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Bel's thoughts

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When I got here, I once answered to one person in my life who I felt was making me work for free:

Him: We are stuck, the bank doesn’t pay.

Me: Well, you should probably get a lawyer then.

I thought I was stating that by engaging me for a fee he could obtain what he wanted.

I now understand my phrase, coming from a lawyer, could probably only be interpreted as “go away and don’t ever bother me anymore”.

I think I subcommunicated this to many many people I was angry with due to feeling having been taken for granted.

Today I would simply say: “Do you need help?” and then send my fee estimate.

Also, the fact that I’m able to see this means I am successfully working on myself and ridding myself of this anger.

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Lucio Buffalmano
Quote from Bel on October 2, 2022, 12:49 am

Maintaining the respect of clients who hint at bigger future work in exchange for a small favor now

Here’s a thing that happened to me with frequency, and now I’m starting to get what is the good answer:

Client: I’ll involve you on this future big project, but I wanted to ask you a little opinion on something else today.

Me: X, I’ll gladly make you the favor of giving you my opinion independently of that big project. What is it?

Just by saying these additional words, I can probably:

- maintain the respect of the client

- frame the act of going along with the client’s request as my personal choice, and not the result of being manipulated

- avoid being “imaginary social scalped and future faked”

- subcommunicate I’m not chasing work

- lightly shame the client by suggesting I know the big thing is likely a ruse;

and, most importantly,

- probably really be involved in the big project later!

Which would otherwise never happen if one just goes along with the ruse.

I remember reading this on mobile and thinking "really good, should make a note".

Then forgot, but... Really good :).

Only risk: calling power moves when you still want to keep rapport may be a small risk.

Another option:

It's an interesting project, lemme know if you'll need help with that as at times I have a full plate, but if free, happy to help
(then answer the question)

That way you're still saying "I'm answering out of my own volition, not because you dangled the carrot, which I may not even need or have time to take", but without breaking any rapport.

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Bel
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
Quote from Bel on October 2, 2022, 4:11 am

When I got here, I once answered to one person in my life who I felt was making me work for free:

Him: We are stuck, the bank doesn’t pay.

Me: Well, you should probably get a lawyer then.

I thought I was stating that by engaging me for a fee he could obtain what he wanted.

I now understand my phrase, coming from a lawyer, could probably only be interpreted as “go away and don’t ever bother me anymore”.

I think I subcommunicated this to many many people I was angry with due to feeling having been taken for granted.

Today I would simply say: “Do you need help?” and then send my fee estimate.

Also, the fact that I’m able to see this means I am successfully working on myself and ridding myself of this anger.

Rock on, Bel, happy to read!

A slight different tweak for you to consider:

Him: We are stuck, the bank doesn’t pay.
You: That sucks. If you need some help with that later on let me know

So you empathize first, then you put the "IF" clause, so it doesn't even seem like you're pushing or chasing for work.
Just mentioning the possibility and leaving it up to them.

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

Thank you very much Lucio for your comments which are definitely the next level again.

 

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Lucio Buffalmano

Neutralizing "thanks" at the end of "request messages" by "thanking back"?

"Thank you"s at the end of requests reinforce the tasking tone of the request, because they assume the receiver will reply.

What if one neutralized the ending "thank you" with another ending "thank you" in responding?

My conclusion so far on this is that this may work for social relationships, but may probably best be avoided in professional relationships where one is the external advisor/professional.

Also, what I got from studying PU / reading the forum - or in any case what I tend to do currently - is to simply mostly ignore final "thank you"s.

I have received this text:

Text: Good day attorney - let me know if the new property administrator has entrusted you with the ...?

Thank you

I had in fact been informed about this the day before by another person.

Initially I thought about both answering and thanking the sender of this message:

Me: Thank you Ms. X, I have been told that the administrator will arrange a telephone call for next week

Then I thought that the tone of the sender's message was very assertive and somewhat tasking, and thanking the sender would reinforce my subsmissiveness a bit too much.

I chose to answer without the thanks, and sent this:

Me: Good day Ms. X, I have been told that the administrator will arrange a telephone call for next week

To which the sender responded with the "thumb up" emoji. And it ended there.

I interpreted her "thumb up" as a way of reempowering me after the "light tasking" (as she was aknowledging my answer).

----------

I then thought about going even more to the other "side", and that I could have neutralized the "light tasking" even more by answering like this:

Me: Good day Ms. X, I have been told that the administrator will arrange a telephone call for next week.

Thank you

But then I recalled it being discussed on this forum that some "service" (and possibly even light tasking) is expected when dealing with a service provider.

I am unsure though whether I am reading the situation correctly.

Apart from the tasking tone, the sender was showing an interest in letting me know asap about this.

In a way she was making me a favor, so to say, even though she worded it somewhat brusque and in her interest.

So I maybe should have sincerely thanked her for asking.

On abuse and justice

I was reflecting on why being abused and manipulated has significant damaging physical effects, and then I had a lightbulb moment: it's because the body is trying to warn one to take action against it.

It is probably the same mechanism behind physical hurt: one feels pain because pain is a warning message, meant to induce one to avoid the dangerous situation.

Humiliation is the most damaging, the worst and the ugliest form of abuse.

It is because it has a public component. It equates, in fact, with causing one to lose the respect of everyone present.

Handshake power moves, publicly demeaning comments, blatant public anger and disrespect: they all have in common the humiliation component.

We might even say that humiliating power moves (ie those that, if successful, make one lose the respect of all present) are probably always red level.

The counterpoint is justice

To me the redress of humiliation is receiving justice.

Justice is, in its essence, a public recognition that one is in the right, and the other is in the wrong. That's why judgments usually start with "in the name of the people of this country".

It has a "public vindication" component.

Although being able to just check public power-moves (and in general, abuse and manipulation) is definitely better than having to get judicial redress, judicial redress is an instrument in fighting for the good in this world.

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Lucio Buffalmano
Quote from Bel on October 7, 2022, 5:14 pm

Neutralizing "thanks" at the end of "request messages" by "thanking back"?

Yeah, it is a bit disempowering.

But not too much if they're paying you and it's a service / service provider relationship.

"Thank you for following up" or adding something probably sounds better than just a standalone thank you which feels a bit like a mirroring power move when there's no real reason to thank someone.

But what I sometimes do, is reply something like this:

Yeah, it was in my to-do to update you this evening

Sub-communication: I don't need to be reminded to do my job.

Even better if you go from text to voice, so it better breaks that "task - executing task" chain.

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Bel
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
Quote from Bel on October 7, 2022, 9:24 pm

On abuse and justice

Humiliation is the most damaging, the worst and the ugliest form of abuse.

Handshake power moves, publicly demeaning comments, blatant public anger and disrespect: they all have in common the humiliation component.

We might even say that humiliating power moves (ie those that, if successful, make one lose the respect of all present) are probably always red level.

All the pain that we as individuals have received in the past, is all the fuel we are going to use to transform ourselves.

Better to use that anger, resentment and hatred to channel into sheer fuel and screaming inside to better yourself, in the fucking gym, with power dynamics, with mindset and improve yourself. A form of revenge for me was improving myself and others saw that, and I enjoyed that others saw that, and I stand on this form of motivations sheer power and transformative effects.

I'm new here Bel and I think you're a great and deep person, and I really respect lawyers fighting to uphold justice (If I am following correctly and let me know, you are a lawyer?)

You are definitely a strong force for good and I look forward to following your journal more.

 

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Lucio BuffalmanoBel

Hey underdogexceptional,

thank you for your kind words and post. Agree with what you say and working in that direction.

Looking forward to speak on the forum!

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underdogexceptional

Value-accounting in relationships: the effect of reach-outs for birthday and Christmas wishes

I was studying the lesson in PU on value-accounting, which is very useful to understand dynamics I had experienced but not understood fully.

Recovering from a "negative balance relationship" where one took too much

Assuming one has inadvertently brought the relationship in the negative by taking more than giving - for example, by frequently phoning clients - which takes much more of their time - instead of emailing - which I now know is much better as it is less value-taking. Or by asking lots of questions instead of having a balanced conversation. And assuming the "negative balance" is showing in the other not answering or distancing himself.

Would a good way to recover a positive balance be reaching out for birthday and Christmas wishes with texts / cards without expecting a reply? In other words, would periodic reach-outs for wishes or just to say "hope everything's good, haven't talked with you in a long time and wanted to know how are things" be a good way to give back and reestablish balance? Or would they be interpreted as taking?

My take: it could probably work as long as one shows (with behavior) that no response is required from the other party.

Recovering from a relationship where one gave too much and lost respect

On the contrary, I feel there are situations where a relationship goes sour because of a lack of respect from the other (eg failing to address power moves, submitting, etc.). In this case, continuing to reach out may be counter-productive and stopping all outcoming communication may probably have a better effect.

The issue is understanding which is which, as often the two reasons are interlinked.

On the above, I think I sometimes misinterpreted the situation in the past: meaning, sometimes I stopped reaching out thinking the other was manipulating me or taking too much, while maybe I had been the one to inadvertently dip the relationship into a negative balance with unaware behaviors.

Maybe the two sides are really the same?

Or maybe failing to address power-moves is really the same as "taking too much". The net effect is that the other (power mover) still sees the relationship as a negative for him. Because, if he power-moved, he may not feel the other really gave to him, and may convince himself that the other is still gaining.

In addition, several manipulations are precisely designed to make it seem that the manipulated person is taking too much. So not addressing manipulations and power-moves may paint a picture of taking where none exists, including in the mind of the manipulator.

If that's the case, reaching out for wishes could always have a positive effect, even in cases where the other took too much under the guise of giving, provided one addresses the underlying manipulation/power-moves.

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