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Feedbacks & clarifications

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In some threads some time ago we said how precious it would be to collect raw feedback from the people around us.

But that, unluckily, most people would never tell us what they really think, and so we'd waste a precious opportunity for self-development.

Well, how about we provide feedback to each other whenever we observe attitudes or social behavior that we think could be improved upon?

This thread could work as:

  • Providing feedback on the tone, attitudes, or social strategies of our forum behavior
  • Clarify misunderstanding

Sure one could do so by replying straight to the message, but one, we'd go off-topic, and two, most people wouldn't do that.
So we can instead link to here, and give feedback.

Getting this type of feedback requires some antifragile ego and growth mindset, and that one puts growth above "social status" in the forum.


See this thread as a "social gym for life".

It might be uncomfortable to give and receive feedback, but doing it here means doing so in a safe environment, and in an online environment that won't tarnish your real-life reputation.
It's a safe learning opportunity: you got nothing to lose.


Giving feedback without feedback being requested can be annoying.

Plus, it's always a risk that feedback can hurt someone.

So whoever doesn't want to participate, please say so and the feedback will be deleted and not posted again for those who opt-out.


If you decide to use this opportunity to give feedback to others, it's important to distinguish between feedback and personal clarification.

If something was offensive to you, or you felt attacked, or that someone was rude, say so clearly, and respectfully.
This is where assertive "vulnerability" empowers you (see PU or here for when it disempowers you).

Of course, something can be both feedback and personal clarification.
But make sure you don't hide behind the feedback as a way to "hit back" at someone because you felt hurt. That would defeat the purpose of this whole exercise and make you -and us all- worse off, rather than better off.

Also, hiding personal hurt behind more neutral feedback is covert-aggressive, tarnishes your reputation, and lowers your power.
The best way to make people ignore your feedback (and dislike you), is to make them think that your "feedback" is a disguised way of attacking them.

So it's up to you to distinguish personal clarification because you felt something was offensive/rude, from more neutral, power-dynamics related feedback.


This thread is for feedback and clarification on social and power dynamics, behavior, and communication style only.

If you have feedback on forum use, use this thread.


There was some (very fair) confusion in some other threads because I failed to clarify this point.

So just to be clear, unless otherwise stated, my feedback here is delivered as Lucio, a member of the community, and not as the admin/moderator.

As such, you can refute it, reject it, explain why it's wholly off the mark, or just ignore it.

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I'll go first.

In this thread, this exchange happened:

Lucio: Oh, wow, respect. You're probably the most educated person in here, John
John: I don't think it really matters as Life is not a contest nor a race to me. Everyone has a different Life path: I made different choices and had different outcomes.

Can you see the dynamic there?


Here's my interpretation:

My message was a compliment, bringing John up.
Compliments are not just appreciation, but also (or sometimes only) exchanges of "emotional gifts".

And in terms of power dynamics, the power flows from the complimenter, to the complimented.

When John doesn't acknowledge the compliment, the receiver feels diminished, emotionally spurned, and low on power.
The complimenter "put himself out there", in a vulnerable position, and expanded effort. Socially, John has been pulled up after the compliment.

If John ignores it or, worse, spurns it, that ends being an (unwillingly) power scalping.

Of course, John never asked for a compliment.
But that still doesn't change the dynamics.

In this specific case, the reply was also an (indirect, unwilling) one-up.
See it again:

John: I don't think it really matters as Life is not a contest nor a race to me. Everyone has a different Life path: I made different choices and had different outcomes.

It indirectly paints me, the complimenter, as someone who might see life as a contest.
John looks superior and, by comparison, I look inferior.
And it all started with a compliment.

How is the complimenter going to feel, with that dynamic?

Like he's got a friend, an ally, and a buddy he count on?
Or like he needs to be guarded, going forward?

Chances are the latter, and that he'll be thinking: f*ck me if I'll make another compliment again :).

Do that many times over in your life, and you end up with less collaborations, more competitions, and more frenemies.
That's why, in your life, you generally want to acknowledge the compliment, even if the actual compliment means jack squat to you.

In this case, purely as an example:

Lucio: Oh, wow, respect. You're probably the most educated person in here, John
John: Ahaha thanks man, I don't make much of it, but yeah, they're there now


In this case, I made little of it, so I don't feel the need for any personal clarification with John.

Past history also matters.
John is a long-standing member and I consider him a "good guy", as well as potentially someone that I might also meet in person one day.

If it had been a first exchange, then I'd have probably made a first mental note.


Since this is the first message here, I repeat that this all for learning's sake.

While the above feedback might have gone lost without this thread, we can know all better learn social dynamics and social strategies when we use this thread for feedback.

@john if you don't want to have this feedback here, let me know and I'll remove links and names, plus can also change the wording so that it can't be searched.

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I am in, Guys!

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Fully onboard too.

Personally, any feedback on mistakes is welcome on

  1. My social mistakes - social climbing, passive aggression, etc
  2. Being too submissive or aggressive
  3. Taking too much value

Or what I have done well.
I realised reinforcing good habits while learning is equally important.

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Lucio Buffalmano



@mist1102 from this thread,


If you break up your texts, it's far more likely people will read them, and answer.

Ideally, seek to beak them by "blocks of meaning".

For smaller breaks, a line break.
So something that is related to the above sentence, goes here.

And then something that is less related, one blank line in between, like this.

And for the central ideas, you can use titles (headers or boldened capital letters).

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Thank you Lucio. That'll help me clean up my presentation and get my points across. As a college kid I sometimes forget that only my teachers will tolerate long ass paragraphs haha.

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Lucio Buffalmano


I don't know if you've seen this thread John, take a look it, it's about giving each other feedback for personal and social development (I previous "@ the wrong nickname").


There was a mild contention some days ago over two threads between Ali & John.

I gave my personal opinion on both, and after that, Ali apologized.

John did not reply to the feedback (not strictly needed), and did not publicly reply to Ali's apologies.

I remember from my studies that one axiom of communication is:

You cannot not communicate

That means that not replying is also a way of communicating something.

In this case, not replying can feel like a one-upping power moving, sending a message of superiority.

I personally feel that replying in that case, and in similar situations, is better both to maintain rapport, as well as to maintain a reputation for a high-quality, assertive, straight player.

Replying to Maintain Rapport

Replying does not mean one has to accept an apology, and not even that one has to take any steps to mend the relationship.

But not replying at all can make the apologizer feel like:

  1. The apologizer feels like he was power-scalped: apologizing can be a sign of personal power and antifragile self-esteem, but it's also an act of vulnerability that gives power to the apologized, since he apologizes, and takes the first step. Not replying at all is a power move that indirectly say "I don't have to bother replying (because I'm so above you)"
  2. The apologizer can feel "guilt-scalped": One person is taking public responsibility for is part of the blame. Not replying can feel as a way of saying "the guilt was all on your side"
  3. The apologizer has no closure: not replying is the equivalent of stonewalling. Instead of listening and being present, the stonewaller walks away. It's an emotional cop-out, since it leaves the issue all on the other side. Now the apologizer will be wondering "so, what now? Are we good?"

Replying for Social Status

A private reply is better than no reply at all, but a public event has social repercussions, which makes a public reply a superior option, in my opinion.

From a social status point of view, people watching the incident will notice one party who took responsibility for his actions, and who apologized, and another party who didn't reply.

Onlookers are likely to respect the apologizer, and they will be wondering why the other party is not doing his part. They are more likely to side with the responsibility-taking apologizer, and to wonder about the motives of the party who is not responding.

This is a bit the equivalent of refusing to shake hands at the end of a competition.
If you've witnessed that happening, people almost always side with the party who offered his hand.

Example here:

Try to look at a few comments below, and you'll notice that everyone sides with the handshake-offering party, and against the handshake-refusing party.

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Hey man, thanks I did not know about this thread. I can understand how you feel. I haven’t found the time to read the long answer yet. I’ll look into it! However I don’t understand the judgment and pressure that I feel in this thread. It feels that because I haven’t answered yet I got finger-pointed. It saddens me a bit but it’s all good.

I will tell you what I’m communicating: I felt hurt, there was an apology and an analysis. Now I’m taking perspective on it and time to think about it. If you or Ali felt disrespected about the delay then it’s a misunderstanding. I’m sure you already noticed that sometimes I’m taking time to think before answering. I feel sad I had to give this justification as I now think we really went full circle on the victim-perpetrator-savior dynamics. But it’s a good lesson for me. I’ll talk about it later in the aforementioned thread. Finally I don’t think the light in which you’re portraying me in the post above is fair.

Hey John,

I didn’t feel disrespected, or I would have said it.

I noticed the dynamics and gave feedback here.
This is what this thread is for, to give feedback.
The idea is that if someone is in a similar situation in the future, then he might be better equipped to handle it well.

Don’t feel pressure for any course of action you don’t want to take, or have no time to take.
This is not an “official” thing or a system for warnings, it’s a thread for two things: feedback based on personal opinions, and clarifications (feedback serves for growth, clarifications serve to keep other threads clean and maintain positive relationships).

I understand a thread like this carries some risks.
Unrequested public feedback can feel -and even be- a light form of abuse, so there must be the consent from the person to receive that feedback.

So if you don’t want to receive feedback like the above, just let me know and I won’t do so anymore.

This is a thread-experiment for a community willing to stomach tough love, but fair feedback for growth, and I hope to receive the same tough love feedback :).
But if it doesn't work and if self-development gains fail to materialize, we will discontinue it.

Cheers and good morning!

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Regarding the thread, I think it’s a great idea. I expressed myself above so you know how I feel. I don’t have anything to add. Thank for the analysis as it is helpful. I understand my attitude could be perceived as such. I don’t mind the unsolicited feed-back as I believe in honesty, even if it hurts. I would say the only limit is that we cannot take our words back. It does not apply in this case as I don’t feel you said words that were out of line. I mean that is the limit of honesty that I learned through my experience. You can always apologize but you cannot take back the words you said. I’m speaking generally. In this case I had the whole dynamics coming as I stepped into the trap and did not see it. From there it unfolded as it was supposed to be. The only points where I could have stopped it were: not to answer to Ali in the first place, to stop answering to Ali or refuse the feed-back politely that you offered. Since I did not, I stand where I stand now. As I said: good lesson for me. Assertion is leading me forward and I’m learning from my mistakes.

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