The Vibe Chart: Collapsing, Posturing and Composure

One day, I plan to write an eBook called Vibe: The Hidden Mechanics of Why People Buy.

It would center around the content in this blog post and the message that is present in these two quotes:

“We have each had the experience of others reacting to us; often there seems to be no logic to it. But in fact, people do pick up on our subtle energy, and even if they can’t see it or put it into words, they feel it and, subliminally, they know. They vote yes, no or maybe according to the qualities and strength of the energy we project.”
Stuart Wilde

“The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency you have.”
Jim Carey

I think that this notion of ‘vibe’ has been the unacknowledged golden thread of all my marketing work.

A good vibe can make your business. A bad vibe can ruin it. A mediocre vibe? Well… that won’t do anything to set you apart.  

One of the things I teach in my daylong Marketing for Hippies 101 workshop that resonates most with people is when I talk about Posturing, Collapsing and Composure.

I first wrote about it in 2011 in this blog post

Over the years, I’ve made notes of other ways of speaking about this and had it in mind to create a master table of all these different wordings and renderings of the same dynamic.

Below is a selection of the video from that day-long workshop where I speak about this and, below that, the chart that I finally sat down and made tonight.

I hope it helps bring some clarity to one of the most fundamental places people get stuck in their marketing.

The Vibe Chart




Lack of Confidence Over Confidence Comfort in your own skin
Make yourself small – don’t want to take up space. Make yourself big – take up more space than you need. You sized. Take up the space you need.
Lose/Win Win/Lose Win/Win or No Deal
Victim Bully Hero
Agenda to get love and be liked Agenda to be valued and respected Moving from self love and self respect
Under charging Over charging Resonant price
High school nerd Donald Trump, Rush Limbaugh Dalai Lama, Oprah, that chill dude you know.
Growing feeling of resentment Fear of being discovered as a fraud Deep inner peace
Hard time saying ‘no’ Saying ‘no’ with an edge to it Easy time saying ‘no’ if it’s not a fit
Feel inferior Feels superior Sees people as equals
Under selling Over selling Sharing
Under dressed Over dressed Comfortably stylish
Self pity Self Importance Self Acceptance
Submit Rebel Respond
Walks into a room and asks, ‘do these people like me?’ Walks into a room and asks, ‘do I like these people?’ Composure just enjoys who it enjoys
Neediness: “I can’t live without you.” Aloofness: “I don’t need anyone!” Comfortable with their neediness and takes responsibility for it.
“I’m sorry!” “Uhm. Excuse me?!” “Thank you.”
I’m not valuable. I’m so valuable. Life is precious.
Pushing rank Pulling rank Natural authority
All heart All spine Full bodied and Soft Bellied
All flexibility All strength Strong & flexible
Dumping & Over sharing: “Life is so hard!” Under sharing: “Whatever. I’m fine.” Sharing
In the past In the future Present
Speaking to themselves Speaking over others Connecting with people
Deflation Inflation Relation
Self hatred Self Glorification A sense of wonder and curiosity
Every sentence ends in a question mark? Every sentence ends with an exclamation mark! Sentences end with periods.
The soil of your life is too wet The soil of your life is too dry. Rich humous.
Compliance Defiance Alliance
Codependence Independence Interdependence
One down One up Equal Level
Despairing Heroic Human
Pleasing Persuading Present
Submission Rebellion Responsiveness
Frumpy Fashionista Fine Clothing Beautifully Worn
Constantly apologizing Never apologizes Expresses remorse for impact when needed.
Love must flow from me. Love must flow to me. Love sure is needed in this world.
“You probably wouldn’t be interested in what I have to offer…: “You’re going to love what I have to offer!” “I have something to offer. I don’t know if this will be a fit for you. May I share it?”
Hiding Grand Standing Standing
Passive Aggressive Assertive
Minimizer Maximizer Mediator
Loser Douchebag Chill Person
Want to feel needed Want to feel important Lets others know they matter
Shrinking Puffing Up Standing on sacred ground
Nice Asshole Good and Whole
I’m worse I’m better I’m okay. You’re okay.
Inadequacy Grandiosity Equanimity
Pathetic Narcissist Whole
Under-reactive Nervous System Over-reactive Nervous System Responsive & Regulated Nervous System
I’m so hurt! What the fuck? I give zero fucks. Appropriate amount of fucks given
Just taking the beating Defensive when not even attacked Self respecting but not reactive
The wounded puppy The crazy bitey dog Chill Dog
Leaning out hard Leaning in hard Upright
Hopeless Hubris


Saint Sinner


Repress Revolt


I’m not alright. I’m so alright! (And always right)

Alright Alright Alright

And below are two more videos I thought might help dimensionalize and contextualize all of this theory in something practical. 

Scroll to Top