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Definitive dictionary of power

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Quote from JP on October 7, 2020, 5:27 am
  • Create acronyms for the terms. Especially if they're long. Inverted social credit scalper could either be InSCS or ISCS. Whatever works

Yeah, acronyms sometimes can be good. I think they're especially useful for long descriptions, such as:

  • "Too good to be fucked with", then it's TGFW.

I think that the challenge -and goal- is to make the concepts simple enough and the names descriptive enough that understanding and remembering comes natural.

Case in point:

Simplifying social scalping: a general term for social exchange manipulation

"Inverted social scalping" felt too complex.

I'm in the process of simplifying the notion of social scalping, and then be more descriptive with examples and sub-items.

I think it's best to have the term "social scalping" to cover all instances of social exchange manipulation.


  • Credit inflating: to inflate the value of one's value-offering
  • Credit erasing: to deflate the true usefulness of someone else's value-contribution
  • Debt inflating: to inflate the social debt of the victim
  • Debt erasing: to erase one's own social debt (in order to avoid having to pay back)

And I'm working on this quadrant to cover all social scalping and simplifying the concept (with still much work to do, feedback very welcome):


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

I think that the challenge -and goal- is to make the concepts simple enough and the names descriptive enough that understanding and remembering comes natural.

Absolutely. Looking at the dictionary, I noticed a lot of terms, and it can make it a bit difficult to remember. As someone who does technical writing, I am very careful about using technical terminology because it could get confusing. Unfortunately, many universities teach you to write with the most jargon as possible, and in the most verbose way as possible. Jargon is good for inflating your own status to outsiders, and verboseness is good for when you want to make your work look more than it actually is. In terms of actual communication though, it is best to write in plain, concise language. This has been my experience any way.

When I write, I ask myself a few questions (but not limited to) that helps clear up miscommunication:

  • Does my audience need to know this?
    • Non-essential information to the reader can cause more confusion than the value it adds
  • Can I write it with less words to describe the same thing?
    • More words increases that chances for confusion. Similar reasoning as above.
  • Can it be interpreted differently?
    • See "oxford comma"


Something similar can be adapted to your lexicon:

  • Can this word or phrase be used in place of a long or complex explanation to save time?
    • Pretty much the main reason that new words are created. Imagine if you had to describe what "orthogonal" meant to someone, without using complex terminology.
  • Can this word cover many different instances?
    • An example is when I changed "loyalty" to "submission" or "obedience" in my power formula thread
  • Is there a certain case that happens frequently enough to warrant its own term?
    • "Status scalping", a subset of "social scalping" is a good example. Although it is covered by social scalping, it deserves it's own place due to how common the occurrence is.
  • Will the definition of this term overlap with the definition of another term?
    • As you can probably tell, I'm not a big fan of unnecessary complexity. More words to describe the same thing doesn't make sense to me.
  • Is the word or phrase self-explanatory?
    • If the word or phrase is self-explanatory, then by definition, it probably doesn't need to be included.
  • Is the term ThePowerMoves or power specific?
    • I noticed there are a lot of terms that are used in other circles, like "peacocking", which is used in seduction communities. Non-TPM specific terms can be easily googled. So unless there is a TPM specific definition of "peacocking" which is different from what seduction communities use it as, I would opt to stick with TPM-only terms.

I think that if we followed at least a set of guidelines when it came to adding new terms, it would simplify the lexicon which would make it easier to use. This, in turn, would increase adoption rate. A side benefit is that it would make your life easier 🙂


Stef has reacted to this post.

Great message, JP I'll certainly come back to it.

One thing to keep in mind is that the dictionary is particularly messy right now in part -but not only!- because it's a big work in progress -before some people in here told me it should be in the main menu, I was planning to pin in there much later-.

Eventually, structure will become a higher priority, and more similar terms will be grouped together or eliminated.
Then the idea is to have a big pictorial representation -imagine one big tree- to provide an overview of social and power dynamics.


Edit: On focusing only on power / ThePowerMoves terms that are not covered anywhere else.

That would certainly keep size / complexity down.

I'm thinking about it, albeit I feel it would miss something if terms like "peacocking" were to completely disappear, since they are relevant to social dynamics and be used as a strategy to increase power/influence (and it would definitely not be "definitive" anymore).

The con of big size could also be minimized by good and proper structure.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

On social scalping, I thought about this pictorial to simplify the concept:

Still some work to do on it, but if you guys got some feedback, shoot.

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

Well, as was finally having my beloved pesto sauce tonight -damn I missed it-, I reflected on the need of structure, and how/when to start taking better care of it.

I thought that it's premature now to prioritize usability / layout in the dictionary.
I feel the priority now should be on clarifying concepts and strategies.

Several of these concepts are being put together collaboratively, as we go, and aren't 100% formed yet.

Take social scalping since we were talking about this. It started out with the realization that some people systematically seek to make others feel indebted.
Later on, we added "credit erasing", such as denying that someone's done anything good for you.
Then we added a few more examples and specific cases ("credit deflection", for example, plus the "enlightened collaborator" strategy for those who seek to be forces for good in life).
And only now it finally emerged as a more coherent structure of general "social exchange strategies (and manipulations)".

I think this is the case for several more concepts and strategies that are not yet super well defined, but that are going to shape up (micro-aggressions, for example, several good strategies are being outlined in the other thread).

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

Is the term ThePowerMoves or power specific?

We can start a second dictionary (or forum thread/database) for those terms that did not originated here/nor are heavily modified by ThePowerMoves community, that still being relevant to the topics we discuss here, we may want to have them collected in a single place.

In terms of priorities, I agree with you @lucio. Once the terms and concepts will be more clear, they will also be easier to categorize. Then you can sort by both: alphabetically AND by category.

Stef has reacted to this post.

bluff power:

I will quote myself from another post

the ability to fake power is power by itself, fake power (we may call it bluff power as in poker) becomes true/real power IF people take it as real or even if you just instill enough doubt in their minds/hearts to alter their mindset, mood, emotions, actions, reactions, behavior, etc.

Kind of a "self fullfiling prophecy" or "reflexivity phenomena" as George Soros would put it.

I would add that if you are good enough at self-deceiving, it may even cause subtle changes in your body language, nonverbals, etc and that may make you feel different so it will also affect yourself in a classical fake it until you make it style.

As it should be obvious a failed attempt at a bluff can backfire pretty ugly!

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Good one, Stef, added it!

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

Hello Lucio,

what about adding this term?

Matthew Whitewood:

  • Giving them rope

I love it by the way.

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