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My Journey to Power

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In PU, I'm no focussing on removing Low Power behaviour. I noticed I have quite some of them ("Ouch" look, raised shoulder, preambles, etc.). I think this is good to establish a good baseline behaviour before adding high power behaviour.

Sharing in case it's helpful for someone else. I extracted the main points and printed them on a sheet of paper that I read when I see it in my kitchen. Also reading and re-reading the lessons until it's burned in my mind.

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Mats GRobertoPower Duck
Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on September 5, 2023, 11:23 am

I wouldn't underestimate how easily and frequently you can turn a narcissist, a fragile ego, or a sneaky/passive-aggressive person against you with assertiveness.

That's why, the way I see it, assertiveness goes with the general principle of "straight behavior": you better reserve it for those who deserve it.

From Roberto's journal. I put it here as a reminder as well as in my notes.

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RobertoPower Duck

Regarding the post above, thanks a lot Lucio for sharing this with us. This convinced me not to go assertive with JB as I think he has fragile ego and makes fun of people behind their back.

As you guys saw, friendship is still a challenge for me. I'm very loyal in friendship and it's very important for me. If you're my friend I'm on your team and I'll back you up hell and high water.

So when a friend disrespect me it's twice hurtful. It means that he broke my trust, betrayed the friendship and took advantage of all I provided genuinely. So it's quite painful. I'm not a victim, this is how I feel when it happens. So it's a serious offence for me.

I don't like to admit it, but when we're doing these week-ends with him, I feel worse after the week-end than before. We spend good times and we laugh. But the aftertaste is bitter.

So I decided I'm going to see him as little as possible. That's my new strategy with him. The problem is that we're intertwined in the group with some other friends I like. So I'm back to the situation with the nasty social climber. I'm not going to ostracize him as he's clearly one of the leaders in his group and he's definitely value-adding.

I think what happened is that when I met him he was higher quality than me and I outgrew him. So now I want higher quality friends. I know I said it already but it's kind of difficult for me to let go of friendship even if with a toxic component.

My plan is check out social events (there's a WA group for expats) and start doing brazilian jiu-jitsu which I feel fits me more than rock climbing. We'll see how it goes with my work schedule.

For instance something he kept making fun of me is I did not finish to buy furnitures for my apartment and it's not well decorated. It's been 2 years I'm in it. Well for one I had other priorities, second it's expensive to buy furnitures and I have to buy the car, third it's none of his business. And last but not least: he lives in a housesharing and has a room in it. His room is such a mess! There are clothes and stuff everywhere on the floor.

So look who's talking? Also if I look at the people in my life, apart from work he's the person who makes the most fun of me. So is it really a good friend? I don't think so. Laughing a lot in exchange for social barbs: worth it? I thought so until now but I'm changing my mind. I value self-respect more.

Also it's with him that I started to smoke tobacco again. So is he a good influence in my life? I'm not sure.

Bel talked about childhood traumas. You know who JB reminds me of? One of my best friend with whom I started to smoke weed and tobacco. We had a lot of fun but he was talking shit behind my back and was clearly envious and jealous. He reminds me of my ex as well with whom sex was good but she treated me poorly. He reminds me of my mother: when 20% of the time we speak it's good and then 80% of the time it's shit. He reminds me of my sister with whom I open and I am vulnerable sometimes and it's ok and then 20 minutes later she tries to one-up me or play power games with me.

It's one of these people who I feel I have an attachment to but who mistreats me. So I think it goes back to self-esteem and my conception of friendship/love in general. How much should I accept in order to be accepted?

Well I'm tired to let people walk over me in order to be accepted. I have other friends who are more respectful. No, we don't go in adventures together. But they respect me and treat me well. It's more important to me now than to share activities.

We'll see how it goes. So basically my strategy is 3-fold:

  1. Spend more time with respectful friends and propose them activities I like
  2. Spend less time with less respectful friends
  3. Assert boundaries with said individuals
  4. Look for new higher quality friends who like to do the same activities as I do

I am in control of my life. If it's up to be it's up to me.

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Lucio BuffalmanoMats GRobertoPower Duck

I am going to talk to my psychologist about this friendship thing.

There’s a pattern that I seem to keep repeating and that I’m probably not aware of.

I’m not going to do the same mistake as before and going to fade him very very slowly. I think I’m still going to confront JB with assertiveness. I think it will set me better with the group. Later I can tell I spoke with him and nothing changed (progressive escalation). I noticed that even with my manipulator resident when I spoke with her it improved our relationship even if she did not change as a person.

Regarding her, you were right Lucio. I should not have spoken with my bosses about her. Now they talked among themselves and it has been known I had a problem with her.

Yesterday I responded to a bid for connection from my boss (had lunch together) and she spoke to me about her. I said now it’s fine. She’s naive so she thinks she’s just driven. So no use of surfacing more. She gave me career advice and told me about her professional life path. Really interesting. So that is thanks to PU (career module) because first I missed the bid for connection but then corrected it (without going into details).

I will have an interview with pediatric intensive care soon as they liked my application. When my boss (who worked there) learned I applied he sent a recommendation email. So my plan is to prepare well for this interview and it should be alright. At least I have all cards in my hands now.

Also, in the group I created. I knew it from the start: one of my friend I invited is making his way inside the group. His strategy: to let people make fun of him to be accepted. So he's not going for status but for power. He recruited the friends I presented to him to take care of his cat. So he's a good social strategist. As often I got bored with this group when I saw that there was a lot of turkey behaviour. So I don't intend to drop the group but rather find new friends as I said. It's still always a bit disappointing as I feel that people are not grateful for what I provided. I'm not a victim but that tells a lot about their mentality.

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Lucio BuffalmanoRoberto

Continued from above:

Something I noticed with JB is that he's more socially savvy and dominant than me. He's the big brother and he grew up with a brother. He's also been in a group of guys. Myself I spent way more time with females. So that's my advantage but I'm a disadvantage in a group of males. Each time we go down the river, it goes a little better because I improve in my social skills and power dynamics. I think my sticking point is the fear of confrontation. Also, we have different belief systems. He makes fun of mine. So his belief system is shared by the group I was in while mine is not. So that also makes it challenging for me. Food for thoughts. Strategy: continue to study PU and learn from my failures. Another mistake I’m doing is that when I lose social power I default to my clown self. So before going into the group I must mentally know: “I’m a leader, I’m a leader, I’m a leader”. Not I’m “the” leader of course.

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RobertoPower Duck

I understand what JB does, why I feel like that after those week-ends and why I mentioned he was a leftist.

He uses shame attacks. The age thing is a shame attack. The mocking "empowerment" is a shame attack. That's what he does and what he's good at: shame attacks. So I'm studying PU about this to be better prepared next time.

Roberto has reacted to this post.

Today I had a conflict with one of our residents. She's a massive gaslighter, manipulator and triangulates a lot (often invokes a higher authority to justify what she does, sometimes it's a lie sometimes there's a doubt).

The good thing is that all of us attendings are aware of it and I informed our bosses.

Basically she has a bad attitude, has conflicts with parents, is not a teamplayer, has ALWAYS excuse for EVERYTHING (yes 100%), is unteachable (when one teaches her something she ALWAYS defends, yes always), she's a liar, does not get along with the team, does subpar work, does not improve, is not reliable.

I have to be careful that she does not spread her poison.

We are going to talk together to see what we can do. I'm thinking about a performance improvement plan. Someone suggested me a mediator.

The current problem is that our bosses don't see that. So we have to bring it to their attention.

The good thing is that she had already had an interview with one of our bosses before I arrived because of her bad attitude. So one of them has already had a taste of her attitude.

So it's all about surfacing here and destroying the triangulation with sharing our impressions of her.

Roberto and Power Duck have reacted to this post.
RobertoPower Duck

With the group of sports guys I now see it as a learning experience.

All the attacks I’m going to consider it a game where I can learn to defend. Also to practice the one-up style of communication among men. And to exercise my competitive side. In short to develop my masculinity.

I spend a lot of time with women at work so this is not my communication challenge.

Lucio Buffalmano and Roberto have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoRoberto

Yeah, man-to-man one-upping is one of those turkey power moves that you want to fly higher AFTER you learn how to play it because you can always expect some of that (and sometimes, it can even be fair and/or fun).

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John FreemanRoberto
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Thank you Lucio this is very helpful.

It encourages me to learn to play this game and go into these encounters with a learner/player attitude rather than apprehensive attitude.

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