When the Exchange of Value Goes Wrong?


Life is all about the relationships you have. These relationships dictate the path your life goes down, and absolutely affects the quality. Relationships come down to an exchange of value. If the exchange is good (aka a win-win for both people), the relationship will be positive (and will grow). If the exchange is one-sided the relationship will suffer.

If life comes down to relationships, which come down to an exchange of value… understanding someones perception of value is extremely important. The other day I went through a situation related to understanding the exchange of value, so I thought I would share it with you all…

A few days ago I spent the evening on the decks, DJing my heart out in my friends basement. After driving home, I walked into my condo. It was now 1am. A few friends were hanging out in my living room. Of course because they all study Social Dynamics, they were not alone. Someone else was also in my condo: the security guard who watches my building every night. I can’t say I was surprised at all. “Of course the security guard is hanging out in my condo unit with all of my friends.”

security guard

Shortly after… my friends announce that the security guard is going to bring us up to the roof of the condo building for a Kingpin Social photoshoot. I can’t say I was surprised about that either – it only makes sense that my life is like this… I study Social Dynamics.

Long story short we did in fact have a photoshoot on the top of the building. Here are a few pictures:

kevin kingpin social

cam brian kingpin social

cam brian kevin kingpin social

cam kevin brian kingpin social

cam brian kingpin social

Anyways, although I had a great time during the photoshoot, there was still something I wasn’t too happy about: the security guard hanging out in my condo unit.

While hanging out with my friend Kyle today, I told him the story and expressed my concerns. He was curious why I would be upset about this, so I thought this would be a perfect topic to write about.

My concern is simple: I don’t want him to be hanging out in my condo unit.

It’s nothing personal, I think the guy is fine, but the amount of value he can bring me vs. the value he can take by being a distraction is out of wack, which doesn’t create the “win-win”.

Taking us to the top of our condo building is the current value he can offer. In order to make this happen and create that win-win, the amount of value I (or someone else) would need to bring him in return could be as simple as talking to him for a few minutes every time you see him downstairs. Take the time; build a friendship and that will do the job. This is a win-win. He’s at work and bored, so now he has somebody to talk to, and you get to see the Calgary skyline from 40 stories up. Everybody wins, everybody is happy.

Think about love and hate for a second. If you hate somebody, what has to happen to bring you to that point? They have to take value. This is why when someone is taking value from you, you cannot avoid feeling resentment. Resentment leads to hate. So I know if this security guard begins to hang out in my unit every time he works, he will be taking value from me, in which case I begin to feel resentment. This will force me to take action and solve the problem. Am I able to? Of course! But I shouldn’t have to, because this is only a problem due to poor Social Dynamics.

Especially when I didn’t create this situation in the first place, someone else did, in which case, that also affects my relationship with them. Is it that big of a deal? Not really, but I think that’s a shitty way to justify your life. It’s not like I’m going to be freaking out or ending relationships over this situation, but I’m talking more about the concepts at play here, and there is no doubt this happens throughout every single persons life.

If I believe you should be optimizing at all times in every area of your life, why shouldn’t the value you bring be any different? The value you bring should be the least amount possible in order to be equal to the value someone else is bringing, depending on where you want that relationship to go. It should be the least amount possible to create that win-win. In this instance, I only need to bring a certain amount of value for it to be a win-win. Bringing any more is simply inefficient.

What if I wanted to encourage growth in our relationship? Well then I could bring more value (such as bringing him to my condo unit to chill). That is now off the table. You see what I mean? This is just poor Social Dynamics.

Again it’s nothing personal, nor in this specific case… a big deal at all, but in many others it is a big deal, and with better Social Dynamics, you could avoid having this situation all together.

The relationship has to be win-win. If I’m constantly bringing more and more value without being able to receive the same in return (possibly because the person is unable to, even if they would be willing), that will create resentment, and eventually lead to the ending of a relationship. It’s not about giving value or taking value; it’s about giving and receiving.

You should never take value, but you need to be open and willing to receive it. If I’m offering someone value and they refuse to take it that will have a negative effect on our relationship. You should always give value freely, because that encourages others to do the same. Now there can be an exchange of value and thus, a relationship. Now the value exchange is relative to where each of you wants that relationship to go. No more, no less. An equal exchange is always optimal.


So that’s a little story for today. What do you guys think? Lemmme know.

And of course subscribe, cause if you haven’t yet, what the fuckkkkkk have you been doing???



  1. Haha I would assume and hope he does. The info contained in this post (and all over our blog) is incredibly powerful.

    I could see how the security guard may look at this is think “wtf”, but if you truly look at whats going on here, and apply the principles in question, you can only come out of it on top.

    What people need to understand is that this value exchange is not up to one person or the other to determine. It’s already pre-determined, because value is based on someones perception, BUT, if that value exchange isn’t healthy, the relationship will build negative momentum and eventually… that relationship will end, whether you or the other person involved want it to or not. It’s not up to you to decide. The only choice you have is to do your part in helping the other person improve and become aware of the value they can offer to make that exchange equal.

    I wasn’t upset at all about the security guard being in my unit from a PERSONAL standpoint. I think the guy is dope, and that is why I would talk to him as I do whenever I see him. If I didn’t like the guy personally then I wouldn’t bother, which is the case with all the other security guards in my building. I have nothing to offer them, so there is no relationship, and I’m ok with that.

    With this security guard I do like him as a dude, so that’s why I spend time talking and getting to know him on a friendship level. Because of the relationship we’ve established, now the value exchange can begin. The only value exchange to go for is one where it’s WIN-WIN. And the only amount of value you (and the other person) should be bringing to exchange is the absolute optimal amount. Otherwise the exchange can begin to become unbalanced and now you BOTH LOSE.

    This is why it’s so important for that value exchange be optimal. If there’s no relationship, nobody can win. Remember, value comes down to someones perception, and in this case, things I value are: my time, my space, etc. I’m a busy mother fucker, and rarely have the necessary amount of time to myself, so if someone doesn’t understand that, it would definitely affect our relationship, whether I want it to or not. (Thankfully I believe this security guard has a very good understanding of all of this, which is why our friendship continues to grow.)

    Other examples of this happens in everyones day to day life.

    I want to have a relationship with this security guard, because I know we can create that win-win. And once you have an established relationship, it is able to grow. If we have a relationship and the security guard was looking for dating advice, I could hook him up. If he played guitar and was looking to get his name out there more, I have a network that could help him. If he was looking to learn how to market himself better online using blogs or youtube, I could help him out.

    I have a ton of value I can bring, but the only way I am able to bring it is if we have a relationship. In order to have a relationship the value exchange has to be healthy, and sometimes (like in this case), someone else who doesn’t understand the value exchange (not I nor the security guard, but a 3rd party who was involved) is the one who caused possible problems within a relationship.

    Make sense?

  2. Great article Cam. This value-exchange you talk about is ground breaking for me. Seems so obvious, now and I’m excited that I have an entirely new avenue to explore here. Thx!

  3. Hey Chris.

    Thanks for the comment. This happens all the time between every relationship you have, it’s just people aren’t aware of it to the degree they need to be. When you become aware of this concept, and begin to be assertive to create the win-win, your life improves dramatically.

    Let me know if you have any specific questions!

  4. What happens.. when someone you love to hangout with (a girl) ends up liking you but you don’t like her. Where you both want different things. Or vice-versa you like her but she wants to stay friends… The exchange of value could be different or the end goal is different…

  5. Hey Jacob.

    Thanks for commenting on this post! When this situation comes up, there’s really only two options for how the relationship can move forward:

    1. You can remain friends and continue developing your relationship
    2. You can stop being friends.

    I think the second option is silly but it all depends on each other and the situation. I think it’s always best to keep your options open and remain friends. There’s SO many other people out there… and it can be difficult to find real friends that care about you, so why not remain friends and continue looking for other people to become intimate with?

    The exchange of value is going to depend on what type of relationship you *both* want. Remember… relationships are based off an exchange of value… but value is RELATIVE to the individual. So if the girl doesn’t want to date you and just wants to remain friends, you need to give her value on a friendship level and not an intimate lover level… BUT, you can still exchange value with each other.

    Does that make sense?

  6. Hey Cam just wanted to say thanks for all your replies. I must say I really appreciate it and understand that you probably have a LOT of people you have to respond to. I’m most likely going to be overloading this site with questions I have but I do this for 2 reasons. To solve my own questions and to strengthen Social Dynamics because I believe it’s something worth going through the test.
    Anyways yes this all makes sense. However on another article on socialkingpin someone posted about breaking through the “friendzone” i believe. If we followed that advice-making the first move-wouldn’t that be exchanging intimate-friendship value with someone who doesn’t want it. Therefore a breakdown in the exchange of value?

  7. Hey Jacob. Overload the site with questions all you want. We really appreciate you taking the time to check out articles and leave your questions. Our goal is to help you out, so by you being proactive and leaving questions we know where to pop in and expand on our ideas.

    The friend zone is a very interesting concept to discuss. To answer your question, specifically, what you want to focus on is calibrating to the situation. If she’s made it clear she just wants to be friends, then making a bold move does come with a risk to take value from her (bad).

    But, my approach to the “friend zone” is this: Be friends. Be best of friends. The way I see it, when you have sex with someone… that’s the most physical you can get. So what’s the only way to make sex better? (You can’t get more physical… right?)

    So the only way to make sex better is by adding emotion into it. An emotional connection is the key to making sex better… once you’ve started having sex.

    With this in mind, it would make sense that at some point in the development of your emotional connection there’s a possibility for it to go physical. This is exactly what happened with my current girlfriend.

    We started out as friends and she said she didn’t want to date. I was in the “friend zone.” But I didn’t let it discourage me and instead, focused on developing our friendship further. We became best friends, and after a few months, we started dating. The relationship had just developed to a point where us dating was the only next course of action….

    … Well, that or we’d just be best best friends for life.

    I think both options were great right? You either have a lover or an absolute best friend.

    Hope that helps.

    PS. It’s not Social Kingpin… it’s Kingpin Social 😛

  8. Lol where did the name “Kingpin” even come from?

    And all that actually makes sense. My approach to girls-if they liked me and I didn’t return it-was to shut them down. Like I didn’t want them getting more hurt so I gave them space until they were over me. Same thing with people I like. If I want more it can kinda hurt that they don’t want more… But maybe this was dumb on my part? I’ll have to try it out when the next situation arises.

  9. One of the definitions of Kingpin is: “the person of chief importance”.

    I don’t think you necessarily need to shut girls down (unless you constitute telling them you just want to be friends as shutting down.) In a lot of ways “shutting a girl down” can be a big ego-boost… and is unnecessary in the long run.

    Let me know next time this situation comes up and I’ll be happy to shed insight on it.

  10. I see. Now another question. How do you find out what others value the best. Directly ask them? I mean some people I get an idea but it’s not absolute and there could be others.

  11. It comes down to less of asking directly and more about asking the right questions that lead to finding this stuff out. A great one is: “What do you do in your free time?”

    Think about it. Your free time is time that you can do ANYTHING you want.

    So what you decide to fill that time with can tell you a lot about yourself.

    Other questions that can be good are what are you passionate about… etc

  12. Ok but some people can be shy or scared that what they like to do isn’t socially acceptable or they know most likely the other person doesn’t know what it is if you say it. Like for me I love to trick. But many people don’t really know what that is. Also I enjoy watching anime from time to time. However I really don’t like telling that to my “jock” friends for example but I would tell it to someone who looks or I know they like it anyways. But for the most part yes that’s what I use. What do you do in your free time or when your not here.

  13. Hey Jacob.

    Yes! Awesome. So check this out. Answer these questions and I’ll show you a trick.

    What do you love about Anime? What is it that Anime gives you? What value? What kind of emotion does it bring out in you?

    What about other hobbies? What do you enjoy about tricking? etc.

  14. Glad that got fixed. Anyways I’m interested aha. I’ll try and come up with stuff on the spot but obviously I may miss some of the things that I like about it.

    I like anime just like anyone likes tv, or movies, or anything. I believe the term is Carthartic? basically you get that emotional release. You experience the feelings of the movie. That’s why sad movies make you cry. And people watch that because sometimes you need to feel sad. So anime I enjoy just like anything else but its even more so. Anime to me brings back fond memories of childhood. Wanting the good guy to win and the bad guys to lose. Anime gives me the value of well getting the feelings that’s hard to get in everyday life. I mean I’m not battling some evil guy with awesome power and never will in real life. It’s nice for a bit to just relax and “escape”. Escapism isn’t necessarily bad-i love my life. But for some reason it’s still good to do.

    Tricking. Ah I just love it. I love any athletic thing. I love being able to constantly progress. Especially now since there’s SO much to learn. I can get a backflip. but then I want to make it better. Or maybe I want to work on a backflip with a kick. And then a backflip with a 360. So many variations to do. I also like the amount of respect and attention I get. I honestly enjoy showing off in public sometimes aha. Obviously this isn’t the only reason I trick. but it helps. Partial reason I think I love tricking is its something I’ve always wanted to do. Kind of like dancing. When I was little you know bringing this back to anime I wanted to do a backflip or sweet kicks. Do things that most find impossible. Now I feel like a bit of my life is like a video game or an anime.
    Dance is the same. I always was jealous and envied a lot of people who could dance. I wanted to do it. So one day I quit wanting to and decided to learn and now I feel really proud that I can. It’s also something that gets you a lot of respect. Plus music just makes me feel great and dancing lets me just lose myself in music sometimes.

    This trick better be good btw… aha

  15. @ Arbi – Giving value is making someone feel positive emotions and taking value is making them feel negative emotions. For meeting someone at school it’s all about how you make them feel. Do you make them feel good or bad? (Do you bring a positive attitude or a negative one?) Also, do you get to know them or do you just talk about yourself the whole time? These are a few ways it comes into play. 🙂

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