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Assessing characters ASAP: the overbearing stickler for the rules

Recognizing personalites and quirks is one of the hallmarks of advanced social skills.

It allows you to get along with people far better, as well as to be ahead of the game when you're in more competitive environments, since you will know what to expect.

It also helps you to avoid troubles and just generally lead a smoother, easier life.

This is an example of the latter.

FIRST RED FLAG

I booked an Airbnb, and the lady sends me a laundry list of "rules" and things we are expected to do and make sure of.

This is only a small portion:

To me, this screams "OCD / micro-managing / controlling / stickler for the rules"

Most people on Airbnb have their rules in the "rules" section, which tend to be short and sensible stuff. It's not 59 o fthem, and they they don't send 50 messages to repeat what's already been written.

This approach is also time consuming, since the only infrmation I really need: the code for the door, is going to be drowned out by all the noise.

This lady is overbearing, and I'm already 95% sure of it.

In simpler words, that's the kind of personality who is likely to "break your balls", unless you're an obsessive compulsive like they are.

I tend to be the opposite of that, so I know I'll need to watch out to avoid any escalation -and any negative reviews-.

SECOND RED FLAG

And here is the second red flag.
I write her a text on her phone saying:

"hey, this is Lucio, and this my number, in case quicker communication is needed. Cheers".

It's something I often do for efficiency and for smoother check-ins -as well as general safety-. If I'm standing in front of a door and it's not opening, or if there is an emergency, I'd rather call a number, than text on an app.

But look at her reply:

Instead of either replying to my text with a simple "OK", or even just ignoring, she goes back to Airbnb and says that "she can only use Airbnb to communicate".
Again you see the stickler for the rule.

MY REPLY

Also notice my reply.

I can't accept her frame.

Why not?

  1. It's a one-up. No biggies, we all work for an antifragile ego, but that doesn't mean I should let them all slide
  2. It frames me as if I was bothering her on her pesonal number, and same as above, I can choose not to let it slide
  3. Can serve as a record for future issues: if there is a smaller issue down the road, her message makes it seem as if I tried to go outside the platform, which can make me look bad. If she's very manipulative, she might even say I bothered her via text, or who knows what she might come up with. Since given my character an escalation with this lady is not impossible, I don't want that either

So my reply re-states that my message was within the rules, that's it's provided and accepted by Airbnb, and it indirectly says I only used her number to confirm it was good, and only for quicker communication and emergencies.

And of course, "thanks for sharing your preferences" is a (light) power move.

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Matthew WhitewoodStefselffriend
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

And of course, "thanks for sharing your preferences" is a (light) power move.

Is this because it switches her frame from "this is the rule, and you are outside Airbnb rules" to "her preferences within the boundaries of Airbnb rules"?

Thanks for sharing this story. I will look out for Airbnb hosts like this in the future. And it's interesting how one can discern a personality from a person's initial post.

Can serve as a record for future issues: if there is a smaller issue down the road, her message makes it seem as if I tried to go outside the platform, which can make me look bad.

I could have used this technique to save myself in a few instances. Especially in the workplace.

I recalled you talked about the evidence-leaving nature of text over voice which makes textual communication more risky.

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selffriend

To me, these messages scream “Crazy (cat) lady”. I agree with everything, included your attitude. With the first reply “Hey, etc.” I might have gone more polite and formal, though. I like the power of politeness and formality. It gives you the strength that you were always respectful and appropriate. And nobody can attack you for that. Your second reply is perfect I think. The light power move is warranted to get back in the “I’m the customer” frame.

Cheers!

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selffriend
Quote from John Freeman on March 25, 2021, 10:20 am

To me, these messages scream “Crazy (cat) lady”. I agree with everything, included your attitude. With the first reply “Hey, etc.” I might have gone more polite and formal, though. I like the power of politeness and formality. It gives you the strength that you were always respectful and appropriate. And nobody can attack you for that. Your second reply is perfect I think. The light power move is warranted to get back in the “I’m the customer” frame.

Cheers!

Yeah, crazy cat lady sounds about right.

Detached formality is not my favorite style, so I decided for something more "natural".

But otherwie, you're right, there is power in detached formality and "professionalism", and this is a case where it fit very well.

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selffriend
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Is this because it switches her frame from "this is the rule, and you are outside Airbnb rules" to "her preferences within the boundaries of Airbnb rules"?

Yeah, it's a few things together, including what you mention:

  1. It's a preference, not a rule
  2. Frames it as a preference, rather than her ordering me on how to behave, and me complying
  3. Frames me as willingly accepting out of kindness and respect for her preferences, not because she's ordering/tasking me to
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Stefselffriend
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

“Thank you for your preference”

WOW new technique identified! How did the renter reply?

Quote from selffoe on March 26, 2021, 3:56 am

“Thank you for your preference”

WOW new technique identified! How did the renter reply?

She said something like "OK, I'm going to sleep".

Which in power dynamics terms reads as "a slight backtrack, and accepting my frame". And generally ended on far better win-win temrs, which I highlighted when I checked in sending a nice message that all was well and I loved the place.

 

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Transitionedselffriend
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The first impression was confirmed.

As expected, our characters were very incompatible, and we locked horns.

If we had kept our distance, I'm sure we would have done fine.

But since in the circumstances I had to spend several hours in her company, we eventually escalated.

Good lessons learned:

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Stefselffriend
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?