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Is always responding to power moves a better default stance than ignoring?

Hi Guys!

One thing I picked up from Lucio's examples of interactions with other people, is that his default stance seems to be "always defend".

Every time someone aggresses, insults, power moves, says something, manipulates, or does anything similar, he never lets it slide. Even if the interaction is between him and the other person only, he responds (for example via e-mail). Example: when the "feminism" newsletter went out, and someone sent him a nasty email, he could have simply blocked: instead he answered forcefully via email.

I used to have the opposite approach. My default stance was "always ignore". Someone insults? Ignore. Someone writes to me a nasty email? Ignore.

Now I am starting to think that "always defend and respond " is a better approach both for self-signaling purposes, and to make it evident to the "abuser" that I am aware of what he is trying to do.

I think my previous stance, on the other hand, had the bad effect of cementing the behavior of the other person, and of unconsciously cementing in me somewhat the idea that people could not be taught to give respect. So now, for example with the customer who made comments in writing to my work that were mean to disqualify bits of it, I answered to each comment in writing.

What do you think? Is the above a correct analysis or is there some additional consideration here I am missing?

Hey Bel,

No, I wouldn't say that "it's best to always respond".

In my particular case, I don't think that I'm necessarily a good guy to learn from based on social media and/or business behavior.

Keep in mind that:

  1. The sample might be skewed: there is a ton that I ignore and doesn't end up shared. Probably what's shared is more likely to be what I reply to
  2. It's often a phased approach. I often reply first, then cut it out: sometimes I reply first either because of knee-jerk reaction, because I wanted to test something, because I wanted to push back at first, but only once... Or because I simply made a mistake.
    However, I don't necessarily keep interacting. As a matter of fact, I often stop. In your example, I later removed that lady from the newsletter and if there was an easy option to do it, I'd have blocked her email.
    So you could see this approach as a hybrid: a first push back or attempt at bridging, and then back to ignoring
  3. I sometimes act out of principle, rather than effectiveness: both personally, and in business (I do reach out to failed transactions with an email template, and I think you got that one too :). But I almost never reply to pre-sales questions for example, not even when replying might make for an easy sale):

Easy selling opportunity: Seduction University IS much better than PU on those topics. But "out of principle", I do little sales and pre-sales outside the marketing channels

  1. I sometimes act to test things out: I sometimes reply a certain way not because it's necessarily better, but to find good angles and possible approaches
  2. I sometimes reply because it's good for some other reason, and what or how I reply to matters little: once someone wrote me to say that "I shouldn't reply to baiting comments on YouTube because they're baits". But replying on YouTube is good for SEO, so sometimes I reply just for that
  3. Business-wise, I sometimes do the wrong thing and I'm cool with it: kicking people out of PU because I didn't like their attitude and/or power moves is not a great business policy. But, again, I sometimes act out of principle rather than pure (business) effectiveness
  4. I sometimes over-react, or do the wrong thing: last but not least, striving towards both total effectiveness and eagle-dom is a continuous non-stop climb, and I'm not at the top of that mountain (if there is even such thing as a mountain top). So, sometimes (or maybe often 🙂 ), I just make a stupid mistake

So, in short:

No, always answering is not always better.

But, generally speaking, you should address power moves much more frequently in these cases:

  1. People that (will) matter to you
  2. In environments that matter to you
  3. When your reputation, status or power is at stake
  4. Early on because early interaction often sets the tone and power dynamics
Transitioned and Bel have reacted to this post.
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Another interesting, fresh example of answering to power moves when it wouldn't be in the business -and probably personal- best interest:

Her: Still waiting to hear a response it’s been several weeks I think I will need to cancel my membership after the first month is over March 11
(note: there was a response already, and the customer had already contacted me via phone with super-basic question on access)
Me: P.S.: That "I think I will need to cancel my membership" is a power move, and I don't appreciate the slightly threatening tone behind it. You're free and welcome to cancel at any time.

My initial knee-jerk reaction is "who the f*ck you think you're power-moving on, you think I or TPM "needs" your cr@ppy membership, or that we'd accept your covert threats just because you're a customer"?

And then I know that I'm over-reacting at first.
I know it will pass quickly, I know I can detach, I know that she's probably just digitally clueless and I know that replying hot-headly in 10 seconds is not necessarily business-effective to keep a customer...

But I do it anyway.

I also know there would be more effective ways of handling it by addressing the power move and still make it more likely to maintain the relationship collaborative and keep her as a happy customer.


Those would require time.
And I'm not willing to give this person extra time.

Call it, in a way, "mindful power dynamics".
You're mindful of the effects but, conscious of the "loss", you decide to do it anyway.

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

Thank you Lucio for your time and for sharing this detailed response.
I will definitely adopt some of these, such as the testing out responses: I find I started to do that in some cases.
It makes much sense, and the freedom behind the reasons you mention is the best thing.
Also the other reasons you mention are very enlightening. Trying to first see if the other person has the capability of behaving politely seems a very good approach before blocking. And where you say you act out of impulse, I would instead say you are fully justified. To follow you example, a person who engages in a lengthy and repeated retaliation after being refunded (!) for sure is not a good customer.