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How Should We View People Who Treat Us Better As We Become Higher Value?

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on February 8, 2021, 8:29 pm

Yes. To me this is according to the following framework: we're animals. As such, we try to acquire as much as we can. If people around us will let themselves be dominated, we will dominate them (in most cases). I do it, you do it, everyone does it. Now, we can abstain from such behavior. That means: going to a higher level of awareness to cooperate further. So if you appear weaker, you will be treated as such. If you appear stronger, you will be treated as such.

Yes, that's a great point and deserves a quote.

People's behavior around you changes when you start behaving/talking/defending/frame controlling in better and higher-power fashion.

Overall Concept

It is our responsibility to give value and shape our relationships.
In this sense, yes it makes sense that people treat us better as we become higher value and become better at power dynamics.
Becoming better at power dynamics allows us to shape our interactions and overall relationships better.

That being said, there were people who treat me well when I was not so high value.
And I appreciate these people to a higher degree in my life.
In a way, they were willing to give back when they were in a position not to.

People Who Used to Throw Micro-Aggressions and Covert Power Moves When You Were Not So Power Savvy

I feel this is the group of people that I am more sceptical of.
They are on the lookout for people to take advantage of.
When you were not so savvy in navigating situations, they took the chance to use micro-aggressions to gain status at your expense.

As such, I have a level of guard up when I interact with these people.
You never know when you could be in an unfamiliar situation, and they will choose to take advantage of your ignorance.

There are people who become more friendly towards you because they are losing status.
This was one of the points where Lucio talked about falling stars in the workplace module of Power Dynamics.

Overall Thoughts on this Subject

  • No need to be wary that people treat you better as your value and power-savviness increases.
    It makes sense because you have more to bring to the table.
    Life is a social exchange. (back to the social exchange theory)
    Even relationships must be sort of balanced to a degree even though we keep track of the bank account to a lesser degree.
  • Be wary of value-takers who change their behaviour
    I am still wary of people who use micro-aggressions, power moves on people who are less power-savvy.
    So, if I meet someone for the first time, he uses a power move, I counter correctly, and he treats me better, I will be sceptical of the person.
  • People who treat you better when they find out you are doing much better now.

    An example.
    A friend did not keep in touch.
    Suddenly he finds out that you are doing better.
    He becomes more friendly than before.
    Be sceptical to a certain degree.

  • Power-parity and value-parity from Lucio's Mike Tyson video.
    Be more sceptical if someone treats you in a friendly manner when you are much more powerful and high-value than him.

Great post, Matthew.

Definitely: the people who treated you good even when you were lower power, are the "good" people.
The ones who are less Machiavellian, less calculative, less inclined to social climbing.
That doesn't necessarily make them high-value, or great for friendships and/or dating. As we said many times on this website, some of those people are actually too naive, the type of people who don't advance in life (exceptions always apply, and this website seeks to produce more of those exceptions).

But still, in my opinion, positive behavior towards lower-power folks is an important plus.

CHOOSING PARTNERS WHEN HIGH-POWER

Also, as per that Tyson video, this is relevant in choosing a long-term mate -I think it's in the dating section of PU as well-.

There is a conundrum in long-term sexual exchanges: while coming across as higher power will allow you to pick better partners and increase attraction in that relationship, it also decreases your ability to assess characters.
It's still possible through red flags, past history, etc., but it requires more attentiveness and rationality -and if you're falling for someone, you're less rational-.

So what happens is that you might end up with a partner who seems so great and nice... Until your fortunes swing.
Then, exactly when you needed support the most, you find yourself with someone who adds grief to your life, rather than support.

Matthew Whitewood and Bryan Johnson have reacted to this post.
Matthew WhitewoodBryan Johnson
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Definitely: the people who treated you good even when you were lower power, are the "good" people.
The ones who are less Machiavellian, less calculative, less inclined to social climbing.
That doesn't necessarily make them high-value, or great for friendships and/or dating. As we said many times on this website, some of those people are actually too naive, the type of people who don't advance in lifeĀ (exceptions always apply, and this website seeks to produce more of those exceptions).

But still, in my opinion, positive behavior towards lower-power folks is an important plus.

I realised that it's not easy to find ambitious, high-value people who don't occasionally pull power moves from time to time.
If you look at the whole individual and take away some power-move pulling behaviours, the overall individual can be a good friend to have.
For example, it is a no-brainer to be friends with Obama if you get the chance even though he does social-climbing quite a few times.

It's good to have a more calculative approach to making friends and building your network, especially in business.
I have found that emotions may not be the best guide for choosing friends.

CHOOSING PARTNERS WHEN HIGH-POWER (Continued from Lucio)

There is a conundrum in long-term sexual exchanges: while coming across as higher power will allow you to pick better partners and increase attraction in that relationship, it also decreases your ability to assess characters.

I think it's a good idea to match the power.
Slightly higher power than your mate if you are a man.

No point showing off your power like a king if the person is not that high quality.
You are inviting unnecessary risks.

If you are going for a high-quality, top-of-the-pyramid woman, then it's much safer to showcase your resources and power.
And most likely she would like to see those resources and power to consider you as a long-term mate.

What is the balance for high-quality individuals towards treating lower-value people?

I think high-quality people would be protective of their time and effort.
As such, they would not give out their value towards people who would not necessarily be able to return this value.

They understand Machiavellianism but will not opportunistically value-take from lower-value people without returning some sort of value.
Maybe they even build an ecosystem where they can give back value without necessarily expending 1-to-1 time and effort.

In short, a high-quality person curates win-win situations whether it's

  • him and another person
  • him and a team
  • him and society
  • him and any other entity

I realized that it's not easy to find ambitious, high-value people who don't occasionally pull power moves from time to time.
If you look at the whole individual and take away some power-move pulling behaviours, the overall individual can be a good friend to have.
For example, it is a no-brainer to be friends with Obama if you get the chance even though he does social-climbing quite a few times.

Yes, I think this is important to remember and keep in mind.

It's not a good approach to expect perfection.

It's not realistic, it's unfair to the people around, and it's also self-harming.
People who expect perfection cut relationships too soon, and end up frustrating themselves.

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

It's not a good approach to expect perfection.

I am on the same page with not expecting perfection.
Like mistakes, conflict resolution, negative feelings, escalated conversations, misunderstandings.

What about deliberate power moves?
I feel sometimes that it is intentional.
In the sense, the person deliberately says something to elevate this status at the expense of others in a value-taking way.

Some power moves arise from a conflict of interests, which are entirely expected and fair to occur from time to time.
But what about deliberate power moves?
Especially those with the intention to hurt.
I am thinking that it is fair to be more ruthless in this case.

Part of my motivation for gaining more personal power is to stand up to deliberate, value-taking power moves.

Quote from Matthew Whitewood on February 12, 2021, 3:26 pm

But what about deliberate power moves?
Especially those with the intention to hurt.
I am thinking that it is fair to be more ruthless in this case.

Definitely different actions and different situations call for different reading.

It also depends on what you've done.

Being thrown under the bus for example always hurt, but if you had done something bad that was being dangerous to someone, then it might have been fair game.

I remember for example once I guy I knew and liked, and he was making a joke about seduction between me and a girl at the table, and the boyfriend was there. It was totally inappropriate, bad for everyone, painted me in a bad picture as well... I had to throw him under the bus but not laughing at the joke, switching to serious, and denying that frame.
That was value taking for him, but he had done a bad mistake that was taking value from us all, so it just had to be done.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

I remember for example once I guy I knew and liked, and he was making a joke about seduction between me and a girl at the table, and the boyfriend was there. It was totally inappropriate, bad for everyone, painted me in a bad picture as well... I had to throw him under the bus but not laughing at the joke, switching to serious, and denying that frame.
That was value taking for him, but he had done a bad mistake that was taking value from us all, so it just had to be done.

This is an interesting case.
So your friend is generally value-adding.
But maybe he was not socially aware in that scenario that the joke was inappropriate.
It could happen to anyone at times that they miss out on the social cues of the surroundings.

Could be interesting to talk about various ways to handle that situation in another thread.
Throwing him under the bus could be the best course of action.
I think that it's better for you to throw him under the bus than for the girl or the boyfriend to do the same.

Going back to the "good" people.
These less savvy people are more likely to perform social faux pas.
The Machiavellian ones perform value-taking actions while everyone smiles.
They are the dangerous ones.

Maybe the way to view this is whether someone generally respects your boundaries when you draw them.
Shaping the relationship/friendship/interactions to tend towards value-adding overall.

Sometimes I think you shouldn't depend on people to treat you well.
Keep actively curating an environment where interests align as much as possible.
Then even the Machiavellian individuals are overall on your side.
But no doubt that they will try to eat your share of the "aligned interests".

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