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Defense: carpet seller insult

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Hello guys,

at a board game where there is banter and negotiation, Rodriguez called me a "carpet seller". In this context it was an insult as he was using my ethnic background to one-up me and make me look inferior. I did not say anything first as I was thinking. Then I replied something like: "a car seller" or something like that. I don't remember. There was a delay but I challenged the frame in the end.

What defense would you have used?

  1. Shaming with a judge role: that's not very nice to say this to a friend (I think it's the most appropriate)
  2. Shaming with vulnerability: what you said hurt me, I thought you were my friend.
  3. Drop a shaming comment and move on: That's a bit mean. Who's turn is it?
  4. Surfacing: why are you saying that?
  5. Go meta: when you say this it feels like it's a bit racist, knowing my background.
  6. Turn it into a positive: yes I'm the greatest carpet seller that ever existed!

Which one would you have used in this case?

I think the first question to ask here is:

  • Did it bother you?

And second:

  • Did you think it was value-taking from a power and status point of view?

If the answers are no to both of them, then laugh along.

I wasn't there, but I'd consider such jokes to have a high likelihood of being value-taking.

So the step is: doing something about it.

What, exactly?

Option one is good.

Another option was to escalate:

Wait, why did you say that

The difference with simple surfacing is that you get more serious, as if to say: "wait a second, that wasn't cool at all, and I'm gonna held you accountable for it, and I want to hear why you think you can ever say such a thing"

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

Thanks for your answer, Lucio.

Yes, it bothered me because of his tone. He said it in a serious tone without looking at me. If he would have smiled while looking at me I would have laughed and replied another funny bullshit thing. Maybe I would have played along and pretend to sell him a carpet. And we would have laughed together.

I noticed it was value-taking also because there was a silence after this. Like the people were waiting to see how I was going to react. Like it was a showdown and they were looking at the duellists in the middle of a street in the far-west.

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on February 9, 2021, 9:41 pm

I wasn't there, but I'd consider such jokes to have a high likelihood of being value-taking.

Another option was to escalate:

Wait, why did you say that

The difference with simple surfacing is that you get more serious, as if to say: "wait a second, that wasn't cool at all, and I'm gonna held you accountable for it, and I want to hear why you think you can ever say such a thing"

Ok, so it is a subtle difference. I get it. I had to say it out loud to understand. It's a little higher on the aggression scale. Yes, that's what I'm learning: to show my teeth a little bit more.

Now that I'm having the mindset of the learner about these social interactions. These moments are not as painful as they used to be. I make a mistake but I get better. It's a slow process. It's very much like learning seduction. I like it. It's fun.

Regarding Rodriguez' character I'm not sure yet what kind of person he is. He's a bit insecure and quite power-aware. He makes some value-taking comments but postures as high-virtue. He's fun and smart. I haven't figured him yet.

Yeah, that had the potential to be more than "micro" and be a proper "aggressoin" so a more direct response was also appropriate.

Sometimes it's difficult to react swiftly and promptly to aggression because most of us aren't used to it.

For most people, 90%+ of the aggressions we face in life are below the "aggression" level, so we're often caught unprepared.

However, holding onto the "nobody has the right to be rude and I deserve polite treatment" belief helps to answer more quickly.

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

P.S.:

Yes, the difference is tonality, but also wording.

The surfacing is more question-like, this one is more statement-like.

Similar but less aggressive:

Wooh man, what was that

That also draws attention to the fact that he was out of line.

Chances are that he'd backtrack and say "just a joke", or "sorry man", at which point you've already accomplished your goal, and then you can either keep on going till you get a proper apology, or let it drop (the former might have spoiled the fun atmosphere for a while though).

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on February 9, 2021, 10:26 pm

However, holding onto the "nobody has the right to be rude and I deserve polite treatment" belief helps to answer more quickly.

It's a great tip, thanks. Yes, I extracted beliefs like that from PU in a file, the next step is for me to print them and internalize them.

Would a snarky remark work like

Him: Carpet seller

John: I'm happy for you to wash my carpets

Or shorter

Him: Carpet seller

John: Wash my carpets!

I was learning about self-frames and thought about applying the concept here.

I think it's a tad aggressive. This is escalating and if he answers with: "Hey man, that's a bit aggressive!" I will look like the mean one. Don't you think?

Agreed with John.

Plus, you let yourself get dragged into the spiral of value-taking and nastiness.

Exceptions always apply but, in general, don't let other people's negative attitude and behavior drag you down.

Or, to use an old analogy we've been using for a while: a turkey shouldn't be able to turn you into a turkey, no matter how much he seeks to scratch.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

In general, I'm guessing to avoid meeting aggression with aggression?

I use sarcasm quite a lot to counter covert aggression. Maybe this is not a good idea.

Generally go for the more assertive methods first.

For example, for the encouragement power move

Him: You can do it!

Me: (sarcastically) Oh shut up man

Maybe the meta and assertive methods in Power University better.

Or, in this case, the dynamics are different.

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