comments with the most likes. If you cried and that was your reaction based on the experiences you’ve had with that individual and knowing that you’ve  been precluded from any additional interaction with that person because of death, you typically do not tell people. Commenting on a video that you cried serves no other purpose than to present grief, as evidence of compassion, to associate the quality with yourself before others. Which has the effect of causing you to feel good based on believing other people like you more. There’s some confirmation in the amount of likes you receive on your comment. Comments that pertain to imagining scenarios can cause others to feel grief by imagining scenarios since imagined scenes produce feelings similar to actually experiencing those scenes. It’s also evidence that their grief has been contrived by imagining scenarios. 

Grief is experienced to gain acceptance of an outcome and the consequences.