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Mats's Journal

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Subcommunicating you knew what they were doing would, I think, have to be done more subtly in this case in which her cover was very strong:

Her: Yeah, when you make mistakes it has consequences but you don't need to be so hard. We could have gone to the principal and told him/her that you publicly humiliated Monica, but we understand that you didn't do it on purpose. All we ask is that you have some compassion and look through her text again.

You: Well, you chose to approach me here in the library to discuss this, and you don't even seem too worried about continuing the conversation here... But no worries, if you don't want to go somewhere else now, we'll talk another time.

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Lucio BuffalmanoKavalierMats G

Yeah, great stuff in this thread.

I also agree with your disagreement, Mats.

Indeed, their approach failed in the win-win because the manipulation was too obvious, in the end (but with a caveat: it also failed because you're more power aware, some more clueless guy maybe have fallen for that).

The only thing I'd add is:

It seems to me that you and some suggestions here, albeit generally great, maybe approaching this situation with more of a "discussing things" approach.
For this case, my preference is more of a top-down approach.
Less negotiation, less trading power moves and frame control which indirectly sub-communicate "we're power equals" and a bit more of "I'm the teacher, I decide".

The reason is simple: you are the teacher, they are the students, so:

  • You may want to take what they say into account, but you ultimately decide where you're going to give feedback.
  • You may want to listen to their side of things, but you ultimately decide what grade is appropriate.
  • You may have done a mistake, but your mistake is off-topic and you decide that now you're exclusively talking about their behavior regarding the assignment.


I know it's old school, but sometimes the progressive approach to things can be (unnecessarily) disempowering, and less effective.

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Ali ScarlettMats GBel
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This is a post I wish I would have posted right when I joined PU but I didn't think about it. In order to measure my growth I'll write down what (if I remember correctly) I was like before I found TPM. This is mostly for me as a reference point to come back to whenever I want to make sure I'm growing. 

Mats before The Power Moves

After all the growth I've done in the past year it's crazy to think back to the summer of 2021, right before I joined Power University, and the person I was.

I was 22 years old, and I was weak physically, mentally, and emotionally. I lacked severely in confidence and I had no self esteem. I was working on self development, but only because deep down I despised myself. I was certain something was wrong with me, and I was quick to see all my flaws and beat myself up over my mistakes. I remember one day when I broke down crying. I had been working hard for months trying to improve my life only to realize that, for all my efforts I was still the same weak kid I had always been. Nothing inside of me had changed. It was in that moment I understood that I hated myself.

At the time I was living at my family house in Sweden with my parents and sister. We had a neighbor who would often come over to our property drunk and start picking fights. I was absolutely terrified of conflicts, and I hated that I lived in constant fear of this drunk coming over and shouting aggressively, refusing to leave my property, and insulting my family in front of me. I felt horrible because I couldn't defend my family. I felt like a failure. On top of that I was constantly stressed because I never knew when he would show up, and every time he came it took me days to recover emotionally from the confrontations.

I was also working as a waiter at a restaurant under a machiavellian boss, a job I absolutely despised. My salary was bad, the customers were often difficult or rude, and we were always understaffed. Almost every day at work was stressful. We were usually two or three waiters working a job that really required twice as many. Luckily I got along great with my coworkers, and because I was always a hard worker my boss loved me. I was not happy though. In fact the job was adding a great deal of stress to my life and I was growing resentful. To make this worse I was too weak to improve my situation. I once told my boss that I wanted a raise, and when he didn't immediately give me one I ended our talk with "I would like a bigger salary, but it's your decision", which ended with me sticking with my poor salary.

My boss would often manipulate me and the other workers, and because he was very charming he always got away with it. He made me feel special by always telling me that I was the best waiter and that he wanted me to keep working there (much cheaper than giving me a decent salary). In the beginning he would get angry and semi-yell at me when I made stupid mistakes, and scared as I was I stood silently and took it, often beating myself up and telling myself that he hated me and I would get fired. I had no power awareness, and even if I did I wouldn't have had the courage to stand up for myself. Despite this I still preferred working a job I hated over being home, because at work I was always busy, and at home home I always ran the risk that my neighbor would come over.

While my life was pretty good, I had a job, I had been accepted to University, I was healthy and smart, I had friends, a loving family and a place to stay etc etc, I didn't feel good at all. I wasn't depressed, but self loathing is still rough. My problem wasn't my life, it was me. I kept diving into self development, but I never believed that I had what it took to be successful. I didn't believe that I could be happy, or socially skilled, or rich, physically strong, or have the mental strength and courage to work on achieving my goals. My self esteem and confidence were almost non existent. I was the most dramatic person I knew, and I loved making myself out as a victim. I always wanted others to feel sorry for me, and I loved feeling sorry for myself.

I had a fragile mindset that would break down anytime I failed, even if it was my first attempt. I joined the course Charisma University, but when I failed to connect with new people using the techniques, my tiny pieces of self esteem shattered. I believed that I was so hopeless that even online courses and books couldn't fix me. I had no understanding that failure is just a step on the path to success, and so I gave up.

It was at this point that I stumbled upon Power University. Honestly, it seemed way too good to be true. In fact, because of the typos (at the time) I saw on the site and the fact that the sales page seemed to be a copy of Charisma University's sales page, I thought the page was a scam. Luckily for me, I was desperate. I was so sick of living in constant stress and fear of my neighbor that I decided to buy PU. And holy sh*t am I happy I did. The growth I've seen since I joined is tremendous. As I'm typing this out it's almost mind boggling to see how far I've managed to come in a little over a year.

Mats after The Power Moves

Since I joined I've learned to see the world through a new lens, the lens that we here call power awareness. With this lens I've been able to improve relationships, stand up to my boss(es) on several occasions,  learned to how to give value to the people around me, and just in general learned to enforce boundaries and stand up for myself and what I believe in. Besides this I've also developed confidence and self esteem, as well as some self love. While I haven't completely gotten rid of my fear of conflicts, I've overcome a lot of it. I've turned my fragile mindsets into strong ones that have been able to carry me through any hardship I've encountered so far. I often find myself surprised that situations and circumstances that would have broken me in the past barely affect me now.

Most of all, since I joined Power University I've realized that I hold all the power to turn myself into any sort of person I want to become, and to shape my life into the life I want to live. As I write this I know I have a long way to go, but now I know that I have what it takes to achieve anything I set my mind to.

Thank You TPM!

Although this was not the original point of this post, I really want to thank everyone here at TPM for the incredible change you've helped me achieve in my life. I'm so happy to be here engaging with you all on the forum, and I know I wouldn't have come nearly as far without you. And Lucio, I honestly have no words for how grateful I am to you. Although it sounds like an exaggerated cliche, the things I've learned from you really has changed my life more than I ever would have hoped for. Thank you so much!

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Lucio BuffalmanoKavalierBel

Awesome awesome post, Mats, thank you for sharing that and thank you so much for the kind words -and thank you for the candid feebdack on the old salespage, that gave me a good laugh as I nodded "true that" while reading :)-.

I'm so glad to have you here as well man, you really strike man like a cool person who's out for good.

And wow, to have come so far in one year only, it's really truly impressive man.
That situation with your boss was so good that it ended up as a link-example in PU.

Here's to another year of growth, and the sky is the limit.

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KavalierMats GBel
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Thank you for the kind words Lucio! It means a lot.

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on December 30, 2022, 3:51 pm

-and thank you for the candid feebdack on the old salespage, that gave me a good laugh as I nodded "true that" while reading :)-.

All the work you and Ali have put into the sales page really is showing. It's a huge difference from when I first saw it :).

As for my growth, I owe it all to you and TPM. Now I'm looking forward to another year of learning and growing with this community.

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Lucio BuffalmanoKavalierBel

New Approach To Self Development

Three years ago, during the Corona-pandemic, I got serious about self development. I did it out of a sense of not being good enough, and I was fueled by self hatred. My approach at that time was to create routines that I would follow religiously. This is very clear from my first entry in this journal:

Quote from Mats G on December 2, 2021, 1:54 pm

What I'm doing now

Today I'm studying at University to become a teacher, but I'm more focused than ever on improving myself. In order to do that, I believe strongly in consistency and following routines. My current routines that I have been doing daily for the past year and a half include:

  • 15 minutes of Wim Hof's breathing exercises.
  • 30 minutes of transcendental meditation (you repeat mantras in your head).
  • 20 minutes of standing meditation.
  • 10-40 minutes of playing guitar.
  • Working out (except on rest days).

These routines are the bare minimum that I do everyday. My philosophy is that if I "waste" an entire day I will still have improved myself through my routines.

The problem with this approach, besides the obvious self hatred that I fixed last year, is that it's exhausting and easily becomes toxic. During the pandemic it made sense since I had nothing else to do. However, trying to do over four hours worth of self development routines every single day on top of university studies/work, being social, resting, and anything else life throws your way is freaking exhausting.

Last week I completely changed my approach to self development. Instead of  beating myself up if I don't have enough time or energy to do all of things I want to do in a day I no longer force myself to achieve everything on the same day. I dropped most of my routines and instead started thinking about all the things I want to do. This includes things like: playing guitar, working out (to stay in shape), study (to get my degree), read books, read PU, stretching, watch movies & series, play video games, hang out with friends, etc.

In the past I would have divided these things into productive/unproductive and forced myself to do all of the productive things every day. Now I realize that all of these things are important simply because I want to do them. Yes, some might consider video games a waste of time, but it's a way for me to have some alone-time to recharge after being social or productive. If I spend all day every day playing then it's a problem, but doing it when I feel like I need it is just as important as working out (of course, video games is just an example of something that's usually considered a waste of time).

The strength of this new approach is that it makes my life a lot more balanced. If I feel like there's something I want to do I allow myself to do it, and that way none of the areas get neglected. Also, I spend a lot less time doing every thing and instead vary between them often, which both improves learning and keeps me from getting exhausted or bored.

The risk is that this new approach will lead to less results, but even if it does I believe it's worth it because it makes me enjoy life so much more.

New Focus

When I first joined PU I was very weak and naive. I had always put the wants and needs of other people ahead of my own and it made me resentful. As I went through PU and UP I realized that it was a huge problem that I needed to fix. This caused me to spend the next two years teaching myself to prioritize my own wants and needs over those of others. While doing this I went too far and stopped caring almost completely what others wanted if it collided with my own wants. Even if someone wanted me to do a tiny favor but I didn't feel like it I would get annoyed at them. This was definitely something that I needed to go through to learn how to be kind to myself and pursue my goals in life, but I went too far. I became incredibly self-obsessed and narcissistic, not the sort of person I want to be.

This week I realized that this self obsession really made me a low quality individual. Now my focus is to move back towards focusing on others. Not naively like I did in the past, but in a balanced way that allows me to take care of myself and help others at the same time. It feels very unnatural, but I had a mindset shift that makes it easier: before I only tried to act in ways that were good for me, but now I want to act in ways that is good for the world. That doesn't mean I need to set out to solve world hunger or cure cancer, but rather than acting in ways that makes the world worse, I want to act in ways that make it better. Even if only by a tiny margin, if I leave the world better than I found it I can feel good about my life.

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Lucio BuffalmanoBelRoberto

Hi Mats,

Just commenting on the last part of your entry.

I believe it’s a great thing you became more focused on what’s there for you. It rebalances things and lets others know you are now aware.

And I am sure that your being “self-obsessed” is actually still being more generous than 95% of people out there.

Mats G has reacted to this post.
Mats G

Thank you for the note Bel!

You're right, it was very good for me to start focusing on myself. And there are definitely more selfish people out there than me.

Despite that, I became more selfish than I consider optimal, both for myself and others. It was obviously a big improvement compared to the old me who would sacrifice everything I wanted and needed for people that didn't even matter much to me, but I swung too far into the other end of the spectrum.

Now that I'm switching my focus outwards again I will still be prioritizing my needs over those of others, but I will no longer disregard what other people need.  In other words I will be looking to be a force for good, which still means being kind to myself but also doing good for others when I can.

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Lucio BuffalmanoBel

Nice one, Mats!

Sounds a lot to me like you went through a phase of "extreme self-development", and are reaching that better "optimum balance" that is generally healthier for you, and often even more effective what whatever you want to do.

Somewhat similar to what also John mentioned in his journal, I think.

Also, agree that the "more selfish" phase is an improvement over the overly nice, but also that a more balanced "I matter, you do as well" and going for win-win when possible is superior in many ways (including for you).

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Mats GBel
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This will likely be a long and emotional post.

I have a neighbor who has been antagonizing my family for years.

He shows up drunk on my property and looks for any excuse to fight. Whether it's about how my cat supposedly bullies his cat, how there's canoes laying on his property (even though they're not our canoes), or (I can't even make this shit up) how his yard is wet after it's been raining all day...

This started years ago, he would come over drunk and start screaming at my dad because of his cat.

Now, my dad is an incredibly kind person, I've never seen him treat anybody with even an ounce of disrespect. He is incredibly high warmth and also very intelligent and diplomatic. But he also doesn't like conflicts. When my neighbor screams at him and insults him, my dad will still speak diplomatically and try to calm the neighbor down.

My mom on the other hand is more emotional and quicker to anger. She does not have a problem with conflicts and she would often match his tone while telling him to leave. Unfortunately my neighbor doesn't respect my mom, he only sees her as the wife of my dad. Therefore she also has big difficulties getting him to leave.

For several years this man would come over at least five times every summer drunk out of his mind to the point where he could barely stand. He's even fallen over while walking on multiple occasions. Every time he came he would be aggressive, yelling loudly and insulting my parents.

The first times I stayed away, but eventually I started coming out as well whenever he came. This was before PU, and I would use the same strategy my dad used of talking calmly until he would leave. In a way it was effective, but it was exhausting and time consuming; I'd have to talk calmly for 30 minutes before he left, all the while getting insults and even threats of physical violence shouted at my face.

This went on for years, even after I joined PU he kept coming back, and because I'm so scared of conflicts I never managed to deal with it. The last time he came over when I was present was a year ago, and that was before I had developed my confidence to a good level. It went the same way it always does, with me having to speak calmly for a long time while listening to insults.

After that my parents spoke to his parents about what had happened, and told them it had been happening for years. They apparently had a big talk with him and he supposedly came over to my dad a few days later telling him "it won't happen again". He didn't bother us for another year.

A few months ago he came back. I wasn't present at the time but afterwards my parents told me what happened. He came over as he usually does, drunk and screaming. He climbed over the fence separating our properties and physically shoved my dad to the side as he trespassed on our property once again. My sister told me that he threatened to "go get his gun" to kill our cat (apparently our cat was bullying his new cat). When my mom came he also grabbed a hold of her forearm and squeezed hard enough for it to hurt an hour later.

Even writing this out makes me sick to my core. My family had always been kind to this man from the moment he moved in next to us, and this is how he treats them. I've felt powerless for so long and somewhat pathetic because I haven't been able to protect my family. Even after they told me what he did I didn't know what to do.

I usually like having flaws and making mistakes. I've learned to accept that I'm not perfect and I never will be, so every part of me needs to be loved and accepted or else I'll always be fighting myself. But I can't find it in me to accept that my family has had to suffer for years at the hands of another man and I haven't done anything to stop it. I wish I was stronger, I wish I wasn't scared. I can't even appreciate that my weakness is a learning opportunity because as long as it exists I can't protect the people I love.

Back to my neighbor.

I have been spending a lot of time thinking about how to react the next time I see him. The unspoken agreement has been that whenever he is sober we (as in my whole family) will greet him warmly as if nothing happened and he does the same. Basically we all bury our heads in the sand.

But this past year I've grown a lot. I know better than to reward people for hurting me. I decided that I would stop greeting him altogether whenever we see each other. The other day I drove past him in my car and he greeted me. I looked at him for half a second then turned my head back to the road. I wanted to just stare him down, but I was a bit scared and also I was driving.

After that I actually talked with Lucio about this and he gave me a challenge, to go speak with my neighbor when he was sober.

I had done that once before actually. The thing about this neighbor is that he is weird, as in literally not normal. He is on medication, he has seen a psychologist in the past, he can't keep a job because he can't work together with other people. I have never heard anybody say anything positive about him (ironically with the exception of my dad before this behavior started), but a lot of people have complained about what an idiot he is.

His weirdness makes me quite wary of him, because I'm not convinced he would understand that physically harming others is bad. He makes enemies out of everybody he speaks with and he clearly never worries about the possible consequences of his actions. All in all he could potentially be dangerous.

Even though the challenge made me incredibly uncomfortable and scared, I realized that I had to do it. I decided that the next day I ran into him I would stop and speak with him.

Today on my way home from work I saw him working on the side of the road. We looked at each other and he waved at me with a smile. I stopped my car, stepped out, and something like the following interaction occurred:

Me: "Hey, you and I need to talk."

Him: "What is it now?"

Me: "You just greeted me as if nothing has happened between us. You've come over to my property drunk several times..."

Him: (speaking over me) "Yeah yeah."

Me: "I want us to have a good relationship but for that to happen you can't come over to my property drunk and insulting me and my family."

Him: "No, yeah we agree. It's not really a problem anyway because our cats are getting along now."

Me: "No but this has nothing to do with the cats. You can't come over drunk to my property and insult my family."

Him: "Me and your dad have already talked about this and it's fine."

Me: "But we haven't talked about it. If we are going to have a good relationship you need to stop coming over to my property when you're drunk and..."

Him:  (Interrupts me again) "Yeah yeah stop nagging about it. You're a little shitling (literal translation is "shit kid")."

Me: "Are you certain you want to say that to me?"

Him: "No but you keep nagging. This is all behind us I've talked with your dad about it already."

Me: "But you haven't talked to me about it and we need to talk about this."

Him: (at this point he is turning to walk away) "Yeah yeah okay."

Me: "Listen the last time you came over to my property you physically shoved my dad and squeezed my mom. That was not okay. You will never lay as much as a finger on my family again."

Him: "Yeah no I..., Are you threatening me or what the fuck?"

Me: "My family has always been kind to you but you can't come over to our property drunk if we are going to have a good relationship."

Him: "Stop nagging, this is all behind us. It's forgotten. Clean slate. All good."

Me: "It's only all good as long as you don't come over drunk again."

Him: "Yeah yeah whatever."

I don't remember exactly how the conversation went or the order of our comments, but that was more or less the gist of it.

All the while I was shaking and feeling anxious, but for once I managed to keep my voice mostly steady with a low pitch. I also think my body language was alright considering the shaking.

Throughout the conversation he got more and more aggressive and was almost shouting at some points. From the moment I told him that "you and I need to talk" he became defensive and assumed ill intent. He clearly sees enemies everywhere.

I think the only thing this conversation accomplished was make him angry, so I probably just kicked a hornets nest. I've never encountered an individual like this before, what sort of person says "it's forgotten" when you remind him of how he insulted your family and got physical with them?

I know I didn't handle this well, but considering how much these things scare me I did one hell of a good job. Maybe it looks like I did a good job when it's in written format but I'm pretty sure it looked much worse in real life. A big part of that was that he kept getting more and more aggressive while I kept the same tone that was a little bit too warm.

After I got home my heart pounding like crazy. I was very hungry all the way home from work, but after that conversation I had no appetite at all. I tried reading some posts on the forum but I couldn't focus. I was so emotionally distressed and it took about an hour to actually calm down. I think writing it out helped a bit with that. I really hate this whole situation.

Even worse, while I should be proud that I did something I was terrified to do I can't shake the feeling of guilt over having accomplished nothing except making him angry. I'm moving out in two weeks and I won't be living near him, but my parents will still live right next to him. Now I feel like I ticked off a wild beast and set it on them.

I don't know if he will do anything. Maybe if I'm lucky he will leave them alone but I doubt it. I suppose the only thing I can do now is wait. In a few days I might feel good about all of this, but right now I feel pretty shitty.

If something happens with this I'll probably post it here.


@lucio thank you for challenging me the other day. Even if it ends up making things worse I know I would never have been able to respect myself completely if I didn't do this.

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