Please or Register to create posts and topics.

Bel's thoughts

PreviousPage 45 of 54Next

Relative case: “You’re too intelligent”

I have another example I’d like to explore:

You’re too intelligent.

A relative always used to say that to me.

I found that extremely condescending and, besides, he would use it to falsely validate me going totally off-track about interpreting his bevavior (which I tried to justify for him, while he was continually social climbing on me).

I would say:

Me: Ok, I understand you didn’t do it on purpose.

Him: You’re too intelligent.

The feeling is that it was a “family ostracizing” power move, in that he implied that the rest of the family was not up to par with me.

He also used to say many other things to that effect, like when I had a good grade

Him: Intelligence here has skipped one generation (implying I was the cause why he felt stupid, as if I was showing off)

How could I have addressed it?

I think, since the implication is that I considered him stupid, honest anger similar to what you did here above - and suggested to me in another thread to address “I’m not at your height” - could work:

Why are you saying that, it’s demeaning to you and to me. Where have I ever given you the impression that I consider you stupid? I don’t talk with those I don’t like.

The only issue is that - now, after realizing what he was doing to me - I do consider him one of the worst and stupidest people I ever met.

So maybe a middle way could be

You know, it’s not me being too good for you, but the opposite - you continuing to talk this way for so long can only be explained by you having an inferiority complex.
But I’m sure if you handled it, people would start treating you better and you would also start feeling better instead of continuing to treat everyone like shit to stop your emotional bleeding.

Lawyer case: “You’re better than us”

But then, why not address it as well in the case of the counterpart lawyer who says

For sure you’re better than us in your work, but have you considered that…?

The implication to me being “you’re a nitpicking ball breaking lawyer”.

In other words, the statement seems to be aimed at depotentiating my legal analysis on the contact.

It’s as if he said:

Bel’s observation on my contract does not derive from an objective legal evaluation, he just thinks he’s hot shit.

So I still feel it may need being addressed, in a group setting.

Maybe I could have addressed with

“Don’t push yourself down, I’m sure you’re good in your work as well. But these contracts still need to be addressed”.

The idea here would be to communicate:

- awareness of his move

- don’t do it again or you will pay consequences, as I will delve deeper into the legal analysis and show to everyone you’re just an asshole

- I will (for now) raise you up to my level so that you feel better and can start negotiating like a human being, instead of an asshole

- but what I said still stands, the legal analysis was totally correct.

EDIT: I am starting to see other alternatives:

To relative: This is not a case of being intelligent or not, mine was a factual observation: so is it true or not?

And

To lawyer: This is not an issue of who’s better and who’s worse at his job, it’s purely that these contracts need to be addressed.

The statements in fact seem forms of manipulative thread-expansion, the subtext being “he just wants us to feel bad” - as in the relative’s case.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Yeah, you're probably right.

As usual, you were there (and you've also reached an advanced level now), so you definitely know better.

With the added detail, yes, I also tend to agree with your analysis and with addressing it.

But still think the solution is overkill considering he's your customer -and that, even if only on the surface, it's still a compliment, and people still rather prefer a nitpicking lawyer than a sloppy one-.

(and still again, you know better how much you care for this customer)

So rather than this:

“Don’t push yourself down, I’m sure you’re good in your work as well. But these contracts still need to be addressed”.

This:

Thanks, I’m sure you’re good in your work as well. Still, these issues DO are important in my opinion, and need to be addressed”.

Bel has reacted to this post.
Bel
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Ok, this I hadn’t clarified well:

He was not my customer, but the counterparty.

He was the (lawyer of the) owner of the company that my customer wanted to buy, and in this company’s contracts I had found flaws.

But your answer is very helpful as it clearly shows the possible levels in how to respond.

Lucio Buffalmano and Kavalier have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoKavalier

Oooh, OK, now I see, my bad then, if it wasn't a customer but a counterparty than it's a totally different story and a more aggressive approach definitely makes sense.

EDIT:

And yes, it also definitely was a power move if it was another lawyer who said that

Kavalier and Bel have reacted to this post.
KavalierBel
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Thank you so much, Lucio.

I think also that an important thing for me to take away here is that I do have options and levels in how to respond.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano
Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on January 31, 2023, 3:10 pm

And yes, it also definitely was a power move if it was another lawyer who said that

Just to complete my recollection of the event: I did not address the move, but insisted on my position nonetheless.

When I left, the lawyer in question as well as the counterparty got on my same elevator.

The lawyer said to his client (my counterparty) in front of me:

Him: Now is the moment we kill him. (Referring to me)

This was a long time ago.

Putting here these two posts from here and here for my future reference - dealing with manipulative thread-expanding verbally and positionally:

And also power moving on someone who is power moving - ie how to exploit one's power move to power move on him (assuming it's warranted):

Quote from Bel on February 1, 2023, 11:16 am

I reflected on this and have additional examples and points on the "latch-onto power move".

We discussed how it is a form of manipulative thread-expanding: quoting Lucio:

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on January 24, 2023, 3:41 am

Whether one wants to come up with a fancy new name or not, at the core, it's a manipulative thread expansion:

  1. Tread origination: Start from what you or someone else did or say
  2. Thread expansion: Jump in, comment, ask a question, criticize, etc...
  3. Spin it into something value-taking for the originator and/or for a third party (something the originator never meant)

Further example of the verbal latch-onto power move (or "manipulative thread-expanding")

I remember my former high-Mach boss once fell for this exact same move, done onto him by a higher-level partner of the firm we were in at the time.

Btw, he himself was probably playing a nasty move, and this example seems nice because it also shows how power moves can all intersect and superimpose on one another.

A female colleague of mine was in the hall of the firm, near several secretaries. My former boss approached her and said:

Former boss: Hey Angie! Aren't you dressed a bit too provocative today?

At that exact same moment, a founding partner of that firm (ie higher level than my former boss) was nearby. He approached and started raging:

Founding partner: (apparently to Angie)  Yeah! (<------latching-on to what my boss had said) THIS IS NOT THE WAY TO COME DRESSED AT WORK AT ALL!!! (shouting very loudly) HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO SAY THIS AGAIN AND AGAIN BEFORE YOU START DRESSING AS A LAWYER, ANGIE!? Make sure next time you are dressed professionally!!

At the time I thought the founding partner was disrespecting Angie, but he really was power moving on my former boss, to make it seem he had started the tirade.

The founding partner then immediately left the room before any answer was possible.

My former boss told Angie to come with him, left the room, and when they were alone he went (as Angie later told me):

Former boss: Angie, I'm sorry - I'm so sorry.

In essence, this ass****, who was himself power moving on Angie in front of the secretaries to devalue Angie as a lawyer, totally fell for the higher level power move that the founding parner played on him.

******************

Quote from Bel on February 1, 2023, 11:33 am

Manipulative thread-expanding (or "latch-onto" power move) can also be done (not verbally, but) positionally or situationally

Power University clarifies that standing near a person, and maybe lightly touching that person, while he or she is dealing with another, is a form of clear non-verbal support.

In other words, spatial positioning and physical closeness subcommunicate "support".

Now, I understand this same principle can be used manipulatively, ie for a manipulator or power mover to fake being supported by another person (and thus, if that's the aim, to paint bad said other person).

I have two real-life examples of this highly manipulative, nastiest of the nastiest power move.

Example one: asshole tried to destroy my reputation in several local restaurants by behaving badly

Before I realized what he was doing, the guy who (still) owes me dinner was frequently present in a group of people I was with, sometimes at dinners.

It happened once or twice that the restaurant was chosen by me, and was a place I frequented rather often, and liked. The owner of the restaurant also knew me, since I went there frequently.

So that time we got to this new (for the guy and his partner) restaurant (which was one of my favorites), and he orders lamb.

When the lamb comes, he starts talking to his partner and says:

Asshole: What's with this lamb? Don't you think this is not lamb, but pork meat?

Partner of asshole: Yeah, it sure seems totally that way.

Asshole: WAITER!

(the owner of the place comes to our table)

Asshole: Sorry, but this is not lamb. This is pork meat.

Owner: Excuse me sir, but this is lamb. I bought it and cooked it myself.

Asshole: No sorry don't bullshit me. This is totally pork.

Owner: (getting angry) How can you be insiting on this! This is lamb! It's not that if you say it's not it's going to be pork!

Asshole: OK, OK.

Asshole: (to his partner) Do you still think it's pork?

Partner of asshole: Of course, see that bone there...

Now, the point is this: this bastard was trying to ruin my reputation at the place I loved. I'm sure he totally fabricated the pork/lamb bullshit just to ruin my relationship with the owner of the place.

And I have to admit it worked. I didn't say anything (as I didn't understand that us being seated at the same table should have led me to block him by default to not be associated and "thread-expanded" by his bullshit) and I never went there again.

In other words, he thread-expanded on our physical association (being seated at the same table) to make it seem I "supported" him in being an asshole to the restaurant owner.

Example two: another woman tries to play Bella the same way at the gym - but Bella handled it perfectly

Bella was recently at her gym, talking with a person at the front office.

She was joking with him on the fact that the gym had promised a discount that was unusable for various reasons.

Suddenty another woman - who everyone tends to avoid, and now I understand why - gets very close to Bella and interjects on another, different topic.

Manipulative (physical) thread-expander: (to front office person, while very close to Bella) I also have something to say. IT'S NOT ADMISSIBLE THAT YOU HAD ME PAY X AND THEN DID Z!!! THIS IS NOT HOW A SERIOUS GYM SHOULD WORK!!!! (shouting)

Bella immediately had the urge to get away. And she did, first distancing herself and then going out of the room altogether.

While she was going away, she heard the front-office person saying:

Front-office person: (to manipulative thread-expander) You know, joking is one thing, but now I'm going to get serious.

We later talked about the event and we realized that this woman (the thread-expander) was just trying to ruin the relationship between Bella and the front-office person by physically getting close Bella while she shouted at him.

Bella told me that later, the same woman started another tirade against the gym while in another room with Bella - who immediately left again.

And that, finally, Bella saw this woman go again to speak with the front-office person. Maybe to apologize, as she had failed in her manipulative ruse.

Hello Bel,

Relative case: “You’re too intelligent”

In this case, I would have asked why. I would have surface it because to me the implication is not clear in terms of communication. I think your analysis is right. For me, in a 1-to-1 communication, if there is something negative implied, I like to understand what is implied. So I would go with my default:

"Why are you saying this?"

in a genuine effort to clear the communication.

Lawyer case: “You’re better than us”

I started to learn rethorics recently. What I learned is that one of the common attack is to say to someone that he's pretentious, thinks he's superior than other people (who are supposed to be his equals). As you said, I think it's a way to ostracize someone as it's implying that the person is social climbing.

So I think it could be useful to refute this accusation, here are a couple of suggestions:

I'm not better than anyone but thank you.

or

I'm not better than anyone, this is my opinion and I'm happy to discuss it

or

I'm not better than anyone, this is my opinion and I'm happy to discuss it with you. I could be wrong.

Something that sub-communicates: I'm your equal.

Lucio Buffalmano and Bel have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoBel

He said “ok” but didn’t forward me the email

I’m collaborating with a senior lawyer on some cases of his.

Lately I asked him the favor of sending a warning letter I would prepare in his name, for a client of mine.

He said ok, I prepared it, and he sent it.

This morning he sent me a WhatsApp message with a screenshot of the answer he received from the counterparty, and he wrote:

Him: I’ll forward you the email from my computer later, in the meantime here it is [posts screenshot]

Me: Thanks a lot

Tonight he sent me an email dealing with the work I am doing for him (for his clients), asking me questions on it.

But he did not forward me the answer to the warning letter, concerning my client.

I immediately thought this was odd.

Why not send me what he had anticipated and that interested me, and instead focus only his work, which btw was all taken care of and dealt with in time?

My immediate feeling was that something was off. I also felt he was somewhat disrespectful.

So I immediately wrote back an email, bypassing his questions and just saying

Me: Thank you, can you also forward me the email you received this morning please?

To which he answered:

Him: Ok.

Tomorrow can you let me have a list of the appeals? [referring to the work I’m doing for his client]

So that I can ask for the missing …

But, no email came to me. In essence he said “ok”, but didn’t forward me the email.

I thought about this and the oddity has increased here. It seems totally disrespectful.

Still, I wanted to interpret it positively as this is the first time something like this happens with him.

So I decided to give him what he wanted (I already had the list and everything under control), and I wrote back in half an hour:

Me: Sure, here attached is the list, the only document missing … is …

I sent you …, I’m preparing …

I did not insist on the email he promised he would forward me, as I felt it would be too intense on my side.

But still no email so far.

I don’t know if he’s playing a game or not, and if I did something bad or not, but this feels like a mini-showdown.

Ultimately he will have to send me my email in any case, but this feels a “my work is more important than yours” situation that he is creating for nothing.

And I’m not liking it.

So much that I’m already thinking of pulling him out of all further activity on my case and my client, and of also slowing down my work for him on his cases.

But: from here I learned many times that it’s best to interpret things as not due to malice, at least the first few times.

It’s possible, I suppose, that he just forgot or is unable to forward me the email for some reason.

It’s very strange though that he had time to work on his work, but not forward me the email.

But I think for now I’ll just go with the “he has problems of his own” interpretation and wait until tomorrow mid-day.

BTW, I would like to send the email to my client soon rather than later. He knows that, he’s a lawyer, so my immediate feeling is that he’s not behaving “well”.

I’m starting to feel angry.

This was the exact same type of game that was played on me by my former boss constantly.

And it really doesn’t make sense to not forward me an email while we’re doing a back and forth via email.

My solution:

Tomorrow I will ask him again to send me the email via WhatsApp.

Then I think, after he sends me the email, I will call him and ask him plainly if there is a reason why he couldn’t forward me the email before (ie yesterday).

And then hear his reason before deciding how to go forward.

Quote from Bel on February 2, 2023, 10:53 pm

He said “ok” but didn’t forward me the email

I’m collaborating with a senior lawyer on some cases of his.

Lately I asked him the favor of sending a warning letter I would prepare in his name, for a client of mine.

He said ok, I prepared it, and he sent it.

This morning he sent me a WhatsApp message with a screenshot of the answer he received from the counterparty, and he wrote:

Him: I’ll forward you the email from my computer later, in the meantime here it is [posts screenshot]

Me: Thanks a lot

Tonight he sent me an email dealing with the work I am doing for him (for his clients), asking me questions on it.

But he did not forward me the answer to the warning letter, concerning my client.

I immediately thought this was odd.

Why not send me what he had anticipated and that interested me, and instead focus only his work, which btw was all taken care of and dealt with in time?

My immediate feeling was that something was off. I also felt he was somewhat disrespectful.

So I immediately wrote back an email, bypassing his questions and just saying

Me: Thank you, can you also forward me the email you received this morning please?

To which he answered:

Him: Ok.

Tomorrow can you let me have a list of the appeals? [referring to the work I’m doing for his client]

So that I can ask for the missing …

But, no email came to me. In essence he said “ok”, but didn’t forward me the email.

I thought about this and the oddity has increased here. It seems totally disrespectful.

Still, I wanted to interpret it positively as this is the first time something like this happens with him.

So I decided to give him what he wanted (I already had the list and everything under control), and I wrote back in half an hour:

Me: Sure, here attached is the list, the only document missing … is …

I sent you …, I’m preparing …

I did not insist on the email he promised he would forward me, as I felt it would be too intense on my side.

But still no email so far.

I don’t know if he’s playing a game or not, and if I did something bad or not, but this feels like a mini-showdown.

Ultimately he will have to send me my email in any case, but this feels a “my work is more important than yours” situation that he is creating for nothing.

And I’m not liking it.

So much that I’m already thinking of pulling him out of all further activity on my case and my client, and of also slowing down my work for him on his cases.

But: from here I learned many times that it’s best to interpret things as not due to malice, at least the first few times.

It’s possible, I suppose, that he just forgot or is unable to forward me the email for some reason.

It’s very strange though that he had time to work on his work, but not forward me the email.

But I think for now I’ll just go with the “he has problems of his own” interpretation and wait until tomorrow mid-day.

BTW, I would like to send the email to my client soon rather than later. He knows that, he’s a lawyer, so my immediate feeling is that he’s not behaving “well”.

I’m starting to feel angry.

This was the exact same type of game that was played on me by my former boss constantly.

And it really doesn’t make sense to not forward me an email while we’re doing a back and forth via email.

My solution:

Tomorrow I will ask him again to send me the email via WhatsApp.

Then I think, after he sends me the email, I will call him and ask him plainly if there is a reason why he couldn’t forward me the email before (ie yesterday).

And then hear his reason before deciding how to go forward.

I omitted to say that the email he must forward me is a certified email, while we exchanged normal emails tonight.

This could be the reason he didn’t forward me the email. He might have access to normal email but for some reason not to certified emails.

Well, let’s hope so at least.

Also, it doesn’t make sense that he would anticipate the screenshot if he was playing.

So it seems I was interpreting this wrong on the basis of my past boss behavior.

PreviousPage 45 of 54Next
Processing...