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"That's Why I Like You" Power Move After Eager Listening & Vibing


I think there is a thread somewhere with those exact words?

It's a bit of a power move, feel free to post it there for further analysis / strategizing.

Lucio highlighted this covert power move in the article 6 Covert Power Moves to Control Frames.
Also in Power University Module 2.5, Covert Power Moves & How to Handle Them.

Di Caprio uses this power move in Wolf of Wall Street:

My Experience with this Power Move

I encountered this during a meeting with a potential business partner.
He was sharing a story at some point over video conferencing.

Him: (talking about a story)

Him: Sorry for the long rant. (He did talk for a bit too long)

Me: There are 2 things I enjoy.
Ranting and making money. (The making money references something in the story)

Him: That's why I like you Matthew. (He frames himself as the judge now. Social climbing in my opinion)

Me: I'm glad that we can get along. (I thought that I should make the liking 2-way)

He was the same person who wanted to "ask" us for permission to share the work when we were supposed to share our work.
Linking to the relevant discussion,
Credit Inflating Makes You Look Bad

I think these red flags add up and make it dangerous to partner with such a person.

I realise some people pull power moves so that they can do less groundwork.
The power moves make them look more leader-like, but they don't actually give any concrete plans or strategies.

Great recall Matthew!

It was a subsection of "covert power moves" indeed, rather than a forum entry as I had originally mentioned.

In this case, I'd probably consider that a (small) instance power-scalping -and "social climbing" wouldn't be wrong either-.

He went vulnerable after what was probably a mistake -ranting-.
You made him whole again, plus then some, and effectively built him up.

And instead of giving back some of that, he took the chance to self-frame as the judge and highest status guy of the situation.

Not too bad, but a small con for him.

Your reply was fine.
You didn't one-up back, so technically you one-crossed.

But it was an eagle move to stop the game and close on a positive.

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

Thanks for the feedback Lucio!

He went vulnerable after what was probably a mistake -ranting-.
You made him whole again, plus then some, and effectively built him up.

I see that being warm and friendly is a social risk in a way.
But we learn power dynamics so we have the power to take that risk and balance the power against any potential power moves.
I prefer beginning with friendliness because it opens the doors for positive interactions and relationships.

Difference Between "That's why I like you" &
"I like working with you"

"That's why I like you" seems different from a situation when a client or partner says "I like working with you".

This is how I interpret the difference.
"That's why I like you" references something you just did and judges you based on that action.
It suggests that the person is judging and rewarding you for that action, and he has the power to do that.

"I like working with you" is an expression of warmth towards the person to indicate a positive, warm relationship.
It's more similar to when a woman says "I like you".

Although I think if said very authoritatively, "I like working with you" or "I like you" can come across as judgemental.
The tone matters in my opinion.

Would you think this is the case?

Yeah, what you say, plus basic power dynamics where only higher-status people allow themselves to judge others directly.

If we wanted to break it down further, at first blush, the difference:

  1. Presence or absence of a qualifier
  2. Object of "what's being judged"
  3. Power tone
  4. Self-frame

Take "that's why I like you":

  1. Presence or absence of a qualifier: no qualifier, he is not judging a particular attribute or situation, because:
  2. The object of "what's being judged": he is judging you, personally and directly
  3. Power tone: no "I feel", "I think", just top-down, direct judgment
  4. The self-frame: it self-frames the speaker higher status. Working with you is a two-way street. I like you is a one-way street
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Matthew WhitewoodSev Uru
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?