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Case study: You exist?

Hello guys,

Experience

Working a nighshift, I go see the nurse in the morning. She’s crazy BTW.

Her: you exist?
Me: I exist. You exist.

I asked her why she said that. She told me that usually my colleague go see her in the evening. I told her that I did not know. She asks me:

Her: were you vexed?

Me: no I was not vexed. But it’s a matter of politeness. Saying “you exist?” without saying “hello” is not really polite.
Her(smiling): it’s true it was a bit strong. Excuse me.

Lessons learned

  1. People know when they’re being aggressive. Just like you and I know when we’re aggressive. So letting them go uncheck, they will know that you allow them to be aggressive with you.
  2. Staying calm is the secret to be able to impervious to attack on your emotions. Like “are you vexed?” “Are you angry?” is a power move. If you are angry and deny it, they have the upper hand because you hide that they affected the you. If you say yes they won because they were able to make you react (they controlled you). So power lies in controlling our emotions.
  3. Using the frame of politeness at work is more powerful than the respect frame. It’s lower on the aggression scale: it comes off as more socially calibrated and less self-righteous. And she recognized it and excuse herself, despite her being bat-shit crazy.
  4. Defending all disempowering and disrespectful frames prevents the self-framing of “I’m a doormat, treat me like dirt and I’ll say nothing.”

Working with women all day, I can confirm you once more that they’re very power-aware. I know it was a source of debate. During my night shift I defended very often against one-upping moves. This is one example.

Cheers!

 

Using the frame of politeness at work is more powerful than the respect frame.

This is interesting.
I guess showing that you care about politeness implies that you care about social etiquette which is a high-value mindset.
Demanding respect may show that you are thin-skinned.

If someone punches me, maybe I can say that it's not polite.
This is akin to what Lucio suggested in my thread when someone shoved me
Handling Shoves - An Incident During An Introduction

You(turn around), dude, that's rude and aggressive, please behave yourself and don't do it ever again. (turns to the president) Sorry about that

After getting shoved, the "sorry about that" from Lucio's suggestion frames the aggressor as an uncivil nuisance.

Maybe this is worth expanding upon.
Framing someone's comment as impolite is sort of using the judge frame that they are not behaving properly according to proper social etiquette.
Whereas, if you demand respect for yourself, you may miss out the societal pressure to demand proper behaviour.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

You managed that one well, John, especially here:

Her: were you vexed?
Me: no I was not vexed. But it’s a matter of politeness. Saying “you exist?” without saying “hello” is not really polite.

You dipped your toes into her frame, 10%, and then veered off to the meaty 90% where you imposed your own reframe.
Without that 10%:

Me: It's not so much about whether or not I was vexed, it’s a matter of politeness. Saying “you exist?” without saying “hello” is not really polite.

That denies her power move and her power to vex or not vex you.

Matthew: I guess showing that you care about politeness implies that you care about social etiquette which is a high-value mindset.
Demanding respect may show that you are thin-skinned.

Good point.
Of course, there are times when demanding respect can be fair, high power, and appropriate -in relationships for example, it's a good course of action-.

But indeed it can frame you as thin-skinned in some situations at work, and it moves the frame from "you are not being polite" to "you are being unpolite to me", which makes it personal, rather than "higher level".
And leader-like behavior tends to focus more on higher-level.

Matthew Whitewood and John Freeman have reacted to this post.
Matthew WhitewoodJohn Freeman
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
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