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DGX37 Journal

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Okay, time to start my journal

So, let's start with situation from work, I had a problem and found nice code that helps to do it and thought I can share it with others on developers group, I interacted with two guys, a team lead ( most status ) and senior ( less status but still more than me ):

Me: (pastes the code) Here's code for [something], it may be helpful in some situations. ( It gets thumbs up from both of them )

Team lead: Will somebody enter it in code library? ( Website that stores useful code we can use later)

Me: I could do it but I don't know how. ( I made a mistake here, I knew how to do it as it's not that hard but I didn't know what is the admin panel address )

Team lead: Me too. stuck out tongue emoji  It seemed like power protecting because even though it's possible I have hard time believing it's true )

Seniorfacepalm emoji ( Show of disappointment that I can't do such a simple thing, I should've clarified what I can't do exactly, but it still feels like a power move )

Team lead: Here's login information ( pastes login info ).

Senior: I will do it later if you can't do it. ( Another power move it seems, showing that I am bad )

Team lead: ( pastes login address, the only thing I needed to do it )

Me: ( responding to Team lead last message ) Oh yes yes yes, good, it's done ( Overexaggerated that this is what I lacked, nothing else, potentially showing that Senior was unhelpful as he didn't give me the tools to complete the task ).

I remember ignoring someone who is power moving on you while still having the last word is good, does it still apply to this situation?
Probably the biggest thing I would change is to give some effort from beginning so you don't risk looking clueless.

Lucio Buffalmano, John Freeman and 2 other users have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoJohn FreemanJackBel

Hello DGX37,

Good to see you on this side of the forum!

You did OK and good analysis.

Generally speaking:

  • Don't focus on power moves with those above you, you need them as friends (yes, his move was an uncalled for, weak AF power move, but focus on maximizing your effectiveness first)
  • Focus on fundamentals first

And the fundamental here are these:

I could do it but I don't know how.

You framed yourself as the problem-bringer, the one who brings problems and makes the higher-ups do extra work.

At least frmae it positively instead:

I'm very happy to. Anyone can show me how so I'll be good to go for the future as well?

Even more, this should have been your cue for missed opportunity:

Will somebody enter it in code library?

That was already extra work for the team lead and should tell you:

Missed opportunity to display a completed, well-done job plus the extra mile of recording it for future use.

Generally speaking I wouldn't expect to see a precise question to a precise power move on a journal entry.
Better its own topic for that.
Journals more for personal reflections, "any thoughts on this" type of questions, sharing wins for celebrations, losses for support, etc.
Edit: just to be clear, it's up to you how to use your journal of course

Ali Scarlett, John Freeman and 3 other users have reacted to this post.
Ali ScarlettJohn FreemanJackBelGguwad
Community, new content and Charisma University moved here.

I just learned a big thing from "Self-Defense: Strategies, Techniques, & Self-Development".
It was especially important because I unintentionally used one of the tactics, "Play for time" but I failed horribly.

And now I know why, here's the situation:

( It's close to the end of the year, I had good attendance but still needed some from one subject so after big break I went to school )
( I enter class during break and say hi to my classmates )
Classmate 1: Why are you here ( Felt like I need to have reason to be here )
Me: For attendance. ( Value giving from the start but it was short answer, not tragic yet )
Classmate 1: What? ( But you have good attendance ) Show me your attendance ( Asks me to show my phone and show him attendance, that's huge value giving for nothing, and also I didn't feel like explaining myself, which I knew would happen )
Me: ( smiles faintly and goes to his desk ) ( It was sudden, me avoiding conversation, huge sign of weakness )
Classmate 2( smells blood ) What happened, DGX37. ( Goes after me ).
Me( Sits on his chair, pulls out the phone and checks attendance, then after they come I explain why I need this attendance and etc. )

So, this is a huge failure, now I see two main reasons for it:
1. I have trouble with not answering questions, it seems like it will make me look bad ( Experienced person would be able to just say "I have my reasons, hi" or "How do you think?")
2. Feeling guilty for leaving discussion, I feel obligated to give the other person what he wants if it isn't a big trouble for me, and when I don't do it, I don't feel like I can make an excuse for not wanting a discussion, so I don't give any, which makes it look really weird.

I want to focus on point two, now as I see "play for time" as a fair way of leaving discussion when you were catched off guard, because in the end, I have a right not not talk if I don't want to. If I could just say "Don't really feel like talking about attendance now" and go, they could not chase me, and even if they did, I could just say "I am not in mood to talk right now, maybe later", which would make them seem pushy if they kept on going, and that's easier to defend without much thinking.

THEN I would have time to think about this, because I know big chunk of theory, I could create some strategy, and most importantly regain calmness and be more confident in the next round.
Instead I felt like I owe them explanation, and felt completely overwhelmed, not knowing what to do, as it's hard to analyze unexpected situation in real time.

If I got something wrong in my interpretation, feel free to correct me.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Hello DGX37,

On the plus side, I see a lot of great "social and power intuition" from you, which is fantastic: it means you already have -or have already developed it- the raw material to work with.

For example, you:

  • Correctly realized that explaining your attendance would be a loss for you (it was)
  • Correctly realized that showing your attendance would be an even bigger loss (it was)
  • Correctly realized that things were only getting worse after that (indeed)

Now you need to build good strategies and techniques on top of that sound power intelligence.

To be more accurate: you weren't really "giving value" explaining or showing your attendance.

You'd simply be:

  • opening up and sharing information that is useless to them (so no real value-giving), while
  • executing on their task and
  • submitting to their judge powers (ie.: "prove to me that your attendance makes sense otherwise you're simply being dumb").

Those 3 are the power losses for you.

Your intention to avoid that by refusing to explain why you're there was great.

The execution, not so much: it broke rapport too brusquely (not well-calibrated), it was "off" (not socially smooth) and as a consequence, it invited "ganging up" from others nad made you, in that short moment, a bit of a social pariah.

You could used many approaches to improve on that situation, but a good one here in my opinion was simple (value-adding) humor:

Classmate 1: Why are you here
Me: Ohhh there you are! Cause I missed you so much, bro. But now I see you, and I'm happy again

Then, keep that frame up for a while, just to show some social power and that you're not going to explain sh*t until you want to.

Then, after you've shown some social savvy and personal power, you may even explain the real reason (for example "nah, jokes aside, I want to get... " and then you can change topic for example "anyway, how you doing mate")

Bel and Gguwad have reacted to this post.
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Once more I went to school, graduation ceremony and all and the situation from previous post repeated, this time though, the ending was different.

I knew I would have to take the diploma so I took a backpack with me, it was not much trouble to just keep it in your hands, but empty backpack has no weight so I took it and well, it was a topic some decided it has judge position potential because most of our class didn't take backpacks, so, group of friends asked me immediately why I have a backpack:
Why you have a backpack #1

Friend 1: Why do you have a backpack?
Me: Well, what do you think is the reason I have it? ( Making them expand some effort )
Friend 1: I don't know, what for?
Me: And what about keeping my diploma? ( Isn't the answer obvious? )
Friend 1: Ah, okay.

And later when the group has scattered, the same guy asked me once more:
Why you have a backpack #2

Friend 1: Isn't it better to just hold it in hand?
Me: You can, but I took a backpack.
Friend 1: Seems a bit like an overkill
Me: Well, taking backpack is not the hardest thing in the world.
Friend 1: Ah, okay.

I recognize I may have given in to his judge position too much, explaining myself and all, but when all is said, he didn't talk with me about it more, so I see it as a win. Later a bit annoying guy asked me why I have the backpack, but he is quite cool and not much confrontantional when we talk 1 on 1 so it went the same as the first conversation, but by that point I knew that it's only a matter of time before it will happen once again, and while those guys just questioned me without much harm intended I knew the guy that smelled blood from the last post and his friends will not pass up such an opportunity.

Once we were in graduation ceremony and most of the classmates were close, he was behind me, I felt the chill down my spine, as I knew the attack is incoming sooner or later, but by then I already composed myself and decided how to answer:
Why you have a backpack #3

Classmate 1 ( The guy ): DGX37!
Me: ( Slowly turned my head ) What is it?
Classmate 1: Why do you have a backpack ( With a smile and in joking tone ).
Me: Go on figure it out. ( I thought it is not that hard to understand it so I pushed back on it ).
( He wiped smirk of his face for a second and put it back immediately, I knew he felt the pushback, he didn't answer me though so I turned back, his friend beside him took the candle ).
Classmate 2: I wonder, maybe ( jokes about not really plausible reason to have a backpack ).
Me: Not really.
Classmate 2: ( jokes about another inplausible reason )
Me: ( turning to him ) Keep guessing. ( I would have told them the reason by now but seeing as they don't give a heck about the answer and are doing it for laughs I refused to make it easy for them ).
Classmate 3: ( went next to me )  Why do you have a backpack DGX37?
Me: Go on figure it out. ( Broken record )
Classmate 3: I don't know...
Me: Think a bit about it. ( This is a power move, I would have not done it but the fact that he jumped in when the other two just questioned me was a value taking move, so I was harsh ).
Classmate 3: ( Looked down and after a moment ) I have no idea. ( I sensed he was frustered as the other guys started talking about their own thing and now I was visibly unpleased with his action, I also felt it could be a power move to make it seem like there is no sensible reason to have a backpack but from his body language I decided this is not the case ).
Me: A diploma.
Classmate 3: A diploma? I see.
Me: That's right, ( gives a reason for why I prefer backpack ) ( In the end I gave him too much value for no reason but I didn't want to end this conversation this one sided , but I could probably go with "That's right" and it wouldn't have any bad consequences for me as he would have understood, I'm sure. )

Later, I was asked once or twice about backpack but it went smootly and Classmate 2 and 3 didn't seem to be affected as they interacted with me as always, I sensed avoidance from Classmate 1, he seemed to avoid being close to me or looking at me but he didn't fail to laugh when our educator made a slightly disempowering joke to me so I guess he was affected more, he was mostly a value taker so I don't see it as a big deal.

In the end, I see progress and I'm happy, I have no bad thoughts on it as I recall the situation. I gave in a bit to the judge dynamic of Friend #1 and there was probably a way of responding with less chance of making enemies but it's still a huge improvement from the situation from the previous post.

I want to express my gratitude to Lucio for creating such a great place to improve and to fellow forum users who gave feedback and shared their experiences with others, hopefully I will be in a position to also contribute and give value back.

Lucio Buffalmano and Bel have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoBel

Rock on DGX37, big steps forward.

Little note for even more personal power going forward:

Friend 1: Seems a bit like an overkill
Me: Well, taking backpack is not the hardest thing in the world.

Here it can feel like you're justifying yourself.

Compare with:

Friend 1: Seems a bit like an overkill
Me: Nah, it's OK

Or even:

Friend 1: Seems a bit like an overkill
Me: Bro, it's just a packpack, it's there, it's not there, who cares... The only overkill is to have this lengthy conversation about a F backpack

Very powerful, self-frames you as above and uninterested in all the "go-nowhere talk", which is the attitude of effective men who build and accomplish big in lif.

Bel and Gguwad have reacted to this post.
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This won't be a short journey, I see more and more that instead from submissiveness to assertiveness I went for covert aggression.

For example when someone asks me a question, like "What are you doing" I mirror the question even when there is no much harm behind it like "What do you think I am doing" or I delay answering by being quiet without really a good reason or for something that happened an hour ago, to everyone involved and to the person I'm answering it seems like covert aggression for no reason.

As I see it, I started to live by "attack is the best defence" so I avoid giving opportunity to be scored on, what this really shows is that I am afraid of taking a hit, thinking over it, it still seems that I don't believe that what I feel or want is important and oher people don't have to respect it. So the only thing I thought up is to make it hard for them, but instead I just look like an asshole, or uptight in the best case scenario and it's unnerving way to live.

I understand though that I should expect good behaviour from others, and not be afraid of attack when it happens, because then I have right to demand fair treatment. An eagle would not be afraid of taking a hit as he is not mentally weak to go down after some covert attack and if somebody strikes, he will go straight to the core of the issue instead of acting angry the next day.

It really shows then I simulate conversations in my head, when somebody would talk behind my back and someone would confront me about what they talked about the first thing I think of is to clear up if he told truth or not, even thought it's not okay to badmouth even if there were no lies.

Lucio Buffalmano and Bel have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoBel

This sounds all potentially very good DGX37.

From submissive to covert aggressive is already a major step forward.
Reason for celebration.

Plus, very high awareness of what you need to work on: great.

The higher your awareness, the more "problem areas" you see, but that also may be a blessing in disguise.

Next, consider picking one thing to address, ideally a combination of the most important / easiest to address, and start with that.

Bel and Gguwad have reacted to this post.
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I have a big weakness in my power dynamics that I understood not too long ago.

When others disempower you, attack you, use covert aggression, use others against you, you need to make it visible that they attack you and then match their attack.
But I don't understand where I am going with this, for example, someone says "(laughs) Did you get it just now?" which is a covert move, the correct way is to question him, to bring out his attack.

Then he either goes back and tries to avoid a confrontation by saying sorry, changing the topic, denying ( many people do that ) and that's game won for you.
But he may also commit fully and say "I think you are stupid" in more or less smooth way.

And then what? He showed that he is disempowering, that he is an asshole, but what I am going to do with it? Let's simulate few ways:
Me: I don't want you to talk to me like that ( No, he doesn't care )
Me: Stop or you're dead ( No, I'm not a person who fights others )
Me: You're not the smartest person too ( No, that's just turkey fight, and I'm not even good at them )
Me: Sure, fuck you ( walks away ) ( No, not going to work if you see yourself often, that just looks like running away )

Nothing seems to truly work, if he is determined enough I can't win, I cannot win against the turkey, the only possibility I saw is to have people around you and let him be afraid of seeming like an asshole while others will team up on him. But even this doesn't work if that's his shtick and everyone knows him for that and he doesn't care, he is a jester, so they let him attack as part of the joke, or you are just simply alone with him.

Even though I see their moves, even though I know what the correct answer is to it, I simply don't believe it will do anything, I don't believe I can win. It's like I am a small eagle that has skills, that has growth mindset, that has value and can cooperate well, in short, has potential to fly with other eagles up there but can't raise to the skies because vultures, ravens and turkeys will strike me down when I try, and I cannot do anything to stop them, I can't defend.

The power dynamics up until now felt like tricks, tricks to look like a real eagle, so the value takers fear to attack you, and to be honest, it worked many times, but deep in me I felt that this is just a facade, that if they just get to know me longer, they will know I am weak, that I'm an easy target.

Then I thought, what am I doing wrong? Why people can just disempower me and even if I show that I don't like it, they can keep on going as if nothing happened? And the answer showed itself: "I don't hold a grudge".
I always was quick to forgive, when somebody disempowered me, I may have said nothing, later as I learned, I showed my discontent at their behaviour, but still, even if they hurt me a lot, and did it as I showed many times I don't like it, if they stopped doing that for next two days, I didn't return to it, I wasn't talking about it, I still remembered it but saw it as the past, that if they don't do it right now it's good.

And then they do it once more, and I am angry, and a day passes, and I forgive. Even in critical situation for me, when I was young and whole class turned back on me, bullying or ignoring the bullies, and some of the "nice guys" even laughing at the jokes. I managed to end the situation and just next day I acted as if nothing happened, just as everyone.

It also enables a sure way to value take from me, one person I knew even mastered this, going to me, saying or acting in a disrespectful way to me, and leaving before I can address it, me being angry for an hour and then I act as if nothing happened. The only way to counter it was to always look for it coming, and that's a great way to make yourself paranoic.

But there is a way! If someone disempowers me, in whatever way, and I confront him about it, even if he says "It's simply the truth" and commits to insulting you, I can simply remember it and never forgive until he makes up for it. And because his attack was clearly visible, it doesn't look weird when I hold a grudge against someone, I can always explain that this guy is an asshole.
So what's the plan? Simple. When someone disempowers me, I confront them, if they escape before I get the chance, I confront them later, if they submit, I win, if they don't I start to act negative warmth to them. No more listening, asking for advice, saying hello, laughing at their jokes, I show my lack of respect for him without any hiding or playing around. You make sure that everybody with him included know that you hate him and you will refuse to cooperate until he stops his act.

And because I see that I have value this is a real problem for them. I don't have to insult, I don't have to hit, I don't have to trip him.
Because I am good and helpful person, even those that disempowered me asked me for advice, wanted to talk, wanted me to do something for them. But if I don't do any of it, they lose real value they could get if they cooperated instead, and because others cooperate with me and know that I am not some asshole that has problems for no reason, they will take me not respecting and being cold to someone seriously and that someone will lose status and power.

Even if they manage, me not giving an inch and treating them as value takers will be a constant lose-lose for them, and what you will do when you are in lose-lose situation? You will try to escape it by either avoiding the situation or trying to make it win-win.

Those are the eagle's fangs, with them, the danger of disempowering and attacking me is real, and with real fangs I can win against any turkey that will try to attack me while I surge up to fly with the eagles, so they will not start a fight and those that do will quickly regret it.

TLDR: If you want to win with turkeys, hold the grudge, show them they can't get away with disempowering you.

That is a very long post, but in it is the thought process behind my idea on how to become an eagle, if you read it, I hope you found something helpful for you and if you have a feedback, feel free to post.

Power Duck has reacted to this post.
Power Duck

Hey DGX37,

respect for challenging your current behaviours. Here is how I see it based on what I understood I could be wrong:

  1. There's a belief that you have to be nice/give to everyone. You don't have to. Some people don't deserve your kindness or your generosity
  2. I don't think one has to be careful ("paranoid") with everyone. Not everyone is a power player and not everyone is manipulative. Often we identify these individuals after 1 or serveral disagreeable interactions. Personally instead of "holding a grudge", I view it as "they're in my radar now". That means: I won't be vulnerable with them, I won't be too friendly. I will be on my guard when they're around me and I'll hit back when they hit.
  3. About the surfacing: one default way is to use: "what do you mean?" and let them hang themselves. You don't have to do or say anything after that. Just let them hang themselves. Create silence. You won the minute they expose their nastiness. They refuse to answer you won. They try to dance around, push more: "no I don't understand could you explain?". You want them to reveal their nastiness. The trick is not to hit too hard back I think so you don't seem the aggressor. Most of the times everybody is waiting for someone to shut these people's mouths.

I don't know if it's helpful but this is how I dealt with nastiness in a WA group today where I'm organizing a dinner for a friend's birthday, and I'm asking for input for a gift for him.

Him: A job? (sweating emoji)

I replied by putting a smiley downward on his message. Our friend has a job as a window installer whereas he has a university degree and could do much better. So that was clearly below the belt as he's suffering from it. I could have hit harder with a "not cool" but that was confronting directly and creating a me vs the nasty friend. I try not to create enemies if I can avoid it. So instead I do this:

Me: More seriously

Me: Thank you other friend who was nice (did not write "a job?"), yeah his flatmate thought about a bottle of rhum

My friends answered his nasty comment with a:

Friend 1: surprised emoji

Friend 2: "Aia" (meaning it hurts)

In this case my friend is not an enemy. He does social climbs sometimes out of insecurity but he's not the manipulative kind. More like the insecure kind. So I do give him some leeway and did not hit hard. In the case of your enemy I would go much harder. Always stay calm but not go overboard to not trigger counter-aggression. Just embarrassment. Make him feel like an idiot. For that you have to be convinced beforehand he's an idiot (pre-frame) and just wait for him to show it. When he shows it you show it to everyone and it's over.

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