Agree and amplify: in power dynamics and frame control techniques, a technique to control the frame that consists in agreeing with whatever someone said, and then purposefully exaggerating to the point that it sounds silly or humorous.p
It’s the most widely circulating technique for frame control, especially in pick-up and seduction, but it’s not optimal, and ThePowerMoves.com does not recommend it as your go-to frame control technique.
Aligning, Power: in power dynamics and life strategies, a chameleon-like strategy of aligning with those who have power.
It includes providing those in power with social support, flattery, and adapting their styles, political views, values, and opinions.
In business, it also consists of embracing and supporting whatever strategy or change the top leadership promoted.
It tends to be a very effective strategy since people want to promote and reward those who are like them.
Availability ™: in social dynamics and seduction, it refers to how available an individual feels to others. High availability with high-value is the hallmark of social charmers who uplift others. But high availability with low value is useless.
Similar: personal value, attainability, SMV, self-rejection
- Availability, seduction: in seduction, it refers to how attainable a man is to a woman, and how attainable she feels he is. If a woman feels a man is unattainable, no matter how high SMV he might be, she will reject him (self-rejection)
- Attainability: The term originated in pick-up circles from Sebastian Drake. The concept is valid for all social settings, so I rebranded the term “availability” and enlarged its scope.
Babying, power move ™: a power move that frames the (covert) aggressor as a father/mother figure and frames the target as a baby. The power mover frames himself as more mature, powerful, emotionally stable and/or knowledgeable.
A babying frame can also be used in seduction and, when used by men, can also help advance the seduction.
Backhanded compliment: in social and power dynamics, a compliment that truly hides an insult.
It’s a specific type of covert insult, and how much a backhanded compliment is an insult or compliment varies depending on the wording, the delivery, and the situation.
Example: “ThePowerMoves.com is a good website on power dynamics” might be interpreted as a 20% compliment and 80% offense if one considers ThePowerMoves.com to be the first, best, and only website dedicated to power dynamics.
Betaization: the tendency of some men to become tamer and more submissive when in a long-term relationship. “Betaization” is a term of Red Pill communities, and on this website we use the term “domestication”.
Read here a description of the female forces of betaization
Big fish, small pond strategy: a strategy of focusing all one’s effort in acquiring status and power within a relatively small, specific, and circumscribed group or locality
- Fried fish: when an individual gave up his ego (ego-loss) and life for a specific group (pond), but the group has vanished (dried out pond)
- Big fish, small pond syndrome: to become so overly invested into a specific group (pond), that the group becomes the only way for the individual (fish) to receive personal validation and to feel alive
Boiling point: in sexual escalation, when a woman’s sexual arousal outstrips her logical mind and willingness to resist.
A great way of reaching it is to finger her before moving to actual penetration.
Bro science: an extreme form of pop-psychology, most often brandished by men not a way of informing with facts, but as a way of gaining status by instructing others and by acquiring a role of “expert” on a given subject.
Women, being on average less status-conscious than men, don’t do it nearly as much, so there is not widely circulating equivalent term for women.
Brother in arms / sister in arms ™: in life strategies and power dynamics, a strong ally you can rely on.
Burning stakes power moves ™: the act of calling out for (digital) lynching, retributions, or boycotts against a largely made-up enemy (a strawman enemy).
Purists, moralizers, and populists are the figures that engage the most in burning stakes power moves. But SJW can also go for as a way of virtue-signal.
Obviously,y this is a nasty power move and an extremely lopsided form of win-lose.
- Burning stake ™: the (figurative) location where shaming attacks and the most extreme moralization power moves are consumed.
These days, the burning stake locations happen to be more often online than in the physical world.
- Burning stake shows ™: the public consummation of the retribution, punishment, or payback against a supposedly guilty and monstrous individual (a straw man).
Burning stakes are where the collective thirst for masochism and toxic quests for power sublimate. The darker, evil side of the individuals who organize and enjoy burning stake shows hides behind made-up or largely inflated charges.
People who enjoy burning stakes also often seek a release valve for the feelings of inadequacy and personal failures.
Buy in: in persuasion strategies, the individual’s acceptance, willingness, and conviction to actively support and participate in something
Cementing ™: in power dynamics and frame negotiation, it consists of expanding the thread of the “agreement reached” to solidify it and increase buy-in.
Cementing (social dynamics): In social dynamics, cementing is used to amplify a positive thread and surface the notion that yes, you two get along well.
Example: if a girl says “I never shared that before”, the man can cement that by replying “I’m glad you feel so comfortable with me that you can open up. It’s a great thing, it means we have a great chemistry and I’m happy about that”.
Chameleon, sexual ™: pretending to be just like the person that your dating partner wants to date. It’s one of the games men play.
Chameleon, social: an individual who can socialize seamlessly in the most disparate social groups.
The best social chameleons don’t just socialize in different groups, but are able to gain status and rise through the ranks of any group they join.
Character assassination: in power dynamics and frame control, to go after an individual’s history, reputation, and personal flaws instead of addressing his arguments.
Note: be careful with character assassination, it makes you come across as petty, morally bankrupt, and lacking real arguments.
Example: Ray Dalio used character assassination when he went after the reputation of a critical journalist.
Cognitive biases: in psychology, cognitive biases are systematic patterns of deviation from what would be expected in “perfect rationality”.
Some critics made the case that not all cognitive biases are irrational, but can be effective ways of reaching non-perfect, but often-good-enough conclusions with minimum cognitive effort.
Evolutionary psychologists also made the case that some cognitive biases are not irrational, but helped us survive and reproduce in our evolutionary past.
Cold-blooded: see “icy men”. Also see “Slavic men“.
Collaborative frames ™: collaborative frames serve to inform and/or to remind people that our goals and intentions are win-win.
Collaborative frames can often decrease resistance and increase collaboration.
- Collaborative shaming ™: see main entry
- Collaborative feints ™: in manipulative strategies, pretending to be collaborative while actually nudging towards a trap or preparing to defect.
Example: “don’t be so defensive” power move
- Peace feints: pretending to be friendly or to seek peace, while actually nudging towards a trap
Collaborative shaming ™: in power dynamics and life strategies, a technique that serves to increase the scope for collaboration and decrease the scope for win-lose games. Collaborative shaming consists of shaming someone for playing win-lose games or nasty power moves with the intent of making them backtrack, apologize, or drop the win-lose games in favor of more collaborative approaches.
Collaborative shaming is delivered from a judge role, and often followed by collaborative frames to reach a better win-win outcome for both.
Similar: shaming, collaborative frames, value-adding dominance, value-adding leadership
Conspicuous consumption: the act of carelessly spending money as a way to ostentatiously display an abundance of money and resources.
It can be a very effective technique of gaining both social status and sexual attention.
Covert aggression: a form of aggression, bullying, or attempt at dominating others that is partially hidden.
Covert aggression can be highly upsetting because the victim knows it’s aggression, but cannot easily address it without in turn looking overly aggressive or touchy.
Once attacked, the covert aggressor will often pretend he “meant no harm” and “was just joking”, and frame the victim as “overreacting” and “overly-aggressive over nothing”. Handling covert aggression requires a certain mastery level of power dynamics.
- Covert insult: a specific type of covert aggression that hides an insult behind a compliment or a facade of friendliness.
Example: this Goodfellas’ example. “This kid was great. They used to call him Spitshine Tommy. He’d make your shoes look like fu*kin’ mirrors He was terrific, he was the best. He made a lot of money too, ah salud, Tommy.”
- Covert warfare: constant covert assaults protracted over time
- Self-denyed assault: it consists of verbally denying that one wants to assault or offend someone, and then attacking them anyway
Example: “I don’t mean to offend you, BUT…”. Or see Trump below.
Trump: I never attacked him on his looks, and believe me, there is plenty of subject matter right there
Covert power moves ™: in power dynamics, covert power moves are power moves that are delivered in a guise that seems neutral, apologetic, or even submissive, while actually increasing the power and/or status of the power mover, and while potentially disempowering the victim.
Example: “I’m sorry that I made you feel so bad”.
- Covert guilt-tripping: to frame oneself poorly for something that the receiver is guilty of, or equally guilty of
Since I didn’t keep in touch, it’s the equivalent of saying “you’re also bad for not writing”. I’m sure he didn’t mean it as a power move, but it can still break rapport, so avoid it
Similar: covert guilt-tripping, covert aggression
Currencies, Social: in the social exchange, social currencies are units of values that are traded among individuals.
In simpler terms, social currencies all types of physical and personal traits, possessions, or skills that people value.
The more sought after currencies an individual has, the more successful he will be socially, and the easier it will be for him to climb social hierarchies, and get what he wants.
- Hard social currencies: forms of social value that are appreciated everywhere. Wealth, positive attitude, uplifting humor, and connections tend to be well-liked almost everywhere
- Local social currencies: currencies that are valued by a specific group or subculture. For example,
- Sexual currencies: the traits that are sought after in the sexual market place
Dark psychology: in Machiavellian life strategies and manipulation strategies, it refers to the use of psychological principles in ways that harm the target, with target being either an individual, a social group, or society at large.
Similar: value-subtracting behavior, value-subtracting leadership
Dark triad: in psychology, the dark triad refers to the three different but sometimes related personality traits/disorders of psychopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellianism.
The concept has become popular in the blogosphere, and has sometimes been addressed in less rigorous, pop-psychology fashion.
Dehumanization: the act of framing, addressing, or describing the victim in a way that is so base, inferior, or monstrous, as to lack basic human qualities.
Dehumanization has often been described as an enabler of evil (Zimbardo, 2007) because when someone lacks basics human qualities, then it means that it’s fair to treat him as a most disgusting insect.
Examples: the most common examples refer to genocides, but dehumanizations are common in our daily lives. Calling women “plates”, for example, is an act of dehumanization.
Deny-Me Games™: deny-me games area manipulative social strategies that consist of purposefully fielding questions or requests for favors that the victim is, for whatever reason, forced to deny.
The perpetrator then gains social credit for having been denied once, while the victim incurs in social debit, accompanied by a sense of guilt, for having refused a favor.
The perpetrator then exploits the favorable social exchange to get more out of the social interaction.
- Deny to get denied: a specific type of deny-me games consisting of getting purposefully denied first, to later deny the victim and make it seem like it was a fair exchange.
Direct talk: in communication and social dynamics, a style of communication that goes directly to the crux of the matter, wasting no time in preambles or in cushioning potentially difficult subjects.
- Direct bully: aggressors, bullies, and manipulators will sometimes hide their aggression or darker social strategies behind the guise of “direct talk”. If you complain, direct bullies will flip the frame and pride themselves of “calling a spade a spade”. Don’t fall for that. Direct talk is not a tool for abuse.
Disqualifying: in seduction strategies, telling the target that you’re not interested in them because of a certain trait they lack and that you seek. The idea is to remove the frame that you are chasing them, and to make them chase you
- Self-disqualifying: to provide a reason why you are not pursuing the target. For example, “I’m gay” or “I’m in a relationship” (if they’re false, they’re also called “false disqualifiers”)
- Boyfriend self-disqualifiers: to actively disqualify oneself a boyfriend candidate by denying or hiding the qualities that would make a man available for a relationship, or good for a relationship. It’s a technique to date as a lover (see “lover”) and get to sex more quickly.
Domestication™: in social and power dynamics, the process by which an individual loses certain rebellious or self-centered traits and characteristics while acquiring more cooperative and conforming traits and qualities that make him a better fit for life with a certain group or with a certain person.
While domestication is always good for society, the group, or for the individual who domesticates, it’s up to discussion and interpretation whether it’s not good or not for the domesticated.
- Social domestication: the process by which individuals internalize the social rules of “proper” conduct
- Professional domestication: the process by which individuals learn to live and operate within a business organization
- Female domestication™: the process with which women bring a man under their control. Much of domestication is made possible because women take the judge role, in most relationships.
Dominance: the more showy and obvious displays and signs of power. While power is about what you want in a myriad of way, dominance is usually about getting what you want by bending others to your will, or imposing your will.
Ego loss, social : in extreme forms of identity projection, when an individual gives up his individuality to derives his whole sense of self (identity) from his affiliation to a specific individual, or his belonging to a specific group.
This is the ultimate state of giving up personal agency and control.
Examples: kamikazes sacrificing the self for the group, People’s Temple members committing suicide when Jim Jones ordered so.
Effectiveness, social: in social and power dynamics, social effectiveness relates to power and influence through people.
It includes the ability of building relationships, entering new social groups, acquiring status, persuading and influencing, or simply getting along with others.
Social effectiveness also includes the ability to manipulate, so social effectiveness alone is not synonymous with personal quality, and no guarantee that the effectiveness will be used for win-win and/or value-adding purposes.
Similar: social skills, emotional intelligence, social intelligence
Fanatics: a fanatic is an extreme moralizer, purist, or populist politician with strong convictions and black and white views that can come across as charismatic.
Fanatics are often power-craving narcissists. If they can rally enough support to get to power, democracy and meritocracy are the first victims, often followed by plummeting quality of life for the citizen.
Fanatics often use extreme forms of straw-manning, make up enemies, and indulge in dehumanizations.
Examples: Lenin, Jim Jones, and Hitler are examples of fanatics.
Feinter, manipulative ™: the manipulative feinter professes to adhere to a set of supposedly ethical rules.
His main motive though is to look trustworthy, gain social status, and disempower others. He then often defects on those same standards he professes.
Most manipulative feinters embrace seemingly prosocial causes (prosocial feints, see below).
Similar: SJW, virtue-signaling
Feints, social ™: the act of feigning adherence to a set of rules as a strategy for personal power and personal success.
- Feints, prosocial ™: same as social feints, but the ethical rules the feinter professes to embrace happen to be costly to the individual, but good for society at large.
Example: a married man encourages other men never to sleep with taken women. But he then does sleep with taken women
- Pro-group feints ™: same social feints, but the feinter professes adherence and support to a specific group and invites others to do the same. He then either defects privately, or enjoys more success because he effectively disempowered the competition.
Example: feminist encourages women to be strong and independent. That makes the sexual marketplace easier for her, since women become generally less attractive as feminists
- Leaders’ pro-group feints ™: the leader of a group talks up the importance of belonging, contribution, and sacrifice for the group the ideal behavior. But he only does so because prosocial members are good for the group, which is ultimately good for the leader
Festering ™: in social dynamics, the negative feelings that expand and envelop a person’s mind after a negative experience. Festering is more pronounced in people who tend to ruminate, but it happens to almost anyone.
People who get good at social dynamics know that when a negative event like a rejection, a social faux pas, or an unwilling offense happens, they need to rebuild good feelings right away, or the silence will invite festering.
Example: if she rejects a sexual attempt or an invite home, the man must brush it off and engage in more rapport-building talk to rebuild goodwill and avoid festering.
See an example here.
Firestarter, Social ™: see “pyromaniac”.
A firestarter feigns being shocked, angry, and scandalized to frame others as unworthy just like a pyromaniac does.
But he does not necessarily do so on a continuous, daily basis (yet).
Frame: in power dynamics and frame control strategies, a frame is a set of beliefs, values, and perspectives with which people negotiate meaning. The “meaning” includes how they interpret and see the world, a specific topic, or simply how they interpret and negotiate the social interaction between them.
Frame control: in power dynamics and frame control, the techniques and strategies to control the frames that govern social interactions.
Frenemy: in social and power dynamics, an envious friend who prefers to see us fail than succeed.
Similar: passive-aggressive, undermining, freudenschade
Games of chicken: in power dynamics, social gambits where one player binds the victim into a 2 options outcome: accepting their requests, or incurring a lose-lose outcome.
The victim of games of chicken feels like it’s either they give in, or they will bear the costs and responsibility for everyone’s losses.
Example: Break-up threats are an example of games of chicken. The victim either accepts what the threatener asks, or he will set off the lose-lose outcome of the relationship loss.
Games: in social and power dynamics, games are patterns of behavior that repeat over time.
Godfather, style: in power dynamics, a style of dominance that is calm and understated. The Godfather style talks little, uses lots of pauses, and remains calm and unreactive when under attack, pondering his next move in total emotional detachment.
Can seem similar to the icy man, but contrary to the icy man, the Godfather feels and cares about the people around him. But he switches on when getting down to business.
Godfather, the: a landmark movie on mafia dons with much to learn from.
Goodwill: in social and power dynamics, as well as in social exchanges, it refers to the positive predisposition people have towards an individual.
In leadership dynamics, it refers to the willingness of followers to following a leader independently of his rank and official authority.
Similar: social capital
Guilt-tripping: in manipulation and power dynamics, a manipulation attempt where the aggressor seeks to make others act out of guilt.
Guilt-tripping can also be triggered in combination with pity plays.
- Covert guilt-tripping: blaming oneself for something that the victim has actually done
- Male-shaming: shaming men for being overly aggressive and supposedly preying on and/or harassing women
- White-shaming: shaming white men for supposedly taking advantage of minorities
- Beauty-shaming: this is an old one. Less attractive people seek to diminish attractive people’s achievements and to impair their life-effectiveness by ascribing their success to an unfair advantage
- Guilt-culture: the current culture of around 2020 is replete with high-level guilt-trips attacking. Also read: don’t fall for the guilt-tripping culture
Hypergamy: in social and sexual marketplaces, it refers to the attraction, pursuit, and preference of lower status individuals for higher status and/or higher-income individuals.
- Female hypergamy: Female hypergamy is the pursuit and/or attraction felt for males of a higher class, income or social status
Men are equally as hypergamous as women, but their hypergamy is of a different nature (looking for better looks rather than better socio-economic classes).
Honest exchange talk: in social and power dynamics, it’s a form of direct talk about expecting a favor back once a favor is provided.
The law of social exchange postulates that people who give, are entitled to ask for something back. People who do you a favor use honest exchange talk when they openly tell you that you “owe them” and that they might ask something of you in the future.
It’s out of place in close friendships and some people find it annoying. But in some situations, it’s a fair deal.
Honey deal traps (negotiation): pretending to offer a highly attractive deal to lure the target into a trap.
Example: offering an attractive deal if the victim drops the charges. Then reneging on the deal once the charges are dropped
Iconoclasm, social ™: it’s the drive to attack, undermine, and destroy those who have more power and success than we have.
Iconoclasts are driven by resentment, envy, or hidden feelings of personal inadequacies, and it makes them feel better about themselves when they see those above them fail.
Iconoclasm is stronger when a leader seems “too good”, unavailable, or when he is acting too entitled.
Iconoclasm is a force that leaders need to keep in mind.
Similar: frenemies, freudenschade, rebels without a cause
Icy men (AKA: cold-blooded): in power dynamics, a dominance style based on removing most or all nonverbal expressions, including signs of warmth and friendliness. Dealing with icy men is difficult because you don’t know whether to slot them as friends or enemies, and the fact that they give you no signs of being friends can make people edgy.
They also never alleviate tension and speak little, forcing others to fill the gaps and to look try-hard.
Vladimir Putin, an example of icy style of dominance
Identity projection ™: in psychology and social psychology, to project and merge one’s own sense of identity with a larger social group or, alternatively, with a specific individual.
Albeit some identity projection can be normal and healty, too much identity projection, or identity projection onto the wrong groups and causes, can be toxic and disempowering.
Examples: some men feel good when other men “put women in their place” because they project their identity onto the “men’s collective” (see example below):
NateSim finds it satisfying to watch a man overtake a woman because he is a closeted misogynist, projecting his ego onto the whole male group. He is also an identity leecher who piggy-backs on other men’s success to feel better about himself
- Identity leecher (group): someone with a rather mediocre life who derives pride and self-esteem not from what he does, but from what his group of reference does
Example: some football fans tie their identity to that of a football club, thus that a win of the club means a boost in self-esteem, while a loss of the club means a loss of self-esteem.
- Identity leechers (ideal): identity leeching towards an ideal, a flag, or an institution
Example: “I’m great and better than you because I’m from X country”
- Fanboy identity leecher (individual gurus): identity leeching from an individual “guru”, leader, or thought leader. The identity leecher buys into whatever the guru says, and the guru’s success becomes his success.
The most fanatic and manipulative thought leaders want their followers to project their identities onto them
- Identity projection manipulation: keep in mind the possibility of manipulation and personal disempowerment here: most group leaders and gurus want their members and followers to give up their identity and individualism to merge with the group, since that gives the leaders more power
“I’m ready point” ™: in sexual escalation, when a woman who was previously resisting a man (last-minute resistances) drops all her resistances and lets the man undress her and have sex with her (or helps him along the way).
Indicators of Interest (IOIs): in seduction, a pick-up term referring to the verbal and mostly nonverbal signals of interest that a woman sends out.
Men send out IOIs too, of course. Here are the IOIs from men.
Indirect talk: in communication and social dynamics, a style of communication that uses lots of preambles, circumlocutions, and hinting. Very indirect cultures sometimes have a whole system of unwritten rules around communication that can feel like “acting out”.
Inflater, status ™: in social and power dynamics, status inflaters use socially aggressive tactics, as well as lies and exaggerations, to artificially increase their social status and personal value.
When they use others as social pegs to increase their social status, which they often do, then they also are social climbers (see: climbing balloons).
Similar: social climber, social manipulator
Judge, the ™: in social and power dynamics the individual who has power and influence within a relationship or social exchange. The judge derives his power from assessing others, who in turn seek to prove themselves and gain the judge’s approval.
Judge frames ™: any compliment or emotional reward, as well as any criticism or emotional punishment, that sets the giver as “judging” the receiver.
Lateral-first mobility: in life strategies, a strategy of seeking easier markets. It’s often far quicker, and sometimes far more effective, than working on upward mobility in more difficult markets.
Leecher strategy: in power dynamics, the leecher strategy is either a sycophant to a powerful man, or someone who seeks to climb power hierarchies by becoming the right-hand man of a more powerful individual.
Similar: power aligning, piggyback and run
Less dominance is more power: in social and power dynamics and in persuasion, a saying that serves to remind people that the less raw dominance you use, the more you allow for people’s buy-in to emerge, and the more you will make people want to follow you, and to follow up on the agreements you have reached.
Similar: power through, self-agency effect
Leverage: in negotiation and power dynamics, it’s another term for power. Having leverage means that you have the power to persuade or force others to accept your terms. Having no leverage instead means you have no power to convince, influence, or force others to accept your terms.
Life Strategies: strategies that allow an individual to reach a major life goal in a manner that is quicker, more efficient, or yielding far better results.
Little princess and the pea games: in social and power dynamics, a woman who pretends to be more refined than she really is.
She often uses fake shock to pretend she is used to a high-class way of living.
- Example: My father was about to flyswat a fly, when our lovely guest jumped in shock and shouted: “oh my God Franco, no!!”. To her, it was disgusting to swat a fly. She grew up next to a small animal farm.
Similar: relationship prizing
Little Virgin feints: in dating and seduction, a woman who pretends to be less sexual and less sexually experienced than she really is.
Loyalty tests: in power dynamics and dominance hierarchies, these are tests delivered by higher-ups to their underlings to make sure the underlings accepts the higher-up’s authority.
Sometimes, loyalty tests can seem like pointless work, but that’s the whole point. To make sure the underling honors their hierarchical authority and they are obedient and willing to sacrifice for them, the boss purposefully chooses pointless tasks.
Autocratic personalities, men, narcissists and individuals high in power are more likely to administer loyalty tests
Lover: in seduction and dating strategies, a lover is a man who is not available or for a relationship, but can be good for sex.
Women lust after but high-quality lovers but know that they cannot turn him into a boyfriend, so they have no reason to play Madonna games, and will sleep with him very quickly.
Note: Most people reading on lover strategies focus on high-quality lovers only. They forget that there are also low-quality lovers and average-quality lovers who don’t get that much sex or are only able to get average quality girls from bars and clubs.
Before worrying about becoming a lover, it can make sense to worry about becoming a high-quality individual.
- Boyfriend disqualifiers: to disqualify oneself as a boyfriend candidate with the intent of becoming a lover
Manipulation: in social and power dynamics, the act of influencing and convincing others to embrace beliefs or behaviors that advance the interests of the manipulator, while coming at a cost for the manipulator’s targets(s)
Meta, going meta: in power dynamics and frame control, it means to handle the game, power move, or manipulation attempt by explaining what they are doing, and why they are doing it and, directly or indirectly, also stating why it’s not working and why you’re not falling for it.
Going meta requires a good understanding of power dynamics, and the ability to explain them in simple terms.
Going meta is very effective with covert aggression, since explaining their game blows off the covert aggressor’s protective cover.
My Bitch (My Bitch Power Moves): power moves designed to totally dominate someone. If done in public, they can be highly embarrassing to the victim.
You only need to look at this thumbnail of Trump with Macron to see what “my bitch” power moves are all about:
Moralist: an individual who engages in moralizing and attacks others for not following the moral framework upheld by the moralist.
Moralists often have a self-righteous attitude and seek a judge power position to deliver their attacks.
Some moralists truly believe in the superiority and goodness of their moral standards, but some others are immature individuals oblivious to human nature and their own dark side. Yet some others, of course, are just out for power, manipulation (pro-social feints), or to ruin someone’s reputation.
Similar: purist, firestarter, guilt-tripping. SJWs can also engage in moralizations
Moralizing: in social and power dynamics, the act of framing others as “not good enough” for not following a certain moral framework.
Moralizing is delivered from a judge role, and can be a power move to acquire power or ruin someone’s reputation.
Similar: shaming, virtue signaling
Moral police (AKA: PC police): a group of moralists who bands together to enforce norms of morality.
Often based on guilt-tripping such as male-shaming or white-shaming.
Similar: SJWs, Guilt-trippers
NLP (neuro-linguistic programming): in persuasion and manipulation strategies, NLP is a pseudoscientific approach to communication, personal development, and psychotherapy created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the 1970s. NLP became popular in the seduction and pick-up community, sometimes leading to some eccentric strategies and techniques.
Albeit the “pseudo-science”, there are good and proven techniques in NLP.
The name “neuro language programming” contributed to the hype around NLP, as well as to the misunderstanding of NLP principles, hypnosis, as well as general persuasion techniques. To keep it simple: you cannot program a brain as if it were a computer, and you can much less do so with language alone. Programming would entail that the brain is a blank slate with nothing pre-recorded into it, which is obviously not the case (Pinker, 2002).
Opening gambits, social ™: opening a new conversation with a power move as a way of testing someone’s mettle, or to assert early dominance.
Example: “what are you selling” / “and who are you” /
Passive-aggressive: in social and power dynamics, a type of behavior where resistance, criticism, anger, hostility, or resentment are hidden or verbally denied.
Similar: covert aggression, submissive, frenemies
Peg, Social ™: in power dynamics, a social peg is the victim of a win-lose attempt at social climbing. The social climber uses the victim, the social peg, to look better by contrast.
If you’re learning on ThePowerMoves.com, you don’t like being made a social peg (and you shouldn’t 🙂
Pick-up Artistry (PUA): in seduction strategies, a movement began in the ’90s focusing on learning and teaching techniques and strategies to meet and seduce women.
Albeit I have personally never been a fan of the movement, especially in its earliest forms, the movement has described many groundbreaking concepts and ideas, including:
- AMOG: “alpha male of the group”
- Approach invitation: a verbal or, more often, nonverbal signal from a woman that she wants to be approached
- Attainability: how attainable a woman feels a man is to her. Also see “availability”
- Auto-rejection: when a woman rejects herself because she thinks, righteously or not, that the man is not interested. Also see “self-rejection”
- Backward rationalization: to rationalize with logic, often fallaciously, what one has previously done mostly based on emotions. For example, if a woman was drunk and wanted to sleep with you but the day after feels bad about it, she might back-rationalize that she was too drunk, or that the man forced her. It is an extremely important principle that academic psychology hasn’t stressed nearly well enough.
- Bitch shield: haughty and insufferable exterior women put up to reject men. Some do it because they are tired of being hit on, while some others do it to gain social power.
- Compliance: the measure of how willing a woman is to follow through on man’s requests (tasks)
- False takeaway: an extreme form of feigning disinterest by leaving the premise or pretending to leave. The idea is to get the woman to chase
- Friend zone: the label and grouping women use for men whom they like as friends, but not as lovers. Going from a dated to being “friend-zoned” means having failed in the seduction
- Good guy game: an attractive and high-value man who is honest and kind, but also strong. Contrary to too nice guys, he is successful with women
- Hook point: the moment a woman shows signs of being interested in the man. For example, by asking questions
- Indicator of Interest (IOI): nonverbal signals of attraction
- Insta-date: going on a date with a woman you have just met via cold approach
- Kino: it refers to the act of touching a girl and all the techniques of escalating touch (kino escalation)
- Multi-threading: to quickly introduce and talk about new topics. Since friends tend to talk this way, it gives the feeling that two people who’ve just met are closer than they really are
- Neg: short of “negative hit”, an old pick-up technique designed to lower women’s self-esteem and get women to chase his validation.
Note: PUAs didn’t know it yet, but what they were trying to go was to take a judge role in the interaction.
- One-itis: the tendency for an individual to pedestalize one woman and feel like she is “the one” and it’s either he gets her, or he is desperate. Saying that “she is different” is a sign of one-itis.
- Orbiter: a man who spends time with an attractive woman, often as a friend, and who’d love sleeping with he
- Push-Pull: in social dynamics and seduction, a technique of flirting and attraction-building consisting in making a compliment (pull) and then denying that compliment, or following it up with a more negative comment (push).
- Qualifying / disqualifying: see “qualifying” and “disqualifying”, including sub-sets
- Screening: see “screening”
- Sexual-prizing: a specific type of sexualization, consisting in the display and parading of love-making qualities to get women excited and primed for sex. Alek Rostaldt came up with the term
- Shit-tests: see “shit tests”
- Thread amplifying: going deeper into a topic of conversation, or highlighting/cementing a reaction to a certain topic, to expand a topic of conversation that is conducive to seduction and bonding
- Thread cutting: changing the topic of conversation
Piggyback and run: in manipulative strategies, it consists of associating with someone to acquire something of value the victim posses, and then dropping the victim once the value has been acquired, or once it’s safe doing so
- Seductive piggyback and run: pretending to be in love with someone until a specific goal can be achieved, then dumping them, breaking up, or suing them
Examples: visa scams, marrying up and then divorcing
Pity Play: in manipulative strategies, it consists of purposefully looking dejected and hopeless to manipulate others into supporting, helping, or acting in the way that the pity players wants
- Playing the victim: it consists of framing oneself as a victim to move
- Playing the victimized: it consists of framing oneself as the victim of the target’s wrongdoings, or purposefully exaggerating the extent of the damage
Similar: guilt-tripping, social scalping
Plausible deniability: in social dynamics, the possibility and personal feeling of being able to deny one’s direct involvement in a certain course of action even when the help or silence of the plausible denier was essential.
Plausible deniability (seduction): in seduction, it refers to women having an excuse for sex to happen so that they don’t feel slutty or like they were “too easy”.
Example: “we are just going upstairs for 5 minutes so I can show you that thing I talked to you about”
Pop-psychology: in general, the bastardization, willful misinterpretation, or ignorant misunderstanding of proper social science.
In self-help and self-development circles, the misinterpretation of proper psychology to give more authority to the pop-psychologist, who can sound more credible and convincing if he can (mis)quote a scientist or scientific paper.
- Pop-evo psych: the act of storytelling and making up credible-sounding stories to provide a semblance of credibility to personal conjectures. Very common in the dating advice literature.
To paraphrase Tversky: “Listen to pop-evo psych long enough, and you’ll stop believing in evolution”
- Bro-science: the lowest level of pop-psychology
Populist: in politics and power dynamics, a politician, often purposefully manipulative, who appeals to emotions and panders to the masses of disenfranchised.
Populists also pander to the iconoclastic and sadistic tendencies of the human psyche who like to see those in power fail.
Example: voting for Trump pandered to the iconoclastic desires of hurting the political class.
Power aligning™: see “alining”.
A very effective strategy in the animal kingdom, as well. Look for example at the animal species who are thriving, like dogs and cats, and those who are dying, like tigers and elephants. The thriving ones power-aligned with the apex predators: humans.
Power Dynamics: the study and analysis of social dynamics and social strategies from the point of power
- Dating power dynamics: the study and analysis of intersexual dynamics and sexual strategies from the point of view power
- Relationship power dynamics: the study and analysis of intersexual dynamics and sexual strategies from the point of view power
Albeit the term “power dynamics” applied to the different realms of human socialization existed before, this website was the first to address it in a more systematic fashion.
Power Move: in social dynamics and in general terms, any action that affects the power dynamics of interaction.
In more lay terms, it’s an action, or verbal expressions that abruptly and sometimes unexpectedly changes the power dynamics of an interaction.
A well-placed power move can turn an individual who was previously defensive or under assault into the one with power.
Power moves are one-off actions, while power moves that repeat over time are “games”.
- Covert power move: a power move that on the surface seems friendly or submissive, but that in truth empowers the agent and potentially disempower the receiver
Power Over / Power Through: in leadership and persuasion strategies, power over and power through are two different and opposite approaches to persuasion and leadership.
Power over means to have power on others by virtue of your ability to enforce your will, either through, raw dominance, or by controlling punishments and rewards.
Power through instead is the ability to mobilize others by “higher” appeals such as admiration and respect for the leader, inspiration, and group identification.
Power With Warmth™, mix: in social strategies and power dynamics, a social strategy designed to maximize social success.
It consists of displaying behavior and body language that is at the same time powerful and warm.
It’s based on the availability principle™ and the stereotype content model. The SCM, in turn, is based on a body of research showing that people first assess others based on competence (power) and warmth (friendliness).
Prince of darkness / queen of darkness: in power dynamics, life and manipulative strategies, this is the mantel you don when you decided you are going to wage war on someone.
Pulling rank: In power dynamics, it refers to someone directly referring to his status, authority, power, or official rank as a way of asserting his power over others.
Depending on the context, pulling rank can be effective to discipline someone and get back in power, but it can also come across as very weak. It can be weak because great leadership rests not just on rank, but on personal qualities and follower’s admiration and willingness to follow. Pulling rank indirectly says “you don’t respect me and you wouldn’t accept me if I didn’t have an official rank”.
Pump and Dump ™, social: in power dynamics, it consists in complimenting and building someone up in front of them, often in exaggerated terms, and then dumping them with heavy-handed criticism or with a scathing joke at their expense, as soon as they turn around.
It can also be done in front of the person, in which case it’s a “my bitch power move”.
Example: this skit from Family Guy
Purists: in social and power dynamics, purists are inveterate, more extreme types of moralizers.
Purists routinely deploy moralizations and/or shame attacks to chastise others for their apparent lack of morals, ethics, or personal value.
While they seek to portray an image of superhuman honesty, some purists buy into their own lies, and fail to recognize their own darker motives.
Of course, some purists and instead manipulators in search of some followers and some scraps of power.
The most extreme purists are fanatics.
Similar: moralizers (lighter form of purists), fanatics (most dangerous forms of purists)
Example: Chris Cuomo loves moralizing others, but it feels motivated by his own hidden perversions.
- Closeted moralists: The worst purists blame and moralize others on the same things they are perversely attracted to, but feel guilty about. This is called “reaction formation” in psychology.
Example: the Orlando’s nightclub shooter ahole who massacred people at a gay night club was supposed to be gay himself.
Pyromaniac™, social: in social and power dynamics, pyromaniacs are more extreme, inveterate firestarter.
He is the guy who continuously writes angry posts, makes up an enemy, or dramatizes situations. He strawmans his enemies, framing them as dumb, mean, or manipulative. He seeks to look smarter, purer, and “better” by comparison.
Similar: firestarters, populists, purists
Qualifying: in seduction, social, and power dynamics, it refers to asking questions aimed at positively assessing an individual.
Qualifying and assessing, both in positive and negative terms, are natural extensions of the judge role.
In seduction, the man seeks to positively qualify the woman as a way to gain power by taking the judge role, plus indirectly putting her at ease by communicating that he likes her personality beyond simple looks.
Similar: shit tests, judge frames, screening
Rapport break (social): in social and power dynamics, rapport breaks refer to any behavior or expression with which one person is increasing the social distance from another.
The “distance” can be in negotiating meaning, power, status, or friendship. Typical examples of rapport breaks include not laughing at someone’s jokes, or contradicting someone. The latter is an example of increasing the distance in terms of negotiating meaning and, potentially, power.
- Rapport break (seduction): in seduction, it refers to an individual purposefully disagreeing with another to gain power in the interaction and to potentially shit-test the target and see if they will change their minds and follow. It can work great, but it backfires if the target does not follow and just take it as a sign of unavailability or of bad chemistry. It originated in pick-up circles.
- Confrontational rapport break: to break rapport in an aggressive fashion
- Pulling social rank ™: in power dynamics and rapport breaks, it refers to correcting others and/or demanding to be addressed with a more formal or authoritative title, or with a title that highlights their
Example: “Hello Mark!” “I’m doctor Schenk”
Counter strategy: see “how to handle rapport breakers” with power
Realpolitik: in politics and power dynamics, an approach of developing political strategies in amoral terms, while analyzing those power and political strategies as driven by the individuals’ selfishness and thirst for power.
In many ways, I see thepowermoves.com as a realpolitk approach to self-development.
Rebels Without a Cause ™ (RWC): in social and power dynamics, RWC rebel and throw tantrums for apparently no reason.
The real reasons are internal: they are either lazy, can’t get along with others, or are entitled, power-hungry narcissists who cannot stand people who have power and authority over them.
Counter strategy: RWC are difficult to be won over since it’s a behavior that stems from a deep-seated personality. So leaders are better served by cutting them out as quickly as possible.
If they don’t, RWC might come up with a cause to rebel for, and manipulate others into believing that it’s a good cause to antagonize those in power.
- Rebels with a fake cause: make up an enemy to hide their personal frustration behind anger. They are purists, moralizers, or narcissists who want power for themselves.
Relationship prize: in dating and relationship power dynamics, the relationship prize is the partner with a judge role and, in the most extreme cases, the partner who invests less while being pampered and spoiled by their subservient and over-investing partner.
The relationship prize is often the higher value or higher sexual market value, but it’s not always the case. Sometimes, the relationship prize just acts, pretends, or demands to be treated like royalty and the partner simply complies.
Usually, it’s the woman who becomes the relationship prize and who actively seeks to be the relationship prize.
The relationship prize also overlaps with the judge role, since the judge is the individual with emotional power who dispenses emotional rewards and punishments.
Example: see this pictorial story of how she became the relationship prize by refusing him and making him chase
Similar: woman on pedestal, pedestalizing, judge
Scalping, power ™: in power dynamics, it consists of capitalizing on any social opportunity to acquire more power.
For example, one can capitalize on someone’s mistake to berate them publicly and, as a consequence, look more effective at work. Or someone might capitalize on someone’s submissive nature to act aggressively and, thus, look more dominant.
The definition originated thanks to JP’s comment in the forum, where he correctly linked the similarities between social scalping and “capitalizing on submissive behavior”.
Example: an abusive man doubles down on yelling and offending when his partner stopped arguing. Or a guy, to look more powerful, tells his colleague who just apologized over a minor mistake “I’m glad you realized the mistake, be more careful next time”.
- Vulnerability exploiters: to make fun, deride, or make a big show out of rejecting an individual who put himself in a vulnerable position by sharing a personal story, or declaring his feelings
Example: a woman makes a big show of rejecting a man to show the man himself, and everyone around, that she just rejected someone
- Power scalping in absentia: just like social climbing in absentia, it consists of using people who are not physically present as social pegs to look more powerful and dominant
Example: this skit from family guy
Scalping, social ™: in social and power dynamics as well as in manipulation, the act of inflating one’s own help, support, and contribution in order to accrue more social credit. With social scalping, people try to make you feel more indebted than you truly should be.
Constantly offering unrequested and mostly useless “help” is an (annoying) technique of social scalping
Scam: in manipulative strategies, a scam is an elaborate strategy to cheat and swindle the victim.
- Affiliate scams: reviewers rate products not based on quality, but based on how much money they will make from. Keep in mind this might be a majority of online reviews.
Some online review sites allow for users’ reviews to be published to provide a semblance of truth, but in reality, fake, edit and censor the user reviews to provide.
Examples: See an example here and here (which I personally tested and confirmed).
- “Best of” scams: many “best of” lists on the Internet are either affiliate scams, or pay per play, where those are featured paid the writer
- Playing the victimized: the manipulator exaggerates the amount of damage someone has caused them to unduly increase the targets’ debt and the manipulator’s credit
Scorched earth technique ™: in social and power dynamics, it consists of letting the attacker advance without attacking back.
The strategy is based on the idea that the more they attack, the angrier they seem, and the nastier they look. Once the attacker has socially over-extended, the scorched earth player has an easy time frame them as nasty and socially unfit. And, importantly, the people around will side with the scorched earth player, giving him the ultimate victory.
In the past, I also referred to this technique as “giving them rope to hang themselves”.
Example: John used a scorched earth technique here, when he did not attack back a rude and overly aggressive doctor and instead stated and restated “I’m shocked”.
Screening: in social dynamics as well as in seduction and dating strategies, it means to have certain criteria and standards with which to screen partners for quality and personal fit.
If a person does not meet your screen, then it means they should be “screened out”. If that person meets your screen, that they should be “screened in”.
Screening can be accomplished with questions, shit tests, or simply judging them by their behavior.
Once a person passes your screen, then you can “qualify them”, for example, by providing a compliment that shows them that you have screened them, and that you are glad that they passed it (a positive judge frame).
Similar: shit test, judge frames, qualifying
Self-disclosure, manipulative: in manipulation strategies, to open up with unrequested or fake information with the only intent of gaining the victim’s trust.
- Tit-for-tat self-disclosure: a specific type of manipulative self-disclosure. It consists of providing fake or unrequested personal information that puts pressure on the victim to later answer truthfully to the manipulator’s information request
Self-manipulation: in self-development and manipulation strategies, it consists of self-denial, minimizations, and “coloring” reality in a way that makes us feel good instead of helping us develop and achieve our goals.
There are countless examples of self-manipulation.
Self-rejection ™: in seduction as well as in social and power dynamics, self-rejection refers to an individual who rejects, dislikes, or undermines a higher-value individual because he feels that the higher value individual looks down on him.
- Self-rejection, seduction: in seduction, it describes a woman who writes an otherwise attractive man off because she believes she is not interested in her or “too much” for her
- Auto-rejection: another name for self-rejection, originally developed by Sebastian Drake in pick-up circles. I renamed it “self-rejection” as it’s more descriptive, and extended its application to all social exchanges
Counter strategy: collaborative frames, building people up, and qualifying and rewarding from a judge role.
The “high-power and high-warmth strategy” is also designed to increase social acceptance, collaboration, and social support by minimizing the instances of self-rejection.
- Similar: availability, value, SMV, frenemies, Rebels Without a Cause
Shit-tests: in seduction and dating power dynamics, a test delivered by the choosing individual to the pursuing individual.
Since women are most often the ones who choose, a shit test originally only referred to a woman testing a man.
Pick-up artists also receive a lot of tests because they can come across as phony and gamy, or like players who are just trying their luck.
However, tests are not a prerogative of women. Choosy men can also test women, especially for their suitability as long-term partners.
- Loyalty tests: they are a form of shit tests
- Shit tests for men: just one example from the forum, dig deeper for more of them
Show me the hand technique ™: in power dynamics and frame control strategies, a technique of frame control to dismantle covert aggression and passive-aggressiveness.
It consists of surfacing and making the nasty intentions obvious, so that the attacker must at the very least attack in the open and give up his covert-position, together with the ability to retreat and play innocent.
Similar: surfacing, scorched earth technique
Showdown, power (AKA: domination showdowns)™: in social and power dynamics, it refers to an escalating confrontation, a battle of wills, and/or a frame battle.
The individual who wins the showdown gains a lot of power, while the individual who loses it, will lose a lot of power. Thus, showdowns are crucial moments that will potentially determine the direction of a relationship.
Showdowns vary in intensity, and can be big and obvious, or understated and seemingly small. But even the small ones, especially when early in a relationship, will have major impacts on the dynamics of a relationship.
- Social power showdown: showdown as a consequence of social dynamics and social pressure. There are often social power showdowns in patterns of laughter, eye contact, or holding or breaking silences.
- Power showdown in seduction: showdowns and social power showdowns are often present in the early stages of seduction, and some men completely fail to recognize them. When men lose power showdowns, attraction tanks. When men win them, attraction spikes. Simply staring into a woman’s eyes can be a socia power showdown: the first one who moves or smiles, loses.
- Domination showdowns: these are more obvious instances of power escalations, including potentially getting to blows.
Slut-shaming: in dating power dynamics, sexual conflict, and manipulation strategies, it consists of shaming women for apparently displaying loose morals and/or engaging in short-term dating.
Smart Alec ™: in social and power dynamics, a style of dominance centered around intellectual superiority, and looking down on others as “not smart enough” which, in turn, translates into “not good enough (for me)”.
The smart-alec takes a negative judge position in social exchanges with an ever-present air of “I know better than you, there I am better than you”
Social capital (AKA: social bank account): in the social exchange model, it relates to how much goodwill, leverage, and influence you have on other individuals.
As a rule of thumb, social capital increases with the more you know and interact with someone, the more you have given to someone, and the higher value you are. Being high value gives you a positive social capital even when you haven’t even met someone, since everyone wants to be around high-value people.
Similar: goodwill, value, social exchanges, sexual martkplace
Strategies: in life strategies and self-development, strategies refer to the plans and approaches to reach a certain goal.
- Life strategies: overarching strategies
- Sexual strategies (AKA: dating strategies): strategies that both men and women engage during the courtship phase and/or around sex
- Social strategies: strategies around people and groups, including gaining status, persuading others, recruiting others
- Machiavellian strategies: the most amoral, manipulative and potentially value-subtracting strategies
Social exchange theory: in social and power dynamics, a framework model that looks at relationships as transactions governed by the laws of economics and self-interest.
- Sexual marketplace: the social exchange for dating and sex
Many relationships are more than pure transactions, and a transactional model alone, without psychology and emotional intelligence, would result in a poor understanding of people and, as a consequence, in low personal effectiveness and poor relationships.
However, this website maintains that the exchange nature of relationships is fundamental to understand social and power dynamics. Understanding the laws of the social exchange theory makes people more effective, while those with low social effectiveness who fail with relationships are often oblivious to the transactional nature of relationships.
- What’s In It For Me (WIIFM): micro case studies on failing to address the exchange nature of some relationships
Status, social: in social and power dynamics, a person’s level within a given hierarchy.
Status symbol: in social dynamics, a prized possession to indicate a person’s superior wealth or high social status.
Surfacing: in social dynamics, the act of bringing issues to the surface, so that they can be discussed and addressed in the open.
Surfacing is an advanced, yet fundamental technique for relationship management. It’s crucial because many people are not direct and brave enough to discuss their issues and gripes. And issues that remain below the surface, by remaining unaddressed, can lead to festering, which can eventually sour a relationship. Surfacing those issues instead allow people to address them, and potentially even improve the relationship.
Related: festering, direct talk
The 48 Laws of Power: in power dynamics literature, a popular book on tactical-level power dynamics.
The Prince: in power dynamics literature, the first book on realpolitik strategies.
Trump card: In life strategies and power dynamics, to be confident that if a final escalations were to happen, you would win it.
Scapegoat: in social and power dynamics, to scapegoat, is the act of blaming someone else for faults that are not his.
The scapegoat is the person who takes the blame.
Self-agency principle: in social dynamics and persuasion strategies, the tendency for persuasion that includes the target’s own volution, to be more effective and long-lasting.
In simpler terms: if you make people want to do something, it works better than pushing them.
Self-agency is based on more than one psychological principle. To begin with, people prefer dealing with those who use pull techniques (persuasion through buy-in) more than push techniques (raw dominance and hard sales technique).
And people who freely choose to do something develop more intrinsic motivation, as well as being more likely to follow through the agreement.
Similar: buy-in, less dominance is more power, pull, power through
Sexual Market Value: in dating and sexual power dynamics, the personal value that one has in the sexual market place.
Sexualization: in dating and sexual strategies, to introduce sexual topics in a conversation to purposefully excite the dating partner and/or to make sure this is a date for assessing intimacy and relationship opportunities and not a safe coffee “between friends”.
Similar: sexual prizing, sexual frames, chase frames
Shame attacks in social and power dynamics, to shame people for their behavior or personality.
The shame attacker is the person who deploys shame attacks. He takes a highly negative and judgmental judge role, and seeks to frame the victim as an unworthy human being.
Similar: purists, moralizers, firestarters,
Shine up, praise down ™: in Machiavellian strategies, the more effective version of “kiss up, kick down”, consisting of a boss making his reports feel good with emotional validation, while taking all the credits for the team or individuals’ effort.
Social justice warrior (SJW): a generally low social status individual who signals his virtues (virtue-signaling) by publicly and conspicuously embracing a set of supposedly prosocial values, norms, and behaviors.
It’s often an attempt at acquiring social status, sexual options, and enhancing one’s own reputation as “good” and “trustworthy”. It’s also a technique to signal one’s own belonging to a certain group of people that the SJW considers “good” or “cool”.
SJWs sometimes embrace causes that have little actual effect on the big issues they pretend they’re tackling.
Compare: Social justice warriors are mostly followers of trends, while the purists and fanatics of this world set the agenda for the SJWs to follow.
Social climbing: in social and power dynamics, social climbing is the pursuit of social status, including all the attempts at increasing one’s ranking within dominance hierarchies.
Social climbing intended in neutral form is what most driven people do, and is not necessarily win-lose or negative per se. However, the term is often used in the negative, as in the social climber being too obvious or using win-lose power moves that push other people down (social pegs).
- Social climbing in absentia ™: a special type of social climbing consisting of talking bad about others who are not present to look better by contrast.
- Climbing balloons ™ (full name: social-climbing inflaters): they use blatant power moves, exaggerated stories and lies (hence: balloons) to inflate one’s own status, plus using others as social pegs in win-lose exchanges
Standard games: in social dynamics and manipulative strategies, standard games are games that we all more or less engage in. For example, in dating it’s hiding in the beginning how much we like a man or a woman.
In social dynamics, an example is to seek to lower people’s expectations to beat them, or to hide our weaknesses to present ourselves in the best light we can.
Note: albeit standard games are usually not harmful, extreme forms of standard games can become harmful to the victim, and/or unhealthy for the perpetrator.
Standard manipulation: in manipulative strategies, the daily manipulation we all engage in. They can be very Machiavellian, but most of them are mostly harmless since everyone does it, so they are already “factored in” in social exchanges.
Some daily manipulations can be harmful though. Think for example on denying the importance of having money in life, or denying the importance of taking care of one’s own appearance.
Strawmanning: in power dynamics and manipulative strategies, fabricating an enemy or distorting reality to make an individual or a group seem meaner.
In debates, it consists of distorting someone’s argument, often making it more extreme than it really is, to score an easy win.
In manipulative strategies, strawmanning justifies the perpetrator’s attacks and anger, and is designed to fan the flames of hatred. In the worst cases, straw-manning is about de-humanizing a victim to make all kinds of abuse seem fair.
Similar: dehumanizing, moralizing, shame attacks
The Power Moves: the first website dedicated to advanced social skills and power dynamics.
Threshold Effect ™: in social exchanges, it’s the property of some generally and otherwise attractive traits to become unattractive above a certain threshold.
Different traits can have different threshold effects depending on the individual, the situation, or the specific exchange.
- Sexual threshold effect: (formally: Male social-sexual threshold disconnect) male qualities such as beard, low voices, and muscles have no threshold effect in gaining male respect within social hierarchies. But they do have a threshold effect with women, in dating.
Traumatic one-trial learning: explosive anger, or other intimidating behavior to establish dominance or superiority to condition or train the victim to avoid upsetting, confronting or contradicting the manipulator
Trap questions ™: in power dynamics and manipulative strategies, a generic, umbrella term for any type of questions that intends to harm the victim, or back him into a corner.
- Leading questions: the asker asks a question that is designed to lead towards the answer that he wanted to elicit
- Brag for me: a special type of trap question where the aggressor surreptitiously invites the victim to show off, brag. And bragging and showing off look weak, more often than not
- Pull ranks for me: a special type of questions or assertions that nudges people into pulling rank and tell others “they are the boss” and have “official authority”. Since bosses who rely on official authority look weak, this can be an effective technique to make bosses look weak
Counter strategy: see “handling trap questions“.
Validation whoring: in social dynamics, validation whores individuals who seek emotional validation and rewards for their personalities, looks, or achievements.
They often have extremely fragile egos and fixed mindsets.
Similar: thirst-traps (sexy pictures), flex accounts (showing off on Instagram)
Example: see this post on validation whoring on FB.
- Attention whoring: very similar to validation whoring, but the attention whore is less discriminating as to the type of attention, and will take both negative and positive feedback as long as he is in the spotlight.
Virtue signaling: in social and power dynamics, the act of publicly and conspicuously embracing a set of supposedly prosocial values, norms, and behaviors.
Virtue signalers sometimes use moralizing against others as a way of social-climbing and looking purer.
- Disempowering virtue-signaling: when virtue signaling targets an individual or a specific group of people, often “minorities”, and gets tinged with a “poor you” hue, and (unwillingly) frames the target of virtue signaling as inferior, less powerful, or in need of the help
See an example here:
Similar: SJW, moralizers, purists
Upcoming young guns: in power dynamics, a style of dominance based on confidence and over-display of confidence. The upcoming young gun carries himself with an air of “I am the best, and I’m on my way to the top”.
Value-adding behavior: in social and power dynamics, behavior that, on net balance, is either win-win, or that removes opportunities for abuse, or win-lose.
ThePowerMoves.com promotes the adoption of value-adding mindsets and behaviors.
Note: that “net balance” is important. Value-adding behavior can be initially aggressive if it serves to stop abuse or change someone’s mind in a way that leads to win-win. Or it can shame someone into dropping games if that serves to adopt more collaborative approaches (collaborative shaming).
- Value-adding leadership: a type of leadership that adds value to the group, and it’s Lucio’s main goal for those studying on ThePowerMoves.com
- Value-adding dominance: a type of dominance and social power that adds value
- Value-adding lover: a type of lover that rejects the most blatant manipulation and seeks to add value to the women who enter into his life
- Utilitarian value-adding: behavior that is negative for one individual if but off-set by far larger gains by someone else, or by a group, or society
Value-subtracting behavior: in social and power dynamics, behavior that, on net balance, is either win-lose, lose-lose, or that removes opportunities for win-win and collaboration.