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Feedbacks & clarifications

Hey Matthew,

When you write with this format:

Quote from Matthew Whitewood on October 2, 2021, 8:59 am

I feel that you mostly disagree.
However, my intuition may be wrong, and you genuinely agree.
But we can definitely move on.

Considering that in the previous message I said "I mostly agree", it frames me like I was either lying, or generally not being forthcoming.

Such as:

"You said you mostly agree, but I feel you mostly disagree, but I may be wrong and who knows whether you're telling the truth (or lying)".

Either way, it's a format that decreases someone's status and reputation, and it casts doubts on their moral fiber.
So I didn't like reading those lines.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Hi Lucio,

I definitely see how that can be the case. So my bad for phrasing it the wrong way. Sorry for coming across the wrong way.

I wasn't sure how to put this across the right way. I wanted to go for a direct approach.

What I wanted to say was

I feel that you didn't agree by quoting any of my points. So I feel that we still disagree on many points.

I wanted to say "I may be wrong on this" as a caveat.

I probably should have used the word "we" instead of "you". Because what I felt were the main points was the area we disagreed upon.

Maybe I should have clarified with you before expressing this sentiment with

Maybe this is not an important point to you. But it seems to me that we disagreed on the most important point.

What do you think?

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Yeah, that second version would have worked better.
But now we clarified, all good.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

In short, I wanted to say

I want to continue the conversation.
But you may not want to.
I am comfortable with that.
I do understand where you are coming from better and will take the feedback that resonates with me.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

I reflected upon this a bit more.
The reason I felt that I needed up bring up the disagreement is because of the following statements.

You make all great points, Matthew.

I agree with almost everything you say.

Anyway, we agree on 80% here so I wouldn't keep on expanding on the 20%.

To be honest, I felt a bit frustrated when you say "we agree on 80%".
I didn't really think that we agree on 80%.
And that's why I felt the need to express that "I felt we disagree mostly.".
Because I did feel that we disagreed mostly.
But I said it imprecisely as "I felt you disagree mostly".

I realised from your previous reply that you wanted to move on.
And, over in this reply, it's an even stronger signal to move on.

So even though I wanted to continue the conversation, I was mentally prepared to not continue the conversation.
This is why I said, "We can definitely move on.".

On a different note,

If you prefer to dig deeper on general psychology / higher concepts / tangential threads, please keep doing so. If I don't think it's going anywhere practical for power dynamics, no harm was done: I simply won't have to reply. And if I feel it's going somewhere good, I'll expand on it.

I feel that this moves the forum relationship towards a more transactional style.
Where I have to keep account of whether I am replying for my own interest or for Lucio's interests or both of us.

A more transactional style is okay in my opinion.
If that's a healthier direction, then let's do that.
After all, we may have more different interests than we thought.

In other words, we both stick mainly to the topic of power dynamics which I believe both of us are interested in and gain value from.

Feel free for anyone to share what they think.

Quote from Matthew Whitewood on October 3, 2021, 5:57 am

I feel that this moves the forum relationship towards a more transactional style.
Where I have to keep account of whether I am replying for my own interest or for Lucio's interests or both of us.

I don't feel that way at all and to be frank, I don't think it's an empowering or freeing interpretation.

You don't have to keep account of anything.

You just write whatever you want to share and write -or don't want to share or write-.
And whoever is interested in it will either reply and/or find value in it.
Or they may not reply and not find it interesting. And that's also cool.

That's the nature of the forum -or the nature of sharing anything in general-.
Or that's how I see it at least.
Many of my threads have zero replies and/or little views (= little interest / value?) and that's cool. Some have several replies and/or thousands of views (= more interest / value?) and that's cool.

That approach makes it less transactional. And more freeing, in my opinion.

Quote from Matthew Whitewood on October 3, 2021, 5:57 am

In other words, we both stick mainly to the topic of power dynamics which I believe both of us are interested in and gain value from.

I also don't see it this prescriptively.

One, because I wouldn't self-limit myself to anything.

And two, because it's not how the forum operates, and not how it would work effectively -or be fun to write on, in my opinion-.
There is a sub-forum for more general psychology / research (where Mach/IQ might have been more on-topic). And there is one for traveling -where nobody but me writes, and I still think of it as one of my favorite subforums-. And one for values and general self-development, where I think there is some great stuff.

A Single Event Shouldn't Have The Power to Make Systemic or Personal Changes

I think one of the reasons why I'm not keen on spending more time on this and you seem to be is that we see the events around that billiard thread very differently (plus, of course, some normal differences in general approaches). 

You seem to find it at least somewhat significant.
Or to think that it's worth it to find meaning in it. And, I'm seeing now, to generalize some lessons learned or approaches from it.

I see it as a single event, of little importance, that has ended, and that doesn't warrant any generalization and has no impact on future approaches.
As a matter of that, I find it counterproductive to thread-expand on it. And generally speaking, I find it potentially harmful to derive any general approaches or lessons learned from low-significance single instances (only significant events and/or trends warrant deeper exploration, lessons learned, and systemic changes).

In that thread, I felt we were going off-topic and spinning wheels.
It seems like you thought we were only expanding on the original topic, and looking at higher-order questions that were valuable, and that had deeper ramifications.
I see the point of your interpretation, and I see how it's great -or how it's proven great already- in many situations (that's what I mean by "we largely agree"). Albeit I still see it differently in that specific situation.

To me, that ended it there.
And, as a single instance, low-significance event, it shouldn't take more of our time. And, even less so, it should be used to derive general lessons learned, general inferences about the forum, or changes in our personal approaches.
All of these so far worked great. A single event shouldn't have the power to sidetrack me, you, us, or the forum from what's been shown to work great.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

If anyone is up for it, I'd like a quick, 2-minute feedback on a recent exchange of mine.

Lucio and I collaborated on a product review recently.

By the time we'd finished, I realized:

  • The process was very fun for me
  • Free access to products aside, I'd gotten to work with a legend in the dating industry
  • It feels good to me that the TPM community might like and appreciate my honesty in this review
  • And, I'd love to do this again in the future

So, when Lucio and I started to reach a conclusion as far as the rating and value of the review, he still wanted to find a way to repay me for my time. And, I'd already gotten so much out of it, it didn't really feel fair.

So, I minimized his social debt (see "social credit diminishing"). But, I think the way I went about it might've been a bit uncalibrated.

I sent him a message telling him it was all good. And then, followed up with, "Plus, we're friends, so it's expected :)."

"It's expected" is a great line for credit erasing when someone tries to credit inflate unfairly. And, I think it was OK here because:

  • It shows a willingness to cooperate (= a willingness to avoid haggling over repayment, something I hate doing)
  • It helps keep relationships balanced (= and, relationships that are balanced too poorly don't often last very long) 

But, social debt isn't necessarily bad unless the social debt is so deep there's no longer any room for future value-giving (see "you can be cool in taking up debt").

And, I also think it was out of place here because:

  • The value I gave might've been perceived as big (= if you give a lot of value and then frame it as "expected", if the other party buys into that frame, they might be tying their hands into a relationship where they must give big value as the new norm)
  • Credit-erasing myself could come across as under-valuing my own contribution (= in which case, I can lose out because I don’t get social credit—which is a missed opportunity to build social capital that deepens the relationship. And, he could lose out because, if he agrees with my frame that it's expected, he doesn’t appreciate my contribution—and we both lose on relationship quality)

So, what do you guys think? Do you think a different approach here would've been better?

P.S.:

If this is private, Lucio, feel free to move it into the private section of the forum.

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood

From my limited information, I think it largely depends on how you & Lucio feel about it.

If you really felt that you have gained a lot out of it and don't really need more, then I think it's good.
Especially if Lucio was offering something that may cost him quite a bit.

Otherwise, if it's an asymmetric offer by Lucio meaning that you would gain a lot of value while costing Lucio very little, then it could be a good idea to take up the offer!

So, I minimized his social debt (see "social credit diminishing"). But, I think the way I went about it might've been a bit uncalibrated.

I sent him a message telling him it was all good. And then, followed up with, "Plus, we're friends, so it's expected :)."

I think I kind of see what you mean.
The statement could be confusing. It may mean

We are friends so it's expected for me to minimise your debt or help you out.

Maybe in this particular case, you gained a lot of value.
While, in the future, you may come across a review request that you gained less value and cost you more time.
Then, you would like to decline the request or get more help from Lucio.

In this sense, "it's expected" may set future expectations that you would not like.

However, that may be your intention.
I don't have the full information behind the scenes.

If you would like to keep this to this particular interaction, then "happy to help" could be better

Plus, we're friends, so happy to help :).

Hey Ali,

First off, it was all good.

And definitely, feel free to share the whole convo if you prefer.

What I might have done here is to postpone this line here:

Well, I'm grateful for the opportunity and happy to help the TPM community whenever I can. So, you don't need to worry about making anything up to me, Lucio

And deliver it after I had already communicated to you that I wanted to make up for your time.

When you do it before and early, it can come across like a beancounter approach.
And the receiver will think "sure I was going to repay, why would you think I'm such a taker / ahole"?

Saying it before the other party has already made it public that they want to repay you can feel like a smart way of reminding them that they're in debt.

Such as, you can remind someone that they're in debt by saying "you're not in debt".
Just by bringing up the topic, they'll think... "I'm not... In Debt... Ouch, am I?" They'll start thinking about credit and debt -even if they don't use those terms- and often reach the conclusion that they must repay.

And they'll probably feel a bit devalued for having been reminded since the covert frame is "I had to remind you, or you wouldn't have taken action".

Sometimes, that approach can be a smart way of going about it when direct talk is difficult or not possible.

But, generally speaking, it's usually better to wait for them to make that move.

If they don't, you can use the chance to assess the individual if it's early on, or you can more directly remind them that you felt unfairly treated with direct talk -and then you can clarify, or they might slap themselves in the head, realize the mistake, and make up for it-.

Makes sense?

 

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

Thank you for your feedback, Matthew.

And, thank you as well, Lucio, that makes a lot of sense.

It seems that the slip-up was more in the timing than anything else. I'm glad I asked for this feedback :).

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