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Definition: "Turkey spiral"

Hello guys,

We already talked about it and there might be already a post about this. Lucio talked about this. It's when someone goes low in an attack and you go low as well instead of going higher. So you go in a turkey spiral. The more turkey it gets the more turkey you make it.

Lucio Buffalmano, Kavalier and 3 other users have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoKavalierMMCBelleaderoffun

I would rename it:

"Turkey downward spiral"

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KavalierMMC

I like this John, thank you for sharing.

Also made a note to add it to the dictionary.

Putting a name on an important concept is more than just a name but it helps to better understand, internalize, and apply concepts.
In this case, it helps internalize why, whenever possible, you generally want to fly higher (because otherwise, you end up in a turkey spiral).

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KavalierMMC
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Name: Turkey downward spiral

Other descriptions: the loss-loss frame fight; the race to the bottom

Deep-rooted causes:

  1. Too much ego: look for praise not truth
  2. Power-obsessed
  3. Passive-aggressiveness

Escalation Process:

  1. Frame-fight, usually started with a small thing
  2. Self-defend, deny, explain
  3. Focusing on logical and textual debates while the main problem is the emotional one
  4. Over-generalization; over-interpretation of others' action
  5. Making negative assumptions on others' intentions
  6. Getting emotional; unnecessary escalation
  7. Getting personal
  8. Accusing the other party for getting personal (which is getting personal by itself)
  9. "Penalization", like stone-walling, social shaming, nagging
  10. Repeated boundary crossing by both sides

Some rationale behind:

  1. Most people has too much ego
  2. In 21 century, no one has actual power over anyone else. There is almost no way to legitimately "control" others unless you are the ruling class.
  3. Therefore, if they feel their boundaries are crossed, they will either directly point it out or become passive-aggressive, leading to the race to the bottom.

Solution:

  1. Have a collaborative growth mindset: actions will reflect your mindsets
  2. Learn that one-upping, even when successfully pulled, do not actually empower you.
  3. Start by appreciate and encourage their positive sides. Be specific. Everyone has a good side and an evil side.
  4. Express how much you value the relationship and how much you love them
  5. Stay calm and cool.
  6. DESOE https://thepowermoves.com/assertiveness/
    1. In "description", focuses on specific facts. Never assume things that they did not say or put words into their mouth.
    2. In "express", make sure he can relate you. Try avoid over-generalization, accusation, or make conclusion about their personal trait. i.e. say "I feel I am doing more than half of the works" instead of "you are not doing enough job", "you are lazy", or "you are leachy"
    3. In "S", clearly and precisely state the needs, without crossing boundaries.
    4. In "O", clearly and precisely state the outcome or the reward for them.
  7. Repeat or consider a more meaningful social connect.

Just a few cents; consider this a prompt for an open thread.

John Freeman and leaderoffun have reacted to this post.
John Freemanleaderoffun

I'm interested in this:

In 21 century, no one has actual power over anyone else. There is almost no way to legitimately "control" others unless you are the ruling class.

I can find some counterexamples:

  • In lover relationships, quite often one partner has more power; and many relationships end because of power inbalance. I'd say the power-up very much has power over the power-down (even if they don't want that power)
  • In boss-employee relationships, anyone who can fire you has actual power over you
  • Even a child (your kid) can have power over you. If they are adamant on not doing something (like eating their veggies) there's nothing you can do about it, and that lack of agency is disempowering

Or did you mean something completely different?

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Lucio BuffalmanoMMC
Quote from leaderoffun on July 6, 2022, 10:06 am

I'm interested in this:

In 21 century, no one has actual power over anyone else. There is almost no way to legitimately "control" others unless you are the ruling class.

I can find some counterexamples:

  • In lover relationships, quite often one partner has more power; and many relationships end because of power inbalance. I'd say the power-up very much has power over the power-down (even if they don't want that power)
  • In boss-employee relationships, anyone who can fire you has actual power over you
  • Even a child (your kid) can have power over you. If they are adamant on not doing something (like eating their veggies) there's nothing you can do about it, and that lack of agency is disempowering

Or did you mean something completely different?

Hi Leaderoffun many thanks for your feedback. Let's have a friendly discussion on this deep topic.

Background knowledge (I must credit other forum members for their teaching): there is a difference between "power over" and "power through". "Power over" means you can force someone to do things he does not want to do, and he usually has no way to escape or resist. "Power-through" means you have him willingly yield his power to you, likely through some believe systems, value-systems, or ideological system.

Of course, everything is "relative" in social science. In 21 century, actual "power over" or pure "power over" has become rarer and rarer.

Case 1, Love relationship. In ancient world, husbands usually have power over wives, because chastity is highly valued by society and most female cannot really feed themselves without a man. In most cultures, a man can use brute force to punish a disobedient woman. However, nowadays, most female will not be substantively punished if they choose to switch a partner. Moreover, most female can get educated and find a job to feed themselves: there are more female in college than male. Therefore, a man lost the power over a specific woman. Power imbalance exists when one party willingly yield the power to the other.

Case 2, boss-subordinate relationship. In ancient world, where loyalty is highly valued and betrayal is condemned, it is not very easy for a nobleman to get-rid-of the subordinate relationship and find a new overlord. Lords will most likely enforce their authority and punish the "traitors" through blood and fire: that is "power over", and you must obey even if you don't want to, unless you are powerful enough to "power over" your lord. In modern corporate world, you have the freedom of choice and the freedom of changing employer. Most bosses can only fire you with valid reasons, otherwise you can rightfully report him to higher management. At the same time, you can also fire your boss. Your boss can write you a bad reference letter; you can also throw that letter to bin and post a negative feedback to him online. Unless you willingly hand the full power to your boss (i.e. you will still use the boss' letter even if it is a negative one), you are relatively free comparing to a subordinate in medieval age.

 

Case 3, parent-child relation. This is the most interesting case. In ancient time, parents often brute-force the child to do what they want: that is "power over". Nowadays, as you observed, parents in western world can no longer legally force their child to do anything: we lost the power over our child.

Again, everything is relative. Nowadays, "Power over" is less common especially in friendship settings, but similar forms still exist in other settings. For one example, a criminal court's ruling is often close to "power-over". For another example, in some extreme cases, a ruling-class boss might be able to block you from an entire industry without a valid reason. I would still say it is a mixture of "power-over" and "power-through" because blocking you from an industry will do you significant harm only if your value-system is obsessed by said industry. Moreover, at most of the time, you still have some resource to fight back and the boss' action will do him more harm than good. In ancient time, he might simply hang you -- an actual power-over.

To sum-up, the original post is primarily based on social interactions within John's group of friends, so "power over" is very rare. I agree with you, in other relations such as legal relations and contractual relations, some degree of power over still exists.

leaderoffun has reacted to this post.
leaderoffun

MMC nails the proccess!

Turkey downward spiral could go as a subset of Power showdown. It's important to make this distinction because of two main reasons:

  • There are legitimate cases where power showdowns are not only justified, but either required or the optimal strategy. E.g:
    • When Person A decided that he is going for win-lose as a strategy of social climbing. Person B doesn't want win-lose, but if he's not up to the challenge, he'll be on the lose end (i.e the social peg)
    • When it is really a zero-sum game. There can be no win-win, regardless of both parties' will
  • To keep things morally neutral. (To say it is not the same thing as recommend it) but social climbing can work and lead fast to real status and resources. So this is a sound strategy if one decides to go this route

So, a Turkey downward spiral is a kind of Power showdown that ends in a loss for both sides.

Edit: I just realized this definition is already in the Power dictionary. Do you think, @Lucio, that it's a good idea to treat this a subset instead of a main entry?

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Lucio BuffalmanoMMC
Quote from Kavalier on July 6, 2022, 4:44 pm

Edit: I just realized this definition is already in the Power dictionary. Do you think, @Lucio, that it's a good idea to treat this a subset instead of a main entry?

Hmmm I agree with everything you say in this post, but I'm not convinced that a turkey spiral is always a subset of a power showdown.

Sometimes you can have a power showdown with a high-value person who, for whatever reason, is having a bad time.
Or with someone who might not be an eagle, but also not exactly a turkey, who misread you as a pushover and he's trying to power-bend you into doing something which is not your task, or not good for you.

Such as, a power showdown is an escalation, but it's not necessarily an escalation with a turkey,

And while a turkey spiral has a negative connotation -ie.: you get dragged down-, as you correctly say, a power showdown sometimes it's exactly what you need and want.

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KavalierMMC
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Quote from Kavalier on July 6, 2022, 4:44 pm

 

Hi Kavalier, it is my great pleasure to read your compliment and your original research on this topic. Great contribution I'd say.

After careful thoughts, I actually agree with you that "Turkey downward spiral could be a subclass of Power showdown". I also think that Turkey's spiral is strictly a subset of power showdown.

I think Lucio's correctly state that "Power showdown is not necessarily a subclass of turkey's downward spiral". What Lucio suggests does not contradict with what you suggested.

To sum-up, all of the following is correct:

  1. Power showdown is not a subset of Turkey's spiral (Lucio)
  2. Power showdown is a superset of Turkey's spiral
  3. Turkey's spiral is not a superset of Power showdown
  4. Turkey's spiral is a subset of Power showdown (Kavalier)
Kavalier has reacted to this post.
Kavalier

Hey MMC no, I think I misunderstood the concept before. Lucio's explanation to me clarified that.

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