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Judge = "emotional power dynamics" ?

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Hey guys,

I need an opinion.

Especially from those who have been here a bit longer and/or who are familiar with judge power dynamics.

The judge power dynamics are heavily based on personal ascendency and influence that are heavily rooted on emotional power dynamics.

If one can emotionally detach, then judges lose much of their power.
Or if you care little of someone else, then that person has little power to affect you from a judge role.

I'll still call it "judge role", but I'm thinking to rebrand it by putting "emotional power dynamics" right next to it.
I think it would make the whole dynamics far clearer -I've noticed that several people who asked questions missed that crucial part: it's always you who ultimately give others judge powers-.
And it would also make the solution much clearer: either gain emotional distance, or do internal work to be your own judge first and foremost.

Thoughts?

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

I think that depends on how you plan to present it.

Do you mean writing it something like this:

  • Judge power dynamics (emotional power dynamics)

I think that would complicate the idea on the surface for those who might be newer.

For those of us who already understand, it makes sense. But, when I first got into PU, if I would've seen something like "judge power dynamics (emotional power dynamics)", I would've thought:

  • "OK, so there's judge power dynamics I have to learn and this website teaches power dynamics. And, social dynamics is a thing. Now, there's emotional power dynamics?" (= I would've thought emotional power dynamics is a whole new field of study that would've made PU seem a lot more daunting. I did start out as a beginner though, so it might not be as daunting for those who join and are already prepared for the advanced material)
  • "Judge power dynamics and emotional power dynamics. Maybe they're basically the same thing?" (= I would've thought to conflate the two, but then rationalize that if they were the same and the two terms were truly interchangeable, it would've been redundant for the author to write both. So, from there, my mind would go back to the first bullet point)

I understand what you're saying and I think you're right that "emotional power dynamics" achieves pointing to the roots of how judge power dynamics start to unfold and underlining how one can overcome those judge power dynamics.

But, I think it does that primarily for the advanced people. So, if we're talking about rebranding with the goal of making the judge power dynamics concept clearer, I think it misses the target.

What helps teach a new (and possibly more complex) concept to new learners though is analogies. And, I think we already have a perfect one:

  • The parent role

It already achieves all of the goals of "emotional power dynamics" while simplifying the whole concept entirely:

  • They try to take a parent role (they to be your mom or dad)
  • You refuse their parenting (social independence)
  • You refuse the child role (emotional independence)

I especially think that saying something like "they try to be your mom or dad" highlights how silly it is to let others (especially people you know little) be our judges. And, can further foster that attitude of self-empowerment.

Plus, as I noted above, this can similarly answer that the solution is to be your own parent. Or, indeed, to emotionally distance oneself from the judge.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Thank you, Ali!

What I had thought initially was to to title the paragraph (and article) as:

  • Emotional power dynamics: the "judge role"

I'm reflecting on your post.

And reflecting as I type.

Emotional Power Dynamics VS Judge Power Dynamics

I think that "emotional power dynamics" can easily feel to people like a subset of power dynamics.

Just like power dynamics applies to office politics, dating, friendships, etc., then it also applies to the inner emotional life that people experience.
So to me, it feels the opposite. While "judge power dynamics" felt like somewhat of a "new thing", as if it were standing on its own, "emotional power dynamics" feels more natural.

Reflecting on "parent role"

I liked your "parent role" a lot.

And I've thought on whether it's versatile enough.

For example, if your friend says he's disappointed that you couldn't lend him $20, that's not necessarily a parent role. But it's still an emotional dynamic.
So while "parent" might be perfect in situations where the person has more power or status than you, it might not cover the use cases for people whom you feel are your equals (or below you).

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

Anyone else with an opinion, please share 🙂

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

I believe emotional power dynamics overlaps with judge power dynamics but should be thought of as distinct concepts albeit emotional influence is a large part of the judge influence.

Emotional power dynamics can be part of

  • Judge influence
  • Microaggressions
  • Shame attacks
  • Power moves
  • Charm and other value-adding actions

Judge power dynamics can encompass

  • Emotional influence
  • Tangible rewards and punishment - I will give you 10% more commission for hitting double the sales targets
  • Explicit and implicit agreed expectations in a relationship - there's rational influence if you don't hold up to your end of the stick in the relationship. It's good to also accept this feedback & influence in an emotionally detached way

One main example is that I was quite emotionally detached in quite a few jobs in the corporate world. But I accepted my bosses' judge role over me in an emotionally detached way because it's important and good for my career to take into account his interests and expectations.

So I do care when it's rationally in my interests even if I'm relatively emotionally detached.

I'm avoiding the higher-order questions of being emotionally attached to money, power, mission, etc.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Thank you, Matthew!

Thinking about this topic for some hours now, and getting back to it soon.

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

I think I may have explained that in a roundabout manner.

I could summarise my message into 2 points:

  • Internal/Mental Influence - Do you feel your feelings and emotional state depends on the judgement and whether you satisfy the judgement of the person?
  • External/Environmental Influence - Is the judgement part of a fair expectation out of social exchanges and implicit or explicit relationship agreements?

There are definitely overlaps.
Furthermore, rationality and emotions may depend on each other.

Let's take the case of a working relationship between a boss and a subordinate.

More Emotional Influence

I'm disappointed in your work performance.
I feel like you're not putting in enough effort.

A mentor with a closer, emotional relationship in the workplace may deliver this remark.

More Towards Objective Expectations for Fair Social Exchanges within a Working Relationship

We agreed on a timeline to deliver this project.
However, there seems to be a lot of delays on your side.
It's important that you deliver on time to keep the team going.

The manager's judgement on your performance holds weight here in a more objective manner on the external environment.
Especially if he says this in front of the team, i.e. a non-private setting.

For emotional power dynamics, that depends on how happy or sad you feel whenever your manager judges your performance.
Emotional detachment would help to evaluate the judgement more objectively.
You have more agency in your mind.

If you are in fact delivering and the manager is playing games, then his judgement may hold less power, especially if you have good working relationships with others.

If you are not delivering, then his judgement holds more power because he is revealing that you are not delivering enough value within the social contract of the working relationship.

I thought about it, and I still see the judge power dynamics as steeped into emotional power dynamics.

It's true that emotional power dynamics are more than judges.
But that doesn't mean that the judge role can't be heavily based on emotional power dynamics.

And it's true that judges can judge without an emotional component, as Matthew says, but:

Quote from Matthew Whitewood on October 23, 2021, 4:45 pm

Judge power dynamics can encompass

  • Emotional influence
  • Tangible rewards and punishment
  • Explicit and implicit agreed expectations in a relationship

True.

There can certainly be judgment and fair judging without emotions.

And it would still be "judge power dynamics".

That's the ideal state to move towards: noticing the emotional component and not being overly reactive to the emotional component.

But even an ideal way of relating to judges and judgment, it's still defined in relation to emotions (as without over-emotional attachment such as guilt, anger, rebellion, etc).
Such as, it is still defined by the absence or presence of emotions.

Quote from Matthew Whitewood on October 23, 2021, 4:45 pm

Emotional power dynamics can be part of

  • Judge influence
  • Microaggressions
  • Shame attacks
  • Power moves
  • Charm and other value-adding actions

Also ture.

But the judge influence is the emotionally deepest of them all, potentially longer-lasting, and with the highest potential for manipulation.

A manipulative judge can change how you view yourself and what you take pride on.

For example, a parent who dispenses love to a child for being, say, a great student, a great football player, intelligent or whatever will get that kid to build his self-esteem and his ego around those traits.
And that has far deeper and farther-reaching consequences.

It can get even more manipulative, for example building someone's pride around being service-oriented or supportive (quite frequent in relationships, as in the article on female relationship control).

None of the others can do that.

And it's all based on emotional dynamics.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on October 24, 2021, 10:39 am
Quote from Matthew Whitewood on October 23, 2021, 4:45 pm

Judge power dynamics can encompass

  • Emotional influence
  • Tangible rewards and punishment
  • Explicit and implicit agreed expectations in a relationship

True.

There can certainly be judgment and fair judging without emotions.

And it would still be "judge power dynamics".

That's the ideal state to move towards: noticing the emotional component and not being overly reactive to the emotional component.

But even an ideal way of relating to judges and judgment, it's still defined in relation to emotions (as without over-emotional attachment such as guilt, anger, rebellion, etc).
Such as, it is still defined by the absence or presence of emotions.

I may have not phrased this in the best manner.

I wanted to say that, in a lot of cases, the emotional component can be the primary component of the judge role.
And absolutely that the judge role can have a pronounced emotional effect on an individual's life.
Whether positively or negatively.

At the same time in some cases, the emotional component may not necessarily be the prominent component of the judge role.
One example would be the actual judge in the court where legal judgement is pronounced.
So the prosecutors and defendants do care about the judgement of the judge albeit in a more rational, calculative way.

I think bystanders may also view one person judging the other in a less emotional way.
So the bystanders see the person pronouncing judgement on the other as the more powerful one.

Or maybe I got the whole point of this thread wrong?
This is about emotional judge power dynamics rather than other forms of judge power dynamics.
Or we defined judge power dynamics to be emotional in the first place.


Edited: Included the third-party observers (bystanders) in judge power dynamics

Judge power dynamics are emotion-based.

Otherwise, we'd be discussing power/authority (and there wouldn't be a need for a new construct).

I think putting "emotional power dynamics" might address exactly these types of common misunderstandings.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
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