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Claim your status: it won't be given to you

Hello guys,

This machiavellian stuff. I'll start from one example today. We were rock climbing with a friend and his roommate. We were talking about my job.

Her: you must always go home because you study. You did not finish your courses yet? (frames me as a student: low-power, low status)

Me: Yes, but I have to learn continuously my profession

Her: Like all doctors (dismiss my efforts by minimising them as all doctors do the same)

Her: so how long have you been working now?

Me: 4 years

Her: and you've been studying and then doing 4 years of work

Me: yes

Her: it's long to be a doctor

Basically, instead of giving me the recognition of my success and effort, she takes it away.

The same day, rock-climbing. My friend:

Him: I don't have anymore strength in my fingers

Me: the strength is in your forearms no your fingers (where the muscles are)

Him: ...

Later:

Her: I don't have anymore strength in my fingers

Him talking to her: you don't have any strength in your fingers, (laughs and makes fun of me, looks at me as if I said earlier that the earth was flat).

I explain to him where the muscles are.

These are examples where I realized that whatever you've accomplished in your life, YOU have to value it and defend it. Other people can try to minimise it. If you don't recognise the value of yourself, your accomplishments, people will take advantage of it to social climb.

I'm not saying that people should kiss the ground where I walk because I'm a doctor. However, this is a lot of effort and perseverance. It is very difficult. So people should not make fun of it at the minimum. They should at least respect it.

Since I behave higher power (more detached, more dominant, more aware of frames), I now see that I was leaving a lot of power on the table.

I am the leader of the group and organize many events (like this week-end for a friend's birthday). However, if I don't claim my status (meaning: respect. Not obeying me) then the power is lost.

As Lucio says: "Power: you use it or you lose it".

So now I'm starting to understand the importance of defending one's value. It goes back to talking about your problems. If you talk about your challenges in a negative way, you self-frame yourself as weak. People would have the same challenges but will not talk about them openly. So in comparison, you look worse even though you might be doing much better or achieving things they did not achieve.

So I hope that by "claiming your status", it is clear that I mean: respect yourself and your accomplishments, that means defend their value when they're attacked.

Not seeking approval is part of it as you are happy with your own accomplishments. You don't need other people to validate them.

MMC has reacted to this post.
MMC

Lot of gold in this long example. I will point out two or three points and I am sure there are more.

  1. People will try to devalue you (i.e. negs) even if you are already very successful comparing to your peers.
  2. Talking about weakness can back-fire
  3. Not seeking approval is important.
  4. However, even if you are practicing the mindset of "not seeking approval" and "be your own mental point of origin", occasionally you are still worrying about power-lost because someone else's negs.

My initial impression is that she is after you, implicitly. Negging is PUA techniques commonly used by females (male PUA later starts to adopt this technique in 90s). Only true buyers bargain. She is very interested in a doctor's life, but she cannot directly express her interests either because she is too low value or because she has too much ego. She probably sees a value gap between you and her. To fill the value-gap, she must do something.

Here is what I will do. I will clearly convey that friendliness will be repaid with friendliness. If, instead of being respectful and friendly, she continue to tease me, then, I will start to make fun of her in every possible moment and enjoy her embarrassment, or simply leave. Believe me, a girl's ego is much, much more fragile than yours, and if you make fun of each other, I am sure she is the one broken first 😉

For him, I don't have a lot of information. Is he an obiter?

John Freeman has reacted to this post.
John Freeman

Hello, John, thanks for your reflections on this.

Quote from John Freeman on June 30, 2022, 9:33 pm

Her: you must always go home because you study. You did not finish your courses yet? (frames me as a student: low-power, low status)

Me: Yes, but I have to learn continuously my profession

Her: Like all doctors (dismiss my efforts by minimising them as all doctors do the same)

Her: so how long have you been working now?

Me: 4 years

Her: and you've been studying and then doing 4 years of work

Me: yes

Her: it's long to be a doctor

I don't know if she was shit-testing you, as MMC says. It's a possibility, though 🙂 . If one makes questions, it's at least because one wants to know more. But perhaps, instead of going along with her string of questions, you could have killed her frame like this:

Her: you must always go home because you study. You did not finish your courses yet? (frames me as a student: low-power, low status)

John: Yes, but I have to learn continuously my profession

Her: Like all doctors (dismiss my efforts by minimising them as all doctors do the same)

John: Like everyone who wants to be good at what they do 🙂 (a friendly smile to take off some of the pressure)

Now she has no way to go. If she tries to go against this frame, then she'll go against common sense. And if she buys into your frame, she'll frame herself as someone who does poor at whatever she does. She'll likely backtrack and now you are in for a lead. And now you are not just "another doctor" - you claim your status as a high value man that is shooting to the top. If she wasn't gaming you, now she'll be 🙂

Him: I don't have anymore strength in my fingers

Me: the strength is in your forearms no your fingers (where the muscles are)

Him: ...

Here, though, is when things went south. I think you tried to claim your status here because of the earlier interaction with his room-mate. But the way you did, you actually ended up smart-alecking an until now friendly guy, and he resented it. And if they are room-mates, they are likely closer to each other than you are to either of them. So you power-moved someone in a situation where there was 2 against 1. Payback was expected to happen.

Perhaps you could have empathized with him by doing something like this

Him: I don't have anymore strength in my fingers

Me: Yeah, man. This rock is definetely killing me. I'm in for a rest! 🙂 (and then you just stop and take a rest stance, don't even wait for the others)

So you "voted" for a rest (sets a collaborative frame; you didn't decide "let's rest", that would be tasking). They have to follow because you already stopped. You are leading. You are claiming your status. And you are not stopping because he is tired (he would also resent any hint of that) - it's because both of you are tired, you are in the same boat. So you lead and claim your status by relating to your friend 🙂

Then if you can you can sediment how good of a doctor you are by taking a look at your friend's fingers and forearms (you have the excuse: he was feeling his "fingers" and you were worried because he should not be feeling this in his fingers because the muscles are in the forearms 🙂 )Then you'll have the opportunity to explain more and show your knowledge while taking care of him. You claim your status as a doctor.

The way I see, though, this is why you are getting tons of negative reactions:

Quote from John Freeman on June 30, 2022, 9:33 pm

Since I behave higher power (more detached, more dominant, more aware of frames), I now see that I was leaving a lot of power on the table.

For the combo dominance-detachment to work consistently, you've got to have (or appear to have) tons of real nasty hard power that is highly visible - people must have good reasons to believe you can make their lives miserable (that is, they have to fear you can fire them, ostracize them, giv'em a good old-fashioned beating or even put them to sleep with the fishes) and that there is no escape from you (they must continue dealing with you). So this works if you are a CEO, a bully, a prince, the United States, the Godfather...

But in social settings, where one doesn't really have leverage over other people's lives, the combo dominance-detachment will likely backfire. People will likely push back, be derisive or avoid the high-dominance/low warmth guy. In the social-circle game, Machiavelli's "It is better to be feared than to be loved, if one cannot be both" has to me interpreted more towards the "loved, if one cannot be both" end

I hope I have not sounded too critical, though. To me, this is the biggest take-away:

Quote from John Freeman on June 30, 2022, 9:33 pm

[...]"claiming your status" [...] respect yourself and your accomplishments, that means defend their value when they're attacked.

Not seeking approval is part of it as you are happy with your own accomplishments. You don't need other people to validate them

This is gold. I'll add it to my "mindsets" notebook. Thank you for this

 

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Lucio BuffalmanoJohn FreemanBel
Quote from MMC on July 3, 2022, 10:56 pm

[...] because she is too low value or because she has too much ego. She probably sees a value gap between you and her. To fill the value-gap, she must do something.

I don't know, man, I cannot access her value or ego just by looking at this. It's jumping to conclusions. She's a bit uncalibrated here, but this is just one moment. Everyone misbehaves 🙂

Here is what I will do. I will clearly convey that friendliness will be repaid with friendliness. If, instead of being respectful and friendly, she continue to tease me, then, I will start to make fun of her in every possible moment and enjoy her embarrassment, or simply leave. Believe me, a girl's ego is much, much more fragile than yours, and if you make fun of each other, I am sure she is the one broken first 😉

I don't know, MMC. Let me point out that I would have seen this level of Schadenfreude you sometimes display as a red flag. (It's a friendly feedback. Most of the time I see you as a man who is value-adding, on the track to be the best version of himself and, why not, a potential friend 🙂 )

Plus, strategically this also leads to poor results. We may have different interpretations, but what I get from Power University is that social power is a function of (wo)manpower. It depends primarily on how many people (and how much powerful these people are) you can rally to your side. All the game, every strategy, every tactic (and man, I've never seen anything like Power University and Seduction University in this matter. I'll never cease to thank @lucio for this) must be geared towards that end. Doing anything that drives people away from us goes against this. In that case, - you'd be driving the woman away... and also every other person who get to see you doing that away.

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Lucio Buffalmano

As someone who's been in graduate school for a long time, I realize that I'm a bit sensitive in this being student/low status frame. It's important to examine, do I feel that it's a sensitive spot and start feeling power loss although the other person has not clear intention to do so?

I can see that the first exchange can be either way, yes she can be covert but also she might just want to know a bit about it. I say she wants to know "a bit" is because the way she communicated didn't say that she is super curious about it. Otherwise she would have asked more.

She might be a socially not very smooth person, as the way she asked indeed could sound like covert power moves, and consistent too. I see a couple places where you could have displayed higher power like:

Her: you must always go home because you study. You did not finish your courses yet? (frames me as a student: low-power, low status)

Me: Yes, but I have to learn continuously my profession

Her: Like all doctors (dismiss my efforts by minimising them as all doctors do the same)

Me: I don't know about other doctors. People vary quite a lot even in the same profession. I take it very seriously for my own career development. 

Her: so how long have you been working now?

Me: 4 years

Her: and you've been studying and then doing 4 years of work

Me: yes

Her: it's long to be a doctor

Me: Yeah, it's not for the feint of heart, and requires dedication. All in all, people's lives are in our hands. But it's a price I'm willing to pay. I'm proud of my profession.

The statements added in above are my attempts to positively frame the professional aura, so to speak. Of course the exact wording would be based on how you truthfully feel.

For the friend who was tired in rock- climbing, I feel it might be that he wanted you to offer emotional support or call for a rest. So you correcting him on a fact made him a bit annoyed and later he started acting more nasty.

I have a feeling that after this already happened, I'd try to tease him. For example:

Oh come on now. You guys want a rest? I'm sure what you need to rest is actually your forearms. I learnt this in medical training. Do you guys want a massage from me later or something? I'm quite good. (Wink, smiling)

But of course, it depends on if the group dynamic is light-hearted or not. Since he made fun of you I assumed it be more laid-back.

Because of my education and intellectual curiosity, I know I might sound a bit like a smart Alec, and I always like to know more and tend to assume the same for people.

I'd assess the situation to correct people or not, as, do they really want to know this fact? Maybe they don't care, then offering the forearms fact is not value-adding to them.

John Freeman has reacted to this post.
John Freeman
Quote from Kavalier on July 4, 2022, 6:28 am

Here is what I will do. I will clearly convey that friendliness will be repaid with friendliness. If, instead of being respectful and friendly, she continue to tease me, then, I will start to make fun of her in every possible moment and enjoy her embarrassment, or simply leave. Believe me, a girl's ego is much, much more fragile than yours, and if you make fun of each other, I am sure she is the one broken first 😉

I don't know, MMC. Let me point out that I would have seen this level of Schadenfreude you sometimes display as a red flag. (It's a friendly feedback. Most of the time I see you as a man who is value-adding, on the track to be the best version of himself and, why not, a potential friend 🙂 )

Plus, strategically this also leads to poor results. We may have different interpretations, but what I get from Power University is that social power is a function of (wo)manpower. It depends primarily on how many people (and how much powerful these people are) you can rally to your side. All the game, every strategy, every tactic (and man, I've never seen anything like Power University and Seduction University in this matter. I'll never cease to thank @lucio for this) must be geared towards that end. Doing anything that drives people away from us goes against this. In that case, - you'd be driving the woman away... and also every other person who get to see you doing that away.

Could you please elaborate more on "Schadenfreude"? You can also start a separated thread as this thread is for John's case. Curious to learn. This is a big topic.

I think in this specific girls' case, our interpretation does not diverge much. You believe that she just occasionally misbehave. John say that she does not show "respect". I, from a third party view-point, find that her words are indeed not very respectful and John's responses have no problem. I usually assume positive things about a person first, until negativity is found. So, the first step I am suggesting is to enforce an Enlighted Collaborator mindset, give and make sure to get back: be friendly first and make sure that she is also friendly.

In case she is consistently disrespectful, do you try to keep her around? This is a very important topic that I appreciate you to bring it up.

I don't keep negative people around me when my friendliness is not repaid (this attitude was quoted as "Schadenfreude" and "red-flag"? I'd say I am tit-for-tat, which could be more "red-flag" than "Schadenfreude" ;)). John is a very cool person with rational interpretations and handle things well in most scenarios; if John concluded that she has been disrespectful, I wonder if there is an easy fix for her negativity. Of course, more information and more of your wisdom is needed.

 

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John Freeman

Thank you MMC, Kavalier and Emily for your answers.

First, I want to acknowledge that I thought about that and that I realized that I was also seeking approval unconsciously for my accomplishments.

My thinking was: "I worked so hard to become a doctor, you should give me status for this". And it's a trap because it reeks "entitlement". I should deserve status in the group by the value I bring and my high-power high-warmth behaviour.

John: Like everyone who wants to be good at what they do 🙂 (a friendly smile to take off some of the pressure)

Boom. Agreed with your analysis. This reminds me of my friend JB (a post is coming) who said a bit negatively: "You want to be excellent at what you do". He's been jobless for 6 months and is working as a helper on a construction site despite having a university degree. Envy.

Here, though, is when things went south. I think you tried to claim your status here because of the earlier interaction with his room-mate. But the way you did, you actually ended up smart-alecking an until now friendly guy, and he resented it. And if they are room-mates, they are likely closer to each other than you are to either of them. So you power-moved someone in a situation where there was 2 against 1. Payback was expected to happen.

True. Small detail: in the first interaction there was only the 2 of us (me and the girl). Agreed with everything else.

Me: Yeah, man. This rock is definetely killing me. I'm in for a rest! 🙂 (and then you just stop and take a rest stance, don't even wait for the others)

Much more smoother. I definitely lacked empathy in this instance and went full dominance.

Your remark emphasises something I haven't thought off: tasking is in opposition with collaboration (up vs us together). I'll talk about his is a post to come about my challenges with my social circle.

Then if you can you can sediment how good of a doctor you are by taking a look at your friend's fingers and forearms (you have the excuse: he was feeling his "fingers" and you were worried because he should not be feeling this in his fingers because the muscles are in the forearms 🙂 )Then you'll have the opportunity to explain more and show your knowledge while taking care of him. You claim your status as a doctor.

Next level.

For the combo dominance-detachment to work consistently, you've got to have (or appear to have) tons of real nasty hard power that is highly visible - people must have good reasons to believe you can make their lives miserable (that is, they have to fear you can fire them, ostracize them, giv'em a good old-fashioned beating or even put them to sleep with the fishes) and that there is no escape from you (they must continue dealing with you). So this works if you are a CEO, a bully, a prince, the United States, the Godfather...

But in social settings, where one doesn't really have leverage over other people's lives, the combo dominance-detachment will likely backfire. People will likely push back, be derisive or avoid the high-dominance/low warmth guy. In the social-circle game, Machiavelli's "It is better to be feared than to be loved, if one cannot be both" has to me interpreted more towards the "loved, if one cannot be both" end

Very very powerful insight. That is the difference between work and social life. I behaved in my social circle as at my work. And even at my work I added more warmth as it is more effective.

I hope I have not sounded too critical, though.

You have not. I want to learn.

[...]"claiming your status" [...] respect yourself and your accomplishments, that means defend their value when they're attacked.

Not seeking approval is part of it as you are happy with your own accomplishments. You don't need other people to validate them

I'm glad you appreciated this mindset. 🙂

Plus, strategically this also leads to poor results. We may have different interpretations, but what I get from Power University is that social power is a function of (wo)manpower. It depends primarily on how many people (and how much powerful these people are) you can rally to your side. All the game, every strategy, every tactic (and man, I've never seen anything like Power University and Seduction University in this matter. I'll never cease to thank @lucio for this) must be geared towards that end. Doing anything that drives people away from us goes against this. In that case, - you'd be driving the woman away... and also every other person who get to see you doing that away.

This is powerful. You gave me inspiration for a new thread

It's important to examine, do I feel that it's a sensitive spot and start feeling power loss although the other person has not clear intention to do so?

It is the case, it's still an insecurity of mine.

Me: I don't know about other doctors. People vary quite a lot even in the same profession. I take it very seriously for my own career development. 

Yeah I should have reframed it, either your way or Kavalier's. Kavalier's is more a one-up. Yours is more a philosopher frames. I think both are equally good options. His might be more powerful as there is more investment in yours (longer and more justification). However, it's more collaborative.

Me: Yeah, it's not for the feint of heart, and requires dedication. All in all, people's lives are in our hands. But it's a price I'm willing to pay. I'm proud of my profession.

This one might be a little too much for me as I would go too much into the "I'm better than you" I think. If you don't mind, in the same spirit of your statement, I would propose this one according to my personal style. I like the spirit though, thanks!

Me: Yeah, it's challenging, it requires perseverance. But it's worth it. 

For the friend who was tired in rock- climbing, I feel it might be that he wanted you to offer emotional support or call for a rest. So you correcting him on a fact made him a bit annoyed and later he started acting more nasty.

Yes, I lacked the emotional intelligence there. Another detail: I was annoyed by him because he first told me he would be there at 6pm. I told him I could only come at 6:30pm. At about 5:30pm I could get out of work earlier than previously thought. I told him "I'm going to be there at 6pm". He said: "It's me who's going to be late." He was supposed to arrive at 6:15-6:20 and he arrived at 6:30pm. So it all started it. I realized that he's actually playing power moves on me.

When I started my social circle, as I destroyed my social life they were the only ones I could meet. But now I have other friends so I'm still in the process of building social abundance. That is why I act higher power. To show that I evolved and that I deserve some respect. But that is not the right approach and I'm changing it, thanks to Kavalier's feed-back and my observations that it does backfire.

Oh come on now. You guys want a rest? I'm sure what you need to rest is actually your forearms. I learnt this in medical training. Do you guys want a massage from me later or something? I'm quite good. (Wink, smiling)

Socially savvy.

I'd assess the situation to correct people or not, as, do they really want to know this fact? Maybe they don't care, then offering the forearms fact is not value-adding to them.

The way I did it and the context in which I did it was not value-adding. I used this information to look better in comparison. That was not cool from me. As I said I got pissed off because I realized he's been playing power moves on me all along. New thread to come.

In case she is consistently disrespectful, do you try to keep her around? This is a very important topic that I appreciate you to bring it up.

It was only in this instance.

JB has a "jester" kind of power. I'll give you guys an example from today what kind of games he's playing. First, you have to know that he's been jobless for 6 months and started a new job as a helper on a construction site, despite having a university degree

  • Saturday he said he's going to climb on Monday
  • Sunday I ask him if he's going to climb on Monday
  • He says not because he had been sunburnt and it hurts, that he's available Wednesday or Thursday
  • Today I tell him I'm available to climb on Thursday.
  • He says it's ok and adds: "I'm also surely going to climb on Wednesday (laughing smiley)". (subcommunicates "I'm going to go twice this week and you're not")

Basically, we started a rivalry because of board games. We started to rock climb again about a year ago and I stopped due to my exam (stupid since I was watching youtube instead). He broke his wrist but now went back to it twice a week. I'm sure he's a very competitive guy and wants to be better than his roommate who's better than him. But he won't admit it. He also wants to be better than me to feel superior. But he won't admit it.

It's a bit off topic, but it's to give a bit more of a context. Thread on him coming soon!

I realize I have to go back to be more collaborative with my friends. But as they play power moves on me I play some power moves back at them. Mmmh... it seems like I got stuck in a "turkey spiral".

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